Jonas Ingram

(DD-938: dp. 3,807; l. 418'5"; b. 45'1", dr. 14'6", s. over 30 k.; cpl. 311; a. 3 5", 5 3", 4 tt., 2 ASW, 1 dct., cl. Forrest Sherman)

Jonas Ingram (DD-938) was laid down 15 June 1955 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., Iaunched 7 August 1956; sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence Hays, Jr.. daughter of Admiral Ingram; and commissioned 19 July 1957 at Boston Naval Shipyard, Comdr. G. L. Rawlings in command.

Following shakedown in the Caribbean and along the western coast of South America, Jonas Ingram departed Boston 26 February 1958 for patrols in the West Indies. She sailed from Newport, R.I., 2 September for the Mediterranean to join the 6th Fleet and participate in NATO exercises.

She returned to Newport 12 March 1959 and sailed 16 June for Mayport, Fla, her new homeport. She acted as recovery ship for an experimental Project Mercury nosecone which splashed off the Florida coast 25 June.

The destroyer, as flagship for Rear Admiral E. C. Stephen, Commander South Atlantic Forces, sailed for the South Atlantic 24 August and conducted joint exercises with the French and South African navies visiting nine African countries from Tanganyika before returning Mayport 15 November.

Highlights of the next 16 months of operations out of Mayport were duty providing air-sea rescue cover for President Eisenhower's flights to and from the abortive Paris Summit Conference in May 1960 and a role in another Project Mercury space test late in the year. The hardy destroyer departed 15 March 1961 for the African coast to support United Nations peace-keeping efforts in the Congo.

Returning home 8 September, she sailed 18 October for NATO exercises in Northern European waters and returned 21 December. For the next 2 years Jonas Ingram alternated Mediterranean deployments with operations out of Mayport. On 21 September 1964 she was one of our representatives at Malta during ceremonies at which Great Britain granted independence to the island. During this cruise she embarked four Turkish naval officers for a 4-week visit under the NATO exchange program. She returned from the Mediterranean in time to serve as one of the recovery ships for the unmanned Gemini space shot GT-2 in December. Atlantic Fleet ASW exercises in the North Atlantic during February 1965 were followed by Operation "Springboard" in the Caribbean in March. In the summer Jonas Ingram got underway on a people-to-people cruise in Middle Eastern waters and visited such parts as Djibouti, French Somaliland; Berbera, Somalia; Aden; Karachi, Pakistan ; and Beirut, Lebanon.

The destroyer returned to Mayport in the fall to become a recovery ship for Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford's Gemini 6 spacecraft in December. After operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean early in 1966 Jonas Ingram returned to the Mediterranean for service with the 6th Fleet. In September 1966 she accompanied Stribling (DD-867) to Port Said, the first U.S. warships to visit Egypt in almost 15 years.

Jonas Ingram returned home 20 October where she prepared for Exercise "Lantflex 66-2." The fleet exercise took the destroyer to the Caribbean late in November and lasted through mid-December. Jonas Ingram operated out of Mayport until sailing for the Mediterranean 17 July 1967. She reach Gibraltar 29 July and steamed with the 6th fleet into the fall.