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
USS ROBERT K. HUNTINGTON (DD-781)
Robert K. Huntington (DD-781) was laid down 29 February 1944 by Seattle Tacoma Ship Building Corp.
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
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
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]