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Parker II (DD-604)

(DD-604: dp. 1,620; l. 348'; b. 36'; dr. 13'4"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 276; a. 4 5", 2 40mm, 10 21" tt., 1 dct., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Benson)

Foxhall Alexander Parker, born in New York 5 August 1821 was appointed a midshipman 11 March 1837. During the Civil War he cooperated with the Army of the Potomac, protecting Alexandria, Va., after the Battle of Bull Run. In addition to being in active service off Charleston, S.C., he commanded a naval battery at the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and was also in command of the Potomac Flotilla. In 1872, as Commodore and Chief of Staff of the North Atlantic Fleet, he drew up a code of signals for steam tactics. He was author of Fleet Tactics Under Steam, The Naval Howitzer Afloat, and other valuable works. He became Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1878 and was one of the founders of the United States Naval Institute. He died 10 June 1879 at Annapolis, Md.


The second Parker (DD-604) was laid down 9 June 1941 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y.; launched 12 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Edward Lloyd Winder; and commissioned 31 August 1942, Comdr. John W. Bays in command.

After her shakedown cruise along the East Coast and in Cuban waters, Parker served as a convoy escort to North Africa, participating in the attack on Mehedia and Port Lyautey 7 November 1942. Following her return to the Atlantic Coast, Parker escorted convoys to North African ports on five occasions. On the fourth, she supported the Sicilian invasion 5-13 July 1943. Convoy escort duty to the United Kingdom and the Mediterranean followed. On 6 November, when 30 enemy planes attacked her convoy, Parker shot one down.

From 7 February to 2 April 1944, the ship trained near Casco Bay, Maine, and from 3 to 11 April was on submarine patrol with Task Unit 27.6.1.

On 21 April Parker departed New York for the Mediterranean arriving at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria 2 May. From 12 to 15 May she steamed to Naples. The ship operated between the Anzio beachhead and Naples from 17 May to 4 June, bombarding the shore in the Ardea sector 31 May-1 June. From 13 June to 9 August, Parker operated from Leghorn, Italy to Palermo, Sicily bombarding enemy positions on the shore and escorting convoys.

From 13 August to 17 August Parker took part in the invasion of southern France delivering shore bombardment and anti-aircraft fire support. She then escorted a convoy from Cape Camarat, France to Naples arriving 21 August. On 31 August, with Destroyer Squadron 16, she departed Naples for home via Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria and arrived New York 14 September.

After repairs at Charlestown, Mass., and training at Casco Bay, Parker arrived Norfolk 11 November. Two days later she sailed for the Mediterranean. Arriving Naples 26 November, she departed 1 December escorting a convoy back to New York. On 6 January 1945 Parker departed Norfolk with Task Group 62.1 screening a convoy to Oran, Algeria 17 January. In ensuing weeks she operated in the Mediterranean and patrolled off Gibraltar. In March she supported Allied forces on the Franco-Italian and western Italian fronts operating out of Cannes and Toulon, France. Parker bombarded enemy positions ashore on 4, 6, 11, 12, and 20 March. She continued Mediterranean operations until sailing for the United States, arriving New York 23 May.

Following training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Parker proceeded to the West Coast and departed San Diego 29 July for Hawaii, arriving Pearl Harbor 4 August.

On 17 August the ship departed Pearl Harbor for Okinawa, arriving 4 September. She departed Okinawa 8 September as an escort to a convoy proceeding to Korea, arriving Jinsen 15 September and reaching Okinawa 17 September 1945.

After returning home Parker decommissioned 31 January 1947, entered the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet; and was berthed at Charleston, S.C. where she remains into 1970.

Parker received four battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Aug 18 14:08:32 EDT 2015