DD-596 General Specifications
Class: Fletcher class destroyer
Named for: Thomas Shields
Complement: 329 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2050 tons
Length: 376 feet 6 inches
Beam: 39 feet 8 inches
Flank Speed: 35 knots
Range: 6500 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition:Transferred to Brazil 1 July 1972
USS SHIELDS (DD-596)
The keel of the destroyer
was laid on 10 August 1943 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Bremerton Washington. Sponsored by First Lieutenant Margaret Shields Farr
the great-granddaughter of Purser Shields
the destroyer was launched on 25 September 1944 and commissioned on 8 February 1945
Commander George B. Madden
Shields' shakedown cruise
interrupted by a 9 day escort assignment with lowa (BB-61)
lasted from 7 March to 18 April 1945. She departed Puget Sound on 6 May and after several days of operations in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor
shoved off for Eniwetok Atoll with convoy PD-413-T. Her short period of combat service in World War II
24 May-15 August 1945
consisted almost entirely of escort duty between and patrol duty around Eniwetok
and Borneo. Shields saw actual combat only once during the war
she shelled Japanese shore installations at Miri
in support of Australian ground forces
on 26 June 1945.
Shields was at Buckner Bay
on 15 August 1945 when she received orders from CINCPACAREA to "cease all offensive activity against the Japanese." After a short cruise to Leyte
and back to Okinawa she got underway to rendezvous with TG 78.1 and serve as escort to units of Transron 17
at that time ferrying occupation troops to Jinsen
Korea. The occupation commenced without opposition
on 12 September
she steamed out of Jinsen with TU 71.5.1 bound for the waters off northern China.
For most of the remainder of 1945
Shields remained in the area of the Gulf of Po Hail Her primary assignment here was to participate in the naval demonstrations being conducted off the coast of northern China. Throughout this period
she also reconnoitered the unstable situation at the port of Chefoo. Her travels while operating off northern China took her to most of the major ports on the Gulf of Po Hai
and Port Arthur.
Shields rounded out her first Far Eastern tour with a mission to escort Antietam (CV-36) and Boxer (CV-21) to the end of the Seventh Fleet's area of responsibility and patrol duty with the Yangtze River Patrol Force based at Shanghai. She returned to San Pedro Bay
on 19 February 1946
having stopped along the way at Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. She remained on the west coast until being decommissioned and placed in reserve on 14 June 1946.
Shields continued in an in service status
participating in the reserve program. She was called back into active service at the outbreak of the Korean conflict and recommissioned on 15 July 1950. Shields arrived in the Far East in September 1951 for the first of three Korean War tours. During this cruise which lasted until February 1952
she patrolled the Korean coast in the area of the bombline and Kojo
providing fire support for the First ROK Corps and the First Marine Division. She participated in the assault on Kojo and provided harassing and interdiction fire. Her second Korean War tour
commencing on 1 November 1952
found her again cruising off the Korean coast near the bombline supporting the First ROK Corps and the Eighth Army. Later she took part in antisubmarine warfare exercises off the coasts of Japan and Okinawa and concluded the deployment training Chinese Nationalist naval forces at Taiwan. Stopping at Hong Kong and Japan
Shields returned to San Diego on 1 June 1953.
After six months on the west coast
she departed for her third Far Eastern cruise. Arriving off Korea on 11 February
she operated there with TF 77 until being detached
on 21 February
to proceed to the Philippine Islands. Shields conducted operations out of Subic Bay during the months of March and April
patrolling the coast of Indochina with Carrier TG 70.2. On 7 May
she embarked for Yokosuka
stopping en route for a diplomatic representation at Hong Kong. After a week of tender upkeep at Yokosuka Shields put to sea with TF 77 to conduct battle exercises. She returned to San Diego on 18 July 1954.
Between 18 July 1954 and 30 November 1963
Shields was deployed to WESTPAC seven times. When not assigned to the western Pacific
she engaged in normal destroyer activities out of her home port
San Diego. One of the highlights of this decade of Shields career was her participation in the commemoration of the triumphant return of Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" to San Francisco. Another important occasion was the award of the Battle Efficiency "E'' for overall combat readiness in August 1960.
On 30 November 1963
Shields ceased operations as an active fleet unit and was assigned as a Naval Reserve Training ship
part of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 27. With her full-time crew cut more than 50%
she spent the next 8 years working with the Development and Training Command to maintain the combat efficiency of reservists. After a survey of Shields in March 1972
it was determined that the cost of her modernization would be prohibitive and that she was only of marginal value to the Navy without it. Consequently
Shields was decommissioned on 1 July 1972 and sold to the Brazilian Navy.
Shields was awarded the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and three battle stars for service in the Korean Conflict.
[Note: The above USS SHIELDS (DD-596) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS SHIELDS (DD-596) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]