Unit Details

USS McKean (DD-784)

 NavSource Naval History: DESTROYER ARCHIVE


USN_Units USN_Units USN_Units USN_Units 
Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTMF

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - RANCHER


Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Todd Shipyards, Seattle. September 15 1944.
Launched March 31 1945 and commissioned June 9 1945.
Completed FRAM upgrade November 1964.
Decommissioned (?).
Stricken October 1 1981.
USN_Units Fate To Turkey November 2 1982 and cannibalized for spare parts.

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USN_Units 38k William Wister McKean (19 September 1800 - 22 April 1865) was an admiral in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was noted for his service in the Union blockade that effectively closed Confederate seaports in the Gulf of Mexico. Born in Pennsylvania, McKean was the grandson of Thomas McKean, the governor of that state. McKean was appointed midshipman 30 November 1814. He served in the Navy from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, when he rose to the rank of flag officer in command of the Gulf Blockading Squadron and later the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. McKean was relieved from active duty 4 June 1862. Bill Gonyo
USN_Units 51k Undated postcard. Mike Smolinski
USN_Units 56k Undated postcard Copyright © Marine Photos, San Diego, CA. Mike Smolinski
USN_Units 94k Undated, location unknown. Robert Hurst
USN_Units 96k Undated, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
USN_Units 165k Undated, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
USN_Units 96k Undated, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
USN_Units 83k Undated, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
USN_Units 18k Invitation to the commissioning ceremony in Seattle, WA. Lee Hilde
USN_Units 115k Two scenes from the commissioning on June 9 1945 at Seattle where Lee's Aunt Christine was the sponsor. Lee Hilde
USN_Units 80k As above. Lee Hilde
USN_Units 131k June 1945 in Seattle. Ed Zajkowski
USN_Units 150k USS McKean (DD 784) returning to Mare Island on April 22 1954 after her sea trials at the end of her overhaul at Mare Island. Vallejo Naval &Historical Museum photo. Darryl Baker
USN_Units 74k Broadside view of USS McKean (DD 784) in the Mare Island channel on 4 May 1954. She was in overhaul at the yard from 29 January to 30 April 1954. Darryl Baker
USN_Units 210k October 8 1956, location unknown. Ed Zajkowski
USN_Units 226k USS MCKEAN (DD 784) as she crossed the equator on 24 Nov 1956. The photo was taken from USS FRANK E. EVANS (DD 754) by ENS Donald R. Bernard. ENS Donald R. Bernard
USN_Units 260k Circa 1960s, location is probably Long Beach Navy Yard and the date may be in 1968. Ed Zajkowski/Jim Farrell
USN_Units 119k At Singapore in the 1960s. Bryan Dewitt
USN_Units 64k USS McKean (DDR-784) refueling from the guided missile light cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) in 1961. Photo taken by Nelson Archey PH1, USN. U.S. Navy photo. Robert Hurst
USN_Units 126k USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) refueling USS McKean (DDR-784), at right, and USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748) on 18 September 1962. Note that the carrier has ten A-3 "Skywarrior" heavy attack aircraft parked on her flight deck, amidships and aft. Planes parked forward include A-1, A-4, F-4 and F-8 types. Official U.S. Navy Photograph. Fred Weiss
USN_Units 166k The USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) is simultaneously refueling the USS McKean (DD-784) and USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748) on September 18, 1962. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.104.095. Mike Green
USN_Units 165k USS Mc Kean (DD-7840, September 6 1963, location unknown. USN Photo 1094880. David Buell
USN_Units 132k ASW support aircraft carrier USS Bennington (CVS-20), the fleet oiler USS Tappahannock (AO-43) and the destroyer USS McKean (DD-784) underway in 1968, location unknown. United States Navy, Official. Robert Hurst
USN_Units 166k Wellington, New Zealand March 17 1972. Chris Howell
USN_Units 218k As above. Chris Howell
USN_Units 197k Circa 1975 off Oahu. Signed by CDR Ray Sterling Hardy Jr. J. B. Connaughton
USN_Units 28k Esquimalt, British Columbia April 22 1977. Marc Piché
USN_Units 90k Sailing up the Columbia River to Portland, Oregon for the Portland Rose Festival. She did this several times in the late 70's and this photo was available in the ship's store in 1977. Robert Harrod
USS McKean CIC Officer
USN_Units 31k USS Hector (AR-7), USS McKean (DD-784) and USS Higbee (DD-806). The USS Hector had sailed up from San Diego to provide repair support for the McKean and the Higbee. On a Fall Sunday morning in the late 70's, the Hector started having problems with her engineering plant, and oil from a sump on her portside amidships started pouring into the water. Bob Harrod, the McKean CDO, called away the duty section with fire hoses to contain it between the ships while the crew sopped it up with orange waste collection sponges. Both the Higbee and the McKean were being supplied with power from the Hector which made for an interesting situation when the Hector dropped the load and all three without power. No power means no fire main pressure. The duty engineer, MM1 Moose Miller, went below and started our emergency diesel generator which meant the McKean was the only ship with electrical power. Then there was a fire on the Higbee. Mckean manned two hose teams and stood by to assist if needed. It turned out to be a cigarette butt thrown in a trash can which was extinguished with CO2. Before McKean could get their gear stored, they had a report of a fire up forward which turned out to be an arc-welder which had shorted out and was spitting six inch electrical arcs. Eventually Hector got her engineering plant back up and running, the sailors of the McKean finished cleaning up the Hector's oil spill. This picture probably was taken that morning before things got interesting. Tom Lawson
USN_Units 12k Ship's Store photo available in the late 1970's, off the coast of San Diego Wayne Smith
USN_Units 40k Seattle October 1980. Marc Piché
USN_Units 64k Ship's patch. Mike Smolinski
USN_Units 38k Ship's patch. Mike Smolinski
USN_Units 127k Ship's ash tray. Tommy Trampp

