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Ship's History



About John Manley

John Manley of Boston, born circa 1733, was selected for command of schooner LEE October 24, 1775.  As Captain of LEE, on November 28 he captured one of the most valuable prizes of the Revolutionary War - British brigantine NANCY carrying much ordnance and military stores for British troops in Boston that proved substantial to Washington's army.  For his "great vigilance and industry," Manley was appointed commodore in January 1776  of "Washington's Fleet," in truth a small group of armed ships fitted out by him to harass the British and to seize supply vessels.  Commissioned captain in the Continental Navy on April 17, Manley sailed in HANCOCK until the frigate and her prize, HMS FOX, were taken in July 1777.  Imprisoned in New York until March 1778, Manley then entered privateer service to command MARLBOROUGH, CUMBERLAND, and a prize, HMS JASON, until 1782, except for two more periods of imprisonment, one for two years in Mill Prison, England. 


On September 11, 1782, Manley returned to the Navy with command of frigate HAGUE.  On a West Indies voyage, he made a spectacular escape from a superior naval force, and in January 1783, took the last significant prize of the war, BAILLE.  Regarded as one of the outstanding captains of the young American Navy, Manley had captured ten prizes single-handed and participated in the seizure of five others.  Captain Manley died in Boston in 1793 at the age of 60.


Commissioning - 1957

USS MANLEY (DD-940) was laid down on February 10, 1955 at Bath Iron Works in Maine and the third of a line to bear the name of Commodore John Manley of the Continental Navy following a destroyer tender and a World War II destroyer. The fifth Forrest Sherman Class Destroyer, MANLEY was commissioned on February 1, 1957 and sponsored by Mrs. Arleigh A. Burke, wife of then Chief of Naval Operations, the principal speaker at the commissioning ceremonies, and with Commander William H. Rowan in command.


MANLEY departed Newport, Rhode Island on April 11 for shakedown in the Caribbean.  On June 7th, MANLEY got underway from San Juan, Puerto Rico for a goodwill tour that took her to Lisbon, Amsterdam, Kiel, and Copenhagen.  The destroyer returned to the Boston Naval Shipyard on July 12 for repairs and alterations.


MANLEY left Boston on August 22, 1957 and sortied with an attack carrier strike force destined for a large scale NATO Fleet Exercise "Strike Back." She arrived in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland on September 14th for a liberty stop.  Three days later, she was underway conducting simulated war tactics as it steamed off the coast of Norway north of the Artic Circle.  After exercises with the carrier force, MANLEY returned to Norfolk on October 24, 1957. Later, assigned to DesDiv 41, she became the flagship for DesRon 4.


Perfect Storm and Rogue Wave Strikes


On December 4, 1957, MANLEY set sail for a tour with the Sixth Fleet accompanied by the GEARING, MCCARD, and VOGELSANG.  MANLEY practiced simulated antisubmarine warfare attacks with the squadron while en route but was diverted on December 11th through heavy seas toward the Azores where an aircraft had been reported down, MANLEY took her position in a futile search. In the early morning hours of December 12th, the destroyer was broadsided by a tremendous wave, killing two, injuring several others, and impacting heavy damage to the galley, radio and radar rooms when she suffered flooding.  Enduring northwesterly gusts up to 80 knots,  MANLEY battled through heavy rain squalls and mountainous seas toward Lisbon to arrive at night on December 13 for emergency treatment of the injured and repairs to the vessel. She moved to Gibraltar on the 18th and underwent voyage repairs in the Royal Dockyard of Gibraltar until January 4, 1958, then headed via Bermuda for Norfolk arriving on the 15th.  Eventually, she entered the Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia for more permanent repairs. Four months later on April 29th, MANLEY returned to Norfolk and resumed her role as the flagship of DesRon 4.


Operations - 1958


On June 6th, 1958, MANLEY set sail with the squadron for an Atlantic Fleet operation that included midshipmen training, implementation of the President's people-to-people programs, and visits to foreign ports of call. She visited among other ports, Kiel, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark, and Antwerp, Belgium while escorting the aircraft carrier USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CV-39).


