Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council Navy League of the US

May 23: USS Turner Joy (DD-951) Tour


The Bremerton Historic Ships Association graciously welcomed 13 Navy Leaguers and guests aboard the museum ship and US Navy Memorial USS Turner Joy (DD-951) on Monday, May 23, 2016.  We were set up into two groups, each escorted by a ship’s docent.

The Turner Joy, named after a famed admiral, was built in Seattle and was launched on 5 May 1958.  The last of the Forrest Sherman class, the ship is 418 feet in length and can attain a speed of 32+ knots.  Turner Joy was decommissioned in 1982 and has been a museum ship serving as a Navy Memorial since 1990.

Our tour began at the torpedo launchers where the various torpedo types and uses were discussed.  Adjacent is the replenishment station where ship to ship underway replenishment took place.  The first thing sent across was always mail, followed by movies.  Everything else then followed, with a priority for TP.

We visited the CO and XO staterooms and then the bridge where underway operations and chain of command were discussed.  After looking into the adjacent Combat Information Center through the necessary plexiglass shield we were able to actually enter the space through another hatch.  It was here that part of the famed Tonkin Gulf Incident played out on 2 AUG 1964 when USS Maddox and Turner Joy noted possible enemy contacts and fired on them.  Later analysis suggests that what was seen was “sea return” rather than actual contacts.  It is likely to always be a mystery.

The maximum ship’s company is 320 but Turner Joy usually carried more in the range of 270 personnel.  From the ward room we move on the forecastle on the forward deck where 5” gun operations were discussed and then checked out the officer’s quarters and sonar, where search is conducted for submarines and when contact is made torpedoes are (as necessary) launched.   The chiefs’ quarters followed and the E-6 mess deck and chiefs’ mess.

Of interest is that Turner Joy still serves the active duty Navy as a location for the Legacy Academy for newly promoted chiefs.  Promotion ceremonies are also held aboard ship and volunteers from the local area active duty Navy perform community service by helping with maintenance aboard Turner Joy.  Scout and other groups can arrange overnights aboard, as well.

In the engineering space we inspected the now cold boilers which once provided 975 degree steam at 1200 pound pressure for the turbines which drove the ship.

Although there was much more we did not see, time ran out and our great tour had to conclude.  There is much information about the ship posted in many places and a return visit for personal touring is strongly recommended.  Turner Joy is also an excellent destination for a visit when entertaining guests from out of town.  A major dry docking for hull inspection and preservation is tentatively planned for next year, but more funds need to be collected for that purpose.  A fund raising program is underway.

Sincere appreciation to our hosts and to Byron Faber for arranging the tour. Norman Marten