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USS Purdy (DD-734)

USS Purdy (DD-734)

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USS Purdy (DD-734), an Allen M. Sumner-class
Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
The Allen M. Sumner class was a group of 58 destroyers built by the United States during World War II. Another twelve ships were completed as destroyer minelayers...

 destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

, is the only ship of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 to be named for Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 Frederick Warren Purdy
Frederick Warren Purdy
Lieutenant Commander Frederick Warren Purdy, USN was a United States Navy officer during World War II.-Biography:...

, who was awarded the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

 for his rescue efforts while the Strong (DD-467)
USS Strong (DD-467)
USS Strong , a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral James H. Strong , who distinguished himself at the Battle of Mobile Bay....

 was sinking on 5 July 1942.

Purdy (DD-734) was laid down by the Bath Iron Works
Bath Iron Works
Bath Iron Works is a major American shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, United States. Since its founding in 1884 , BIW has built private, commercial and military vessels, most of which have been ordered by the United States Navy...

, Bath, Maine
Bath, Maine
Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 9,266. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County. Located on the Kennebec River, Bath is a port of entry with a good harbor. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its...

, 22 December 1943; launched 7 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Purdy, widow of Lieutenant Commander Purdy; and commissioned 18 July 1944 with Commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 Frank L. Johnson in command.

World War II


Following shakedown off Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 and operations in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, Purdy departed Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

, 7 February 1945 for San Diego, whence she steamed west arriving at Leyte 17 March to rehearse the invasion of Okinawa. Ten days later she sailed with TU 51.13.2 for Okinawa. Screening the transports of the Southern Attack Force en route, she arrived 1 April and assumed radar picket station duty off that last Japanese bastion. Continuing that kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

 imperiled duty after the initial landings, she fought fires on, and then returned injured survivors from, heavily damaged Mullany (DD-528)
USS Mullany (DD-528)
USS Mullany , a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral James Robert Madison Mullany .- World War II service :...

 to Kerama Retto on the 6th. Six days later, with Cassin Young (DD-793)
USS Cassin Young (DD-793)
USS Cassin Young , a , was a ship of the United States Navy named for Captain Cassin Young , who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Pearl Harbor and killed in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal....

 some 60 miles off Okinawa, she suffered a similar fate.

Attacked by a formation of about 30 enemy planes, both ships opened fire and with the aid of carrier aircraft were able to turn away most of the attackers. Two, however, bent on suicide, broke through to score on Cassin Young. A third, closing Purdy, was splashed but momentum carried it to the destroyer where its bomb broke loose, pierced her plating and exploded to kill 15, seriously wound 25, and cause extensive damage.

Purdy made it back to Kerama Retto, underwent temporary repairs there and at Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, and arrived at San Francisco 28 May. Repairs and training completed she sailed to Hawaii, thence 20 October to Japan. In Japanese waters for the next four months, she served as harbor control vessel at Point Bungo, transported passengers and mail, and performed medical and guard duties. On 21 February 1946, she sailed for San Diego, thence proceeded to Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is the county seat of Cumberland County. The 2010 city population was 66,194, growing 3 percent since the census of 2000...

, arriving 16 April. In June, she entered the Boston Navy Yard
Boston Navy Yard
The Boston Navy Yard, originally called the Charlestown Navy Yard and later Boston Naval Shipyard, was one of the oldest shipbuilding facilities in the United States Navy. Established in 1801, it was officially closed as an active naval installation on July 1, 1974, and the property was...

 for a six month overhaul; then, in December, shifted to her homeport, Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War...

. Spring maneuvers in the Caribbean preceded her first Mediterranean tour and in mid-August 1947 she returned to Newport. From September 1948 to January 1949 she again sailed in European waters and in June she reported to New Orleans, whence she conducted naval reserve training cruises until March 1951. Then deployed to the Mediterranean, she resumed operations out of Newport in June.

Korean War


Four months later Purdy, with DesDiv 122, got underway for a return to a Pacific combat zone and on 31 October reported to TF 95 off the coast of Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. Fire support for minesweeping operations at Hungnam preceded five weeks as flagship, Songjin-Chongjin unit of the Blockade and Escort Force. Christmas in Japan and antisubmarine training exercises off Okinawa interrupted combat operations, but in January 1952 she returned to Korean waters and for the next six weeks sailed with TF 77, the fast carrier force.

Relieved from Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 duty 27 February, Purdy sailed for home via the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and on 21 March completed her round-the-world cruise. Western Atlantic and Caribbean exercises carried her into 1953 and on 27 April she departed Newport for a second circumnavigation of the earth. Steaming via Suez, she arrived at Yokosuka 9 June and after availability again took up duties with TF 77. Escort duty for Bremerton (CA-130)
USS Bremerton (CA-130)
USS Bremerton , named for the city of Bremerton in Washington state, was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden in New Jersey on 1 February 1943, launched on 2 July 1944 by Miss Elizabeth K...

, bombardment and patrol operations from Chongjin to Wonsan, and duty with TF 96 preceded a reassignment to TF 77 and finally to TF 95 again for Pusan-Pohang patrol. Departing the Far East almost two months after the truce, she arrived at San Francisco 5 October and was back in the New England area by the end of the month. Purdy's unusual round-the-world cruises illustrate the wide ranging and diverse commitments of the Navy during the early years of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

Cold War


After Korea, Purdy regularly rotated east coast and Caribbean training operations with NATO exercises and 6th Fleet duty. In June 1955 she received the first Atomic-Biological-Chemical washdown system to be introduced to the fleet and-during the summers of 1956, 1957, and 1958—she made midshipmen summer training cruises, to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 in 1957 and to Europe in 1958. Two years later while calling at Gythion, Greece, three of her crew were injured ashore assisting the local inhabitants contain a raging fire until fire fighting equipment could be brought from 25 miles (40 km) away. On its arrival Purdy's "fire-fighters" continued to assist by manning hoses which replaced the bucket brigade.

Purdy was employed with the recovery forces for Project Mercury
Project Mercury
In January 1960 NASA awarded Western Electric Company a contract for the Mercury tracking network. The value of the contract was over $33 million. Also in January, McDonnell delivered the first production-type Mercury spacecraft, less than a year after award of the formal contract. On February 12,...

 in the spring of 1961 and in the fall she cruised off the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 supporting U.S. efforts to maintain stability in the Caribbean. A year later she returned to that sea for the same reason, but off a different island, and during November operated with other vessels implementing the Cuban Quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

.

On 1 April 1965 Purdy left DesRon 12 to commence operations with ResDesRon 30. Homeported at Fall River, Massachusetts
Fall River, Massachusetts
Fall River is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is located about south of Boston, southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and west of New Bedford and south of Taunton. The city's population was 88,857 during the 2010 census, making it the tenth largest city in...

, into 1970, she trained naval reservists, served as a school ship for Naval Destroyer School officer students, and tested and evaluated new equipment.

She was stricken from the register on 1 July 1973. The Purdy would be sold 11 June 1974 and broken up for scrap.

Purdy earned one battle star during World War II and 3 during the Korean War.

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