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Hull Number: DD-701

Launch Date: 05/21/1944

Commissioned Date: 07/21/1944

Decommissioned Date: 08/21/1970

Call Sign: NHEK, NJWW

Voice Call Sign: STUD POKER (52-55), SUN BEAM (1958)



Data for USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) as of 1945

Length Overall: 376’ 6"

Beam: 40’ 10"

Draft: 14’ 5"

Standard Displacement: 2,200 tons

Full Load Displacement: 3,315 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,293 barrels


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


20 Officers
325 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 34.2 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2015

John Wingate Weeks, horn near Lancaster, N.H., 11 April 1860, was appointed to the Naval Academy 27 June 1877 and graduated 10 June 1881. After serving on Powhatan and Richmond, he returned to civilian life 30 June 1883 and distinguished himself as a civil engineer, financier, and political leader. From 1890 to 1900 he served in the Massachusetts Naval Brigade.

“When War with Spain broke out, Weeks returned to the Navy as a Lieutenant, 23 April 1898. He was attached to Minnesota and served as Assistant to the Chief of Auxiliary Naval Force. After the end of the war, Weeks was discharged 28 October 1898. He was placed on the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia retired list as Rear Admiral 10 April 1900.

In 1904 Weeks was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served until entering the Senate in 1913. In the 1916 Convertion of the Republican Party Weeks received 105 votes for the presidential nomination. He became Secretary of War 4 March 1921 and held that post until illness forced him to resign 13 October 1925. He died at Lancaster, N.H., 12 July 1926.


Stricken 8/12/1970, sunk as target off Virginia 11/19/1970

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor January 2000

Named for naval officer, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of War John W. Weeks, the DD-701 was commissioned on 21 July 1944. By year’s end she was in the Pacific and early in January 1945 was headed with Task Force 38 for Luzon. As the U.S. Army stormed ashore at Lingayen, the WEEKS screened carriers for strikes against Japanese air strips on Formosa and the Pescadores and swept the South China Sea for enemy ships.

Her next screening mission was during strikes against Tokyo followed by gun fire support of the marines on Iwo in February. Back screening carriers in March, the WEEKS received credit for two assists during a raid on the task force. Her guns joined the pre-invasion bombardment of Okinawa. During strikes against the Japanese surface force on 7 April, the carrier HANCOCK (CV-19) was hit by a kamikaze and the crew of the WEEKS rescued twenty-three survivors in a heroic effort. The destroyer then went on to participate in the final assault on Japan’s home islands, engaging in radar picket duty, shore bombardment, rescue missions, and an anti-shipping sweep off Tokyo Bay. The WEEKS suffered only one casualty during World War II, that being Bruce Biggar who died in a friendly fire incident. Following the cessation of hostilities, she engaged in escort operations with the occupation forces until returning home at the end of December.

Inactivated during most of 1946, she was a naval reserve training ship operating out of Charleston and New Orleans between May 1947 and mid-1949. Following a European cruise, the WEEKS was decommissioned on 31 May 1950. North Korea’s invasion of South Korea brought the destroyer back to active duty on 24 October 1950. Over the next two years, she trained in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. In the mid-Atlantic in January 1952, she was the first to reach the ill-fated FLYING ENTERPRISE floundering in a gale. She took off all of her crew except for the captain, who remained aboard hoping to keep the vessel afloat. The WEEKS and the fleet tug TURMOIL shared the treacherous job of towing the ship. Ultimately, the captain was also taken off, and the ship foundered and sank.

DD-701 sailed on an around-the-world cruise in 1953 and 1954, with operations off the Korean coast while in the Far East. From 1954 to 1963, the WEEKS operated with the Atlantic Fleet, making five Mediterranean cruises and participating in two NATO exercises.

Operating with the Sixth Fleet in 1956 when the Suez Canal crisis erupted, she patrolled the Eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate the U.S. interest in a peaceful outcome. A year later, again in the Near East, the WEEKS was part of the force that stood by to prevent a government take-over in Jordan. A 1957 NATO exercise, a deployment to the Red Sea, and Baghdad Pact and Sixth Fleet exercises carried her into 1959. A midshipman training cruise took her to the Great Lakes for the summer of 1959 and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. On 9 March 1960, she and the AULT (DD-698) became the first U.S. warships to enter the Black Sea since 1945. In May, under sealed orders, the WEEKS rendezvoused with the TRITON (SSN-590) at the end of the submarine’s around-the-world cruise.

