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USS Maddox

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 great 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. Hinkamp, 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.

Assigned to Division 21, Atlantic Fleet, Maddox departed Boston 3 May 1919 for Trepassey, 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 out of Boston for the next two years, off the east coast.  Departing Boston 25 February 1922 for Philadelphia, she was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard 14 June 1922.

Inactive for the next 18 years, Maddox recommissioned 17 June 1940.  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 requested to      help combat German U-boats. In return, the U.S. was given 99-year leases to British bases in Bermuda, Newfoundland, 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



The second destroyer named Maddox was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Rearny, New Jersey and launched 15 September 1942  This one was sponsored by Mrs. Ellen-Venita Browning Wilhoit, great granddaughter 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, where she commenced escort duties.  Following her first two-convoy missions, safeguarding fleet oilers plying between Norfolk and the petroleum centers 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 she 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 antisubmarine 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) magazine 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 1943 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. James S. Willis.
Following 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 1944 by a bomb from a Japanese Kamikaze plane.  The bomb struck the pilothouse, 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 Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet screening fast Carrier Task Force Seventy-Seven.  She participated in almost every phase of the Korean War action.  The Maddox participated in the now famous evacuation of the Hungnam Beach 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 for 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 Fleet in the Western Pacific.  In June 1963, she received a complete overhaul.

Maddox 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 Gulf off the North Vietnam coast.  On 2 August 1964, she earned the distinction of 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 duties.  She fired over 500 rounds of five-inch ammunition at some fifteen different 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 water.
 
The U S S Maddox DD-731 was awarded four battle stars for World War II, six for the Korean War and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for her service in Vietnam.


The destroyer was decommissioned 2 July 1972, removed from the Naval 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.

Another link:     The USS 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 Squadron, landing at Monterey 7 July 1846, when the American Flag was hoisted, thereby 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 take 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.; brevetted 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 battalion who fired on the mob in June 1857, at Washington D. C., thereby assisting 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 County, Ohio


From Marsha Barton marsha.barton at hotmail.com:
 
Spouse:
  Sarah Moughan Maddox (1829 - 1861)
 
 Children:
  William Rodney Maddox (1854 - 1899)*
  Kate Wood Maddox (1857 - 1873)*
  Frances Maddox Miller (1866 - 1960)*
 
*Point here for explanation
 
Burial:
Oak Hill Cemetery
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
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 the

  • cannon used by the Plug Ugly rioters, and in suppressing the riot.  He was stationed at Philadelphia, in charge of the Assistant Quartermaster's Office,

  • 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 their obituaries:

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.

Taken from the Congressional Cemetery website:  http://www.congressionalcemetery.org/.

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Credit: The U S S Maddox Association, Ken Chestnut, Vice President, E-mail   maddoxman@aol.com.  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 who lives in Nebraska served on the DD-731.   The US Navy site shows two John Maddoxes served aboard her, however, around 1970.
 

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