DD-760 General Specifications
Class: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer
Named for: John William Thomason
Complement: 336 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2200 tons
Length: 376 feet 6 inches
Beam: 40 feet
Flank Speed: 34 knots
Range: 6500 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition:To Taiwan 6 May 1974
USS JOHN W. THOMASON (DD-760)
John W. Thomason (DD-760) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co.
30 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. John W. Thomason
widow of Colonel Thomason
and commissioned 11 October 1945
Comdr. W. L. Tagg in command.
The new destroyer conducted shakedown training out of San Diego
followed by a series of Naval Reserve training cruises from Seattle and San Francisco. From November 1947 to December 1948 the ship carried out training maneuvers. She sailed 5 December 1948 for her first deployment to the Far East
arriving Tsingtao 1 January 1949 for operations supporting the marines ashore in China. Departing 24 May 1949
John W. Thompson returned via Okinawa to San Diego 23 June 1949 and spent the remainder of the year training.
The ship returned to the Far East in early 1950
arriving Yokosuka 29 January. During this critical post-war period
she operated with British ships on training maneuvers off the coast of Indochina aud Korea
returning to San Diego 25 April 1950. Two months later
North Korean aggression plunged the United States and the United Nations into the Korean conflict. John W. Thomason sailed 30 September to join the 7th Fleet
operating in the screen of carrier task groups pounding Communist positions and supply lines. She arrived Wonsan 9 November to patrol and bombard during the campaign against that port. Antisubmarine exercises took her to Pearl Harbor January-March 1951
but John W. Thomason arrived off Korea again 26 March to operate with Boxer (CV-21) and Princeton (CV-37) during air strikes. Two weeks in April were spent on the important Formosa Patrol
after which she returned to the carrier task force. With battleship New Jersey and another destroyer
she moved close in 24 May 1951 for gun bombardment of Yang Yang. The veteran ship returned to San Diego from this deployment 2 July 1951.
John W. Thomason sailed again for Korea 4 January 1952 and resumed operations with Task Force 77 off the coast of North Korea. She fired at railway targets 21 February in the SongJin area. During this period of stalemate on land
Navy strikes made up the bulk of offensive operations. The destroyer returned to Formosa Patrol duty in April. Back at Songiin and Wonsan 26 April
the ship screened larger units
took part in shore bombardment
and patrolled offshore. She was relieved by a British destroyer 21 June and returned to San Diego 11 July 1952.
The destroyer operated off the California coast for the
remainder of 1952
then sailed once more for Korea 21 February 1953. Formosa Patrol duty alternated with carrier task force operations off North Korea. John W. Thomason arrived Wonsan harbor 2 July; while firing at shore targets five days later
she received numerous shrapnel hits in a duel with enemy batteries. Maneuvering in the restricted waters
Commander Ratliff skillfully returned the fire until three batteries had been silenced. She continued to operate off Wonsan until the armistice 27 July
and after a brief stay in Japan arrived San Diego 22 September 1953.
and 1956 John W. Thomason returned to the now-familiar waters off Korea and in the explosive Formosa Strait
serving with 7th Fleet to keep the peace and protect American interest in the strategic area. The first half of 1957 was spent in readiness exercises off San Diego. John W. Thomason then sailed 29 July for a cruise which took her to Pago Pago
and Manus. Upon arrival Yokosuka 7 September 1957 she resumed operations in the Formosa Straits and antisubmarine exercizes with 7th Fleet ships. The ship returned to San Diego 8 January 1958
and conducted maneuvers off California and Hawaii.
In March 1959
John W. Thomason entered Long Beach naval Shipyard as prototype ship for the new FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation And Modernization) program. During this extensive repair and modernization period she received a helicopter deck and hanger aft
variable depth sonar
the latest electronic equipment
and many improvements in living and working spaces. The conversion was followed by extensive trials and local training operations. As new flagship of Destroyer Division 72 she sailed S March 1961 for 7th Fleet duty. She sailed to the coast of Laos 27 April to help stabilize that volatile Southwest Asian country
patrolling for 21 days in a graphic demonstration of America's determination to prevent a Communist take-over. After further operation John W. Thomason sailed to San Diego
arriving 18 September 1961.
Extensive conversion and installation of new sonar equipment at Long Beach occupied the ship until July 1962. In December she took part in a massive antiaircraft exercise with units of the 1st Fleet off California. She sailed again for the Far East
a part of the ready hunter-killer group. En route
she took part in recovery operations for Major Cooper's Mercury Space shot as part of a task unit built around veteran carrier Kearsarge. During the cruise which followed
the ship perfected her antisubmarine warfare tactics and became familiar with her new equipment in operations with 7th Fleet and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. John W. Thomason returned to San Diego 3 December 1963.
Most of 1964 was spent in ASW exercises in the Eastern Pacific. On 23 October
she sailed with Destroyer Division 213 for redeployment exercises in Hawaii. Exactly a month later
with four other destroyers
she got under way for the western Pacific screening Yorktown (CVS10)
4 December and joined the 7th Fleet in its unrelenting effort to preserve freedom in the Far West. In the spring she earned her first battle star for operating in the troubled waters off the coast of Indochina from 21 March to 28 April 1965.
After returning to the West Coast
she departed San Diego for the Far East 22 March 1966 and reached Danang 19 April and the same day took station a few miles south of Chu Lai. At the end of April she supported Operation "Osage
" and landed north of Danang. On 13 May she sailed for Sasebo and upkeep. Back in the war zone 6 June
she provided gunfire support and supported Operation "Deckhouse I" from 17 to 23 June. That day she retired toward Hong Kong. The destroyer returned to gunfire support duties off South Vietnam 16 August. From the 18th to the 23d she supported the amphibious Ready Group and Special Landing Force in Operation "Deckhouse III." After visiting Guam and Japan
John W. Thomason headed home 9 September
reached San Diego on the 24th and operated off the West Coast until the
end of the year and into 1967 preparing for further action in the defense of freedom.
John W. Thomason received seven battle stars for Korean service and three for Vietnam service.
[Note: The above USS JOHN W. THOMASON (DD-760) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS JOHN W. THOMASON (DD-760) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]