USS Mullinnix DD-944: A Journey Through Naval History

The USS Mullinnix DD-944 was a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer. This highlights impressive naval expertise and notable historical importance. Picture this: A sleek, powerful ship cutting through waves like butter, armed to the teeth with advanced weaponry.

Discover what sets this extraordinary warship apart from the rest. Well, strap in because we're about to embark on a voyage across time - from its construction and commissioning right up until its decommissioning.

We'll dive into Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix's life – the namesake behind this formidable force. This article covers the dimensions, propulsion system, speed range, and crew size of the USS Mullinix as well as summarizing some shipmate recollections of time served aboard..

We will chronicle the key missions of the USS Mullinnix DD-944 during her many years of service. So let's do this!?


USS Mullinnix DD-944 Framed Navy Ship Display
USS Mullinnix DD-944 Framed Navy Ship Display

USS Mullinnix DD-944: An Overview

The USS Mullinnix DD-944, an unwavering destroyer of the United States Navy from the esteemed Forrest Sherman-class, proudly showcases a remarkable history. Its story begins with its construction and launch in 1957 at Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Commissioned on March 7, 1958 under the command of Cmdr. J.B. Drachnik, this formidable vessel was named after Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix - a renowned naval aviator lost during World War II.

Key Specifications:
Class & Type: Forrest Sherman-class Destroyer
Laid down: July 5, 1956 by Bath Iron Works Corporation, ME.
Displacement: 4180 tons (full load)
Length: 439' - long overall; Beam: 47' 


A Legacy Etched in Steel

The story of USS Mullinnix is one written across decades and oceans alike—from her participation in Operation Sea Orbit, a demonstration of nuclear-powered surface ships' global capabilities, to her decommissioning in 1983. However, it surpasses mere steel and statistics; it encompasses the individuals who nobly served on this formidable destroyer, etching their mark in the annals of naval history.

The Ship's Namesake: Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix

Admiral Henry Maston Mullinnix, a man of valor and resilience, is the namesake of USS Mullinnix DD-944. Born in 1892, Admiral Henry Maston Mullinnix hails from Spencer, Indiana and was devoted to serving his country since youth.

Mullinnix entered United States Naval Academy, beginning his journey as a midshipman at age sixteen. He was part of the class that graduated early due to World War I demands.

Following graduation, he saw action during both World Wars. His skills and leadership didn't go unnoticed; they earned him promotions over time—eventually rising to the rank of Rear Admiral.

Rise Through Ranks & Notable Achievements

In between wars, Admiral Mullinnix showed keen interest in aviation—a relatively novel concept then—and trained as naval aviator number 3101 at Pensacola. His love for aviation led him to hold significant positions, including being the Commanding Officer of Saratoga's prestigious Fighting Squadron Three.

During WWII though things took an unexpected turn when USS Liscome Bay,  got torpedoed under his command by Japanese submarine off Gilbert Islands. Despite this tragic end on November 24th, 1943—it's fair saying that Admiral’s life epitomized bravery till its very last moment.

A Legacy Cemented

Admiral Mullinnix's bravery and service were acknowledged posthumously when the Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, USS Mullinnix DD-944, was christened in his honor. The ship served as a constant reminder of Admiral’s dedication to his country.

honoring a hero from World War II. The USS Mullinnix set sail for the first time on March 7th, 1958, performing its duty with distinction.

Dive into the story of Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix, a WWI & WWII hero and namesake of USS Mullinnix DD-944. From humble beginnings to tragic end, his legacy sails on. #NavalHistory Click to Tweet

Technical Specifications of USS Mullinnix DD-944

Specification Details
Type: A Forrest Sherman-class destroyer.
Built by: Built at Bath Iron Works in Maine.
Commissioned: Commissioned into service on February 7, 1958.
Laid Down: Laid down on May 17, 1957.
Decommissioned: The warship was retired from active duty on October 31, 1990.
Main Armament: Three 5-inch/54 caliber guns housed in twin mounts. These were capable of rapid fire at both surface and air targets. In addition, the ship carried two dual Mk32 torpedo tube launchers.
Modifications: Over the years, USS Mullinnix was modified several times. When modified to modernize and to add anti-aircraft guided missiles.


USS Mullinnix DD-944
USS Mullinnix DD-944 Personalized Plaque

Armament of USS Mullinnix DD-944

The armory aboard the USS Mullinnix DD-944 was as impressive as it was diverse, a true testament to the might of naval warfare. Let's take a closer look at some of its features.

