DD 863 (Gearing class)
We are seeking information on the USS Steinaker and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.
I served on the USS Southerland DD743 1965 - 1967. On Thursday Dec 11, 2008 we were on a cruise in Manzanillo, Mexico and spotted a Gearing class destroyer moored across the harbor. In checking it was the former USS Steinaker.
Here is a picture taken of her on that day. She is still serving proudly 64 years after she was built.
The larger picture is my Father Donald V. Roshong. He served on all three of the above listed ships. The date of the picture is 02 JUL 1944. I have 11 pictures of his ship mates, but am not sure of the ship. Also included is a picture of BM 1/c Roberts.
Carl K. Roshong,
. . . . . In any event it was in the dead of Winter and shortly after Steinaker had undergone her FRAM overhaul.
The Norwegian papers made great sport of Steinaker having found her "stone-acre." They didn't consider her grounding a big deal. There are a number of rock hazards to navigation in those waters.
Steinaker was operating at night with a multination force. The skipper and the pilot were in their bunks. Sonar was either in the passive mode or inactive. When the Con saw the problem he put the helm hard over and this drove the stern up on the rocks, Everything forward of the stern tubes was in essentially open water. They first tried going astern and then using ahead power screwed the ship off the rocks. They didn't know the extent of the damage and made a futile attempt to move under their own power.
The port shaft picture (looking aft)shows:
1) Hole in the floor of the dock for the prop and broken strut arms. 2) Cables employed to pull the strut arms up so that they would clear the dry-dock sill. 3) Damaged screw and a suggestion of the extent of the badly bent shaft.
The Stbd shaft picture shows much the same including minor damage to the rudder.
Because of the cold weather and the sonar dome (not included in this set) "sitting" in a hole in the dock floor; men were required to keep the ice broken around the dome.
There was consideration given to scraping Steinaker dependent on whether any damage to the Red Gear and Turbines had occurred. (That's another story.)
Hope all of the above proves of interest and value to your efforts.
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