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  USS Kalk DD-611
Benson-class destroyer

1,620 Tons
348' 4" x 36' 1" x 11' 9"
4 x 5" guns
4 x 40mm
7 x 20mm
5 x 21" Torpedo Tubes
6 x Depth Charges
USN June 12, 1944
Ship History
Built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco. Laid down June 30, 1941. Launched July 18 1942. Commissioned October 17, 1942 as USS Kalk (DD-611) (DE-535) named for Lieutenant Stanton Frederick Kalk with Lieutenant Commander C. T. Singleton, Jr., in command and conducted a shakedown cruise off California coast.

Wartime History
On December 28, 1942 departed San Francisco via Dutch Harbor for patrol and escort duty in the Aleutian Islands. On January 9, 1943 arrived at Adak and patrolled to Amchitka Island. On January 16, 1943 embarked 185 survivors of Arthur Middleton and Worden which foundered in an Arctic storm and transported them to Adak, then continued patrols until February 26, 1943 then back San Francisco arriving March 4, 1943.

After repairs, Kalk departed San Francisco April 7, 1942 via the Panama Canal to New York, for Atlantic convoy escort duty. On April 28, 1943 departed New York and then next day joined convoy UGF-8 that arrived in Oran, Algeria on May 12, 1943 and searched for a suspected U-Boat. On May 19, 1943 departed Casablanca, French Morocco escorting another convoy back to New York arriving My 31, 1943.

On June 13, 1943 departed on another convoy escort mission traveling via Casco Bay, Maine, and NS Argentia on Newfoundland then to Norfolk. During June 27 to December 6 escorted three convoys between the United States and North Africa. After overhaul at New York and Boston, returned to Norfolk December 29, 1943.

On January 2, 1944 departed Norfolk traveling via the Panama Canal January 8, 1944 to the the Pacific. Assigned to DesDiv 38, escorting USS New Jersey BB-62 and USS Iowa BB-61 across the Pacific. On January 27, 1944 arrived at Funafuti and searched for downed fighter planes.

On January 31, 1944 departed for New Guinea to join the 7th Fleet at Milne Bay arriving February 7, 1944 and performed patrols and convoy escort duty until June 12, 1944. Kalk covered amphibious landings and participating in shore bombardment in the Admiralty Islands including Manus, Pityilu, Los Negros, and Rambutye. During late April 1944, participated in the landings at Tanahmerah Bay and Wakde, Sarmi and Owi. On May 27, 1944 Kalk supported the landings on the southern coast of Biak then continued escort and picket duty between Biak and Humboldt Bay.

On June 12, 1944 off the southern coast of Biak, attacked by a Japanese plane that dove out of the sun and released a bomb that hit the forward stack at the base of her starboard torpedo tubes. The destroyer's 20mm cannons shot down the attacker but the bomb exploded torpedo air flasks and several 20mm gun positions and damaged the superstructure. Aboard, 70 casualties were sustained but the crew managed to extinguish fires aboard and volunteers detached the warheads from torpedoes scattered by the explosion. Afterwards, every available PT Boat from nearby Mois Woendi PT Boat Base (Camp Taylor) rendered aid to the destroyer including PT-190 and PT-194. Some of the wounded on stretchers were transfered aboard PT-194 and evacuated. The excauation of wounded was photographed from the destroyer.

Afterwards, proceeded to Hollandia for emergency repairs then departed via the Admiralty Islands and Pearl Harbor to San Francisco July 31, 1944. At Mare Island, repaired and altered before departing October 26, 1944 back to Pearl Harbor arriving November 1, 1944.

On November 12, 1944 departed via Eniwetok to Ulithi arriving November 26, 1944. During the next eight months, performed patrol and anti-submarine and convoy duty. During late December 1944, patrolled northeast of Luzon while the 3rd Fleet resupplied then returned to Ulithi.

On December 29, 1944 departed Ulithi to screen supply ships supporting Task Force 38 (TF 38) for the landings at Lingayen Gulf until returning to Ulithi on January 27, 1945.

On February 18, 1945 rendezvoused with Task Group 50.8 (TG 50.8) for refueling and replenishment operations of during off Iwo Jima.

On March 6, 1945 to Ulithi then departed a week later with TG 50.8 to screen logistic support for the 5th Fleet off Okinawa. Until the end of the Pacific War, Kalk patrolled off Okinawa supporting the 3rd Fleet and 5th Fleet as an escort, plane guard, and anti-submarine screen and destroying sea mines. On June 5, 1945 survived a typhoon suffering only minor damaged.

On August 15, 1945 she was at sea between Okinawa bound for Ulithi. On August 20, 1945 departing Ulithi via Saipan and Okinawa to Tokyo Bay arriving September 1, 1945 escorting USS Detroit (CL-8). On September 2, 1945 Kalk was present at the formal Japanese surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay then departed the next day as an escort to Eniwetok then returned to Tokyo Bay on September 16, 1945.

For her World War II service, Kalk earned eight battle stars.

On October 12, 1945 departed Tokyo Bay via the Philippines, Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor back to San Diego arriving November 17, 1945 then via Pearl Harbor to Boston arriving December 11, 1945 for an overhaul. On January 18, 1946 departed for Charleston arriving two days later. On May 3, 1946 decommissioned and became part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in Orange, Texas. In June 1968 Kalk was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

Sinking History
During March 1969, Kalk was sunk as a target.

NavSource USS Kalk (DD-611)

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Last Updated
September 11, 2020


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