Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729 - History

Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729 - History


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Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729

Lyman K. Swenson
(DD-729: dp. 2,200; 1. 376'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 15'8", s. 34 k.; cpl. 345; a 6 5", 12 40mm., 11 20mm., 10 21" tt.,2 dct., 6 dcp.; cl. Allen. Sumner)

Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was laid down 11 September 1943 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, launched 12 February 1944; sponsored by Miss Cecelia A. Swenson, daughter of Captain Swenson; and commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 2 May 1944, Comdr. Francis T. Williamson in Command.

Commissioned after the battle for the Atlantic had been decided, Lyman K. Swenson completed a Bermuda-based shakedown cruise 5 June 1944 and prepared for duty in the Pacific. Departing Boston 31 July, the new destroyer transited the Panama Canal 8 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor the 33th. After intensive training and practice in ASW and AAW, she departed for the war zone 28 September, dropping anchor at Ulithi—her base for the next 6 months—on 13 October.

Lyman K. Swenson left Ulithi 21 October as part of DesRon 61, screening a replenishment group of 10 oilers. This group remained off the Philippines, refueling Admiral Halsey's carrier forces while the Japanese Navy suffered its crippling defeat at the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24 to 26 October. The destroyer then joined TG 38.4 for carrier support duties. On 10 October, while supporting operations on Leyte, she saw v her first hostile action. Carriers Franklin and Belleau Wood received hits and the group retired to Ulithi for replenishment and repairs.

During much of November and December, Lyman K. Swenson screened various carrier groups engaged in the process of softening r up the island of Luzon. Mid-December witnessed the rescue of four pilots and three enlisted men while on plane guard duty, and the horrors of a typhoon which ge:lerated waves 50 and 60 feet high. Though three dest royers capsized, Lyman K. Swenson emerged safely and returned to Ulithi

The new year dawned as she steamed with JG 38.1 on a 3,800 mile raid v hich spewed destruction on Formosa Luzon, and on Japanese shipping along the Vietnamese and Chinese coasts. Okinawa also received attention from the carriers' planes before the return to Ulithi 26 January 1845 For the next e months aircraft and repair centers on Okinawa and the Japanese home island of Kyushu were the main targets for the strike group temporarily redesignated TG 58.1.

During the Okinawa campaign the Japanese again attacked with much of their remaining airpower. With air targets plentiful,Lyman K. Swenson splashed her first plane, a Francis, on 18 March and destroyed her second on the 27th. This campaign also provided an opportunity for shore bombardment as she shelled Okino Daita Shima early in March and Minami Daito Jima in April and again in June. With her sister ships, she then returned to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, to prepare for a mission which would continue until the surrender of Japan 71 days later.

Five carriers, three battleships, six cruisers and their destroyer screen steamed forth 1 July to practice screen reorientation and conduct antiaircraft practice before proceeding northward to carry the war to the heart of the Japanese home islands. Air opposition remained minimal and, after DesRon 61's antishipping sweep into Sagami Wan, Honshu, on the night of 22/23 July, enemy ships also proved difficult to locate. Lyman K. Swenson remained in enemy waters until after Japan's formal surrender on board battleship Missouri, 2 September.

On 20 September came the welcome order to depart Tokyo Bay; and, after picking up additional passengers in Okinawa, Lyman K. Swenson proceeded back to the United States. She reached Seattle 15 October, and then settled down in dry dock at San Francisco on the 29th.

Lyman K. Swenson returned to the Far East as part of the 7th Fleet from 2 March 1946 to 4 February 1947. After performing patrol duties along the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese coasts, she steamed home to San Diego via Kwajelein, arriving 22 February. For the next 2 years she trained both her own crew and Naval reservists oft the west coast.

In March 1950 she again turned westward. A member of DesRon 91, she worked with the carrier Boxer out of Okinawa until the outbreak of the Korean conflict brought immediate assignment to Korean waters. Reacting with the characteristic speed of seaborn power, her group launched the first carrier based strike against North Korea 3 July. Besides plane guard and patrol duties she also participated in shore bombardment and five support missions along the eastern coast.

Missions near Yongdok 22 to 26 July and against Chongjin in the far northeast corner of Korea 20 August were among the more successful ones. Yet, the high point of this first tour was the amphibious landing at Inchon. Swenson and five sister DD's entered Inchon Bay 2 days before the landings to silence shore batteries. During this bombardment the ship suffered two casualties from a near miss. The next day Lt. ( jg.) David H. Swenson, nephew of the officer for whom the ship was named, was buried at sea. On D-Day, 15 September, she returned eagerly to cover the landing and punish the enemy. For their gallantry all six ships received the Navy Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

On 23 October, Lyman K. Swenson retired to Sasebo, Japan, and then on to the United States, arriving San Diego 18 November. After 7 months at home, she again departed for Korea 18 June 1951. On this 8-month tour, and the succeeding one which began 15 September 1952, her main duties remained much the same as they had been during 1950 She took special pride in her ability to dis rupt railroad and highway transportation and twice earned the praise of Vice Adm. H. M. Martin.

