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Callaghan II (DDG-994)


The second U.S. Navy ship named in honor of Rear Adm. Daniel Judson Callaghan.

Daniel Judson Callaghan -- born in San Francisco, Calif., 26 July 1890, the son of Charles William and Rose (Wheeler) Callaghan -- attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, then was appointed to the Naval Academy from his native state in 1907. As a midshipman, he played football and baseball. Graduating as passed midshipman in June 1911, Callaghan was assigned to duty in California (Armored Cruiser No. 6) and was commissioned ensign on 7 March 1912. Later that year during the first Nicaraguan Campaign, he was a member of California’s landing force under command of Maj. Smedley D. Butler, USMC, and participated in the capture of Coyotepe Hill.

On 30 June 1913, Callaghan reported to Truxtun (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 14), which operated off the west coast of Mexico the following summer during the Mexican Campaign. He wed Mary Tormey at Oakland, Calif., on 23 July 1914 and advanced to the rank of lieutenant (j.g.) on 7 March 1915. The next day, as engineer officer of Truxtun, Callaghan would discover a severe corrosion issue with ferrules in the ship’s starboard condenser which would plague him for the next several months. In early May, new ferrules were ordered to replace the damaged ones and to have many extras on hand should they be needed during an upcoming voyage with Truxtun’s squadron. When Callaghan went to replace corroded ferrules with some of the new ones in late June, however, he discovered that the replacements were not the correct size. The condenser ferrule problem ultimately caused the ship to miss the scheduled trip and put Truxtun in Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., for repairs for almost all of July.

Charged with neglect of duty in relation to the ferrule fiasco, on 24 August 1915, Callaghan was placed under arrest to face a general court martial. The specifications of the charge accused Callaghan of waiting too long to order new ferrules, failing to promptly inspect the replacement ferrules to ensure receipt of the correct part, and failing to make a more thorough inspection of the troubled condenser back in March to ascertain the full extent of the problem. At the time of his arrest, Callaghan was acting as Truxtun’s commanding officer, and there was only one other junior officer stationed in the ship. Because of that officer shortage, Callaghan was temporarily released from arrest and restored to duty with the approval of the Navy Department on 2 September as he awaited judgment following his 27 August court martial.

Ultimately, the court fully acquitted Callaghan of all specifications of the charge against him, but a Navy Department review disapproved the finding on the second specification and thus the full acquittal as well. Writing on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “it is not considered that in the performance of your duty in this particular respect you were as careful and zealous as the Department [has] a right to expect of a prudent officer under such conditions and with similar responsibilities.” Roosevelt continued, “It is to be hoped that in the future you will at all times perform your duty with such care and zeal as to preclude the possibility of any question as to your capabilities and manner of performance of duty as an officer in the naval service.” Callaghan was officially released from arrest and restored to duty on 4 October 1915. Happier times came shortly thereafter with the birth of his only child, Daniel Judson “Jud” Callaghan, Jr., on 16 October, and Callaghan was able to take a short leave to spend time with his family.

On 22 March 1916, Callaghan assumed command of Truxtun, and the destroyer once again patrolled off the coast of Mexico that summer. On 11 November 1916, Callaghan joined the third-class cruiser New Orleans as engineer officer. During the World War, the cruiser escorted convoys across the Atlantic. Callaghan received temporary promotions to lieutenant on 1 July 1917 and then to lieutenant commander a year later. He received orders to report to the Bureau of Navigation (BuNav) in Washington, D.C., on 14 November 1918.

Working at BuNav until October 1920, Callaghan next served for three years as assistant fire control officer of the battleship Idaho (BB-42), where his promotion to lieutenant commander was made permanent as of 31 December 1921. In mid-1923, Callaghan was assigned to the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, San Francisco, and in the spring of 1925 he joined Colorado (BB-45). He served as that battleship’s first lieutenant until 9 April 1926, when he transferred to Mississippi (BB-41) and spent the next two years as her engineer officer.


Lt. Cmdr. Daniel J. Callaghan, circa 1920s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photo NH 64335)
Caption: Lt. Cmdr. Daniel J. Callaghan, circa 1920s. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photo NH 64335)

In August 1928, Callaghan returned to the Pacific Coast Section of the Board of Inspection and Survey. He began three years’ gunnery duty in the Battle Fleet in June 1930: first as an aide on staff of Commander, Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet, with additional duty as divisions gunnery officer; then as aide on staff, Commander Battle Force, U.S. Fleet as well as force gunnery officer, where he was promoted to commander in June 1931; and finally from 10 August 1932 to 10 June 1933 as fleet training officer on staff of Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. On 12 June 1933, Callaghan reported as executive officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Unit at the University of California, Berkeley. From 7 February 1936 until 7 June 1937, he served as executive officer of the heavy cruiser Portland (CA-33).

After serving as operations officer on the staff of Commander, Cruisers, Scouting Force, for a year, on 14 July 1938, Callaghan was appointed Naval Aide to Franklin D. Roosevelt, now the President of the United States. In this role, Callaghan accompanied the President at official functions and often arranged naval transportation for the Commander in Chief and travelled with him on board Navy ships including the presidential yacht, Potomac (AG-25). A contemporary press report noted that working as the President’s Naval Aide “won [Callaghan] thousands of friends throughout the country, due to his smiling appearance and courteous demeanor when in company of President Roosevelt.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Capt. Daniel J. Callaghan, his Naval Aide (left), take the salute of a composite battalion of the 14th Infantry at Gatun Locks, Panama Canal Zone, as they disembark from heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa (CA-37) on 18 F...
Caption: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Capt. Daniel J. Callaghan, his Naval Aide (left), take the salute of a composite battalion of the 14th Infantry at Gatun Locks, Panama Canal Zone, as they disembark from heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa (CA-37) on 18 February 1940. (U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph SC-114847, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Callaghan ably accompanied and assisted Roosevelt for nearly three years and reached the rank of captain as of 1 October 1938. As the prospect of war once again loomed on the horizon, Callaghan yearned to return to sea, however, and on 27 May 1941, he assumed command of the heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA-38). When Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, T.H., on 7 December 1941, San Francisco lay moored in the Navy Yard, undergoing overhaul. Callaghan later reported that because of the overhaul, the ship’s guns were without ammunition. The crew was thus limited to defending the ship with small arms, and many hands boarded the nearby New Orleans (CA-32), a sister ship, to supplement her gun crews. After the attack was over, the ship’s company threw themselves into the most essential repair work, and San Francisco was underway for wartime duty one week later.

In early May 1942, Callaghan left San Francisco and transferred to Headquarters, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Fleet. On 19 June, he became the Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, Commander, South Pacific Force (ComSoPac). Callaghan was promoted to rear admiral on 4 August, retroactive to 26 April. Shortly after Ghormley was replaced as ComSoPac by Vice Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr., in October 1942, Callaghan was reassigned and placed in command of Task Force (TF) 67.4 on 30 October.

