DD-864 General Specifications
Class: Gearing-class destroyer
Named for: Ensign Harold John Ellison (1917-1942)
Complement: 367 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2425 tons
Length: 390 feet 6 inches
Beam: 41 feet 1 inches
Flank Speed: 34 knots
Range: 6 500 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition:Sunk as a target 1994
USS HAROLD J. ELLISON (DD-864)
Harold J. Ellison (DE-545)
a John C. Butler-Class destroyer escort
was building at Boston Navy Yard
but was canceled 10 June 1944.
(DD-864: dp. 2
425; l. 390'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 18'6"
s. 35 k.; cpl. 367; a. 6 5"
5 21" tt.
dct. (h.h.); cl. Gearing)
Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co.
14 March 1945
sponsored by Mrs. Audrey Ellison
widow; and commissioned 23 June 1945
Comdr. J. C. South in command.
Although scheduled to join the Pacific Fleet for the final assault on Japan
Harold J Ellison was completing her shakedown cruise when the surrender came 15 August 1945. Homeported at Norfolk
she operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean for the next 2 y
taking part in Naval Reserve training cruises
and antisubmarine exercises.
Beginning in 1947
when she sailed from Norfolk 10 November
Harold J. Ellison added periodic cruises to the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet to her operations
helping to keep the peace and protect American interests in this vital area. She participat
ed in the search for lost British submarine Affray in April 1961
and added cruises to the Caribbean and northern Europe in 1953
From 1954 to 1956 she continued tactical training along the East Coast and participated in European cruises. Following the explosive Suez crises
Harold J. Ellison took part in vital peacekeeping operation during 1957 as the 6th Fleet helped stabilize
the dangerous incident in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The following summer another crisis threatened the stability of the Mideast
as the government of Lebanon was in danger from communist oriented insurgents. The veteran peace keeping destroyer screened Saratoga and Des Moines from July to September l958
while the 6th Fleet landed Marines at the request of Lebanese President Chamoun. Once again the rapid and effective response of this mighty armada clearly pointed up the value of ready
propositioned amphibious forces in maintaining world peace.
In September she operated with famed Task Group Alfa for the perfection of new tactics and equipment in antisubmarine warfare. Harold J. Ellison remained on this duty until April 1959.
The ship returned to her pattern of cruises to the Mediterranean in 1959
departing 21 September. In 1960 her homeport became Charleston
and in 1961
during her tenth tour with the 6th Fleet
the ship cruised in the troubled Persian Gulf during the cr
isis in Kuwait. Harold J. Ellison added a new function in January 1962 when she was assigned to Project Mercury as a part of the recovery unit on the Atlantic range. In 1962 she entered New York Naval Shipyard for a Fleet modernization and rehabilitation
an extensive repair job designed to extend her life and improve her readiness. The veteran destroyer rejoined the fleet in early 1963 and through 1964 continued to operate on training and readiness exercises off the Atlantic coast. Her high peac
etime accomplishments are exemplified by the winning of five Battle Efficiency "E" awards during her years of service.
On 29 September 1965 Harold J. Ellison departed Norfolk in DesRon 24
and headed via the Panama Canal for the Pacific to augment the Pacific
Fleet during the struggle for freedom in Vietnam. During her months in the
she served as a rescue destroyer
and fired over 1
000 rounds of fire in ammunition on various
Viet Cong targets to support friendly troops.
Leaving Southeast Asia by steaming eastward through the Suez Canal
completed her round the-world cruise upon returning to Norfolk in April
1966. In July she entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for an overhaul which
lasted for the rest of the year. P>
After sea trials and refresher training early in 1967 Harold J. Ellison
rejoined the Atlantic Fleet ready for future assignments
[Note: The above USS HAROLD J. ELLISON (DD-864) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS HAROLD J. ELLISON (DD-864) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]