Barton (DD 722), flagship of DesRon 60.
The first squadron of Allen M. Sumner-class destroyers formed in World War II was Destroyer Squadron 60. It initially consisted of the first nine 2,200-tonners, all of which were laid down between May and August 1943 and commissioned between December 1943 and March 1944:
Destroyer Squadron 60
Destroyer Division 119
USS Barton (DD 722), flag
USS Walke (DD 723)
USS Laffey (DD 724)
USS O’Brien (DD 725)
USS Meredith
(DD 726)
Destroyer Division 120
USS Allen M. Sumner (DD 692)
USS Moale (DD 693)
USS Ingraham (DD 694)
USS Cooper (DD 695)

After Meredith was lost, she was replaced by Lowry (DD 770), built at Bethlehem San Pedro and commissioned in July 1944.

After Cooper was lost, she was replaced by Robert K. Huntington (DD 781), the last Sumner built at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding and commissioned in March 1945. She did not join the Third Fleet off Japan until late August.

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In May 1944, Destroyer Division 119 crossed the Atlantic to participate in Operation Neptune, the Normandy invasion. Clearing Plymouth, England on 3 June, it provided gunfire support for troops ashore beginning on D-day, 6 June. On the 7th, while patrolling offshore, Meredith was struck by a glider bomb (reported in contemporary records as a mine). She was towed clear but broke in two and sank on the 9th after near misses from German bombers opened up her seams.

Destroyer Squadron 60
World War II Operations

DesRon 60 World War II operations

On 25 June, during the bombardment of Cherbourg, the remaining four destroyers covered inshore minesweeping operations. Their accurate gunfire drew enemy attention away from battleship Texas. In return, shore batteries damaged O’Brien; ricochets also hit Barton and Laffey.

After repairs at Boston, DesDiv 119 sailed for the Pacific. Less Ingraham but joined by Lowry in late October, the squadron participated in the Leyte operation. On 8–9 December, DesDiv 120 drew the assignment to enter Ormoc Bay, where Cooper was lost.

For the landings at Luzon’s Lingayen Gulf, 2–18 January 1945, DesRon 60 and 56 composed the screen of the Bombardment and Fire Support Group (TG 77.2) and participated in the preliminary bombardment, minesweeping support, underwater demolition teams support, assault landing, fire support, and covering operations. En route to and at the objective area prior to S-Day, they were repeatedly attacked by enemy planes, most of them of the suicide variety. Many of our ships were hit by these planes. Enemy bombing attacks by ordinary means were usually ineffective.

After preliminary bombardment, landings were effected with little or no opposition. After S plus 1 day, the Bombardment and Fire Support Group operated to the Northwest of Lingayen Gulf with the Escort Carrier Group to cover the landings against enemy surface attacks. The Minesweeping Fire Support Unit (TU 77.2.9), supporting minesweeping operations in the Lingayen Gulf from S-3 to S-day were subjected to many suicide attacks because of the isolated stations of the ships.

On S-3, Walke was attacked by four suicide planes, Allen M. Sumner and Barton each by two, O’Brien one, and HMAS Warramunga by one which diverted its attack to APD Brooks.

While Walke retired to Mare Island and Allen M. Sumner returned to Mare Island for repairs, the remainder of the squadron moved on to Iwo Jima in February.

The Okinawa operation got under way in April. There, on the 16th, Laffey was severely damaged in an attack by 22 kamikaze aircraft. Taken in tow, she returned to the West Coast for repairs that lasted until after the surrender. On 5 May, Ingraham was also damaged; she retired to Hunter’s Point, California for repairs that lasted for the duration of the war. On the 10th, Walke rejoined.

Thereafter, while O’Brien moved south for the consolidation of the southern Philippines, Barton, Walke, Moale and Lowry were attached to the Third Fleet for operations off Japan. Allen M. Sumner, which had conducted training operations following her repairs, departed San Francisco in July and joined them in late August.


  • Off the D-day beaches, Meredith was hit by a glider bomb on 7 June 1944. Towed clear, she sank on 9 June after near misses from German bombers opened up her seams.
  • In the closing stage of the Leyte operation, Cooper was torpedoed and sunk at Ormoc Bay on 3 December 1944.


  • Laffey was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her performance in action against kamikaze aircraft at Okinawa.
  • Ingraham and Lowry each received the Navy Unit Commendation for their performances in action against kamikaze aircraft at Okinawa.
  • Walke’s commanding officer, Commander George F. Davis, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for continuing to conn his ship during a kamikaze attack at Lingayen Gulf despite sustaining mortal burns.