USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852)

Mason underway in 1974, shortly before her sale to Taiwan. US Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) was a Geering-class destroyer, laid down 2 May, 1945. Commissioning in June, 1946, Mason was deployed to the Pacific, seeing action off Korea, where she earned three Battle Stars. Mason was redeployed to the Mediterranean during the 1956 Suez Crisis, subsequently returning to the Pacific. In the early 1960s, Mason was deployed for fire support off Vietnam, and to patrol the Taiwan Straits. She was assigned to the recovery force for the Gemini Space Program, and recovered the capsule and crew of Gemini VIII on 17 March, 1966, after the flight ran into trouble and landed early. Mason was sent back to Vietnam, alternating deployments to Vietnam with operating along the US West Coast for the next few years. She was the final US warship to call at Da Nang, in 1973, and covered minesweeping operations in Hai Phong. Mason was decommissioned in 1976, and sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1978. Renamed Lai Yang (some sources say Shuei Yang), she served there until 16 February, 2000, when she was decommissioned. She was sunk to create an artificial reef in 2003.

Bonus Photos

Recovery of the Gemini 8 spacecraft aboard Leonard F. Mason, 16 March, 1966. NASA photo.