Capt. Daniel J. Callaghan on the bridge of San Francisco (CA-38), circa 1941–42. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-20824, National Archives and Records Administration Still Pictures Division, College park, Md.)
Caption: Capt. Daniel J. Callaghan on the bridge of San Francisco (CA-38), circa 1941–42. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-20824, National Archives and Records Administration Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

On the night of 12–13 November 1942, with Callaghan embarked in his flagship San Francisco, TF 67.4 steamed in a single column off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, awaiting the arrival of the Japanese fleet to Savo Sound, en route to bombard Henderson Airfield and eventually land troops on the island. The two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and eight destroyers of Callaghan’s task force steamed directly into the Japanese force of 14 ships, which included the battleships Hiei and Kirishima, but withheld fire. The Japanese, surprised by the presence of American warships at very close range, opened fire, and a short, chaotic, and intensely fierce battle ensued. San Francisco drew fire from several of the Japanese combatants, including both battleships, and a shell to her bridge killed Rear Adm. Callaghan.

In addition to the death of their commander, the U.S. task force sustained tremendous losses during the engagement, with six ships sunk and another six moderately to severely damaged plus more than 1,400 men killed or wounded in the action, including task force second in command, Rear Adm. Norman Scott. Yet despite the heavy American casualties, the Japanese did not fulfill their objectives of bombing Henderson Field and landing additional troops on Guadalcanal that night. They would make another attempt two days later, but that effort was successfully repulsed by the battleships Washington (BB-56) and South Dakota (BB-57) and four destroyers.

Following his death in battle, Callaghan was lauded as a hero for his role in deterring the Japanese offensive in the Solomons in a battle that was initially presented to the public as a major victory for the Americans. Noting that many in the Navy called him “Uncle Dan,” the Chicago Tribune referred to Callaghan as “one of the most beloved men in the service.” Saddened by the loss of his former aide, President Roosevelt stated, “Admiral Callaghan was my close personal friend. He did a glorious thing in taking a 10,000 ton cruiser against a 35,000 ton battleship at point-blank range.”

On 9 December 1942, the President awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Rear Adm. Callaghan and presented it to his son, Lt.(j.g.) Daniel J. Callaghan, Jr., USNR. The award citation commended Callaghan’s “extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity” as well as “his courageous initiative, inspiring leadership, and judicious foresight in a crisis of grave responsibility.” It continued, “Although out-balanced in strength and numbers by a desperate and determined enemy, Rear Adm. Callaghan with ingenious tactical skill and superb coordination of the units under his command, led his forces into battle against tremendous odds, thereby contributing decisively to the rout of a powerful invasion fleet and to the consequent frustration of a formidable Japanese offensive.”

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Rear Adm. Callaghan was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal as well as the Presidential Unit Citation and Ribbon awarded to the crew of San Francisco. He had previously earned the Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; Mexican Service Medal; Victory Medal, Escort Clasp; and was entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. Rear Adm. Callaghan held the following foreign decorations: Denmark, Order of Danneborg, grade of Commander, second class, and diploma; Nicaragua, Medal and Citation Presidential Medal of Merit; and Norway, Royal Order of St. Olav, grade of Commander, and Diploma.

The Navy quickly named a new destroyer in Rear Adm. Callaghan’s honor. Callaghan (DD-792) was commissioned on 27 November 1943 and served in the Pacific theater. On 28 July 1945, the destroyer sank off of Okinawa after being struck by a kamikaze, shortly before she was due to be relieved to return to base for overhaul.

In addition to his wife Mary and son Jud, Callaghan’s surviving relatives included his younger brother, Capt. William McCombe Callaghan, USN, who would later achieve the rank of Vice Admiral. 


(DDG-994: displacement 9,200; length 563'; beam 55'; draft 32'; speed 30+ knots; complement 330; armament 2 5-inch/54, 2 Harpoon, 6 Mk-32 torpedo tubes, 2 CIWS, 2 Mk-26 dual-rail guided missile launchers, decoy system; aircraft 1 SH-3 or 2 SH-2 helicopters; class Kidd)

Daryush (DD-994) was laid down on 23 October 1978 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries for the government of Iran. On 31 March 1979, Iran cancelled the contract for the ship in mid-construction. Congress authorized special funding to purchase the ship and her three sisters for the U.S. Navy, and the destroyer was renamed Callaghan and reclassified as DDG-994 on 8 August 1979; launched on 1 December 1979; christened on 19 January 1980 by Mrs. Sharon Callaghan Giacone, eldest granddaughter of the ship’s namesake, with her sisters Mrs. Barbara Callaghan Pfeil and Mrs. Ann Callaghan Weindorf serving as Matrons of Honor; and commissioned on 29 August 1981, Cmdr. John T. Hood in command. 

Callaghan underway off Pascagoula during sea trials prior to commissioning, June 1981. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SN-82-00662, Ingalls Shipbuilding, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Callaghan underway off Pascagoula during sea trials prior to commissioning, June 1981. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SN-82-00662, Ingalls Shipbuilding, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

The day after her commissioning, Callaghan entered dry dock at Ingalls Shipbuilding to undergo a sonar dome groom. On 4 September 1981, the destroyer got underway to commence the voyage to her assignment with the Pacific Fleet. Stopping briefly at Pensacola, Fla., on 5 September to load ammunition, Callaghan transited the Panama Canal on the 12th and arrived at her home port of San Diego, Calif., on 22 September. The ship spent the rest of the year conducting trials and shakedown training, punctuated by a visit to San Francisco for Fleet Week from 30 October–4 November. Among the ship’s visitors during Fleet Week were Adm. James D. Watkins, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Hon. Dianne Feinstein, the Mayor of San Francisco.

Callaghan departed San Diego to return to Pascagoula for Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) on 7 January 1982. The ship stopped at Rodman, Panama, on the 14th, transited the Panama Canal the next day, and put in to Cartagena, Colombia, for a three day port visit on the 16th. After offloading ammunition at Pensacola on 23 January, Callaghan arrived at Pascagoula the next day to begin PSA. During this time, the ship would undergo installation of the Harpoon Missile System and the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, and improvements would be made to her electronics warfare and communication capabilities. The ship successfully completed sea trials in early June and finished PSA on the 11th. On 12 June, the destroyer once again loaded ammunition at Pensacola and then began the return trip to San Diego, stopping at Rodman on the 17th and Mazatlan, Mexico, from 23–25 June.

