Ships' History (DDG 32)
Commissioned as a FORREST SHERMAN - class destroyer, the USS JOHN PAUL JONES initially was designated DD 932. In December 1965, the JOHN PAUL JONES entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for conversion to a guided missile destroyer. The conversion was finished in the fall of 1967 and the ship was re-designated as DDG 32. During the conversion, the JOHN PAUL JONES had 90% of her superstructure replaced and received the Tartar surface-to-air missile system and the ASROC anti-submarine rocket system. In addition, her engineering equipment was completely overhauled, and she received a lot of additional electronic gear.
John Paul Jones was transferred to the Pacific and based out of Long Beach,
California in the fall of 1967. The crew underwent intensive training over the next several months in preparation for an extended Far East deployment, which commenced in 1968.
Between October 1968 and 1972 John Paul Jones made three combat tours of Vietnam. During her periods in port she maintained a full schedule; USS JOHN PAUL JONES rescued a sailor who had been washed overboard from the USS PORTERFIELD during rough seas in April 1969. Click here to read the full story; Jones hosted a midshipman's cruise during the summer of 1969 and underwent an extensive yard overhaul at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in the spring of 1971.
During her third Vietnam deployment, John Paul Jones was at sea nearly 80 percent of the time. In addition to carrying out search and rescue operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, she spent 40 days on the gun line off the coast, coming under enemy fire on 15 occasions. During this tour, she was able to participate in SEATO Operation Seahawk.
Jones' fourth Far East deployment consisted of anti-aircraft picket duty in the Gulf of Tonkin and mine sweeping in Haiphong Harbor as US involvement in Vietnam was winding down. In August, she joined naval forces of Australia, New Zealand and the UK for Operation Greenlight, a battle simulation. She returned to Long Beach in November 1973.
John Paul Jones moved to San Diego in 1974 and prepared for another Far East deployment, during which she engaged in an ASW exercise with vessels of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces and participated in Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind, the evacuation of US citizens from Cambodia and Vietnam.
In 1976, Jones underwent an extensive yard overhaul, followed by a fifth Far East deployment. Her sixth tour of duty in East Asia took place between April and October of 1979, during which she participated in joint exercises with Taiwanese and Filipino naval forces and made port calls at Hong Kong, Yokosuka and several other cities along the Asian coast. Upon her return, she underwent another maintenance session in the yard in preparation for another Asian deployment in 1980.
USS JOHN PAUL JONES was decommissioned after more than 26 years of service on December 15, 1982. Stricken from the Navy list on April 30, 1986, the JOHN PAUL JONES was finally disposed of as a target off the coast of southern California at 032° 00' 06.0" North, 121° 36' 23.0" West. The Sinkex took place on January 31, 2001.