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USS Callaghan (DD-994)

The USS Callaghan (DD-994), initially built for Iran, served in the U.S. Navy for nearly two decades in the late 20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Daniel Judson Callaghan who was noted for his heroism during World War II. Callaghan was commissioned as a Kidd-class destroyer.


Callaghan was laid down at Pascagoula, Mississippi by the Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in October 1978, launched in December 1979, and commissioned in August 1981 with Commander John T. Hood in command. At 563 feet in length, Callaghan carried a crew of 296 and had a cruising speed of 30 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 20 knots. She was armed with two five-inch rapid fire guns, two surface-to-air missile launchers, a Harpoon anti-ship missile battery, a Phalanx CIWS anti-ship missile defense system, six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes, and one helicopter.

Naval History

One of four destroyers built for Iran, Callaghan was returned to the U.S. Navy in August 1979 after the fall of the Shah. She was reclassified as guided missile destroyer DDG-994 in August. Callaghan was assigned to duty in the Pacific and, in 1983, participated in a ceremony honoring USS Callaghan (DD-792) at the location where she sank. In late September and early October 1983, Callaghan took part in search and rescue operations for Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

Callaghan operated in the Pacific through the late 1980s, serving with such vessels as aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and other ships such as Barbey, Halsey, Stein, Vandegrift, Mars, and Mount Hood. She visited Sydney, Australia in April 1994 and, while operating off Columbia in 1997, intercepted a narcotics smuggling vessel after pursuing it for more than three hours.

Callaghan was initially at the helm of Commander John T. Hood. Later on, she was commanded by Commander Rodney P. Rempt, Commander William G. Sutton, Commander David M. Ryan, Commander James P. Wisecup, and James M. Rennie while under the control of the U.S. Navy.

Callaghan was sold by the U.S. Navy to the Republic of China in 2004, renamed Su Ao, and then became the second vessel to be part of the ROCN Kee Lung class of destroyers. The former Callaghan underwent two years of retrofit and training in the United States, and was commissioned in December 2005 in Taiwan.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Callaghan (DD-994)

Asbestos insulation was widely used in many factory environments since the late 19th century, and asbestos fireproofing has been installed in the design of merchant and naval vessels such as Callaghan ever since the 1930s. Asbestos-containing material was employed extensively in ships and in shore installations by the U.S. Navy until in the late 1970s which put many sailors at risk of being exposed to the substance which has been proven to cause mesothelioma.

Sailors repairing and refitting the ship's machinery such as the engines, pumps and boilers were exposed to high levels of asbestos. Because the dangers of asbestos exposure had not been made public at that time, these servicemen were not advised to wear appropriate safety gear while performing work in those areas. Unfortunately, many have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases.

Asbestos exposure is the primary source of mesothelioma cancer. If you have been diagnosed with this disease, there may be legal options available to you. We have compiled a helpful mesothelioma information packet to help you understand what they are. Simply fill out the form on this web page and we'll rush you a packet, at no cost or obligation.



NavSource Naval History. USS Callaghan (DD-994). USS Callaghan DDG-994.

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