Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS John S. McCain (DDG-36)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS John S. McCain (DDG-36)

USS John S. McCain (DL-3), originally designated DD-928 but reclassified in 1951, was launched by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 12 July 1952; sponsored by Mrs. John S. McCain, Jr., daughter-in-law of Admiral McCain; and commissioned 12 October 1953 at Boston Naval Shipyard, Comdr. E. R. King in command.

USS John S. McCain (DL-3) spent the first year of her commissioned service undergoing sea trials and shakedown training in the Atlantic and Caribbean. The ship arrived Norfolk 19 May 1955 to begin service with the Operational Development Force in testing new equipment and tactics. USS John S. McCain (DL-3) operated out of Norfolk until 5 November 1956, when she steamed from Hampton Roads bound for the Panama Canal and San Diego. After her arrival 4 December 1956 she spent 5 months on maneuvers in California waters.

USS John S. McCain (DL-3) steamed to a new homeport, Pearl Harbor, in early 1958, and took part in fleet maneuvers and antisubmarine training for the next 8 months. In early September the ship deployed to the Formosa-South China Sea area to help the 7th Fleet deter a possible Communist invasion of Quemoy and Matsu Islands. The veteran ship made her third deployment to the Far East in the fall of 1959, departing 8 September and moving directly to the coast of troubled Laos. Here again the presence of American ships helped to stabilize the situation. During October she was off Calcutta, India, carrying antibiotics and donating food and money to flood victims. In January 1960 the versatile ship rescued the entire 41-man crew of Japanese freighter Shinwa Maru during a storm in the South China Sea. Returning to Pearl Harbor 25 February, USS John S. McCain (DL-3) began a well-earned period of overhaul and shipboard training.

USS John S. McCain (DL-3) departed 7 March 1961 for another deployment with 7th Fleet, spending 6 months off Laos and Vietnam helping to thwart Communist designs on the strategic area. John S. McCain returned to Pearl Harbor 11 August. She operated in Hawaiian waters until the spring of 1965. She was reclassified DDG-36, 15 April and returned to the West Coast. In August the frigate returned to Pearl Harbor, and then sailed on a 6-month deployment in the western Pacific. In the fall, USS John S. McCain (DDG-36) steamed off South Vietnam. On 24 November she shelled Viet Cong positions.

After further operations in the Orient early in 1966, USS John S. McCain (DDG-36) returned to the East Coast and in June decommissioned for conversion into a guided missile destroyer, DDG-36, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Philadelphia, where she remained into 1967.

For a complete history of USS John S. McCain (DL-3/DDG-36) please see its DANFS page.