John Hood

(DD-655: dp.2,050, l. 376'6"; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9"; s. 37 k., cpl. 319 a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 6 dcp., 2 dct., 10 21" tt.; cl. Fletcher)

John Hood (DD-655) was laid down 12 October 1942 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala.; launched 25 October 1943, sponsored by Miss Amelia O'Neal, and commissioned 7 June 1944, Comdr. Thomas J. Thronhill in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean the new destroyer departed for the Pacific 21 August 1944, arriving Mare Island 6 September. She sailed on to the Aleutian Islands for duty with the North Pacific Forces, arriving Adak 18 September. John Hood joined Destroyer Squadron 57 of Rear Admiral J. L. McCrea's Task Force 92 and served her entire war career in the stormy waters of the North Pacific guarding our vital northern "back door." The principal offensive missions were to harass and threaten the enemy outposts in the Kurile Islands, more than 600 miles westward of Attu. In carrying out this mission, the Task Force made nine sorties against the Kuriles and five offensive sweeps in the Sea of' Okhotsk, hampered by bad weather, and well beyond the range of friendly air cover. John Hood was the only ship of the task force which participated in every sortie from reporting through the end of the war.

In November she engaged in the bombardment of the Japanese base on Matasowa, causing considerable damage to the installation. She continued sorties and patrol operations in the Kuriles through the winter and spring of 1945. While patrolling in the Sea of Okhotsk 25 June 1945, John Hood encountered an enemy convoy attempting last minute reinforcements to the badly battered Japanese garrisons. The destroyer assisted in sinking one cargo shin and probable sinking of another. On 11 August her task group conducted one of the final naval operations of the war by destroying another enemy convoy.

Following the cessation of hostilities, she steamed to Adak to prepare for occupation duties. John Hood departed Adak 31 August with a large force headed for Northern Japan. The battle tested destroyer remained in Northern Japanese waters with the occupations forces until she turned homeward 18 November. She arrived Charleston, S.C., 22 December and remained there until she decommissioned 3 July 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

John Hood recommissioned 3 August 1951, Comdr. S. P. Gantz in command. Following commissioning she received major modifications to enable her to assume a place in the modern fleet.

John Hood departed Norfolk 29 June for an around the world cruise, including peace-keeping patrols with the 7th Fleet off the coast of Korea. She returned to Norfolk 6 February 1954 for repairs and coastal training operations before sailing 5 November 1955 for Mediterranean duty with the 6th Fleet. Upon returning to Norfolk 26 February 1956, the destroyer received repairs to her storm damaged mast and then trained midshipmen in the summer. During the tense Suez crisis in the fall she sailed with Task Force 26 to Lisbon to be ready for action if needed and returned to the Virginia Capes in December.

Following training exercises along the Atlantic coast, and another 6th Fleet cruise 1957 in the still turbulent Mideastern waters, John Hood commenced training cruises in early 1958. She operated with Fleet Sonar School and engaged in ASW exercises before being transferred to the Reserve Destroyer Squadron at New York 1 October 1959. She continued training reservists until 1 August 1961, when President Kennedy ordered a callup of reservists to bolster the nation's military strength during the Berlin crisis. The American answer to the communist challenge prevented a major conflict, and, as the crisis subsided, John Flood resumed duties as a reserve training destroyer at New York in August 1962. She continued this service into 1967.

John Hood received one battle star for World War II service.