The History of the U.S.S. Maddox

The USS MADDOX (DD-731) is the third ship of the fleet to bear the name MADDOX. She is named after Captain William Alfred MADDOX, United States Marine Corps.

The first MADDOX (DD-168) was an old Wickes Class "four piper" aunched on the twenty seventh of October 1918. She served with the U.S. Navy until 1941, when she was transfered to the Royal Navy under the "lendlease plan". She was christened H.M.S. GEORGETOWN by the British who named ships acquired by the lendlease plan after towns of the same name in both countries. In 1944 she was agan transfered, this time to the Russian Navy and renamed DOBLISTNI meaning "worthy". On the first of September 1952 she was returned to the Royal Navy.

The second MADDOX (DD-622) was one of the trim 1650 ton LIVERMORE (DD-423) class. She was launced on the fifteenth of February 1942 and served with the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets. On the morning of July 1943 she was sunk by a German dive bomber.

The third MADDOX (DD-731), a short hull (DD-696) class was built by Bath Iron Works Corporation. At the launching on 19 March 1944 she was sponsored by Mrs. Ellen Velita Browning Willhoit Gay of Washington D.C., gread grand daughter of Captain William Alfred MADDOX.

This ship had a short but notable record in World War II. While serving with the Third Fleet, she was badly damaged off Okinawa in 1944 by a 500 pound bomb from a Japanese Kamikaze that crashed into the pilot house. Later as part of Destroyer Division Sixty-Two, she participated in the last torpedo attack of the war with ships of the Division sinking four out of the eight ships attacked.

When the Korean War broke out the MADDOX was in the Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet screening the fast Carrier Task Force Seventy-Seven. She participated in almost every phase of the Korean action.

Some of the action in which the MADDOX participated during the Korean War was the following: Participation in the now-famous evacuation of the Hungnam Beach Head; escort of the U.S.S. PERCH (ASSP-313) in the first combat deployment of a submarine troop transport; the rescue of crews from two Navy attack bombers and an Air Force jet near Wonsan; holding what is believed to be a record for the Korean War; MADDOX was target for 720 rounds of major caliber fire from Communist Shore batteries. Once after receiving slight damage from shore batteries, Radio Moscow reported that she had been sunk.

After the Korean Conflict, MADDOX frequently operated as a member of the Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific area. In June 1963, MADDOX underwent a shipyard overhaul followed by seven weeks of extensive underway training during October and November 1963.

MADDOX was again deployed in the Western Pacific from 13 March 1964 to 2 October 1964. During this time the MADDOX operated with the fast Carrier Task Force Seventh-Seven, and during the seven month deployment she screened five different heavy attack aircraft carriers.

During the early part of August 1964, MADDOX was assigned special patrol duty in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. On the second of August she earned the distinction of being the first U.S. Warship to be fired upon since the Korean War. While on patrol duty, MADDOX was attacked by several North Vietnamese torpedo patrol boats. She answered the challenge with her five inch and three inch gun battteries sinking one torpedo boat and damaging the other two. She was again attacked on the night of 4 August by an undetermined number of torpedo boats.

[Please follow this link for more in-depth information, photographs and maps related to the Tonkin Gulf Incident' ]

MADDOX was on station in the South China Sea for a cumulative total of 82 days during the summer of 1964. Just prior to her return to the States in October, while screening the U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), MADDOX rescued eight survivors, in record time, when their Navy P2V Neptune Patrol Plane crashed into the water in the early hours of 8 September. During this WestPac Cruise Maddox was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

On the tenth of July 1965, after only ten months at home, MADDOX was once again on her way to join Task Force Seventh-Seven. The deployment was short in duration but long in days at sea. While in the Western Pacific MADDOX operated exclusively with Task Group Seventy-Seven Point Three consisting of the U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34), U.S.S. MCKEAN (DD-784), U.S.S. HENDERSON (DD-785), and U.S.S. KING (DLG-10). MADDOX spent 126 days at sea out of a total of 154 days deployed. Twice assigned to Gunfire Support duties. MADDOX fired 504 rounds of five inch ammunition at some fifteen different target areas. The targets consisted chiefly of Viet Cong storage, staging and bivouac areas. MADDOX is credited with 48 structures destroyed 23 damaged 2 VC KIA's and 15 VC WIA's. Several secondary explosions reported by aerial spotters indicating that caches of ammunition were destroyed. Her other functions consisted of picket, surveillance and planeguard duties.

MADDOX with three other destroyers departed Subic Bay, P.I. on 30 Nov 1965 to escort U.S.S. ORISKANY "stateside" arriving in Long Beach, Calif., 16 Dec. 1965.

During this deployment MADDOX earned the Viet Nam service medal.

Related Links

USS Maddox DD-731 Specifications

For excellent information on ALL three ships bearing the name Maddox
follow this link for the
USS Maddox Organization

Tin Can Sailors

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