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USS CHARLES SPERRY DD-697
Allen M. Sumner class destroyer

USS CHARLES S. SPERRY was commissioned on May 17, 1944.  By December, DD-697 started to accompany Task Force 38 which was one of the premier fast carrier forces in the Pacific.  For most of her service in WW2, SPERRY "sailed in harm's way", protecting carrier forces from kamikaze attack while cruising off enemy coasts.

The invasion of Iwo Jima was supported by SPERRY's task force, and the destroyer was pivotal in protecting her charges with accurate anti-aircraft fire and a smokescreen as enemy aircraft sought and found the huge force. 

USS CHARLES S. SPERRY and her sisters often stayed at sea for three months or more.  In preparing for the invasion of Okinawa, SPERRY's fast force struck targets in Kyushu.  This time, the Japanese struck back heavily.  DD-697 succeeded in splashing several attackers, but USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) was hit, and DD-697was called upon to screen the badly damaged vessel.

USS CHARLES S. SPERRY and her Task Force was in the thick of the action during the Japanese final effort to blast American forces from Okinawa.  the Imperial Japanese Navy used the most formidable battleship every built YAMATO, escorted by a cruiser and eight destroyers, covered by flights of kamikazes.  While, the aircraft of the Task Force attached the enemy's battleship and her escort, DD-697 and her sister ships protected the Task Force's ships from the kamikazes. 

After the war, USS CHARLES S. SPERRY remained in Japanese waters, first to support occupation forces and repatriate prisoners of war, then on training exercises.  She finally sailed for the East Coast in December, 1945, arriving two months later.

For the next several years, USS CHARLES S. SPERRY served as a training vessel for Naval Reserve units both on the East Coast and in the Gulf. 

On October 14, 1950, USS CHARLES S. SPERRY found herself off the Korean coast.  For eight months, DD-697 was in action almost continuously.  The North Koreans came to know the gray-hulled ghost that swept unto the waters around Wonsan, Kojo, and Hungnam, blasting away at every target with superb accuracy . At Wonsan, DD-697 steamed up the twisted channel, under fire from shore batteries, to provide support for landing forces assigned to capture the harbor islands.  Usually arriving unheralded, she "interdicted enemy forces", then left the immediate area for another assignment. 

By the late 1950's the US Navy found herself with large number of rapidly aging destroyers that were not really able to effectively counter the new technology arrayed against them.  The few new vessels Congress was willing to fund would hardly provide much defense against hordes of Soviet submarines in the Atlantic.  Therefore the Navy had to modernize and rehabilitate existing hulls with a program was called FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization).

USS CHARLES S. SPERRY was among the five ships selected for a FRAM II rebuilding. Weapons systems were modernized, electronics and communications suites were upgraded, and her hull and machinery were "rehabilitated."  With an expenditure of almost eight million dollars and a yard stay of nearly seven months after which USS CHARLES S. SPERRY became pretty much a new ship.  She now sported hedgehog long-range torpedoes and remotely controlled drone helicopters called DASH. 

By the mid-1960's, DD-697 entered her third war.  American involvement in the Vietnam War had escalated and strong naval forces were deployed in the area.  USS CHARLES S. SPERRY served as a harbor defense ship for Da Nang, then sailed north to test her weapons against the Communist guerrillas.  On January 15, 1966, one of the first 5-inch rounds the destroyer fired at a North Vietnamese target set off a spectacular secondary explosion.  When the dust cleared, an ammunition warehouse and ten other structures had been completely destroyed, while another forty-one were heavily damaged.  Within the next fifteen days, SPERRY fired one hundred thirty-five 5-inch rounds at enemy targets along the coast.  The deployment ended on February 22, 1966. 

In March, 1973 a Navy survey team concluded that USS CHARLES S. SPERRY was no longer useful for anti-submarine purposes.  She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on October 31, 1973.

As it happened, several South American allies were interested in acquiring "surplus" naval vessels from the United States.  A deal was negotiated with the Chilean Navy in September for a total in excess of $229,500.   Finally, on January 8, 1974, USS CHARLES S. SPERRY became MINISTRO ZENTENO, captained by CDR Francisco Johow.  She served another sixteen years in the Chilean Navy before being stricken in 1990. 

USS CHARLES S. SPERRY earned four battle stars for service in World War II, four for Korea, and additional commendations for her service in Vietnam.
 

 


Like all of our warship models, this USS Charles Sperry has the following qualities:

- Plank-on-frame, hollow hull construction, weighing less than 15 lbs.  (A solid hull of this model would weigh over 50 lbs, requiring 2 people to handle and a fortified table to accommodate.)
- Hollow superstructure comprised of many individual thin pieces of wood glued together, not few blocks stacking on top one another.
- Windows are cutouts (not black decals), thanks to the hollow structures.
- Light rust appearance to give the ship the battle look.
- >95% of parts are wood and metal
.


40" long  SOLD

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