The USS RICHARD S. EDWARDS (DD950) was built in Seattle Washington, by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company. Her keel was laid on December 29th 1956 and she was launched the 24th of September 1957 by the sponsor, Mrs. William B. FRANKE, wife of the Secretary of the Navy.
Following her preliminary acceptance by the Navy, she moved to Bremerton, Washington for commissioning and to receive her first Commanding Officer, CDR Richard R. LAW, on 5 February 1959. Present at the commissioning ceremony were the Honorable William B. FRANKE, Secretary of, the Navy, and Admiral James S. RUSSELL, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, the guest speaker.
RICHARD S. EDWARDS underwent a two month post commissioning overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, followed by a two week "ready for sea" Period during which the crew put her through her paces, to ensure that she was ready in all respects to join the fleet. This period started in Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and ended in San Diego, California the Home Port, on 29 March 1959 at which time she reported to Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet for duty in Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet.
On 6 April she departed San Diego on her shakedown cruise which took her to Mazatlan, Mexico, Balboa, Canal Zone, Valparaiso, Chile, and return to San Diego on 13 May 1959. Following a post shakedown overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, the ship returned to San Diego to participate in a five month employment in the Western Pacific Area where she operated with the fast carrier units of the Seventh Fleet, and as a member of the United States Taiwan Patrol Force.
The ship completed her cruise on 13 May 1960 and, following a thirty day leave and recreation period, she commenced operating out of San Diego. In June she was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for fiscal year 60 and on 21 July RICHARD S. EDWARDS departed for Seattle, Washington on a Midshipman's Cruise and to participate in the festivities of the Seattle Sea Fair. Following this the ship spent two months at Long Beach Naval Shipyard preparing for another employment in the Western Pacific in February 1961.
On 5 January 1961 Commander H. E. THORNHILL, Jr., relieved Commander R. R. LAW as Commanding Officer.
The Second Western Pacific employment of RICHARD S. EDWARDS began in February 1961. After leaving San Diego, the ship stopped in Hawaii for two days and then proceeded to Midway Island for fuel before going on to Yokosuka, Japan. Chosen as the U. S. warship to visit Chinhae, Korea the RICHARD S. EDWARDS participated in the graduation ceremony of midshipman at the Korean Naval Academy. While in Chinhae, the ship served as Flagship for Vice Admiral C. D. GRIFFIN, Comander of the Seventh Fleet, and was visited by the President of the Republic of Korea, Po Sun Yun, and his family.
In April 1961, RICHARD S. EDWARDS was one of more than forty ships from seven nations which participated in a combined SEATO amphibious landing operation off the coast of Borneo. After leaving Borneo, the ship participated in the rescue of 118 Philippine fishermen from a large fishing vessel which was in distress.
During the months of June, July, and August 1961 the RICHARD S. EDWARDS was part of a fast attack carrier group, operating in the South China Sea. The ship returned to her Home Port of San Diego on 14 September 1961 and began a well deserved period of rest and recreation.
From October to December 1961, the RICHARD S. EDWARDS acted as Engineering School Ship for the CRUDESPAC Engineering SchooL
On 25 May 1962 the ship completed a three month overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. After a six week refresher training period the ship participated in advanced training exercise WARDANCE in preparation for her third Western Pacific employment.
On 14 July 1962 Commander R. A. HOGSED relieved Commander H. E. THORNHILL, Jr., as Commanding Officer.
RICHARD S. EDWARDS sailed from San Diego, California, on 13 November 1962, commencing her third Western Pacific Cruise.!