In the aftermath of the Korean Armistice, July 1953, Lyman K. Swanson continued to average one 6-month deployment annually in the western Pacific until 1960. To catch up with changing technology she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard 27 June 1960 for a FRAM II refit. Antisubmarine warfare capabilities received the greatest emphasis as she received a helicopter flight and hanger deck. Following underway training and exercises, she departed 6 January 1962 with DesDiv 92 for a prolonged stay in the Far East. Yokosuka, Japan, served as her new home port. Periods of patrol duty preceded and followed SEATO operation "Tulungan", the largest peacetime amphibious landing operation ever conducted in the western Pacific. During the next 2 years. the ship ranged widely over the Far East. After particularly extensive 7th Fleet exercise "Crazy Horse," she paid a 3 day good will visit to Bangkok, Thailand, and a 4 day visit to Saigon.

On 12 June 1964, Lyman K. Swenson departed Yokosuka for the United States, arriving San Diego 27 July via Australia. Once home, timo passed quickly until January 1965 when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard for overhaul Following refresher training, she helped host four Japanese Self-Defense Force destroyers in San Diego on a summer cruise.

With orders to proceed to the troubled coast ot the Republic ot Vietnam, Lyman K. Swenson departed San Diego 24 August 1966 and commence fire support operations 4 October. In her first 2 weeks of action she expended as much ammunition as 2 months of comparable duty during the Korean conflict in 1950. Screen and plane guard duties for carriers Independence and Ticonderoga normally followed such Periods of fire support.

Lyman K. Swenson continued on station until departing for home in January 1966. She arrived in San Diego 26 February and participated in the annual midshipmen training cruise in June. For the remainder of 1968 Lyman K. Swenson n operated out of her- home port of San Diego on various ASW and gunnery exercises. From 20 January to 1 March 1967 she underwent predeployment repairs in Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

8 April saw the ship once again underway for the western Pacific. After a stop in Yokosuka, Japan, she operated in the northern Tonkin Gulf as a search and rescue unit from May through August She escorted the carrier Constellation into September, then sailed once again for home Arriving home 6 October 1967, after another successful deployment, the veteran destroyer served as an engineering school ship and was assigned availability to the Development and training command into 1968. She remained in the eastern Pacific through most of 1968, deploying to WestPac again late in the year, to
serve there into 1969.

Lyman K. Swenson received five battle stars for World
War II service and six battle stars for Korean service.


USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD 729)

Decommissioned 12 February 1971.
Stricken 1 February 1974.
Transferred to Taiwan 6 May 1974 and cannibalized for spare parts.

Commands listed for USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD 729)

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CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Francis Thomas Williamson, USN2 May 194431 May 1945
2T/Cdr. William Baumert Braun, USN31 May 1945Oct 1946

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Notable events involving Lyman K. Swenson include:

31 Jul 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Boston bound for the Pacific.

8 Aug 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson transits the Panama Canal.

30 Aug 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson arrived at Pearl Harbor.

28 Sep 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Pearl Harbor.

13 Oct 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson arrived at Ulithi.

21 Oct 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi to support the operations of Leyte.

2 Nov 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

5 Nov 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi with TG 38.1 for operations against Luzon.

24 Nov 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

7 Dec 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi with TG 38.2 for operations against Luzon.

24 Dec 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

30 Dec 1944
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi with TG 38.1 for operations against Luzon and Formosa and a raid into the South China Sea.

26 Jan 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

10 Feb 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi with TG 58.1.

4 Mar 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

14 Mar 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi to support the Okinawa landings, once again she sailed with TG 58.1.

30 Apr 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson returns to Ulithi.

9 May 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from Ulithi with TG 58.1.

13 Jun 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson arrived at San Pedro Bay, Philippines.

1 Jul 1945
USS Lyman K. Swenson departed from San Pedro Bay, Philippines with TG 38.1.

Media links


Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729 - History

(DD-729: dp. 2,200 l. 376'6" b. 41'1" dr. 15'8", s. 34 k. cpl. 345 a 6 5", 12 40mm., 11 20mm., 10 21" tt.,2 dct., 6 dcp. cl. Allen. Sumner)

Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was laid down 11 September 1943 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, launched 12 February 1944 sponsored by Miss Cecelia A. Swenson, daughter of Captain Swenson and commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 2 May 1944, Comdr. Francis T. Williamson in Command.

Commissioned after the battle for the Atlantic had been decided, Lyman K. Swenson completed a Bermuda-based shakedown cruise 25 June 1944 and prepared for duty in the Pacific. Departing Boston 31 July, the new destroyer transited the Panama Canal 8 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor the 33th. After intensive training and practice in ASW and AAW, she departed for the war zone 28 September, dropping anchor at Ulithi her base for the next 6 months on 13 October.

