Lewis Compton was born in Perth Amboy, N.J., 7 November 1892, and enrolled in the Naval Reserve 22 March 1917. After active duty in World War I, he continued to take part in training until resigning from the Reserve 1 July 1932. After a career of public service in New Jersey, he became special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He himself was Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 9 February 1940 to 13 February 1941. He died in New York 24 October 1942.
(DD-705: displacement 2,200; length 376'6"; beam 40'; draft 15'8"; speed 34 knots; complement 336; armament 6 5-inch, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge tracks; class Allen M. Sumner)
Compton (DD-705) was launched 17 September 1944 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. L. Compton; and commissioned 4 November 1944, Commander R. O. Strange in command.
Compton cleared Norfolk 17 February 1945 for training at Pearl Harbor between 16 March and 5 April, when she sailed to escort ships to Kwajalein and Eniwetok. Sailing on to Ulithi, she cleared for Okinawa 20 April. As the operations there continued, Compton offered pinpoint gunfire support to forces ashore and served in the antisubmarine and antiaircraft screens protecting shipping off the island. On 12 May she covered the occupation of nearby Tori Shima, and while returning to her station off Okinawa was attacked by a lone Japanese plane which she splashed.
After repairs at Leyte from 17 May to 16 June 1945, Compton returned to Okinawa for continued operations until 4 July, when she sailed to escort a convoy to Guam, returning to Leyte Gulf 10 July. For the remainder of the month, she screened ships training in the Gulf, then returned to Okinawa, where she lay at anchor in Buckner Bay until 25 August. Sent then to carry mail to the 3d Fleet at sea, Compton entered Sagami Wan 28 August. For the next 6 months, she served on patrol in the western Pacific, and acted as planeguard while air organizations were redistributed throughout the Far East. She cleared Yokosuka 21 February 1946 for San Pedro, Calif., arriving 15 March. Two weeks later she sailed to join the Atlantic Fleet, raising Portland, Maine, 16 April. After overhaul, she operated along the northeast coast and in the Caribbean until 3 February 1947, when she sailed for her first tour of duty in the Mediterranean. Compton returned to her home port, Newport, R.I., 14 August 1947.
Along with east coast operations, Compton cruised the Caribbean on intensive training and midshipmen cruises in the years that followed, as well as serving as schoolship and training members of the Naval Reserve. During her 1948-49 deployment to the Mediterranean, she had duty with the United Nations Palestine Patrol. She returned to the Mediterranean in 1951, and in the late summer of 1952 cruised in European waters in NATO Operation "Mainbrace." Assignment to duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean came once more in 1953 and 1955, and in the spring of 1956, Compton exercised off Bermuda with ships of the British Home Fleet in NATO operation "New Broom V."
Compton was serving at Bahrein in the Persian Gulf in the fall of 1956 when the Suez Crisis erupted, and stood by to evacuate American civilians in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea areas should that become necessary. With the Canal closed, Compton made her homeward passage by way of Mombasa, Durban, the Cape of Good Hope, Simonstown, Recife, and Trinidad, returning to Newport 8 January 1957. That fall, she again cruised off the British Isles in a series of NATO operations. From November 1957 to April 1958, she again served in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and that summer cruised to Rotterdam and Bergen with midshipmen on board for training. From that time into 1960, her operations were coastwise and in the Caribbean, as she aided research and development projects, including major meteorological research and gave service to the Fleet Sonar School at Key West. In August 1960 Compton again sailed to the Mediterranean for duty in the 6th Fleet.
Compton received one battle star for World War II service.