Class: Gearing | Disp.: 2250 Tons | Length: 390 Feet | Width: 44 ' at beam
The keel for the USS Richard B. Anderson (DD-786) was laid down on 1 December 1944 by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Seattle, Wash. and launched on 7 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Oscar A. Anderson, and commissioned on 26 October 1945, Commander, Hugh Q. Murray in command. Captain Murray received his colors from Mrs. Louise Bechtold of Seattle and issued his first command to Executive Officer LCDR John F. Collingwood. "Set the watch." Among the Anderson's first crew members was Motor Machinists Mate Robert L. Anderson (Richard's brother) who joined the Navy July 18, 1942
After shakedown, Richard B. Anderson, homeported at San Diego, served as plane guard for Essex-class carriers operating off southern California. Immobilized by a shortage of personnel in the fall of 1946, she was fully active by January 1947 and in February she participated in fleet exercises off Hawaii. Search and rescue operations, local exercises off California and an overhaul took up the remainder of 1947 and early 1948. On 9 March 1947, she sailed for Pearl Harbor; conducted 2 weeks of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises there; then continued across the Pacific for duty with the 7th Fleet. In April, she arrived at Tsingtao, China, then shifted to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, for further exercises. In mid-May she was back in Chinese waters. Duty at Tsingtao and Shanghai was followed by visits to Hong Kong and Manila and during late August and early September a return to China. On 12 November she sailed for California, arriving on the 26th. In March 1949, the destroyer took part in Aerobee guided missile tests at the magnetic equator. On June 5, 1949 CDR William Mack relieved CDR Delmar Quackenbush and became her third Commanding Officer. Two months later, she again sailed west for duty with the 7th Fleet. Operating primarily in the Philippines during that tour, she visited Saigon, Indochina, 16-23 March 1950, and witnessed operations of Viet Minh forces against French authorities.
Richard B. Anderson returned to the United Slates in June. Hostilities broke out in Korea soon thereafter and on 19 February 1951 she sailed west again with Destroyer Division 12 (DesDiv 12). On 12 March, she arrived at Sasebo, and 2 days later joined TF-77 off the east coast of the embattle peninsula. Into April she served as escort and plane guard for the carriers launching. strikes against North Korean and Chinese forces, power sources and supply, industrial, and transport centers. At Yokosuka in mid-April, she was back off Korea for an amphibious feint against the mining and transport center of Tach'on at the end of the month. In May, she conducted ASW exercises off Japan and Okinawa, and, in June, she operated as a unit of the Taiwan Strait Patrol. During July she conducted hunter-killer (HUK) exercises, then in August she resumed operations with TF 77 and spent the last weeks of her deployment off Korea.
The destroyer arrived at San Diego on 30 September. Seven months later she headed back across the Pacific, again stopping in Hawaii. On 12 June 1952 she rejoined TF 77 and, with an interruption for a railway interdiction mission on the 25th, remained with the carriers into July. On 9 July she returned to Japan; conducted ASW exercises south of there until the 3lst; then steamed for Keelung and another tour. of patrol duty in the Taiwan Straits. On 21 August she was back off Korea, as a unit of TF 95, the U.S. Blockade and Escort Force. On the 23rd she shifted from Wonson to Sonjin and on the 27th she rejoined TF 77. Detached on the 30th, she participated in support operations along the bombline until the 2nd, then, on the 3rd, headed back to Yokosuka. At mid-month she moved to Hakodate, Hokkaido, for HUK operations and at the end of the month she rejoined TF 77. With two interruptions for harassment and interdiction missions, she remained with TF 77 until the 18th, then joined TF 70 for operations south of Japan. In November, she resumed operations with the carriers of TF 77.
On 24 November, RICHARD B. ANDERSON departed Korea for Yokosuka. SAR duty followed and on the 6th of December she headed for Guam and The United States. In January of 1953, Anderson had the privilege of being selected as co-star to Humphrey Bogart and Fred McMurray in the Caine Mutiny. At the end of the movie, she steams out of San Francisco as Willie Keith’s new ship.
The balance of the fifties saw Richard B. Anderson alternating between duty with the 7th Fleet in the western pacific (WestPac) and training operations and regular overhauls on the west coast. In July, 1960 she put into the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for a FRAM Mk I overhaul and emerged in May 1961 with ASROC, DASH modernized communications and improved berthing and messing areas, and her new Commanding Officer, CDR Emmett H. Tidd who became her 11th Commanding Officer on May 3, 1961. Trials, refresher training, and fleet exercise Operation "Sea Shell" occupied' the remainder of 1961.
