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USS Goldsborough DDG-20

In February 1976 I reported to the aboard the USS Goldsborough DDG-20. I remained onboard until April 1978.

History of USS Goldsborough DDG-20**

Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough, born 18 February 1805 in Washington, D.C., was appointed Midshipman 28 June 1812, but did not serve until 13 February 1816 when he reported for duty at the Washington Navy Yard. He led a four-boat night expedition from Porpoise in September 1827 to rescue British merchant brig Comet from Mediterranean pirates. In 1830 he was appointed first officer in charge of the newly created Depot of Charts and Instruments at Washington, the rude beginning of the United States Hydrographic Office. It was Goldsborough who suggested creation of the depot and initiated the collection and centralization of the instruments, books and charts that were scattered among several Navy yards. After 2 years he was relieved by Lt. Charles Wilkes.

Goldsborough led German emigrants to Wirt's Estates near Monticello, Fla., in 1833; then took leave from the Navy to command a steamboat expedition and later mounted volunteers in the Seminole War. After cruising the Pacific in frigate United States, he participated in the bombardment of Vera Cruz in Ohio. He served consecutively as: commander of a detachment in the expedition against Tuxpan; senior officer of a commission which explored California and Oregon (1849-1850); Superintendent of the Naval Academy ( 1853-1857), and commander of the Brazil Squadron (1859-1861). During his command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron October 1861 to September 1862, he led his fleet off North Carolina, where in cooperation with troops under General Burnside, he captured Roanoke Island and destroyed a small Confederate fleet. After special administrative duties in Washington, D.C., he took command of the European Squadron in the last year of the Civil War, returning to Washington in 1868 to serve as Commander of the Washington Navy Yard until his retirement in 1873. Rear Admiral Goldsborough died 20 February 1877.

The keel of the first ship to bear the name of Rear Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough was laid in Portland, Oregon just 21 years after his death in 1898.She was a torpedo boat, Number 20, of 255 tons with a crew of three officers and 56 men. During World War I GOLDSBOROUGH served with the Pacific Torpedo Fleet and operated in the Pacific Northwest throughout the conflict. She was decommissioned in Bremerton, Washington 8 September 1919.

The second GOLDSBOROUGH DD 188 was a "four piper" destroyer which was launched at Newport News, Virginia in 1920 and sponsored by Miss Lucetta Goldsborough, the Admiral's niece. This ship had a displacement of 1215 tons a speed of 35 knots, and a crew of 6 officers and 95 men. After two years of routine duty she was decommissioned in Philadelphia Navy Yard until re-activation in 1940 as a seaplane tender-destroyer with the hull number AVD 5. In this assignment she saw duty from the Caribbean to Greenland and from the Galapagos Islands to Chile. AVD 5 served in several capacities and in various areas of the Atlantic working with Hunter-Killer Groups and on wartime patrols.

On December 1, 1943 her classification was changed back to destroyer DD 188, and until early in 1945 she operated in the East Atlantic against Nazi Submarines. Following a conversion to APD 32 (high speed destroyer trans-port), she arrived in Pearl Harbor where she embarked a company of United States Marines and joined a task force steaming for what was to become the invasion of Saipan. The landing was made on 13 June 1945 in the face of the stiffest enemy resistance. For five weeks she supported the invasion and twice provided gunfire support to the men on the beaches. Upon completion of this assignment she joined the forces that became involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf beginning 18 October 1944. Her first mission was to land underwater demolition teams in the face of Japanese machine gun, mortar, and 75mm gunfire. GOLDSBOROUGH returned the enemy fire with her 3 inch guns and joined by other ships in firing into concealed positions ashore. A landing boat came alongside to transfer wounded and later enemy artillery bracketed GOLDSBOROUGH, then hit the forward stack spraying the ship with shrapnel.

On October 1944, GOLDSBOROUGH joined the Central Philippines Attack Force and entered Leyte Gulf. The invasion for the Liberation of the Philippine Islands was launched at this time. Following the operation at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, earning her fourth and fifth battle stars, she returned to San Pedro where she was deactivated and later decommissioned and scraped. The third GOLDSBOROUGH DDG 20, was built by the Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Company in Seattle,Washington, and was commissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington on 9 November 1963, Captain Charles D. Allen Jr., in command. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Alan Bible, wife of U.S. Senator Bible of Nevada. After working up in the Puget Sound area, she completed a series of port visits on the mainland, and arrived in her new home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 14 February 1964. Following qualification and acceptance tests in April, she sailed for Sydney, Australia for the Coral Sea celebration and returned to Hawaii in June.

GOLDSBOROUGH got underway in late November for Yokosuka, Japan and her first WestPac deployment with the Seventh Fleet. In February 1966 GOLDSBOROUGH made a second deployment to the Orient. She provided gunfire support for Operation "Binh Phu I" firing nearly 600 rounds. GOLDSBOROUGH also screened attack carriers on Yankee Station in the South China Sea. She participated in SEATO exercises in May, and was station ship at Hong Kong in June. On 26 June she was again off Vietnam on picket station. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor on 23 July. In August 1966, GOLDSBOROUGH entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for overhaul and extensive modification. In 1967 she participated in "Operation Sea Dragon", designed to interdict the North Vietnamese lines of supply into the Republic of Vietnam, and provided Naval Gunfire Support along the DMZ. During this deployment GOLDSBOROUGH fired nearly 10,000 rounds in support of allied forces and avoided over 800 rounds of hostile fire without damage to the ship. She was awarded the Naval Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service in Vietnamese waters from 29 August 1967 to 17 February 1968 upon her return to Pearl.

In November 1968 Goldsborough made her fourth Western Pacific deployment in five years, participating in eighty-eight gunfire missions in support of Vietnam, Republic of Korea, and U. S. Marine and Army forces. In early August GOLDSBOROUGH participated in the Apollo 11 Recovery Mission.

After a yard period in 1970, Goldsborough made a fifth WestPac tour, departing Pearl in August and returning in February 1971. Again she provided Naval Gunfire Support for allied troops, and carried out carrier escort duties in the Gulf of Tonkin. Later that year she visited Portland, Oregon for the 1971 Rose Festival.

In September 1971 GOLDSBOROUGH departed on her sixth deployment to the Western Pacific, providing Naval Gunfire Support for allied ground troops and performing carrier escort services.

In early 1972 she was assigned to the recovery Task Force for Apollo 16. Departing again on 13 October 1972 for her seventh deployment to the Western Pacific, this would be her last trip to the "gunline" in Vietnam. In December, while conducting a combat mission GOLDSBOROUGH was hit by coastal artillery fire. The shore battery put a hole five feet wide through an upper deck. The ship's crew received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service between October 1972 and February 1973. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor in May 1973.

GOLDSBOROUGH underwent a major overhaul at Pearl in 1974. Her electronics and weapons systems were modernized, and she was fitted with a new type of sonar. Her boilers and generators were rebuilt as well. She was badly in need of this overhaul, being well worn from her repeated deployments to the Western Pacific.

During the 1980's GOLDSBOROUGH participated in Persian Gulf operations, including contingency activity during the Iranian hostage crisis. She conducted maritime escort duties during the Iran / Iraq war, escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf. GOLDSBOROUGH was modernized extensively in 83-84 at Pearl Harbor. In 86 the ship was host of the CNO Adm. Watkins.

In September 1990, during Operation Desert Shield GOLDSBOROUGH made the first seizure of an Iraqi ship, the Zanoobia. The Iraqi ship was boarded and diverted to a neutral port by GOLDSBOROUGH crew members. The ship's action set the standard for future boarding operations during Operation Desert Shield.

GOLDSBOROUGH completed her final forward deployment in October 1992 to Central America as part of a joint task force involved in counter-drug operations, setting the standard for joint aerial and surface detection and monitoring operations.

GOLDSBOROUGH was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessels Register on 29 April 1993. She was sold to Australia as a parts hulk in September the same year.