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Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Walton (DE 361)


Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - O - U
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Otis"


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: - Korea Service Medal w/ 2 stars - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Fourth Row: Philippine Liberation Medal - UN Korean Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal


Specifications:
Class: John C. Butler
Type: WGT (geared-turbine drive, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1350 tons (light), 1745 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 cal. DP guns (2x1), 4 - 40mm AA (2x2), 10 - 20mm AA, 3 - 21" TT, 1 Mk10 Hedgehog, 8 Mk6 Depth Charge Projectors, 2 Mk9 Depth Charge Stern Racks
Complement: 14 / 201
Walton (DE 361) Building and Operational Data:
  • 21 March 1944: Keel laid at the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 20 May 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Clara Olson, the mother of the late Sergeant Walton
  • 04 September 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr Wilbur S. Wills, Jr., in command
  • 31 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1.6 years of service
  • 26 January 1951: Recommissioned at San Diego, Cal., Lcdr John D. Brink in command
  • 04 November 1951: Homeport reassigned to Pearl Harbor as a unit of Escort Division 92 (with DE's 440, 699, and 700)
  • 20 July 1958: Assigned to NRT, 12th Naval District at San Francisco, Cal. as a unit of Reserve Escort Division 12
  • 01 October 1961: Activated for the Berlin Crisis, reassigned to Pearl Harbor, Hi.
  • 01 August 1962: Returned to San Francisco, deactivated, returned to the NRT Program as a unit of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 27
  • 20 September 1968: Decommissioned at San Francisco, Cal. after 17.6 years of service
  • 23 September 1968: Struck from the NVR with a total of 19.2 years of service
  • 07 August 1969: Sunk as target off California
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Walton 49k Merrit Cecil Walton was born at St. Paul, Minn., on 18 December 1915. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 19 May 1937 at San Francisco, Calif., and initially served at San Diego, Calif., before going to the Asiatic Station that autumn. As a member of the 4th Marine Regiment, quartered in the International Settlement of Shanghai, China, Walton witnessed part of the bloody battle that raged for that key city between Chinese and Japanese forces and, as such, was an early observer of Japanese aggression in the Far East. During his tour in China, he received promotion to private, 1st class, on 10 May 1939.

    Returning to the United States in the autumn of 1940, Walton served successive tours of duty at the Marine barracks at Mare Island, Vallejo, Calif.; the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J.; Quantico, Va.; and New River, N.C. He was promoted to sergeant on 1 August 1941 and platoon sergeant on 8 April 1942. Platoon Sergeant Walton was serving in a parachute battalion as part of the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) that was selected to land in the Solomons in August 1942. Companies A and B of that battalion landed on the island of Gavutu on the morning of 7 August 1942. The enemy, already alterted by the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, met the marines' frontal assault with a withering fire.

    Although fully aware of the danger involved, Platoon Sergeant Walton volunteered to reconnoiter the position of a troublesome Japanese machine gun nest threatening his platoon's right flank. Once he had spotted the weapon's location, he led a daring attack during which the leathernecks silenced the gun. Mortally wounded, however, Platoon Sergeant Walton died later that same day. Posthumous awards accorded the sergeant included the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart, and a share of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced).

    USS Walton (DE 361) (1944 - 1968) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo taken at Sutton, Nebr. during Sgt. Walton's last visit to his sister.)
    Rod Ulibarri
    Walton 41k 20 May 1944: Orange, Tex. - Walton being side-launched. Nick Tiberio
    Walton 60k undated (1950's) -
    Walton 419k circa 1962: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - An official U.S. Navy photo of Walton passing Hospital Point at Pearl Harbor. Ken W. Sayers
    Lt., USNR
    Walton 471k circa 1962: off the coast of Pearl Harbor - An official U.S. Navy photo of Walton at sea. This photo and the one prior were probably taken during Walton's last deployment to the Pacific.
    Walton 202k 3 October 1965: Alameda, Cal. - Walton in drydock during an overhaul at Todd Shipyard.
    Walton 156k 1 February 1966: Treasure Island, Cal. - Walton moored at Treasure Island Naval Station, pier 14N.
    Walton 138k 28 August 1966: Treasure Island, Cal. - Walton returning to Pier 14N after Cruise 8E-RC to San Diego.
    Walton 172k
    Walton 198k December 1966: Treasure Island, Cal. - Walton breasting out from Pier 14N.
    Walton 162k 7 May 1967: San Francisco Bay - Walton serving as the flagship for San Francisco’s annual Blessing of the Fleet event in Racoon Strait. Note the Mk 32 torpedo tubes near the stack, which had been installed only a week earlier.
    Walton 306k
    Walton 305k 7 May 1967: San Francisco Bay - Pleasure boats inspecting Walton while she served as the flagship for the Blessing of the Fleet festival in Racoon Strait.
    Walton 224k

    Walton
    Memorabilia

    Welcome Aboard
    Pamphlet (circa 1961)
    Walton
    Courtesy of
    Rod Ulibarri

    View the USS Walton (DE 361) DANFS history entry
    located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Next Reunion:
    8 October 2014 at Kansas City, Mo.

    Contact: Jerry and Mary Hudson
    Address: 3924 Oxford Road, Jefferson City MO 65109
    Phone: (573) 291-1922
    E-mail: marjer67 at ktis.net

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.


    Additional Resources
    Ed Whitehead's USS Walton Web Site
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Walton
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    This Page Created And Maintained by Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated 16 April 2014