With her return to San Diego on 29 June 1982 following PSA, Callaghan’s crew threw themselves into making the ship ready for her first deployment, scheduled for the next year. For the remainder of 1982, the destroyer operated locally, primarily conducting training exercises and assessments. Callaghan spent the first part of 1983 completing refresher training and conducting operational exercises. As a member of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 17, the ship participated in COMPTUEX 83-1 in mid-February as well as READIEX 83-3 in early March. 

Callaghan cruises in the Pacific, 1983. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-02396, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Callaghan cruises in the Pacific, 1983. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-02396, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

On 9 June 1983, Callaghan departed San Diego, beginning her first overseas deployment. DesRon 17 rendezvoused with the newly-recommissioned battleship New Jersey (BB-62) to escort her across the Pacific Ocean on her first deployment in 14 years. Stopping first at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 19–20 June, Callaghan held a reenlistment ceremony at the Arizona (BB-39) Memorial. The task group continued west to the Philippines, calling first at Manila (3–6 July), and then rendezvousing with the Midway (CVA-41) Battle Group to conduct Battle Week 83-2. Callaghan defended Subic Bay during this exercise, which was held from 7–11 July. After the exercise, the ship spent two days in port at Subic Bay (12–13 July), a visit that was shortened by an approaching typhoon, followed by additional port visits at Singapore (18–19 July) and Pattaya Beach, Thailand (22–24 July).

While New Jersey was diverted to Central America on 25 July 1983, her destroyer escorts remained in southeast Asia, participating in Cobra Gold, a joint exercise with the Royal Thai Navy, from 25–28 July. Callaghan rescued 283 Vietnamese refugees “from two boats of questionable seaworthiness” in the South China Sea on 27 July. The ship’s company would later be awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal for this action. At the conclusion of Cobra Gold, Callaghan called at Subic Bay and disembarked the refugees, remaining in port through the 31st.

At the beginning of August 1983, Callaghan was en route to the vicinity of Pohang, Korea, to participate in the amphibious assault exercise Valiant Usher 83-13 (5–10 August). Following the exercise, the destroyer supported carrier operations for Midway for two days and then made port visits to Pusan, Korea (13–17 August) and Kagoshima, Japan (19–21 August). Callaghan next put in to Sasebo, Japan, for three weeks of maintenance and upkeep through 12 September, followed by the anti-submarine (ASW) exercise Sharem 51G -- “which came to include the tracking and visible sighting of a Soviet submarine” -- from 13­–19 September.

Callaghan was then called away from her squadron for contingency operations in the Sea of Japan. Early on the morning of 1 September 1983, Korean Airlines Flight 007 en route from Anchorage, Alaska, to Seoul, Korea, flew well north of its intended flight path, twice taking the Boeing 747 into Soviet airspace over the Kamchatka Peninsula and then again over Sakhalin Island. Assuming that the passenger jet was a U.S. intelligence aircraft, a Soviet Air Force SU-15 fighter plane shot down the Korean airliner, which was believed to have crashed in the Sea of Japan north of Moneron Island, a small Soviet possession west of Sakhalin Island.

An international search for survivors and the plane’s wreckage began, with investigators particularly anxious to retrieve the plane’s black boxes, which might provide information to reveal how the aircraft flew significantly off course. Japanese and Korean vessels as well as several U.S. Navy ships, including Callaghan beginning on 20 September, came to be involved in the salvage operation. Their efforts were thwarted, however, not only by the weather, but by the Soviets, who refused to permit foreign ships into their territorial waters within 12 nautical miles of the shore and whose ships often appeared to interfere with the American recovery effort. In one such incident, Callaghan nearly collided with a Soviet ship. The U.S. operation ended on 5 November without locating any human remains, large pieces of wreckage, or the black boxes from the Korean airliner. Callaghan’s crew later received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their work in this operation. Years later, it was revealed that the Soviets recovered the black boxes in their territorial waters on 20 October. 


Callaghan underway in the Sea of Japan during salvage operations for Korean Air Lines Flight 007. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SN-89-03545, PH1 Felimon Barbante, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Callaghan underway in the Sea of Japan during salvage operations for Korean Air Lines Flight 007. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SN-89-03545, PH1 Felimon Barbante, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Participating in the KAL 007 recovery effort until 11 October 1983, Callaghan made a service stop at Yokosuka, Japan, on 14 October and then once again supported Midway’s carrier operations through 7 November. On 4 November, the destroyer paused 60 miles off the coast of Okinawa to remember the first Navy ship to carry the name Callaghan, DD-792, and her heroic crew. After 20 months of distinguished service in World War II, shortly before the war’s conclusion and less than two hours before she was to be relieved on her picket station to return home on 28 July 1945, a kamikaze hit and sank Callaghan, killing 47 American sailors. The modern destroyer honored her legacy with a memorial service that included a gun salute, tolling the ship’s bell, and tossing a floral wreath into the water near DD-792’s final resting place.

On 8 November 1983, Callaghan reported to Subic Bay for several days of upkeep and then set her sights for home. The destroyer’s return trip to the continental United States began with a port visit at Hong Kong (15–17 November). She then continued on to call at Yokosuka (21–23 November) and Pearl Harbor (3–4 December). Callaghan sailed in to San Diego on 12 December, bringing her memorable first deployment to its conclusion.

Following a post-deployment/holiday stand down, Callaghan got back to work in January 1984 to prepare for her next deployment. The ship operated locally into early March, when she began a two month selective restricted availability (SRA). After this maintenance and upkeep period, the ship underwent many inspections and assessments through the summer to ensure her operational readiness. With the rest of her squadron, Callaghan commenced major underway training evolutions in the fall with a six-week underway period beginning with COMPTUEX 85-1 (2–12 October). The ships then sailed in to San Francisco for Fleet Week 1984 activities through the 16th. In the second half of the month, the destroyers took part in FLEETEX 85 (17–25 October) and operated in the Mid-Pacific area. They stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor, departing on 2 November to make the week-long transit back to San Diego.

After a month at home, Callaghan was underway once again on 7 December 1984 for Kernal Usher 85-1. The destroyer returned to San Diego on the 14th and entered the holiday leave and upkeep period into the new year. The ship’s last underway exercise prior to deployment was READIEX 85-1 from 14–26 January 1985, where the squadron practiced the anti-submarine warfare command role. At the conclusion of the exercise, the ships returned to port and entered the pre-overseas movement (POM) period.

Callaghan and sister ship Chandler (DDG-996, rear) in port at North Island, San Diego, 8 January 1985. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-87-11566, PH3 Brewer, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Callaghan and sister ship Chandler (DDG-996, rear) in port at North Island, San Diego, 8 January 1985. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-87-11566, PH3 Brewer, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

With Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 33 Detachment 8 and their Seasnake 17 helo embarked, Callaghan (Destroyer Squadron 17 flagship) sailed from San Diego on 21 February 1985 with the Constellation (CV-64) Battle Group (Battle Group Delta), headed for her first Middle East deployment. After stopping at Pearl Harbor (8–11 March), the crew learned that Callaghan had been selected as the Battle Efficiency “E” Award winner for Destroyer Squadron 17 for 1 June 1983 through 31 December 1984. In addition to winning the overall award, the ship earned all nine departmental awards for which she was eligible. The ship’s cruise book notes that Callaghan arrived at Subic Bay on 28 March displaying ten brooms tied to her lines in recognition of the ship’s “clean sweep” achievement. The destroyer also soon received the Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) Award, besting more than 150 other ships for the honor.