In 1962, the greatly modernized USS Richard B. Anderson, participated in Operation "Swordfish". This was the open ocean, live firing test of ASROC, a Nuclear Anti-Submarine Rocket weapon. Swordfish was a separate and unique part of Operation "Dominic", the nuclear test series carried out at Christmas Island, and elsewhere. Swordfish was the "elsewhere" part.
On Anderson's return to San Diego in early spring of 1962, she shifted from DesDiv 12 to DesDiv 51. Operations with her new squadron, Destroyer Squadron 5, included a good will visit to the annual Portland, Oregon Rose Festival. First Fleet exercises followed that . In November 1962 she resumed her annual Westpac deployment schedule. During this deployment on 28 January 1963, in Yokosuka, Japan, Chester L. Peterson, upon relieving Emmett H. Tidd, became the ship's 12th Commanding Officer.
Through the 1950's and during her 1962-63 deployment, Richard B. Anderson participated in a vast array of ASW/HUK exercises, SEATO operations, joint United States-Japanese exercises, and served on Taiwan patrol duty. On July 25, 1964 CDR Justin E. Langille relieved Chester L. Peterson as Commanding Officer of the Anderson. On 5 August 1964, she headed west for a combat zone off Vietnam, via Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. In early September she took up station in Tonkin Gulf in support of the carriers of TF 77. At the end of the month she returned to Subic, then steamed to Hong Kong where she served as station ship during October. In mid-November 1964 she returned to Vietnam.
For almost 2 months she screened ready amphibious groups off South Vietnam and carrier striking groups in the Tonkin Gulf; conducted surveys of hostile islands; and served on picket stations. On 15 January 1965 she steamed into Yokosuka Harbor after 66 continuous days underway (WETSU 66). On the 19 January 1965 she sailed for home port, San Diego.
Arriving at San Diego on 1 February 1965, Richard B. Anderson, resumed duties with the lst Fleet. For the rest of 1965, she remained in the eastern Pacific conducting training exercises, including a midshipmen cruise; serving as electronics schoolship; and participating in division and fleet exercises. On 7 January 1966, she headed west again. In early February she joined TG 77.5 off the coast of South Vietnam. Detached briefly for surveillance duty, she remained with TG 77.5 until the 11th, then took up picket station duty south of Hainan Island. On the 17th of January 1966, she headed for Japan and on 3 March returned to the Philippines. At midmonth she was back off Vietnam for gunfire support duty near Hue. In early April 1965 she briefly visited Hong Kong, then resumed operations in Tonkin Gulf. At the end of March she had an upkeep period at Kaohsiung, Formosa. On her return to Vietnam Anderson alternated between screening duty with Intrepid (CVS-11) and shore bombardment missions in the Mekong Delta. On 15 June 1965 she steamed north for a visit to Japan prior to returning to the United States.
Richard B. Anderson arrived in San Diego on 10 July 1966. After overhaul, her operations included refresher training, schoolship duty, plus local and fleet exercises. On 25 April 1967, she again sailed west. During, June, July, part of August, and most of September 1967, she performed carrier screening and SAR duties off the coast of Vietnam. By the end of October 1967, after that six months deployment, she was back in San Diego. Varied underway assignments occupied the winter, spring, and summer: "quickstart" ship; schoolship, an overhaul period, refresher training, and midshipman training cruise ship .
At the end of September 1968 she again deployed to WestPac. Two weeks of exercises off Hawaii followed her departure from California and on 27 September she arrived at Yokosuka. Three days later she steamed for Vietnam. Gunfire support duty south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and off Danang took her well into November 1968. SEATO exercises followed, and at the end of the month she returned to the combat zone for operations with the fast carriers. In mid-December she steamed to Japan.
