Navy

I served on the USS Meyerkord from early 1986 until January of 1990. During my time on board the Kord we steamed her from one end of the globe to the other. The North and South Pacific, Bering Sea, Philippine Sea, South and East China Sea, Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan, Celebes Sea, Timor Sea, Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean (Antarctic Ocean), and every drop of water in between.

Some of the places that we spent time while I was on board were: Kodiak Alaska, Victoria and Vancouver Canada, Seattle Washington, San Francisco and Long Beach California, Oahu Hawaii, Subic Bay and Manila Philippines, Pusan South Korea, Yakuska and Kure Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Darwin, Perth and Albany Australia to name a few.

On Aug 31, 1987 she crossed the line at Longitude 95* 043.7E Earning most on board Shell-back status and safe passage from King Neptune.

During this voyage her Cap'n was Peter J. Gaskin II

I had 3 skippers during my time on board: Commander L. L. King, Commander P. J. Gaskin II and Commander D. L. Whitmire.

During my 4 years of active duty I attained the rank of MM2 (E-5). Some of my duties and qualifications were MMIC in Auxiliary 1 (turbine generators, high and low pressure air compressors, masker air system, gyro)  scene leader qualified in repair locker 5, refueling supervisor for helo refueling, air conditioning and refrigeration, boat engineer for the capn's gig, emergency casualty control trainer, 2nd class swimmer, gauge calibration specialist, pump and motor alignment specialist, asbestos removal specialist, ship board firefighting including: main space, ordinance and aviation. Aside from these duties I was assigned to auxiliary division "A-Gang." This division was responsible for all of the equipment outside of the main engineering spaces, including the emergency diesel generator, all of the laundry and gallery equipment, the steering gear and chain windlass, boat davits and all other like equipment.

 

USS Meyerkord FF1058 (DE1058)

Battle Frigate!

 

USS MEYERKORD was the seventh KNOX - class frigate.  Decommissioned on December 14, 1991, and stricken from the Navy list on January 11, 1995, the MEYERKORD transferred to the Maritime Administration for scrapping on 3 August 1996. Scrapping was finished on December 15, 2001.

Awarded: July 22, 1964
Keel laid: September 1, 1966
Launched: July 15, 1967
Commissioned: November 28, 1969
Decommissioned: December 14, 1991
Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards, San Pedro, Calif.
Propulsion system: 2 - 1200 psi boilers; 1 geared turbine, 1 shaft; 35,000 shaft horsepower
Length: 438 feet (133.5 meters)
Beam: 47 feet (14.4 meters)
Draft: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 4,200 tons full load
Speed: 27 knots
Armament: one Mk-16 missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles, one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun, Mk-46 torpedoes
from single tube launchers, one Mk-25 BPDMS launcher for Sea Sparrow missiles, the MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System
Aircraft: one SH-2F (LAMPS I) helicopter
Crew: 18 officers, 267 enlisted

 

The USS Meyerkord is named for
LT Harold Dale Meyerkord

    

Lieutenant Meyerkord was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on 9 October 1937, graduated from Riverview Garden High School in 1955 and received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri. He received his commission on 10 June 1960 after completing Officer Candidate School. He served in the USS LOS ANGELES (CA-135) and the USS DUNCAN (DD-874) prior to 13 July 1964, when he brought his expertise, diplomacy, tact, leadership and dedication to the aid of South Vietnam's struggle for freedom. As Senior Naval Advisor to the 23rd River Assault Group of the South Vietnamese Navy, he was involved in more than thirty combat operations in which he was under fire. Appropriately, his radio code name was "Hornblower", the legendary hero of C.S. Forester's novels. His dedication to his men - Vietnamese and American - became renowned throughout the River Assault Group.

Lieutenant Meyerkord assumed co-leadership with the Vietnamese Commander of a miniature fleet of shallow draft patrol craft to protect three of the thirteen districts which form the vast delta region of the Mekong River. This waterborne domain had largely been regulated by feudal war lords and river pirates. The Viet Cong had brought terror including kidnapping and murder of local anti-Red leaders in their attempt to control this "rice bowl". Here, waterways substituted for roads, lacing the jungles so very familiar to the enemy. Threats of ambush and instant death were ever present as the River Assault Group probed into insurgent territory.

Lieutenant Meyerkord made many low-level aerial flights in the face of Viet Cong fire to gain vital intelligence data. These achievements brought him the posthumous award of the Air Medal. But he was even more daring in action with his River Assault Group. In one action, when the enemy blocked his fleet, he set up a shore command post from which he directed artillery fire and air strikes to save the day. In another action, he took over from the wounded Vietnamese Commander. Though wounded himself and facing heavy fire, he continued the fight until victory was assured. In the best traditions of "Hornblower", his daring leadership continued through more than 30 operations. He was twice awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. He lived up to his stated philosophy: "In order to conduct successful operations in this region, it is imperative that American advisors have an aggressive, but not reckless attitude. An advisor that is overly cautious and places needless stumbling blocks in an operation is a handicap."

Lieutenant Meyerkord was killed 16 March 1965 while his craft was in the van leading his River Assault Group into insurgent territory. His boat was caught in the first fusillade from a Viet Cong ambush. He steadfastly returned the enemy's fire at point-blank range until mortally wounded. His extraordinary heroism was recognized by the posthumous award of the Navy Cross.

Lieutenant Meyerkord is survived by his wife, daughter, mother and father, all of St. Louis, Missouri.

(From Commissioning Program, USS MEYERKORD,  28 November 1969)

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