by Rodney C. Maddox
There were three United States Navy destroyers named after Captain
William A. T. Maddox
which served beginning shortly after World War
I through the Vietnam era. All three saw action and one was sunk with
loss of life. Maddox himself was an indian fighting Marine officer
who served during the early to mid 1800's. More on Cpt. Maddox below.
U S S Maddox DW-168 - pre-World War II
The first was an Old Wickles Class Destroyer laid down 20 July 1918 by
the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, Mass. The destoyer
was launched 27 October 1918 and it was sponsored by Mrs. Clarence N.
granddaughter of Captain William A. T. Maddox. This USS Maddox
was commissioned 10 March 1919 and ship's captain was Cmdr. Edward C. S.
Parker. On 17 July 1920 she was designated DW-168.
to Division 21, Atlantic Fleet, Maddox departed Boston 3 May 1919 for
Newfoundland, enroute to the Azores where she became part of a "bridge
of ships" assigned to guide Navy flying boats NC-1 and NC-4 across the
ocean on the first transatlantic flight. On 26 August 1919, she sailed
to Europe, arriving at Brest France on 19 September 1919 and she joined
an honor escort for the King and Queen of Belgian. Until 24 October
1919 she escorted ships and carried naval and army passengers from Dover
and Elarwich to Boulogne, France and the Hook of Holland.
Returning to the United States 12 February 1920, Maddox operated
of Boston for the next two years, off the east coast. Departing Boston
25 February 1922 for Philadelphia, she was decommissioned at the
Navy Yard 14 June 1922.
Inactive for the next 18 years, Maddox recommissioned 17 June
After brief duty on the mid-Atlantic patrol, she departed for Halifax,
Nova Scotia where she was once again decommissioned 23 September 1940.
The next day she was assigned to the British Royal Navy and named the H
M S Georgetown. An agreement between President Franklin D. Roosevelt
and Prime Minister Winston Churchill led to the transfer of 50 World War
I destroyers to be transferred to the Royal Navy. The destroyers were
to help combat German U-boats. In return,
the U.S. was given 99-year leases to British bases in Bermuda,
and the West Indies. The Maddox was then assigned to the Soviet Navy,
named Doblestnyi and later back to the British Royal Navy. (Photo
of DW-168 after she was commissioned by the Royal Navy.)
U S S Maddox DD-622 Livermore Class Destroyer - Sunk in battle
second destroyer named Maddox was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal
and Dry Dock Company, Rearny, New Jersey and launched 15 September 1942
This one was sponsored by Mrs. Ellen-Venita Browning Wilhoit, great
of Captain William A. T. Maddox. The ship was commissioned 31 October
1942; ship's captain was Lt. Cmdr. Eugene S. Sarsfield.
The Maddox departed New York 2 January 1943 for Norfolk, Virginia,
she commenced escort duties. Following her first two-convoy missions,
safeguarding fleet oilers plying between Norfolk and the petroleum
of Galveston and Aruba, Maddox began a series of transatlantic voyages
escorting convoys from New York and Norfolk to North Africa.
On 8 June 1943, Maddox departed Norfolk for Oran, Algeria, where
became a unit of TF-81, the assault force for the Sicilian invasion.
After the assault troops landed on 10 July 1943, Maddox was on
patrol about 16 miles offshore. Steaming alone, the destroyer was
attacked by a German JU-88 Luftwaffe bomber in the predawn darkness.
The plane dropped four 250 pound bombs, the first landed in the water,
the second two hit the fantail and detonated the powder (ammunition)
and the last bomb hit in the water by the side of the ship. The
Maddox sank in 90 seconds, 70 men survived, but 212 men went down with
the ship including the captain. The U S S Maddox, DD-622 has the
unfortunate distinction of having been the fastest sinking U. S. warship
to be lost in World War II. Captain Sarsfield was awarded the
Navy Cross posthumously. The U S S Maddox, DD-622 was struck from
the Navy list on 19 August 1943. The Maddox did receive two battle
stars for her World War II service.
U S S Maddox DD-731 Sumner Class Destroyer - WWII, Korea and Vietnam
The third destroyer to bear the Maddox name was laid down 28 October
by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine and launched 19 March 1944.
