USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE-219)

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Career
Name: USS Blackwood
Namesake: J. Douglas Blackwood
Ordered: 1942
Builder: Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laid down: 22 February 1943
Launched: 29 May 1943
Commissioned: 15 December 1943
Decommissioned: 20 April 1946
Commissioned: 5 February 1951
Decommissioned: 1 August 1958
In service: 1 August 1958
Out of service: 2 October 1961
Recommissioned: 2 October 1961
Decommissioned: 1 August 1962
In service: 1 August 1962
Out of service: 30 January 1970
Struck: 30 January 1970
Honors and
awards:
3 battle stars (World War II)
Fate: Sunk as a target, 20 July 1970
General characteristics
Class & type: Buckley-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,400 long tons (1,422 t) standard
1,740 long tons (1,768 t) full load
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m) standard
11 ft 3 in (3.43 m) full load
Propulsion: 2 × boilers
General Electric turbo-electric drive
12,000 shp (8.9 MW)
2 × solid manganese-bronze 3,600 lb (1,600 kg) 3-bladed propellers, 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) diameter, 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) pitch
2 × rudders
359 tons fuel oil
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Range: 3,700 nmi (6,900 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers, 198 men
Armament: • 3 × 3"/50 caliber guns
• 1 × quad 1.1"/75 caliber gun
• 8 × single 20 mm guns
• 1 × triple 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
• 1 × Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar
• 8 × K-gun depth charge projectors
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE-219), a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Commander J. Douglas Blackwood (1881–1942), who was killed in action, aboard the cruiser Vincennes, during the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942.

J. Douglas Blackwood was launched on 29 May 1943, by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. Douglas Blackwood, widow of Comdr. Blackwood; and commissioned on 15 December 1943, Comdr. R. V. Randolph in command.

Service history[edit]

1943–1946[edit]

After shakedown off Bermuda, J. Douglas Blackwood rendezvoused with carrier Hornet (CV-12) off Hampton Roads on 14 February 1944, to escort her to the Panama Canal. The escort ship then returned to the East Coast for duty as training ship and coastal escort until departing Norfolk, Virginia on 18 March for the Pacific. Sailing via the Panama Canal and Pearl Harbor, J. Douglas Blackwood, arrived at Majuro on 18 April 1944, to begin vital convoy screening work between America's far-flung island bases. The ship operated mainly in the Solomons and Admiralties, returning to Pearl Harbor in October 1944 for anti-submarine training.

J. Douglas Blackwood, steamed to Eniwetok on 2 November, and resumed convoy escort work, this time between the Solomons and the Philippines. As that great archipelago was liberated, island by island, the escort ship helped bring supplies and men from advance bases. She remained on this duty until arriving Pearl Harbor on 12 April 1945, and for the remainder of the war operated in Hawaiian waters training with newly commissioned carriers and Pacific Fleet submarines.

The war over, J. Douglas Blackwood steamed into Mare Island Navy Yard on 4 September 1945, and after repairs made the long voyage through the Canal to the East Coast. She arrived New London on 9 January 1946, decommissioned on 20 April 1946, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

1950–1958[edit]

With the outbreak of fighting in Korea in 1950, the Navy's need of fighting ships once again increased. J. Douglas Blackwood, recommissioned on 5 February 1951, Lieutenant Commander J. R. McKee in command. Based at Norfolk, the ship alternated between duty there and the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Florida. She also engaged in at sea training for midshipmen, cruising to the Caribbean and Brazil in the summer of 1953. She remained on this important training duty, not only keeping herself at peak readiness but also contributing to the development of new anti-submarine tactics, until arriving at Philadelphia on 15 November 1957. There she began her new assignment as Reserve Training Ship. J. Douglas Blackwood decommissioned on 1 August 1958, and was placed "in service." For the next three years, she acted as training ship for naval reservists in the Philadelphia area.

1961–1962[edit]

However, when America's will was tested once again in the 1961 Berlin Crisis, the ship was again recalled to active service, commissioning on 2 October 1961, Comdr. John Joseph Grelis III in command. After refresher training in the Caribbean, she served on escort and patrol duty in the Atlantic through the summer of 1962. She decommissioned on 1 August 1962, reverted to her "in-service" status, and resumed reserve training duty at Philadelphia. J. Douglas Blackwood remained on this important duty into 1967, always ready to serve the Navy in time of need.

J. Douglas Blackwood was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 January 1970, and was sunk as a target on 20 July 1970.[1]

Awards[edit]

J. Douglas Blackwood received three battle stars for World War II service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "J. DOUGLAS BLACKWOOD". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS J. Douglas Blackwood at NavSource Naval History