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Charles R Ware DD- 865 - History

Charles R Ware DD- 865 - History


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Charles R. Ware

Charles Rollins Ware, born 11 March 1911 in Knoxville, Tenn., enlisted in the Navy 14 June 1929, and the following year was appointed to the Naval Academy. After graduation in 1934, he served in Texas (BB-35) and Dahlgren (DD-187) until February 1940 when he entered flight training at Pensacola. Serving with Scouting Squadron 6, based on Yorktown (CV-5), Lieutenant Ware was reported missing in action 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism in pressing home his attack on the Japanese fleet in the face of fierce fighter opposition and formidable antiaircraft fire.

Charles R. Ware (DE-547) was canceled prior to construction.

(DD-865: dp. 2 425, 1. 390'6" b. 41'1", dr. 18'6"; s.
35 k.; cpl. 36i; a. 6 5", 5 21' tt., 6 dep., 2 act.; cl.
Gearing )

Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was launched 12 April 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y.; sponsored by Mrs. Z. Ware; and commissioned 21 July 1945, Commander H. R. Wier in command.

From her home ports at Norfolk, VA., and after December 1950, Newport, R.I., Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 on the demanding schedule of the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean and northern Europe, she carried out the intensive training and overhaul necessary to keep her ready for any emergency as well as her usual activities. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold we-ether operations, crossing the Arctic Circle.

Shortly thereafter she carried out the first of several operations through which she aided in maintaining the readiness of other forces, as she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Conn. The tenth of November 1947 found her underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations' Palestine Truce Commission.

Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles 17. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a largescale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the carrier HMCS Magnificer off Narragansett Bay.

Early in 1954 she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe.

The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during' which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. I That fall she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty I Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from Essex (CVA-9) while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more.

During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II of England and President D. D l Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United l States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea.


From her home ports at Norfolk, Virginia, and after December 1950, Newport, Rhode Island, Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 with the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe, she carried out training and overhaul necessary. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle. [1]

Shortly thereafter, she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Connecticut. On 10 November 1947 the ship got underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations' Palestine Truce Commission. [1]

Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the aircraft carrier HMCS   Magnificent off Narragansett Bay. [1]

Early in 1954, she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe. [1]

The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall, she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from the aircraft carrier Essex while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more. [1]

During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation Inland Seas, [2] the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea. [1]

Charles R. Ware was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 November 1974 and sunk as a target in the Caribbean on 15 November 1981.


Charles R Ware DD- 865 - History

U.S.S. Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was launched 12 April 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, NY, sponsored by Mrs. Arva Zena Ware of Athens,TN and was commissioned 21 July 1945, Commander H. R. Wier in command.

Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, U.S. Navy for who the ship is named was a naval aviator who, as a pilot of a scout Bomber, gave his life in the
Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest military honor, for his courage and devotion to duty in actions against enemy forces.

From her home ports at Norfolk, Va., and after December,1950, Newport, RI, the Ware operated through 1960 on the demanding schedule of the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean and northern Europe, she carried out the intensive training and overhaul necessary to keep her ready for any emergency as well as her usual activities.

Her first major cruise, from 1 March to 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle. Shortly thereafter she carried out the first of several operations through which she aided in maintaining the readiness of other forces, serving as target ship for submarines training off New London, Conn. She was under way on 10 November 1947 for the Mediterranean and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. The Ware was back in the Med in 1949 on a cruise during which she patrolled off the Levant Coast for two weeks under the direction of the United Nations Palestine Truce Commission. Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R.Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. After her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland,Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the carrier HMCS Magnificent off Narragansett Bay. It was back to the Mediterranean again in early 1954, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe. The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958 she rescued a downed pilot from Essex (CVA-9) while conducting air operations off the East Coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more. During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II of England and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports.

During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers on exercises in the Ionian Sea. Ware underwent FRAM 1 overhaul at the New York Naval shipyard from January 1961 through March 1962. During FRAM 1, Ware's anti-submarine capabilities,air detection equipment and crew living spaces were modernized. After the completion of Fram 1 Ware was home ported in Mayport, FL. In 1962 Ware joined other U.S. Second Fleet units in the blockade of Cuba during the "missile crisis". In 1967 the Ware left Mayport on February 21 for Vietnam. Passing through the Panama Canal, Ware was for the first time in its lifetime in the Pacific Ocean. The ship was a member of Task Force 77.1 on "Operation Sea Dragon" to destroy North Vietnamese radar complexes. In nearly twenty missions, 1080 rounds of ammunition were fired at enemy targets. On five occasions the enemy returned fire but no hits or casualties were sustained although shrapnel sprinkled the deck. Ware spent 90 days in the combat zone. In March of 1968,Ware was deployed to U.S. Middle East Force and cross the Equator six times. In 1970 Ware sailed for the Mediterranean for the first time since 1965.

