Donald C. Mayer served in USS Gyatt DD712/DDC 1

My Dad was on the USS Gyatt DD712/DDC 1

We will be celebrating his and my mother's 80th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary. We will be visiting the Washington DC war memorials as my Dad has not been to them! Is there anything you could recommend, such as info regarding the USS Gyatt that could make this even more special for my Dad. My Dad is Donald C. Mayer and he served in the Navy around 1947-1952.

Thank you,  Pat Mayer Gerlitzki


See this URL: http://www.ussgyatt.org/gyattphotos.htm for photos of USS Gyatt.

USS GYATT (DD-712 / DDG-1 / DDG-712)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NHTZ

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - IRON PIVOT

Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4"
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Newark NJ. September 7 1944.
Launched April 15 1945 and commissioned July 2 1945.
Decommissioned October 31 1955.
Reclassified DDG-1 on December 1 1955.
Recommissioned December 3 1956.
Reclassified DDG-712 on December 30 1956.
Reclassified back to DDG-1 on May 23 1957, reverted to DD-712 October 1
Decommissioned and Stricken October 22 1969.
Fate Sunk as target off Virginia June 11 1970.


The Gyatt was named after Marine private Edward Earl Gyatt,
born in Syracuse, New York the 4th day of September, 1921 and who enlisted
in the U.S. Marine Corps on the 26th day of January 1942. Private Gyatt was
awarded posthumously, in 1942, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal and the Silver Star for service as set forth in the following
citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving
with the First Marine Raider Battalion during the seizure of Tulagi, Solomon
Islands, from enemy Japanese forces, on the night of August 7-8, 1942.
Assigned to duty on a listening post to the right flank and forward of his
company's position. Private Gyatt reported the approach of a hostile
counter-attack to his platoon commander and then, with utter disregard for
his own personal safety, remained at his post, inflicting a heavy toll upon
the infiltrating Japanese until he was killed by an enemy hand grenade. By
his skill, courage and indomitable fighting spirit, he contributed to the
eventual repulse of the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S.
Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his country."


USS GYATT DD-712 / DDG-1 / DDG-712 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS
Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Albert D. Kaplan    Jul 2 1945 - Jun 6 1946
CDR Carl R. Tellefsen    Jun 6 1946 - May 23 1948
CDR James M. Wolfe Jr.    May 23 1948 - Sep 10 1949
CDR Wilbur Haines Cheney Jr.    Sep 10 1949 - Jul 30 1951
CDR Vincent Patrick Healey    Jul 30 1951 - Jul 26 1952 (Later RADM)
CDR Allen Bouldin Register    Jul 26 1952 - Oct 29 1953
CDR Ben Brown Pickett    Oct 29 1953 - Jul 22 1955 (Later RADM)
CDR Edward George Miller    Jul 22 1955 - Oct 31 1955
(Decommissioned Oct 31 1955 - Dec 3 1956)
CDR Charles F. Helme Jr.    Dec 3 1956 - Apr 5 1958
CDR Chester Maurice Lee    Apr 5 1958 - Jan 15 1960
CDR Charles Bishop Wall Jr.    Jan 15 1960 - Apr 8 1961
CDR John Joseph Hancotte Jr.    Apr 8 1961 - Feb 15 1963
CDR Lester L. Gutshall    Feb 15 1963 - Sep 5 1964
CDR Louis Lavern Junod    Sep 5 1964 - May 14 1966
CDR Edward Charles Elliott    May 14 1966 - Aug 23 1968
CDR Ronald Alistair Campbell    Aug 23 1968 - Jan 30 1969
CDR Alan Jay Personette    Jan 30 1969 - Oct 22 1969


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Gyatt website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

First port of call, the US Naval Memorial: Hours of operation:

Located at:
701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Monday - Sunday 9:30a.m.-5p.m.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's day.

Metro stop:

Archives/Navy Memorial.

Take a photo of your Mum and Dad with the Lone Sailor Statue, do not miss the Homecoming group of three, the Sailor, his wife, and child at the top of the stairs as you descend into the centre below street level.

In the centre see the President's room with photos of the US Presidents who served in the USN.

Visit the Burke Theatre, see the ship's store, I recommend the purchase of a small cushion marked with "DON"T GIVE UP THE SHIP. " That phrase is inscribed on the wall of Bancroft Hall at the US Naval Academy at
Annapolis, ask them to tell your Dad the story at the US Naval Memorial.

Make sure your Dad registers his Naval service on  the Navy Log at the Navy Memorial, it will be available in perpetuity, and is free.

When you leave the Memorial, I suggest you walk down Pennsylvania Ave to view the White House.

Visit the historic Washington Navy Yard, steeped in Naval history, it was here the day before 9/11 in 2001, we met the US President George. W. Bush, and the Australian Prime Minisister John Howard, his invitation to go with him to Arlington Cemetery the next day to visit the grave of the only Australian serviceman buried there, was to save our lives, we were booked to fly out on American Airlines Flight 77, that crashed into the Pentagon to kill all on board, and were taken off that flight so we might go with the PM to Arlington.

See the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, stark and impressive with its thousand of names of      those who died in that awful conflict carved into the stone work.

A visit to the Smithsonian Institute is worthwhile.

I also suggest you go out to Arlington Cemetery for a visit, do not miss the Jack and Bobby Kennedy grave sites there.

Its all so peaceful!

Best wishes,

back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved