Tag Archives: USS Shangri La

Sudden Squall

With all the heavy winter rain we have been getting lately, this painting struck me as being relative.

Official caption: “USS De Haven (DD-727) provides anti-aircraft and anti-submarine protection for the carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) while on Yankee Station, an operational staging area just off the coast of North Vietnam. The winter monsoon in that region is characterized by consistent heavy clouds and rainfall that make operations difficult.”

Painting, Oil on Canvas; by R. G. Smith; 1969; Framed Dimensions 53H X 65W. NHHC Accession #: 88-160-FI.

The second vessel named after 19th Century polar explorer LT Edwin Jess De Haven, the above Sumner-class destroyer was christened by his grandaughter at Bath Iron Works and commissioned on 31 March 1944. She was soon screening the fast carriers of TF38 striking Luzon in support of the invasion of Leyte by that November. Across her 49-year career, this second DeHaven received five battle stars for World War II service and in addition to her Navy Unit Commendation picked up a further six for Korean War service and decorations for 10 tours in off Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.

Transferred to the South Korean Navy in 1973, she was renamed ROKS Incheon (DD-98/918) (she was present at the landings there in 1950) and served under the flag of that country until 1993.

The USS DeHaven Sailors Association remembers both tin cans today and is very active on social media.

As for the painting, its artist has a number of haunting Vietnam-era works in the NHHC’s collection. 

Coming Home to Roost by R.G. Smith, A-4Cs over USS Shangri La

“Enterprise on Yankee Station” by R.G. Smith, Oil Painting, c. 1968. Accession: 88-160-EU Courtesy U.S. Navy Art Gallery, Naval History and Heritage Command