- USS Taylor (DD-468)
USS "Taylor" (DD/DDE-468) was a "Fletcher"-class
destroyerof the United States Navy, named for Rear Admiral William Rogers Taylor( 1811– 1889). She was laid down on 28 August 1941at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron WorksCorp.; launched on 7 June 1942, sponsored by Mrs. H. A. Baldridge; and commissioned on 28 August 1942at the Charlestown Navy Yardnear Boston, Mass., Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Katz in command.
"Taylor" was the first
destroyerto anchor in Japanese coastal waters at the end of World War II— one that, wrote Admiral William F. Halsey, "admirably performed every mission assigned to her."Fact|date=September 2008
World War II
"Taylor" began her naval career with the Atlantic Fleet. Assigned to
Destroyer Squadron 20(DesRon 20), the destroyer trained at Casco Bay, Maine, and made her shakedown cruise in the northern Atlantic before beginning duty as a coastwise convoyescort. The latter duty lasted until mid-November when she escorted a transatlantic convoy to a point just off Casablanca. The transit was uneventful, save for the interception of a Spanish merchantman, SS "Darro". A boarding party from "Taylor" sent the neutral ship off to Gibraltarto prevent her from transmitting information about the convoy to the enemy. "Taylor" returned to the United States at Norfolk early in December and remained there until mid-month.
Rennell Island, Jan. 1943
17 December, the warship cleared Hampton Roadsin company with Task Force 13 (TF 13) on her way to duty in the Pacific. After transiting the Panama Canaland stopping at Tutuilain the Samoan Islands, the destroyer reported at Noumea, New Caledonia, on 20 January 1943for duty in the South West Pacific Area. From Noumea, "Taylor" continued west to Efatein the New Hebridesgroup, entering Havannah Harbor on the 26th. There, she became a unit of DesRon 21's Destroyer Division 41 (DesDiv 41), one of two four-destroyer divisions screening Rear Admiral Robert C. Giffen's TF 18, comprised of three heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and two escort carriers.
27 January, "Taylor" cleared Havannah Harborwith the other ships of TF 18, one of several task forces sent out to screen an important reinforcement echelon to Guadalcanal. Admiral William Halsey, operating upon intelligence which indicated a major Japanese attempt to reinforce their beleaguered garrison on the island, sent put the large screening force in the hope and expectation of a major naval engagement. That sea battle never materialized because the enemy activities upon which he predicated his actions were actually movements preparatory to a Japanese withdrawal. Instead, at the battle of Rennell Island, the enemy subjected TF 18 to a scathing air attack. On the evening of 29 January, enemy Mitsubishi G4M"Betty" bombers attacked TF 18 with torpedoes. The ships brushed off the first attack with antiaircraft fire, suffered negligible damage, and raced on to rendezvous with the other elements of the covering force. After a concerted effort, the Japanese fliers finally scored a crippling torpedo hit on "Chicago" (CA-29). When "Louisville" (CA-28) took the stricken cruiser in tow, "Taylor" helped to screen the retiring ships as they steamed out of range of enemy aircraft. The following day, more enemy planes appeared and attacked. After "Chicago" took four more torpedo hits, her crew and the warships covering her abandoned the heavy cruiser to her watery fate and returned to Efate.
Feb. – April 1943
4 February, "Taylor" and the other ships of DesRon 21 were transferred to TF 67, Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth's cruiser-destroyer force. Soon thereafter, TF 67 became TF 18, and the former TF 18 became TF 19. In any event, during February and March, "Taylor" screened Ainsworth's cruisers—"St. Louis" (CL-49),
"Honolulu" (CL-48), and
"Helena" (CL-50)—during operations between
Espiritu Santoand Guadalcanal. During the night of 15– 16 March, she joined
"Radford" (DD-446), and
"Strong" (DD-467) in the fourth bombardment of the
Vila-Stanmore Plantationlocated on KolombangaraIsland in the central Solomon Islands. On 26 March, the destroyer cleared Espiritu Santo to escort
"Aloe" (YN-1), and six coastal transports to Guadalcanal. The ships reached
Tulagion the 29th; and, while "Kanawha" discharged cargo, "Taylor" resumed operations at sea with Ainsworth's cruisers.
On the nights of 4, 5, and
6 April, she joined them in sweeps up " the Slot" before being ordered back to Tulagi on the 7th to pick up "Kanawha". When the destroyer was just about to enter Tulagi, a strong Japanese air raid cancelled her mission by severely bombing "Kanawha" before the old oiler could clear the harbor completely. With "Kanawha" disabled, "Taylor" rang up 30 knots and cleared the area via Sealark Channel. During her transit of the channel, the warship claimed the destruction of three enemy planes and hits on two others.
For much of the month, "Taylor" escorted convoys in the Solomons and between those islands and Espiritu Santo. On
20 April, she rejoined TF 18. After a brief tender overhaul, the destroyer accompanied the cruisers up the "Slot" twice during the 10 days between 4 and 14 Mayto cover mining operations in Vella Gulf. During the second operation, conducted between the 11th and the 14th, she and the other warships bombarded enemy installations at Vila, Bairoko Harbor, and Enogai Inlet.
May – July 1943
Between late May and early July, "Taylor" performed escort duty. On
25 May, she cleared Espiritu Santo with "Munargo" (AP-20), escorted the transport to the 180th meridian, and returned to Espiritu Santo on the 30th. During her next assignment—escorting a convoy of troop transports to Guadalcanal and back—she defended her charges against Japanese planes which jumped the task unit on 10 Junesouth of San Cristobal. After repairs at Espiritu Santo, she served with the antisubmarine screen of escort carrier "Sangamon" (ACV-26) until 6 Julywhen she headed for Tulagi to report for duty with TF 31.
For the next four months, "Taylor" supported the invasions of the central Solomons. In July, she supported the
New Georgialandings. On the 11th and 12th, the destroyer covered the landing of troops and supplies at Rice Anchorageon Kula Gulfas well as the evacuation of wounded. On the morning of the 12th, she attacked and damaged a Japanese RO-type submarine, but could claim no definite sinking. That afternoon, "Taylor" was temporarily detached from TF 31 and assigned to TF 18. She headed up the "Slot" with Ainsworth's cruisers—the same ones with which she had previously served except that HMNZS "Leander" replaced "Helena" after the latter cruiser was lost in the Battle of Kula Gulf—to intercept a Japanese surface force. That evening, the two forces collided. "Taylor" and the other van destroyers launched torpedoes and then joined the remainder of TF 18 in engaging the enemy with their guns. It may well have been one of "Taylor"'s "fish" that slammed into the Japanese cruiser "Jintsu"'s hull just abaft her number 2 stack and ripped her in half. There is no way of knowing for sure, but the accumulated effect of the destroyer's torpedoes and the entire task force's gunfire cost the enemy his flagshipand his commander, Rear Admiral Shunji Izaki.
Battle of Kolombangara, "Taylor" reported back to TF 31 and resumed support for the amphibious operations in the central Solomons. On the night of 15– 16 July, the destroyer took "Helena" survivors off Vella LavellaIsland where they had found refuge after their ship went down. Almost a week later, on the night of 23– 24 July, the destroyer supported the landings at Enogai Inlet and participated in another bombardment of Bairoko Harbor. The following morning, her main battery joined in a bombardment of the Japanese positions around the Munda area of New Georgia.
Aug. – Sept. 1943
30 July, "Taylor" cleared Guadalcanal in company with a troop transport convoy bound for New Caledonia. She was detached en route to Noumea and ordered to join TF 37 at Efate. On 11 August, "Nicholas",
"Chevalier" (DD-451), and "Taylor" were ordered to return to Guadalcanal and rejoin TF 31 for the Vella Lavella phase of the central Solomons operation. First, she covered the landings on
15 August. Two days later, the same four destroyers were ordered out of the anchorage at Purvis Bayto intercept a force of troop-laden barges covered by four destroyers. During the ensuing action off Horaniu, a mad melee of torpedoes and gunfire, neither side lost a destroyer; but the Japanese suffered some damage when American shells set "Hamakaze" ablaze. Later, after the enemy destroyers had made good their escape, the Americans turned their attention to the scattered barges and combat craft, sinking two subchasers, an equal number of torpedo boats, and one barge before retiring. Forty-eight hours later, the four American destroyers returned once again to the area northwest of Vella Lavella to seek out enemy barge traffic. They encountered nothing except enemy aircraft and dodged heavy bombing attacks throughout the evening. Over the next nine days, "Taylor" and her division mates made eight more trips up the "Slot"—one of which was to cover mining operations off the west coast of Kolombangara—but saw little or no action.
"Taylor" departed Guadalcanal and the Solomons on
28 Augustto escort "Titania" (AKA-13) to Noumea. Then—after a ten-day repair, rest, and relaxation period in Sydney, Australia—the destroyer escorted a troop transport convoy from Noumea to Guadalcanal. She returned to the Tulagi-Purvis Bay area on 30 Septemberand resumed support of the subjugation of Vella Lavella. By this time, the Japanese had already begun to evacuate bypassed Kolombangara and would soon make the decision to do the same at Vella Lavella. Thus, "Taylor" and other destroyers continued their nocturnal forays up the "Slot" to interdict barge traffic.
Vella Lavella, Oct. 1943
On the night of
2 October, she,
"Terry" (DD-513), and
"Ralph Talbot" (DD-390) engaged enemy barges and a surface force in the waters between Choiseul and Kolombangara. Four nights later came the big action of the Vella Lavella and Kolombangara evacuations, the
Battle of Vella Lavella. While south of New Georgia escorting a convoy, "Taylor", "Ralph Talbot", and "La Valette" (DD-448) were ordered to join "O'Bannon", "Chevalier", and "Selfridge" already embroiled in a slugfest with nine Japanese destroyers covering the Vella Lavella evacuation group. During the ensuing battle, the American and Japanese forces traded torpedo salvoes and gunfire, as well as exchanged destroyer "Chevalier" for "Yugumo". During the battle, "Selfridge" and "O'Bannon" also received torpedo hits, but neither was lost. "Taylor" went alongside "Selfridge" in the closing moments of the battle and evacuated most of her crew while a skeleton crew began their successful attempt to save the damaged destroyer. She then screened the two cripples while they limped back down the "Slot" to Purvis Bay.
17 October, "Taylor" departed the southern Solomons with the other members of DesDiv 41. She and her consorts escorted a convoy of troop transports to Efate, where they reported for duty with TF 37. Between 23 and 26 October, she made a round-trip voyage between Efate and Noumea, escorting "Lassen" (AE-3) to Noumea and "Aldebaran" (AF-10) to Efate.
Nov. – Dec. 1943
"Taylor" and her division were reassigned to the
Central Pacific Forceon 31 Octoberin preparation for the first step in the Navy's central Pacific thrust, the seizure and occupation of the Gilbert Islands. For that operation, she was assigned to the screen of TG 50.1, built around carriers
"Yorktown" (CV-10), and
"Cowpens" (CV-25). She screened TG 50.1 during the raids on
Jaluitand Miliin the Marshalls conducted during the first half of November in preparation for the Gilberts assault. During the actual landings and occupations, she protected her charges from enemy aircraft and submarines while their planes took off to help those of the escort carriers maintain air supremacy over the islands. Following the Gilberts operation, she steamed with the carriers during raids on the Marshall Islands. Near the end of those forays, she teamed up with "La Vallette" and "San Francisco" (CA-38) to splash two of four enemy Nakajima B5N"Kates" which attacked the task group just after noon on 4 December.
Feb. – May 1944
Following those raids, "Taylor" was ordered back to the United States for extensive yard work, arriving in
San Franciscoon 16 December. Repairs completed, she put to sea on 1 February 1944and headed back to the western Pacific via Pearl Harbor. She reached Kwajaleinin the Marshalls on 18 February. "Taylor" escorted one convoy to EniwetokAtoll where she joined the screen of carriers
"Coral Sea" (CVB-43) and
"Corregidor" (CVE-58) on
29 February. The task unit cleared Eniwetok on 29 Februaryand headed for Pearl Harbor, where it arrived on 3 March. After 12 days of training operations and repairs, the destroyer denarted Pearl Harbor in the screen of
"Chenango" (CVE-28), and
"Santee" (CVE-29), and arrived in Purvis Bay near Guadalcanal on the 27th. She remained there until
5 Aprilwhen she left for Milne Bay, New Guinea, for temporary duty with the 7th Fleet.
The warship reached Milne Bay on
7 Apriland, the following day, headed on to Cape Sudest, where she became a unit of TF 77for the amphibious assault at Humboldt Bay. During the assault, she screened aircraft carriers and acted as fighter director until 24 Aprilwhen she departed to escort a convoy back to Cape Sudest. From there she moved to Morobe Bay, where she spent the remainder of the month in availability alongside "Dobbin" (AD-3). During the first week in May, "Taylor" escorted a convoy from Cape Cretinto the Hollandiainvasion area and acted as fighter director ship once more. She returned to Cape Cretin on 7 Mayand departed again two days later to screen a convoy of LSTs to the Russell Islandssubgroup in the Solomons. On 13 May, the destroyer reported back to the 3d Fleet in the Solomons, dropped off the convoy, and departed again to screen another convoy to New Caledonia.
May – Aug. 1944
24 May, she stood out of Noumea in company with DesDiv 41 to return to the Solomons and arrived at her new base of operations, Blanche Harbor, on 27 May. "Taylor" operated out of that port in the northern Solomons and Bismarcks area until early August. On the night of 28– 29 May, she patrolled off Medina Plantationon New Ireland while her sister ships bombarded the area to neutralize mobile coastal guns. From 1 to 6 June, she operated with DesDiv 41 conducting antisubmarine operations. During the week from 7 to 14 June, "Taylor" and the other ships of DesDiv 41 joined TG 30.4 for hunter-killer antisubmarine operations. On the 10th, she depth-charged an enemy submarine, forced it to the surface, and damaged it heavily with 5 inch and 40-mm fire. The submarine submerged again, and "Taylor" made two more depth chargeruns and netted a probable kill. She returned to Blanche Harbor on the 15th and operated in that vicinity until the first week in August.
5 August, she changed operational command from the 3d Fleet to the 7th Fleet. She began her duty with that fleet with a practice bombardment of the Aitapearea of New Guinea late in August and a practice landing at Moffin Bayconducted on 6 September. Both operations were in preparation for the landings made on the island of Morotaiin the Netherlands East Indieson 15 September. For the remainder of the month, she acted as fighter director ship and as a unit of the invasion force's antisubmarine and antiaircraft screen. The destroyer also escorted convoys to the landing area until mid-October.
Oct. – Dec. 1944
Between 18 and
24 October, "Taylor" was a unit of the screen for the second reinforcement echelon for the Leyte invasion. During a Japanese aerial assault on the 24th, the destroyer laid a smoke screen to protect the convoy. That night, as the Battle of Surigao Straitopened, "Taylor" and the other destroyers of her division were anchored near the entrance of San Pedro Bay. Though she did not actually join the surface engagement, "Taylor" joined the support force on the following morning. Following that, she patrolled the vicinity of Dinagat Islandwith a unit known as the "torpedo attack force". On 27 and 28 October, the warship screened TG 77.4, the escort carrier group. During that duty, she rescued a downed fighter pilot of "Enterprise" (CV-6) and a seaman from "Petrof Bay" (CVE-80). Frequently, she helped fend off Japanese air attacks.
29 October, she joined TG 77.2 and departed the area of Leyte Gulf. After visits to Seeadler Harbor, UlithiAtoll, and Kossol Roads, she returned to Leyte Gulf on 16 November. Between 16 and 29 November, the destroyer continued to screen TG 77.2 and to patrol the eastern entrance to the Surigao Strait. Again, she joined her sister ships in beating off heavy enemy air raids, climaxed by a large attack of " kamikaze" suicide planes and dive bombers on the 29th. She claimed one sure kill and two assists during those raids. "Taylor" then cleared Leyte Gulf for almost a month at Seeadler Harbor before returning to Leyte on 28 Decemberto prepare for the invasion of Luzon.