Lyman K. Swenson left Ulithi 21 October as part of DesRon 61, screening a replenishment group of 10 oilers. This group remained off the Philippines, refueling Admiral Halsey's carrier forces while the Japanese Navy suffered its crippling defeat at the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24 to 26 October. The destroyer then joined TG 38.4 for carrier support duties. On 30 October, while supporting operations on Leyte, she saw her first hostile action. Carriers Franklin and Belleau Wood received hits and the group retired to Ulithi for replenishment and repairs.

During much of November and December, Lyman K. Swenson screened various carrier groups engaged in the process of softening up the island of Luzon. Mid-December witnessed the rescue of four pilots and three enlisted men while on plane guard duty, and the horrors of a typhoon which generated waves 50 and 60 feet high. Though three destroyers capsized, Lyman K. Swenson emerged safely and returned to Ulithi

The new year dawned as she steamed with TG 38.1 on a 3,800 mile raid which spewed destruction on Formosa Luzon, and on Japanese shipping along the Vietnamese and Chinese coasts. Okinawa also received attention from the carriers planes before the return to Ulithi 26 January 1845 For the next 4 months aircraft and repair centers on Okinawa and the Japanese home island of Kyushu were the main targets for the strike group temporarily redesignated TG 58.1.

During the Okinawa campaign the Japanese again attacked with much of their remaining airpower. With air targets plentiful,Lyman K. Swenson splashed her first plane, a Francis, on 18 March and destroyed her second on the 27th. This campaign also provided an opportunity for shore bombardment as she shelled Okino Daita Shima early in March and Minami Daito Jima in April and again in June. With her sister ships, she then returned to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, to prepare for a mission which would continue until the surrender of Japan 71 days later.

Five carriers, three battleships, six cruisers and their destroyer screen steamed forth 1 July to practice screen reorientation and conduct antiaircraft practice before proceeding northward to carry the war to the heart of the Japanese home islands. Air opposition remained minimal and, after DesRon 61's antishipping sweep into Sagami Van, Honshu, on the night of 22/23 July, enemy ships also proved difficult to locate. Lyman K. Swenson remained in enemy waters until after Japan's formal surrender on board battleship Missouri, 2 September.

On 20 September came the welcome order to depart Tokyo Bay and, after picking up additional passengers in Okinawa, Lyman K. Swenson proceeded back to the United States. She reached Seattle 15 October, and then settled down in dry dock at San Francisco on the 29th.

Lyman K. Swenson returned to the Far East as part of the 7th Fleet from 2 March 1946 to 4 February 1947. After performing patrol duties along the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese coasts, she steamed home to San Diego via Kwajalein, arriving 22 February. For the next 2 years she trained both her own crew and Naval reservists off the west coast.

In March 1950 she again turned westward. A member of DesRon 91, she worked with the carrier Boxer out of Okinawa until the outbreak of the Korean conflict brought immediate assignment to Korean waters. Reacting with the characteristic speed of seaborne power, her group launched the first carrier based strike against North Korea 3 July. Besides plane guard and parole duties she also participated in shore bombardment and fire support missions along the eastern coast.

Missions near Yongdok 22 to 26 July and against Chongjin in the far northeast corner of Korea 20 August were among the more successful ones. Yet, the high point of this first tour was the amphibious landing at Inchon. Lyman K. Swenson and five sister DD's entered Inchon Bay 2 days before the landings to silence shore batteries. During this bombardment the ship suffered two casualties from a near miss. The next day Lt. ( jg.) David H. Swenson, nephew of the officer for whom the ship was named, was buried at sea. On D-Day, 15 September, she returned eagerly to cover the landing and punish the enemy. For their gallantry all six ships received the Navy Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

On 23 October, Lyman K. Swenson retired to Sasebo, Japan, and then on to the United States, arriving San Diego 18 November. After 7 months at home, she again departed for Korea 18 June 1951. On this 8-month tour, and the succeeding one which began 15 September 1952, her main duties remained much the same as they had been during 1950 She took special pride in her ability to disrupt railroad and highway transportation and twice earned the praise of Vice Adm. H. M. Martin.

In the aftermath of the Korean Armistice, July 1953, Lyman K. Swenson continued to average one 6-month deployment annually in the western Pacific until 1960. To catch up with changing technology she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard 27 June 1960 for a FRAM II refit. Antisubmarine warfare capabilities received the greatest emphasis as she received a helicopter flight and hanger deck. Following underway training and exercises, she departed 6 January 1962 with DesDiv 92 for a prolonged stay in the Far East. Yokosuka, Japan, served as her new home port. Periods of patrol duty preceded and followed SEATO operation "Tulungan", the largest peacetime amphibious landing operation ever conducted in the western Pacific. During the next 2 years. the ship ranged widely over the Far East. After particularly extensive 7th Fleet exercise "Crazy Horse," she paid a 3 day good will visit to Bangkok, Thailand, and a 4 day visit to Saigon.

