USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692)

Sumner in March, 1944, during Atlantic operations. Note the similarity to the Fletcher-class in the superstructure. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Type
Laid Down

Laid down in July, 1943, USS Allen M. Sumner was the lead ship of a new class of destroyer, intended to improve on the Fletcher-class that formed the backbone of the US destroyer squadrons for much of World War II. Commissioned in January, 1944, Sumner conducted training in the Atlantic until August, then headed for the Pacific. She missed the invasion of the Philippines by a couple weeks, but participated in the Battle of Ormoc Bay on 2 December, 1944, helping to sink the Japanese destroyer Kuwa. She was hit by a kamikaze on 6 January, but remained in the Philippines until the 14th, before returning to the US for repairs. She spent the rest of her active War career training new destroyer crews. Post-WWII, Sumner was largely employed in training duties, and operating in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. She did see service off Korea, spending two months in 1953 as a carrier escort. Sumner was in the Mediterranean when the Suez Crisis broke out in 1956, and helped pull Americans out of Egypt. In 1961, she received major upgrades to her anti-submarine capabilities, and the following year she was one of the first ships to start the naval quarantine of Cuba during the Missile Crisis in October. After supporting the Gemini 10 space mission in July, 1966, Sumner was deployed to Vietnam, screening other ships on station, and assisting with the interdiction of North Vietnamese coastal traffic. Sumner became a reservist training ship in 1971, serving in that role until decommissioned 15 August, 1973. She was sold for scrap in October, 1974.

Bonus Photos

Sumner in 1959, alongside the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Mediterranean. US Navy photo.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Sumner earned two Battle Stars in WWII, one in Korea, and two in Vietnam.