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USS Kenneth D. Bailey (DD 713)

- formerly DDR 713 -
- decommissioned -



FRAM II configuration

USS KENNETH D. BAILEY was one of the GEARING - class destroyers and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. One previous ship, DE 552, was scheduled to bear the name, however, construction was cancelled. Decommissioned on January 20, 1970, the KENNETH D. BAILEY was subsequently laid up at Orange, Tx., until sold to Iran on January 13, 1975, to be used for spare parts. She left Texas under tow in Spring 1975 and was scrapped in Iran in 1993.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1942
Keel laid: September 21, 1944
Launched: June 17, 1945
Commissioned: July 31, 1945
Decommissioned: December 22, 1952
Recommissioned: August 29, 1953
Decommissioned: January 20, 1970
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding, Newark, NJ
FRAM II Conversion Shipyard: Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, SC
FRAM II Conversion Period: January 1960 - October 1960
Propulsion system: four boilers, General Electric geared turbines; 60,000 SHP
Propellers: two
Length: 391 feet (119.2 meters)
Beam: 41 feet (12.5 meters)
Draft: 18.7 feet (5.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,400 tons full load
Speed: 34 knots
Aircraft after FRAM II: none
Armament after FRAM II: three 5-inch/38 caliber twin mounts, Mk-32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts), two Hedgehogs Mk-10
Crew after FRAM II: approx. 275


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS KENNETH D. BAILEY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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USS KENNETH D. BAILEY History:

KENNETH D. BAILEY was launched 17 June 1945 by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Elizabeth Speissegger Bailey, widow of Major Bailey; and commissioned 31 July 1945, Comdr. G. H. Richards, Jr., in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, KENNETH D. BAILEY operated in the Atlantic from the New England coast to the Caribbean. Working out of Newport, R.I., and Norfolk, Va., she served as plane guard during the qualification of pilots in carrier operations and trained men for the crews of new destroyers. From 13 February to 26 March 1947 she cruised along the eastern coast of South America and returned to Norfolk 31 March.

On 10 November, KENNETH D. BAILEY departed Norfolk on the first of many Mediterranean cruises during the Cold War. From 13 December to 5 January 1948, she patrolled the coast of Greece. While operating in the Mediterranean from 13 January to 12 May 1949, she supported the still unsettled truce in Israel and helped to maintain peace between Italy and Yugoslavia during their struggle for Trieste. Again, from 3 September 1951 to 4 February 1952, she ranged the Mediterranean from Spain to Turkey.

When not deployed with the 6th Fleet, KENNETH D. BAILEY joined operations that carried her from the Caribbean and the reaches of the Arctic Ocean to the shores of Northern and Western Europe. Undertaking a variety of duties, she trained naval reservists, served as plane guard and screen during carrier operations, and participated in cold weather exercises north of the Arctic Circle. On 2 December 1952 she entered the Boston Naval Shipyard for modernization and conversion to a radar picket destroyer and decommissioned on the 22d.

Redesignated DDR 713, KENNETH D. BAILEY recommissioned 29 August 1953, Comdr. W. D. Gaddis in command. Based at Newport, she operated along the East Coast, then deployed with the 6th Fleet 19 May 1954. Before returning to Newport 28 September, she participated in joint NATO operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. She again deployed to the Mediterranean from 5 November 1955 to 17 March 1956, and in February 1956 she patrolled the Red Sea along Israeli and Egyptian coasts to express U.S. concern over the mounting Suez crisis. In April 1957 she cruised the eastern Mediterranean in support of King Hussein's pro-Western Jordanian government, then threatened by Communist subversion. And while on her next deployment (2 September 1958-28 March 1959), she supported U.S. operations in Lebanon, begun in July 1958 at the request of Lebanese President Chamoun, who feared a Communist coup.