Departing Subic Bay on 1 April 1985, Callaghan made one additional port visit at Singapore (7–9 April) before making her way to the Northern Arabian Sea. From 2–9 May, the ship had a tender availability with Jason (AR-8) at Ras Ai Hadd, Oman. She then returned to her duties in the Northern Arabian Sea for a week before departing for the small British atoll of Diego Garcia, a U.S. military outpost in the middle of the Indian Ocean. All of the destroyer’s slimy pollywogs were initiated into the realm of King Neptune when Callaghan crossed the equator on 18 May. The ship spent ten days at Diego Garcia (21–30 May) and then returned to operations in the Indian Ocean and Northern Arabian Sea through 7 July. The long journey back to the States included a port visit at Bunbury, Western Australia (18–23 July) and quick stops at Subic Bay (1–2 August) and Pearl Harbor (15­–16 August). Callaghan arrived back at San Diego on 24 August and entered post-deployment stand down. 

In company with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Callaghan approaches the Golden Gate Bridge en route to San Francisco for Fleet Week, 12 October 1985. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-86-01373, PH2 David A. Dostie, National ...
Caption: In company with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Callaghan approaches the Golden Gate Bridge en route to San Francisco for Fleet Week, 12 October 1985. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-86-01373, PH2 David A. Dostie, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Callaghan opened the year 1986 with a change of command ceremony on 9 January. The ship called at San Francisco (18–21 January) and offloaded ammunition at Concord before returning to San Diego. She participated in surveillance operations from 6–9 February and held four days of upkeep before entering a three-month selective restricted availability period on the 17th. Emerging from SRA on 18 May, the destroyer embarked a U.S. Coast Guard legal detachment and participated in Exercise Broadscope 86 in the southern California operating area. In June, Callaghan headed north to Oregon, visiting Portland for the annual Rose Festival from the 5th–9th. She returned to San Diego on 21 June and for the rest of the summer completed refresher training, inspections, and assessments. With DESRON 5 since 1 October 1985, Callaghan received the Battle Efficiency “E” for the period 1 January 1985 through 30 June 1986, her second consecutive award.

On 14 September 1986, Callaghan embarked HSL-33 Detachment 10 for three days of plane guard operations with the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk (CV-63) followed by COMPTUEX 87-1 from 17– 25 September. The ship sailed for San Francisco on 8 October and participated in Fleet Week activities from the 11th–15th. Upon returning to San Diego on 18 October, Callaghan engaged in in-port exercises before getting underway again on 5 November to take part in READIEX 87-1, three weeks of exercises in the southern California operating area that included an advance missile exercise (16–18 November). Arriving home on 26 November, the destroyer entered the one-month POM period and rounded out the year with a dependents’ cruise on 31 December.

Steaming from San Diego on 5 January 1987, Callaghan departed for the first leg of a six-month around-the-world deployment as a member of the Kitty Hawk Battle Group (Battle Group Bravo). The destroyer put in to Subic Bay on 27 January for replenishment. Although the battle group was scheduled to remain in port for a week, the ships got underway for the Middle East on the 29th in response to renewed fighting between the armies of Iran and Iraq close to the southern Iraqi city of Basrah near the Persian Gulf coast. Callaghan operated in the North Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman from 10 February–19 March, helping to ensure the safe passage of commercial shipping in the region. 

Kitty Hawk Battle Group underway in the Pacific Ocean, 1987. Front row, left to right: frigate Stein (FF-1065), guided missile cruiser Halsey (CG-23), frigate Barbey (FF-1088); second row: Callaghan, ammunition ship Mount Hood (AE-29), aircraft c...
Caption: Kitty Hawk Battle Group underway in the Pacific Ocean, 1987. Front row, left to right: frigate Stein (FF-1065), guided missile cruiser Halsey (CG-23), frigate Barbey (FF-1088); second row: Callaghan, ammunition ship Mount Hood (AE-29), aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk (CV-63), combat stores ship Mars (AFS-1), guided missile frigate Vandegrift (FFG-48). The fleet oiler Willamette (AO-180) follows. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-87-10327, PH2 Hensley, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

The next stop on Callaghan’s world tour was Diego Garcia. The crew spent nearly a month (26 March–20 April 1987) at the atoll while performing upkeep on the ship. The destroyer then sailed for Africa to spend a week at Mombasa, Kenya (28 April–5 May). Here many of the ship’s company used their liberty time to go on safari at Tsavo National Park or on the Serengeti Plain. The battle group operated in the Indian Ocean for the next week and then set course for the Suez Canal, making the 16-hour transit to the Mediterranean Sea on 17 May. The battle group continued operations while steaming westward through the Med. Callaghan then called at Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for several days of liberty (23-26 May).

Leaving the Mediterranean and the aircraft carrier behind, Callaghan steamed southwest towards the Caribbean. On 7–8 June 1987, Callaghan anchored at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and spent the following two days conducting anti-air (AAW) and anti-submarine warfare exercises at the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility at Vieques Island. The destroyer anchored at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 10–14 June for the around-the-world cruise’s final liberty port. Now making her way home, Callaghan transited the Panama Canal on 18 June and steamed up the Pacific Coast, arriving back at San Diego on 27 June. “When at last the ship pulled up to Pier 8, we were greeted by a Navy band, family, friends and banners welcoming us home,” reports the ship’s 1987 cruise book. “Of all the sights we had seen on our world cruise, the best one of all was seeing our loved ones on that pier.” Callaghan received her second Meritorious Unit Commendation for maintaining the highest state of readiness during this deployment, and the crew was also awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for their work in the Straits of Hormuz off the coast of Iran. 

Callaghan underway at sea, 1987. (U.S. Navy Photograph [DN-SC-87-11023, PH3 Bottorf), National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Callaghan underway at sea, 1987. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-SC-87-11023, PH3 Bottorf, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

After a month of post-deployment leave and upkeep, Callaghan operated locally for the rest of 1987, completing post-deployment inspections and certifications. From 16–18 September, the destroyer participated in READIEX 87-4A as a member of the Orange Force. She also traveled to San Francisco for Fleet Week (10–14 October). In January 1988, Callaghan received her third consecutive Battle Efficiency “E” Award for the competitive period from July 1986 through December 1987. On the 6th, the ship entered Southwest Marine in San Diego for a three-month SRA, which she completed on 31 March. The destroyer then began pre-deployment workups, completing numerous training evolutions, inspections, and underway exercises on a compressed schedule to prepare for another Persian Gulf deployment near the end of summer.

