Fate of the USS Arnold J. Isbell

In May 2002, I was forwarded this message from David Isbell, Design Product Line Coordinator, Engineering Field Activity Mediterranean:

“I’ve been in Greece working…Athens and Souda Bay. I think I mentioned in an earlier e-mail that I read on the internet that the ISBELL was in Souda Bay. I tracked this down while I was there.

“The Greeks put it up for auction (scrap iron) one or two years ago, and received ridiculously low bids and did not sell it. The US Navy and Greek Navy are located on opposite sides of Souda Bay. When I was there on Monday, we contacted the Greek Navy and they gave us the names of the three moth-balled destroyers they have in the port. The ISBELL (Greek name is Sachtouris), was not there. When we asked about the ship named Sachtouris, they said the US wanted it back and purchased the ship. It left the port two weeks ago and is supposedly headed for Philadelphia Naval shipyard…probably already there. I just missed it…”

I did some subsequent investigation and on 11 June, 2002 received this from Gloria Carvalho of NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command):

“The ex-ARNOLD J ISBELL (DD 869) was stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register on 1 February 1974 and transferred to Greece under a Foreign Military Sales transfer agreement on the same day. The Hellenic Navy renamed the vessel SACHTOURIS (D-214). The Hellenic Navy struck the vessel in 1993, and was laid up in Souda Bay, Crete as of January 1998. On 8 April 2002 the vessel was towed to Turkey where it will be scrapped.”

It appears that after 56 years of service the Arnold J. Isbell will be no more.

7 Responses to “Fate of the USS Arnold J. Isbell”

  1. Frederick H White Jr Says:

    I was one of the plank owners of the Isbell . I left her on march 16 , 1949

  2. Keith Valiquette Says:

    My father served as a cook on that ship. He was in the Navy from 57 to 61.

  3. billy Says:

    does anyone remember a robert mackie??

  4. melaniepatsy Says:

    I am Arnold J Isbell’s niece. I was at the launching, commissioning and also visited the ship in Japan in maybe 1955. Uncle Arnold was a good guy! Zoe Montague

  5. Mulholland. Steve Says:

    Was not on board long after dry dock & speed trials. Could not get lleave so I Took it . THANKS TO THE AIR FORCE.

  6. jim Odell Says:

    Clarence O. Wilson former Us Navy Destroyer man, Top notch engineer, Hard working even into his 80’s as a retired tinkerer. Korean War Veteran aboard the Uss Arnold J Isbell DD 869. Not a tougher breed of man besides a Destroyer Man. Uncover tend the side boys. Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate. God Bless those that go down to the sea in ships. Give me a tall ship and star to steer her by for i intend to go in harms way.

    Fair winds and following seas shipmate.

    Watch was relieved 1143 21 August 2016 Engine room All Secure, Thank you for your service


    My Friend i will miss your stories RIP

  7. Bryan Damkaer Says:

    My dad ,Raymond L Damkaer,was on the Isbell in the early 50’s while the Korean War was active. Trying to find any of his former shipmates. Sad to see such a great tin-can turned to scrap.

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