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Hull Number: DD-755

Launch Date: 11/01/1944

Commissioned Date: 03/03/1945

Decommissioned Date: 11/06/1970

Voice Call Sign: Fodder (WWII), Gamebird, Patty Cake (52-55)


Class: ALLEN M. SUMNER

ALLEN M. SUMNER Class

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

Armament:

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

Complement:

20 Officers
325 Enlisted

Propulsion:

4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 34.2 knots

Namesake: JOHN ARCHILBALD BOLE

JOHN ARCHILBALD BOLE


Disposition:

Stricken 2/1/1974. Sold 5/6/1974 to Taiwan for spare parts


A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS JOHN A. BOLE DD-755

The Tin Can Sailor, October 2010

The ALLEN M. SUMNER‑class destroyer USS JOHN A. BOLE (DD‑755) was launched on 1 November 1944 by the Bethlehem Steel Company, Staten Island, New York and commissioned on 3 March 1945. By May 1945, she was en route to the Pacific. She took part in the air strike on Wake Island on 20 June. Nine days later, she arrived off Okinawa for picket and patrol duty and until Japan’s surrender on 15 August. She then left for the East China and Yellow Seas to support the occupation and to take part in minesweeping operations. In September, with a cruiser‑destroyer force off Jinsen, Korea, she covered troop landings and accepted surrender of Saishu Island.

The destroyer remained in the Far East carrying mail and passengers between Japan, Korea, and Chinese ports. While at Tsingtao in February 1946, she rescued 13 survivors from a sinking merchantmen. The BOLE left for home in early March. Following repairs, she reached San Diego in April 1947. She operated out of San Diego through 1949.

With the outbreak of the Korean War, the BOLE sailed for the Pacific in September 1950 to join Task Force 77. Following the amphibious assault on Inchon, the BOLE shifted to fire support, then, screened carriers during air operations, and patrolled the China coast. In April 1951, she escorted support convoys into Inchon before returning to the states. The ship was underway again for Korea in January 1952. She screened carriers and bombarded both the east and west coasts of North Korea before returning to San Diego in July 1952. Again off Korea in February 1953, she operated with the cruiser SAINT PAUL, then, patrolled the                   Formosa Straits. In June she entered Wonsan’s harbor for a six-day duel with shore batteries. After the Korean armistice in July 1953, she returned to San Diego.

In 1954, the ship began alternating stateside operations with WestPac deployments. Her                   1958 cruise was particularly tense with trouble was growing in Indonesia and southeast Asia. In                   1959-60 she patrolled the Formosa Straits and operated in the Philippines and with a hunter‑killer force off Okinawa. Back home in March 1960, the BOLE served as an air‑sea rescue station ship for President Eisenhower’s flight across the Pacific. In October, she was part of the                   KEARSARGE (CV‑33) hunter‑killer group operating out of Subic Bay in response to the worsening situation in Laos.

She returned home in September 1961 and later that year entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for her Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM II) overhaul until July 1962. Her training operations were interrupted in October for an alert at sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis. By April 1963, she was bound for her WestPac cruise. In October 1964, after antisubmarine operations and tests of her new QH‑50 Drone Anti‑Submarine Helicopter (DASH), she joined the Seventh Fleet in January 1965. During that deployment, the BOLE operated with a carrier task group and an ASW hunter‑killer group, then patrolled the Taiwan Straits. In February 1965, she was off Vietnam.

Overhaul and routine operations out of San Diego concluded with her departure for WestPac in March 1966. That April she was on the gun line off Vietnam and on plane guard patrol on Yankee Station. The BOLE finally headed for home in July. She deployed again in December 1967. She was westward bound in January 1968, when                   news of the capture of the USS Pueblo by North Korea caused her to be diverted to the Sea of Japan to maintain Surface Action Unit (SAU) stations. Working in heavy seas, cold, ice, and snow, in February, she rescued a South Korean fishing vessel in distress. After transferring food and water, she took the vessel in tow and proceeded to Po‑Hang, South Korea, where the tow was transferred to a Republic of Korea (ROK) naval vessel. The destroyer went on to plane guard the YORKTOWN (CVS‑10) in the Gulf of Tonkin. Following destroyer tender availability with the USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD‑17) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the BOLE headed back to Vietnam. She arrived on 15 April in Qui Nhon harbor and relieved the USS HENDERSON (DD‑785) of naval gunfire support (NGFS) duties in the II Corps area. Subsequent stints on Yankee Station saw her plane guarding the                   YORKTOWN, TICONDEROGA (CVA‑14), ENTERPRISE (CVAN‑65), and KITTY HAWK (CVA‑63).

