U.S.S. Walker DD-517

History In Brief

G. Warren Prada
United States Navy


Star Admiral T. H. Mocrer Star
Anniversary Greetings on her 25th Birthday

" Congratulations to a fighting ship and crew on the 25th Anniversary of first commission, 3 April 1943. Today, as in World War II Walker and her gallant destroyermen exemplify the hard work, dedication, and professional skill traditional in the destroyer forces.
Best wishes for continued success. "
T. H. MOCRER Admiral, US Navy

Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid Down: August 31, 1942
Launched: January 31, 1943
Comm.: Apr. 3, 1943 Sept. 15, 1950
Last Wespac cruise: August 5, 1968 to February 28, 1969
Decommissioned: June 1, 1969
Fate: To Italy July 2, 1969 as Fante

Displacement: 2,325 tons (2,924 tons Full load)
Length: 376 feet 5 inches
Beam: 39 feet 7 inches
Draught: 13 feet 9 inches
Machinery: four Babcock & Wilcox boilers 2-shaft G.E.C. geared turbines
Performance: 60,000 shp for 38 knots
Bunkerage: 492 tons
Range: 6,500 nautical miles at 15 knots
Guns: five 5 inch; four 1.1 inch; four 20 mm
Torpedoes: ten 21 inch


Now take a step back into history
with the crew of the Walker!


Walker DD163
A Man of War
USS Walker DD-163

As the Captain cries out from the bridge!
" Dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead! "


General History
For a more detailed History
See Detailed History

The first ship named USS WALKER was (DD-163), commissioned in January 1919. When she had been in the Navy less than a month she was called upon to escort President Woodrow Wilson on board USS GEORGE WASHINGTON to Boston. After a few months of training cruises and a refitting with torpedo tubes at Newport, she sailed for San Diego in August 1919. In San Diego she took part in training cruises for midshipmen, gunnery practice and formation steaming and at the young age of three years was placed out of commission as part of the treaty negotiations after World War I.

Fifteen years later she was to be fitted out for use as a barracks ship but the Chief of Naval Operations deemed her unfit for further service. She was stricken from the lists but gained a reprieve when designated YW-57 and used as a yard ship.

In January 1941 she was turned over to the destroyer-battleship force in Pearl Harbor for use as a target. Her name was stricken again from the Navy list on June 6. 1942.

Built in Maine by Bath Iron Works, is the second U.S. destroyer to bear the name of Rear Admiral Walker. Commissioned on 3 April 1943 in Boston she became a veteran of seven Pacific Campaigns during World War II, including the attacks on the Marshall and Marinas Islands, Leyte Okinawa and the Japanese home islands. During WALKER's thirty months of war operations highlights included the destruction of four Japanese aircraft the sinking of one submarine with a single depth charge run, and participation in the first bombardment of the Japanese home islands. No damage to the ship or injury to any of its personnel was suffered.

After the war WALKER was placed out of commission in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Diego on 31 May 1946. On 15 September 1950 the ship was recommissioned (DDE517) with the latest in AS4 weapons. In February 1951, WALKER reported to her new home port Pearl Harbor.

During 1951 and 1952, WALKER participated in the United Nations operations in Korea. She returned to Pearl Harbor, and has currently made thirteen postwar tours to the Far East. Her third employment to the Vietnam area since large scale U.S. involvement's was from April to October 1967.

During this cruise WALKER and other ships of her task group were subjected to harassment from Soviet warships in the Sea of Japan. She also was nominated for the Navy Unit commendation for gunfire support action in Vietnam.

By Dick Purvis
Open House of the Walker in Honolulu Harbor in Nov. 1964
This is a hand out given to guests:


On behalf of the entire crew and officer staff, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you aboard the "Mighty Walker." The Walker is more than a naval combat vessel designed to counter-attack enemy submarines, she's home to some three hundred men. All of us are really quite proud of our home and welcome this opportunity to have you aboard that we may show it to you. Each of us hope that you will enjoy your visit aboard ship and look forward to the pleasure of your company again in the near future.

 PAMPHLET TO WALKER FAMILIES FROM CAPT. McCLARIN about the Walkers 1967 cruise. Submitted by Rick Lund