Jan. – June 1945
"Taylor" departed Leyte Gulf on
4 January 1945in the screen for the cruisers in the covering force. The next day, the destroyer sighted two torpedoes running toward her formation. After giving the submarine alarm, "Taylor" launched a depth-charge attack on the enemy submarine—a midget. Following those attacks, she rammed the small submarine and sent it on its last dive. During the Allied approach to Lingayen Gulfand in the days following the landings, the Japanese subjected "Taylor" and her sister ships to a series of heavy air raids. "Taylor"'s antiaircraft gunners assisted in splashing at least two of the attackers. Through the end of January, the warship screened the cruisers and the escort carriers on patrol west of Luzon.
From early February through mid-June 1945, "Taylor" operated out of
Subic Bayin the Philippines. Between 13 and 18 February, she participated in an extensive bombardment of Corregidorand of the Mariveles Bayarea of Luzon to support minesweeping operations and to pave the way for an assault by airborne troops. Early in March, she supported the recapture of Zamboangaon Mindanaoduring which the destroyer's guns helped reduce enemy shore installations. She also covered the minesweepers while they cleared the way for the invasion force. On 15 March, "Taylor" returned to Corregidor where she bombarded caves on the island's western cliffs. On 26 March, the ship participated in the amphibious assault on Cebu Island, where she joined
"Fletcher" (DD-445), "Nicholas",
"Jenkins" (DD-447), and
"Abbot" (DD-629) in laying down a heavy pre-landing bombardment.
After a short two-day sightseeing visit to
Manila, "Taylor" cleared the Philippines with "Boise", "Phoenix", two Australian warships, and four other American destroyers to support the amphibious landings in northeastern Borneo. En route, she captured five Japanese who were attempting to escape from Tawi Tawion a raft. On 27 April, "Taylor" and her sister ships reached the vicinity of the invasion—Tarakan, a small island located just off the eastern coast of Borneo and north of Makassar Strait. She operated in that area until 3 Mayand delivered a preinvasion bombardment and call fire. On 3 May, two days after the actual landings, she departed Tarakan to resume duty in the Philippines, where for the remainder of the month she conducted training operations.
June – Nov. 1945
In mid-June, "Taylor" rejoined the 3d Fleet at Leyte Gulf and, for the remainder of the war, screened various units of that fleet. During the latter part of the month, she screened aircraft carriers operating south of
Okinawawhich conducted air strikes on Sakishima Gunto. On 25 June, she returned to Leyte Gulf and remained there until 8 July, when she departed in the screen of TG 30.8, the logistics group for the fast carriers of TF 38. The destroyer operated with TG 30.8 off Honshūuntil 3 Augustwhen she joined the screen of one of the fast carrier task groups, TG 38.4. On 8 August, she resumed duty with the logistics group for five days. On the 13th, "Taylor" rejoined TG 38.4 just in time to be a part of the last offensive actions directed at Japan.
Following the cessation of hostilities on
15 August, she patrolled off Honshū with the fast carriers. Admiral William Halsey, commander of the 3rd Fleet ordered that the destroyers from DesRon 21 be present in Tokyo Bayfor Japan's surrender "because of their valorous fight up the long road from the South Pacific to the very end." On 23 August, "Taylor" and her old sisters "Nicholas" and "O'Bannon" formed the screen of "Missouri" (BB-63), and as such she was one of the first American warships to enter Tokyo Bay, arriving on 29 August. The destroyer was present at the surrender ceremony conducted on board "Missouri" on 2 Septemberand carried Allied war correspondents to and from the ceremony. She operated in the Far East until 10 Octoberwhen she departed Tokyo Bay to return to the United States. "Taylor" arrived in San Francisco on 1 Novemberand began preparations for inactivation. On 31 May 1946, the destroyer was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego.
1951 – 1953
After four years of inactivity, "Taylor" moved to the
San Francisco Naval Shipyardon 9 May 1950and, three days later, began an extensive conversion to an escort destroyer. While still completing conversion, she was officially redesignated DDE-468 on 2 January 1951. On 3 December 1951, "Taylor" was recommissioned at San Francisco, Comdr. Sheldon H. Kenneyin command. On 3 February 1952, she put to sea for a two months shakedown period off San Diego. On 24 March, the escort destroyer headed west to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, and arrived there on the 30th. Following two months in the Hawaiian Islands, "Taylor" set out to return to the western Pacific for the first time since World War II. She stopped at Midway Atolland Yokosuka, Japan, before joining TF 77 on 16 Juneto screen the carriers during air operations off the Korean coast.