During refresher training in March 1961, the WEEKS rescued the cable schooner WESTERN UNION, which was being forced by the Cuban militia into the port of Baracoa. Later that year, while operating with the INDEPENDENCE (CVA-60) during fleet exercises, she rescued one of her pilots who was forced to ditch his disabled plane. Again while plane guarding the INDEPENDENCE, the WEEKS rescued another pilot, this time achieving the first successful night rescue of one of that carrier’s pilots. October 1962, the WEEKS escorted replenishment ships to the quarantine area during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

En route to the Mediterranean in November 1963, the WEEKS took aboard an injured man from a Greek merchant freighter and sped with him to Ponta del Gada, Azores. The end of 1963 found the destroyer patrolling off Cyprus, on stand-by for the possible evacuation of Americans from the strife-torn island. Steaming on into the Red Sea, she then turned south to patrol along the Zanzibar coast during a revolution there and disorders in Kenya and Tanganyika. She was back in Norfolk in May 1964. An overhaul, another Mediterranean deployment, and East Coast and Caribbean operations took her up to the summer of 1966 and a cruise to the North Atlantic. A highlight of 1967 was the destroyer’s deployment to the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with stops along the east and west coasts of Africa on her way back to the Middle East.

The WEEKS spent much of 1968 in a reduced operational status, preparing at year’s end for deployment to the Western Pacific. By March 1969, she was on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Moored at New London, Connecticut, the JOHN W. WEEKS was decommissioned and stricken from the navy’s list on 12 August 1970. She was ultimately towed to the Virginia Capes and sunk by gun fire in November 1970.

USS JOHN W. WEEKS DD-701 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2015

John W. Weeks (DD-701) was laid down 17 January 1944 by Federal Ship Building & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N. J.; launched 21 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. John W. Davidge, daughter of Secretary Weeks; and commissioned 21 July 1944, Comdr. Robert A. Theobald. Jr., in command.

After shakedown out of Bermuda and tests en route to Argentina. Newfoundland, the new destroyer departed New York 10 November 1944 escorting battleships Missouri (BB-63), Texas (BB-35), and Arkansas (BB-33) and escort carriers Shamrock Bay (CVE-84) and Wake Island (CVE-65) to the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal and touched San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok before joining the 3d fleet at Ulithi 27 December.

Early in January 1945, John W. Weeks sortied from that busy lagoon with Vice Admiral John S. McCain Fast Carrier Task Force TF 38 and headed toward the Philippines in the screen of Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan’s task group. Meanwhile, the mighty Luzon Attack Force assembled in Leyte Gulf on New Year’s Day, passed through Surigao Strait, and set course for Lingayen Gulf. On the 9th, as General MacArthur’s troops stormed ashore on the beaches at Lingayen, planes from McCain’s carriers hit Japanese airstrips on Formosa and the Pescadores to neutralize air opposition to the Luzon invasion. That night McCain’s ships slipped through Luzon Strait into the South China Sea where they could be on call to support the Allied beachheads while striking strategic enemy positions along the southeastern coast of Asia and searching for the Imperial Fleet. In the next 10 days they lashed out at Hong Kong, Hainan, and the Indochinese coast causing much damage ashore and sinking 44 ships totaling 132,700 tons. At the end of this sweep into enemy waters Admiral Halsey reported, “the outer defenses of the Japanese Empire no longer include Burma and the Netherlands East Indies; those countries are now isolated outposts, and their products are no longer available to the Japanese war machine…” John W. Weeks, proud of her role in this daring incursion into the South China Sea, returned with her carriers to Ulithi on the 28th.

The destroyer again sailed with the carriers 11 February, and conducted strikes on Tokyo 16 and 17 February in preinvasion support of the Allied attack on Iwo Jima. After inflicting considerable damage to Japanese air power, John W. Weeks steamed toward Iwo Jima to give direct support to Marines fighting for the island. Later that month the carriers renewed their attacks on the enemy’s home islands. Heavy raids during March continued to cripple the enemy’s power and the destroyer received credit for two assists as five enemy planes were splashed while attempting a raid on the Task Force.

When D-day for the Okinawa invasion neared, John W. Weeks in company with other units shelled the shores in preinvasion bombardment. The assault forces landed in 1 April and the destroyer stood by to offer support. On 7 April a Japanese surface force was located, and strikes were launched to intercept the enemy, resulting in the sinking of the battleship Yamato. During these operations the carrier Hancock (CV-19) was hit by a kamikaze and the destroyer rescued 23 survivors in a heroic rescue mission.

For the remainder of the war, John W. Weeks participated in the final assault on the Empire Islands, engaging in radar picket duty, shore bombardment, rescue missions and the antishipping sweep off Tokyo Bay. Following the cessation of hostilities, she steamed into Tokyo Bay 8 September to begin escort operations with the occupation forces. She continued escort duty until 30 December when she sailed for home, arriving San Francisco 20 January 1946. The destroyer arrived Norfolk 19 February and following repairs she was inactivated 26 April.

One year later, 17 May 1947, she sailed once again and commenced Naval Reserve training cruises until mid 1949. On 6 September of that year she sailed for Europe returning 8 February 1950. John W. Weeks decommissioned 31 May 1950.

