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Moale (DD-693)

1944-1973

(DD‑693: dp. 2,200; l. 376'6"; b. 40'10"; dr. 15'8"; s. 34 k.; cpl. 335; a. 6 5", 12 40mm., 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Allen M. Sumner)

Lt. Edward Moale, Jr., born at Little Rock, Ark., 10 September 1866, was appointed a naval cadet in 1882 and commissioned an ensign, 1 July 1889. As an officer on board gunboat Helena in 1898, he took part in operations against Spanish land and naval forces at Santiago de Cuba, including the naval battle of 3 July. Helena subsequently sailed east, around the Cape of Good Hope, and across the Indian Ocean to the Philippines. There, Lieutenant Moale participated in operations, off northern Luzon, to assist the U.S. Army during the Philippine Insurrection, 1890‑1900. Lieutenant Moale later served in Scindia, San Francisco, Chicago, and Brooklyn, He died 23 October 1903, at Baltimore, Md., from illness contracted during land operations in the Cagayan Valley swamps in 1899.

(DD‑693: displacement 2,200; length 376'6"; beam 40'10"; draft 15'8"; speed 34 knots; complement 335; armament 6 5-inch, 12 40 millimeter, XX 20 millimeter, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge projectors, 2 depth charge tracks; class Allen M. Sumner)

Moale (DD‑693) was laid down on 5 August 1943 at Kearny, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; launched on 16 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Edward S. Moale, daughter‑in‑law of the late Lt. Edward Moale, Jr.; and commissioned on 28 February 1944, Cmdr. Walter M. Foster in command.

Following a Bermuda shakedown, Moale remained on the Atlantic coast conducting experimental tests and training precommissioning destroyer crews. On 21 August, she got underway with Destroyer Division 120 for the British West Indies, whence she continued to the Panama Canal Zone, and, thence into the Pacific. Reporting to Commander Destroyers Pacific at Pearl Harbor, on 15 September, she underwent carrier screening, night firing, and shore bombardment exercises until 23 October. She then departed for the Western Carolines as a unit of Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 60. Arriving at Ulithi on 5 November, she joined Task Force 38, the fast carrier force, and got underway the same day to screen the carriers as their planes conducted strikes against Japanese targets on Luzon and Mindoro. Returning to Ulithi on 22 November, she was underway again on the 27th to report for duty with the Seventh Fleet.

Joining Task Group (TG) 77.2 on 29 November 1944, in San Pedro Bay, she patrolled Leyte Gulf and participated in strikes against enemy forces in Ormoc Bay. On 12 December, she shifted to TG 77.3 and took up a screening position with the Mindoro assault force. On the 15th, she provided fire support for the troops and antiaircraft protection for the ships in the transport area.

Moale departed for Leyte on 17 December 1944. Arriving on the 18th, she completed a high speed cargo run to Ulithi and back by the end of the year. On 3 January 1945, she was once again en route to an assault area. Steaming with TG 77.2, she arrived off Luzon on the 6th and commenced screening the heavy ships to seaward as they bombarded San Fernando and other enemy concentrations in the proposed beachhead area. On the 9th, she took up gunfire support duties, alternating such duties with antisubmarine and antiaircraft operations. The destroyer operated with the Luzon covering group until the 22nd. She then returned to Leyte, whence she steamed back to Ulithi to resume operations with the fast carrier forces, now designated TF 58.

On 10 February 1945, the force sortied from Ulithi and on the 16th and 17th strikes were conducted against the enemy's capital to prevent aid from being sent to the Japanese defenders on Iwo Jima. Two ships of DesRon 60, Barton (DD-722) and Ingraham (DD-694), were damaged when they collided on the 16th while screening the carriers, and on the 17th Moale was detached to escort them back to Saipan. While enroute, in waters roughly northwest of Chichi Jima, she assisted in the sinking of the Japanese guardboats No. 35 Nanshin Maru, No. 3 Kyowa Maru, and No. 5 Fukuichi Maru. Ordered back on the 18th, she rendezvoused with TG 58.4 on the 19th and, on the 21st, screened the carriers as they provided air cover for the marines on Iwo Jima.

Having sustained extensive damage to her deck and her forward twin 5-inch mount, in heavy seas with 40‑foot swells, Moale departed the Volcanos on 25 February 1945, and sailed eastward for repairs at Pearl Harbor. On 3 June, she returned to Ulithi, getting underway for the combat area the next day. Arriving at Hagushi Anchorage, Okinawa, on 7 June, she reported to commander TG 31.5 and immediately became part of the antiaircraft defenses of the area. Through the 27th she served on radar picket stations, where danger remained present and alerts still frequent, even though the pressure was not as great as in April and May. On the 28th, Moale departed for Leyte, where she joined TG 32.12 and returned to Okinawa to act as part of the covering force for minesweepers in Operation Juneau.

At the end of the month, Moale once again anchored in San Pedro Bay, Leyte. There, on 15 August 1945, she received word of the Japanese surrender. On the 20th, she sailed to rendezvous with TG 38.4 off the coast of Japan, and for the next month she steamed off that coast, serving as a weather ship and air route radio beacon. On 27 September she departed Tokyo Bay, proceeding, via Guam, to the west coast and peacetime duty.

Moale remained in operation off the west coast until 21 May 1946, when she sailed for Bikini to join TF 1 for Operation Crossroads, returning to the west coast for overhaul at Bremerton on 22 August. Overhaul completed in January 1947, she conducted operations along the California coast until March. She then deployed to the western Pacific for six months prior to reporting to the Fleet Sonar School at San Diego for duty as a training ship.

In the spring of 1949, Moale, with DesDiv 72, was transfered to the Atlantic Fleet. Arriving at Norfolk at the end of April 1949, she participated in training exercises in the western Atlantic until November, 1950, when she sailed eastward for her first Sixth Fleet deployment. Similar operational schedules, alternate east coast and Mediterranean duties, were followed until 24 April 1953, when Moale departed on an around‑the‑world voyage. During that cruise, which ended at Norfolk, 27 October, the destroyer spent four months with the U.N. forces off the coast of Korea. During June and July, she operated with TF 77 and TF 95, remaining after the truce as a unit of the security patrol.

From 1954, into 1969, Moale's employment schedule has included operations in the Atlantic, North Sea, and the Caribbean, with regular rotation to the Mediterranean for duty with the Sixth Fleet. Highlights of her career during this period were patrol duty in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Israeli‑Egyptian war of 1956; duty as a recovery ship for the Project Mercury mission of astronaut M. Scott Carpenter in May 1962; participation in the Cuban Quarantine, October‑November 1962; and standby duty for the evacuation of American nationals from Cyprus in 1964.

Ultimately stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1973, ex-Moale was disposed of, by Navy sale, on 1 December 1974.

Moale received five battle stars for service in World War II; one for Korea.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman, 29 December 2015

More detailed history pending.

 

Published: Tue Dec 29 09:31:25 EST 2015