John Henry Quick, born 20 June 1870 at Charlestown, W. Va., enlisted in the Marine Corps 10 August 1892. He was awarded the Medal of Honor “for gallantry in action” in signalling the gunfire support vessel Dolphin while exposed to heavy enemy fire at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 14 June 1898. Remaining in the Marine Corps after the Spanish-American War, he served on expeditionary duty in Mexico (21 April–23 November 1914) and with the A.E.F. in World War I. During the Belleau Wood campaign he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross for assisting in the delivery of ammunition, over a road swept by enemy artillery, to Boureches. Retiring 20 November 1918, Sgt. Major Quick was recalled, at his own request, for the period 26 July–15 September 1920. He died at St. Louis, Mo., 9 September 1922.
(DD–490: dp. 2,500 (f.); l. 348’4”; b. 36’1”; dr. 12’6”; s. 37k.; cpl. 276; a. 4 5”, 4 40mm., 5 21” tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Gleaves)
Quick (DD–490) was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N. J., 3 November 1941; launched 3 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. William T. Roy, neice of Sgt. Major Quick; and commissioned 3 July 1942, Lt. Comdr. R. B. Nickerson in command.
Following shakedown off New England and the Maritime Provinces, Quick departed New York, 6 September 1942, for the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Assigned to escort work, she accompanied Army transports and merchantmen as they plied the Gulf and West Indian shipping lanes: lanes which in preceding months had suffered the greatest losses to U-boat activities in the eastern Atlantic. In October, Quick left the Gulf and steamed to Norfolk where she joined TF 34 and, on the 23rd, sailed east. Just before midnight, 7 November, she arrived off Safi, Morocco, and took up station in the transport area for the Southern Attack Group of operation “Torch”, the invasion of North Africa. During the landings the following day, she provided gunfire support, then resumed anti-aircraft and anti-submarine duties. On the 14th she shifted to Casablanca and two days later assisted in sinking U–173. On the 17th she got underway for the United States, and at the end of the month anchored in New York harbor. She resumed escort work and for the next six months guarded coastal and transatlantic convoys.
On 8 June 1943, Quick departed the east coast with TF 65, bound for North Africa. Arriving at Mers-el-Kebir on the 22nd, she joined TF 85 and on 5 July sailed for Sicily and operation “Husky”. From the 10th through the 13th, she cruised off Scoglitti and along the Camerina plain, providing fire support for the 7th Army’s assault troops. She then returned to escort work in the North Atlantic until May 1944, and on Mediterranean runs until the end of the war in Europe.
The war in the Pacific raged on, however; and, as Allied forces pushed closer to the Japanese home islands, their need for minesweepers increased, doubly so with the toll among that type in the Ryukyus. Quick, no longer needed for escort work in the Atlantic, was designated to help fill the need and on 13 June 1945 she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard where she became a destroyer-minesweeper. Emerging from conversion 2 August as DMS–32 (effective 23 June 1945), she sailed for the west coast, arriving at San Diego after the cessation of Pacific hostilities.
Toward the end of September, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, thence to Eniwetok for abbreviated operations after which she returned to Hawaii. On 2 December she headed west again, arriving at Sasebo on the 16th for a nine month tour during which she operated off the China coast and off Okinawa in addition to working in Japanese waters. Spending a little over a month on the west coast, she operated in the Marianas between December 1946 and February 1947, then returned to Japanese waters. In April she resumed operations in the Trust Territories and in August returned to the west coast. The following spring she deployed to the Marshalls and Marianas for another 3 months, returning to San Diego 4 June. Eight months later she was designated for inactivation and, on 1 March 1949, she reported to Commander, Pacific Reserve Fleet, decommissioning 28 May. Reclassified DD–490 on 15 July 1955, Quick remains with the Pacific Reserve Fleet into 1970.
Quick earned four battle stars during World War II.