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Jonas Ingram

Jonas Howard Ingram, born in Jeffersonville, Ind., 15 October 1886, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1907. Before World War I he served in several cruisers, destroyers, and battleships. As turret officer of Arkansas (BB-33), he established a world's record for firing 12-inch guns. On 22 April 1914 he landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico with the Arkansas battalion and was awarded the Medal of Honor for "skillful and efficient handling of the artillery and machine guns and for distinguished conduct in battle."

Ingram served at the Naval Academy from 1915 to 1917. During World War I he was on the staff of the Commander, Division 9, Atlantic Fleet, and received the Navy Cross for distinguished service.

Between the wars outstanding performance in a variety of important assignments won him promotion to Rear Admiral 10 January 1941. In February 1942 he received a third star upon assuming command of Cruiser Division 2. Seven months later he took command of the 4th Fleet and was responsible for protecting vital Allied shipping in the U-boat infested South Atlantic. He received the Distinguished Service Medal for excellent work in this post and on 15 November 1944 became Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet with the rank of Admiral. This post won him a gold star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal for taking "a major part in the flow of United States troops across the Atlantic... and in the successful combating of the German submarine menace." Retiring from active duty 1 April 1947, Admiral Ingram died 9 September 1952 at San Diego.

(DD-938: dp. 3,807; l. 418'5"; b. 45'1"; dr. 14'6"; s. over 30 k.; cpl. 311; a. 3 5", 5 3", 4 tt, 2 ASW, 1 dct.; cl. Forrest Sherman)

Jonas Ingram (DD-938) was laid down 15 June 1955 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 7 August 1956; sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence Hays, Jr., daughter of Admiral Ingram; and commissioned 19 July 1957 at Boston Naval Shipyard, Comdr. G. L. Rawlings in command.

Following shakedown in the Caribbean and along the western coast of South America, Jonas Ingram departed Boston 26 February 1958 for patrols in the West Indies. She sailed from Newport, R.I., 2 September for the Mediterranean to join the 6th Fleet and participate in NATO exercises.

She returned to Newport 12 March 1959 and sailed 16 June for Mayport, Fla., her new homeport. She acted as recovery ship for an experimental Project Mercury nose-cone which splashed off the Florida coast 25 June.

The destroyer, as flagship for Rear Admiral E. C. Stephen, j Commander South Atlantic Forces, sailed for the South Atlantic 24 August and conducted joint exercises with the French and South African navies visiting nine African countries from Tanganyika before returning May-port 15 November.

Highlights of the next 16 months of operations out of Mayport were duty providing air-sea rescue cover for President Eisenhower's flights to and from the abortive Paris Summit Conference in May 1960 and a role in another Project Mercury space test late in the year. The hardy destroyer departed 15 March 1961 for the African coast to support United Nations peace-keeping efforts in the Congo.

Returning home 8 September, she sailed 18 October for NATO exercises in Northern European waters and returned 21 December. For the next 2 years Jonas Ingram alternated Mediterranean deployments with operations out of Mayport. On 21 September 1964 she was one of our representatives at Malta during ceremonies at which Great Britain granted independence to the island. During this cruise she embarked four Turkish naval officers for a 4-week visit under the NATO exchange program. She returned from the Mediterranean in time to serve as one of the recovery ships for the unmanned Gemini space shot GT-2 in December. Atlantic Fleet ASW exercises in the North Atlantic during February 1965 were followed by Operation "Springboard" in the Caribbean in March. In the summer Jonas Ingram got underway on a people-to-people cruise in Middle Eastern waters and visited such parts as Djibouti, French Somaliland; Berbera, Somalia; Aden; Karachi, Pakistan; and Beirut, Lebanon.

The destroyer returned to Mayport in the fall to become a recovery ship for Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford's Gemini 6 spacecraft in December. After operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean early in 1966 Jonas Ingram returned to the Mediterranean for service with the 6th Fleet. In September 1966 she accompanied Stribling (DD-867) to Port Said, the first U.S. warships to visit Egypt in almost 15 years.

Jonas Ingram returned home 20 October where she prepared for Exercise "Lantflex 66-2." The fleet exercise took the destroyer to the Caribbean late in November and lasted through mid-December. Jonas Ingram operated out of Mayport until sailing for the Mediterranean 17 July 1967. She reach Gibraltar 29 July and steamed with the 6th Fleet into the fall.

Published: Fri Jul 24 08:48:28 EDT 2015