Callaghan left San Diego for a six-month deployment on 11 August 1988, making stops at Pearl Harbor (17–18 August), Subic Bay (2–5 September) and Singapore (9–10 September) en route to the Middle East, where the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq was drawing to its conclusion. The destroyer transited the Strait of Hormuz on 20 September, entering the Persian Gulf. With Sitrah, Bahrain, as her base of operations, Callaghan conducted 22 escort and accompaniment operations during her time in the Gulf. She was underway from 26 September–14 October before taking a short break at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. HSL-35 Detachment (Det) 3 was attached to Callaghan for the deployment and in October 1988 flew more hours than any other LAMPS-I helo detachment and received U.S. Pacific Fleet’s LAMPS Safety Award. Resuming operations from 18 October–7 November, Callaghan then headed to Masirah Anchorage, Oman, for a week-long tender availability with Prairie (AD-15) from 10–17 November. 

A Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopter prepares to land on Callaghan during Persian Gulf operations, circa 1988. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-89-01863, PH1 DeWayne Smith, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College ...
Caption: A Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopter prepares to land on Callaghan during Persian Gulf operations, circa 1988. (U.S. Navy Photograph DN-ST-89-01863, PH1 DeWayne Smith, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Following her maintenance period, the ship once again resumed Gulf patrols until Christmas Eve, when she transited the Strait of Hormuz and commenced the voyage back to the United States. Touching first at Colombo, Sri Lanka, to refuel on 28 December, Callaghan’s crew celebrated the new year in Phuket, Thailand, from 1–5 January 1989. The ship’s route home then took her to Singapore (6–8 January), Subic Bay (11–14 January), Hong Kong (16–21 January), and Pearl Harbor (2–4 February). Callaghan sailed in to San Diego on 10 February 1989. Her crew was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for their work in the Persian Gulf during this deployment.

After four weeks of post-deployment leave and upkeep, Callaghan spent much of the rest of 1989 completing trainings, assessments, and exercises in the southern California operations area. From 3–14 April, the destroyer took part in law enforcement operations off the southern California and Mexican coasts, reporting air contacts to the Joint Task Force and conducting one boarding of a sailboat for narcotics enforcement. At the end of the month, the ship was underway again for training, stopping at Ensenada, Mexico, for three days (28 April–1 May) between evolutions. From 5–7 July, Callaghan took part in a Vandal Missile shoot on the Pacific Missile Test Center Range. Shortly thereafter, the ship transited to Long Beach, Calif., to offload ammunition (12–13 July), followed by a port visit at San Francisco (15–18 July). Callaghan participated in READIEX as a member of the Orange Force from 31 July–8 August and then spent the rest of the month at San Diego for a Programmed Restricted Availability to prepare for overhaul.

Callaghan began a second Programmed Restricted Availability on 7 September 1989. Ten days later, the ship departed San Diego en route to her temporary home port of Long Beach, where on 18 September the destroyer officially commenced a one-year overhaul period at Long Beach Naval Shipyard for the installation of the New Threat Upgrade (NTU) package. During the overhaul, the destroyer was equipped with sophisticated technology including SM-2MR Standard missiles and SPS-49 and SPS-48-E radars that enhanced the ship’s anti-air warfare capability, comparing favorably with the Navy’s Aegis system.

The NTU overhaul continued through most of 1990. Callaghan completed sea trials from 15–18 October and then returned to Long Beach for a ten day repair availability period. At the end of the month, the destroyer returned to San Diego and immediately entered an intermediate maintenance and repair availability that lasted until 2 December. Callaghan then sailed for San Francisco, where more than 800 visitors toured the warship at Fisherman’s Wharf from 7–10 December. On the 10th, Callaghan moved to Alameda for a brief tender availability with Samuel Gompers (AD-37). From 14–24 December, the destroyer once again conducted law enforcement operations, boarding three vessels and reporting numerous air contacts to Joint Task Force Five. Callaghan arrived back home to San Diego just in time for Christmas and remained in holiday leave and upkeep status until 8 January 1991.

With the major overhaul now behind her, Callaghan turned her attention to completing the inspections, trainings, and qualifications necessary to be ready to deploy again. The ship operated locally through mid-February 1991, but on 19 February, Callaghan stood out from San Diego with Chandler and the guided missile cruisers Fox (CG-33) and Halsey (CG-23) to transit to Pearl Harbor for Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials (CSSQT). The ships called at Pearl Harbor from 26 February–4 March and then were underway again for CSSQT on the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, off the island of Kauai. Testing her recently-installed NTU system, Callaghan fired seven missiles during the trials and returned to San Diego on 18 March. After underway training in early April, the destroyer entered a two-month restricted availability (8 April–10 June). The ship faced a series of challenging evaluations in early June but then enjoyed a dependents’ cruise on the 14th. At the end of the month, Callaghan visited San Francisco (29 June–1 July) and then returned to San Diego to begin refresher training to prepare for deployment after the New Year. 

On 21 January 1992, Callaghan set off on another Persian Gulf deployment that would once again take the destroyer on a circumnavigation of the globe. For the first time, she embarked two helos for the deployment with the Magicians of HSL-35 Det 9. The ship first stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor (27–28 ­January) and held a change of command ceremony. Then at the Barking Sands testing facility, Callaghan again tried out the NTU system, completing the first simultaneous two-missile launch against dual targets, successfully striking two BQM-74 drones traveling at Mach 1.5, low to the water with a scant 1,000 feet of separation. Continuing westward, Callaghan next called at Subic Bay (10–14 February) and Singapore (18–20 February) before transiting the Strait of Malacca and entering the Indian Ocean. The destroyer stopped to refuel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 24 February, and while there delivered more than eight pallets of supplies from Project Handclasp to local officials.

Continuing on her journey to the Middle East, Callaghan in company with Ingersoll (DD-990) made an unchallenged freedom of navigation assertion in the Maldives on 25 February 1992. Transiting the Strait of Hormuz on the 28th, the ship entered the Persian Gulf and called at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, on 1–2 March. After cruising in the southern Gulf for a week, the destroyer anchored at Sitrah, Bahrain, from 9–11 March to conduct turnover with Fox. Callaghan’s role in the Gulf was to serve as Anti-Air Warfare Commander. She spent most of the rest of the month on patrol in the central Gulf. After visiting Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 30 March–1 April, Callaghan then steamed to Jebel Ali, UAE, for a week-long tender availability with Prairie. Briefly returning to patrol duty, on 15 April Callaghan provided AAW defense while escorting the carrier America (CV-66) before stopping at Dubai for upkeep (16–19 April).

