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USS George K. MacKenzie (DD-836) was a of the United States Navy, named for Lieutenant Commander George K. MacKenzie (1910–1943).

George K. MacKenzie was launched on 13 May 1945 by the Bath Iron Worksmarker, Bath, Mainemarker; sponsored by Miss Donna MacKenzie, daughter; and commissioned on 13 July 1945, Commander Alvin W. Slayden in command.

Service history

1945–1950

After shakedown off Cubamarker, MacKenzie returned to Boston, Massachusettsmarker on 15 September 1945 and subsequently participated in the Navy Day celebrations on 27 October at Savannah, Georgiamarker She served with the Operational Development Force at Norfolk, Virginiamarker, her home port, and conducted training exercises and escort duties along the Atlanticmarker seaboard until sailing on 5 January 1948 on a goodwill tour to Buenos Airesmarker, Argentinamarker.

MacKenzie returned to Norfolk on 9 February after these duties as a "steel grey diplomat" and continued peacetime operations, highlighted by a Midshipman cruise June to July 1948 to Portugalmarker, Italymarker, North Africa, and Cuba. In October 1948 the destroyer sailed for the Near East, where she supported the United Nations Palestine Patrol and the allied occupation of Trieste, returning to Newport, Rhode Islandmarker for Christmas.

After overhaul at Boston until April 1949, George K. MacKenzie continued peacetime training on the eastern seaboard, and made a "Med" cruise from January to May 1950. When the uneasy truce in the Far East was shattered by the North Koreanmarker aggression, George K. MacKenzie was transferred to the Pacificmarker. She arrived Pearl Harbormarker on 1 July 1950 to prepare for wartime service.

Korean War, 1950–1953

During her first tour in Koreamarker, from 26 July 1950 to 30 January 1951, she screened attack carriers during strikes on North Korean targets and provided close support for advancing Allied armies. After a repair period at San Diego, Californiamarker from 15 February to 17 July 1951, she returned to perform the same vital screening and support duties until April 1952.

George K. MacKenzie provided antisubmarine screening and fired several important bombardment missions at Wonsanmarker Harbor, 16 to 17 January and again 23 February to 21 March 1953 in support of United Nations forces. She lent effective fire support to troops in the vicinity of Suwonmarker Dan from 15–19 April 1953 in company with and demolished sections of the enemy's railroad along the eastern coast of Korea in May.

1953–1959

Homeported in San Diego and Long Beach, California, she completed a total of nine tours of duty in the Far East, including training exercises and duty with the Taiwan patrol between 1953 and 1959.

1960–1967

George K. MacKenzie's homeport was changed to Yokosuka, Japanmarker, on 15 February 1960 as she continued her peacetime training duties, visiting Hong Kongmarker, the Philippinesmarker and other Far Eastern ports, including those in Japan. In 1961 George K. MacKenzie sailed from Subic Baymarker, P.I., on 23 March to rendezvous with carriers and in the South China Seamarker to act during the Laos crisis as a powerful on-the-spot force, if needed. Fortunately, the crisis passed; and after further operations George K. MacKenzie put in at her new home port of New Yorkmarker on 11 December 1962. She entered Brooklyn Navy Yardmarker for modernization, returning to sea in October 1963. George K. MacKenzie then made preparations to return to her new homeport of Long Beach, California, where she arrived on 28 January 1964 to prepare for extended duty in the Far East. She left the West Coast on 26 May and reached Yokosuka, Japan, on 13 June to begin over two years of continuous service in Oriental waters operating alternately in Japanese waters and off Vietnammarker fighting to repel Communist aggression. She specialized in screening aircraft carriers and shelling Communist positions ashore. The battle-tested destroyer returned to Long Beach on 3 August 1966 for a major overhaul to prepare for future action. In mid-1967 she was again in the Far East aiding in the struggle to save Southeast Asia. On 29 July she was screening when fire broke out on the carrier's flight deck. After helping to put out the flames, she escorted the stricken flattop to Subic Bay for repairs.

1971–1976

George K. MacKenzie was deployed to Vietnam in 1971 again with the mission of fleet defense and shore bombardment with other vessels, including the cruiser and the battleship . She returned home to San Diego in August 1972, and after a brief stand-down period, was again selected to conduct a Midshipman training cruise with twenty Third and First Class midshipmen embarked. During this training period, the George K. MacKenzie was ordered to perform plane guard duty for the , due to soon rotate back to Vietnam. The George K. MacKenzie put to sea to await a rendezvous with the carrier, which was still in port. However, the Ranger never sailed because of damage to the #3 main engine reduction gear due to sabotage. To provide at-sea time for the midshipmen, and a time for R&R for the crew, the George K. MacKenzie was given permission to sail to Coos Bay, Oregonmarker for the annual Salmon Festival.

Decommissioning and disposal

George K. MacKenzie was decommissioned on 30 September 1976, and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 October 1976. She was sunk as a target off Californiamarker on 15 October 1976.

Awards

George K. MacKenzie was awarded six battle stars for Korean service.

References



External links




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