Main Battery: Dual Purpose Guns

Equipped with three 5'/54 caliber Mark 42 guns, this ship was armed to handle both air and surface threats. These versatile weapons boasted impressive range and accuracy, capable of launching explosive shells with precision. They served as the primary firepower, always prepared to engage enemy ships or aircraft when called upon.

Torpedo Launchers

To tackle underwater threats, four Mk32 triple torpedo tubes came into play. Loaded with Mk46 torpedoes designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), these launchers gave submarines reasons to think twice before engaging in combat against this formidable destroyer.

A well-placed salvo from these launchers could spell doom for any unsuspecting submarine lurking beneath the waves.

Anti-Aircraft Missiles & Anti-Submarine Rockets

Rounding out its armament were two Terrier missile launchers dedicated to taking down airborne targets while also providing a degree of surface strike capability. A single launcher carried around forty missiles - quite an arsenal by anyone’s measure.

Type Of Weapon System: Description:
Dual-Purpose Guns: Mk42 5'/54 Caliber Gun Mounts x 4
Torpedo Launchers: Mk32 Triple Torpedo Tubes x 4
Anti-Aircraft Missiles: Terrier Missile Launcher System x 2

The USS Mullinnix was a formidable force, equipped with Terrier missiles, Mk32 triple torpedo tubes, and potent artillery..

Dive into the USS Mullinnix DD-944's mighty armory. From dual-purpose guns to torpedo launchers and anti-aircraft missiles, this destroyer was no joke. History meets naval firepower here. #USSMullinnix #NavalHistory Click to Tweet

Deployment History of USS Mullinnix DD-944

The USS Mullinnix (DD-944), a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, had an eventful and distinguished service record. The ship was launched on August 7, 1957, by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath Maine.

First Deployment: Med Cruise

In November 1959, she set sail on her first voyage for a six-month tour with NATO forces. This journey established her as a formidable presence in international waters. Throughout this period, she engaged in various exercises to strengthen allied maritime defenses.

Vietnam War Service

The ship sailed from Mayport for Southeast Asia via Cape Horn late in January 1966 to join Seventh Fleet operations off Vietnam coast. She played an instrumental part during Operation Sea Dragon where enemy supply lines were disrupted by sea strikes. After five months of strenuous but fruitful missions disrupting North Vietnamese logistics efforts and lending gunfire support to troops ashore, she returned home having left an indelible mark through effective operation execution.

Cold War Operations

During much of the later half of her career spanning several years into early nineties - prior decommissioning - she operated extensively around Atlantic region executing both surveillance and fleet reinforcement tasks. Her contribution in enforcing the Truman Doctrine, designed to prevent Communist expansion during the Cold War, is noteworthy.


USS Mullinnix DD-944
USS Mullinnix DD-944 Coffee Mug

Final Years of Service

Throughout the late 1980s and early '90s, USS Mullinnix was deployed on multiple missions for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She remained vigilant in her duty until October 4th, 1991 when she was decommissioned after nearly three decades of service.

Key Takeaway: 

The USS Mullinnix (DD-944) was a crucial asset during the Cold War, upholding the Truman Doctrine. Its commitment didn't end there; it remained prepared for action and undertook vital missions throughout its service. The ship's history stands as a testament to its unwavering dedication and resilience.

Shipmate Accounts of time aboard the USS Mullinnix

'Sailing the High Seas: Memories Aboard USS Mullinnix DD-944'

Aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944), known affectionately as the 'MUX,' an extraordinary group of sailors embarked on adventures that would shape their lives forever. This destroyer witnessed history in the making and became a second home for those who served aboard. Let's dive into the memories of these sailors and hear their stories firsthand.

Jose Garcia: Chasing Frequencies Across the Globe

Imagine sailing to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, and the Caribbean, and being responsible for satellite communications. That's what life was like for Jose Garcia, a Radioman on the MUX. He recalls the ship as a 'hardcore Navy Tin Can,' and his role involved the exhilarating task of chasing frequencies for satellite communications. It was all about precision and dedication as the MUX went where the action was.