During the five months that she spent in the Far East, "Taylor" drew several different assignments. Initially, she operated with the fast carriers and conducted bombardments of enemy-held positions along the coasts of Korea. During the second week in July, she returned to Yokosuka for upkeep and then went to sea again for exercises which included several weeks of hunter-killer operations. On
1 August, the escort destroyer rejoined TF 77 and, in September, stood blockade watch off Wonsanfor three weeks. Her blockade duty at Wonsan was far from passive for, on numerous occasions, she was called upon to shell enemy shore batteries and lines of transportation and to screen minesweepers during daily sweeps of the harbor. Late that month, "Taylor" headed south for a tour of duty on the Taiwan StraitPatrol during which she made a weekend port call at Hong Kong. In late October, the escort destroyer returned north to the western coast of Korea where she patrolled with two British warships, the carrier HMS "Glory" (R62) and the cruiser HMS "Birmingham" (C19). On 21 November, "Taylor" returned to Yokosuka, completing the first leg of her voyage home.
After conducting patrols in the western Pacific while en route to
Hawaii, "Taylor" entered Pearl Harbor on 8 December. Following a month of leave and upkeep, she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyardfor a month of repairs. For the next three months, she conducted shakedown training in the Hawaiian Islands in order to integrate her replacements with the rest of the crew. On 2 May 1953, the warship exited Pearl Harbor to deploy to the western Pacific again. She reached Yokosuka on the 12th and, after visiting that port and Sasebo, put to sea to join a carrier task group built around USS "Bairoko" (CVE-115) and HMS "Ocean" (R68) off the western coast of Korea. For the most part, she screened the carriers during air operations; however, on two occasions, she patrolled close to the enemy-held shoreline to discourage the North Koreans from attempting to take offshore islands held by United Nationsforces. She returned to Sasebo on 1 Junefor 11 days of upkeep before heading for Okinawa and two weeks of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) training. On 25 June, "Taylor" returned to Japan at Yokosuka, but she departed againalmost immediately for duty with the Taiwan Strait Patrol. During that assignment, she visited Hong Kong once again as well as Kaohsiungwhere she trained sailors of the Republic of China Navy. The escort destroyer returned to Yokosuka on 20 Julyand, after two days of voyage repairs, departed the Far East. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on 31 Julyand, the following day, entered the naval shipyard there for a three month overhaul.
"Taylor"'s return to Pearl Harbor coincided very closely with the formal end to hostilities in Korea. The armistice came on
27 July 1953when she had just passed the midpoint of her voyage—five days out of Yokosuka and four days from Pearl Harbor. While she saw some action during her two Korean Wardeployments, they occurred during the relatively quiet, final two years of the conflict. Her subsequent deployments, while they included both duty off Korea and on the Taiwan Strait Patrol, were entirely peaceful in nature until the expansion of the American role in the Vietnamese civil war in 1965.
1954 – 1962
In the five years between
1 March 1954and 1 March 1959, "Taylor" completed five more deployments to the western Pacific. During each, she conducted training exercises and made goodwill visits to Far Eastern ports. When not in the Orient, she conducted normal operations out of Pearl Harbor. During her sixth post-Korean War deployment in 1959 and 1960, she visited Australia for the celebration commemorating the victory at the Battle of the Coral Seain May 1942. Upon her return to Pearl Harbor on 26 May 1960, the escort destroyer conducted normal operations again until December when she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for a major overhaul before deploying to the western Pacific again in August 1961. In lieu of her annual western Pacific deployment, "Taylor" spent the spring and summer of 1962in the mid-Pacific as one of the support units for Operation Dominic, nuclear tests conducted in the upper atmosphere. In October, she returned to Hawaii to begin a repair period which saw her through the end of 1962. During that year, she reverted to the classification of destroyer and was re-designated DD-468 on 7 August 1962.
