USS Blue (DD-744)
|Namesake:||John S. Blue|
|Builder:||Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island|
|Laid down:||30 June 1943|
|Launched:||28 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||20 March 1944|
|Decommissioned:||27 January 1971|
|Struck:||1 February 1974|
|Fate:||Sunk as target off California 28 April 1977|
|Class & type:||Allen M. Sumner class destroyer|
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.8 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft (12.2 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft 8 in (4.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||60,000 shp (45 MW);
|Speed:||34 knots (63 km/h)|
|Range:||6500 nmi. (12,000 km) @ 15 kt|
|Armament:||6 × 5 in./38 guns (12 cm),
12 × 40mm AA guns,
11 × 20mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks
Blue was launched 28 November 1943 by Bethlehem Steel, Staten Island, New York; co-sponsored by Mrs. J. S. Blue and Miss Eleanor Stuart Blue, widow and daughter, respectively, of Lieutenant Commander Blue; and commissioned 20 March 1944, Commander Lot Ensey in command.
Victor Blue was born in Richmond County, N.C., 6 December 1865 and graduated from the Academy in 1887. Lieutenant Blue was advanced five numbers for intelligence missions in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation (1913–16) and 1919) and commanded Texas (BB-35) during her service with the 6th Battle Squadron. Rear Admiral Blue retired in 1919 and died 22 January 1928.
World War II
Blue reported to the Pacific Fleet in July 1944 and joined TF 58 at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. While screening the fast carrier task forces, Blue took part in:
- The Volcanos-Bonin-Yap raid (31 August – 9 September);
- capture of the southern Palaus (6 September – 14 October);
- Philippine Islands raids (9–24 September);
- Luzon raids (5–6, 13–14 and 18 November and 14–16 December);
- Formosa raids (3–4, 9, and 15 January 1945);
- Luzon raids (6–7 January);
- China coast raids (12–16 January);
- Honshū and the Nansei Shoto raids (15–26 February and 1 March);
- Iwo Jima assault (15 February – 4 March);
- Conquest of Okinawa (17 March – 6 June).
Blue was damaged by typhoon of 5 June off Okinawa, and retired to Leyte for repairs. Her repairs were completed in time for the destroyer to join the 3rd Fleet for its attacks against the Japanese home islands (10 July – 15 August).
On 27 August, Blue captured I-400 off the coast of Honshū and brought her to just outside of port (where another vessel took custody of her).
Blue completed her overhaul in January 1946, and was assigned to Destroyer Division 92, 7th Fleet. On 10 February she departed the west coast for Asiatic waters, via Pearl Harbor, Guam, and the Philippines, and arrived on the China coast 13 May. During the remainder of the year she cruised in the Yellow Sea, Philippine waters, and around the Marianas Islands engaged in tactical and hunter-killer anti-submarine warfare exercises and performed patrol duty. She returned to the United States early in 1947 and on 14 February was placed out of commission in reserve at San Diego.
On 14 May 1949, Blue was recommissioned and assigned to Destroyer Division 72, Pacific Fleet. After undergoing overhaul at San Francisco Naval Shipyard between June and September, she returned to Pacific Reserve Fleet and was decommissioned at San Diego 12 December 1949.
Blue was again placed in commission 15 September 1950 and reported to Destroyer Division 131, Pacific Fleet. After engaging in training exercises off the coast of California, she departed San Diego early in 1951 and arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, 23 January. She operated in Korean and Japanese waters until August. During this period she steamed with Task Force 77 (TF 77) off the east coast of Korea, carrying out screening, life guard, and fire support duties. Late in 1951 Blue proceeded to the United States for a general overhaul at San Francisco Naval Shipyard. She returned to the combat area in April 1952 and resumed operations with TF 77 off the coast of Korea. During September–October, with Task Group 95.20 (TG 95.20) and TF 76, she performed patrol duty and provided gunfire support during salvage operations.
Returning to the United States in November 1952, she underwent overhaul and engaged in scheduled exercises off the coast of California until June 1953. On 13 June, she departed Long Beach, California, and arrived at Yokosuka 7 July. On the 17th, she resumed screening operations with TF 77 off the east coast of Japan with TG 96.7 and patrolled off Formosa until 19 October, when she returned to Korea. She returned to the west coast in December 1953.
In 1960-61 Blue underwent the FRAM II-modernization. She received a flight deck aft for QH-50 DASH drones aft, new Mk 32 torpedo tubes were placed where the older 21" ones had been. Following underway training and exercises, she departed 6 January 1962 with DesDiv 92 for a prolonged stay in the Far East. Yokosuka, Japan, served as her new home port. Periods of patrol duty preceded and followed SEATO operation “Tulungan”, the largest peacetime amphibious landing operation ever conducted in the western Pacific. During the next two years, the ship ranged widely over the Far East.
Since that time, Blue carried out the normal operating routine of the Pacific Fleet destroyers. She had conducted several tours of the Far East, and during the intervals between these cruises, she conducted local operations and type training along the west coast.
Blue was stricken 1 February 1974, and sunk as a target ship during a missile exercise off southern California on 28 April 1977.
Blue received six battle stars for her World War II service and six for Korea.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.