USS Black (DD-666) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Lieutenant Commander Hugh D. Black (1903–1942), who was killed in action during the sinking of his ship, Jacob Jones in February 1942.
USS Black (DD-666), Steaming at sea, c. 1968.
|Namesake:||Hugh David Black|
|Builder:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey|
|Laid down:||14 November 1942|
|Launched:||28 March 1943|
|Commissioned:||21 May 1943|
|Decommissioned:||26 September 1969|
|Struck:||26 September 1969|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 17 February 1971|
|Class and type:||Fletcher class destroyer|
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.7 m)|
|Beam:||39 ft 8 in (12.1 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft 9 in (5.4 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Range:||6500 nm at 15 kn (12,000 km at 28 km/h)|
Black was launched 28 March 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. H. D. Black, widow of Lieutenant Commander Black; and commissioned 21 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. Maginnis in command.
World War II
Black proceeded to Pearl Harbor, via San Diego, Calif., and reported for duty on 15 November 1943. Shortly thereafter, she steamed to Tarawa and was assigned screening duty off Tarawa Lagoon entrance. She continued this duty until 22 January 1944, with occasional diversion as escort for transports to the 180th meridian. On 15 January 1944 she rescued 22 survivors of two downed patrol aircraft 50 miles (95 km) south of Jaluit.
- the Aitape and Hollandia, New Guinea, landings (22 April – 7 May);
- Saipan invasion (11 June – 4 July);
- capture of Guam (21 July – 10 August);
- and Leyte operation (20–21 October and 13–14 November).
The destroyer then returned to San Francisco, Calif. for repairs which lasted until February 1945.
Repairs completed, she sailed to Ulithi where, upon arrival on 13 March, she reported to the Fast Carrier Task Force (then TF 58) for duty. Between 17 March and 30 May Black participated in the 5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation. After a period of rest and upkeep at Leyte Gulf, Black took part in the 3rd Fleet operations against Japan (10 July – 15 August 1945) and, on 15 August, the day Japan agreed to surrender, was present during one of the Pacific War's final kamikaze attacks.
After the cessation of hostilities Black remained off Japan assisting in the occupation until 1 September when, as a unit of TF 72, she departed with the occupation forces for Inchon, Korea. She served in the Far Fast on occupation duty until 10 November 1945, when she left Tsingtao, China, for the United States. Upon arrival, Black reported for inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve on 5 August 1946 at Long Beach, Calif.
Black was recommissioned on 18 July 1951 and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. She participated in type and fleet operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until 10 January 1953 when she departed Norfolk, Va. for the Pacific, via the Panama Canal, on a round-the-world cruise. She arrived off the coast of Korea on 4 March and two days later commenced harassing fire on the beach. Black continued her Korean operations until 4 June 1953.
On 9 June, Black departed for Norfolk, via the Suez Canal, arriving on the east coast 6 August. Until January 1955, she conducted type training, fleet operations, and plane guard duties along the east coast and in the Caribbean. In January 1955 Black transferred to the Pacific Fleet arriving at Long Beach 26 January.
Over the next decade and a half, Black regularly crossed the great ocean to take her place as a unit of the 7th Fleet, serving as an aircraft carrier escort, taking part in antisubmarine warfare exercises, patrolling in the Taiwan Strait and visiting ports throughout the Far East. Her tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth post-World War II Western Pacific deployments, beginning in early 1965, included Vietnam War service. Among her duties during this time were early participation in Operation Market Time coastal patrol and interdiction operations, providing naval gunfire support for forces ashore and screening carriers as they took the war to the North Vietnamese enemy.
Black's last overseas cruise ended in July 1969. She was decommissioned in late September of that year and sold for scrapping in February 1971.
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