The USS Turner Joy

While in Bremerton Washington, take a stroll down to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and check out the USS Turner Joy Museum. The ship is full of history, from the vessel itself to the museum created inside of it.

About the USS Turner – Characteristics and Details

The USS Turner Joy, DD-951, was one of 18 Forrest Sherman-class destroyers with the United States Navy. The ship was named after Admiral Charles Turner Joy, a former United States Naval Officer. The ship is 418 feet long with two propellers allowing it to hit a speed of 32+ knots.
The USS Turner Joy was fully loaded with two different Mark 32 Torpedo Launchers that carry 3 torpedoes each and 3 5-inch/54 Caliber guns. The heavy weaponry may be one reason this type of vessel was called a “destroyer.”

About the USS Turner Joy- History

The USS Turner Joy was built in Seattle, Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company in 1957. The ship was commissioned, or began its career with the armed forces, out of Bremerton on August 3, 1959.
During the USS Turner Joy’s lifetime the destroyer ship participated in a number of battles and efforts to protect the United States. The two most notable events that the USS Turner Joy is known for are the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the Vietnam War. Here is a little bit about the ship’s role in each:


Gulf of Tonkin Incident

On August 2, 1964, the USS Maddox was attacked by three Vietnamise torpedo boats while on patrol and called for backup. The USS Turner Joy engaged in this battle on August 3, 1964. On that day, the Turner Joy’s radar picked up many high-speed, small crafts approaching the ship. The two destroyers called in air support. The incident involved 3 naval ships and a number of U.S. aircrafts. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident inspired and led to more participation from the United States in the Vietnam War.


Vietnam War

The USS Turner Joy took part in a variety of different deployments throughout the course of the Vietnam War. The ship served at least six different deployments. The USS Turner Joy fired the last round of naval gunfire of the war on January 28, 1973 only seconds before a ceasefire went into effect. With the ceasefire, the United States efforts and participation in the Vietnam War came to an end.


In 1982, the USS Turner Joy was decommissioned, or ended its career of service in the armed forces, when the Navy got a new class of destroyers. Following its decommission, the ship was taken off of the Naval Vessel Register in 1990 and in 1992 was opened to he public as the USS Turner Joy Museum.

The USS Turner Joy Museum

Once the USS Turner Joy was decommissioned, it was donated to the Bremerton Historic Ships Association to be a museum and memorial. It is now berthed, permanently, as a museum in Bremerton, WA.
The ship has been fully restored to provide a real and authentic experience for visitors. The purpose of the museum is to stand as a memorial in remembrance of the soldiers of the Vietnam War.
Guests can take a one or two hour tour of the ship, through the cabins and across the different decks. The tour guides are there to explain the history and answer any questions. If that doesn’t meet your desire, you can take a self-guided tour of the USS Turner Joy Museum yourself.

Other Things to do in Bremerton WA

While in Bremerton, make sure to check out the Puget Sound Naval Museum just up the street from the USS Turner Joy. You might also enjoy a visit to the Illahee Preserve to experience a more nature-centered adventure.


Photo Credit: Photo by Tjflex2 @

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