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Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Laid down: 7 May 1942
Launched: 15 September 1942
Commissioned: 31 October 1942
Fate: Sunk in action, 10 July 1943
Struck: 19 August 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Gleaves-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,630 tons
Length: 348 ft 3 in (106.15 m)
Beam: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Draft: 11 ft 10 in (3.61 m)
Propulsion: 50,000 shp (37 MW);

4 boilers; 2 propellers

Speed: 37.4 knots (69 km/h)
Range: 6,500 nautical miles at 12 kt

(12,000 km at 22 km/h)

Complement: 16 officers, 260 enlisted
Armament: 4 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 caliber DP guns

6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machineguns 4 × 40 mm (2×2) and 5 × 20 mm (5×1) AA guns, 5× 21 in (53 cm) torpedo tubes (1x5; 5 Mark 15 torpedos) 6 × depth charge projectors, 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Maddox (DD-622), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the 2nd ship of the United States Navy to be named for Captain William A. T. Maddox.

Maddox was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Kearny, New Jersey; launched 15 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Ellen-Venita Browning Wilhoit Gay, great granddaughter of Captain Maddox; and commissioned 31 October 1942, Lieutenant Commander Eugene S. Sarsfield in command.

After shakedown, Maddox departed New York 2 January 1943 for Norfolk, Virginia where she commenced escort duties. Following her first two convoy missions, safeguarding fleet oilers plying between Norfolk and the petroleum centers of Galveston, Texas and Aruba, Maddox began a series of trans-Atlantic voyages escorting convoys from New York and Norfolk to north Africa.

On 8 June 1943, Maddox departed Norfolk for Oran, Algeria, where she became a unit of Task Force 81 (TF81), the assault force for the Sicilian invasion. As the assault troops opened the Amphibious Battle of Gela on 10 July, Maddox was on antisubmarine patrol about 16 miles offshore. Steaming alone, the destroyer was attacked by a German dive bomber. One of the bombs exploded Maddox's after magazine, causing the ship to roll over and sink within 2 minutes. Lt. Comdr. Sarsfield was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism displayed in supervising abandon ship. His action was responsible for saving the lives of 74 of the crew.

Maddox was struck from the Navy list 19 August 1943.

Maddox received two battle stars for World War II service.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here. Keith Andrew Steele was one of the 74 survivors. The survivors not only survived the sinking, but survived strafing from the plane that sunk them. The survivors swam in shark infested waters for 17 hours before being rescued.

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