By early January 1969 she was back off Vietnam for further gunfire support duty. From Da Nang to the DMZ she shelled Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army concentrations, and provided night harassment and interdiction fire at known enemy positions. Detached on 20 January, she participated in another SEATO escort and carrier screening tasks in the Tonkin Gulf. In March 1969 she resumed gunfire support duty north of Nha Trang. On the 21 March she proceeded to Kaohsiung for repair and maintenance work, then returned to Tonkin Gulf for duty with the fast carriers. In mid-April 1969 she was ordered to the Sea of Japan for brief duty with a carrier task group, newly organized to protect surveillance flights. At the end of the April 1969 she sailed for San Diego. The superior performance of Anderson and her personnel during the intensive operating period of 24 October 1968 - 2 May 1969 was recognized by receiving the Secretary of the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Anderson returned to San Diego on 11 May 1969. During the late summer and early fall of 1969 she underwent overhaul, followed by training exercises, and schoolship duty. In March 1970 she operated with Oriskany (CVA-34) and prepared for another WestPac deployment. On 27 May 1970, she got underway but was forced to turn back because of a damaged engine. Repairs were completed at Long Beach Naval Ship Yard. In August 1970 she was once again enroute to WestPac and another tour of many assignments in the Vietnam combat zones with the 7th Fleet. She completed that tour in late January 1971 and headed for home.
Richard B. Anderson arrived at San Diego 10 February 1971. She operated out of that port until 20 October, when she departed for her longest, extended deployment in the Far East: "Change of Home Port". She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, her new hone port, 11 November 1971. During this period of high tempo operations in the combat zone, from 1 December 1971- 30 August 1972, Anderson and her personnel were again recognized for their sustained high level of excellence by receiving the Secretary of the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation (her second award.). Operations involved numerous support duties off the coast of Vietnam, duty on the gunline and operations with fast aircraft carrier task groups. During the period 11December 1971-10 January 1972, she conducted an urgent mission into the Indian Ocean because of the Indo-Pakistani war. In March 1972, Anderson was again engaged in gunfire support operations off the coast of Vietnam. During this period of 5 April - 22 November 1972 her crew was involved in operations for which they qualified five different times for the Navy Combat Action Ribbon.
Off Vietnam, her participation in "Operation Frequent Wind" during April 1975, included rescuing many South Vietnamese boat people. For these outstanding operations during 29-30 April 1975, Anderson and her personnel were again recognized by receiving the Secretary of the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation (her third such award.) It was a fitting recognition for this destroyer in its thirtieth year of service.
From 11 November 1971 until 11 November 1975, Richard B. Anderson had operated out of Yokosuka with the Seventh Fleet. On 11 November 1975 she commenced her final transit of the Pacific, returning to San Diego and commenced the last steps for decommissioning. In a formal ceremony on 20 December 1975, a cold, gray and rainy day, her colors were hauled down. She was moored, cold plant and silent, at pier 11, Naval Station, San Diego. Formal speeches were made by the final Commanding Officer, LCDR C. M. St. Laurent, and by Commander of the Surface Force, Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral Emmett H. Tidd, who had been her 11th Commanding Officer from 3 May 1961 until 28 January 1963. The final benediction and very poignant Decommissioning Prayer concluding the ceremony shortly after noon, was given by the chaplain of DesRon 23, Lieutenant L. C. Clark, CHC, USNR. In conclusion, for one last time the "William Tell Overture" sounded out in a glorious salute to the "Masked Rider".
Her hull was put in the charge of an Inactive Ship Facility. But, being a fighter to the end, Anderson escaped the ship breakers. She was sold to the government of Taiwan on June 10, 1977. Today the Anderson still sails proudly as a naval destroyer, the Taiwan destroyer Kai Yang RCN-924. A Richard B. Anderson Ship's Reunion was held 20 September 1995 in Annapolis, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Anderson's first commissioning. At the closing banquet, Captain George S. J. Wan, Naval Attache of the Taiwan Embassy, Washington, D.C., presented a film made especially for the occasion. It vividly showed all present that our "Richard B. Anderson" (their Kai Yang RCN 924) was still very much in action. The film showed her underway at high speeds in fleet maneuvers, firing guns and charging ahead, just as her U.S. Navy crew had known her -- with white spray at her bow, and a still a fitting credit to all who have ever sailed in her.
USS Richard B. Anderson (DD-786) earned a total of fifteen engagement stars: Four for service during the Korean conflict, four more for separate actions in Armed Forces Expedition Operations (Quemoy-Matsu, Korea, and Vietnam, two), and seven during tours in the combat waters of Vietnam. She was awarded the Secretary of the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation three times, in addition to the Humanitarian Service Medal, and her personnel earned the Combat Action Ribbon five times.
On November 16, 1999 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan the Republic of China struck and decommissioned the Kai Yang DDG-924 and the hull now sits in Chizin (4th Navy Yard) awaiting disposal after serving the two Republics a total of 53 years and one month.