(DD-932: dp. 3907 fl., l. 418' 5", b. 45'2", dr. 14'; s. over 30 k.; cpl. 324; a. 3 5", 4 3", 4 21" tt., 1 dct; cl. Forrest Sherman )
John Paul Jones (DD-932) was laid down 18 January 1954 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched 7 May 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Robert B. Carney, wife of Admiral Carney; and commissioned at Boston 5 April 1956, Comdr. R. W. Hayler, Jr., in command.
John Paul Jones, second of the initial class destroyers of post-war design, conducted exhaustive shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after which she departed for a cruise to Northern Europe and the British Isles. During this voyage Commander Hayler and members of the crew visited the birthplace of John Paul and presented the ship's emblem to the people of Kirkcudbright. She returned to her home port, Newport, 8 October 1956.
The new destroyer departed for her first cruise with Sixth Fleet 25 March 1957. In May she took part in a graphic illustration of the power of that naval force. swiftly projected where needed, as leftist attempts to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan were foiled by American warships offshore. After helping to avert this crisis, John Paul Jones sailed for Newport once more, arriving 6 June 1957. NATO maneuvers in the North Atlantic followed in October. After another brief cruise to the Mediterranean, she arrived Fall River 27 November and in January 1958 she took part in fleet exercises in the Caribbean.
In the spring of 1958 John Paul Jones operated with Canadian ships on training maneuvers in the Atlantic. After further training off the East Coast and in the Caribbean, she sailed again for the Mediterranean 17 March 1959. This tour with the vital 6th Fleet on its peace-keeping mission ended 24 July when the ship arrived Boston.
The year 1960 began with 2d Fleet operations out of Newport, and in June the destroyer embarked midshipmen for a training cruise. She then departed 22 August for a cruise to South America. As part of Operation Unitas, she circumnavigated the continent, visiting many of America's southern allies and taking part in joint exercises with their navies. After transiting the Straits of Magellan and the Panama Canal, John Paul Jones returned to Newport 13 December 1960. During 1961 and 1962 the ship carried out antisubmarine exercises in the Caribbean and out of Newport. In April 1962 she took part in a fleet review and weapons demonstration for President Kennedy, and in July she again embarked midshipmen for training. In October 1962 the ship was on station with the Atlantic Recovery Forces during the orbital flight of Commander Schirra, and soon afterward moved off the coast of Cuba during the Cuban Crisis. As American naval power in the form of a quarantine forced the removal of offensive missiles from the island, the decisive role of the country's modern navy was again emphasized.
The following year saw the veteran ship embark on another Mediterranean cruise 6 February to 1 July; the remainder of 1963 was spent on antisubmarine exercises in the Atlantic.
Operations along the Atlantic Coast continued until John Paul Jones began another 6th Fleet deployment 20 June 1964. She operated primarily in the western Mediterranean, on ASW assignments until returning home 3 September 1964. Early in 1965 she participated in Operation "Spring board" in the Caribbean. In March the destroyer received a Gemini-recovery crane and on the 19th sailed for her recovery station some 200 miles south of Bermuda. She was to pick up astronauts Major Virgil Grissom and Lt. Cmdr. John Young and their space craft in the event that they ended their flight after two rather than the three scheduled orbits. However, all went well so she returned to Norfolk 27 March without headlines.
John Paul Jones headed back to the Mediterranean 18 June for NATO exercises with units of the French. Greek and British navies. She returned to Norfolk 6 November, sailed to Philadelphia 2 December, and entered the Naval Shipyard and decommissioned 20 December for conversion to a guided missile destroyer. Reclassified DDG-32, she recommissioned in the fall of 1967.