In September of 1972, Ware departed Mayport for another deployment with the Middle East Force. The cruise would take her around the globe for the first time in her 28-year history. Enroute to Bahrain the Ware was on the scene of a collision of two super-tankers in the Gulf of Oman.Ware assisted in the search, taking aboard 31 survivors on board and providing medical treatment. Ware returned Mayport, , in April 1973 after completing a 207 day trip around the world.

[Charles R. Ware was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1974, and sunk as a target in the Caribbean on 13 November 1981.]


CHARLES R WARE DD 865

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Gearing Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid November 1 1944 - Launched April 12 1945

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Charles R. Ware

Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware was born March 11, 1911 in Knoxville. He joined the Navy in 1929 from Athens, TN, where his mother, Mrs. Zena Ware, was living at the time. In 1934 he graduated from U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, and served at sea on various ships until 1940 when he entered flight training. On earning his wings as a naval aviator, Lt. Ware was assigned first aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6).

In January 1941, he was transferred to Scouting Squadron 5, aboard the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5). In early 1942, Lt. Ware was reassigned to Scouting Squadron 6 aboard the Enterprise and it was from her deck that he flew into naval history when the Battle of Midway erupted on June 4.

Lt. Ware and his section of six Douglas SBD-2/3 “Dauntless” dive bombers joined other planes from the USS Enterprise and the USS Yorktown in pressing home a fierce attack on three Japanese carriers, while fighting a large number of Japanese “Zero” fighter planes that protected the enemy fleet. When a second wave of Japanese planes appeared from a fourth enemy carrier, Lt. Ware attacked them without hesitation, even though his section’s fuel and ammunition were running low. The possibility of the aviators returning to their carriers diminished with every passing second but Lt. Ware continued the attack until the last moment.

Only two members of Lt. Ware’s group survived – plucked from the sea by a destroyer. The others, including Lt. Ware and his air-gunner, ARM 1/c William H. Stambaugh, USN of Paintsville, Johnson County, KY, vanished into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Stambaugh, like all airmen who fought at Midway, has been enshrined in the Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor, located at the Midway Exhibit at Patriots Point Museum, Charleston, SC.

In Lt. Ware’s honor, the USS Charles R. Ware, a gearing class destroyer, was launched at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Staten Island, NY, April 12, 1945, by Arva Zena Ware, his mother, and was placed in commission July 21. For the next 29 years, DD-865 served the U.S. Navy well around the world, including in the waters off viet in 1967. After serving for a time as a Naval Reserve training ship, the Ware was decommissioned November 30, 1974 in Galveston, TX. On November 15, 1981, the ship was used as a target and was sunk in 3000 fathoms in the Atlantic Ocean, 400 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

May she and her namesake, Lt. Charles Rollins Ware, forever rest in Honored Peace.

Navy Cross Citation:
“For extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty while piloting an airplane of a Scouting Squadron in action against the enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway during the period of June 4-6, 1942. Participating in a devastating assault against a Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Ware, with fortitude and resolute devotion to duty, pressed home his attacks in the face of a formidable barrage on anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition. His gallant perseverance and disregard for his own personal safety were important contributing factors to the success achieved by our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”


USS Charles R. Ware (DD 865)

Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was launched 12 April 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y. sponsored by Mrs. Z. Ware and commissioned 21 July 1945, Commander H. R. Wier in command.

From her home ports at Norfolk, Va., and after December 1950, Newport, R.I., Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 on the demanding schedule of the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean and northern Europe, she carried out the intensive training and overhaul necessary to keep her ready for any emergency as well as her usual activities.

Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold we-ether operations, crossing the Arctic Circle. Shortly thereafter she carried out the first of several operations through which she aided in maintaining the readiness of other forces, as she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Conn. The tenth of November 1947 found her underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations Palestine Truce Commission. Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles 17. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy.

Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the carrier HMCS Magnificer off Narragansett Bay. Early in 1954 she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe. The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from Essex (CVA-9) while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more. During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II of England and President D. D Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports.

During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea. Part of US naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. --During mid 1960s, engaged in intelligence-gathering activities. --From February to September 1967 cruise from NS Mayport to Tonkin Gulf and back. In combat zone from April to August. Engaged in combat operations during Operation Sea Dragon within a mile of the coast of North Vietnam and plane guarded with carriers on Yankee Station. In ports on the cruise included Guantanamo, Rodman, Pearl, Midway, Sasebo, Yokosuka, Kaoshiung, Subic, San Francisco and Acapulco. The June 1967 mid-east war which closed the Suez canal derailed the round-the-world cruise plans while on station in Tonkin Gulf. Stricken November 30 1974 and sunk as target in Caribbean November 15 1981.