1962 – 1965
Local operations in the Hawaiian Islands occupied the remainder of 1962 and the first six months of
1963. On 4 June 1963, the destroyer stood out of Pearl Harbor with a hunter/killer group bound for duty with the 7th Fleet. During this deployment to the Far East, "Taylor" called at Kobe, Japan; Hong Kong; Okinawa; and Kushiro as well as the base ports of Yokosuka, Sasebo, and Subic Bay. The call at Kushiro—a fishing port on Hokkaidō, the northernmost of the Japanese home islands—constituted "Taylor"'s contributions to the People to People Program and aided in developing greater understanding between the peoples of the United States and Japan. Other than that, the warship engaged in numerous unilateral and bilateral training exercises through the remainder of the cruise which ended at Pearl Harbor on 29 November. "Taylor" operated locally in Hawaii until April 1964when she entered drydockfor a three-month overhaul. In July she resumed operations in Hawaiian waters.
Those operations continued throughout most of the fall of 1964. On
23 November, the destroyer cleared Pearl Harbor in company with "Yorktown" (CVS-10) and
"Thomason" (DD-746) to return to the Orient. The task unit steamed via Midway Atoll and, on
3 December, made port at Yokosuka, Japan. Four days later, she put to sea for two weeks of combined antiaircraft/ antisubmarine warfare exercises conducted with
"Hancock" (CVA-19) and
"Strauss" (DDG-16) near Okinawa. On
19 December, the warship returned to Japan at Sasebo and remained there through the holidays and into the New Year.
4 January 1965, "Taylor" cleared Sasebo and rejoined "Yorktown" and "Thomason" for a voyage to Hong Kong. The three ships remained in the British Crown Colonyfor five days before clearing port for a series of special operations conducted in the Philippine Sea. At the conclusion of that duty, she put into Subic Bay on 24 February. After four days in the Philippines, "Taylor" headed back to Sasebo, where she arrived on 3 March. Exactly two weeks later, the destroyer got underway for the western portion of the South China Sea. She arrived off the coast of Vietnamon 21 Marchand patrolled there for the following five weeks. On 27 April, "Taylor" headed back to Yokosuka for a brief stop—from 3 to 6 May—before returning to Hawaii. The destroyer reentered Pearl Harbor on the 13th and conducted local operations in Hawaiian waters. On 6 December, "Taylor" entered the drydock for another overhaul.
1966 – 1967
The destroyer left the dock in mid-January
1966and stood out of Pearl Harbor on 7 Februaryand, with the other ships of DesDiv 111, shaped a course for the western Pacific. The warship reached Yokosuka 10 days later and spent eight days undergoing voyage repairs. On 25 February, she departed Yokosuka to join Task Group 70.4 off the coast of Vietnam the following day. She patrolled Vietnamese waters until the Ides of March, when she headed north to patrol the Taiwan Strait. During her stay in the area around Taiwan, she visited Kaohsiung. Her relief arrived on 12 April, and "Taylor" steamed off to Hong Kong for a five-day port call. On the 21st, she returned to Yankee Stationto resume operations in support of American and South Vietnamese forces ashore. Among other tasks, she brought her main battery to bear on the enemy and rendered naval gunfire support between 28 Apriland 1 May. She conducted upkeep at Sasebo in May and ASW drills from 26 Mayto 10 Junebefore resuming patrols in the Taiwan Strait on the 11th. She cleared the area again on 5 July, rejoined TG 70.4 on 7 July, and put into Yokosuka the following day. After a week of preparations, the warship departed Yokosuka to return to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on 22 July.
2 August, "Taylor" began a tender availability period alongside "Prairie" (AD-15) which lasted through the end of the month. Following a short cruise for gunnery practice, "Taylor" commenced a restricted availability which lasted until late in November. During the first two weeks in December, the destroyer made a round-trip voyage to Pago Pago, American Samoa. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 16 Decemberfor holiday leave and upkeep. During the first three months of 1967, the ship conducted local operations around Hawaii, made repairs, and generally prepared to return to the Far East in late spring.
