We know GOLDSBOROUGH was sold to Australia as a parts hulk, but her final disposition had always remained a mystery. There were rumors that her remains were sunk as part of an artificial reef somewhere off the Australian coast, there were other stories of her being broken up.
Thanks to Mike Szewczyk, a 19 year veteran of the Royal Australian Navy, and to Commander John Bryson, the Australian naval officer responsible for the purchase of GOLDSBOROUGH we can now write the final chapter in the history of DDG-20.
Mike Szewczyk’s connection with the ship started in early 1994, when the GOLDSBOROUGH arrived in Sydney. Already familiar with DDG’s having served two tours in Perth, Mike was part of a four man crew charged with the dismantling and identification of equipment for transfer to the Australian Navy’s three DDG’s PERTH, HOBART and BRISBANE. Mike said, “We had a great time and in short your ship found a place in my heart. It even went as far as painting a No. 40 on the bow to fill in our missing DDG sequence 38, 39, 41. Needless to say the admirals on the hill were not amused.”
The bulk of GOLDSBOROUGH’s fire control / CIC consoles were removed for refurbishment to be used at the CSMS (Combat Systems Maintenance School) at Bldg 67 Garden Island Sydney. Her GMLS 13 was also removed for refurbishment and subsequent use in one of the Australian Navy’s 6 FFG’s. At this time, Mike had the job of rounding up the additional equipment which would help set the gear to work. He said that at the time the job was a high priority, and that the words “GOLDSBOROUGH Project” opened many doors and cut a lot of red tape.
After GOLDSBOROUGH’s useable parts had been removed, she was sold to Indian ship breakers and was towed from Sydney harbor in August 1994.
GOLDSBOROUGH provided many of the necessary parts needed for the Royal Australian Navy’s DDG’s to carry on. (You can contact Mike at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
More from Downunder
In an e-mail dated 08/03/01 Commander John Bryson CSM RAN writes:
I have recently stumbled across your web site and find it most interesting as I was the Australian naval officer responsible for the purchase of GOLDSBOROUGH. For your information below is a potted history of what became of GOLDSBOROUGH: Towed from Pearl Harbor commencing 26 December 1993 arriving in Sydney, Australia 8 weeks later. The purpose of the acquisition was to strip out the ships weapons and sensors to be re-installed ashore in the Royal Australian Navy’s Combat System Maintenance School located at Garden Island, Sydney. This was done as following the paying off of the last USN Adams class destroyer, Australia was no longer able to send technical sailors to the USA for systems training. A great deal of other equipment was also removed from GOLDSBOROUGH to assist in the maintenance of Australia’s 3 Adams class destroyers.
I have served on an Adams class destroyer myself (HMAS BRISBANE during the Gulf War) and therefore have a fond connection with GOLDSBOROUGH. The ship was finally sold for scrap, and after demilitarization was towed from Sydney in December 1994 to be broken up in Goa, India.”
Commander John Bryson CSM RAN
The RAN DDG’s
The last of Australia’s DDG’s HMAS BRISBANE (DDG-41) was decommissioned in October 2001, ending the age of steam for the Royal Australian Navy. On 31 July 2005 HMAS Brisbane was sunk as an artificial reef off off Mooloolaba, which is about 50 miles north of Brisbane, Queensland. She is about 5.5 miles out by boat and just over 90 feet down.
HMAS PERTH (DDG-38) decommissioned in October 1999 and was sunk in King George Sound, Albany Western Australia in November 2001 as a dive site.
HMAS HOBART (DDG-39) decomissioned in 2000 and was sunk as a dive site in Yankalilla Bay off the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide, in South Australia on 5 November 2002.