This one was sponsored by Mrs. Harry H. Wilhoit, great granddaughter of
Captain William A. T. Maddox.
Maddox was commissioned 2 June 1944 and ship's captain was Cmdr.
shakedown and antisubmarine exercises Maddox departed Boston 27 August
1944 for Norfolk enroute to join the Pacific Fleet. The Maddox was
assigned to the Third Fleet and she was badly damaged off Okinawa in
by a bomb from a Japanese Kamikaze plane. The bomb struck the
killing the ships captain and eight other of the ships crew. The
ship was repaired and put back into action into the Destroyer Division
Sixty-Two; she participated in the last torpedo attack of the war with
ships of the division sinking four of the eight enemy ships.
When the Korean War (Conflict) broke out the Maddox was in the
Pacific with the Seventh Fleet screening fast Carrier Task Force
She participated in almost every phase of the Korean War action.
The Maddox participated in the now famous evacuation of the Hungnam
Head; escort duties in the first combat deployment of troops; the rescue
of Navy and Air Force pilots, holding what is believed to be a record
the Korean War. The Maddox liked to work in close to the shore and
she drew over 700 rounds of heavy shore battery fire. Once after
receiving slight damage from shore battery fire, Radio Moscow reported
that she had been sunk. During a 43-day period of time the ship and
crew were at general quarters (battle stations-ready to engage).
This was 43 days and nights until they were relieved (this has to be
some kind of a record).
After the Korean War, she operated as a member of the Seventh
in the Western Pacific. In June 1963, she received a complete overhaul.
was once again deployed in the Western Pacific from 13 March 1964 until
2 October 1964, assigned to escort duty. During the early part of
August 1964, Maddox was assigned to special patrol duty in the Tonkin
off the North Vietnam coast. On 2 August 1964, she earned the
being the first U S Warship to be fired upon since the Korean War.
The Maddox was attacked by North Vietnam torpedo boats that fired on the
Maddox. The Maddox fought off the attack and sank one of the torpedo
boats. On the fourth, North Vietnam boats again attacked the Maddox,
but the Maddox had been joined by the Destroyer Turner Joy. The Maddox
during the Vietnam War (conflict) was assigned to Gunfire Support
She fired over 500 rounds of five-inch ammunition at some fifteen
targets; the targets were chiefly Viet Cong storage, staging areas and
bivouac areas. Maddox was given credit with 48 structures destroyed,
23 damaged, two VC KIA's and fifteen VC WIA's. Several secondary
explosions reported by aerial spotters indicated that ammo caches were
destroyed. Her other functions consisted of picket, surveillance
and anti-aircraft duties. The Maddox rescued eight survivors, in
record time, when their Navy P2V Neptune Patrol Plane crashed into the
The U S S Maddox DD-731 was awarded four battle stars
World War II, six for the Korean War and the Navy Unit Commendation
and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for her service in Vietnam.
The destroyer was decommissioned 2 July 1972, removed from the
files and on 6 July 1972 sold to Taiwan, renamed the Po Yang. She
was stricken and broken up for scrap in 1985; this was the fate of many
of the older ships of the Navy.
Maddox Incident triggering the Vietnam War - From the History Net
Captain William A.T. (Alfred Truman) Maddox, US Marines
The Marine for whom the ships were named was Born in Charles Co, MD in
1814 and died : 1 January 1889 Washington D. C.
In 1836, William Alfred Maddox had served in the war with the
Creeks and Seminole Indians as First Lieutenant, commanding a company of
volunteers under General Jessup and on 14 October 1837 was appointed a
Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps from the State of Maryland.
From 1845 to 1847 he served on the sloop CYANE, Pacific
landing at Monterey 7 July 1846, when the American Flag was hoisted,
assisting in taking possession of the country; and hoisted the American
Flag at San Diego, 29 July 1846.
