Posted by: arbeam | June 28, 2018

New Community Affiliate: Bremerton Historic Ships Association

USS Turner Joy Executive Director Charles Birdsell accepts Bremerton Navy League Community Affiliate plaque at the July Navy League Luncheon.


Please welcome our newest Community Affiliate, the Bremerton Historic Ship Association. They maintain and operate the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) US Naval Destroyer Museum on the Bremerton Waterfront. In addition to museum activities they play an active role in our community. The Turner Joy is partnered with the US Naval Academy to provide Science Technology and Mate (STEM) activities to local area students. They also host US Navy training and indoctrination activities for new Chief Petty Officers. In addition the Turner Joy has rooms dedicated to a discussion of Vietnamese Prisoner of War issues.

USS Turner Joy DD 951 was the last ship in the FORREST SHERMAN – class of destroyers and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Her keel was laid down on Sept 30, 1957 in Seattle, Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Company, was commissioned on Aug 3, 1959.

At about 8PM local time on Aug 4th1964, USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were patrolling in the Tonkin gulf off Vietnam. In rough weather and heavy seas, both Maddox and Turner Joy, based on radar and sonar contacts, reported a number of what appeared to be small, high-speed surface craft approaching, but at extreme range. By nightfall, radar and sonar plots suggested that North Vietnamese small craft were converging on the two American warships from the west and south. Turner Joy reported that she sighted one or two torpedo wakes. Over the next three and a half hours, Maddox, Turner Joy, and planes from Ticonderoga fired at the suspected hostile craft and reported that at least two were sunk by direct hits and another two severely damaged, and that the remaining boats retired rapidly to the north. This “Tonkin Gulf Incident” was the proximate cause for the US to enter the Vietnam War. The Turner Joy is also credited with providing the final Naval Gun fire support at the end of the war.

Turner Joy was decommissioned in November 1982, but was selected as a U.S. Navy memorial in November 1988. Now moored on the Bremerton Boardwalk, she has kept the same look and feel since her launching May 5, 1958, through the work of the ship’s staff and volunteers.




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