For the next six weeks, Callaghan was very busy with a full slate of exercises and operations in the central and northern Gulf. To improve cooperative efforts with navies of other nations, Callaghan participated in Exercise Nautical Swimmer with the Saudis, a trilateral exercise with the British and French frigates HMS Beaver (F93) and FS Jean de Vienne (D643), and in Eager Sentry (16-19 May) with the American destroyer John Young (DD-973) and the Kuwaiti navy patrol boat Al Sanbouk. The destroyer also conducted her second freedom of navigation exercise of the deployment, uneventfully transiting through Iranian territorial waters while escorting America from the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. Callaghan paved the way for other ships to use this route, shortening their transit times through the Strait. In addition, the destroyer surveilled Iraq’s Mina Al Bakr oil terminal, then under reconstruction, before anchoring at Sitrah, Bahrain, to conduct turnover on 1–2 June.

Callaghan departed the Persian Gulf on 4 June 1992 and resumed her around-the-world voyage. On 12 June, the ship transited the Suez Canal. While in the Mediterranean, she made port visits at Menton, France (16–19 June), where crew members participated in a local ceremony to honor French veterans of World War II, and Barcelona, Spain (21–24 June), site of the upcoming 1992 summer Olympics. During their liberty time at Barcelona, some of the crew toured the Olympic village and stadium. In the Atlantic, she stopped for fuel at Ponta Delgada in the Azores on 29 June and then continued west to the Caribbean for a port visit at St. Thomas (5–8 July). On 12 July, Callaghan transited the Panama Canal, returning once again to the Pacific Ocean. Turning north, she made one last port stop at Acapulco, Mexico (16–17 July) before sailing into her home port at San Diego on 21 July.

Following her return from deployment, Callaghan was in leave and upkeep status through 30 August 1992. After passing INSURV inspection, she had three more weeks of upkeep in September to prepare for SRA, which she began on 24 September at Pacific Ship Repair in San Diego. The destroyer completed sea trials on 8 December and was in holiday leave and upkeep status for the rest of the year.

With the new year of 1993, Callaghan began workups to deploy again later in the year. From 11–13 January, the destroyer participated in an exercise, REDBAT 93-1, with her squadron DESRON 33. She completed ten days of upkeep at Naval Air Station North Island and then on the 25th got underway for COMPTUEX 93-4T. Working with the Royal Canadian Navy ships HMCS Annapolis (DDH 265), HMCS Mackenzie (DDE 261), and HMCS Restigouche (DDE 257), Callaghan served as the flagship for the commander of the Canadian Destroyer Squadron 2 as the ships completed ASW, ASUW, and AAW exercises and then acted as the Orange Force during a training assessment for Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) through 7 February.

In the spring, Callaghan spent seven weeks (22 March–6 May 1993) away from home training in Hawaii. From 12–15 April while in port at Pearl Harbor, the ship held a Damage Control Olympics to improve damage control training and enhance the teamwork among the officers, chiefs, and crew. Events included the oxygen breathing apparatus relay, hose handling, save your buddy, P-250 pump race, and the popular mobile wet trainer event. Upon her return to San Diego on 6 May, the ship entered a three-week restricted availability with Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA).

Training, assessments, and inspections as well as another three-week SIMA availability took place throughout the summer. After successfully concluding the final evaluation problem on 27 August 1993, Callaghan joined John Young and the guided missile frigate Gary (FFG-51) for MEFEX 93-4 from 30 August–3 September. Traveling as a surface action group (SAG), these same three ships departed San Diego on the morning of 18 October for a six-month Persian Gulf deployment. Stopping for fuel at Pearl Harbor on 25­–26 October, the SAG continued on to Yokosuka, Japan. Arriving on 4 November, the ships had three days of upkeep before heading south to Phuket. After a week of liberty in Thailand, Callaghan departed on 21 November and held a joint exercise with patrol craft from the Royal Thai Navy, including HTMS Tapi (PF 5). 

Callaghan arrived in the Persian Gulf on 26 November 1993 and conducted turnover with her sister ship Chandler shortly thereafter. On 28 November while en route to Bahrain, the destroyer held a freedom of navigation exercise in Iranian waters. After departing Bahrain on 2 December, the ship headed for the northern Gulf for intelligence operations and AAW picket duty. Callaghan conducted her first Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) activity to enforce sanctions against Iraq on 12 December, boarding the Russian motor vessel Berkut. From 20–23 December, the destroyer served as primary AAW escort for the aircraft carrier Independence (CV-62), which had just entered the Gulf. During the month of December, the ship welcomed several VIP guests, including Vice Adm. Douglas Katz, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (4th); Lt. Gen. Michael A. Nelson, Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command (13th); and Adm. Frank B. Kelso, Chief of Naval Operations, who toured the ship and took part in an awards and frocking ceremony on the 23rd. After a busy month of operations, Callaghan arrived at Dubai, UAE, to celebrate the holidays.

On New Year’s Day 1994, Callaghan departed Dubai to resume operations in the northern and central Gulf through early March. Assignments included AAW picket duty, intelligence operations, a PASSEX with the British destroyer HMS Glasgow (D88), and an ASW exercise with nuclear submarine Helena (SSN-725). The ship had a tender availability with Acadia (AD-42) from 27 January–5 February while in port at Jebel Ali. While on patrol on 25 February, the crew aboard one of the embarked SH-2F Seasprite helos observed a dolphin snared in some commercial fishing gear. In a most “unusual yet fulfilling” search and rescue (SAR) mission, Cmdr. Joseph J. Natale, Callaghan’s commanding officer, led a team in the ship’s boat to assist the trapped mammal. Crewmembers cut through the fishing line, and the dolphin, dubbed “Shamrock” by the crew, swam free.

Callaghan conducted turnover at Bahrain on 6 March 1994 and departed the Persian Gulf the next day, beginning the voyage back to the United States. After crossing the equator on 11 March, all of the destroyer’s slimy pollywogs were converted to trusty shellbacks during crossing the line ceremonies. The ship made a quick stop to refuel at Diego Garcia on the 13th and then proceeded on to Australia, visiting the western port of Fremantle from 20–23 March and then Sydney on the east coast from 29 March–1 April. Callaghan made what was supposed to be another brief fuel stop at Suva, Fiji, on 6 April. However, one of the tugs helping the destroyer to dock rammed her port quarter, causing damage that required immediate repair. Callaghan’s hull technicians were able to effect seaworthy repairs in a matter of hours, and she was able to depart the next morning. Following a short call at Pearl Harbor, the destroyer steamed east with “Tigers” embarked. On the final night of the deployment, one of Callaghan’s helos was scrambled to transport an ailing crewmember of another ship to the destroyer for emergency life-saving surgery. The following morning, 18 April 1994, Callaghan sliced her way through thick fog to reunite with family and friends back home at San Diego.

As the ship prepared to enter a lengthy upkeep period, on 16 May 1994, Callaghan embarked a group of 17 midshipmen, including two women, for a month of onboard training. Three days later, the destroyer got underway en route to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she called from 23–28 May. On the return trip, Callaghan stopped at Seal Beach to offload ammunition on 1–2 June. Upon arrival at San Diego on 3 June, the crew immediately began to move personal gear and office materials off of the ship. On 6 June, Callaghan entered the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) in San Diego, beginning her designated selective restricted availability (DSRA). During the extended yard period that would last until early December, the destroyer was in dry dock from 10 June–6 August. Among the alterations made to the ship, her SLQ-32 system was upgraded to (V)3, giving the ship electronic jamming capability, and a redesigned Close In Weapons System (CIWS) was installed. The destroyer completed sea trials on 22–23 November and completed DSRA on 2 December.

During the ship’s work, the crew maintained a rigorous training schedule, and at the beginning of 1995, training began in earnest for Callaghan’s next scheduled deployment. For the first half of the year, the ship’s crew completed a series of exercises, assessments, and inspections through to the completion of the final evaluation problem at the end of June. From 2–5 June, the destroyer visited Everett, Wash., scheduled to become her new home port the following year, for that city’s Salty Sea Days. Callaghan participated in CNO Project 0784-1, testing the new Military Strategic and Tactical Relay (Milstar) satellite communications system, throughout the month of June.

Callaghan began a series of underway training exercises with the Nimitz (CVN-68) Battle Group in August 1995 beginning with Battle Force Tactical Training from the 8th–11th. Subsequently, the battle group took part in COMPTUEX from 25–31 August, FLEETEX including a two day missile exercise from 6–15 September, and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) from 25 September–6 October in preparation for the upcoming deployment.

Back at San Diego on 7 October 1995, Callaghan held a special ceremony for a group of veterans from the destroyer Braine (DD-630). Commissioned in May 1943, the ship earned nine battle stars for her World War II service, participating in actions at Wake Island, Bougainville, Green Island, Emirau Island, Tinian, Leyte Gulf, Lingayen Gulf, Bataan, Corregidor, Zamboanga, and Pollack Harbor. On 27 May 1945 during the protracted conflict off of Okinawa, Braine sustained two Japanese kamikaze attacks within 30 seconds, causing extensive damage to the destroyer. She returned to the United States and was deactivated the next year. Recommissioned in 1951, Braine served with the U.S. Navy for 20 more years before being transferred to Argentina. During the ceremony’s opening remarks, Cmdr. James P. Wisecup, Callaghan’s commanding officer, memorialized the men who lost their lives in Braine.  

Joined by the aircrew of HSL-43 Det 2 with their SH-60B Seahawk helo Ocean Lord 23, Callaghan departed San Diego for a Mideast deployment on 1 December 1995 as a member of the Nimitz Battle Group. During the Pacific crossing, the ship took part in USW Exercise 96-2 with American attack submarines from 5–8 December and a Battle Group ENCOUNTEREX with a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force submarine from 16–17 December. After the three-week transit, frequently through bad weather and traveling at high speed, the destroyer spent Christmas (21–25 December) in port at Hong Kong. She then traveled to Singapore for upkeep and an underwater hull cleaning over the New Year’s holiday.

Callaghan pressed onwards towards the Persian Gulf on 4 January 1996. She transited the Strait of Hormuz in company with ammunition ship Shasta (AE-33) and combat stores ship USNS Spica (T-AFS-9) on 14 January and conducted port visits at Sitrah, Bahrain (16–19 January) and Jebel Ali, UAE (21–26 January) before undertaking escort duties for the Peleliu (LHA-5) Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) for the rest of the month. During most of February and early March, the destroyer conducted Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) in the northern Gulf to enforce economic sanctions imposed upon Iraq by the United Nations following the invasion of Kuwait and consequent Gulf War. Callaghan’s crew carried out a total of eight boardings of vessels suspected of carrying prohibited items into or out of Iraq.

Following a port visit to Dubai from 6–9 March 1996, Callaghan received orders to proceed to the island of Taiwan at high speed for contingency operations. Beginning on 8 March, the People’s Republic of China, which considered Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory, launched missiles into the waters off of the island and held military exercises in the Strait of Taiwan. The Clinton Administration viewed China’s actions as hostile attempts to influence the results of the upcoming Taiwanese elections. In an effort to deter China from further military aggression and interference in Taiwan’s affairs, the Independence Battle Group, operating in the South China Sea, was diverted to the region on the 8th. Three days later, the Nimitz Battle Group similarly redeployed from the Persian Gulf. Callaghan departed the Gulf on 12 March and arrived in the vicinity of Taiwan on the 25th, steaming in the Strait off the southern coast of the island nation.

Taiwan’s first direct democratic election took place on 23 March 1996 without incident. Tensions between China and Taiwan eased after the election, and Callaghan soon headed south to make liberty calls at Singapore (1–3 April) and Phattaya Beach, Thailand (6–9 April). After the much-needed respite, the destroyer headed eastward towards home. From 6–9 May, the ship made one last port visit at Pearl Harbor, where male relatives embarked to sail on the final leg of the deployment. During the Tiger Cruise, the ship’s guests and crew partook of a cookout on the fantail, a gun shoot, and an air show put on by Carrier Air Wing 9 flying off of Nimitz. Callaghan returned to San Diego on 16 May and began a nearly month-long post-deployment stand down period.

From 10–25 June 1996, Callaghan underwent an intermediate maintenance availability. Work completed included improvements to the SQS-53A sonar system, removal of her 25mm gun, and replacement of her SPS-48E antenna. To prepare for an upcoming selective restricted availability, in late June and early July, the destroyer offloaded ammunition at Seal Beach and defueled at San Diego. On 8 July, Callaghan arrived at NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego to begin SRA. She shifted berths to Naval Station San Diego on 23 August, completed sea trials on 11–12 September, and refueled the following day, completing SRA. After having her hull cleaned on 19–20 September, Callaghan steamed up the Pacific coast on 23 September, en route to her new home port of Everett, Wash. The ship arrived on the 27th, and the shift in home port was made official on 30 September 1996.

In October 1996, Callaghan began the training cycle for her next deployment. On the 8th, Cmdr. James P. Wisecup, commanding officer of Callaghan, was presented the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership. From 12–21 October, a cryptologic space was installed in the ship for use during operations on the next deployment. As crew training continued through the fall, the destroyer embarked prospective commanding officers from 18–22 November and completed an intermediate maintenance availability from 25 November–9 December. Callaghan next passed her INSURV inspection, receiving a rating of Outstanding, followed by the holiday stand down period concurrent with another intermediate maintenance availability into early January.