On 12 June 1964, Lyman K. Swenson departed Yokosuka for the United States, arriving San Diego 27 July via Australia. Once home, time passed quickly until January 1965 when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard for overhaul Following refresher training, she helped host four Japanese Self-Defense Force destroyers in San Diego on a summer cruise.

With orders to proceed to the troubled coast of the Republic of Vietnam, Lyman K. Swenson departed San Diego 24 August 1966 and commenced fire support operations 4 October. In her first 2 weeks of action she expended as much ammunition as 2 months of comparable duty during the Korean conflict in 1950. Screen and plane guard duties for carriers Independence and Ticonderoga normally followed such Periods of fire support.

Lyman K. Swenson continued on station until departing for home in January 1966. She arrived in San Diego 26 February and participated in the annual midshipmen training cruise in June. For the remainder of 1968 Lyman K. Swenson n operated out of her home port of San Diego on various ASW and gunnery exercises. From 20 January to 1 March 1967 she underwent predeployment repairs in Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

8 April saw the ship once again underway for the western Pacific. After a stop in Yokosuka, Japan, she operated in the northern Tonkin Gulf as a search and rescue unit from May through August She escorted the carrier Constellation into September, then sailed once again for home Arriving home 6 October 1967, after another successful deployment, the veteran destroyer served as an engineering school ship and was assigned availability to the Development and training command into 1968. She remained in the eastern Pacific through most of 1968, deploying to WestPac again late in the year, to serve there into 1969.

Lyman K. Swenson received five battle stars tor World War II service and six battle stars for Korean service.


The History of One Navy Ship

This is the history of but one small ship in the United States Navy. I am proud to be one of the thousands of sailors that served aboard her over her 28 year life.

Early pre-Fram photo of USS Lyman K. Swenson DD-729
Photo courtesy of NavSource

Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), a Sumner class destroyer, was laid down 11 September 1943 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, launched 12 February 1944 sponsored by Miss Cecelia A. Swenson, daughter of Captain Swenson and commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 2 May 1944, Comdr. Francis T. Williamson in Command.

Commissioned after the battle for the Atlantic had been decided, she completed a Bermuda-based shakedown cruise 25 June 1944 and prepared for duty in the Pacific. Departing Boston 31 July, the new destroyer transited the Panama Canal 8 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor the 33th. After intensive training and practice in ASW and AAW, she departed for the war zone 28 September, dropping anchor at Ulithi her base for the next 6 months on 13 October.

Lyman K. Swenson left Ulithi 21 October as part of DesRon 61, screening a replenishment group of 10 oilers. This group remained off the Philippines, refueling Admiral Halsey's carrier forces while the Japanese Navy suffered its crippling defeat at the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24 to 26 October. The destroyer then joined TG 38.4 for carrier support duties. On 30 October, while supporting operations on Leyte, she saw her first hostile action. Carriers Franklin and Belleau Wood received hits and the group retired to Ulithi for replenishment and repairs.

During much of November and December the ship screened various carrier groups engaged in the process of softening up the island of Luzon. Mid-December witnessed the rescue of four pilots and three enlisted men while on plane guard duty, and the horrors of a typhoon which generated waves 50 and 60 feet high. Though three destroyers capsized, Lyman K. Swenson emerged safely and returned to Ulithi.

The new year dawned as she steamed with TG 38.1 on a 3,800 mile raid which spewed destruction on Formosa Luzon, and on Japanese shipping along the Vietnamese and Chinese coasts. Okinawa also received attention from the carriers planes before the return to Ulithi 26 January 1845 For the next 4 months aircraft and repair centers on Okinawa and the Japanese home island of Kyushu were the main targets for the strike group temporarily redesignated TG 58.1.

During the Okinawa campaign the Japanese again attacked with much of their remaining air power. With air targets plentiful, Lyman K. Swenson splashed her first plane, a Francis, on 18 March and destroyed her second on the 27th. This campaign also provided an opportunity for shore bombardment as she shelled Okino Daita Shima early in March and Minami Daito Jima in April and again in June. With her sister ships, she then returned to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, to prepare for a mission which would continue until the surrender of Japan 71 days later.

Five carriers, three battleships, six cruisers and their destroyer screen steamed forth 1 July to practice screen reorientation and conduct antiaircraft practice before proceeding northward to carry the war to the heart of the Japanese home islands. Air opposition remained minimal and, after DesRon 61's anti shipping sweep into Sagami Van, Honshu, on the night of 22/23 July, enemy ships also proved difficult to locate. The ship remained in enemy waters until after Japan's formal surrender on board battleship Missouri, 2 September.

On 20 September came the welcome order to depart Tokyo Bay and, after picking up additional passengers in Okinawa she proceeded back to the United States. She reached Seattle 15 October, and then settled down in dry dock at San Francisco on the 29th.

Lyman K. Swenson returned to the Far East as part of the 7th Fleet from 2 March 1946 to 4 February 1947. After performing patrol duties along the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese coasts, she steamed home to San Diego via Kwajalein, arriving 22 February. For the next two years she trained both her own crew and Naval reservists off the west coast.

