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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NJVM

Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 10 x 40mm, 7 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 38 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 15 Knots, Crew 273.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny NJ. July 6 1943.
Launched October 17 1943 and commissioned November 24 1943.
Decommissioned May 31 1946 and recommissioned February 2 6 1951.
Decommissioned January 13 1954.
Stricken December 1 1974.
Fate Sold August 14 1975 to Trebor Marine Corp., Camden, NJ for $175,999 and broken up for scrap.

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Melvin 76kLt. (jg.) John T. Melvin, born 16 October 1887 at Selma, Ala., was appointed midshipman 6 July 1907 and commissioned ensign 7 July 1911. Resigning his commission 20 August 1915, he was appointed lieutenant (jg.), 9 February 1917, upon his joining the Naval Reserve. Attached to the patrol boat Alcedo, Lieutenant (jg.) Melvin lost his life 5 November 1917 when that vessel was sunk by a German submarine in the war zone. Alcedo was the first American war vessel to go down in World War I. Photo Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy with thanks to Nell Horn.Bill Gonyo
Melvin 77kArtist's conception of the Melvin by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Melvin 60kUndated, location unknown.-
Melvin 130kUndated, location unknown. Photo Courtesy of the USS Abbot (DD-629) website.Bill Gonyo
Melvin 104kUndated, location unknown in camouflage Measure 22.David Buell
Melvin 60kImage taken on shakedown to Bermuda December 1943Chester S. Roski MM1/c
Melvin 174kPainting of the Battle of Surigao Starit on October 25 1944.Gerd Matthes
Melvin 25kCommander Barry K. Atkins commanded the destroyer USS Melvin (DD-680) that sank the Japanese battleship Fuso in the historic Battle of Surigao Strait during World War II in October 1944. Atkins won the Navy Cross "For extraordinary heroism... in action against major units of the enemy Japanese Fleet .... which contributed materially to the decisive defeat of enemy forces". His heroism in what is believed by historians to be the only instance in the war of a destroyer sinking a battleship. Melvin later operated with fast carrier forces attacking the Japanese home islands and supporting the Okinawa campaign. She also participated in the last surface action of the war, a sweep through the Kuriles and bombardment of Paramashiro Wan just days before the war ended. Awarded the Bronze Star, his citation reads, in part, "For heroic achievement, as Commanding Officer .... in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Kyushu and Okinawa area from 14 March to 14 May 1945. Going to the aid of a badly damaged destroyer on 29 April 1945, CDR Atkins displayed excellent seamanship by maneuvering his ship alongside the stricken vessel in the face of burning and exploding ammunition to fight the fires and, after they were extinguished, remained alongside to provide electrical power and water to enable the ship to regain power .........." He also won the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and many other ribbons and commendations retiring as an Admiral in 1959. He died in Richmond, Virginia on November 15, 2005 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.Bill Gonyo
Melvin 144kUSS Melvin (DD-680) underway in 1945, with crew paraded at the rail. The donor, B.K. Atkins, commanded this ship in 1944-1946. He comments: "MELVIN kept her dark gray color (Measure 21 camouflage scheme) throughout the war. The crew called her 'The Merciless Melvin.' Courtesy of Rear Admiral B.K. Atkins, USN (Ret), 1980. From Atkins photo album no. 1, page 90. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 93904.Mike Green
Melvin 138kUSS Melvin (DD-680) underway at sea, circa the early 1950s. This image was received by the Naval Photographic Center in December 1959, but was taken sometime between early 1951 and late 1953. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo #: NH 107188.Robert Hurst
Melvin 223kShips patch.Gerd Matthes
Melvin 87kShips patch.Gerd Matthes

USS MELVIN DD-680 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Warner Ryerson Edsall    Nov 24 1943 - Oct 10 1944
CDR Barry Kennedy Atkins    Oct 10 1944 - May 31 1946 (Later RADM)
(Decommissioned May 31 1946 - Feb 26 1951)
CDR DeWitt McDougal (Pat) Patterson    Feb 26 1951 - Jul 5 1952
CDR Robert Bogardus Byrnes    Jul 5 1952 - ? 
CDR Albert Sidney Freeman    ? 1953 - ?

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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