DD-702 General Specifications
Class: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Complement: 336 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2200 tons
Length: 376 feet 6 inches
Beam: 40 feet
Draft: 15 feet 8 in
Range: 6500 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition: Broken up for scrap in 1983
USS HANK (DD-702)
Hank (DD-702) was launched 21 May 1944 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.
N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. William Edwin Hank
widow of Lt. Cmdr.Hank
and commissioned 28 August 1944
O. M. Chambersin command.
After completing her Caribbean shakedown 18 October
Hank joined battleships Missouri
and Arkansas at New York and then sailed for the Pacific reaching Pearl Harbor 6 December via the Panama Canal and San Francisco. Hank reported to Ulithi 28 December and sortied 2 days later as part of the screen for Task Force 38
a fast carrier force under Vice Admiral John S. McCain.The primary mission of the carriers was to conduct airstrikes against strategic Japanese positions along the China coast and on Formosa and Luzon to distract enemy attention and to divert Japanese ships from the landings at Lingayen Gulf which were to begin 9 January 1945.The day after the invasion was launched
Task Force 38moved into the South China Sea to conduct a series of devastating raids on targets along the China Coast and in Indochina. After launching one final raid against Okinawa
the carriers and escorts
returned to Ulithi 26 January 1945.
Joining Task Force 58
a reorganized fast carrier strikeforce under the command of Admiral Mitscher
Hank sortied 10 February. Carrier planes launched massive raids against airfields
and shipping the Tokyo area 16 and 17 February in paralyzing diversionary strikes prior to the invasion of Iwo Jima
19February. These raids
launched less than 125 miles from Tokyo Bay itself
were the first carrier air strikes to hit Japan proper since the Halsey-Doolittle raid of1942.
Among the ships which Hank helped screen in the 11 unit task force were such illustrious veterans as Indianapolis
and Washington. Deploying to the Iwo Jima area the afternoon of 18 February
Hank remained there to provide support for the invasion which began the following day
and she operated off the bitterly contested island until returning to Ulithi 4 March.
As the Pacific war moved into its climactic phases
Hank steamed from Ulithi with Task Force 58 14 March for further strikes against the Japanese home islands. Closing to within 76 miles of their targets
the carriers launched massive strikes against airfields on Kyushu and ships in the Inland Sea 18 and 19 March.
Although under heavy air opposition from time to time
planes claimed a total of 528 Japanese aircraft destroyed. After participating in the bombardment of enemy shore position including radio facilities
a weather station and an airfields on Minami Daito Shima 27-28 March Hank headed for Okinawa. Her task force furnished support for landings made on that heavily fortified island 1 April
and Hank spent a busy week screening the carriers and stopping kamikazes with highly effective antiaircraft fire. The destroyer then reported to a lonely radar picket station
where on the afternoon of 11 April she narrowly averted disaster by her effective gunfire. As a kamikaze came in low off the port bow
heading directly for the bridge
Hank's accurate antiaircraft fire deflected it slightly
but the "Zeke" came in close enough to kill three sailors before crashing into the sea nud exploding close aboard.
After repairs at Ulithi
Hank again joined Task Force 58
1 May to resume screening and radar picket duties off Okinawa. June was spent at San Pedro Bay
Philippines undergoing replenishment and training
and on 1 July the carriers redesignated Task Force 38 and operating under Vice Admiral McCain in Admiral Halsey's 3d Fleet sortied to launch further strikes against the Home Islands. Hank spent most of this period on hazardous and lonely radar picket duty
steaming 50 miles from the main body of ships to provide early warning of enemy air attacks On the night of 18 July she joined Destroyer Squadron 62 and Cruiser Division 18 for an antishipping sweep across the entrance to Tokyo Bay. As she patrolled her radar picket station 9 August
Hank and Borie found themselves in the midst of five kamikaze planes. One of the aircraft came so close to Hank that it drenched both ship and personnel forward with gasoline before the veteran ships destroyed it and the other four attackers. Borie had been hit in the after bridge structure and suffered 48 dead and 66 wounded
while Hank had to report 1 man missing in action and 5 wounded.
Hostilities ceased 15 August 1945
and Hank steamed proudly into Tokyo Bay 10 September to participate in the occupation. She continued operations around Japan and Pearl Harbor through 30 December
when she sailed for Charleston
and the Panama Canal.
The veteran ship operated primarily out of New Orleans for reserve training cruises and good will visit to Caribbean and Central American ports until sailing 6 September 1949 for the Mediterranean. During her 5 months with the 6th Fleet
Hank participated in amphibious operations and visited Gibraltar
and Algeria. Returning to Norfolk 26 January 1950
Hank engaged in training operations and a cruise to the Caribbean until sailing for the Far East and the Korean War 6 September. She arrived Yokosuka
1 month later and joined the United Nations Blockade and Escort Force off the Korean coast. Her movements centered mainly around Wonsan Harbor
then under seige
with frequent interruptions for blockade patrol and bombardment missions. Hank supported the evacuation of Wonsan in early December and then moved up to Hungnam to help provide the curtain of fire which covered the evacuation of Allied troops. In January and February 1951
Hank supported the 8th Army as it moved to recapture and consolidate Seoul and Inchon. Screening blockade patrol
and shore bombardment constituted the destroyer's duties along the Korean coast until she sailed for the United States
reaching Norfolk 9 June via San Diego
the Panama Canal
After a yard overhaul at Norfolk
Hank resumed the peacetime training operations
and annual deployments to the Mediterranean that kept the fleet ready to serve America well at any moment on the seas. In the fall of 1956 as warfare flared over the nationalization of the Suez Canal
Hank was there. She conducted patrols in the eastern Mediterranean to assert and confirm America's
determination to keep the peace as well as to protect her citizens and interests.
In 1960 the destroyer with the Navy began to reach into space. She participated in training for Project Mercury
America's first man-in-space effort
off the Virginia capes
and she was designated one of the recovery ships when Astronaut Lt. Comdr. Scott Carpenter made his orbital flight 24 May 1962. Hank operated with Independence on blockade and surveillance duty during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
remaining in the tension-filled Caribbean for nearly a month. She was designated a Naval Reserve Training Ship in October 1963 and proceeded to her new home port
Philadelphia. After undergoing repairs at Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.
in 1964 Hank began reserve training cruises along the East Coast from Fort Lauderdale
continuing into 1937.
Hank received four battle stars for World War II
and four battle stars for Korean service.
[Note: The above USS HANK (DD-702) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS HANK (DD-702) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]