In March 1950 she again turned westward. A member of DesRon 91, she worked with the carrier Boxer out of Okinawa until the outbreak of the Korean conflict brought immediate assignment to Korean waters. Reacting with the characteristic speed of seaborne power, her group launched the first carrier based strike against North Korea 3 July. Besides plane guard and parole duties she also participated in shore bombardment and fire support missions along the eastern coast.

Missions near Yongdok 22 to 26 July and against Chongjin in the far northeast corner of Korea 20 August were among the more successful ones. Yet, the high point of this first tour was the amphibious landing at Inchon. Lyman K. Swenson and five sister DD's entered Inchon Bay two days before the landings to silence shore batteries. During this bombardment the ship suffered two casualties from a near miss. The next day Lt. ( jg.) David H. Swenson, nephew of the officer for whom the ship was named, was buried at sea. On D-Day, 15 September, she returned eagerly to cover the landing and punish the enemy. For their gallantry all six ships received the Navy Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

On 23 October, Lyman K. Swenson retired to Sasebo, Japan, and then on to the United States, arriving San Diego 18 November. After 7 months at home, she again departed for Korea 18 June 1951. On this eight month tour, and the succeeding one which began 15 September 1952, her main duties remained much the same as they had been during 1950 She took special pride in her ability to disrupt railroad and highway transportation and twice earned the praise of Vice Adm. H. M. Martin.

In the aftermath of the Korean Armistice, July 1953, she continued to average one six month deployment annually in the western Pacific until 1960. To catch up with changing technology she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard 27 June 1960 for a FRAM II refit. Antisubmarine warfare capabilities received the greatest emphasis as she received a helicopter flight and hanger deck. Following underway training and exercises, she departed 6 January 1962 with DesDiv 92 for a prolonged stay in the Far East. Yokosuka, Japan, served as her new home port. Periods of patrol duty preceded and followed SEATO operation "Tulungan", the largest peacetime amphibious landing operation ever conducted in the western Pacific. During the next 2 years. the ship ranged widely over the Far East. After particularly extensive 7th Fleet exercise "Crazy Horse," she paid a three day good will visit to Bangkok, Thailand, and a four day visit to Saigon.

On 12 June 1964, Lyman K. Swenson departed Yokosuka for the United States, arriving San Diego 27 July via Australia. Once home, time passed quickly until January 1965 when she entered Puget Sound Navy Yard for overhaul Following refresher training, she helped host four Japanese Self-Defense Force destroyers in San Diego on a summer cruise.

With orders to proceed to the troubled coast of the Republic of Vietnam, the ship departed San Diego 24 August 1966 and commenced fire support operations 4 October. In her first two weeks of action she expended as much ammunition as two months of comparable duty during the Korean conflict in 1950. Screen and plane guard duties for carriers Independence and Ticonderoga normally followed such Periods of fire support.

The ship continued on station until departing for home in January 1966. She arrived in San Diego 26 February and participated in the annual midshipmen training cruise in June. For the remainder of 1968 Lyman K. Swenson n operated out of her home port of San Diego on various ASW and gunnery exercises. From 20 January to 1 March 1967 she underwent pre deployment repairs in Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

8 April saw the ship once again underway for the western Pacific. After a stop in Yokosuka, Japan, she operated in the northern Tonkin Gulf as a search and rescue unit from May through August She escorted the carrier Constellation into September, then sailed once again for home Arriving home 6 October 1967, after another successful deployment, the veteran destroyer served as an engineering school ship and was assigned availability to the Development and training command into 1968. She remained in the eastern Pacific through most of 1968, deploying to WestPac again late in the year, to serve there into 1969.


USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)