Danny Johns: Adventures Aplenty with Unforgettable Comrades

Danny Johns spent 3 1/2 years on the MUX, an unforgettable ride filled with three major deployments and numerous short trips. What made it truly memorable? The 'wild and crazy guys' like Hieght, Dorsey, Smith, and Ashby, who welcomed him aboard. Danny's journey was defined by camaraderie, shared adventures, and the bonds forged at sea.

Neil Cendrosky (Ski): From the Cuban Missile Crisis to Montreal and Beyond

Neil Cendrosky, known as 'Ski,' had an action-packed 3 1/2 years aboard the MUX. He was there during the Cuban Missile Crisis, participated in the Gemini 3 recovery force, and joined Operation Steelpike. His adventures included cruising to Montreal, visiting the New York World's Fair, and venturing to the Mediterranean. Neil looks back on those days with nostalgia, wishing he'd stayed in the Navy and eagerly anticipating reconnections with old shipmates.

Harry Barr: Circumnavigating the Globe and Serving in Vietnam

For Harry Barr, the MUX provided an epic journey. He made two Mediterranean cruises, sailed around the world, and served in Vietnam in 1966. But the real treasure wasn't the destinations; it was the experiences and the camaraderie he found among his fellow sailors. Harry wouldn't trade those memories for anything in the world.

Lloyd Yoho: The Oil King and Captain's Mast Memories

Lloyd Yoho served as the oil king aboard the MUX, and he's still looking forward to his first reunion. Despite some oil-related mishaps that led to a Captain's Mast, his memories of pumping oil and the camaraderie aboard the ship remain intact. Lloyd's excitement for the reunion is palpable, and it's clear that his time on the MUX left a lasting impression.

Bob Houghton: Great Ship, Even Greater Shipmates

Bob Houghton sailed extensively on the MUX, covering almost every part of the world except the North Atlantic. Although the ship ventured there the year after he left, Bob had already had enough fun by then. He extends an invitation to anyone interested in attending a reunion, highlighting the enduring friendships formed during their service.

Thomas M. McDade: From Boot Camp to Tall Ships Parade

Thomas McDade's journey on the MUX began after boot camp when he reported for duty. He had the privilege of participating in a Midshipman Cruise that took him to Bermuda, Montreal, and New York City. The MUX played a special role as a review ship during the Opsail Parade of Tall Ships in New York City, creating cherished memories.

Jack Hogue: Memories of Gun Mount 53 and Vietnam

Jack Hogue, who served on gun mount 53, fondly remembers it as the best on the ship, thanks to a fantastic crew. His time included serving in Vietnam and leaving the Mediterranean cruise in 1970. He recalls shipmates like Keeter, Stick, Bockdoo, and Ducheck and eagerly anticipates reconnecting with them.

James D. Miller: Honoring Vietnam Veterans and a Lifetime of Service

James Miller expresses his gratitude to Vietnam veterans who mentored him and taught him the values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. His service extended for 24 years, and he retired as a TMC (SW) in 1996, a testament to the lessons he learned during his time on the MUX.

Kenneth Millstein: Heaving the Ship's Wheel Over the Side

Kenneth Millstein shares a humorous memory from his time aboard the MUX. During Ref-Tra in Gitmo, he and a signalman had the hilarious task of heaving the ship's wheel over the side in port. It was an embarrassing yet funny moment that he and his shipmate shared and may never forget.


USS Mullinnix DD-944
Framed Navy Honorable Discharge Certificate

The Final Farewell

Decommissioning was an emotional event for many shipmates. After years of serving together, it was time to say goodbye not just to their comrades but also the vessel they called home. This marked the end of one journey and beginning of another as civilians or on other assignments within Navy.

No matter the time or weather, our devoted squad stands prepared and enthusiastic to aid you. No matter the hour or weather, be confident that our committed squad is ever prepared and willing to give aid.

Key Takeaway: 

Life aboard the USS Mullinnix DD-944 was a blend of demanding tasks, strong bonds, and unparalleled experiences. The crew members forged an unbreakable brotherhood as they worked in unity to ensure the ship functioned seamlessly regardless of circumstances. Their daily life followed a strict routine, interspersed with brief periods of leisure amidst operations. When it came time for decommissioning, saying goodbye to this beloved vessel stirred deep emotions.

Role in Major Conflicts

It sailed through tumultuous times and played an instrumental role in major conflicts such as the Vietnam War and Cold War.

Vietnam War: An Unyielding Force

Drafted into service during the heart of the Vietnam War, this ship did not flinch from its duty. Between 1966 and 1970, it completed six deployments to South East Asia.

