The USS Maddox DD-731
USS Maddox DD-731 1s an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer was named for Captain William A. T. Maddox, of the United States Marine Corps. She was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine on 28 October 1943, launched on March 19, 1944 by Mrs. Harry H. Wilhoit, the granddaughter of Captain Maddox, and commissioned on 2 June 1944.
World War II
Following shakedown and antisubmarine exercises, The USS Maddox DD-731 departed Boston ,August 27 for Norfolk en route to the Pacific. Arriving at Ulithi 21 October 1944, she was assigned to Fast Carrier TG 38.1 of the 3d Fleet. As a member of this task group, USS Maddox DD-731 took part in the preparation and the covering operations for the Mindoro and Luzon invasions, November 4 1944to January 21 1945. During this period she served in the screen and on picket station in the South and East China Seas, while carrier-based planes struck air and naval bases from Saigon to Formosa. Hit by a suicide plane off Formosa on 21 January 1945, USS Maddox DD-731 headed for Ulithi for repairs.
Departing 14 March, the destroyer steamed off the Japanese home islands where she was on picket station during the air strikes on Kyushu and southern Honshu. She proceeded to Okinawa 23 March to provide support for pre invasion strikes, remaining on duty there after the invasion date of 1 April. For almost three months, until 13 June 1945, USS Maddox DD-731 continued to provide support for this campaign in the form of shore bombardment and carrier screening for raids on Kyushu and Shikoku.
On 8 July, USS Maddox DD-731 sailed from Leyte to participate in the operations of the 3d Fleet off the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. From 10 July until the cessation of offensive action 15 August, she provided screening, picket, and shore bombardment services.
Following the Japanese surrender, USS Maddox DD-731 continued to patrol off Japan until departing Tokyo Bay 20 September with military passengers for the United States. Delivering her passengers to San Francisco on 5 October, she proceeded to San Diego, arriving on the 14th. She operated there until 1 February 1946, when she returned to the Far East to support the movement of naval occupation forces between Shanghai, Tsingtao, and Taku in China, and the ports of Pusan and Jinsen in Korea.
Returning to San Diego 24 March 1947, she operated for the next three years off the west coast conducting reserve training cruises, serving as a training ship in antisubmarine warfare and gunnery and participating in maneuvers with the 1st Task Fleet.
On 1 May 1950, USS Maddox DD-731departed San Diego for the Far East, arriving Hong Kong 26 June, the day after the commencement of hostilities in Korea. Departing for South Korea the next day, she acted as plane guard and antisubmarine screen for USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and HMS Triumph (R16). She operated there until August, when she departed for Formosa. On the fourth, she helped form the initial Formosa (later Taiwan) Patrol Force to prevent Communist Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
USS Maddox DD-731 returned to Korea 7 September and assumed coastal blockade and bombardment duties. She continued this assignment, which included a diversionary bombardment of Samchok coordinated with the Inchon landings 15 September, until departing for the United States early in January 1951. Arriving at San Diego 31 January, she served as a training ship and underwent overhaul before departing 1 December 1951 for her second Korean duty.
Through February 1952, she screened carriers off the east coast of Korea and provided shore bombardment support for the U.N. land forces. During March she operated with the Taiwan Patrol Force, returning to Korea in April. From 16 April through 17 May she participated in the siege of Wonsan, following which she resumed screening duties for fast carriers.
In June USS Maddox DD-731 returned to San Diego, arriving on the 26th, to stay only one month before departing for her new home port of Long Beach. After local operations and overhaul, U.S.S. Maddox DD-731 again sailed for the Far East 2 February 1953. As on her second Korean deployment, the destroyer again guarded the fast carriers along the eastern coast of Korea; participated in shore bombardments, this time as far north as Hungnam, and served, for a two week period, in the Taiwan Patrol Force. After completing her 1953 Korean tour on 12 August she departed for Long Beach, arriving on the 30th.
USS Maddox DD-731 operated off the west coast until the next spring. On 4 May 1954, she sailed for duty with the Seventh Fleet. On this tour, which lasted until 5 December, she took part in antisubmarine warfare tactics and attack carrier exercises off Kyushu, Korea, and Luzon as well as operating with the Taiwan Patrol Force.
From 14 June 1955 through 2 March 1962, USS Maddox DD-731 completed six additional cruises to the Far East. These cruises included combined defense exercises with the forces of other SEATO nations and training operations with South Korean, Nationalist Chinese, and Japanese Self-Defense Forces.
Having operated off the west coast for two years, from March 1962, USS Maddox DD-731 departed Long Beach 13 March 1964 for another tour with the 7th Fleet. At first steaming with fast carrier groups in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, she headed south 18 May and established patrol off the coast of South Vietnam.
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
On 4 August, another DESOTO patrol off the North Vietnamese coast was launched by U.S.S. Maddox DD-731 and the USS Turner Joy, in order to “show the flag” after the first incident. This time their orders indicated that the ships were to close to no more than 11 miles (18 km) from the coast of North Vietnam. During an evening and early morning of rough weather and heavy seas, the destroyers received radar, sonar, and radio signals that they believed signaled another attack by the North Vietnamese navy. For some two hours the ships fired on radar targets and maneuvered vigorously amid electronic and visual reports of enemies. At 0127 Washington time, Herrick sent a cable in which he admitted that the attack may never have happened and that there may actually have been no North Vietnamese craft in the area: “Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful. Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonar men may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by Maddox. Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken.” Since then, numerous accounts have supported the theory that there was no attack on 4 August at all, including North Vietnamese military commander Vo Nguyen Giap, who in 1995 admitted 2 August attack but asserted that the 4 August attack had never occurred.
After arrival at Long Beach, Maddox remained in a leave and upkeep status until mid‑January 1965, then conducted training exercises and repairs in preparation for her next West Pac deployment. She departed Long Beach on 10 July and commenced operating with the fast carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin in early August. For the next four months, Maddox alternated duty with the carriers with gunfire support missions off the coast of South Vietnam. At the end of November she sailed for home, arriving at Long Beach 16 December.
After conducting upkeep and local exercises off the California coast, summer 1966 saw her engaged in a training cruise for midshipmen which included a trip to Pearl Harbor. Maddox departed California 20 November for another deployment with the 7th Fleet, sailing by way of Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guam, and Taiwan.
After a successful tour consisting primarily of providing gunfire support, interrupted by a visit to Singapore and a crossing of the Equator on 8 February 1967, Maddox departed Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, for home by way of Australia, New Zealand, and Pearl Harbor. She arrived at Long Beach 7 June 1967 and conducted local exercises until entering Long Beach Naval Shipyard 13 October for overhaul. She remained in overhaul until February 1968; then, after refresher training off the west coast, departed for West Pac 5 July. After completion of overhaul and type training, Maddox once again deployed to the Far East in July 1968, returning in December 1968 to her home port, Long Beach, for overhaul and upkeep. Maddox was decommissioned in 1969 and assigned to the Naval Reserve Force. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 2 July 1972. On 6 July 1972 she was transferred to Taiwan, commissioned into the Republic of China Navy, and renamed Po Yang. The ship was decommissioned and scrapped in 1985.
Maddox received four battle stars for World War II service, and six for Korean service.