USS McKEAN DD-784 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR William Daniel Kelly    Jun 9 1945 - Dec 11 1946
CDR Francis Othmar Iffig    Dec 11 1946 - Sep 30 1948
CDR Charles Mortimer Holcombe    Sep 30 1948 - Aug 1950
CDR Harry Lee Reiter Jr.    Aug 1950 - Nov 1950 (Later RADM)
CDR John Craig Weatherwax    Nov 1950 - Jun 1952
CDR John Abercrombie Mullen    Jun 1952 - Jun 1953
CDR Samuel Thomas Orme    Jun 1953 - Aug 1955
CDR Guy Edward Hearn Jr.    Aug 1955 - Jun 1957
CDR Stanley Restaum Craw    Jun 1957 - May 1959
CDR Lawrence Herman Baker Jr.    May 1959 - Dec 1960
CDR Alfred Charles Filiatrault Jr.    Dec 1960 - Nov 1961
CDR William John Clark    Nov 1961 - Dec 1963
CDR Douglas Delisle Swift    Dec 1963 - May 1964
LCDR John Joseph Connelly    May 1964 - Sep 1964
CDR John Edward Mitchell    Sep 1964 - Jul 1966
CDR William Howard Hawkins    Jul 1966 - Dec 1967
CDR Wilfred John Loggan    Dec 1967 - Oct 1969
CDR William Daniel Hart    Oct 1969 - Feb 1971
CDR Andrew George Merget    Feb 1971 - Aug 1972
CDR James Lawrence (Larry) May    Aug 1972 - Jun 23 1974
CDR Ray Sterling Hardy Jr.    Jun 23 1974 - Jun 1976
CDR Larry Leroy Smith    Jun 1976 - Jul 1978
CDR Robert James Doll    Jul 1978 - Jul 19 1980
CDR Richard Carl Hansen    Jul 19 1980 - Oct 1 1981



(DD-784; dp. 2,425; l. 390'6"; b. 40'11"; dr. 18'6"; s. 35k.; cpl. 336; a. 6 5", 16 40-mm., 10 20-mm., 5 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp.; cl. GEARING)

The second MCKEAN (DD-784) was laid down by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Seattle, Wash., 15 September 1944; launched 31 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas G. Peyton; and commissioned at Seattle 9 June 1945, Comdr. William D. Kelly in command.

After shakedown along the Pacific coast, MCKEAN departed for the Far East 22 September and during the next 3 months operated in support of occupation operations off Japan. Although peace had come to the once turbulent waters of the western Pacific, MCKEAN maintained a pattern of readiness and alert operations in response to the emerging menace of communism which threatened not only Asia and the blue Pacific but the entire free world.


