USS Ozbourn (DD-846)
|Namesake:||Joseph W. Ozbourn|
|Laid down:||16 June 1945|
|Launched:||22 December 1945|
|Commissioned:||5 March 1946|
|Struck:||1 June 1975|
|Class & type:||Gearing-class destroyer|
|Length:||390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)|
|Beam:||41 ft 1 in (12.52 m)|
|Draught:||18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h)|
|Complement:||336 officers and enlisted|
USS Ozbourn (DD-846) was a Gearing-class destroyer in the United States Navy during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She was named for Marine Private Joseph W. Ozbourn (1919–1944), who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his “great personal valor” during the Battle of Tinian.
Following shakedown, Ozbourn reported for duty with the U.S. Pacific Fleet at San Diego, California in August 1946. She departed San Diego 6 January 1947 with Destroyer Division 171 (DesDiv 171) for the Far East; returned to San Diego in October; began her next deployment 1 October 1948, shortened by a collision with Theodore E. Chandler (DD-717). Although two crew members were killed, damage control parties saved the ship and she returned to Long Beach Naval Shipyard for repairs. During 1949 and early 1950, Ozbourn trained midshipmen, underwent overhaul and participated in various exercises, one of which was the first guided missile test at sea conducted with Norton Sound (AVM-1).
When hostilities began in Korea, Ozbourn joined Task Force 77 (TF 77). She participated in the Inchon landing and assisted with air operations off the Korean coast, twice receiving the Korean Presidential Citation for her efforts. In February 1951, despite having received two direct hits and several near misses from shore batteries the same day, Ozbourn sent her motor whale boat to rescue a downed pilot floating in a mine field. After returning to San Diego for repairs and overhaul and a brief assignment with TF 95 in the Wonsan area, Ozbourn returned to TF 77 in July 1952. In short order she rescued 18 men who had jumped from Boxer (CVA-21) to avoid a menacing fire and picked up 3 downed airmen from Essex (CVA-9). During the next two years Ozbourn made regular tours with the 7th Fleet followed by training operations in the San Diego area.
From 1956 to 1964 Ozbourn underwent major overhaul, engaged in intensive training exercises, participated in festivals and celebrations in several west-coast cities and in Australia, and operated periodically with the 7th Fleet. Having undergone Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) Mark I conversion earlier, she joined Task Group (TG 10) for a major Presidential Demonstration. From the flight deck of Kitty Hawk (CV-63), President John F. Kennedy watched Ozbourn's ASROC launching 6 June 1963.
Ozbourn sailed independently for Pearl Harbor 8 July 1964 to join DesDiv 233 and ASW Group 1 for a six-month Western Pacific deployment. From Yokosuka, Japan, ASW Group I sailed for the South China Sea after North Vietnamese PT boats had engaged American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. After providing antisubmarine warfare (ASW) protection for TF 77 and after participating in a naval weapons demonstration, Ozbourn returned to Long Beach. Several months of maintenance, repairs and intermittent local training operations followed; then came another deployment to the Western Pacific 20 August 1965. Attached to TG 77.6, Ozbourn provided gunfire support in the III and IV Corps areas of South Vietnam delivering tons of high explosives in covering fire. Eight crewmen were recommended for decorations during these actions.
In July 1966 Ozbourn began a two-year tour of duty with the 7th Fleet as a member of Destroyer Squadron 9. A great part of that time was spent on gunfire assignments supporting troops in South Vietnam and interdicting supply and communications routes in North Vietnam. She received direct hits on 25 March and 4 December 1967 but continued her mission each time. For "outstanding actions against the enemy and for excellent combat readiness", she received both the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Battle Efficiency “E”.
Ozbourn returned to Long Beach 6 September 1968 and remained there, with intermittent movements to Portland and San Diego, for the next year. In September 1969 she deployed again to WestPac where she operated with the 7th Fleet into 1970.
She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1975 and sold for scrap.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.