U.S.S. AGERHOLM (DD-826)

U.S.S. AGERHOLM (DD-826)

FIRST SHIP OF THE FLEET TO BEAR THE NAME

HISTORY:The U.S.S. AGERHOLM was named for Medal of Honor recipient PFC Harold Christ Agerholm, USMCR. The AGERHOLM was one of the Navy's Gearing Class 2250-ton destroyers, built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. She was laid down 10 September 1945, launched 30 May 1946, sponsored by Mrs. Rose Agerholm, mother of PFC Agerholm, and commissioned 20 June 1946. AGERHOLM was 390 feet 6 inches in length, with a beam of 40 feet, 10 inches. Originally designated a "general purpose" destroyer, her weapon systems included a main battery of five-inch guns, 40-mm, 21-inch torpedoes, homing anti-submarine torpedoes and depth charges. After her initial "shakedown" cruise, AGERHOLM was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and arrived in her new home port of San Diego, California on 21 January 1947.

Prior to the outbreak of the Korean conflict, Agerholm had completed three tours of duty in the Far East. At the beginning of hostilities, she was at Mare Island, California for a scheduled overhaul. She sailed for the combat zone on 19 February 1951, and operated almost continuously with Task Force Seventy-Sevan as screening ship and plane guard until her return to San Diego 20 September 1951. On 28 April and 1-4 May she bombarded Wonsan and on 9 April Kojo. Agerholm's second tour in the Korean area began 23 May 1952. Her operational duties included anti-submarine screening to American and British carrier task forces, blockade and bombardment of the Korean coast, patrolling in the Formosa Straits, escorting battleships and cruisers and joining with them in providing naval gunfire support for the United Nations forces ashore in Korea. While providing call fire in the vicinity of Suwon Dan 1 September, she was fired upon by shore batteries and received a hit aft on the starboard side of the main deck. Damage to the ship was slight and only one crewman received minor injuries. She returned to San Diego 21 December 1952. Agerholm received four battle stars for her service during the Korean conflict.

During her assignment to the Pacific, AGERHOLM made twenty-one deployments to the Western Pacific in support of U.S. foreign policy. During February 1955 she took an active part in the evacuation of Chinese Nationalists from the Tachen islands. In May 1960 she reported to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, for conversion under the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) Program. During modernizaton AGERHOLM lost some of her World War II weapons but gained a number of new weapons and electronic equipment that made her a modern warship. Improvements included anti-submarine rockets (ASROC), helicopter facilities, and new radar and sonar equipment. In March 1961 she completed her overhaul and returned to San Diego where she rejoined the Pacific Fleet. In May 1962 AGERHOLM participated with Joint Task Force Eight in Operation Dominic, nuclear testing in the Pacific. She fired a nuclear warhead equipped ASROC which detonated underwater at a distance of 4,350 yards. She then resumed her duties with the fleet. AGERHOLM was awarded an additional eight battle stars for her tours off Vietnam. She was decommissioned in 1978 and was sunk as a target off the coast of California in 1982.


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