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USS ROBERT K. HUNTINGTON (DD-781) - an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer

In Commission 1945 to 1973

DD-781 Deployments - Major Events

Add a DD-781 Shellback Initiation Add a DD-781 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
FEB 1944 - Keel Date: 29 FEB 1944
at Todd Pacific Shipyards Seattle WA
DEC 1944 - Launch Date: 5 DEC 1944
JAN 1945 - JUL 1946 Sea Trials
MAR 1945 - Commissioned: 3 MAR 1945
MAY 1954 - NOV 1954 Mediterranean
APR 1958 - SEP 1958 Mediterranean
APR 1962 - JUL 1962 Key West Operations
AUG 1962 - MAR 1963 Mediterranean
AUG 1963 - SEP 1963 Sea Trials
NOV 1964 - SEP 1966 Where are deployments to Guantanamo and Haiti 64-66?
MAR 1965 - JUN 1965 Mediterranean
SEP 1967 - DEC 1967 Mediterranean
OCT 1968 - APR 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT 1968 - APR 1969 West Pac
OCT 1968 - APR 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN 1970 - DEC 1974 Reserve Force
OCT 1973 - Decommissioned: 31 OCT 1973

DD-781 General Specifications

Class: Allen M. Sumner class destroyer

Named for: Robert Kingsbury Huntington

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 Venezuelan Navy October 31 1973


Robert K. Huntington (DD-781) was laid down 29 February 1944 by Seattle Tacoma Ship Building Corp. Seattle Wash. 5 December 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Ruth Arnold Welsh; and commissioned 3 March 1945 Comdr. J. W. Ramey in command.

Robert K. Huntington joined the Pacific Fleet 31 May 1945 and from 27 June to 16 August escorted ships between Eniwetok and Ulithi. On 28 August she joined the Fast Carrier Task Force off the Japanese coast and was one of the ships which escorted battleship Missouri into Tokyo Bay to receive the official Japanese surrender. She then returned to San Diego carrying 100 marines home. In the spring of 1946 she returned to the Marshalls as a unit of JTF 1 during Operation "Crossroads " the first atomic bomb test at Bikini. In July she witnessed the air burst from a considerable distance and the more spectacular underwater blast from the comparatively close range of 10 miles.

Until early in 1949 Huntington operated and trained off the west coast in Hawaiian waters and in Far Eastern waters with Task Force 38 the pacific Mobile Striking Force. In April the destroyer was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet where she was assigned to a carrier task force then undergoing extensive antisubmarine warfare training. She spent the following winter in Arctic waters; then in February 1950 headed for the Caribbean to participate in fleet exercises In December Huntington deployed for the first time to the Mediterranean and duty with the 6th Fleet. In the spring she returned to Norfolk and for the next 2 years she alternated cold weather operations with Caribbean cruises then from the spring of 1953 until the summer of 1955 rotated between duty in the Mediterranean and exercises with the 2d Fleet off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean. In July of 1955 she was in the North Atlantic guarding President Eisenhower's plane route as he traveled to and from the Geneva Conference.

Following a Caribbean cruise in the spring of 1956 Huntington conducted a midshipman training cruise to Europe and the Caribbean. In 1957 she operated in the Caribbean and then in European waters for NATO exercises. In both 1958 and 1959 Huntington made 6-month Mediterranean deployments while she spent most of 1960 undergoing a fleet rehabilitation and modernization overhaul and conversion. Emerging from the shipyard the "new" destroyer steamed to her new home port Mayport and through 1961 operated off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean.

Employed in ASW exercises off the east coast during the first half of 1962 Huntington deployed to the Mediterranean 3 August and operated in the Black Sea 3 to 12 October. She returned to Mayport 3 March 1963 and spent much of the rest of that year in the Caribbean. For the next 4 years she operated off the east coast in the Caribbean and in the Mediterranean. In late 1967 she deployed to the Mediterranean as part of a hunter-killer force. She returned to Mayport 16 December 1967.

In early 1968 Huntington continued to operate off the east coast and in the Caribbean until transferring to the Pacific Fleet. In October she deployed to the Far East for 6 months operating off Vietnam. She returned to Mayport 17 April 1969 and operated in the Atlantic Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico into 1970.

In July 1970 Robert K. Huntington received a new assignment and a new home port. Operating out of Bayonne N.J. she was active in the Atlantic and Caribbean with the Reserve program until October 1973. At that time as a result of a survey she was found to be unfit for further service and was decommissioned 31 October at Newport R.I. Huntington was stricken from the Navy List on the same day and sold to the Venezuelan Navy.

Robert K. Huntington earned two battle stars for Vietnam service.

[Note: The above USS ROBERT K. HUNTINGTON (DD-781) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS ROBERT K. HUNTINGTON (DD-781) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]