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About the USS Goldsborough

The first GOLDSBOROUGH, torpedo boat number 20, was built by Wolff and Zwicker Iron Works of Portland, Oregon. Her keel was laid 14 July 1898 and she was launched 29 July 1899, under the sponsorship of Miss Gertrude Ballin, young daughter of the Superintendent of the Wolf and Zwicker Iron Works. The torpedo boat was commissioned in the Puget Sound Navy Yard 9 April 1908, Lt. Daniel T. Ghent in command.

GOLDSBOROUGH had a length overall of 198 feet; extreme beam, 20 feet 7 inches; normal displacement of 255 tons; mean draft 6 feet 10 inches; designed speed of 27 knots, and a designed complement of 3 officers and 56 men. Her original armament was four 6-pounders and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.

GOLDSBOROUGH joined the Pacific Torpedo Fleet after commissioning on 9 April 1908 and spent the next six years based at San Diego, California.

She cruised along the coast of California and the Pacific Coast of Mexico, engaged in torpedo practice and joint Fleet exercises and maneuvers. She was placed in ordinary at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 March 1914 and later sailed up the Pacific coast to serve as a training ship for the Oregon State Naval Militia at Portland, Oregon (December 1914-April 1917.) She was again placed in full commission on 7 April 1917 and served as a patrol ship for the Thirteenth Naval District throughout World War I, basing her operations from the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station. During this service 1 August 1918, her name was assigned to a new destroyer to be constructed and she was designated U. S. Coast Torpedo Boat Number 7. She was decommissioned in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, on 12 March 1919 and sold for scrapping 8 September 1919.

The second GOLDSBOROUGH DD 188 was a “four piper” destroyer which was launched at Newport News, Virginia in 1920 and sponsored by Miss Lucetta Goldsborough, the Admiral’s niece. This ship had a displacement of 1215 tons a speed of 35 knots, and a crew of 6 officers and 95 men. After two years of routine duty she was decommissioned in Philadelphia Navy Yard until re-activation in 1940 as a seaplane tender-destroyer with the hull number AVD 5. In this assignment she saw duty from the Caribbean to Greenland and from the Galapagos Islands to Chile. AVD 5 served in several capacities and in various areas of the Atlantic working with Hunter-Killer Groups and on wartime patrols.

On December 1, 1943 her classification was changed back to destroyer DD 188, and until early in 1945 she operated in the East Atlantic against Nazi Submarines. Following a conversion to APD 32 (high speed destroyer trans-port), she arrived in Pearl Harbor where she embarked a company of United States Marines and joined a task force steaming for what was to become the invasion of Saipan. The landing was made on 13 June 1945 in the face of the stiffest enemy resistance.

For five weeks she supported the invasion and twice provided gunfire support to the men on the beaches. Upon completion of this assignment she joined the forces that became involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf beginning 18 October 1944. Her first mission was to land underwater demolition teams in the face of Japanese machine gun, mortar, and 75mm gunfire. GOLDSBOROUGH returned the enemy fire with her 3 inch guns and joined by other ships in firing into concealed positions ashore. A landing boat came alongside to transfer wounded and later enemy artillery bracketed GOLDSBOROUGH, then hit the forward stack spraying the ship with shrapnel.


On October 1944, GOLDSBOROUGH joined the Central Philippines Attack Force and entered Leyte Gulf. The invasion for the Liberation of the Philippine Islands was launched at this time. Following the operation at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, earning her fourth and fifth battle stars, she returned to San Pedro where she was deactivated and later decommissioned and scraped.

The third GOLDSBOROUGH DDG 20, was built by the Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Company in Seattle, Washington, and was commissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington on 9 November 1963, Captain Charles D. Allen Jr., in command. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Alan Bible, wife of U.S. Senator Bible of Nevada.

After working up in the Puget Sound area, she completed a series of port visits on the mainland, and arrived in her new home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 14 February 1964. Following qualification and acceptance tests in April, she sailed for Sydney, Australia for the Coral Sea celebration and returned to Hawaii in June.

