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Richard S. Edwards


Richard Stanislaus Edwards, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 18 February 1885, was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1903. He was commissioned ensign on 13 September 1908 and through subsequent advancement attained the rank of admiral, to date from 13 April 1945, and was transferred to the retired list of the U.S. Navy in that rank on 1 July 1947. During World War I, he served as engineer officer on board Kentucky (BB-6), then as gunnery officer on board Kansas (BB-21) and Arkansas (BB-33). His commands included Wood (DD-317); Submarine Squadron 6; Submarine Base, New London, Conn.; Colorado (BB-45); Submarines, Patrol Force; and Submarines, Atlantic Fleet. During World War II he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and then Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. For his World War II service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He subsequently served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Commander, Western Sea Frontier, and Commander, Pacific Reserve Fleet. He died at the Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif., 2 June 1956.


(DD - 950: displacement 4,049; length 418’; beam 45’; draft 20’; speed 35 knots; complement 354; armament 3 5”, 4 3”, 1 depth charge track, 2 depth charge projectors, 2 21” torpedo tubes; class Hull)


Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) was laid down by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co., Seattle, Wash., 29 December 1956; launched 24 September 1957; sponsored by Mrs. W. B. Franke; and commissioned 5 February 1959, Comdr. Richard R. Law in command.


Richard S. Edwards’ shakedown took her to Valparaiso, Chile, then back to San Diego 13 May 1959. She then deployed to the western Pacific area where she operated with the fast carrier units of the 7th Fleet, and as a member of the U.S. Taiwan Patrol Force. She returned to the west coast 13 May 1960 and operated there until deploying to the western Pacific again in February 1961 to operate with the fast carrier group in the South China Sea. She returned to San Diego 14 September 1961.


Richard S. Edwards commenced her third WestPac cruise 13 November 1962 for fast carrier operations throughout the western Pacific, returning home in June 1963. She resumed local operations until commencing her fourth WestPac cruise from August 1964 to January 1965. During this deployment [Richard S.] Edwards and Morton (DD-948) engaged North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Tonkin Gulf on 18 September, probably sinking several.


Upon returning from the Far East, [Richard S.] Edwards operated off the west coast until deploying to WestPac again 1 March 1966 to 26 August 1966. There she rendered naval gunfire support to forces ashore in Vietnam and plane-guarded for U.S. Navy carriers in the Tonkin Gulf. During 1967, she operated off the west coast of the United States until returning to WestPac in August. She arrived Da Nang, South Vietnam, 3 November 1967. She returned to San Diego 12 March 1968 and spent the balance of that year operating off the west coast.


In late January 1969 Richard S Edwards deployed to WestPac again to operate off Vietnam She returned to San Diego 13 August 1969, until being decommissioned at Long Beach, Calif. 27 February 1970. She immediately entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard and underwent ASW modernization. By December, she was participating in sea trials in anticipation of her recommissioning, which occurred 15 January 1971. She embarked 4 March for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, her new home port, and continued operations in that vicinity until April 1972.


Receiving only 72 hours notice, Richard S Edwards sailed from Pearl Harbor 10 April 1972 for the western Pacific and deployment off the Vietnamese coast. She remained in the area, either on the gunline or cruising with the carriers as escort and plane-guard, until November. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 10 November 1972, operating out of that port until decommissioned on 15 December 1982. The old destroter was struck from the navy list on 7 February 1990 and sunk as a target on 10 April 1997.


Richard S. Edwards received six battle stars for service off Vietnam.

14 October 2005