Site updated:

20th August 2019

USS Buchanan - The ship that refused to die.

USS Buchanan DDG-14 was one of the 4 Adams Class DDGs built at Todd Shipbuilding in Seattle. She was commissioned in February 1962 and displaced 4526 tons. In the late 1960's she was heavily involved in naval operations during the Vietnam war. Throughout the 1970's she gained recognition and credit in many naval arenas.

In early 1985, the Reagan administration selected the Buchanan, with its nuclear capable ASROC, to test the new Non-nuclear policies instituted by New Zealand. In 1987 she was deployed to the Arabian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq war.

After a long and distinguished career, Buchanan was selected to be a target ship during RIMPAC 2000 which took place north of Hawaii. American, Canadian and Australian forces tried to sink her, as part of their weapons and technology testing/proving processes.

She was hit by 3 Hellfire missiles fired from SH-60 LAMPS helos - and survived. She was then hit by 3 Harpoon missiles fired from RAAF F-111 and US P-3 aircraft - and survived. She was then hit by a GBU-24 (2400 lb laser guided) bomb - and survived. The USS Buffalo's MK-48 torpedo that was fired at Buchanan malfunctioned. On the morning of June 14 2000 an explosives team reboarded her and placed 200 pounds of C-4 in predetermined locations. Sixteen minutes later, the Buchanan gracefully slid below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Of all the ships used for targets in RIMPAC, the Buchanan was the only ship that resolutely stayed afloat and required internal explosives to scuttle her. She was truly one tough little ship.