Created By: Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging
Class: Forrest Sherman
Overall Length: 418 ft. & 6 in.
Maximum Draft: 22 ft.
Beam: 45 ft.
Displacement: 4,000 Tons
Propulsion: Steam Turbines
Speed: In excess of 30 knots
Keel Laid: December 20, 1956
Launched: September 24, 1957
Commissioned: February 5, 1959
Recommissioned: January 15, 1971
Decommissioned: December 15, 1982
Stricken: February 7, 1990

Sinking Details
Sunk as a target ship off the coast of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands on April 9 & 10, 1997.

The "FIGHTIN' TOTEMS" flew two P-3's to Barbers Point and participated in a CTF-12 SINKEX combined operation consisting of various naval surface and air assets off the coast of Kauai. The SINKEX involved two P-3s from VP-69, helo detachments, VPs-1, 4 & 47, and a four-ship Canadian Task Group.

The excercise involved firing and delivering assorted missiles and bombs "on target" which was a de-commissioned U.S. Naval Destroyer, EX-USS EDWARDS (DD-950). VP-69's aircrew, piloted by Mission Commander LCDR Mike Sheedy, Co-Piloted by LCDR Mike Stinson, and led by Tactical Coordinator LCDR Joe Engman, fired a live air to surface missile (HARPOON) at the target, which resulted in a perfect center hull hit.

Unclassified US Naval Details

Recorded Events
  • 11-24-1975: An ASROC motor prematurely ignites seriously burning one man while the USS Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) is en-route to the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A manufacturing defect in one of the rocketmotor components is determined to be the accident's cause.

  • 10-19-1974: The USS Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) experiences one-foot deep flooding in the fire room while in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The water is pumped out.

  • 05-09-1972: The Edwards part of a four Destroyers special tast unit designated as TU 77.1.2 took part in a diversionary attack against numerous enemy artillery, antiaircraft battiers and SAM sites on Do Son Penninsula. A heavily fortified area to the southern approach to Haiphong Harbor. The aim was to distract the gunners in this area from firing on the planes as they laid a string of mines across the harbor. The purpose, to stop the military supplies from entering into Haiphong. The four destroyers fired 903 rounds of 5 shells at preselected targets on the peninsula. No damages was reported by the four destroyers in the attack and all plane returned. The two day attack May 9-10, 1972 was the largest multi-cruiser-destroyer surface strike since World War ll. To read the entire story go to U.S, Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland (Pounding the Do Son Peninsula by Commander John G. Robinson (retired)).

  • 05-04-1972: President Nixon agree to a proposal by Henry Kissinger to strike back at North Vietnam to stop their Easter Offensive, a 120,000 man attack across DMZ that started on March 30, 1972 and bring them back to the Peace Negotiations going on in Paris. Part of this proposal was to mines the entrance to Haiphong Harbor during a two day attack using varies types of Naval surface vessels.

  • 02-1969: The Edwards is exposed to Agent Orange while on the Mekong River Delta in Province of Kien Hoa. The VA has confirmed the incident at their Public Health website.

  • 05-1966: The Edwards was caught in the Tonkin Gulf by the ravages of Typhoon Kitt. This storm caused extensive property damage; all lifelines, whaleboat, Captain's gig, bridge windows, both stacks and the portside waterbreak. When the portside waterbreak collapsed, SN Louis Garcia was standing behind it. Due to the heavy weather and SN Garcia's injuries, nothing more could be done for him and he died on May 26, 1966. The Edwards limped into Subic Bay for repairs. Commander James Owens dedicated the Westpac 66 Cruise Book to SN Garcia.

  • 09-1964: Not until mid-September did American leaders authorize another Desoto Patrol into the gulf. On the 17th and 18th, Morton (DD-948) and Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) cruised along a track no closer than 20 miles to the North Vietnamese mainland without incident. On the night of September 18, 1964 however, both destroyers opened fire on what their crews believed were attacking high-speed surface vessels. While a subsequent naval investigation concluded that at least one unidentified, hostile-acting fast craft was in the area, the validity of an attack was called into question by the lack of firm evidence. Following this incident, never again were Desoto Patrols conducted in the Gulf of Tonkin. Thus, from a military standpoint, the naval actions in August initiated a temporary downturn rather than an escalation in the Southeast Asian crisis.

Copyright © 2007 by the DD-950 Association. All Rights Reserved.