Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 3  -  USS John King



DDG-3 USS John King patch crest insignia

DDG-3 USS John King

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Destroyer; Charles F. Adams - class

planned as DD 953; built as DDG 3



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: March 28, 1957

Laid down: August 25, 1958

Launched: January 30, 1960

Commissioned: February 4, 1961

Decommissioned: March 30, 1990


Fate: sold for scrap - February 10, 1999






named after and in honor of Chief John King (1865 - 1938)

> see history, below;

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO > Charles F. Adams - class Guided Missile Destroyer


ship images


DDG-3 USS John King


DDG-3 USS John King


DDG-3 USS John King


DDG-3 USS John King


USS John King DDG-3 - Charles F. Adams class destroyer



John King


Chief John King, US Navy



Namesake & History:

John King (February 7, 1865 – May 20, 1938):


John King was born on 7 February 1865 in County Mayo, Ireland. After emigrating to the United States he enlisted in the U.S. Navy from the state of New York in 1893. During the Spanish-American War he served on board the battleship Massachusetts and subsequently was a Watertender on board the gunboat Vicksburg during the Philippine insurrection. On 29 May 1901 King exhibited "heroism in the line of his profession" during a boiler accident on that ship, receiving the Medal of Honor for this action some months later. He became one of the few double recipients of the Nation's highest award as a result of "extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession" during another boiler accident aboard the scout cruiser Salem on 13 September 1909. A few weeks later King was advanced to the rank of Chief Water Tender. He was honorably discharged in 1916 but was recalled to active duty during World War I, serving in the New York area until August 1919. John King died on 20 May 1938 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Medal of Honor awards:
First Award - Peace Time Heroism
Rank and organization:
Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 February 1865, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 72, 6 December 1901.
Citation: On board the U.S.S. Vicksburg, for heroism in the line of his profession at the time of the accident to the boilers, 29 May 1901.
Second Award - Peace Time Heroism
Rank and organization:
Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 February 1865, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 40, 19 October 1909.
Citation: Watertender, serving on board the U.S.S. Salem, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of the accident to one of the boilers of that vessel, 13 September 1909.


USS John King (DDG 3):


John King (DDG-3) was laid down by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, 25 August 1958; launched 30 January 1960; sponsored by Mrs. Paul J. Kilday, wife of Representative Kilday of Texas; and commissioned 4 February 1961 at Boston, Comdr. A. M. Sackett in command.

Following shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, John King carried out weapons tests on the East Coast before arriving Norfolk 7 September 1961 for regular duty. One of a new class of guided missile destroyers, she featured latest hull design with all-aluminum superstructure and mounted the very latest in modern armament and electronic equipment. Departing 27 November 1961, the ship cruised to England and Northern Europe until 1 January 1962, when she sailed from Dublin for the Mediterranean. There, John King joined the 6th Fleet in its constant role of peacekeeping in this troubled region. After her return to Norfolk in April, the ship conducted missile firing exercises and training in the Caribbean. She arrived Washington 10 July 1962 for a 4 day stay, entertaining a group of Senators and Congressmen as well as Secretary of the Navy Korth.

Following additional exercises, John King entered Norfolk Navy Yard 11 October. Soon afterward, the introduction of offensive missiles into Cuba precipitated a crisis; and, as Navy ships placed a quarantine around the island, the ship quickly finished her repairs and joined the blockade 6 November. After the crisis eased, the ship remained in the Caribbean operating with the Navy's newest and biggest carrier, the nuclear-powered Enterprise. She returned to Norfolk 8 December.

John King departed for her second Mediterranean cruise 6 February 1963. After visiting various ports on 6th Fleet maneuvers, she steamed to Kiel, Germany, 23 June, then returned to Norfolk 17 July. The next twelve months were spent on training and readiness exercises off the Virginia Capes and in the Caribbean, including a week at the Antisubmarine Warfare School, Key West, in April.

The destroyer sailed for the Mediterranean once more 3 August and joined the 6th Fleet 16 August near the strife-torn island of Cyprus. She remained in the Mediterranean until the end of 1964.

John King returned to Norfolk 29 January and operated along the East Coast until sailing for the "Med" 14 October. Following 4 months of operations with the 6th Fleet, she returned to Norfolk 7 March 1966. In the summer she visited the Mediterranean and recrossed the Atlantic on NATO Exercise "Straight Laced." Back at homeport in the fall she operated out of Norfolk until sailing for another 6th Fleet deployment 10 January 1967. Her movements were concentrated in the Western Mediterranean until she sailed for home 11 May. Arriving Norfolk on the 19th, John King entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard 27 June for an overhaul to prepare for future service.

DDG-3 was decommissioned on 30 March 1990, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 January 1993 and sold for scrap on 10 February 1999.




DDG-3 USS John King patch crest insignia USS John King DDG-3 patch crest insignia DDG-3 USS John King patch crest insignia



| | USN ships start page |