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USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR. (DD-850)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NBCR

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - ELMIRA

CLASS - GEARING As Built.
Displacement 3460 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 390' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 4" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; Westinghouse Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.8 Knots, Range 4500 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Built by Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, MA (YN )
Laid down 02 April 1945
Launched 26 July 1945
Commissioned 15 December 1945
Completed FRAM upgrade May 1962
Decommissioned 02 July 1973
Fate Preserved as memorial berthed at Fall River, Massachusetts.

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Namesake
Kennedy 58kJoseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., older brother of future President John F. Kennedy, was born in Nantasket, Massachusetts, 25 July 1915. He attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, enlisting in the Naval Reserve 24 June 1941. After flight training, Kennedy was commissioned Ensign 5 May 1942. He served with Patrol Squadron 203 (VP-203) and Bombing Squadron 110 (VB-110). He was appointed Lieutenant 01 July 1944. While attached to VB-110, Lt. Kennedy took part in a secret project to destroy German V-2 rocket launching sites by the use of radio controlled drone aircraft loaded with explosives. The plane, a Consolidated PB4Y-1 (Bureau No. 32271) of VB-110, could not take off by radio control, however, and Kennedy volunteered to take her into the air where guidance systems would take over. After exhaustive preparations he and another brave flyer, Lt. Wilford J. Willy, took off from Fersfield–Winfarthing in Norfolk 12 August 1944. The target was the giant 150mm German ‘Super-Gun’ site at Mimoyecques near Calais. However, the aircraft exploded over Blythburgh with two enormous blasts, killing both officers. Both pilots were awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for this dangerous mission in the drone Liberator bomber. Kennedy's citation testifies: "Intrepid and daring in his tactics and with unwavering confidence in the vital importance of his task, he willingly risked his life in the supreme measure of service, and, by his great personal valor and fortitude in carrying out a perilous undertaking, sustained and enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."Bill Gonyo / Dave Wright
USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850)
Kennedy 25kUndated, Battleship Cove, Fall River, Mass.Mike Lester
Kennedy 65kUndated, location unknown.Bruce Helmboldt
Kennedy 234kUndated, Valetta, Malta.Bruce Helmboldt
Kennedy 239kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 74kUndated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Kennedy 96kCover of Sea Classics magazine.Tommy Trampp
Kennedy 92kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Kennedy 130kUndated, location unknown.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Kennedy 177kJuly 26 1945, Joan Kennedy, sister of namesake, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. at Bethlehem Steel, Quincy, Mass.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 179kFore River Shipyard on July 26 1945, on the occasion of the launching of the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD-850. The ship's sponsor Jean Ann Kennedy had just christened the ship. The Kennedy Family who attended are from left to right: Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, Jean Ann Kennedy (with roses), Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Thirteen year old Edward "Teddy" Moore Kennedy, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Eunice Mary Kennedy.Robert M. Cieri
Kennedy 168kMiss Jean Kennedy, sister, christening the ship on July 26 1945.S. Dale Hargrave
Kennedy 30kLaunching at Fore River Shipyard on July 26, 1945.Ron Reeves
Kennedy 206kCommissioned December 15 1945.S. Dale Hargrave
Kennedy 214kCommissioned December 15 1945.S. Dale Hargrave
Kennedy 70kDecember 16 1945, the USS Joseph Kennedy, Jr., a 2200 ton destroyer named for the late son of Joseph P. Kennedy, former ambassador to Great Britain, was placed in commission at the Boston Navy Yard. Above, Rear Admiral Felix Gygax of the First Naval District is shown at the microphone during the commissioning ceremonies. Also shown standing in rear row is Miss Jean Kennedy, sister of the hero. Miss Kennedy christened the ship at the Bethlehem Shipyard in Quincy last July.Bill Gonyo
Kennedy 174kJoseph P. Kennedy Sr. shaking the hand of his son Robert Kennedy aboard USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. in 1946. Robert was a radarman stationed aboard the ship at that time. Thanks to Rich Angelini.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 107kCirca 1950, refueling from the USS Missouri (BB-62).Robert M. Cieri
Kennedy 157kDestroyer Squadron Eight Change of Command, 1951 "Recently returned from Korea, Commander Destroyer Squadron Eight, Captain E.S. Von Kleeck, Jr., reads his farewell address on board the USS J. P. Kennedy, Jr., as officers and men of Destroyer Division 81 stand-by to receive their new commander." Captain Von Kleeck was relieved by Captain J.J. Laffan. Probably taken at Newport, Rhode Island, soon after 8 August 1951, when DesDiv 81 returned from a Korean War deployment. Ships present are (from right to left): USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850); USS William R. Rush (DD-714); USS Fiske (DD-842); USS Hawkins (DDR-873); and an unidentified escort destroyer (DDE). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.Fred Weiss
Kennedy 219kMarch 1953, entering Monte Carlo.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 117kThe J. P. Kennedy (DD-850), Fred T. Berry (DD-858), McCaffery (DD-860) and Norris (DD-859) in Genoa, Italy May 6, 1954.Larry Bohn
Kennedy 50kA series of 9 views of the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) during a visit to Chicago, July 3 1959. Photos taken from the bridges around the Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 48kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 51kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 53kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 52kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 47kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 52kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 51kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 47kAs above.Allan MacArthur Wilson
Kennedy 169kIn Chicago in July 1959 for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. She is tied up by the Merchandise Mart which was and is owned by the Kennedy family.James G. Brown
Kennedy 195kEntering Chicago in July 1959.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 184kMay 1962, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 175kMay 1962, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 153kMay 1962, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 145kMay 12 1962, location unknown. Photo NPC 1061117.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 156kAs above. Photo NPC 1061113.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 174kAs above. Photo NPC 1061114.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 108kThe Kennedy in Narragansett Bay approximately June of 1962 right after she got out of Fram overhaul and just before leaving for Refresher Training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.JE Dowd CDR USNR (Ret.)
Kennedy 141kMrs Kennedy, President Kennedy and others off Newport, RI., watching the America's Cup, aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD-850), 15 September 1962. Photo taken by Robert L. Knudsen, White House. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston National Archives and Records Admininstration. NARA ID: 194214.Robert Hurst
Kennedy 169kOctober 26 1962, boarding the Lebanese freighter MARUCLA, under Soviet charter.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 154kAs above.Ron Reeves
Kennedy 251kBoston Navy Yard in 1963 as viewed from the USS Keppler (DD-765).Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 179kMay 15 1963, photo by PH1 Andrews, NPC 1072997.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 183kAs above, NPC 1072998.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 256kGenoa, Italy on August 4 1964.Carlo Martinelli
Kennedy 91kBoston Naval Shipyard, June 1965© Richard Leonhardt
Kennedy 120kGrand Canyon (AD-28), at Newport RI in 1966 with five destroyers alongside. Destroyers moored alongside include Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD-850), USS Moale (DD-693), William R. Rush (DD-714), Harlan R. Dickson (DD-708), and one unidentified ship. © Richard Leonhardt/Stephen Sue
Kennedy 209kNovember 7 1967, QH-50C DASH on deck. Photo by PHAN P. O'Gorman, NPC K-41942Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 248kJune 1969 in Narragansett Bay. Photo NPC # K-73944 by PH1 F. W. Gotaoco.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 83kNewport, November 10 1969© Richard Leonhardt
Kennedy 92kUSS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD 850), USS William M. Wood (DD 715), and USS Charles F. Adams (DDG 2) at Barcelona, Spain, in late January 1970. If you look closely, you will notice that Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was fitted with ULQ-6, while William M. Wood lacked this active countermeasures system.Fabio Peña
Kennedy 168kUSS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) and behind her with the yellow crane is the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr (DD-850). Early 1972 at Pier 2 in Newport, RI prior to decommissioning. Navy Photo CTR--K-101613.Ed Zajkowski
Kennedy 135kBeing moved into Battleship Cove as a memorial January 1974.Ron Reeves
Kennedy 69kAs a memorial in Fall River December 9 2001.Steve Schar
Kennedy 75kUSS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850) sits in Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts. The cove is located just north of the former mouth of the Quequechan River, which is now the site of the Braga Bridge (background of picture), Spring 2004. Photo taken by Todd S. Custadio.Robert Hurst
Kennedy 114kUSS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD 850) moored in Fall River, MA on October 21 2007, photo by Ulrich Iffland (Copyright).Bill Gonyo
Kennedy 187kUSS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850) tied up pierside at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts, 27 August 2007.Robert Hurst
Kennedy 88kA series of 22 images of the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD 850) as she appeared in Fall River, MA during September 2008.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 61kAs above. Kathy looks over the forward enlisted head located on the second deck just forward of the mess decks.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 74kAs above. Mess decks, looking aft and to port.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 62kAs above. Ladder to berthing space below the mess decks.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 54kAs above. ASROC loader.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 82kAs above. CIC looking aft and to starboard.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 79kAs above. 01 level looking forward.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 63kAs above. Starboard side 01 level, looking aft.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 61kAs above. ASROC launcher.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 63kAs above. DASH flight deck.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 68kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 60kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 62kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 53kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 58kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 65kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 73kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 78kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 55kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 87kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 52kAs above.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 57kAs above. Ship's store, port side, weather deck, below DASH deck.Larry Backus and Kathryn Lee Huculak
Kennedy 144kUSS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850) tied up pierside at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts, 20 September 2012. Photo taken by Lana Yvonne.Robert Hurst
Kennedy 48kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Kennedy 49kShip's patch.Mike Smolinski
Click here to see additional images of this ship on our FRAM Special Feature page

USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR. DD-850 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
01CDR Harry Grimshaw Moore (USNA 1932)15 December 1945 - 1947
02Unknown1947 - October 1951
03CDR Robert Bond Lander (USNA 1937)October 1951 - September 1953
04CDR William Russell McKinney (USNA 1940)September 1953 - November 1955
05UnknownNovember 1955 - April 1956
06CDR John William Maddex (USNA 1942)April 1956 - July 1958
07UnknownJuly 1958 - 1959
08CDR Joseph Eugene Volonte (USNA 1943)1959 - July 1960
09CDR Mark George Tremaine (USNA 1945)July 1960 - June 1961
10UnknownJune 1961 - May 1962
11CDR Nicholas Mikhalevsky USNMay 1962 - 1963
12CDR John Victor Peters (USNA 1945)1963 - 14 July 1965
13CDR James Wilton Hayes, Jr. (USNA 1945)14 July 1965 - 1967
14CDR Peter Frederick Klein (USNA 1949)1967 - 1969
15CDR Thomas Arthur Rodgers USN1969 - 08 September 1971
16CDR Brian Patrick McCrane (USNA 1953)08 September 1971 - 02 July 1973

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Raymond Sampson
Address: 484 Walcott Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861
Phone: (401)725-8848
E-mail: None


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 13 September 2020