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USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD-850)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD-850)

USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., 26 July 1945; sponsored by Miss Jean Kennedy, sister of Lt. Kennedy; and commissioned at Boston 15 December 1945, Comdr. H. G. Moore in command.

USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) sailed 4 February 1946 for shakedown training in the Caribbean. She returned to her homeport, Newport, in April, and was occupied for the next few months in Naval Reserve Training. During 1947 the destroyer operated on the East Coast and in the Caribbean. She sailed for fleet maneuvers off Puerto Rico 9 February and upon completion steamed eastward to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. During this period of great unrest in Europe, the fleet carried out the important role of peacekeeper and stabilizer. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) visited various Mediterranean ports before arriving Newport 26 June 1948. The remainder of the year was spent in antisubmarine exercises, and the first half of 1949 saw her make two training cruises to the Caribbean.

With the advent of war in Korea she carried out reserve training during July 1950, followed by bombardment and convoy exercises to prepare for action defending South Korea from Communist aggression. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850), sailed for Japan 3 January 1951 by way of the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, and Midway. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850), then returned to Korea arriving off Won-san 20 May to take up bombardment station in support of the Allied siege and occupation of harbor islands. This duty continued until 13 June, a period of almost constant bombardment of great importance to the operation, after which the ship steamed to Sasebo.

Until January 1953 she conducted battle practice and served as school ship for the Fleet Training School at Newport that serves well to keep the fleet abreast of the latest developments. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) sailed 7 January for another 6th Fleet cruise, returning to Newport 18 May 1953. Antisubmarine training exercises and another Mediterranean cruise January-May 1954 comprised her duty through most of 1955, and she sailed 5 November for Arctic maneuvers off northern Europe.

In January 1961 USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850), steamed to Washington for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, brother of her namesake. During February and April of that year she took part in space shots in the Project Mercury series. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) then arrived New York 1 July 1961 for a FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization) overhaul in the Naval Shipyard. During 1963 the veteran destroyer carried out training operations off the Virginia Capes and Nova Scotia. She departed Newport 29 April 1964 for another Med cruise until 26 August, and in October was underway for Operation "Steel Pike I", one of the very largest amphibious operations since World War II. 

On 1 March 1967 USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) again sailed for duty with the mighty 6th Fleet. She cruised the Mediterranean until late April, thence transited the Suez Canal for the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Late in June she departed the Gulf of Aden for the United States. Steaming via the Cape of Good Hope and South America, she arrived Newport the following month.

For a complete history of USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) please see its DANFS page.