MANSFIELD was disposed and sold to Argentina 4 June 1974. Recommissioned in Argentina as Espora (D31), and decommissioned again in 1978. It was reported, she was mothballed, in desperate need of repair in Puerto Belgrano, Argentina Naval Base near Bahia Blanca; scavenged for spare parts and eventually cut up for scrap in the late 1980's.

I received this message from Santiago L. Aversa. He has a website called the "Unofficial Site of Armada Argentina". As you will see, his version of the Mansfield's Argentine voyage is quite different than what is here. I hope I can find more information. [Karl 2.14.2000]

"DD-728 never entered active service in the Argentinean navy. She was towed by the tug "Alferez Sobral" and used for parts for the Fletcher, Gearing and Sumner class DD's that were bought in 1971-72. USS Collet, acquired along with DD 728 was not canibalized and entered service in 1977 as ARA Piedra Buena (D-29). ARA Espora was the former USS Dortch, transferred in 1962. She took part in the blockade against Cuba in the missile crisis. Now the Espora name is carried by a locally built, German designed FFG, namely P-41. the "new" ARA Espora was the lead ship of the class."



Letter from Argentine Navy

Navy General Headquarters
General Naval Secretary
Naval Historical Branch - Chief

Buenos Aires, April 7th, 2000

In answer to your request about the destroyer USS "MANSFIELD" DD-728, I inform you that that ship belonged to the "ALLEN A. SUMNER" design and was acquired by the Argentinean Navy in order to use her machinery as spare parts for our destroyers in service.

On June 20, 1974, along with the destroyer "PIEDRA BUENA" (Ex USN "COLLET" - DD 730), they left from the San Diego Naval Base under tow by the "COMANDANTE GENERA ZAPIOLA" and "ALFEREZ SOBRAL" (tugs). Making stop-overs at Manzanillo Rodman, Puerto España, Fortaleza, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. On October 1, 1974 they made their entrance to the Rada La Plata. [ Rada La Plata is the Entrance/Anvhorgae point to the port of LA PLata, it's a few miles from the Rio Santiago Naval Base, where the Naval Academy is located ]

On December 24 of the same year (1974)the "MANSFIELD" dismantling started at the Naval Base in Puerto Belgrano.

We do not have photos of the "MANSFIELD" on file.

Salute and Sincerely yours,
Commander Jorge Andres Reto

The Collett also, was disposed and sold to Argentina where she participated in the 1982 War and served until the mid 1980's [ Thanks to Santiago L. Aversa for the additional info ]:Swenson, to Taiwan 6 May 1974, for spare parts. DeHaven, was sold to Republic of Korea Navy, 5 December 1973. She was recommissioned IN CHEON (DD98), and later reclassified as INCHON (DD918). DeHaven is the last remnant of Desron9, and remains in service with the ROK Navy 1994.

MANSFIELD steaming out to sea.

Circa 1979, at Puente N. Avellaneda Outside Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photos courtesy of: Horacio Héctor Virardi
Horacio Vivardi

Quilmes, October 15, 2009.

Dear Mr. Kristiansen,

I was born in Buenos Aires in 1957, my ancestors were Italian and Spanish. In 1976 y 1977 I presented my request to join in the Naval Military School, our Annápolis, in 1976 made the exmination and I didn´t approve algebra in the next year approve all, but I can´t enter because the school had capacity for 220 students, and I was the 221, and due to my age I could not serve one third time. But as I told you, I love the warships and visited them every time I could.

I live in Quilmes, a city in the southeast of Buenos Aires Province. In those days I worked in downtown, every morning I crossed the bridge Nicolás Avellaneda, and one day in the year 1979, at the end of June or beginning of July, I saw three ships in the Riachuelo, recongnized them immediately as an LST, two destroyers, one Fletcher with the #21 on her hull and an Allen Sumner unknown. Those ships were moored in the south side of Riachuelo, the LST with her hull against the pier and her bow pointing to the East, in the middle the unknown, ponting to the West and on the outside line the Fletcher pointing to the East. The LST was B.D.T. # 6 Cabo San Isidro, ex L.S.T. #919. The Fletcher with the #21 was A.R.A. Espora (U.S.S. Dortch DD 670). Tomás Espora was one of ours greatest naval heroes in XIX century. I asked the Keeper the name of the unknown destroyer and he told me. "…Oh, that one was the Mansfield…"

The first day I took photos from the north side of Riachuelo, a few days later , with my wife Tina and my friend Ricardo Fuchs, we requested authorization from the Keeper to take photos and to visit the ships. Those photos were taken with an Instamatic Kodak so they aren´t professional because I wasn't an expert. The next week began the work with the blowtorch and I saw them disappear a little every day. Sad end for ships with a great combat history, so these photos are the last taken while they were still afloat. In my country no one of the Fletchers, Allen Sumner or Gearing, are left like a museum.

Horacio Héctor Virardi
Beruti # 2830 – 1879 Quilmes
Pcia. de Buenos Aires.


Riachuelo is the natural border between Federal Capital and Buenos Aires Province, The nearest área in Capital is named La Boca, actually tourist place for the connection with the Tango (Caminito Street) and Football Boca Juniors Stadium.
Taken from the Gun Director platform of The Dortch, on the right you can see the Variable Depth Sonar on Mansfield´s fantail.
Taken on the forecastle of Mansfield, on the starboard side we can see the Keeper, my wife Tina and my friend Ricardo Fuchs, second year cadet at that time, and now Capitan de fragata retirado (Retired Commander). Missing are the gun director and the forward 5-inch turrets.
Taken from the Dortch´s wing of the brigde (Starboard side). We can see the rear part of the Mansfield bridge.
Mansfield's deckhouse, the DASH flight deck and hangar.
Detail of the Mansfield's bridge and wings and lack of the gun director.
View from the forecastle of the Dortch, you can see turrent #1, the bridge and the fire control. On the right is my wife Tina, my friend Captain Fuchs and the caretaker of the ships.
The two destroyers and the LST in the background.
Taken from the Mansfield forecastle. We can see the starboard side of the front of the bridge and in the left the middle part of the Dortch.
Port side of Mansfield with Dortch in the background.
Aft of Mansfield and Dortch in background.
Bow of LST 919, stern of Mansfield and bow of Dortch.
This picture was taken from the Nicolás Avellaneda´s bridge. In the front was a Dry Dock, in the middle was an oil tanker named Astrasur and in the background you can see from left to right the DD-670 Dortch, DD-728 Mansfield and the LST 919.

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