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USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675)

USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) was laid down 31 March 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; launched 1 August; sponsored by Lt. Joy Hancock, USNR (W), widow of Lieutenant Commander Hancock, and the first Wave officer to christen a U.S. combatant ship; and commissioned 29 September 1943, Comdr. Charles H. Lyman III in command.

Following shakedown out of Bermuda, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) in company with USS Langley (CVL-27) sailed from New York 6 December for the Pacific; arrived Pearl Harbor on Christmas Day 1943. On 16 January 1944 Lewis Hancock sortied from Pearl Harbor with TG 58.2 for the invasion of the Marshall Islands. Assigned the task of neutralizing enemy airpower on Kwajalein Atoll, the flattops in USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675)'s group smashed the airdrome at Roi on the 29th, destroying every Japanese plane. The next day a second carrier strike hit defensive positions softening enemy emplacements in preparation for landings on the 31st. For the next 3 days planes from the carriers provided close tactical support for the marines who wrested the atoll from the Japanese Emperor. The destroyer returned to Majuro Logoon on the 4th.

On 11 June planes of the task force began the softening-up process against Saipan, Tinian, Guam, and other islands of the Marianas. Normally assigned antiaircraft and antisubmarine duties. USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) also bombarded Saipan on the 13th. The Japanese attempted to counter the American thrust, into the Marianas by striking at the invading task force with their full naval strength. The U.S. carriers, guarded by USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675), smashed the enemy fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea 19 and 20 June, and thus saved the forces which were conquering the Marianas. Thereafter. the giant flattops continued to support operations in the Marianas and in July raided the Bonins and the Palaus.

Following 2 weeks at Pearl Harbor, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) joined TF 38. Attacks on airstrips in the Philippines, Okinawa, and Formosa followed in rapid succession. Joining the 5th Fleet in February 1945, she participated in a series of raids against the Japanese home islands striking Tokyo on the 16th and 25th and the Kobe-Osaka area 19 March. During the later raid, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) splashed her final enemy planes, numbers 5 and 6. Miraculously undamaged and having suffered only four casualties during 16 months in the Pacific, this veteran steamed into San Francisco 6 July. Released from drydock overhaul 30 August, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) was girding herself to return to the war when the Japanese surrendered. She arrived San Diego 7 September and decommissioned 10 January 1946.

The Korean war ended her retirement. On Armed Forces Day, 19 May 1951, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) recommissioned at the Naval Station, Long Beach, Calif., Comdr. R. L. Tully in command. On 11 October she departed San Diego for the east coast and arrived Newport on the 27th for modernization. The destroyer operated in the western Atlantic until the rising tension in the Middle East called her back to the volatile Mediterranean. The destroyer got underway 15 April 1956, transited the Suez Canal 9 May and operated in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) returned to the Mediterranean, one of the last ships to pass through the Suez Canal before it closed, and arrived home 14 August.

Following a period of refresher training and plane guard duty, USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) departed Newport 6 May 1957, again heading east. In between 6th Fleet exercises the destroyer operated for 5 weeks in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean. USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) concluded this last foreign cruise at Newport 31 August. She arrived at Philadelphia 24 September, decommissioned there 18 December 1957, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

For a complete history of USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675) please see its DANFS page.