History of the

    The Marine for whom the three destroyers USS Maddox were named after Capt. Willilam A. T. Maddox.  He was born in Charles Co., MD, near Annapolis and Washington, D.C. in 1814.  He died in Washington, D.C. January 1, 1889.  His life and exploits are found here.  

     Three US Naval Ships were named after Capt. Maddox.  The following
accounts are taken from the official US Marine website:

Post WW I to WW II

The first USS Maddox was an Old Wickles Class Destroyer laid down 20 July 1918 by the Fore River Ship Building Company of Quincy, Massachusetts.  The destroyer was launched 27 October 1918 and it was sponsored by Mrs. Clarence N. Hinkamp, grand daughter of Capt. William a. T. Maddox.  This USS Maddox was commissioned 10 March 1919 and ship's captain was Cmdr. Edward C. S. Parker.  On 17 July 1920 she was designated DW-168.

Assigned to Division 21, Atlantic Fleet, Maddox departed Boston 3 May 1919 for Trepassey, Newfoundland, enroute to the Azores where she became part of a "bridge of ships" assigned to guide Navy flying boats NC-1 and NC-4 across the ocean on the first transatlantic flight. 

On 26 August 1919, she sailed to Europe, arriving at Brest, France, on 19 SWeptember 1919, where she joined an yhonor escort for the King and queen of Belgium.

Until 24 October 1919 she escorted ships and carried naval and army passengers from Dover and Elarwich to Boulogne, France, and the Hook of Holland.

Returning to the United States 12 February 1920,
Maddox operated out of Boston off the east coast for the next two years.  Departing Boston 25 February 1922 for Philadelphia, she was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard 14 June 1922.

Inactive for the next 18 years,
Maddox was recommissioned 17 June 1940.  After brief duty on the mid-Atlantic patrol, she departed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she was once again decommissioned 23 September 1940.

The next day she was assigned to the British Royal Navy and named the
HMS Georgetown. An agreement between President Franklin D. roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill led to the transfer of 50 World War I destroyers to be transferred to the Royal Navy.  The destroyers were requested to help combat German U-boats.  In return, the US was given 99-year leases to British bases in Bermuda, Newfoundland, and the West Indies.

Maddox was then assigned to the Soviet Navy and renamed Doblestnyi, and later back to the British Royal Navy. 
Photo of DW 168 by the
British Royal Navy
USS Maddox
Livermore Class Destroyer
Sunk in Battle WW II

The second second destroyer named Maddox was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal Ship Building and Dry Dock Company, Reamy, New Jersey, and launched 15 September 1942.  This one was sponsored by Mrs. Ellen-Venita Browning Wilhoit, great grand daughter of Captain William A. T. Maddox.  The ship was commissioned 31 October 1942.  Ship's captain was Lt. Cmdr. Eugene S. Sarsfield.

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 TF-81, the assault force for the Sicilian invasion.  After the assault troops landed on 10July 1943, Maddox was on anti-submarine patrol about 16 miles off shore.  Steaming along, the destroyer was attacked by a German JU-88 Luftwaffe bomber in the predawn darkness.  The plane dropped four 250-pound bombs.  The first landed in the water, the second two hit the fantail and detonated the power (ammunition) magazine, and the last bomb hit in the water by the side of the ship.  The Maddox sank in 90 seconds.  Seventy men survived, but 212 men went down with the ship, including the Captain.  The USS Maddox DD-622 has the unfortunate distinction of having been the fastest sinking US warship to be lost in World War II.  Captain Sarsfield was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

USS Maddox DD731 was struck from the Navy list on 19 August 1943.  The Maddox did receive two battle stars for her World War II service.

Sumner Class Destroyer
WW II, Korea and Vietnam
The third destroyer to bear the Maddox name was laid down 28 October 1943 by the Bath Iron works Corp., Bath, Maine, and launched 19 March 1944.  this one was sponsored by Mrs. Harry H. Wilhoit, great grand daughter of Capt. William A. T. Maddox.  The Maddox was commissioned 2 June 1944, and ship's captain was Cmdr. James S. Willis.

Following shakedown and anti-submarine exercises,
Maddox departed Boston 27 august 1944 for Norfolk enroute to join the Pacific Fleet.  The Maddox was assigned to the Third Fleet and she was badly damaged off Okinaway in 1944 by a bomb from a Japanese Kamikaze plane.  The bomb struck the pilothouse, killing the ship's captain and eight other of the ship's crew.  the ship was repaired and put back into action in Destroyer Division Sixty-Two.  She participated in the last torpedo attack of WW II with ships of the division sinking four of the eight enemy ships.
When the Korean War (Conflict) broke out, the Maddox was in the Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet screening fast Carrier Task Force Seventy-Seven.  she participated in almost every phase of the Korean War action.  The Maddox participated in the now famous evacuation of the Hung Nam Beach head; escort duties in the first combat deployment of troops; the rescue of Navy and Air Force pilots, holding what is believed to be a record for the Korean War.
The Maddox liked to work in close to the shore, and she drew over 700 rounds of heavy shore battery fire.  Once after receiving slight damage from shore battery fire, Radio Moscow reported that she  had been sunk.  during a 43-day period of time the ship and crew were at general quarters (battle stations ready to engage).  This was 43 days and nights until they were relieved (this has to be some kind of record).

After the Korean War, she operated as a member of the Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific.  In June 1963 she received a complete overhaul. 
Maddox was once again deployed in the Western Pacific from 13 March 1964 until 2 October 1964, assigned to escort duty.

During the early part of august 1964,
Maddox was assigned to special patrol duty in the Tonkin Gulf off the North Vietnam coast.  On 2 August 1964, she earned the distinction of being the first US Warship to be fired upon since the Korean War.  The Maddox was attacked by North Vietnam torpedo boats.  She fought off the attack and sank one of the torpedo boats.  On the fourth, North Vietnam boats again attacked the Maddox, but she had been joined by the destroyer Turner Joy.

Maddox during the Vietnam War (Conflict) was assigned to Gunfire Support duties.  She fired over 500 rounds of five-inch ammunition at some fifteen different targets.  The targets were chiefly Viet Cong storage, staging areas, and bivouac areas.  Maddox was given credit with 48 structures destroyed, 23 damaged, two VC KIA's and fifteen VC WIA's.  Several secondary explosions reported by aerial spotters indicated that ammo chaches were destroyed.

Her other functions consisted of picket, surveillance and anti-aircraft duties.  The
Maddox rescued eight survivors in record time when their Navy P2V Naptune Patrol Plane crashed into the water.

USS Maddox DD-731 was awarded four battle stars for World War II, six for the Korean War, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary medal for her service in Vietnam.

The destroyer was decommissioned 2 July 1972 and removed from the Naval files.  On 6 July 1972 she was sold to Taiwan and renamed the Po Yang. She was tricken and broken up for scrap in 1985, the fate of many older ships of the Navy.

LINK:  USS Maddox Destroyer Association