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Hull Number: DD-666

Launch Date: 03/28/1943

Commissioned Date: 05/21/1943

Decommissioned Date: 09/26/1969

Call Sign: NKAV

Voice Call Sign: Experience (Korea)



Data for USS Fletcher (DD-445) as of 1945

Length Overall: 376’ 5"

Beam: 39’ 7"

Draft: 13’ 9"

Standard Displacement: 2,050 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,940 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,250 barrels


Five 5″/38 caliber guns
Five 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts
Two 21″ quintuple torpedo tubes


20 Officers
309 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)

Born in Oradell, NJ, 29 June 1903, Hugh David Black graduated from the Academy in 1926. Lieutenant Commander Black was the executive officer of Benson (DD-421) in 1940 and commanding officer of Jacob Jones (DD-130) in 1941. He was killed in action when Jacob Jones was sunk by the German submarine U-578 off the Delaware Capes 28 February 1942.


Stricken 9/21/1969. Sold 02/17/1971 to Chou`s Iron and Steel Co. Inc., Taiwan for $101,595.00. Scrapped.

USS BLACK DD-666 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)

Black (DD-666) was launched 28 March 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, NJ; sponsored by Mrs. H. D. Black, widow of Lieutenant Commander Black; and commissioned 21 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. Maginis in command.

Black proceeded to Pearl Harbor, via San Diego, and reported for duty 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 south of Jaluit.

After seeing her first combat during the invasion of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands (29 January-8 February 1944), Black rendered fine service in 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 for repairs which lasted until February 1945.

Repairs completed, she sailed to Ulithi where, upon arrival 13 March, she reported to 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) which hastened the end of the war.

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 East 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 5 August 1946 at Long Beach, Calif.

Black was recommissioned 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 for the Pacific, via the Panama Canal, on a round-the-world cruise. She arrived off the coast of Korea 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. Since that time she has completed two tours of the western Pacific and has conducted local operations and anti-submarine warfare exercises along the west coast.

Black received six battle stars for her World War II service and two battle stars for service off Korea.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, January 2007

The USS BLACK (DD-666) was launched on 28 March 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Kearny, New Jersey, and was commissioned on 21 May 1943. By late November, she was headed for the Pacific and Tarawa. She was assigned screening duty off the entrance to Tarawa Lagoon and escorting transports until 22 January 1944. An interruption came on 15 January 1944, when the BLACK was sent to rescue the survivors of two downed PBY aircraft 50 miles south of Jaluit. Escaping detection by enemy destroyers prowling the crash area, she rescued 22 crew members from the two PBYs and carried them to safety.

Her first combat duty came during the invasion of Majuro Atoll in the Marshall
Islands from 29 January to 8 February 1944 and between 22 April and 7 May, she supported the landings at Aitape and Hollandia, New Guinea. On 11 June, she took part in the invasion of Saipan where, on the 15th, she fought off an air attack, dodging two torpedoes in the process. She subsequently took part in the capture of Guam and, on 24 July, took aboard nineteen men wounded when their landing ship was struck by mortar fire and transferred them to a hospital ship. She was in the thick of the Leyte operation in October and November, providing screening and shore bombardment. While delivering night harassing fire on 21 October, she was grazed by friendly fire but suffered no serious damage to ship or personnel.

The destroyer returned to San Francisco for an overhaul, which lasted until February 1945 and sailed again for the Pacific in March. With Task Force 58 on 18 March, she screened carriers during air strikes against mainland Japan and crashed an enemy bomber. She was one of seven destroyers assigned to escort the damaged carrier FRANKLIN (CV-13) under tow by the PITTSBURG (CA-72) out of the area. Her charge delivered, she proceeded to Okinawa and on 26 March began picket duty and her group’s constant battle against kamikaze attacks. En route to her station, she was targeted by a lone bomber which was downed by the CHAUNCEY (DD-667). That was just the beginning. At 0935 on 16 April an enemy bomber dove on the BLACK, crashing ten yards off her bow. Shrapnel rained on her decks but inflicted no damage. The next day, the BLACK damaged one attacker and crashed another. After a stint with the carriers launching raids on southern Japan, she was back off Okinawa until 30 May.

Following a return to the Leyte Gulf, she took part in the Third Fleet’s advances against Japan from 10 July 1945 to the end of hostilities. The BLACK served with occupation forces off Japan, Korea, and China until 10 November 1945 when she returned to the United States.

The BLACK was out of commission from 5 August 1946 to 18 July 1951 when she began operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. She was on her way to the Pacific in January 1953 and arrived in the Korean war zone on 4 March. On the bomb line off Korea’s Nando Island, she provided call fire for U.S. Marine spotters, monitored Korean boat traffic, and shelled enemy positions ashore. Her Korean operations ended in June 1953 when she headed for Norfolk via the Suez Canal. Training, fleet operations, and plane guard duties along the East Coast and in the Caribbean occupied her until January 1955.

She, then, transferred to Long Beach and the Pacific fleet with the OWEN (DD-536), PRITCHETT (DD-561), COWELL (DD-547), CUSHING (DD797), JARVIS (DD-799), WATTS (DD-567), and TRATHEN (DD-530). Over the ensuing years, she alternated operations along the West Coast with tours of the Western Pacific where she earned the nickname “Steaming Demon”.

February 1965 found the BLACK escorting units of an amphibious force off the mouth of the Saigon River. Beginning in mid-March, she and the HIGBEE (DD-806) spent eighty percent of the their seven-month deployment at sea as the first U.S. warships to use the infiltration surveillance methods that came to be known as Operation “Market Time”.

The BLACK spent the months of June and July 1965 shelling Vietcong positions and was one of the first ships to demonstrate the effectiveness of naval call fire by airborne spotters. Back home for overhaul at year’s end, she was off South Vietnam in July 1966, this time on Dixie Station screening the INTREPID (CV-11) as she launched strikes against targets in the Mekong Delta region. She later provided fire support during an assault against Vietcong infiltration in the III Corps area and moved up the Dong Son tributary of the Saigon River to bombard supply and infiltration routes and enemy positions.

In early August 1966, the destroyer moved on to Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf to screen the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA-42) as she launched strikes against enemy positions in North and South Vietnam. In mid-August, the BLACK conducted gunfire support missions in the Vung Xuan Dai area inflicting considerable material and personnel damage on the enemy. At one point, during refueling operations with the ROOSEVELT, the BLACK successfully diverted a Soviet intelligence-gathering trawler, the GIDROFON, away from the U.S. formation.

November found her homeward bound, escorting the ORISKANY (CV-34), crippled by a fire on her hangar deck that claimed 44 of her crew. Upon her arrival in San Diego, she began routine operations until her decommissioning in 1969. The BLACK was stricken from the navy’s list on 26 September 1969 and sold for scrap on 17 February 1971.