Following the outbreak of Communist aggression against the Republic of South Korea in June 1950, MCKEAN joined the mighty 7th Fleet to suppress the overt threat to world peace. She participated in the brilliant Inchon invasion which spearheaded the ground offensive operations against the North Korean Communists. Later, while steaming on patrol off the Chinnampo River, she discovered the first minefield reported during the police action in Korea. From November 1950 to January 1951, she joined patrolling destroyers in the Straits of Taiwan; thence, after rejoining TF 77 briefly, she began shore bombardment and blockade operations with TF 95 at Wonsan, Songjin, and Chinjou. She completed her deployment in the Far East in the spring of 1951 and turned to Long Beach in April.

For more than a year MCKEAN operated out of Long Beach while training men of the modern Navy. She entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard 20 June 1962; was reclassified DDR-784 on 18 July 1952; and during the next 7 months underwent conversion to a radar picket destroyer. Following shakedown, she joined Destroyer Division 131 and prepared for "keeping- the-peace" duty wherever she might be needed.

End of war

MCKEAN returned to the Far East in June 1953 and carried out patrols and readiness exercises from Japan to the coast of Asia. Another WestPac deployment in 1956 sent her to the southwest Pacific and to Australia, and during the latter half of the following year she completed another cruise to the "land down under." WestPac duty in 1959 sent her to the Straits of Taiwan where she resumed patrols of vigilance to protect Nationalist China from invasion by the Chinese Communists. And in 1960 she deployed to the restless waters of Southeast Asia and gave visible meaning to U.S. determination to protect and defend that troubled area of the world from the clutches of Asian communism.

Following 2 years of duty at Long Beach, MCKEAN returned to the Far East in January 1962. Operating out of the Philippines, she conducted AAW and ASW exercises with HANCOCK, after which she rejoined the Taiwan Patrol in June. She completed her deployment and returned to Long Beach 17 July. Less than a year later, on 18 May 1963, she again deployed to WestPac. During the next several months she ranged the Pacific from the Aleutians and Japan to the Philippines and Hong Kong; thence, she returned to Long Beach 9 September.

Between 7 February and 9 November 1964 MCKEAN underwent FRAM I conversion at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. She reclassified to DD-784 on 1 Dec. 1963. She joined DesRon 19 1 July 1964; operated along the west coast and in EastPac during the next year, thence deployed to the waters off troubled Southeast Asia 10 July 1960.

MCKEAN began duty with the mighty 7th Fleet in the South China Sea 5 August and during the next 4 months screened ships of the Attack Carrier Striking Group. She cruised off the troubled and inflamed Vietnamese coast and bolstered the might of American seapower as the United States increased the effort to protect and defend the independence and integrity of South Vietnam from overt external aggression of the North Vietnamese Communists. She cruised the coast of South Vietnam 7 December to direct intensive, accurate shore bombardment against the invaders.

While patrolling the coast of I Corps area, MCKEAN delivered a timely, effective shore bombardment 15 December during a night sneak attack by a superior force of North Vietnamese regulars against an outnumbered South Vietnamese Regional Force, gallantly defending an outpost at My Trang, Quang Ngai Province. The well-equipped PAVN troops struck hard at the outpost, and the defenders soon ran short of ammunition. However, within 20 minutes after the start of the attack, MCKEAN took position offshore and delivered her first supporting fire. For 5 hours she accurately blasted enemy positions with white phosphorus, illumination and high- explosive fire; this devastating bombardment repulsed the attack, caused heavy enemy losses, and saved the outpost.

Maj. Gen. Huang Xauw Lam, the commanding general of the 2d Vietnamese Infantry, praised MCKEAN's decisive action and stated; "Naval gunfire in this engagement was a major factor in defeating the enemy and making the battlefield so untenable that he abandoned his dead and wounded as well as arms and equipment."

MCKEAN continued her vital gunfire support missions until 20 December, then steamed to Hong Kong and Yokosuka Departing Japan 31 December, she returned to Long Beach 13 January 1966. After completing preparations for further WestPac duty, she departed 18 November reached Subic Bay 8 December, and on 22 December began SAR duty in the northern station of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Serving as a gun destroyer and helicopter in-flight refueling ship, MCKEAN patrolled the Gulf of Tonkin until 23 January 1967 and again from 23 February until 12 March. In addition she steamed to the gun line on four deployments between 17 February and 12 April to carry out gunfire support missions. During these assignments she fired more than 4,090 rounds of 5-inch ammunition at the enemy.

