Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, is
the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Commander
Harry Hubbard (19031942), who was the captain of the Meredith when
it was sunk during the Guadalcanal campaign.
Harry E. Hubbard was launched on 24 March 1944 by the Bethlehem
Steel Co., Staten Island, New York; sponsored by Miss Jean Hubbard,
daughter; and commissioned on 22 July 1944, Commander Leonard W.
Bailey in command.
World War II
Flagship of Destroyer Squadron 64, Harry E. Hubbard trained
precommissioning crews destined for newly constructed warships until
sailing for Hawaii on 16 January 1945. She served as a training ship
out of Pearl Harbor until 17 April, then departed for combat She
arrived off Okinawa on 8 May 1945 to serve as a picket destroyer,
guarding against the day and night waves of Japanese aerial raids
and suicide runs of kamikazes. Although the American fleet suffered
losses and damage, it had come to stay. As with all previous
Japanese weapons, even the kamikazes were defeated in their attempt
to save this last "stepping stone" to Japan itself. For nearly two
months, Hubbard fought off the savage raiders, shooting down four
suicide planes that tried to crash her at various times.
When Evans and Hugh W. Hadley were badly damaged in their stand
against some 50 kamikazes on 11 May 1945, Hubbard, first to arrive
on the scene, went alongside Evans to render fire-fighting, damage
control and medical aid. She gave similar assistance to Barry on
2425 May, shooting down two kamikazesas she escorted Barry from
picket station into Kerama Retto. One enemy plane was disintegrated
by Hubbard's gunners a bare 50 yards from the ship.
Hubbard remained off Okinawa until 24 July 1945, then escorted
occupation troops to Jinsen, Korea, and carried the Commander of
Destroyer Squadron 64 (DesRon 64) to Chinkai, Korea, to oversee the
demilitarization of the former Japanese naval base there. She
returned to Jin-sen 7 November 1945, then based out of Tsingtao,
China. She performed escort, mail, and communication service for the
North China Occupation force until departing 16 March 1946, for the
California seaboard. She arrived at San Francisco on 28 March 1946,
underwent demobilization overhaul at Oakland, then decommissioned at
San Diego on 15 January 1947. She remained in the Pacific Reserve
Fleet until recommissioned 14 May 1949 but decommissioned 12
December without having gone to sea.
Following the invasion of South Korea, Harry E. Hubbard
recommissioned on 27 October 1950, Commander Burres D. Wood in
command. After initial shakedown along the coast of California, she
departed San Diego on 2 January 1951 for two months of training in
Hawaiian waters. She then steamed to assist the U.N. Forces in
Korea. Besides helping guard the fast carrier task force making
repeated airstrikes against the enemy, she frequently joined in
gunstrike missions to bombard coastal rail and communication centers
and performed as seagoing artillery to support the advance of land
troops. Her bombardment missions were conducted against targets at
Yongdae Gap, Wonsan, Songjin, Chingjin, Kyoto, Ohako, Bokuko,
Chuminjin, and other enemy strongholds of supply and reinforcement.
When Walke was heavily damaged by an underwater explosion off Wonson
11 June 1951, Hubbard, with the same skill as off Okinawa in 1945,
moved in to render effective medical and damage control assistance.
She returned to the California coast in October 1951 for overhaul
and completed a similar tour of duty with the 7th Fleet off Korea
July to December 1952. She returned to San Diego in January 1953 but
again departed on 11 July to guard fast carrier task groups
patrolling after the Armistice Agreement was signed in Korea.
Intervened by patrol in the Taiwan Straits, this duty continued
until 13 January 1954. She returned to San Diego for overhaul and
refresher training along the western seaboard.
Harry E. Hubbard departed San Diego 11 August 1954 on the first of
nine additional Far East tours with the 7th Fleet which were
completed by the close of 1966. During this service, she joined the
roving 7th Fleet 6 to 13 February 1955 in moving in under Chinese
Communist artillery defenses to cover the evacuation of Chinese
Nationalist from untenable positions on the Tachen Islands. In May
1955, she participated in "Operation WIGWAM", an underwater nuclear
test approximately 500 miles southwest of San Diego, California. In
October to November 1956 she diverted from Australia to the "Dewline"
in the Northern Pacific to serve on picket patrol during the Suez
Crisis. She next joined in combined warfare exercises with SEATO
Treaty nations to improve readiness in defending freedom in that
part of the world. From time to time, she patrolled the Taiwan
Straits to insure Taiwan was not threatened from the Communist
mainland of China. She was off Guam in June 1960, twice guarding the
flight of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's aircraft during his Far
During the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964, Harry E. Hubbard
was nearby in the South China Sea screening Ticonderoga. The carrier
task group struck to destroy North Vietnamese torpedo boats and
their supporting facilities. In awarding the Navy Unit Commendation
to Ticonderoga and her screen, Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze
stated that they had "demonstrated the firm intent of the United
States to maintain freedom of the seas and to take all necessary
measures in defense of peace in Southeast Asia."
Hubbard returned to Long Beach on 28 October 1964 for a year of
warfare readiness operations along the western seaboard. In October
1965, she departed for the coast of South Vietnam. In company with
Valley Forge in November and December 1965, she provided gunfire
support for two Marine amphibious landings. In the following months,
she acted as escort to Kitty Hawk and Hancock during their strike
operations in the South China Sea, acting as Harbor Defense ship at
Danang and fired more than 1,000 rounds of exploding 5-inch shells
into Viet Cong strongholds along the South Vietnamese coast. She
returned to Long Beach, California, on 7 April 1966. The destroyer
had drawn nationwide attention on 10 March 1966 when the ABC
Television Network included scenes of one of her shore bombardments
along the South Vietnamese coast.
Harry E. Hubbard shared in the Navy Unit Commendation awarded Task
Group 77.5 for support operations in the Gulf of Tonkin 25 August
1964. She also received six battle stars for World War II and Korean