Commands listed for USS Charles R. Ware (DD 865)

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CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Henry Robert Wier, USN21 Jul 1945May 1946 ( 1 )

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Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was launched 12 April 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y. sponsored by Mrs. Z. Ware and commissioned 21 July 1945, Commander H. R. Wier in command.

From her home ports at Norfolk, Va., and after December 1950, Newport, R.I., Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 on the demanding schedule of the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean and northern Europe, she carried out the intensive training and overhaul necessary to keep her ready for any emergency as well as her usual activities. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle.

Shortly thereafter she carried out the first of several operations through which she aided in maintaining the readiness of other forces, as she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Conn. The tenth of November 1947 found her underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations Palestine Truce Commission.

Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the carrier HMCS Magnificent off Narragansett Bay.

Early in 1954 she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe.

The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from Essex (CVA-9) while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more.

During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation "Inland Sea," the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II of England and President D. D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea.


Charles R Ware DD- 865 - History

Charles R. Ware & the USS Charles R. Ware DD-865

"We are here to remember and honor a hometown hero. a young man of just 31 who, from his high school days, just wanted to serve his country."

--The Honorable Susan M. Livingston, Under Secretary of the Navy at the dedication of a memorial to Lt. Charles R. Ware in Athens, Tennessee, on June 8, 2002.

Help support the McMinn County Living Museum and its effort to preserve, protect, and present the history of the USS Charles R. Ware today! Become a member of the Waremen's Club, or donate an artifact the the Museum.

Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, U.S. Navy, was a naval aviator who, as a pilot of a scout Bomber, gave his life in the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest military honor, for his courage and devotion to duty in actions against enemy forces.

In April 1945, Lt. Ware was honored again by having a Gearing Class destroyer named after him that would serve America for 29 years.


From her home ports at Norfolk, Virginia, and after December 1950, Newport, Rhode Island, Charles R. Ware operated through 1960 with the Atlantic Fleet. Along with many deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe, she carried out training and overhaul necessary. Her first major cruise, between 1 March and 9 April 1946, was to northern waters, where she aided in developing techniques for cold weather operations, crossing the Arctic Circle. Ώ]

Shortly thereafter, she served as target ship for submarines training off New London, Connecticut. On 10 November 1947 the ship got underway for the Mediterranean, and her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. After exercising with this force, and calling at ports of northern Europe, she returned to Norfolk 11 March 1948. Her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean came in 1949, during which for 2 weeks she patrolled off the Levant Coast under the direction of the United Nations' Palestine Truce Commission. Ώ]

Through two cruises to the Caribbean in the summer of 1949, Charles R. Ware aided in the training of members of the Naval Reserve, then took part in a large-scale Arctic operation before preparing for a 1950 tour with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her 1951 tour was highlighted by operations with ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy. Following her 1953 tour, she conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises with British ships off Northern Ireland, calling then at ports in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. Later that year she took part in exercises with the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent off Narragansett Bay. Ώ]

Early in 1954, she returned to the Mediterranean once more, for a tour of duty which included participation in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operation. Her 1955 deployment began with antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Royal Navy off Northern Ireland, and was followed by her 6th Fleet duty. In summer 1956, she carried midshipmen on a summer training cruise to Northern Europe. Ώ]

The year 1957 was marked by assignment to escort the ship carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia into New York harbor for his state visit, and a European cruise during which she exercised with Spanish destroyers. That fall, she put to sea for North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises and on 20 January 1958, she rescued a downed pilot from the aircraft carrier Essex while conducting air operations off the east coast. Shortly thereafter she cleared for the Mediterranean once more. Ώ]

During the summer of 1959, Charles R. Ware took part in the historic Operation Inland Seas, ΐ] the first passage of a naval force through the Saint Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. She took part in the Naval Review in Lake Saint Louis on 26 June, which was taken by Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sailed on to call at a number of United States and Canadian ports. During her 1960 Mediterranean tour, she carried German naval observers during an exercise in the Ionian Sea. Ώ]


Charles R. Ware was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 November 1974 and sunk as a target in the Caribbean on 15 November 1981.


Charles R Ware DD- 865 - History

On June 8, 2002 the former crew members of the Charles R. Ware DD-865 assembled in Athens, TN for the dedication of the Charles R. Ware Memorial. Below is the text from the memorial:

To honor the memory of Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, the former officers and crewmen of the destroyer USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) dedicate this plaque in salute to a fallen hero and one of the U.S. Navy's finest officers. During the Battle of Midway, in June 1942, Lt. Ware selflessly sacrificed his life to help defeat a formidable Japanese fleet.