MCKEAN departed the turbulent waters of Southeast Asia 24 April to visit Australian and New Zealand ports until 22 May when she sailed for the United States. Steaming via Samoa and Pearl Harbor, she arrived Long Beach 8 June. Between 20 July and 10 November she underwent overhaul at Mare Island, then resumed intensive training to keep her men and equipment ready for additional WestPac duty. Into 1969, she continued to prepare for "keeping-the-peace" missions. As both a weapon of war and an instrument of peace, she remains vital to the defense of the Nation and the free world and makes clear to friend and foe alike that the influence of U.S. seapower rows instead of wanes.

MCKEAN received one battle star for Korean service.


Last updated 4 months ago
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other ships of the same name, see USS McKean.
Career (USA)
Name: USS McKean
Namesake: William McKean
Builder: Todd Pacific Ship Building Company, Seattle, Washington
Laid down: 15 September 1944
Launched: 31 March 1945
Commissioned: 9 June 1945
Decommissioned: 1 October 1981
Nickname: "Mighty Mac"
Honors and
awards: 1 battle star (Korea)
Fate: Transferred to Turkey, 2 November 1982
Career (Turkey)
Acquired: 2 November 1982
Fate: Cannibalized for spare parts and sunk, July 1987
General characteristics
Class and type: Gearing-class destroyer
Displacement: 2,425 long tons (2,464 t)
Length: 390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)
Beam: 40 ft 11 in (12.47 m)
Draft: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Complement: 336
Armament: • 6 × 5"/38 caliber guns
• 16 × 40 mm AA guns
• 10 × 20 mm AA guns
• 5 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
• 6 × depth charge projectors
• 2 × depth charge tracks
USS McKean (DD-784) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy built by the Todd Pacific Ship Building Company in Seattle, Washington State.
1 Ship History
1.1 1940s
1.2 1950s
1.3 1960s
1.4 1970s
1.5 1980s
2 References
3 External links
Ship History
The USS McKean was launched on March 31, 1945 and commissioned on June 9, 1945, named after Commodore William Wister McKean, a squadron commander on the Union side during the American Civil War. DD-784 is the second ship in the United States Navy to be so named for Commodore McKean. In total, the McKean was one of the 98 Gearing class destroyers built.
Her first duty assignment was in the Autumn of 1945 in a three-month tour as part of the overall occupation forces following the surrender of Japan. This included clearing Allied floating mines from Japanese waters.
Following the outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950, McKean joined the 7th Fleet in August. Her Commanding Officer was Cdr. H. L Reiter, Jr., USN. She was assigned to Task Force 77 initially as part of DesDiv 112. She participated in the Inch'ŏn invasion which spearheaded the ground offensive operations against the North Korean Communists. Later, while steaming independently off the Chinnampo River, she discovered the first minefield reported during the Korean War. Commander John Weatherwax took command of McKean in November 1950. From October 1950 to December 1950, she joined patrolling destroyers with Task Force 72 in the Taiwan Strait with the light cruiser Manchester (CL-83), and the destroyers Frank Knox (DD-742), Hollister (DD-788), and Ozbourn (DD-846). They had to battle the typhoon Clara which broke apart into two typhoons.
The night of November 25, 1950, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Communist troops had crossed the Yalu River into North Korea to attack advancing U.N. forces. Hordes of Chinese cut off and surrounded the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments with a human wall at Chosin Reservoir on November 27. The breaching of this wall and releasing of UN troops depended upon air cover and firepower from planes of carriers stationed off the eastern coast. McKean, Hollister and Frank Knox were released from patrolling the Formosa Straits sometime after December 8. Under a protective canopy of naval air cover, the leathernecks broke through December 10 at Chinhung-ni and moved to Hŭngnam for evacuation. The United States Navy completed the Hŭngnam withdrawal of December 24 after embarking 105,000 troops, 91,000 refugees and vast quantities of military cargo. Needing upkeep, McKean first ported at Yokosuka, then to Sasebo until December 23, 1950. She was to rejoin TF 77 on December 24, 1950, Christmas Eve. At that time TF 77 was the largest assembled fleet since World War II, with four carriers, the battleship Missouri, two cruisers and over 30 destroyers.
According to the book Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew; "U.S. intelligence officials have long believed that a U.S. surface ship sank a Soviet sub that came close to an aircraft carrier attack force in 1950, early in the Korean War, according to two former intelligence officers." The United States was so concerned that the Soviet Navy would try to help the North Koreans that surface ships were under orders to protect U.S. warships by depth charging any possible hostile submarines, and in this case, one force depth charged a suspected Soviet sub and then saw no signs that it had survived."