Mullinnix became synonymous with endurance as she weathered numerous encounters with enemy forces. The ship provided naval gunfire support for ground troops on countless occasions, ensuring they could push back against encroaching Viet Cong forces effectively.

USS Mullinnix Conflict Engagements Summary:
Enduring Legacy of Bravery and Service
Vietnam Service Medals: 5
Cold War Surveillance Missions: Numerous (Classified)

war effort. She was a brilliant exemplar of boldness and dedication, continually commended for her steadfast loyalty to the task in hand. The USS Mullinnix's valor in these turbulent times serves as an enduring testament to her crew's bravery.

Sailing through the heat of conflict, #USSMullinnix DD-944 stood tall in Vietnam & Cold War. With 5 service medals and countless surveillance missions under her belt, she's a true testament to naval bravery. ️ Click to Tweet

Awards and Commendations of USS Mullinnix DD-944

The story of the USS Mullinnix DD-944 is not complete without mentioning the numerous awards it earned during its years in service. The crew's commitment, bravery and expertise were recognized through the awarding of several unit commendations.

In recognition for their remarkable efforts during times of conflict, they were awarded several unit commendations. Among these was the highly prestigious Navy Unit Commendation, which acknowledges extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy force.

This ship didn't just receive one Navy Unit Commendation but two. The first came from actions in Vietnam between November 1966 and May 1967. Then again she received this honor for operations conducted from April to October 1972.

Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star Attachment

Beyond unit commendations, another badge of honor carried by this ship is the Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star attachment. This medal was bestowed upon those who served in military operations within Vietnamese waters between July 1965 and March 1973. Learn more about this award here.

Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC)

The MUC is yet another feather added to USS Mullinnix’s cap. Awarded twice - once on September 30th, 1970 and then on August 9th, 1971 - this citation recognized her exceptional performance under trying circumstances while participating directly or indirectly in combat.

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation

The USS Mullinnix DD-944 was also the recipient of the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation. This decoration is given for extraordinary heroism while fighting an armed enemy. The ship received this award twice during its deployment in Vietnamese waters.

Finally, we should also talk about another noteworthy honor - the Navy E Ribbon. Often referred to as the 'Battle Efficiency Award,' it's an accolade that recognizes...

Key Takeaway: 

Republic of Vietnam honored the USS Mullinnix with the Gallantry Cross and Campaign Medal for the sacrifices demonstrated by the crew.

Impact on Naval Warfare

It wasn't merely the size or velocity of this vessel that made it a game-changer, but its tactical utilization.

Tactics and Technology: A Leap Forward

The USS Mullinnix was involved in multiple operations that introduced innovative tactics during its years of service. For instance, during the Vietnam War, she used gunfire support missions effectively against enemy positions. This tactic was so effective that it served as a model for other destroyers in comparable battles.

Beyond tactics, technology also took center stage aboard the USS Mullinnix. The ship's weapons systems were regularly upgraded to stay ahead of potential threats and offer superior firepower when needed.


USS Mullinnix DD-944
Personalized Navy Veteran Push Pin Travel Map

Pioneering Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)

The technological advancements on board extended beyond surface-to-surface combat; they ventured beneath the waves as well. As one of the early adopters of ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) system—an unorthodox blend of rocket science and sonar—the USS Mullinnix significantly advanced anti-submarine warfare strategies. Learn more about ASROC here.

A Model for Future Destroyers

Bearing the name of Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix – an influential figure in naval aviation – the ship embodied his values: courage, leadership, and commitment to duty. But let's delve deeper into what makes its legacy so profound.

A Pillar During Major Conflicts

The USS Mullinnix played pivotal roles in significant conflicts like the Vietnam War and Cold War. The NavSource Naval History website chronicles these events vividly - each mission undertaken by this powerhouse adds another chapter to its enduring story.

Serving as a protective shield for aircraft carriers or launching offensive strikes against enemy positions marked her deployments during wartime periods such as Operation Sea Dragon.

Innovations & Advancements

Military technology evolved dramatically over time because ships like USS Mullinnix DD-944 pushed boundaries relentlessly. It didn't just adapt to changes; it spearheaded them.

An example can be found on Destroyer History Foundation’s webpage, which describes the Forrest Sherman-class destroyers as trendsetters in their use of dual-purpose guns and guided-missile systems.

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