USS Parker (DD-604)

USS Parker (DD-604) was a Benson class destroyer that took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily, supported the fighting Anzio and took part in the invasion of the South of France before ended the war in the Pacific.

The Parker was named after Foxhall Alexander Parker, who served in the US Navy during the American Civil War and after the war wrote a number of works of naval theory and was Superintendence of the US Navy Academy.

The Parker was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y on 9 June 1941, launched on 12 May 1942 when she was sponsored by Mrs Edward Lloyd Winder and commissioned on 31 August 1942.

After her shakedown cruise was completed, the Parker was allocated to the forces being assembled for Operation Torch. She was part of the escort for the convoy carrying troops to Mehedia and Port Lyautey. During the invasion itself on 8 November she was used to screen the transport area, and provide defensive patrols.


After Operation Torch the Parker returned to the United States. During just over the first half of 1943 she escorted five convoys from the United States to North Africa.

USS Parker (DD-604) seen from above off New York, 1945 USS Parker (DD-604) seen from above off New York, 1945

After the fourth of these convoys arrived, she joined the forces allocated to the invasion of Sicily, and supported that operation from 5-13 July.

On 8 July she was part of Task Force 85 (Cent Force), and supported the landings at Scoglitti. This force also contained the destroyers Kendrick (DD-612), Laub (DD-613), Mackenzie (DD-614), Cowie (DD-632), Doran (DD-634), and Earle (DD-635)

After the fifth convoy to North Africa, the Parker continued on convoy escort duties, this time covering convoys to the United Kingdom and to the Mediterranean. On 6 November, during one of these escort missions, the convoy was attacked by 30 enemy aircraft off the coast of Algeria. The Parker claimed one victory. However the Germans also inflicted mortal damage on the Beatty (DD-640), which sank several hours after being hit by a torpedo. The Parker picked up her wounded at 1940, while the attempts to save her were still underway. The Beatty eventually sank at 2305.


From 7 February to 2 April 1944 the Parker trained in and around Casco Bay, Maine.

From 3-11 April she joined Task Unit 27.6.1 on an anti-submarine patrol.

On 21 April she left New York and she reached Mers-el-Kebir on 2 May. She then moved to Naples, arriving on 15 May.

Between 17 May and 4 June she supported the fighting at Anzio. On 31 May-1 June she carried out shore bombardments around Ardea.

From 13 June to 9 August she was based at Livorno and Palermo, Sicily, and was used to escort convoys and for shore bombardment.

From 13 August to 17 August Parker took part in the invasion of southern France delivering shore bombardment and anti-aircraft fire support. At the start of the invasion she was flagship of Destroyer Squadron 16, and was used to screen Rear Admiral Deyo’s Bombardment Group.

After the invasion she escorted a convoy from Cape Camarat, France to Naples, arriving on 21 August. On 31 August she left Naples with Destroyer Squadron 16, heading back to the United States. She arrived at New York on 14 September, then moved to Charlestown, Mass, for repairs and Casco Bay for training.

On 13 November she departed from Norfolk, heading for Naples, arriving on 26 November. She left Naples with a return convoy on 1 December, heading for New York.


From 6 January-17 January she was part of TG 62.1 and escorted a convoy from Norfolk to Oran. She then operated in the Mediterranean until early May.

On 18 February she joined the convoy that was escorting President Roosevelt on the Quincy on his way back from the Yalta conference. After a brief visit to Algiers, the Quincy departed for the United States on the afternoon of 18 February. The Parker formed part of the anti-submarine screen operating ahead of the Quincy, before being detached on 18 February and heading to Oran.

In March she was used to support Allied forces fighting on the Franco-Italian front and the western end of the Italian front, operating from Cannes and Toulon. She was used for shore bombardments on 4,6, 11, 12 and 20 March.

The Parker left for the United States in early May and reached New York on 23 May. She was then allocated to the Pacific Fleet, and reached Pearl Harbor on 4 August.

On 17 August she left Pearl Harbor to move to Okinawa, arriving on 4 September. She was too late to take part in any fighting in the Pacific, but she took part in the liberation of south Korea, leaving Okinawa on 8 September to escort a convoy that reached Jinsen on 15 September. She then returned to Okinawa, before joining the forces taking part in the occupation of Japan. On 3-4 November she escorted the Admiral W. S. Benson from Wakayama to Nagoya.

The Parker was decommissioned on 31 January 1947 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The Parker was struck off on 1 July 1971 and sold for scrap in 1973.

Parker received four battle stars for World War II service, for North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and the South of France.

Displacement (standard)

1,620 design
1,911t as built

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

37.89kt at 51,390shp at 2,065t on trial (Mayo)


2-shaft Westinghouse turbines
4 boilers
50,000shp design


6,500nm at 12kt design
5,520nm at 12kt at 2,400t wartime
3,880nm at 20kt at 2,400t wartime


348ft 1in


36ft 2in


Five 5in/38 guns
Five 21in torpedoes
Ten 0.5in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement


Laid Down

down 9 June 1941


12 May 1942


31 August 1942

Struck off

1 July 1971

Sold for scrap


U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), USS Parker (DD-604) ,

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