When the North Korean Communists invaded South Korea, President Truman ordered American forces into action to take up the challenge. John W. Weeks recommissioned 24 October 1950 and commenced training cruises in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During her European Cruise January 1952, she participated in the attempt to save ill-fated Flying Enterprise which foundered and sank in a 90-mile gale 10 January 1952. The destroyer returned to Norfolk 6 February to engage in coastal operations and a midshipmen European cruise.

John W. Weeks sailed on an around the world cruise 3 November 1953, and while in the Far East she operated with units of the 7th Fleet off the coast of Korea. She completed the cruise when she returned via the Mediterranean arriving Norfolk 4 June 1954. From 1954 to 1963 the destroyer operated with the Atlantic Fleet and during this period made five Mediterranean cruises and two NATO exercises.

John W. Weeks was operating with the 6th Fleet during 1956 when a crisis erupted in the Mid East over the Suez Canal. The destroyer remained on patrol, a concrete symbol of American interest in a peaceful outcome. One year later on another Near Eastern deployment, John W. Weeks and other units stood by to prevent subversion of Jordan. The Mediterranean cruise of 1958 included patrol duty and exercises with navies of Bagdad Pact countries. The destroyer was also active in U.S. waters, busy with midshipmen at-sea training and antisubmarine exercises. During 1959 she participated in Operation “Inland Seas” during the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. John W. Weeks was the first Navy destroyer to enter each of the Great Lakes. During this cruise she escorted HMY Britannia, with the Queen of England aboard, from Chicago to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

On 9 March 1960, the destroyer, in company with Ault (DD-698), transited the Bosporus; and the two became the first U.S. warships to enter the Black Sea since 1945. On the same cruise she rendezvoused with Triton at the end of the nuclear-powered submarine’s cruise round the world.

After returning to Norfolk, the destroyer visited the Caribbean and the New England Coast on midshipman training at sea. In the fall she deployed to the Mediterranean and returned to Norfolk 3 March 1962. Midshipman training in the summer and exercise out of Norfolk kept the ship in fighting trim and ready for action.

In October the presence of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba prompted President Kennedy to order a quarantine of the island. John W. Weeks escorted replenishment ships to the quarantine area. When this display of national strength and determination forced the Kremlin to withdraw the missiles, John W. Weeks returned via San Juan, P.R., to Norfolk.

Early in 1963, while preparing for another Mediterranean deployment from February to April, the destroyer received the Battle Efficiency “E” for outstanding service. She headed for the Mediterranean 29 November. The end of the year found her patrolling off troubled Cyprus, standing by ready to evacuate, if necessary, Americans from that strife-torn island. On New Year’s Day en route to the Red Sea to join that U.S. Middle East Force, she was the first ship to transit the Suez Canal during 1064. She visited Jidda, Saudi Arabia; Berbera, Somali Republic, Aden, Aden Protectorate; Djibouti, French Somaliland; Massawa, Ethiopia; and Karachi, Pakistan. She headed west from Karachi 6 February; refueled at Aden; then turned south for patrol along the Zanzibar coast during the revolution there, and off Kenya and Tanganyika during unrest in those countries. She departed Mombasa, Kenya, 24 February and transited the Suez Canal 6 March. After patrolling the Mediterranean, John W. Weeks departed Pollenca Bay, Majorca, for home 12 May and reached Norfolk on the 23d.

After overhaul in Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the destroyer departed Hampton Roads 9 November for Guantanamo Bay and refresher training. She returned to Norfolk early in January 1965 to prepare for another Mediterranean cruise. She got underway 13 February and arrived Valencia, Spain, 5 March. She stopped at Naples for a fortnight en route to the Suez Canal and 2 months of duty in the Red Sea. Back in the Mediterranean 2 June, the destroyer headed for home 30 June and returned to Norfolk 12 July.

Late in the summer, the destroyer was on the Gemini 5 recovery team. For the remainder of the year, she operated out of Norfolk in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic Coast. She continued ASW exercises in the Caribbean until returning to Norfolk 3 February 1966. After serving as sonar school ship at Key West during March and April, the veteran destroyer departed Norfolk 16 May for European waters.

Steaming with DesRon 2, John W. Weeks during the next 3 months cruised the western coast of Europe from Norway to France. She took part in ASW exercises, and during Operation “Straight Laced,” a simulated invasion of the Norwegian coast, she operated with British and West German ships. While carrying out ASW duty during this exercise, she made the only simulated submarine kill in the operation 19 August. Departing Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 24 August, she returned to Norfolk 2 September. During the remainder of the year she served as school ship at Key West and joined in ASW exercises along the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean.

John W. Weeks continued this duty until early in July 1967 when she departed Norfolk for deployment in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Steaming via San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Recife, Brazil, she touched at African ports on the east and west coasts of that continent and ranged Africa from the Gulf of Guinea to the Red Sea while cruising in the interest of peace and freedom.

John W. Weeks received four battle stars for World War II service.