This is the story of "Rancher" and two Russian submarines. "Rancher" is the call sign for the destroyer McKean (DD-784), otherwise known as "Mighty Mac". The Russian submarines were part of numerous USSR combat missions during the Korean war, Russians against Americans. The incident started December 1950. "Rancher" and its crew had left Long Beach on August 1950, and now five long months later her crew was battle hardened. She had previously dropped five depth charges on a submarine on September 23, 1950. Under the command of Cdr. J. C. Weatherwax since November 1950, what the Russians did not know was Capt. Weatherwax had been in submarines during World War II and knew how and why they moved.
On December 18, 1950, "Rancher" had just left the harbor at Sasebo to rejoin Task Force 77. Task Force 77 included the battleship Missouri (BB-63), the aircraft carriers Philippine Sea (CV-47), Princeton (CV-37), and Valley Forge (CV-45), the escort carriers Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and Sicily (CVE-118), the heavy cruiser Saint Paul (CA-73), the light cruiser Manchester (CL-83), and dozens of destroyers to screen the capital ships. "Rancher" was steaming with the USS Frank Knox (DDR-742). About an hour after clearing the sub nets, but with the Japanese shoreline still in sight, she received a hard contact from sonar. "Bridge, Sonar, we have a solid contact." Sonar had picked up two contacts. Duty Quartermaster on the bridge of "Rancher" was John D. Price QM3, as Cdr. Weatherwax had gone to his stateroom. The OOD ordered Quartermaster Price to get the Captain. Cdr. Weatherwax ran to the bridge as fast he could go. He didn't waste any time ordering Quartermaster Price to call general quarters.
After general quarters sounded Cdr. Weatherwax ordered depth charge runs. Quartermaster Price was logging into the ships log that "Rancher" was making depth charge runs on a submarine, when the Captain checked the log and ordered Price to strike the word submarine from the log. He said that this could lead to an international incident. The Captain had the sonar sounds piped to the bridge, so they were able to follow the approach to the contact. It was almost a typical training exercise, with the pinging and the course changes leading us in. "Rancher" immediately sent out the international identification code, dot dash or letter A. Three times this was sent with no response, but evasive action was being taken by the subs.
"Rancher" started a depth charge run, rolling from the rear racks and firing from the side charges. The tracker aircraft overhead reported a silhouette in the center of the pattern at the time of the explosions, after which silhouette disappeared and was not sighted again. The aircraft then reported sighting air bubbles near the location of the first attack and an oil slick, which grew larger as time passed. This oil slick was also sighted by the McKean and the Frank Knox, which joined about 20 minutes after the first attack. She completed her initial run, at times she lost contact but then she picked it up again and made an additional run. "Rancher" dropped 11 depth charges per pattern. "Rancher" would drop a pattern and the Frank Knox would cross her wake and drop a pattern.
Torpedo man Hudnall was on depth charge central which was on the starboard side of the ship one deck below the bridge. Torpedo man Hudnall fired the K-guns electronically and the crews on the K-guns fired manually. The pattern of depth charges were eleven to a pattern, three on each side of the ship and two stern racks. The submarine was in 250 feet of water or above because any deeper the depth charges would not go off. McKean fired 54 depth charges the day of December 18, 1950.
"Rancher" had dropped about 84 depth charges in a 24 hour period. The morning of December 19, one of the three anti-sub airplanes overhead reported a torpedo wake passing astern of the McKean. It just missed "Rancher", and she didn't even see it. The other Russian submarine was lashing back.
A salvage ship, the submarine rescue ship Greenlet (ASR-10), arrived out of Sasebo on December 20, to join the five destroyers and three anti-submarine airplanes at the site of the sinking. A hard hat diver was lowered to the scene. In a very short time he returned to the surface with a pair of new binoculars. In addition the Russian submarines had deployed during the depth charge a decoy that made all the sounds of a submarine. This Black Box was so top secret the Greenlet immediately returned to Pearl Harbor with it. Rumor has it the Greenlet was not allowed to return to the war area because it had retrieved so many Russian secrets. Perhaps it got their code books? Rumor also has it that 43 days later all the B girls knew everything that happened, but the crew couldn't say anything because they had signed the letters of secrecy. The story the crew was told was that it was a "sunken Jap freighter the Iona Maru. Supposedly the Iona Maru capsized on December 10, 1950. The Navy brass had already formatted their cover story with the skipper of the USS Greenlet ASR-10. "If those binoculars were from WWII, why wasn't there debris or barnacles, on the item". Recently a former shipmate commented, "We sunk a hulk ship that was doing five knots!".
After January 1951 McKean joined Task Force 95 for shore bombardment duty and blockade work around Wŏnsan, Sŏngjin and Chinjŏn. Early in 1952 she was converted to a DDR radar picket ship. Special surface scanning radar was added and in addition, the 40mm, 20mm guns and torpedo tubes were removed and replaced with three twin mount 3in guns 3"50's. In 1955 she took part in an underwater A-Bomb test Operation Wigwam. In early 1956 she crossed the equator for the first time to visit Singapore and again later in 1956 to visit Melbourne, Australia, during the time of the Olympic Games being held there. The task group consisting of one cruiser and four destroyers were the fitst U.S. ships to visit Melbourne since the end of World War II.
In February 1964 the McKean was refitted at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in California. This was the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization Program MK 1 (commonly known as FRAM) conversion which, all told, modernized 80 of the original 98 Gearing class ships.
In July 1965 the McKean joined the Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific. She did four months of operations beginning in August with the aircraft carrier Oriskany (CVA-34) as part of the South China Sea Attack Carrier Strike Group. After this tour she returned to Long Beach and attended two fleet exercises, "Eager Angler" and Baseline II." For her work in these two exercises the McKean won "Best Gunnery Ship" while competing against other destroyers and cruisers.
In November 1966 the McKean returned to the Western Pacific for Search and Rescue operations at the Gulf of Tonkin off the north coast of Vietnam. During this operation the McKean set a record with 100 inflight helicopter refuelings over a single 30-day period. Until April, 1967, on this tour of duty the McKean worked on gun line deployments, firing over 4,000 rounds during ground support work in South Vietnam/a>.
The McKean then traveled again to Australia and then on to New Zealand as part of ceremonies commemorating the Battle of the Coral Sea. She then returned to her home port of Long Beach, arriving on June 8, 1967. In the latter half of the year the McKean was overhauled at Mare Island in California.
In March 1968 the McKean returned to Long Beach and returned to the Western Pacific via stops in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Yokosuka, Japan; and Sasebo, the southernmost island of mainland Japan. From Sasebo the McKean was sent to the coast of Korea to join United States naval pressure on the North Korean government to win the release the crew of the Pueblo (AGER-2), which had been seized January 23, 1968. After this the McKean conducted patrols in the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea and Tonkin Gulf. During this time she also visited Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
At the end of 1968 the McKean returned to Long Beach, only returning to the Western Pacific in 1970 after training cruises along the American West Coast. Back on tour, the ship visited Japan again, Bangkok, Guam, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. During this time she also returned to gunnery duty along Vietnam. In June 1970 she went back to Long Beach to take on more crew and to continue training and to take part in numerous U.S. Navy exercises.
USS McKean, seen here in 1945.
In November 1971 the McKean accompanied the British carrier Eagle to the Indian Ocean, and then joined the U.S. Seventh Fleet. In December, 1971 the McKean was sent to the Bay of Bengal as part of Task Force 74 to safeguard United States interests there while the Indo-Pakistani War was waged. After rejoining the fleet, the McKean saw port calls at Singapore, Hong Kong, New Guinea and again Australia and New Zealand. She returned to Long Beach in April 1972 via stops in American Samoa and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In May 1972 the McKean joined the reserve naval forces operating between California and Hawaii. In the late 1970s her home port was in Seattle, Washington. The McKean was struck from the navy list on September 30, 1980.
The McKean was decommissioned in October 1981. In 1982 the ship was given to the country of Turkey to be cannibalized for spare parts. She was sunk by Harpoon missile in July 1987 and now lies at the bottom of Antalya Bay off the Mediterranean coast.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
Text is also based upon the "Welcome Aboard" pamphlet published by the U.S. Navy and distributed to visitors aboard the McKean in the late 1960s.