USS MURRAY DDE 576  

SHIP’S HISTORY

Reprinted verbatim from the USS Murray 1957 Cruise Book

USS MURRAY (DDE – 576), a 2,150 ton destroyer of the FLETCHER class of 1940-1942, was built by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Orange , Texas . The destroyer’s keel was laid on 16 March 1942 and she was launched on 16 August of the same year. Mrs. Frank T. Leighton, wife of Frank T. Leighton, Commandant of the EIGHTH Naval District, christened the ship as the official sponsor.

  MURRAY is the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name; the former being the DD-97, a four stack destroyer built during World War I and decommissioned in 1936. Both ships were named in memory of Captain Alexander MURRAY,who commanded the frigate CONSTELLATION (1800-1802) in action against the Barbary pirates; and Rear Admiral Alexander MURRAY, who served with distinction in the North Atlantic Blocking Squadron from 1861 to 1863.

  USS MURRAY (DDE-576) was placed in commission on 20 April 1943 with Commander R.F. STOUT, USN, as her first Commanding Officer.

  After a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean and a months escort duty in the Atlantic, MURRAY joined Destroyer Squadron 25 at Pearl Harbor in September 1943. During her World War II career, MURRAY took part in ten major naval operations.

  On 5 and 6 October 1943, MURRAY saw her first action with the squadron while screening aircraft carriers and other heavy fleet units during a strike on Wake Island . Then, after a long voyage into South Pacific waters, MURRAY joined three cruisers and three other destroyers in the support of landings on Bouganville Island, Solomon Islands on the 8th and 9th of November 1943. There she shot down three Japanese planes. Two days later, on the 11th, she joined THIRD Fleet carriers in a strike against Rabaul, New Britain Island . During the strike approximately 150 planes attached the force and MURRAY accounted for two more Japs.

  Her next operation was in the Gilbert Islands from 13 November to 8 December 1943 and in this area the ship joined in anti-submarine patrolling during the occupation of Tarawa and Apamama. After the islands were secured, the destroyer remained on the area for a month acting as surface guard against any Japanese attack on shipping to and from the newly acquired islands.

  January 1944 found the MURRAY taking part in the Marshall Islands operation and during the capture of Kwajalein Atoll, she was among the outstanding fire support destroyers. This was the first Japanese territory she had bombarded. From there she moved on to Eniwetok to participate in the landing of reinforcements there. Her main duty was that of screening transports carrying invasion forces to the island.

  From that time until March, the destroyer led a comparatively quiet life while escorting allied shipping plying the western ocean routes. She then turned her bow toward New Guinea and, enroute to the area escorted several of the older battleships. She stopped at New Ireland and helped bombard shore installations and the town of Kavieng on 20 March. This was diversion action for the landing of allied troops on nearby islands.

  In April, she joined the SEVENTH Fleet and participated in the assault and occupation of Aitape , New Guinea on 23-28 April.  It was during this operation the MURRAY shot down another enemy plane during a Jap aerial torpedo attack.

  She rejoined the FIFTH Fleet in June 1944 and was employed in screening amphibious units during the assault and occupation of Saipan, Marianas Islands during the latter part of the month.  July found the MURRAY at Guam acting as close-in fire support vessel from 20 to 26 July.  Besides taking part in the shore bombardment of the island, she also screened transport vessels in the area.

  On 30 August, MURRAY returned to the New Guinea area and, in company with the British minelayer HMS ARIADNE, bombarded Wewak covering British minelaying operations.  Then, in September, she supported the landings on Morotal Island , after which she spent the remainder of the month in Humboldt Bay, Holandia , New Guinea , making preparations for the forthcoming invasion on the Philippine Islands.

  When the invasion forces moved toward Leyte in the Philippines , the MURRAY was one of the escort vessels.  On 20 and 21 October, she conducted shore bombardment against the island, moving along the shoreline as close as the reefs would allow to lob shells over the landing forces into the enemy installations.  Several enemy air attacks were made during this operation, but were repelled.

 MURRAY then sailed for the United States where she underwent an overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard, San Francisco , California .  However, in January 1945 she was headed back for the combat areas once more, escorting a battleship division to Pearl Harbor .

  Joining Task Force 58, the MURRAY next screened aircraft carriers and acted as picket ship during the first carrier raid on Tokyo , as well as participating in raids on Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus Islands .  On 25 February 1945, she engaged and sank a Japanese picket ship about 200 miles off the coast of Japan .