GOLDSBOROUGH got underway in late November for Yokosuka, Japan and her first WestPac deployment with the Seventh Fleet. In February 1966 GOLDSBOROUGH made a second deployment to the Orient. She provided gunfire support for Operation “Binh Phu I” firing nearly 600 rounds. GOLDSBOROUGH also screened attack carriers on Yankee Station in the South China Sea. She participated in SEATO exercises in May, and was station ship at Hong Kong in June. On 26 June she was again off Vietnam on picket station. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor on 23 July.

In August 1966, GOLDSBOROUGH entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for overhaul and extensive modification. In 1967 she participated in “Operation Sea Dragon”, designed to interdict the North Vietnamese lines of supply into the Republic of Vietnam, and provided Naval Gunfire Support along the DMZ. During this deployment GOLDSBOROUGH fired nearly 10,000 rounds in support of allied forces and avoided over 800 rounds of hostile fire without damage to the ship. She was awarded the Naval Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service in Vietnamese waters from 29 August 1967 to 17 February 1968 upon her return to Pearl.

In November 1968 GOLDSBOROUGH made her fourth Western Pacific deployment in five years, participating in eighty-eight gunfire missions in support of Vietnam, Republic of Korea, and U. S. Marine and Army forces.


In 1969 GOLDSBOROUGH participated in the Apollo 11 Recovery Mission. The command module “Columbia” splashed down about 200 nautical miles south of Johnston Island at 12:50 GMT July 24, 1969.

After a yard period in 1970, GOLDSBOROUGH made a fifth WestPac tour, departing Pearl in August and returning in February 1971. Again she provided Naval Gunfire Support for allied troops, and carried out carrier escort duties in the Gulf of Tonkin. Later that year she visited Portland, Oregon for the 1971 Rose Festival.

In September 1971 GOLDSBOROUGH departed on her sixth deployment to the Western Pacific, providing Naval Gunfire Support for allied ground troops and performing carrier escort services.

In early 1972 she was assigned to the recovery Task Force for Apollo 16. Departing again on 13 October 1972 for her seventh deployment to the Western Pacific, this would be her last trip to the “gunline” of Vietnam. In December, while conducting a combat mission GOLDSBOROUGH was hit by coastal artillery fire. The shore battery put a hole five feet wide through an upper deck. The ship’s crew received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service between October 1972 and February 1973. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor in May 1973.

GOLDSBOROUGH underwent a major overhaul at Pearl in 1974. Her electronics and weapons systems were modernized, and she was fitted with a new type of sonar. Her boilers and generators were rebuilt as well. She was badly in need of this overhaul, being well worn from her repeated deployments to the Western Pacific.

During the 1980’s GOLDSBOROUGH participated in Persian Gulf operations, including contingency activity during the Iranian hostage crisis. She conducted maritime escort duties during the Iran / Iraq war, escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf. GOLDSBOROUGH was modernized extensively in 83-84 at Pearl Harbor. In 86 the ship was host of the CNO Adm. Watkins.

In September 1990, during Operation Desert Shield GOLDSBOROUGH made the first seizure of an Iraqi ship, the Zanoobia. The Iraqi ship was boarded and diverted to a neutral port by GOLDSBOROUGH crew members. The ship’s action set the standard for future boarding operations during Operation Desert Shield.

GOLDSBOROUGH completed her final forward deployment in October 1992 to Central America as part of a joint task force involved in counter-drug operations, setting the standard for joint aerial and surface detection and monitoring operations.

GOLDSBOROUGH was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessels Register on 29 April 1993. She was sold to Australia as a parts hulk in September the same year.


Keel Laid: 3 January 1961
Launched: 12 December 1961
Commissioned: 9 November 1963
Decommissioned: 29 April 1993
Built by Puget Sound Bridge & Dry-dock Company

Home Port: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Displacement: 4,500 tons (full load)
Length: 437 feet
Beam: 47 feet

  • 4- 1200 psi boilers

  • 2 geared turbines

  • 2 shafts

  • 70,000 shp

Fuel capacity: over 240,000 gallons
Maximum speed: over 30 knots

  • 2- 5-inch/54 caliber MK42 guns

  • ASROC (from MK16 launcher)

  • 6- MK46 torpedoes (2 triple tube mounts)

  • TARTAR guided missile system

  • Personnel complement... 300 enlisted men, 20 officers

Average month's grocery list:

  • 1,000 dozen eggs

  • 12,000 lbs. of meat

  • 1,000 lbs. of sugar

  • 2,000 lbs. of flour


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Rear Admiral Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough 

Born in the city of Washington, February 18, 1805, he early manifested a predilection for the sea. At the breaking out of the war with Great Britain in 1812, being then seven years of age, he waited upon the Honorable Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy, and solicited an appointment as a midshipman. He received this position without the aid or even the knowledge of his father, his warrant bearing date June 18, 1812 – the very day on which war was declared. In great exultation the incipient hero returned home with this unquestionable evidence of his appointment. His father was, however, a man of too nice a sense of honor to allow his son to draw pay while he was yet too young to perform duty. He accordingly waited upon the Secretary, and, while thanking him for the appointment, declined his receiving pay until capable of active service.

The boy-sailor wore his uniform and attended school in Washington for several years, finally going to sea in 1817. His first cruise was in the ” Franklin,” a seventy-four, the Flag-Ship of Commodore Stewart, then in command of the Mediterranean squadron. She sailed from Philadelphia October 14,1817 , having on board the Honorable Richard Rush, Minister to England.

The services of young Goldsborough as a midshipman were varied, in both character and position. He was promoted to a lieutenancy, January 13, 1825. Obtaining leave of absence, and having an unofficial opportunity of visiting Europe, he made an extensive pedestrian tour in France and Switzerland, spending a fortnight with the Marquis de Lafayette. In 1827 he joined the “North Carolina”, Captain Rodgers, in the Mediterranean. While cruising in the schooner “Porpoise”, in the Grecian Archipelago, he distinguished himself by his dashing and gallant capture of a piratical brig-boarding her, and driving the pirates into their boats, and finally to the shore, keeping up a running fire upon, and producing great slaughter among them.

In September, 1840, while in command of the “Enterprise,” he captured at Bahia, Brazil, the pirate “Malik-Adhel”, with a valuable cargo, which he sent into Baltimore. He received his commission as a Commander in the United States Navy, September 8, 1841.

He was second in command of the “Ohio,” at the bombardment of Veracruz; commanded a body of the crew of the “Ohio,” detailed for shore service at the taking of Tuspan; and, after the Mexican war, was senior naval member of the joint Commission of Army and Navy officers to explore California and Oregon, and report on various military matters.

He was appointed Captain, September 14, 1855. From 1853 to 1857, he was superintendent of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, a position for which his studies and his mathematical ability fitted him in an eminent degree.

During his administration many important improvements and changes were made, the general efficiency of the institution was greatly increased, and he received the special commendation of the Secretary of the Navy. After being relieved from this duty he was ordered to form a portion of a board to revise the “Ordnance Manual” for the use of naval officers. In 1858 he was ordered to the command of the frigate Le Congress, forty-four guns, the Flag-Ship of Commodore Sands, on the Brazil station. He returned home in that ship, just after the opening of hostilities in 1861.

After being unemployed for a short time, he was, through the influence of Secretary Chase, appointed to the command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and hoisted his pennant on board the “Minnesotrt” Roanoke Island, the scene of Raleigh’s colonization scheme, was the key to all the rear defenses of Norfolk. In the joint expedition to capture that island, early in 1862, Burnside with 10,000 men were convoyed by a fleet under Flag-officer Goldsborough, and the island was taken by a combined attack, February 8, 1862 . For his services on this occasion he received the thanks of Congress. He dispersed and destroyed the confederate fleet under Commodore Lynch, in the North Carolina waters. During his absence the “Merrimac” made her celebrated raid into Hampton Roads. He was appointed Rear-Admiral by act of July 16, 1862 , and soon after was relieved of his command.

After the close of the Civil War, Admiral Goldsborough was put in charge of the European squadron. This was a mission of peace, and in his many reunions with brother sailors of other nationalities, he proved as genial a social companion as he had formerly been formidable as an enemy. He ended his active and useful life in the city of Washington, February 20, 1877.

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