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Murray III (DD-576)

(DD‑576: dp. 2,700; l. 376'2"; b. 39'8"; dr. 13'; s. 35 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)

The first Murray retained her former name; the second two were named for Capt. Alexander Murray and his grandson Rear Adm. Alexander Murray.

The elder Alexander Murray was born 12 July 1755 in Chestertown, Md. During the Revolution, he served as captain in the 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded several privateers, and was commissioned lieutenant in the Continental Navy 20 July 1781, returning to private life in 1785. Upon the organization of the U.S. Navy, Murray was commissioned captain 1 July 1798, and commanded Montezuma, Insurgente, and Constellation during the quasi‑war with France; Constellation against the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean 1801‑1803; and Adams in home waters in 1805. From 1808 until his death 6 October 1821, Murray was superintendent of gunboats at Philadelphia, and from 8 July 1813 also was first commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

His grandson was born 2 January 1816 in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was appointed midshipman 22 August 1835 and participated in the capture of Alvarado, Tobasco, Tuxpan, Vera Cruz, and Tampico during the Mexican War. In the Civil War he commanded a combined Army‑Navy operation up the York and Pamunky Rivers in February 1862, destroying 27 Confederate vessels while cruising within 11 miles of Richmond. He served in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the rest of the war. In 1866‑67 he commanded a special squadron cruising to Russia, then served as commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on the Lighthouse Board, and in command of the Pacific Station. He died 10 November 1884 in Washington, D.C.


The third Murray (DD‑576) was laid down 16 March 1942 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 16 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Frank T. Leighton; and commissioned 20 April 1943, Comdr. Richard F. Stout in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Murray served on escort duty in the Atlantic, then sailed to join Destroyer Squadron 25 at Pearl Harbor in September 1943. Sailing with a carrier task force, Murray took part in strikes on Wake Island 5 and 6 October, then voyaged to the South Pacific to support the landings on Bougainville 8 and 9 November, splashing three enemy aircraft. Two days later, while covering 3d Fleet carriers in a strike against Rabaul, Murray shot down two of a force of about 150 enemy aircraft attacking her formation.

Hewing to a demanding pace of operations, Murray was on antisubmarine patrol in the Gilberts from 20 November to 8 December during the occupation of Tarawa and Abemama, then for the next month guarded shipping into the newly acquired islands. In January 1944, Murray performed outstandingly in fire support missions for the capture of Kwajalein, then screened transports carrying invasion forces to Eniwetok. Two months of escort duty in the western ocean routes followed, until she joined in the bombardment of Kavieng, New Ireland, 20 March.

Joining the 7th Fleet, Murray took part in the assault on Aitape, New Guinea, 23 to 28 April, downing another enemy aircraft during an aerial torpedo attack. Rejoining the 5th Fleet in June, she screened amphibious craft during the assault on Saipan, then sailed to Guam for close‑in fire support and transport screening duty 20 to 26 July. After patrol and escort duties for the consolidation of the Marianas until late in August, Murray returned to the continuing operations around New Guinea. She bombarded Wewak 30 August to cover British minelaying operations, and in September covered the landings on Morotai. Returning to Hollandia, she prepared for the invasion of the Philippines, sortieing in escort of the transports for Leyte. On 20 and 21 October, she conducted shore bombardment, moving in as close as reefs would allow to fire over the landing force into enemy installations, and at the same time aiding in repelling enemy air attacks.

Departing the Philippines immediately after the landings, Murray overhauled at San Francisco, then in January 1945 escorted a battleship division to Pearl Harbor while en route to join TF 58. She screened the carriers and acted as picket during the first carrier raid on Tokyo 15 to 16 February and attacks on Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus 25 February to 1 March, sinking a Japanese picket ship about 200 miles off the coast of Japan 25 February. Murray next prepared for the Okinawa operation, during which she screened battleships from submarine attack during the initial preinvasion bombardment. Hit by a Japanese bomb 27 March she retired to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

While returning to the forward areas by way of Eniwetok, Murray wasordered 2 July to locate, board, and search Japanese hospital ship Takasago Maru, bound for Wake and suspected of carrying arms or supplies, contraband for a hospital ship. She located the ship the next day, but search revealed nothing in violation of international law, so the hospital ship was allowed to proceed to Wake to embark sick Japanese.

Rejoining her force, now TF 38, Murray guarded the fast carriers in the raids against Honshu, Hokkaido, and Kyushu through the last 2 months of the war. In one of the most daring raids of the war, Murray and others of her squadron penetrated Suruga Gulf, Honshu, 30 July to bombard the city of Shimuzu, perhaps the deepest penetration of Japanese waters by any surface craft during the war.

One of the initial occupation force, Murray became the first ship in Empire waters to bring in a Japanese submarine when the enemy undersea fleet began to surrender. On 27 August, aircraft of TF 38, patrolling off Honshu, located a submarine flying the black flag designated as the surrender signal, and Murray was ordered to intercept and take the craft into Tokyo Bay for internment. Her boarding party received the swords of I‑14-s officers that same day, and the submarine was escorted to the mouth of Sagami Wan. Murray was present in Tokyo Bay for the formal Japanese surrender 2 September, then 3 days later sailed for the United States. Inactivated at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Murray decommissioned 27 March 1946, and went into reserve at Charleston, S.C.

In June 1951, Murray began conversion to an escort destroyer, for which she had been designated DDF‑576 on 2 January 1951. She recommissioned at Charleston 15 October 1951, Comdr. Frank L. Fullaway in command.

Early in 1952, Murray began east coast and Caribbean training operations from her home port, Norfolk. She also served periodically as plane guard during carrier qualification of naval aviation cadets off Pensacola, Fla. In June 1953 she sailed for her first deployment to the Mediterranean, serving in the hunter‑killer force of the 6th Fleet. Her 1954 tour was marked by an extension to northern European ports. In 1955, Murray operated with Nautilus (SS(N)‑571) and participated in a NATO convoy escort exercise in European waters. During much of 1956 she underwent yard overhaul, then in 1957 sailed round Cape Horn for patrol duty in the Persian Gulf, the usual access to which was blocked by the closing of the Suez Canal the previous autumn. With the canal free later in the spring, she joined the 6th Fleet in Mediterranean operations through August.

Between March 1958 and May 1961 Murray formed part of TG Alfa, an experimental development group working in antisubmarine warfare. The group usually operated off the Virginia Capes, but in the summers of 1959 and 1960 participated in the annual summer NRTOC midshipmen training cruises, voyaging to Canadian ports and Bermuda.

In late May 1961, Murray was one of the rescue ships stationed along the route of President John F. Kennedy-s flight to Paris, then participated in that summer's midshipmen cruise. Redesignated DD‑576 on 30 June 1962, Murray rejoined TG Alfa for its development operations, which were interrupted for participation in the Cuban quarantine in October and November 1962 that forced Russian missiles out of Cuba and averted grave international complications. After training off New England early in 1963, Murray returned to Caribbean patrols then came north for the midshipmen cruise.

Murray sailed 29 November 1963 for her first 6th Fleet deployment in 6 years, visiting French, Spanish, and Italian ports before returning Norfolk 23 May 1964. She cleared Norfolk again 8 September for NATO Arctic operations, crossing the Arctic Circle 21 September, and visiting Amsterdam before returning to Norfolk 23 October.

Decommissioned in May 1965 at Norfolk, Murray was struck from the Navy list 1 June 1965, and sold for scrapping to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., in 1966.

Murray received 11 battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Jul 03 15:07:32 EDT 2018