  When Task Force 58 returned to sea after provisioning for the strikes on Kyushu, the Ryukyus, and Daito Shima in March, the MURRAY was a member of the force.  In the initial invasion bombardment of Okinawa , she went in with the battleships as an anti-submarine screen.  She was then assigned to duty on the picket line in the Okinawa area and on 27 March, while on station, was hit by a Japanese aerial bomb.  This necessitated her return to Pearl Harbor for repairs but she was back soon in the firing .line.

  Upon her return from repairs in Pearl Harbor, the MURRAY rejoined her task force which, under command of Admiral HALSEY, was redesignated at Task Force 38.  With the fast carrier force, she participated in the raids against the Japanese home islands of Henshu , Hokkaido , and Kyushu through out July and August.  In one of the most daring raids of the war, MURRAY in company with other members of here squadron sailed into Suruga Gulf , Honshu, and bombarded the city of Shimizu on the night of 30 July.  Shimizu is located 30 miles within the mouth of the gulf and is only 17 miles from the foot of Mount Fujiyama .  This was thought to be the deepest penetration of Japanese waters by any surface craft during the war.  The squadron received a message of “loud applause” from Admiral HALSEY upon completion of the mission.

 MURRAY was one of the ships present in Tokyo Bay of 2 September 1945 at the signing of the Japanese surrender terms aboard the USS MISSOURI and three days later weighed anchor for her homeward voyage to the United States .

  Upon her return to the United States , the MURRAY was ordered to the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she participated in the gigantic Navy Day celebration of 1945.

  By directive dated January 1947, the USS MURRAY (DDE-576) was placed out of commission, in reserve, attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet with her berthing area at Charleston , South Carolina .  

The MURRAY remained attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet until June 1951, when she was converted to an Escort Destroyer (DDE).  During her conversion she was torn completely down to the main deck and rebuilt as an anti-submarine destroyer, equipped with the latest undersea warfare weapons and fire control system.  After her conversion, the MURRAY was recommissioned at Charleston Naval Shipyard on 15 October 1951.

  Early in 1952, after her sea trials, the MURRAY steamed northward to her new home port, Norfolk , Virginia , and less than a month later set sail for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay , Cuba .  After six weeks of intensive combatant type exercises, the MURRAY returned to Norfolk in April.

  In October, the MURRAY once again traveled southward, this time to Pensacola , Florida to act as plane guard for naval aviator cadets making carrier qualifications landings and spent Thanksgiving in New Orleans .

  The MURRAY joined forces with many other ships of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in January 1953 to take part in Operation Springboard, the annual winter training exercise in the Caribbean Sea, visiting Kingston , Jamaica and San Juan , Puerto Rico .

  Less than one month after here return from Springboard, the MURRAY completed preparations and got underway to the Mediterranean as part of the Hunter Killer Force.  During her cruise, the ship visited Londonderry, Cannes and Naples , while training at her primary mission, anti-submarine warfare, enroute.

  In the fall of 1953, the MURRAY proceeded to Brooklyn Navy Yard for her first overhaul since recommissioning.  After this refitting, a return to Guantanamo Bay followed in January 1954, for her second refresher training course and this time the long hours and hard work really paid off for the MURRAY came out tops in her division.

  And so it was with happy hearts that on May the fourth, the MURRAY joined the Mediterranean Relief Task Force under the command of RADM LARSON, COMDESFLOTFOUR, and after two months operations with SIXTH Fleet in Mediterranean touring such interesting places as: Algeria, Algiers; Taranto, Italy; Toulon, France; Palermo, Sicily and Gibraltar, was chosen to visit Northern Europe accompanied by the USS J.R. PIERCE (DD-753).  On this good will tour, the MURRAY landed in almost every country of Europe , showing the American Flag to vast numbers of our allied nations.  Some of the ports visited were: Plymouth , Terquay and Southend, England ; Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea; Londenderry , Ireland ; Bremerhaven and Bremen , Germany ; Dundee , Scotland ; Trondheim , Norway ; Esbjerg , Denmark ; and Cologne , France .  In each port the ship was crowded with visitors anxious to view the American Navy and the life of men aboard ship.

  On September 25th, 1954 the MURRAY and PIERCE refueled at Portsmouth , England and started for home after six month in Europe on the most enjoyable cruise a destroyer can take and one which very few of them ever do.

