Kaohsiung, Jan. 16 (CNA) The second Nanyang destroyer was decommissioned on Sunday at the southern Taiwan port of Kaohsiung after having served 25 years in the Republic of China Navy.
The decommission ceremony, presided over by the Navy's 124th Fleet Captain C.C. Chang, ended after the destroyer's Captain T.S. Chen returned the ship's flag and stamp to Chang.
Chen, leading all captains and officers who ever served on the Nanyang, toured the vessel for the last time to bid their final farewell to the ship, which had sailed a total of 407,750 nautical miles during more than 39,470 hours of duty.
The ROC Navy bought the destroyer, originally named "John Thomason," from the US Navy in 1974. The vessel was officially commissioned and christened "Nanyang" in June 1975, replacing the original Nanyang, also purchased from the US Navy, which was discharged from service in 1973 due to its outdated equipment.
The second Nanyang, equipped with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and other weapons systems, was the star battleship of the ROC Navy in the 1970s and contributed greatly to the upgrade of the Navy's combat ability.
Although the destroyer was downgraded to a "second-class" vessel as a result of the Navy's modernization program, the ship was still carrying out its mission of coastal patrol and surveillance of waters off Taiwan during its last years in service.
The Nanyang also paid visits to Singapore and South Korea as a member of the ROC Friendship Fleet. (By Flor Wang)