On December 7, 1968 the Stoddard returned to San Diego from Vietnam and
her last tour of active duty. The Stoddard was decommissioned and placed
in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island, CA on September 9, 1969. On
January 6th, 1975 she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register. On June
30, 1976 the Ex-Stoddard was transferred from Mare Island to the Pacific
Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, CC. There she was modified and used as
a target ship for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Project. |
Her next test ship mission was as a platform for the many variants of the Phalanx CIWS (close-in weapon system) for defense against airborne threats such as anti-ship missiles and helicopters. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation. During the testing no less than forty-three targets from subsonic BQM drones to supersonic vandals attacked the Ex-Stoddard to no avail. The knowledge and experience gained from these tests would not have been possible without the help of this fine ship.
Her final fate came on July 22, 1997 when she was towed by the USS Salvor (ARS-52) to a position near the island of Kauai, Hawaii (22° 47' 39.2"N, 160° 36" 41.0"W) and Seal Team One installed charges which sank her. This video shows that Final Fate. Our thanks to Bill Johnson, USN (Ret.), for sending us this video from the Inactive Fleet Facility at Pearl Harbor. Bill set up the tow rig on her and was there when she left on her last underway.
Stoddard Sinking YouTube Video
Audio starts at 1:39
Charges blow at 5:17
Video length is 21:57
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