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Rogers (DD-876)

(DD-876: displacement 2,425; length 390-6-; beam 40-10-; draft 18-6-; speed 34 knots; complement 345; armament 6 5-, 12 40mm., 8 20mm., 5 21- torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge tracks, 6 depth charge projectors; class Gearing)

Three brothers, Jack Ellis, Jr., Charles Ethbert, and Edwin Keith Rogers were lost in action on 30 November 1942 when an enemy torpedo ripped away the bow of the heavy cruiser New Orleans (CA-32) during the Battle of Tassafaronga in the Solomon Islands.

Rogers (DD-876) was laid down 3 June 1944 by Consolidated Steel Co., Orange, Tex.; launched 20 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Rogers, Sr.; and commissioned 26 March 1945, Comdr. C. B. Smiley in command.

Following shakedown off Guantanamo Bay, Rogers was converted to a picket ship at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va. After further training in the Atlantic and Caribbean, Rogers transited the Panama Canal and touched at San Diego before reaching Pearl Harbor 4 August 1945.

With the termination of hostilities, Rogers departed Pearl Harbor 17 August for Tokyo Bay where she arrived 31 August via Eniwetok and Iwo Jima. On 1 September she stood out of Tokyo Bay to join a fast carrier task group and commence her routine duties as a member of the 7th Fleet. Through the decade she rotated to the Far East for duty with that fleet on a regular schedule, and in 1949 assisted in evacuating American nationals from China.

Rogers participated in the atomic bomb test in Eniwetok Atoll in 1948. On 18 March 1949, she was reclassified as a radar picket destroyer (DDR) after a height finder radar and more communication equipment had been added and her torpedo tubes had been removed.

During 1951 and 1952, Rogers served as a unit of Task Forces 77, 95, and 96 and participated in shore bombardment, blockading, and patrol missions in Korean waters. During this period Rogers also served as "lifeguard" destroyer for two Presidents: for President Truman's flight to Wake Island for his conference with Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1950 and for President-elect Eisenhower on his return from the Far East in 1952.

After fighting stopped in Korea, Rogers alternated west coast tours with WestPac deployment. In 1954, she helped in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands.

By 1960 Rogers had made over a dozen 6- to 9-month cruises to the Far East. After 1st Fleet operations off the west coast, Rogers again deployed in January 1962 to WestPac where she operated with carrier groups, on Formosa patrol, and participated in a major Allied amphibious exercise. Rogers returned to the 1st Fleet and on the evening of 12 November, successfully recovered one of Ticonderoga's (CVA-14) pilots who has ejected from his plane into a dense fog off the coast of southern California.

In June 1963, after 18 years in the Pacific, Rogers departed San Diego for the east coast and FRAM I modernization at Charleston, S.C. On 30 July 1963 she was reclassified from DDR-876 to DD-876. In May 1964 she returned to the Pacific Fleet. Two years later she was operating off Vietnam. Returning to San Diego in August 1966, she operated with the 1st Fleet off the west coast of the United States until deploying again to the western Pacific in September 1967. In mid-November, she was operating in the Tonkin Gulf, and in April 1968 returned to Alameda, Calif.

Again operating off the west coast of the United States for the balance of the year, Rogers deployed to the Far East in January 1969. En route she earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation for action in Hawaiian waters on 14 January coming alongside the port quarter of Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) with six fire hoses trained on the raging flight-deck fire while exposed to flying shrapnel from exploding bombs. After spending some of her time in the Far East off Vietnam, she returned to San Diego 6 July.

After a year of operations with the First Fleet, Rogers sailed from San Diego for another Far East cruise. Following five months of service in the western Pacific, she returned to San Diego 16 December.

At the completion of another spring of west coast operations, Rogers headed back to WestPac, departing from San Diego 29 June 1972. She returned to San Diego 22 December and spent the next year on the Pacific coast of the United States engaged initially in normal operations. Later, in early April 1972, she entered Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul. Overhaul was completed by 28 August and she left Hunter's Point for various trials and refresher training, which continued until mid-December. On the 18th, she sailed for Subic Bay, but had to return to San Diego three days later because of a medical emergency. She departed San Diego the same day, 21 December, and arrived in Subic Bay 29 January 1973. Returning to San Diego 12 June 1973, Rogers operated along the west coast into 1974.

Rogers decommissioned on 19 February 1981 and was struck from the navy list on 1 October 1980. Transferred to the Republic of Korea on 11 August 1981, the destroyer served as Jeong Ju (DD 925) until decommissioned 31 December 1999. The destroyer is reportedly now a museum ship at SapKoyohp National Sightseeing Resort, located at Dangjin-Gun, Chung Nam Province.

Rogers earned five battle stars for service in the Korean Conflict and three battle stars for Vietnam.

20 October 2005

Published: Wed Apr 27 22:07:38 EDT 2016