Henry Maston Mullinnix, born 4 July 1892, in Spencer, Ind., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1916. He served in Balch, engaged in patrol and escort duty off Ireland during World War I. Following service in Gridley and Brooks, he completed work in aeronautical engineering at Annapolis and MIT, receiving an M.S. degree in 1923. After flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he was designated naval aviator 11 January 1924. He was one of those mainly responsible for developing the air‑cooled engine for naval aircraft. Besides various shore duty, he served in Saratoga, Wright, and commanded Albemarle, between 1924 and 1941. Mullinnix commanded Saratoga from April 1943, until 22 August, when he was transferred to duty with a carrier division, with the rank of rear admiral. Rear Admiral Mullinnix was on board Liscome Bay when she was torpedoed and sunk off Makin Island, in the Gilberts, 24 November 1943. Declared dead 1 year later, he was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his “outstanding initiative and superior executive ability.”
(DD‑944: dp. 3,990; l. 418'; b. 45'; dr. 20'; s. 33 k.; cpl. 337; a. 2 5", 5 3", 1 dct., 1 ASROC, 6 tt.; cl. Forrest Sherman)
Mullinnix (DD‑944) was laid down 5 April 1956 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 18 March 1957; sponsored by Mrs. Kathryn F. Mullinnix; and commissioned 7 March 1958, Comdr. Clyde B. Anderson in command.
Following shakedown off Cuba, Mullinnix escorted Ranger to Rio de Janeiro, returning to Boston September 1958. After a second cruise to the South Atlantic, she sailed to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, 7 August 1959. During the next 2 years she engaged in NATO exercises in the Atlantic, patrol duty in the Caribbean, and a 6th Fleet deployment early in 1961.
Between 24 October 1962 and 19 November, Mullinnix, as flagship of TF 137, composed of American, Argentine, Venezuelan, and Dominican warships, took part in the Cuban quarantine, which brought about the removal of Russian missiles threatening the security of the entire Western Hemisphere. The next 2 years she operated in the Caribbean and Atlantic, taking part in “Steel Pike I,” the largest amphibious training operation since World War II, in October 1964, off the coast of Spain.
Following ASW training off the east coast, she participated in Gemini recovery operations in March 1965. During the Dominican Republic crisis in April, she steamed off Guantanamo, helping to stabilize the tense situation in the Caribbean.
After a 3‑month deployment with the 6th Fleet, she sailed for the western Pacific to aid the Vietnamese in their struggle against Communist tyranny. Between 2 August and 1 November 1966 she was intermittently deployed off South Vietnam, ranging from the DMZ to Saigon River, providing valuable gunfire support. She departed Subic Bay and sailed for the east coast, via the Indian Ocean and Suez Canal, arriving Norfolk 17 December. In August 1967 she participated in NARA tests involving the newest Apollo space capsule. She continued training exercises in the Atlantic and Caribbean from her base at Norfolk into 1969, adding to the deterrent strength of the United States in the Atlantic.