Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864)

USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y., 14 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Audrey Ellison, widow; and commissioned 23 June 1945, Comdr. J. C. South in command.

Although scheduled to join the Pacific Fleet for the final assault on Japan, USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) was completing her shakedown cruise when the surrender came 15 August 1945. Homeported at Norfolk, she operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean for the next 2 years, taking part in Naval Reserve training cruises, and antisubmarine exercises. Beginning in 1947, when she sailed from Norfolk 10 November, USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) added periodic cruises to the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet to her operations, helping to keep the peace and protect American interests in this vital area. 

From 1954 to 1956 she continued tactical training along the East Coast and participated in European cruises. Following the explosive 'Suez crises, USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864), took part in vital peacekeeping operation during 1957 as the 6th Fleet helped stabilize the dangerous incident in the Eastern Mediterranean. In September she operated with famed Task Group Alfa for the perfection of new tactics and equipment in antisubmarine warfare. USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) remained on this duty until April 1959.

USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) added a new function in January 1962, when she was assigned to Project Mercury as a part of the recovery unit on the Altantic range. In 1962 she entered New York Naval Shipyard for a Fleet modernization and rehabilitation overhaul, an extensive repair job designed to extend her life and improve her readiness. The veteran destroyer rejoined the fleet in early 1963 and through 1964 continued to operate on training and readiness exercises off the Atlantic coast.

On 29 September 1965, USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) departed Norfolk in DesRon 24 and headed via the Panama Canal for the Pacific to augment the Pacific Fleet during the struggle for freedom in Vietnam. Leaving Southeast Asia by steaming eastward through the Suez Canal, she completed her round-the-world cruise upon returning to Norfolk in April 1966. In July she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for an overhaul which lasted for the rest of the year. After sea trials and refresher training early in 1967 USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) rejoined the Atlantic Fleet ready for future assignments.

For a complete history of USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) please see its DANFS page.