The first Hart was named for Midshipman Ezekiel B. Hart and Lt. Comdr. John E. Hart.
Ezekiel B. Hart entered the Navy as a Midshipman 30 April 1814. He was killed in the action of Commodore Chauncey's squadron on Lake Ontario 26 August 1814.
John E. Hart was appointed a midshipman 23 February 1841. He served on various ships of the fleet, and was appointed Lieutenant Commander July 1862. Commanding Albatross, Hart served in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the Civil War and engaged two Confederate steamers in the Red River near Fort De Russey 4 May 1863. He died of fever contracted on duty in the Mississippi River 11 June 1863.
The second Hart was named for Lt. Patrick Hart.
Patrick Henry Hart was born 31 May 1915 in New York City and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1937. Hart served on board Colorado and West Virginia before designated a naval aviator in 1940. Appointed Lieutenant in 1942, he was killed while a member of Torpedo Squadron 3 at the battle of Midway and posthumously received the Navy Cross for heroism in attacking the Japanese carriers during the battle 4 June 1942
(DD-594: dp. 2,050; l. 376'5"; b. 39'8" ; dr. 13'9" ; s. 35 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5" ; 10 21" tt, 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)
The second Hart (DD-594), originally designated Mansfield and renamed Hart 21 March 1944, was launched 25 September 1944 by Puget Sound Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Emma Hart, mother; and commissioned 4 November 1944, Comdr. W. D. Coleman in command.
Hart conducted her regular shakedown cruise off California and during her training participated in experimental high-speed refueling exercises with oiler Kaskas-kia. From 12 December to 23 December, the destroyer refueled at sea some 50 times under all conditions of sea and weather gaining vital information on how to improve this key wartime operation. Ending her regular shakedown 31 January 1945, the ship departed 19 February for Pearl Harbor. From 27 February to 3 March she escorted carrier Intrepid in gunnery and aircraft operations, departing for Ulithi 5 March.
Arriving at Ulithi 16 March, Hart joined the assembled task forces for the Okinawa operation. From her arrival 24 March until 12 April the ship was assigned as part of the screen for escort carriers furnishing close air support for the landings and preinvasion neutralization of neighboring Japanese air strips. Detached 12 April, she assumed duty as an escort for transports for 2 days and then commenced protective patrol duties during landings near Okinawa.
Hart was detached from 5th Fleet 19 April and proceeded to the Philippines to join 7th Fleet for the Borneo landings. She arrived off Brunei Bay 9 June 1945 and commenced a patrol of the South China Sea to guard against possible interference from the remains of the Japanese Fleet at Singapore. Hart also carried out shore bombardment beginning 11 June in support of Australian troops landing at Brunei Bay. On 14 June she shot down her first Japanese aircraft during an attempted bombing. During the period 19-21 June she provided close support for further landings on the coast of Borneo near Brunei Bay, and then departed for Balikpapan and other amphibious operations. There Hart patrolled, provided starshell illumination, and directed minesweeping vessels through the treacherous enemy minefields off the beaches. Australian troops went ashore 1 July under cover of fire from Hart and other ships; during the operation Hart destroyed two mines and a 75mm gun emplacement ashore.
Temporarily leaving the landing areas, Hart was assigned as part of the escort for General MacArthur in Cleveland, steaming to Manila with the General and then proceeding to Leyte 5 July. She next moved to Subic Bay for training exercises and escort duty, and after the surrender of Japan 15 August was assigned to the newly formed North China Force.
Hart departed 5 September 1945 to support the landing of Army occupation forces at Jinsen, Korea. The force threaded its way through many mines en route, and after arrival Hart sent boarding parties on board Japanese merchantmen in the harbor for inspection and disarming. This duty completed, Hart sailed for China, escorting Cruiser Division 6 in an important show of force off the coast. She continued through the next few months to aid in the landings of American Marines, calling at Port Arthur, Tsingtao, and Taku.
The veteran destroyer sailed for the United States 9 February 1945, decommissioned 31 May 1946, and was placed in reserve at Long Beach, Calif. Later moved to Mare Island, and then Stockton, Calif., she continues into 1967 as part of the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Hart received two battle stars for her service in World War II.