For his gallantry, Lieutenant Ware was awarded the Navy Cross, with this citation:

"For extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty while piloting an airplane of a Scouting Squadron in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway during the period of June 4 - 6, 1942. Participating in a devastating assault against a Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Ware, with fortitude and resolute devotion to duty, pressed home his attacks in the face of a formidable barrage of anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition. His gallant perseverance and disregard for his own personal safety were important contributing factors to the success achieved by our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Born March 11, 1911 in Knoxville, TN, Lt. Ware joined the Navy in 1929 from Athens, TN, where his mother was living at the time at 328 Ohio St. In 1934, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, and served at sea on various ships until 1940 when he entered flight training. On earning his wings as a naval aviator, Lt. Ware was assigned first aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CV-6). In January 1941, he was transferred to Scouting Squadron 5, aboard the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5). In early 1942, Lt. Ware was reassigned to Scouting Squadron 6 aboard the Enterprise and it was from her deck that he flew into naval history when the Battle of Midway erupted on June 4.

Lt. Ware and his section of six Douglas SBD-2/3 "Dauntless" dive bombers joined other planes from the USS Enterprise and the USS Yorktown in pressing home a fierce attack on three Japanese carriers, while fighting a large number of Japanese "Zero" fighter planes that protected the enemy fleet. When a second wave of Japanese planes appeared from a fourth enemy carrier, Lt. Ware attacked them without hesitation, even though his section's fuel and ammunition were running low. The possibility of the aviators returning to their carriers diminished with every passing second but Lt. Ware continued the attack until the last moment.

Only two members of Lt. Ware's group survived - plucked from the sea by a destroyer. The others, including Lt. Ware and his air-gunner, ARM 1/c William H. Stambaugh, USN, of Paintsville, Johnson County, KY, vanished into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Stambaugh, like all aircrewmen who fought at Midway, has been enshrined in the Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor, located at the Midway Exhibit at Patriots Point Museum, Charleston, SC.

In Lt. Ware's honor, the USS Charles R. Ware, a Gearing class destroyer, was launched at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Staten Island, NY, April 12, 1945, by Arva Zena Ware, his mother, and was placed in commission July 21. For the next 29 years, DD-865 served the U.S. Navy well around the world, including in the waters off Vietnam in 1967. After serving for a time as a Naval Reserve training ship, the Ware was decommissioned November 30, 1974 in Galveston, TX. On November 15, 1981, the ship was used as a target and was sunk in 3000 fathoms in the Atlantic Ocean, 400 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

May she and her namesake, Lt. Charles Rollins Ware, forever rest in Honored Peace.

The Under Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Susan Livingstone was the guest speaker along with Congressman Jimmy Duncan and Congressman Ed Bryant. In the photo at right Ms. Livingstone is with Willard Ware, brother of Charles. Ms. Livingstone's remarks were entitled "Freedom is not Free" and can be read by clicking here. This was a very emotional day for everyone and it concluded with a fly-over by the Blue Dolphins who flew their FA-18 squadron in missing man formation in honor of Charles R. Ware. When the planes flew over the ceremony there were no dry eyes in the park. Here is a photo of the jets in formation as they fly over the memorial service. All crew members were then treated to a good old fashioned Southern BBQ complements of the City of Athens. Once the locals explained what BBQ was and how to eat it to the Northerners things seemed to work out fine. The Under Secretary spent some personal time with the former crew members and a lasting relationship was formed at this lunch. In the next photo Ms. Livingstone is presented a framed print of the memorial from Bob Erlandson and Frank Biondo. The Charles R. Ware Memorial is located in beautiful Veterans Memorial Park in Athens, Tennessee. The Park is also home to the Veterans Walkway that is paved with bricks inscribed with the names of veterans. Beside the Charles R. Ware Memorial is a special section set aside for former crew members of DD-865. If you would like information on placing a brick in the walkway send an e-mail to the City of Athens Commemorative Brick Program. The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum is also in the process of establishing a permanent display to honor the Charles R. Ware DD-865. The museum is located only a short distance from the park in downtown Athens. It is a professionally staffed and award winning museum. If you would be interesting in donating or loaning items to the museum display please visit their website by clicking their photo. Here is a photo of the memorial as it was being dedicated on June 8, 2002. Standing for the crew is Rick Mayes, Frank Biondo and Bob Erlandson. And Finally here is Veterans Park home of the Charles R. Ware Memorial. Located just 4 miles off Exit 49 on Interstate 75. This park has become a must see site in East Tennessee.


Watch the video: History (May 2022).