Tag Archives: USS George K. MacKenzie (DD-836)

Greyhound Kennel

Just under 20 years out from Pearl Harbor, here we see a hardworking U.S. Navy destroyer tender nestling her charges in a Japanese home port. Said “little boys” include four slim WWII-Veteran Fletcher-class destroyers, a six-pack of more heavily armed and modern (but pre-FRAM’d) Gearing/Allen M. Sumner class destroyers, and a single (newly commissioned) Claud Jones-class destroyer escort, the latter conspicuous as the smallest of the brood with her 312-feet length and 3-inch guns.

US Navy photo from “All Hands” magazine, April 1963. Text from Navsource’s entry on Piedmont. 

Further detail on the above shows the Dixie-class destroyer tender USS Piedmont (AD-17), with destroyers alongside at Yokosuka, Japan, 7 October 1961. Tin cans moored at the pier include (L to right) six battle star earner USS Walker (DD-517), 15 battle-starred USS Taylor (DD-468), 17 battle star holder USS O’Bannon (DD-450), USS James E. Kyes (DD-787), USS McMorris (DE-1036), USS George K. MacKenzie (DD-836) and USS Rupertus (DD-851).

Nested to Piedmont’s port side are, (from inboard to outboard; USS Preston (DD-795), USS Maddox (DD-731), USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747), and USS Brush (DD-745). Also, note the submarine and what seems to be a heavy cruiser at the top left.

Of interest to fans of NGFS, there are almost 50 5-inch guns visible including 36 alone on the six Sumners, 10 on the Fletchers, and two on the tender. Also present are at least two RUR-4 Weapon Alpha ASW mounts, seen forward on Walker and Taylor.

More on the curious, and short-lived, Weapon Alpha, a device that bridged the period between Hedgehog and ASROC: