(DD-866: dp. 2,426; l. 390'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 18'6", s. 35 k.; cpl. 367; a. 6 6", 6 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Gearing)
Cone (DD-866) was launched 10 May 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y., sponsored by Mrs. H. I. Cone, commissioned 18 August 1945, Commander W. C. Butler, Jr., in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
Cone's first cruise, between 12 February and 9 April 1946, was a visit to Portsmouth, England. After a week at Newport, R.I., she sailed again on an extensive goodwill tour to ports of both northern and southern Europe, welcoming visitors at each city, returning to Newport 24 October. She operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean from her home port, Norfolk, until the summer of 1947, when she carried midshipmen on a training cruise to northern Europe.
Continuing training and service activities along the east coast and in the Caribbean when not deployed, Cone served her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean in 1948, joining the United Nations Palestine Patrol for a time. She returned to the Mediterranean in 1949, and later that year crossed the Arctic Circle on maneuvers. East coast and Caribbean operations and another 6th Fleet tour occupied Cone in 1960. Her 1951 Mediterranean cruise was highlighted by a visit by Winston Churchill at Venice on 9 September, and by Cone's transportation of the United States and British Ambassadors to Greece on a diplomatic call on the monasteries of Mount Athos. She served again in the Mediterranean in 1952 and on 28 August 1953, cleared Newport for a cruise around the world, sailing by way of Panama, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Yokosuka to join TF 77 on patrol off Korea, and continuing home with calls at Hong Kong, Bahrein, Port Said, Naples, Villefranche, and Lisbon, returning to Norfolk 9 April 1954.
From September to November 1954, Cone sailed to join other NATO navies in antisubmarine training off Ireland and in Operation "Blackjack," then called briefly at Mediterranean ports. Nineteen fifty-five found her concentrating on air defense exercises and acting as planeguard for carriers, and in 1956, cruising in the Mediterranean, she joined in NATO exercises, returning home in June. Alerted during the Suez Crisis, she joined a task force which sailed to the eastern Atlantic to stand by, then called at Lisbon and returned home when its services were not needed. In 1958 and 1959-60 Cone served with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean through the remainder of 1960, she conducted exercises in the Caribbean, operated locally from her new home port, Charleston, S.C., and visited northern European waters during NATO maneuvers.