Ship in the spotlight: The Black (DD-666)


The destroyer Black underway in 1968. // Naval History and Heritage Command

It appears sailors aren’t that superstitious since the Navy let this hull number slide.

The Navy has been around for a while, and there have been a lot of ships in its service with fascinating histories. So it would seem appropriate to highlight a ship and its story from time to time on Scoop Deck.

To start it off: The destroyer Black

In service: 1943-1946 and 1951-1969

Class: Fletcher

Built: Kearny, New Jersey

Dimensions: 376 feet long, 39-foot beam and displaced 2,934 tons


Named for Lt. Cmdr. Hugh Black, killed in action in 1942, the ship served in the Pacific during World War II. She saw action at Leyte and Okinawa, and participated in two bombardments of the Japanese mainland. On the day Japan surrendered, Aug. 15, 1945, the Black was present during 0ne of the last kamikaze attacks.

It was taken out of commission in 1946, but the Cold War prompted her return to the fleet. In 1951, she served in the Korean War.

The Vietnam War brought Black to the coastal waters of Vietnam where she provided gunfire support for the troops ashore. Black was taken out of service 1971.

Anyone in Scoop Deck-land have any memories of USS Black?


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  1. There was also USS Durik (DE-666), which was a Buckley-class destroyer escort in service late in WW-II. She had a career of only two years before being decommissioned.

  2. USS Black (DD-666) was part of our desron. She had to turn back to the P. I. during a typhoon -couldn’t make any headway. We watched her bow crunch into the pier once, scuttlebut was the skipper was replaced. Black was the ship everyone loved but was the butt of lots of jokes. We said she was jinxed in my time.

  3. Now the Navy has a new SSN numbered 777. Long ago there was LST-1188, called aces and eights. I never understood where the SSN-21,22,23 came from ? Out of order, like DDG-1000 when the previous DDG’s were numbered in the DDG-100’s. Confusing sometimes.

  4. In its design phase, what became the Seawolf class was known generally as “SSN 21” as in the nuclear submarine of the 21st century. Apparently, someone thought they had to actually number the class from SSN 21. Of course, somewhere back in time there was an SS 21, although I can’t tell you what it was named, and there was SS 126 which was NAMED “USS S-21” (SS 127 and SS 128 carried the names USS S-22 and USS S-23). My opinion hasn’t changed — all subs should be named for fish, and leave it at that. Also, the next CVN to be funded should be named USS Enterprise in anticipation that it will replace CVN 65.

  5. Agree with Bruce, as the good name of the Big E should go on in the fleet!

    Perhaps if the Navy ever builds a liberty barge, they could name it the William Jefferson Clinton?? 😉

  6. I was an Airdale extended in 1962 for the Cuban Missle crises and sent to Iwakuni MCAS. Crises and extension over, I expected a flight back to the good ole USA, shoot never been on a ship (except for a barracks ship at Johnson Island) was a P2V Julie/jez operator, never expected to be on a ship, much less a Tin Can
    Suprise suprise, my orders said to report to Yokuska, for transport via USS Black to Long Beach.Must have been a mistake, I was an Airdale – my boots were brown.No mistake, off I went, and I tell you one of the best experiences of myy lifex great guys, great typhoon. Beats flying.

    Thank you USS Black.

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