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Douglas H. Fox


Douglas Harold Fox born 26 March 1905 in Walled Lake, Mich., graduated from the Naval Academy 3 June 1926. After service in various ships and shore stations, he was given command of the newly commissioned Barton (DD-599) 29 May 1942. Lieutenant Commander Fox went down with his ship when she was torpedoed and sunk in the naval Battle of Guadalcanal 13 November 1942. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his contribution to the defeat of a superior enemy force in this battle, and was later awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross for earlier actions on 26 and 30 October and 3 November in which he had rescued downed aviators and survivors of Hornet (CV-8) under hazardous conditions.


(DD-779: dp. 2,220; l. 376'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 15'8"; s. 34 k.; cpl. 336; a. 6 5", 10 21" tt, 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Allen M. Sumner)


Douglas H. Fox (DD-779) was launched 30 September 1944 by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Seattle, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. J. T. Boone; and commissioned 26 December 1944, Commander R. M. Pitts in command.


Douglas H. Fox joined in exercises in the Hawaiians from 31 March 1945 to 21 April, then sailed to join the radar picket line at Okinawa, arriving 5 May. She accounted for 7 planes during a concentrated attack by 11 enemy planes, splashed 5 of her attackers before being hit by a kamikaze and its bomb, and sprayed with burning gasoline from 1 of her own victims. Although 7 of her crew were killed and 35 wounded, the fires were quickly extinguished and effective damage control measures enabled Douglas H. Fox to reach Kerama Retto under her own power for temporary repairs. She continued to San Francisco for permanent repairs, arriving 23 June.


After refresher training at San Diego, Douglas H. Fox sailed on 30 September 1945 for the east coast, arriving at New York 17 October for the Navy Day celebrations. She put in to her home port, Norfolk, 2 November and served on local operations and plane guard duty in the Caribbean. She aided in the shakedown of the new carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) from 14 January to 6 March 1946, visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in February. Douglas H. Fox remained in the Caribbean in various training and escort duties until 14 December 1946 when she arrived at New London for leave and upkeep.


Douglas H. Fox departed Norfolk 21 July 1947 for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean. On 29 September, while bound for Trieste, she struck a World War II mine which severely damaged her stern, killed 3 and injured 12 of her crew. She was towed to Venice by two Italian tugs, and put to sea on 13 November in tow of Luiseno (ATF-156) for Boston, arriving 5 December for repairs.


Sailing from Newport, R.I., 20 July 1948, Douglas H. Fox returned to the Mediterranean and visited various ports there until 28 September when she joined Huntington (CL-107) for a good will cruise to Mombasa, Kenya; Durban, South Africa; and round Cape Horn to Buenos Aires, Rio .de Janeiro, and Montevideo. She returned to Norfolk 8 December for operations off the Virginia Capes until 5 January 1950 when she arrived at Charleston, S.C. She was placed out of commission in reserve there 21 April 1950.


Recommissioned 15 November 1950, after the outbreak of war in Korea, Douglas H. Fox served on the east coast until 22 January 1952 when she got underway from Norfolk for the Far East. She joined the screen of TF 77 on patrol off Korea, and participated in the bombardment of Wonsan 13 March. Later in March she joined Manchester (CL-83) in conducting harassing fire against enemy troops on the east coast. In May she began independent operations, shelling targets, supporting minesweeping operations, and weakening the North Korean fishing industry by capturing 26 sampans. She got underway from Yokosuka 21 June 1952 and sailed west through the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to complete a round-the-world cruise at Norfolk 19 August, this time in a reverse direction.


Douglas H. Fox made a midshipman training cruise to Nova Scotia from 20 June to 8 July 1955, and served tours of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean from 7 November 1956 to 20 February 1957. Between 3 September and 22 December 1957 she joined elements of the British and Canadian navies for a NATO exercise in the North Atlantic, visiting the Mediterranean before returning to Norfolk to resume local operations. Between 7 August 1959 and 26 February 1960, she served again in the Mediterranean, as well as in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, returning to Norfolk for overhaul. From June through the end of 1960, Douglas H. Fox operated off east coast, cruising north of the Arctic Circle on NATO maneuvers, and patrolling in the Caribbean during political unrest in Central America.


Douglas H. Fox received one battle star for World War II service and one for Korean war service.