DD 853 (1946 – 1973)

 
 
Wardroom ashtray included!
 
Presented is an extremely
rare U.S. Navy Quarterdeck bell which is complete with its original bulkhead mounting bracket, clapper and bell
rope. Navy quarter deck bells are rarely found, and this one was discovered with a Wardroom ashtray from the USS
Charles H. Roan, DD 854. The likelihood is that the two came from the same ship which in itself makes this remarkable
since it is rare that gear can be traced back in that manner. Even though the bell is thought to be from a
WW II Gearing Class destroyer, the two ribbed bands at the top of the bell circumscribing the crown and the two bands
at the mouth of the bell dates it from the turn of the 20th Century.
Bells of this unique design
are very rare, and those with known provenance, rarer still.
 
The tone of a proper Navy bell, made
using a special “bell metal” formula is exceptional. It has a strong resonance that once heard will never be forgotten.
Do not expect cheap imitations to have this distinctive ring because “bell metal” is a specially formulated bronze alloy,
unique to the Navy for this highly specialized use.

SPECIAL
MARKINGS:
The chiseled USN mark is unusual and supports that it is an early casting. Later bells
had the letters in the mold. It is also unusual in WW II and later Navy bells to have a casting mark from the
foundry. In this case the maker is The E.W. Vanduzen Co., Cincinnati, O on two lines. There also is a imprint on the clapper
shank which we have never seen before, “91 U.S.N.”

TO THOSE INTERESTED: The
online seller served in a sistership, the USS McKean (DDR 784) 1952-1953, as the Korean War was winding down. There was
some personal interest in doing the sales listing for this magnificent relic of our Navy’s seagoing heritage.

Some
of my memberships include the: Association of Naval Aviation, Silver Wings, The Tailhook Association, Naval Academy Sailing
Squadron, McCampbell’s Aces Squadron, Naval Historical Foundation, and the Naval Order of the United States.

                       Wardroom
ashtray
      Maker, E.W. Vanduzen Co.,
Cincinnati, O.
                         3/4
front view
                Black
iron mounting bracket

DIMENSIONS:

BELL:
Diameter at crown 5 1/2″
Diameter at mouth 10″ Height to crown 6 3/4″ Height overall
18 1/2″
OVAL WOOD STAND: 16 1/2” L x 12 1/2″ D x 3/4″ T  Weight: 26 pounds
 
CONDITION: Excellent. Recently polished
and lacquered for display or ceremonial use. The inside of the bell shows the marks of the clapper hitting the edge and flattening
it which shows that this bell has served at sea. Expect to find some casting imperfections.  Outstanding resonate
ring and strong vibration.


                                
  Inside of bell with maker’s imprint at top

Buy this outstanding example of an extremely rare
US Navy bell Quarter Deck bell from a known destroyer! What a great find for that special collection that includes only
the scarcest and unusual. 

THE USS CHARLES H. ROAN (DD 853):
The name Charles H. Roan was originally assigned to DD-815, whose construction was canceled 12 August 1945.
[
DD-853: dp. 2,425; l. 390’6″; b. 41’1″; dr. 18’6″; s. 35 k.; cpl. 367; a. 6 5″, 10 21″ tt., 6 dcp.,
2 act.; cl. Gearing Class DD]

Charles H. Roan (DD-853) was launched
15 March 1946 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Division, Quincy, Mass. as a WW II Gearing Class destroyer;  She was
sponsored by Mrs. L. Roan, and commissioned 12 September 1946, with Commander R. B. Derickson as her first commanding
officer. Her last commanding officer was
LCDR David Peter Micalchuck  Aug 27 1973 – Sep 21 1973. 

The upper picture is how she appeared with minor FRAM modifications prior to 1967. The lower
photo was taken after she was further upgraded and her life extended for the second time.

From her home port at Newport, R.I., Charles
H. Roan operated through 1960 on training exercises along the east coast and in the Caribbean which prepared her for
the many and varied overseas deployments with l which she made her contribution to the key role of the l United States Navy
in the preservation of peace throughout the world. Typifying the manifold missions of the destroyer, she trained with carriers,
with submarines, in convoy escort exercises, and in amphibious I operations. In addition, she gave service as part of chief
midshipman training squadron, as engineering school ship for Destroyer Force, Atlantic, and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization
exercises. Over her U.S. Navy career, her operating areas ranged from frigid Arctic to the steaming Persian Gulf, and her
assignments took her around the world.

Roan was sold to Turkey September 21
1973, renamed Maresal Fevzi Çakmak. Fate: Stricken and scrapped in April 1995. From Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia

THE CHARLES H. ROAN ASSOCIATION: is alive and well. The fine crews of
this ship have an active association which still meets fairly regularly. Their website gives a detailed accounting of the
Roan’s missions, engagements and career. These include a rooster of active members and a list of all her captains. Click
here.
http://usscharleshroan.org/

HISTORY OF THE QUARTERDECK: There is evidence that the marked respect
paid the quarterdeck  aboard ship today had its origin many hundreds of years ago. In the days of Greek and Roman sea
power, deference and homage were made to the pagan altar, which was placed aft. Later the same respect was paid
the shrines of the Virgin similarly  located.  Still  later  the  “King’s  colors,”
which  were  a  symbol  of  church  and  state combined,  became  the  object 
of  respect.  One  is impressed with the thought that the quarterdeck has always been the honored part of the
ship. It retains its “sanctity” today.

Now, the Quarter-deck is the area of the ship where the gangway comes aboard and the watch is posted.
A watch refers to the group of men actually on duty at any given time. Officers and dignitaries are piped aboard. Those boarding
and departing the ship salute the flag on the fantail staff.
 
Ship’s bells and announcements are also made from this location, sometimes accompanied by a pipeing
for all hands another announcement could be a call to General Quarters.
 
As early as the 15th Century, a bell was used to sound the time onboard a ship. (Time, in those days,
was kept with an hourglass. ) The bell was rung every half hour of the 4 hour watch. A 24 hour day was divided into six 4
hour watches, except the dog watch (16:00 – 20:00 hours) which could be divided into two 2 hour watches to allow for the taking
of the evening meal.