During the early months of 1997, Callaghan was underway frequently in the Puget Sound Operations Area conducting training and evaluations. She made one port visit at Victoria, B.C., Canada, from 15–18 February. While in port on the 17th, the ship held a change of command ceremony, during which Callaghan was presented with the Battle Efficiency “E” Award for 1996. The destroyer conducted her final evaluation problem exercise on 12–13 March, and over the next two days, the ship loaded ammunition at Port Hadlock, Wash., before returning to Everett and entering the month-long pre-overseas movement period. Callaghan got underway again on 17 April for a family members’ cruise in Puget Sound, and the crew spent the next week making final preparations to deploy.

On 23 April 1997, Callaghan departed Everett, bound for deployment in the southern Pacific. She stopped at San Diego on 27–28 April to embark the air crew and helicopter from HSL-43 Det 9. The ship conducted a gunfire exercise at the Naval Gun Fire Support Range on San Clemente Island on 29 April and the next day held an SM-2 missile exercise with the guided missile cruiser Vincennes (CG-49) and the guided missile frigate George Philip (FFG-12). The destroyer anchored at Acapulco, Mexico, for several days (5–8 May) and then continued south to Rodman, Panama (13–14 May). After transferring fuel on 14 May, Callaghan departed for Valparaiso, Chile. On the way, the ship conducted a USW exercise on the 17th and an encounter exercise with nuclear submarine Pasadena (SSN-752). 

After visiting Valparaiso (22–25 May 1997), Callaghan anchored at Bahia Tongoy, Puerto Aldea, Chile, on 26 May. Bahia Tongoy would be the ship’s base of operations during the first three phases of Teamwork South, held in the Chilean operational area between 27 May and 2 June that included participation of Canadian and British ships. The final phase of Teamwork South took place from 3–4 June, and upon the conclusion of the exercise, Callaghan proceeded to Valparaiso to spend the next three days in port. The destroyer then steamed to Iquique, Chile, to participate in an AAW exercise with the Chilean Air Force on 10 June. The destroyer anchored at Iquique for two days then steamed to Callao, Peru, for a four-day port visit (14–17 June), followed by a PASSEX with several ships from the Peruvian Navy off of that country’s coast (17–21 June) that included exercises in air warfare, undersea warfare, surface warfare, and ship handling evolutions. Callaghan next called at Manta, Ecuador, from 21–24 June followed by an underway PASSEX with the missile corvettes BAE Huancavilca, BAE Moranvalvede, BAE Esmerelda, and BAE Galapagos to conduct air warfare, undersea warfare, and surface gunnery exercises in the Ecuadorian operations area.

Callaghan briefly anchored off Manta on 25 June and then departed for Rodman, where she arrived on the 27th. Rodman would be her base of operations into October 1997 as the destroyer conducted counter-drug patrols off the coasts of Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador. Operating under the tactical control of Director, Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (JIATF) East through the summer, Callaghan carried out more than 30 right of approach queries and 18 boardings of suspicious vessels to help counter the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. The destroyer’s efforts helped to reveal the drug cartels’ ever-evolving smuggling routes and techniques.

While on patrol on 9 August 1997, Callaghan located the Panamanian fishing vessel Tauro, which JIATF East very much desired to apprehend. Despite being limited to 12 knots on a single screw due to a casualty to her CRP (controllable-reversible pitch propeller) system, the destroyer was able to pursue and board the suspect vessel. The next day, Callaghan received a distress signal from the Colombian motor vessel Conny and completed a search and rescue mission for that ship while still conducting the boarding of Tauro. The destroyer then escorted Tauro back to Rodman while also towing Conny. On 11 August, Callaghan transferred both vessels and their passengers to Panamanian officials at Rodman.

In September 1997, the ship made another visit to Manta, Ecuador (5th–8th) and resumed anti-narcotics patrols. On 27 September, the destroyer engaged in a high speed chase of a “Go Fast” speed boat 250 miles off the coast of Colombia. Despite making evasive maneuvers, the boat was only able to get away from Callaghan once it started dumping its cargo overboard to gain speed. While the embarked Straycat helicopter continued to pursue the boat from the air, the destroyer recovered 121 bales of cocaine weighing more than 3.5 metric tons from the water. Two days later, Callaghan discovered the “Go Fast” once again and pursued it to Colombian territorial waters.

With that thrilling chase, Callaghan’s drug enforcement duty concluded. After stopping one last time at Rodman (1–3 October 1997), the ship sailed for San Diego. She paused briefly on the 7th to conduct turnover with the guided missile frigate Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23) and anchored at Coronado Bay, Calif., on the 12th before pulling in to San Diego the next day. Callaghan delivered her load of recovered cocaine to the custody of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Departing San Diego on 18 October with “Tigers” embarked, the ship returned to Everett on 23 October, concluding her final deployment as a U.S. Navy ship.

Callaghan remained in post-deployment leave and upkeep status through 2 December 1997. The next day, the ship was underway to Port Hadlock to offload ammunition, then continued on to Vancouver, B.C., Canada, for a four-day port visit (5–9 December). She returned to Everett on the 11th and conducted a family members’ cruise of Elliot Bay, Seattle, the next day. On 16 December, Rear Adm. David J. Spade, USCG, Commander Coast Guard District 13, presented the Counter-Drug Operations Coast Guard “Snowflake” Award to Callaghan’s crew in recognition of their efforts during the recent Southern Pacific deployment.

The destroyer observed the holiday stand down period from 19 December 1997–5 January 1998 and then entered restricted availability through 13 March to prepare for decommissioning. On 31 March 1998, Callaghan was decommissioned, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, and transferred to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Bremerton, Wash.

She was sold on 30 May 2003 through the Security Assistance Program (SAP) to the Republic of China [Taiwan], which renamed the ship Ming Teh. In November 2005 after an extensive refit and overhaul at Detyens Shipyard in Charleston, S.C., the ship sailed to Taiwan. On 17 December 2005, ex-Callaghan was commissioned into the Republic of China Navy as ROCS Su Ao (DDG-1802), which remains in active service as of October 2017. 

Commanding Officer Date Assumed Command
Cmdr. John T. Hood 29 August 1981
Cmdr. Rodney P. Rempt 18 October 1983
Cmdr. William G. Sutton 9 January 1986
Cmdr. Stuart C. Karon 29 January 1988
Cmdr. Lee W. Champagne 2 March 1990
Cmdr. David M. Ryan 28 January 1992
Cmdr. Joseph J. Natale 15 October 1993
Cmdr. James P. Wisecup 24 August 1995
Cmdr. James M. Rennie 17 February 1997


Stephanie Harry
17 October 2017

Published: Mon Oct 23 12:43:25 EDT 2017