Returning to Norfolk on October 2nd, she was soon underway with the USS INTREPID (CVA-11) to join the Second Fleet in maneuvers off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Following those operations, she took her position as plane guard for the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA-42) during operations up the eastern seaboard to the Virginia Capes. 


Homeport Change To Charleston - 1959


The first half of 1959 saw MANLEY with the Surface Antisubmarine Development Detachment at Guantanamo Bay. On March 1, MANLEY's and DesRon's Four homeport was officially changed to Charleston, South Carolina. After six months of upkeep and maintenance, the squadron was underway for the Mediterranean and anti-submarine deployment. She participated alongside her British counterparts in "Long Haul," and with the French in operation "Boomerang."


After an extensive overhaul in the Charleston shipyard, MANLEY was again underway on July 21, 1960 for firing exercises off Culebra Island in the Caribbean. On July 27th she took her position at station number five on the Atlantic Missile Range for the test firing of a Mercury space capsule. Then, she headed eastward to Cardiff, Wales and participated in experimental antisubmarine warfare patrols and attack team exercises enroute to stateside. After completing a short stint of operations off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, MANLEY turned for Pollensa Bay, Mallorca. Joining the USS FORRESTAL (CVA-59) task force at Beirut, Lebanon, she joined in Sixth Fleet maneuvers.


Pilot Rescued - 1962


In November, she rendezvoused with the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT to take part in patrols south of Hispanola. Early in 1962, the destroyer spent a fortnight on Project Mercury operations followed up a week later underway in support of the USS INDEPENDENCE in night operations in the North Atlantic. Twice within three days her crew rescued downed pilots at night. One of those pilots, now retired Captain Bill Brandel of Fairfax, Virginia, was one of the guest speakers at the Capitol 2001 Reunion and on Sunday, October 28, 2001, nearly thirty years after his rescue, he personally shook the hands of many of the sailors who yanked him from the treacherous seas.  To this day, Captain Brandel sends a message to the Manley Association on February 14th expressing his gratitude to the destroyermen who saved his life.


On September 28, 1962, MANLEY headed for Guantanamo Bay for refresher training and rescued a downed helicopter pilot. She spent most of October and November operating in the waters of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. While returning home, the destroyer again came to the rescue of three men of yacht, Avian, adrift in the Atlantic.


The Zanzibar Incident - 1964


Late in January 1963, she sailed to the Caribbean for operation "Springboard '63." After ASW exercises with the USS ESSEX (CVS-9), joint Canadian-American ASW exercises took her to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In October, MANLEY again departed for a Mediterranean deployment. She was honored to be selected as SIXTH Fleet's flagship during a three day visit to Tunis. In December, she saw operations with the Middle East Force. On January 13, 1964, MANLEY dispatched her then Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Joseph E. Murray, Jr. to negotiate with armed Muslim rebels in Zanzibar. Accompanied by three sailors, Murray successfully escaped the armed men with 91 American citizens held hostages by the guerrillas.


Mediterranean Deployment - 1965


Following routine upkeep in Charleston, she resumed operations off the Atlantic coast in May and on January 6, 1965 returned to the Mediterranean, representing the United States during the tenth anniversary celebrations of CENTO in Iskenderum, Turkey. During her homeward voyage, MANLEY spotted the collision of KASKASKIA and the Liberian tanker SS WORLD BOND near St. Helena. MANLEY rescued 23 WORLD BOND passengers and crew from the murky waters. Her emergency teams fought on board fires and flooding and saved the ship.


Vietnam - 1966-1967


On August 9, MANLEY took her recovery station for the space flight of Gemini V. For the next year, she operated in various combat scenarios off the Carolina coasts in preparation for then unknown operations in Southeast Asia. Departing Charleston on October 5, 1966, she joined DesRon 20 at Gitmo, and soon afterwards set her bow for Vietnam. Enroute, she assisted the ill captain of the Greek merchant ship, MARCETTA. On November 21, MANLEY relieved USS HULL (DD-945) in Da Nang as a unit of TU 70.8.9, a gunfire support group of the Seventh Fleet. MANLEY provided distinguished support of the ground forces until December 7th when a powder case ignited in the breech of mount 51, her forward gun mount. The resulting fire and explosion tore the mount apart and endangered the magazines. Damage control snuffed out the blaze before extensive damage occurred. The casualties were evacuated by helicopter and the destroyer steamed to Da Nang to disembark the visiting Senator Henry M. Jackson.