Figure 1: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 22 July 1944. She is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 9D. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 2: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) moored at San Diego, California, with two other destroyers, circa 1945-46. Middle ship is USS De Haven (DD-727). Courtesy of John Hummel, 1979. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 3: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) tied up to pilings off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 3 January 1946. Note seagulls overhead and flags flying from the ship's foremast. The signal flag on the starboard halliards is "H," meaning "I have a pilot aboard." The four signal flags on the port halliards are the ship's call letters "NTHR." Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 4: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) tied up to pilings off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 3 January 1946. Note name painted on the ship's stern and flags flying from her foremast. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 5: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 5 January 1946. This view looks aft from alongside the ship's port bow, showing her anchoring gear, forward 5-inch twin gun mounts and pilothouse. Note canted angle of the Mk.12/22 radar antennas atop her Mk.37 gun director. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 6: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 5 January 1946. This view looks forward from alongside the ship's port side, showing her 26-foot motor whaleboat and 20-mm gun platform by her after smokestack. Note floater nets (with attached water casks) and boxed supplies on deck just inboard from the whaleboat. Also note empty racks for ready-service 40-mm ammunition. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 7: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, 7 November 1947. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 8: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, 14 November 1947. Several other destroyers are tied up nearby, among them USS Collett (DD-730), next astern from Lyman K. Swenson. Circles on the photo mark recent alterations to the ship. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 9: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) steaming through heavy seas in the Western Pacific, 1945. Photographed from USS Brush (DD-745). Courtesy of Robert O. Baumrucker, 1978. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: Inchon Invasion, September 1950. Wolmi-Do Island under bombardment on 13 September 1950, two days before the landings at Inchon. Photographed from USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), one of whose 40mm gun mounts is in the foreground. Sowolmi-Do Island, connected to Wolmi-Do by a causeway, is at the right, with Inchon beyond. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 11: Inchon Invasion, September 1950. LCVPs head for Red Beach during initial landings at Inchon, 15 September 1950. Photographed from USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), which provided gunfire support for the Red Beach attack. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 12: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) detonates an enemy mine with rifle fire, off North Korea. Original photo is dated 14 December 1951. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 13: Inchon Invasion, September 1950. Four LSTs unload men and equipment while "high and dry" at low tide on Inchon's Red Beach, 16 September 1950, the day after the initial landings there. USS LST-715 is on the right end of this group, which also includes LST-611, LST-845 and one other. Another LST is beached on the tidal mud flats at the extreme right. Note bombardment damage to the building in center foreground, many trucks at work, Wolmi-Do island in the left background and the causeway connecting the island to Inchon. Ship in the far distance, just beyond the right end of Wolmi-Do, is USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729). Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 14: Inchon Operation, September 1950. A chaplain reads the last rites service as Lieutenant (Junior Grade) David H. Swenson is buried at sea from USS Toledo (CA-133), off Inchon, Korea. He had been killed by North Korean artillery while his ship, USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was bombarding enemy positions on Wolmi-Do island, Inchon, on 13 September 1950. Lyman K. Swenson is in the background, with her crew at quarters on deck. Official US Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 15: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, 27 January 1961, following her "FRAM II" modernization. Note Destroyer Squadron Nine (DesRon9) insignia painted on her midships superstructure side. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.


Figure 16: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, 27 January 1961, following her "FRAM II" modernization. Note that she has not been fitted with a variable depth sonar at her stern. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 17: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) underway off Oahu, Hawaii, 16 March 1970. Photographed by PH1 Dixon M. Dreher. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 18: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) underway in the Pacific Ocean, 16 March 1970. Photographed by PHC T.J. Taylor. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 19: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) underway off Oahu, Hawaii, 16 March 1970. Photographed by PH1 Dixon M. Dreher. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 20: USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) jacket patch of the ship's insignia, as used in about 1967. Courtesy Captain G.F. Swainson, USN, 1969. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was named in honor of Captain Lyman K. Swenson (1892-1942), who was killed in action while commanding USS Juneau (CL-52) during the major naval battle off Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942. Juneau went down shortly after the end of the battle and out of 695 officers and men on board the ship only 10 survived. USS Lyman K. Swenson was a 2,200-ton Allan M. Sumner class destroyer that was built by the Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine, and was commissioned on 2 May 1944. The ship was approximately 376 feet long and 41 feet wide, had a top speed of 34 knots, and had a crew of 345 officers and men. Lyman K. Swenson was armed with six 5-inch guns, twelve 40-mm guns, eleven 20-mm guns, ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, and depth charges.

After a shakedown cruise in the Atlantic, Lyman K. Swenson was transferred to the Pacific, where she served for the next 27 years. From September 1944 to the end of the war with Japan in August 1945, Lyman K. Swenson was assigned to duties off the coasts of Leyte, Luzon, China, Indochina, and Okinawa. After the end of the war, she briefly returned to the west coast of the United States and then served in the western Pacific from 1946 to early 1947. Lyman K. Swenson then was used as a training ship for Naval Reservists off America’s west coast from 1947 to 1949.

In March 1950, Lyman K. Swenson returned to the Far East shortly before the outbreak of the Korean War. After the start of the war, Lyman K. Swenson escorted the carrier USS Boxer, which launched the first naval air strike against North Korea on 3 July 1950. Lyman K. Swenson also was assigned to plane guard and patrol duties, bombarded shore targets, and served in a supporting role in five missions along the eastern coast of North Korea.

The ship then played a major role in the famous American amphibious landing at Inchon. Lyman K. Swenson, along with five other destroyers, entered Inchon Bay two days before the landings and bombarded North Korean shore batteries. During this attack, the ship suffered two casualties from a near miss from enemy artillery. One of the men killed was Lt. (jg.) David H. Swenson, nephew of Captain Lyman K. Swenson. David Swenson was buried at sea the day after he was killed (see above photograph). On 15 September 1950, the day of the actual attack on Inchon, Lyman K. Swenson covered the amphibious landing with accurate gunfire. For their actions during the assault on Inchon, all six destroyers received the Navy Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

On 23 October 1950, Lyman K. Swenson left combat operations and went to Sasebo, Japan. She then returned to the United States, arriving at San Diego on 18 November. After an overhaul lasting seven months, Lyman K. Swenson returned to Korea on 18 June 1951. She spent two more tours of duty off the Korean coast, performing the same duties she did during her first tour of duty there. Lyman K. Swenson specialized in disrupting enemy railroad and highway transportation with her accurate gunfire, earning the praise of Vice Admiral H. M. Martin in the process.