KENNETH D. BAILEY shifted her homeport from Newport to Mayport, Fla., 16 June 1959. After completing destroyer operations in the Atlantic, she entered Charleston Navy Yard 26 January 1960 for a 9-month FRAM II overhaul that equipped her with new radar, sonar, and communication facilities. She returned to Mayport 27 October well prepared to help maintain American security on the seas. She sailed 14 November for waters off Guatemala and Nicaragua to establish barrier patrols to prevent the landing of Cuban supplies and armed forces during small-scale revolts in those Central American nations. She continued this important duty until 4 December, then returned to Mayport 18 December to prepare for further service in the Mediterranean.

Departing Mayport 9 February 1961, KENNETH D. BAILEY arrived Gibraltar 18 February to commence 6 months of Fleet and NATO operations that carried her from the coast of France to the shores of Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon. Since that time, she has deployed to the Mediterranean four times within 4 years. Returning from her latest deployment 26 October 1966, the destroyer remained off Mayport, Fla., until 12 April 1967 when she arrived at Charleston, S.C., for overhaul, where she remained until 7 September when she departed for Mayport.

The remainder of the year was spent with refresher training. Training, however, was interrupted by material issues that required two upkeep periods in Guantanamo. After a leave and upkeep period at Mayport, KENNETH D. BAILEY commenced 1968 with an ASW exercise in early January, followed by a tender availability. On 6 March, KENNETH D. BAILEY departed Mayport for the Mediterranean. After stops at Bermuda and the Azores, the ship joined the 6th Fleet at Gibraltar. The deployment routine of exercises and port calls continued until mid-July, when the ship was relieved at Rota, Spain, by USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG 2). KENNETH D. BAILEY returned to Mayport 23 July 1968.

On 1 January 1969, KENNETH D. BAILEY was redesignated DD 713. In February, the ship headed for Guantanamo to conduct refresher training and gunnery qualifications. Back in Mayport in March, the destroyer was called upon to deploy to the Mediterranean in April to replace another ship unable to deploy due to an engine failure.

Joining the 6th Fleet in early May, KENNETH D. BAILEY was again busy with exercises and operations. In August 1969, while still deployed, the crew received word of the ship's upcoming decommissioning. Returning to Mayport in October, the rest of the year was spent with preparations to retire the ship. Decommissioned 20 January 1970, the KENNETH D. BAILEY was subsequently laid up at Orange, Tx., until sold to Iran on 13 January 1975 to be used for spare parts. She left Texas under tow in Spring 1975 and was scrapped in Iran in 1993.


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About the Ship's Name:

Kenneth Dillion Bailey, born 21 October 1910 in Pawnee, Okla., was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps 10 July 1935. Assigned to various sea and shore billets before the outbreak of World War II, he served with the Marine detachment on board PENNSYLVANIA (BB 38) from 2 June 1938 to 14 July 1940. Transferred 30 April 1942 to field duty in the Pacific with the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, he was promoted to Major 18 May. During the invasion of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 7 August, he led a successful assault against an enemy machine gun nest. Although seriously wounded, he directed the action of his company until forcibly evacuated. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity," Major Bailey was awarded the Silver Star.

As commanding officer of Company C, 1st Raider Battalion, he led his men in repulsing a Japanese attack, which had penetrated American lines during the Battle of Bloody Ridge, Guadalcanal, 12 to 14 September. Despite a severe head wound, he directed his men for more than 10 hours of fierce hand-to-hand fighting. "His great personal valor while exposed to constant and merciless enemy fire, and his indomitable fighting spirit inspired his troops to heights of heroic endeavor which enabled them to repulse the enemy and hold Henderson Field." Killed 26 September while heading his men in an attack on the enemy at the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal, Major Bailey was posthumuously awarded the Medal of Honor and the Presidential Unit Citation.


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Accidents aboard USS KENNETH D. BAILEY:

DateWhereEvents
March 5, 1959Strait of Gibraltar
USS KENNETH D. BAILEY and the USNS HAITI VICTORY (T-AK 238) collide in the Strait of Gibraltar, causing heavy damage to the destroyer's starboard rear. One sailor aboard the BAILEY is killed in the collision.


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