Following an Operational Readiness Inspection in mid-April, she cleared Pearl Harbor on the 18th to join the 7th Fleet in the Orient. On
25 April, she changed operational control from the 1st Fleet to the 7th and, three days later, steamed into Yokosuka. During the first half of June, the destroyer participated in exercises with units of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and ships of the Republic of Korea Navy. After two days in port at Sasebo, she got underway on 19 Junefor her first line period on Yankee Station. Between 22 Mayand 25 June, she plied the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, plane-guarding for "Hornet" (CV-12) and providing gunfire support for Allied forces operating ashore. On 27 June, "Taylor" put into Subic Bay. After a tender availability at Subic Bay and a visit to Manila, she put to sea on 10 Julyto participate in SEATOexercise "Sea Dog." Between the 26th and the 28th, she visited Bang Saenon the Gulf of Thailand. After three more days on Yankee Station—from 28 Julyto 1 August—the destroyer made for Taiwan. She reached Kaohsiung on August 3and remained until August 15, when she headed back to the coast of Vietnam. From 19 Augustto 11 September, she cruised along the Vietnamese coast providing naval gunfire support as needed by the forces operating ashore. She cleared the coast of Indochinaon the 12th, and, after a five-day stop at Hong Kong and another tour of duty in the Gulf of Tonkin, she returned to Yokosuka on 11 October. Five days later, she shaped a course back to Hawaii.
1968 – 1969
"Taylor" arrived in Pearl Harbor on
23 October, and the destroyer commenced her regular overhaul on 11 December. Repairs and modifications occupied her time through the first three months of 1968. The warship completed overhaul on 22 Marchand conducted sea trials during the first week in April. Later, engineering problems forced the postponement of further operations until the end of the month. At that time, she began preparations for refresher training. The warship conducted refresher training in May and June, then got underway for San Diego, Calif., on 27 June. She conducted operations—primarily gunnery drills at San Clemente Island—from 3 to 11 July. On the latter date, she headed back to Hawaii. En route, "Taylor" conducted bombardment exercises at Kahoolawe Islandand then entered Pearl Harbor on the 17th. Three weeks later, the destroyer cleared Pearl Harbor on 5 Augustand set course for the Gulf of Tonkin.
After fueling stops at Midway,
Guam, and Subic Bay, she arrived on station off Vietnam on 21 August. "Taylor" did plane guard duty for
"Intrepid" (CVS-11) for a day; then steamed off with the carrier and destroyers
"Maddox" (DD-731) and
"Preston" (DD-795) toward Sasebo. She returned to the Gulf of Tonkin on
5 Septemberand conducted air and surface surveillance as well as antisubmarine warfare exercises in addition to planeguarding for the carriers. On the 19th, the destroyer moved in closer to the coast to provide naval gunfire in support of troops ashore. That duty continued until 6 Octoberwhen she cleared the combat zone to return to Subic Bay for repairs, supplies, and ammunition. On 20 October, the warship took up where she left off and began a week pounding various targets in Vietnam. That line period was followed by visits to Cebu Cityand Subic Bay in the Philippines. During late November and early December, she resumed duty on the gunline. On 4 December, she cleared the combat zone and set a course through the Luzon Straitto Yokosuka, where she arrived on the 12th. She spent Christmasin Yokosuka, but returned to Yankee Station by New Year's Day 1969.
In mid-January, she departed Vietnamese waters for the last time. After stops at Subic Bay;
Manus Island; Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Pago Pago, Samoa, the warship arrived back in Pearl Harbor on 28 February. In May, a board of inspection and survey looked her over and determined that she was unfit for further naval service. Early in June, "Taylor" was moved to San Diego, California, and was decommissioned on 3 June 1969. Her name was struck from the Navy liston 2 July 1969, and she was transferred to Italyat the same time. The former American destroyer served in the Italian Navyas NMM "Lanciere" (D-560) until January 1971. At that time, she was decommissioned and struck from the Italian Navy list. She was subsequently cannibalized to maintain her sister ships still serving in the Italian Navy.
"Taylor" earned 15
battle stars during World War II, two battle stars for the Korean conflict, and six battle stars for Vietnam Warservice.
See USS "Taylor" for other ships of the same name.
* [http://www.destroyerhistory.org/fletcherclass/usstaylor/index.html USS "Taylor" home page] at [http://www.destroyerhistory.org/index.html Destroyer History Foundation]
* [http://history.navy.mil/danfs/t3/taylor-ii.htm history.navy.mil: USS "Taylor"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/468.htm navsource.org: USS "Taylor"]
* [http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd468txt.htm hazegray.org: USS "Taylor"]
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