  December found the MURRAY at Mayport, Florida conducting air operations with the USS MIDWAY (CVE-41) arriving home for Christmas and New Years holiday leave period.

  In 1955, for the second time, the MURRAY started off the new year traveling south for Operation Springboard, this time stopping at Cuidad Trijillo in the Dominican Republic , St. Thomas and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands in addition to San Juan , Puerto Rico .

  Returning home in March of 1955, the MURRAY spent the remainder of the spring and summer in the Norfolk area making one short trip to Key West for evaluation of anti-submarine weapons.  This was the longest periods she has ever spent near home since here recommissioning a rest well deserved by both the MURRAY and her men.

  In July 1955 the MURRAY departed Norfolk for Operations with the USS NAUTILUS, the world’s first Atomic-powered submarine.  On 12 September the MURRAY engaged in “New Broom IV” exercises with Canadian and U.S. Forces, while enroute to Europe , to participate in Operation Centerboard.  Upon completion of Centerboard, a NATO convoy escort exercise, MURRAY effected an uneventful homeward passage as a member of TC 81.3.

  The remaining days of 1955 and January 1956 were spent by the MURRAY in local operations around the Norfolk area with Christmas and the holiday leave creating a welcome intermission.

  The middle of February saw the MURRAY heading south once again with TG 81.3 for Operation Springboard.  Her ports of call were Charlotte Amalie on the Isle of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Cristobal , Panama .

  Returning home in March of 1956, the MURRAY spent the remainder of the spring in the Norfolk area with the exceptions of a week in April operating with the 2nd fleet in waters between Bermuda and Norfolk , and the Joint Civilian Orientation Cruise off the Virginia Capes during May.

  The MURRAY headed south at the end of June to Pensacola , Florida , to palneguard for the USS SAIPAN.  Before returning home at the end of July the Murray listed New Orleans , La. In her diary of ports visited.

  From August through October of 1956 the MURRAY rested and her men labored at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard while she underwent her second overhaul since recommissioning.

  In November the MURRAY proceeded to Guantanamo Bay for the refresher training course.  Again the long hours and hard work paid off as the MURRAY came out tops in here division.  The calypso town of Kingston , Jamaica was again graced by the MURRAY ’S presence during this stay in Caribbean waters.

  The MURRAY returned to Norfolk area in December of 1956 for the holidays.  The year 1957 found the MURRAY still operating the Norfolk vicinity while looking forward to her forthcoming deployment that spring.

 

MURRAY SIDELIGHTS

  The USS MURRAY (DDE-576) earned eleven battle stars on the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Medal for participation in the following operations:

  1 Star – Pacific Raids – 1943 – Wake Island Raid – 5-6 October 1943

  1 Star – Treasury – Bouganville Operation – Action off Empress Augusta Bay – 8-9 – November 1943 – Battle off Cape St. George – 24-25 November 1943

  1 Star – Gilbert Islands Operations – 13 November to 8 December 1943

  1 Star – Marshall Island Operation – Occupation of Kwajalein and Jajure Atolls – 29 January to 8 February 1944 – Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll – 17 February to 8 March 1944

  1 Star – Holandia Operation ( Aitape-Humboldt Bay-Tonahmerah Bay ) – 21 April to 1 June 1944

  1 Star – Marianas Operation – Capture and occupation of Guam – 12 July to 15 August 1944

  1 Star – Western New Guinea operations – Morotai Landings – 11 September 1944 to 9 January 1945

  1 Star – Leyte Operation – Leyte Landing – 10 October to 29 November 1944

  1 Star – Iwo Jima Operation – Fifth Fleet Raids against Honshu and the Nansei Shoto – 14 February to 16 March 1945.  Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima – 15 February to 16 March 1945

  1 Star – Okinawa Gunto Operation – FIFTH and THIRD Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto Operation – 17 March to 11 June 1945

  1 Star – THIRD Fleet Operations against Japan – 10 July to 15 August 1945

  In addition the USS MURRAY earned the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Pacific, for her activities in occupied Japanese waters during the period 2-12 September 1945.  

STATISTICS

 

OVERALL LENGTH                                    376 Feet

BEAM                                                      40 Feet

DISPLACEMENT                                    2,050 Tons

SPEED                                                    35 Knots