On 15 August 1846, he was appointed by Commodore Stockton to
command of two companies of mounted riflemen to proceed against General
Alvarado. On this march of 500 miles, near the mission of San Luis
Opispo, after a sharp battle, he made prisoners of a number of men and
fifteen officers. He was appointed Military Commandant of the middle
district of California, with headquarters at Monterey, on 18 September
1846. In the spring of 1847, he landed with a party of men to intercept
a Mexican Force expected near the Rio Colorado, arriving at Monterey on
15 May 1847.
On 4 June 1847, he was attached to the frigate, COLUMBUS, and
on 2 March 1848, he was attached to headquarters in Washington D. C.;
Captain, to take rank from 3 January 1847, for gallant and meritorious
conduct at the Battle of Santa Clara, on that date and in suppressing an
insurrection at Monterey during the time he was commandant of the middle
district of California.
Captain Maddox commanded the second company of the marine
who fired on the mob in June 1857, at Washington D. C., thereby
in capturing the cannon used by the "Plug-Ugly" rioters and suppressing
the riot. He retired from the Untied States Marine Corps in 1880
and died 1 January 1889 in Washington D. C. Three U S Naval Ships
were named after Captain William A. T. Maddox.
researched and submitted by Rodney C. Maddox Washington
From Marsha Barton marsha.barton at hotmail.com:
Moughan Maddox (1829 - 1861)
Rodney Maddox (1854 - 1899)*
Wood Maddox (1857 - 1873)*
Maddox Miller (1866 - 1960)*
*Point here for
District of Columbia
Plot: Amphitheater, Lot N East.
I found the announcement
of his death in the paper:
Funeral of Captain Maddox
The funeral of Captain William Alfred Truman Maddox who died
on New Year's day at his home, Glenallen Farm, near Georgetown,
- was held this afternoon at Christ Church, Georgetown. Captain Maddox was
born in Maryland in 1814.
- He served in 1836 in the war with the Seminoles and Creeks and was
commissioned second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on October 17, 1837.
- He was at Monterey when the American flag was raised there, and served
throughout the Mexican War. He afterwards served on a number of vessels.
He commanded the Second Company of the Marine Battalion
who fired on the mob in June 1837, at Washington, thereby assisting in capturing
cannon used by the Plug Ugly rioters, and in suppressing
the riot. He was stationed at Philadelphia, in charge of the Assistant
from 1837 to 1878. He retired from the service on January
3, 1880. After retirement, he continued to live in Philadelphia until a year or
two ago when he removed to Glenallen Farm.
Taken from the Critic-Record,
January 4, 1889
He lived in Philadelphia for
a time with his brother John who was a physician. Their father was William R
Maddox an alderman in Washington, D.C. I believe William R's father was Rhoda
Maddox of Charles County.
Captain Maddox' parents (obits)
His parents were buried in Congressional Cemetery in D.C. and below are
On the 18th instant, William R. Maddox, Esq,
aged 59, long known as a highly respectable citizen of Washington, and for many
years a member of the Board of Aldermen. He was marked for the simplicity and
frankness of his manners, the integrity of his character, and the friendliness
of his disposition. As a husband, a father, and neighbor, he was greatly
beloved. About two weeks since he travelled into a neighboring State on business
but on his way thither was suddenly taken ill, languished under severe suffering
for ten days, and was brought home just in time to expire in the bosom of his
family. His friends and acquaintances are requested to attend his funeral this
day at 4 o'clock p.m. from his late residence near the Navy Yard. Range 49 Site
44. Congressional Cemetery Washington D.C.
Maddox, Mrs. Elizabeth
F. d. 11 Mar 1853 Maddox Vault
Maddox. Departed this life in this city at
4 o'clock a.m. the 11th instant, after a long and severe affliction of chronic
pulmonary consumption, which she bore with Christian resignation to the will of
God, Mrs. Elizabeth F. Maddox, consort of the late William R. Maddox,
formerly of Charles County, Maryland, but for many years a resident of
this city. She was a kind and affectionate wife, devoted to her children, a warm
and sincere friend, and beloved by all who knew her. May she rest in peace! Her
friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend her funeral on
Sunday afternoon, at half-past three o'clock, from her late residence, corner of
3d street east and N street south, near the Eastern Branch.
the Congressional Cemetery website:
Credit: The U S S Maddox Association, Ken
Vice President, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken served
on the Maddox DD-731 during the Korean War. He advised that about
3,000 persons served on the three ships, only one Maddox, Lyle Maddox
lives in Nebraska served on the DD-731. The US Navy site shows
two John Maddoxes served aboard her, however, around 1970.