After Subic Bay repairs, MANLEY joined up with ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65) and BAINBRIDGE (DLGN-25) in the Gulf of Tonkin and operated there until assigned to TG 77.4 for ASW work with BENNINGTON (CVS-20). Awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for sustained meritorious service in operations against the enemy during her deployment in Southeast Asia, MANLEY returned to an open-armed reception in Charleston in May 1967.


Vietnam - 1967 - 1968


After a brief stay in her homeport, by the end of the year, MANLEY had returned to the gun line off Southeast Asia.  In January 1968, the Phillip (DD-498) was hit by fire from an enemy short battery.  Manley's guns quickly silenced the battery and much more.  A month later her guns breeched the walls of the North Vietnamese city of Hue enabling allied forces to enter the city.  Again, off DaNang in March, her gunners fired round number 20,416 and earned the record for the greatest number of rounds fired in a single deployment.  In a single operation, her guns delievered rapid, accurate fire, destroying twenty-five targets in twenty-two minutes.  Between December and May, the Manley had been in combat eighty-three days, firing over 26,000 rounds, destroying mortar and artillery positions, interdicting enemy supply and troop movements, and supporting U.S. and allied forces with her gunfire.  She spent her last round on May 1 and headed for Charleston for a second homecoming.


Decommissioning - Re-commissioning - 1971

The destroyer was decommissioned on January 31, 1970 to undergo prolong antisubmarine warfare modernization at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.  Extensive improvements to sensors, weaponry, communications, and crew habitability were accomplished and on April 19, 1971, she was re-commissioned and joined CruDesFlot 4 in Norfolk.


Homeport: Athens, Greece


Following her shakedown deployment in Guantanamo in the spring of '71 and a brief trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen via the Azores, MANLEY joined DesRon 12 in Norfolk.  In the summer of '72, she took part in the program to forward deploy ships in overseas homeports. DesRon 12 and MANLEY entered their new homeport, Athens, Greece, on September 1, 1972. During the next thirty months, she was called upon frequently to participate in speed contingency exercises: the October 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict and Cyprus crisis of 1974. MANLEY became the first United States warship to visit Izmir, Turkey in December 1974. On July 22, 1975, the destroyer headed for a scheduled upkeep and maintenance in Philadelphia and in December 1976, was home ported to Mayport, Florida.


Blue Noses


After finishing refresher training in March 1977, she commenced operations as a unit of the Second Fleet followed by a Sixth Fleet deployment from November 1977 until July 1978. Her operating cycle was continued with another Med and Northern Europe run. On October 1, 1979, the crew became designated "Blue Noses" when they crossed the Artic Circle.


The Sunsets On A Grand Lady


With an increasing naval presence in the Caribbean Sea, the destroyer operated throughout the area visiting Curacao, Antilles, Limon, Costa Rica, and Santo Tomas de Castilla. In 1980, she departed Mayport for overhaul in Boston. Following a successful refit and sea trials, MANLEY was assigned to Newport, Rhode Island and conducted workup ops in the Narragansett area preparing for REFTRA in Gitmo.

From April 3rd to May 3rd, she conducted FEDEX operations in and around Puerto Rico. On June 8, 1982, the USS MANLEY departed for what was to be her last cruise. She visited all of the Med ports, assisted in evacuation of civilians from Beirut, Lebanon during terrorist activities, and transited the Indian Ocean arriving after fifty days at sea in Karachi, Pakistan. From October 16th until November 24th, she joined in MidEastFor exercises. At long last, the Lady headed home arriving on December 22nd in Newport to commence decommissioning. On March 4, 1983, the USS MANLEY (DD-940) was struck for the Navy's active rolls. Sometime in the early nineties, our ship, mine and yours, was scrapped.