After the Korean War ended in July 1953, Lyman K. Swenson spent approximately six months per year in the western Pacific until 1960. From 1960 to 1961, she underwent a major overhaul and modification under the “Fram II” program. Her antisubmarine capabilities were increased dramatically and she had a helicopter hanger and flight deck added toward the stern of the ship. Lyman K. Swenson completed several more tours of duty in the Far East and from 1965 to 1970 was extremely active during the war in Vietnam. Her primary assignments included shore bombardment, patrol duties, and acting as an escort for the carriers USS Independence and USS Ticonderoga. Lyman K. Swenson’s gunfire was considered so useful off the coast of Vietnam that in October 1965 she fired as much ammunition in two weeks of action as she did in two months of comparable combat duty off the coast of Korea in 1950.

USS Lyman K. Swenson was decommissioned in February 1971. In May 1974, she was sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a source of spare parts for other ships of that class that were serving in its navy. It was a sad end to a notable career that spanned thirty years and three wars.


LYMAN K SWENSON DD 729

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid September 11 1943 - Launched February 12 1944

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


1966-1974

Lyman K. Swenson continued on station until departing for home in January 1966. She arrived in San Diego 26 February and participated in the annual midshipmen training cruise in June. For the remainder of 1966 Lyman K. Swenson operated out of her home port of San Diego on various ASW and gunnery exercises. From. 26 January to 1 March 1967 she underwent predeployment repairs in Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

8 April saw the ship once again underway for the western Pacific. After a stop in Yokosuka, Japan, she operated in the northern Tonkin Gulf as a search and rescue unit from May through August. She escorted the carrier Constellation (CV-64) into September, then sailed once again for home. Arriving home 6 October 1967, after another successful deployment, the veteran destroyer served as an engineering school ship and was assigned availability to the Development and Training Command into 1968. She remained in the eastern Pacific through most of 1968, deploying to WestPac again late in the year, to serve there into 1969.

Lyman K. Swenson was decommissioned 12 February 1971 and then later stricken from the register 1 February 1974. Within months she was sold to Taiwan 6 May 1974 and cannibalized for spare parts.

Lyman K. Swenson received five battle stars for World War II service and six battle stars for Korean service.


USS Lyman K Swenson – DD-729

As many magazines and some news reports have been noting this year, 2005 is the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. It seems only appropriate to feature a naval cover marking that occasion.

On September 2, 1945, ships from the United States Navy under the command of Admiral William F Halsey with the Third Fleet as well as ships from the British Pacific Fleet operating with the Third Fleet assembled in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremony of the Japanese forces. The surrender ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri with Supreme Commander for all Allied Forces General of the Army Douglas MacArthur presiding over the signing of the surrender document.

One of the ships at anchor was the destroyer USS Lyman K Swenson, DD-729. The Lyman K Swenson was a relatively new ship, first taking part in the war in October 1944. The destroyer took part in the Okinawa campaign. As the end of the war approached, the destroyer was part of Destroyer Squadron 61’s sweep into Tokyo Bay on an antishipping sweep on July 22.

The Lyman K Swenson enjoyed a long career, taking part in both the Korea War and Vietnam War before being decommissioned in 1971.

While in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, one of her officers wrote to a fellow officer, a friend stationed on the USS Restorer. This letter was postmarked with the ships Type 2z cancel and a hand stamp was applied over the cancel noting “V-J Day.” The ship had a special cachet made up noting that the ship was “off Tokyo Bay.” The letter was censored and the censoring officer applied his hand stamp and initials.

Upon arrival at some post office, the Restorer’s address was crossed out and a new address showing North Pier, Pier 88 hand written in. The cover is backstamped with a Directory Service, Salvage, Pier 88 backstamp. The cover is also backstamped with a Type 2# cancel from the USS Leonard Wood on October 23, 1945. Unfortunately the friend must have been transferred off the Restorer. A postal clerk marked out the original address and the North River address and noted the friend was now aboard the tug USS ATR-5, dating the marking as November 19. The letter continued its way in the mailstream.

The letter made it’s way to the ATR-5 where the postal clerk noted on January 3, 1946 that the friend was not aboard. He marked out all of the addresses and added a piece of tape with a new address showing a civilian address. Presumably the letter was finally delivered shortly after this.

What started out as a nice souvenir marking VJ Day became a nice souvenir to postal history collectors. The letter that was enclosed in the cover is shown below.


Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729 - History

USS Lyman K. Swenson , a 2200-ton Allan M. Sumner class destroyer built at Bath, Maine, was commissioned in May 1944. Following an Atlantic shakedown she went to the Pacific, where she was to serve continuously for twenty-seven years. From September 1944 to the end of the war with Japan in August 1945, Lyman K. Swenson was active in operations off Leyte, Luzon, the China and Indochina coasts, the Japanese home islands and Okinawa. After a brief post-war return to the U.S., she deployed to the Western Pacific in 1946-47, then spent a few years training Naval Reservists along the U.S. Pacific coast.

In March 1950, Lyman K. Swenson again went to the Far East where the late June outbreak of the Korean War soon involved her in vigorous combat activities. In three tours off Korea in 1950-53, she performed shore bombardment, blockading, and fleet screening duties. Her role in the September 1950 Inchon invasion is especially notable. After the Korean Armistice, Lyman K. Swenson continued a regular pattern of Western Pacific deployments, briefly interrupted by a major "Fram II" modernization in 1960-61. From 1965 through her final Far Eastern tour in 1970, she was active in Vietnam War operations. USS Lyman K. Swenson decommissioned in February 1971. In May 1974, she was sold to the Republic of China to provide spare parts for other ships of her type.

USS Lyman K. Swenson was named in honor of Captain Lyman K. Swenson (1892-1942), who was killed in action while commanding USS Juneau (CL-52).

This page features selected photographs of USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) and a view of her insignia, and provides links to other images of the ship.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 22 July 1944.
She is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 9D.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 98KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Steams through heavy seas in the Western Pacific, 1945.
Photographed from USS Brush (DD-745).

Courtesy of Robert O. Baumrucker, 1978.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 106KB 740 x 610 pixels

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Underway off Oahu, Hawaii, 16 March 1970.
Photographed by PH1 Dixon M. Dreher.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 104KB 740 x 615 pixels

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Jacket patch of the ship's insignia, as used in about 1967.

Courtesy of Captain G.F. Swainson, USN, 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 165KB 740 x 580 pixels

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


Lyman K. Swenson DD- 729 - History

This page features views of USS Lyman K. Swenson 's actions and activities in World War II, the later 1940s and the Korean War.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Steams through heavy seas in the Western Pacific, 1945.
Photographed from USS Brush (DD-745).

Courtesy of Robert O. Baumrucker, 1978.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 106KB 740 x 610 pixels

Refuels USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), while they were enroute from Pearl Harbor to San Diego during Operation "Miki", November 1949.
Photographed by Ted Huggins from Valley Forge 's flight deck as she dropped back after taking on oil.
Note retractable radio antennas mounted alongside the flight deck.

Courtesy of Ted Huggins, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 79KB 740 x 455 pixels

Refuels USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), while they were enroute from Pearl Harbor to San Diego during Operation "Miki", November 1949.
Photographed by Ted Huggins.

Courtesy of Ted Huggins, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 107KB 740 x 455 pixels

Inchon Invasion, September 1950

Five U.S. Navy destroyers steam up the Inchon channel to bombard Wolmi-Do island on 13 September 1950, two days prior to the Inchon landings. Wolmi-Do is in the right center background, with smoke rising from air strikes.
The ships are USS Mansfield (DD-728) USS DeHaven (DD-727) USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) USS Collett (DD-730) and USS Gurke (DD-783).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 45KB 740 x 595 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Inchon Invasion, September 1950

Wolmi-Do island under bombardment on 13 September 1950, two days before the landings at Inchon.
Photographed from USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), one of whose 40mm gun mounts is in the foreground. Sowolmi-Do island, connected to Wolmi-Do by a causeway, is at the right, with Inchon beyond.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 104KB 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Inchon Operation, September 1950

A Chaplain reads the Last Rites service as Lieutenant (Junior Grade) David H. Swenson is buried at sea from USS Toledo (CA-133), off Inchon, Korea. He had been killed by North Korean artillery while his ship, USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) was bombarding enemy positions on Wolmi-do island, Inchon, on 13 September 1950.
Lyman K. Swenson is in the background, with her crew at quarters on deck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 101KB 740 x 625 pixels

Inchon Invasion, September 1950

LCVPs head for Red Beach during initial landings at Inchon, 15 September 1950.
Photographed from USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), which provided gunfire support for the Red Beach attack.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 138KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Inchon Invasion, September 1950

Four LSTs unload men and equipment while "high and dry" at low tide on Inchon's Red Beach, 16 September 1950, the day after the initial landings there.
USS LST-715 is on the right end of this group, which also includes LST-611 , LST-845 and one other. Another LST is beached on the tidal mud flats at the extreme right.
Note bombardment damage to the building in center foreground, many trucks at work, Wolmi-Do island in the left background and the causeway connecting the island to Inchon. Ship in the far distance, just beyond the right end of Wolmi-Do, is USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 161KB 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729)

Detonates an enemy mine with rifle fire, off North Korea. Original photo is dated 14 December 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB 610 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

New image added 15 September 1999
Picture caption corrected 6 February 2001


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