May ended with a visit to the Royal Dockyard in Singapore, where the ship’s mascot, Ensign Chiko, a monkey, joined the crew. On 3 June, she returned to the gun line and II Corps, relieving the MANSFIELD (DD‑728). She was subsequently relieved by the PICKING (DD‑685) to begin her voyage home in July 1968. She ended the year with a three month overhaul.

The BOLE left San Diego for her final WestPac cruise in January 1970. In February, she joined the RANGER (CVA‑61) task group in the South China Sea. She plane guarded the RANGER on Yankee Station followed by naval gunfire support off South Vietnam in Corp Area I and II, and numerous missions off the mouth of the Cua Viet River. She alternated plane guarding the RANGER on Yankee Station with naval gunfire support off the coast of South Vietnam until 15 May when she joined the SHANGRI‑LA (CVA‑38) task group on Yankee Station. She said goodbye to Vietnam for the last time on 28 May and sailed for home.

On 6 October 1970, the USS JOHN A BOLE (DD‑755) was decommissioned at San Diego. She was struck 1 February 1974 and was transferred to Taiwan on 6 May 1974 for spare parts.

USS JOHN A. BOLE DD-755 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1968)

John A. Bole (DD-755), a name originally assigned to DD-783, was laid down 20 May 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y.; launched 1 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. John A. Bole, Jr., widow of Lt. Comdr. Bole; and commissioned 3 March 1945, Comdr. E. B. Billingsley in command.

Following shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, John A. Bole escorted damaged carrier Franklin (CV-13) north to New York, arriving 24 April 1945. After moving to Boston to join Saint Paul (CA-73), she sailed 15 May for the Pacific during the final push in the war against Japan. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she arrived Pearl Harbor 7 June 1945. The ship joined a carrier group in Hawaiian waters, took part in the air strike on Wake Island 20 June; and escorted a carrier to Eniwetok, arriving 21 June.

John A. Bole arrived Okinawa 29 June for picket and patrol duty; and although ground fighting had virtually ceased, weeks of intermittent air raids and dangerous picket duty were still in store for the fleet. The ship remained off Okinawa until the Japanese acceptance of surrender terms 15 August, then departed for the East China and Yellow Seas to support the occupation and to take part in minesweeping operations. John A. Bole joined a cruiser-destroyer force 8 September off Jinsen, Korea, to cover the landings of troops at that important port. She remained until 25 September, and arrived 3 days later at Saishu To, south of the Korean Peninsula, to accept the surrender of the island and demilitarize it.

The veteran destroyer remained in the Far East after the end of the war to carry mail and passengers between Japan, Korea, and Chinese ports, supporting the efforts of American marines to protect Allied lives and stabilize the Chinese situation. While at Tsingtao 20 February 1946, upon receiving a distress signal from a sinking merchantman, she succeeded in rescuing 13 survivors. John A. Bole departed 5 March for San Francisco and, after stopping at Guam and Pearl Harbor, arrived 27 March 1946.

Following a long repair period to prepare her for peacetime service, the destroyer arrived San Diego 10 April 1947 to begin a regular schedule of training maneuvers and cruises for Naval Reservists. She continued to operate on the West Coast, with occasional visits to Hawaii, through 1949.

With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 John A. Bole began intensive preparations for combat service. Sailing from San Diego 30 September, she steamed via Japan to join Task Force 77 off the Korean coast. With the brilliant amphibious assault on Inchon 15 September, an end run made possible by control of the sea, the tide of the ground war rapidly reversed. The nearly victorious enemy armies far to the south collapsed. John A. Bole, exemplifying the flexibility of sea power promptly shifted from amphibious attack to fire support of our advancing troops. She then screened carriers during the vital air operations, helping to support both battle line air strikes and interdiction of northern supply lines. John A. Bole also steamed with support convoys into Inchon before returning to San Diego in mid-June 1951.

The veteran ship was underway again for Korea 3 January 1952. Upon arrival she helped maintain the pressure on Communist troops in the stalemated land war by screening carriers during air attacks. John A. Bole, also took part in shore bombardment along both the east and west coasts of North Korea, operating with British and Dutch ships. The ship moved to the Formosa Straits for patrol duty designed to deter Chinese Communist aggression there, finally returning to San Diego 11 July 1952.

