|Rear Admiral James E. Jouett served during the Mexican and Civil Wars. The second JOUETT was launched on 24 September 1938 and commissioned 25 January 1939. Her shakedown training took her to England and Ireland after which she joined the neutrality patrol off the Grand Banks. Then, in November, she steamed south to Galveston, Texas, with the DAVIS (DD-395), BENHAM (DD-397), ELLET (DD-398), and LANG (DD-399) to patrol the Gulf of Mexico. On 15 February 1940, she joined the LANG and TUSCALOOSA (CA-37), with President Roosevelt aboard, for fishing in the Gulf of Panama, then back to Galveston. She was transferred to San Diego with the DAVIS and SAMPSON (DD-394) and then continued west to Pearl Harbor. She served in Hawaiian and California waters where she operated with the DAVIS, WARRINGTON (DD-383), and SOMERS (DD-381) from April 1940 to April 1941.
On 18 April 1941, the three destroyers were joined by the McDOUGAL (DD-358) to escort the YORKTOWN (CV-5) to Port of Spain, Trinidad. There, the JOUETT joined the MILWAUKEE (CL-5) to guard against German surface and submarine attacks on American shipping. She also patrolled with the MEMPHIS (CL-13), CINCINNATI (CL-6), and DAVIS, steaming out of Port of Spain, San Juan, Cape Verde, and Recife. She was in Port of Spain with the CINCINNATI on December 7th.
Following Pearl Harbor, the JOUETT began offensive antisubmarine patrols between Brazil and Africa, helping to keep the supply lanes open. In October 1941, the JOUETT, DAVIS, and MEMPHIS escorted a merchant ship to Lagos, Nigeria. Following overhaul at the Charleston Navy Yard, the JOUETT headed south via Key West and Trinidad to Recife, Brazil. She accompanied ships carrying army engineers to Ascension Island in March 1942 to build an airfield and then escorted oil tankers from Trinidad, attacking several submarines with depth charges along the way.
In December 1942, the destroyer returned to Charleston for repairs and in January 1943 was back in Brazil on escort duty and antisubmarine patrol. By mid-May, she was part of the search for U-128 off Bahia, Brazil. Navy patrol bombers located the sub and dropped depth charges bringing her to the surface. Learning of the attack, the JOUETT and MOFFETT (DD-362) sped to the scene and opened fire. Their gunners made several direct hits that sent the submarine to the bottom, leaving most of its crew in the water where the destroyers rescued them and took them prisoner. The JOUETT continued on convoy duty and antisubmarine patrol through 1943, serving at various times with the OMAHA (CL-4), MARBLEHEAD (CL-12), MEMPHIS, and MILWAUKEE.
On New Year’s Day 1944, she joined OMAHA and SOMERS for ocean patrol, and within a forty-eight-hour period intercepted three German blockade runners, their holds full of thousands of tons of rubber, tin, fats, and strategic ores. One, the WESTERLAND, was sunk by the SOMERS. Later, a scout plane from the OMAHA and a lookout in the ship’s foretop sighted the RIO GRANDE. As the OMAHA and JOUETT moved in to investigate the ship, it erupted in smoke and flame from demolition charges set by her crew. The cruiser and destroyer opened fire and finished off the German ship. The following day, patrol planes reported a strange ship identifying herself as the FLORIDIAN. When naval intelligence identified her as the blockade runner BURGENLAND, the OMAHA and JOUETT headed for the area. When they picked her up on radar, they closed in only to see her go up in flames as had the RIO GRANDE. The cruiser’s gunfire sank her just after 1730. The American ships found hundreds of tons of baled rubber floating amid the debris of the sunken ships and recovered them to send back to the states.
The JOUETT, with the DAVIS and SOMERS, escorted a convoy bound for England in May 1944 and there joined a Reserve Fire Support Group for the invasion of France. She arrived of Omaha Beach on 8 June escorting coastal steamers with support troops and repelling at least one air attack that day. Until 21 June, she screened British heavy ships during shore bombardment and provided an antisubmarine screen for the Omaha Beach transport area. With establishment of the second front, the JOUETT escorted convoys to and from the Firth of Clyde until 12 July 1944 when she sailed with a convoy for Algeria.
She arrived at Oran on 21 July to prepare for the invasion of Southern France. Leaving Naples on 14 August, the JOUETT arrived off Cape Camarat the next day and, as troops landed, acted as command ship of the Convoy Control Group charged with the smooth routing and unloading of support troops. This duty continued until 3 September, after which the ship operated on patrol out of Toulon. In early October, the JOUETT steamed off Cape Ferrat, Nice, giving gunfire support to American troops in the bitter fighting ashore. She also destroyed mines off San Remo, destroyed bridges, and covered Allied minesweeping operations in the area.
The JOUETT sailed for Charleston and repairs on 31 December 1944 after which she escorted convoys to Europe. She was in Cuba in August 1945 and when the war ended on 15 August, was en route to Philadelphia where she tied up alongside the SAMPSON (DD-394), BALCH (DD-363), and CLARK (DD-361). The JOUETT was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard at 1500 on 1 November 1945. She was scrapped in 1946.