Following a yard period in which she added 3-inch rapid-fire guns to her armament. John A. Bole departed 21 February 1953 for her third Korean tour. During March she operated off the coast with cruiser Saint Paul, and sailed 10 April for the Formosa Strait to resume patrol duty. Then after returning to Korean waters, the destroyer sailed 1 June to Wonsan harbor for 6 days dueling with shore batteries while protecting the Allied-held offshore islands. She then screened battleship New Jersey (BB-62) before the Korean armistice 27 July 1953 after which she returned to Japan. Escort duty with Princeton (CVL-23) closed her cruise, and John A. Bole arrived San Diego 22 September 1953.

The veteran ship returned to the Far East again in 1954, taking part in the continuing Formosa Patrol and in amphibious training exercises. She sailed from San Diego 20 April and returned 17 October, adding carrier operations in the South China Sea and antisubmarine warfare exercises off Okinawa to her busy schedule. In 1955 and again in 1956 she spent 6-month periods in these familiar waters, training and showing graphically the value of seapower to the security of the United States and her allies.

John A. Bole sailed 29 July 1957 for the Western Pacific, this time visiting Pago Pago; Auckland, New Zealand; and Manus en route to Japan. She took part in carrier operations with Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) and in December again steamed Formosa Strait. The ship returned to San Diego 8 January 1958 and took part in exercises off California until July. John A. Bole again sailed westward 23 August 1958, this time amid mounting chaos from revolt in Indonesia and growing trouble in Southeast Asia. She operated in the Philippines and on Formosa Patrol, helping to stabilize affairs in this strategic region, returning to San Diego 16 February 1959.

The destroyer made still another cruise to the Far East 1959-60, sailing 30 October. She operated with the 7th Fleet’s hunter-killer force off Okinawa during November and December, arriving Formosa 4 January 1960 for patrol duty. She returned to San Diego 12 March 1960. In June John A. Bole served as an air-sea rescue station ship for President Eisenhower’s flight across the Pacific and during the summer she embarked NROTC Midshipman for training. In October she was assigned to a hunter-killer group built around veteran carrier Kearsarge (CV-33); and, after training departed 4 March 1961 for the Far East. The ships carried out further training, this time with Canadian ships out of Pearl Harbor, but with a worsening of the Laos situation, steamed to Subic Bay to bolster Navy strength and deter more serious trouble. Hunter-killer operations continued until September, and John A. Bole returned to California via the northern great-circle route to help gather hydrographic data, arriving her homeport 18 September.

John A. Bole entered San Francisco Naval Shipyard in late 1961 to undergo a major Fleet-Rehabilitation-and Modernization overhaul, designed to equip her with the latest equipment and lengthen her active service life several years. Emerging in July 1962, she took part in training operations for the remainder of the year, intercepted by several weeks of alert at sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October. During the first few months of 1963, she operated out of San Diego, sailing 1 April 1963 for Pearl Harbor and the Western Pacific. This cruise helped to maintain the vital American presence in the Far East and she returned to San Diego 3 December 1963. In the first half of 1964 she was engaged in antisubmarine operations, including tests of her new DASH. John A. Bole sailed 23 October 1964 for the Western Pacific with a group composed of Yorktown (CV-10) and other destroyers. After maneuvers in Hawaiian waters, she reported to Commander 7th Fleet 2 January 1965 to resume peacekeeping operations in the troubled region. During the deployment John A. Bole operated with a carrier task group and an ASW hunter-killer group, then patrolled Taiwan Straits. From 9 to 25 February she operated off Vietnam.

Returning to San Diego 24 May, the destroyer entered Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard late in June for overhaul and stayed there through the remaining summer. She operated out of San Diego until sailing 22 March 1966 for the Far East. On 18 April she began naval gunfire support duties off Vietnam which continued until she began plane guard patrol at Yankee Station 4 May. On the 8th the destroyer sailed to Japan for repairs but was back at Yankee Station on the 25th. But for brief runs to Hong Kong and Subic Bay, John A. Bole remained in the war zone until 27 July when she headed for Taiwan. She visited Malaysia before heading home via Subic Bay, Guam, and Pearl Harbor, arriving San Diego 24 September. She operated out of homeport for the remainder of the year and in 1967 prepared for future action.

John A. Bole received one battle star for World War II service and seven for Korean service.