(DD-214: dp. 1,308; 1. 314'4"; b. 30'11"; dr. 9'9"; s. 35.0 k.; cpl. 132; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" tt.; cl.,Clemson)
Tracy (DD-214) was laid down on 3 April 1919 at Philadelphia, Pa., by the William Cramp and Sons' Shipyard; launched on 13 August 1919- sponsored by Mrs. Frank B. Tracy; and commissioned on 9 March 1920, Comdr. Lawrence P. Treadwell in command.
Following commissioning, Tracy cruised on shakedown to the Dry Tortugas before returning to Philadelphia. She steamed with Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 39 for duty in the Near East, arriving at Constantinople, Turkey, in early June 1920.
With the troubled international situation in the Near East, American naval forces "showed the flag" and stood ready to protect American lives and property. Tracy touched at principal Black Sea ports and also visited cities along the coasts of Palestine and Egypt, as well as Mediterranean Turkey.
As the bloody civil war cast its dark shadow over Russia and the Bolsheviks swept all before them, the White Russians were forced to evacuate. Tracy was one of the ships which embarked hundreds of refugees at Sevastopol and carried them to Constantinople.
In June 1921, she sailed with her division for the Far East, transiting the Suez Canal and touching at ports in India, Ceylon, French Indochina, and Java before finally reaching Manila late in August 1921.
Tracy initially operated independently with the South China Patrol and "showed the flag" at the ports upon which she called. Detached from this duty in the spring of 1923, she steamed to Japan for a goodwill cruise before proceeding to Chefoo for summer maneuvers
Anchored at Dairen, Manchuria, in early September 1923, Tracy received orders to get underway immediately for Yokohama, Japan, which had been rocked by a severe earthquake. Upon arrival, she participated in the initial relief work there and carried refugees from Yokohama to Tokyo. She sent repair parties ashore to assist in laying fresh water lines and remained in the Yokohama area for two weeks before heading for Shanghai.
There, her landing party went ashore to guard the American-owned Shanghai Light and Power Company until relieved on 12 October 1923 by a force from armored cruiser Huron. Proceeding to Manila, she spent some time in that port before commencing a cruise to southern Philippine ports on 26 November. For the remainder of her tour in the Asiatic Fleet, she carried out flag-showing cruises and exercises before departing for the United States on 8 May 1925. At Midway, her division was relieved by DesDiv 39.
Arriving in San Diego, Calif., on 17 June, Tracy was refitted and received new fire-control instruments. She departed the west coast on 24 June and proceeded, via the Panama Canal, to New York City. Spending the next two years with the Scouting Fleet, Tracy wound up her tour by taking part in the reinforcement operations for the Special Service Squadron in Nicaraguan waters during the revolution and civil strife which had broken out in that country in November and December 1926.
Following overhaul by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Tracy returned briefly to Nicaraguan waters in March 1927 and then proceeded north. Steaming from Newport, R.I., on 1 June with DesDiv 38, she visited Queenstown, Northern Ireland before touching at ports in Scotland, England, Belgium France, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Tunisia, and Italy. Departing Gibraltar on 28 January 1928, she operated in the Atlantic for one month before orders transferred DesDiv 38 to the Battle Fleet. Based at San Diego from 1 April 1928 until the spring of 1929, Tracy served on occasion as plane guard destroyer with Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3) before preparing at Mare Island Navy Yard, in June and July 1929, for duty in the Far East.
DesDiv 38 relieved DesDiv 45 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and then proceeded to Japan for a goodwill visit, arriving at Yokohama on 26 August 1929.
In accordance with the Asiatic Fleet's routine, Tracy alternated duty in China ports in the summer with operations in the Philippines during the winter. The months in between were spent in cruises along the Chinese coast, engaged in "showing the flag" and exercises. During the fall of 1930, after a cruise to the Netherlands East Indies, she was fitted out for extended independent duties as station ship, Chefoo, China.
Japan's seizure of Manchuria in September 1931 and the fighting between Japanese and Chinese forces around Shanghai in February 1932 enlivened the Asiatic Fleet's duty at this juncture, but Tracy's activities were limited to keeping n watchful eye on American interests. Later in the year, the destroyer received orders assigning her once again to the Battle Force, and she left the Asiatic Fleet for the last time.
Tracy took part in maneuvers and exercises in the Pacific and off the west coast before being reclassified as n destroyer-minelayer and redesignated DM-19 on 30 June 1937. Tracy was then assigned to Mine Division 1 and operated out of Pearl Harbor with the Battle Force.
In late 1941, her division entered the navy yard at Pearl Harbor for overhaul. On 7 December 1941, Tracy lay at berth 15 of the yard with her machinery, boilers, and guns dismantled. Most of her complement were living in the receiving barracks ashore, and only a skeleton crew was on board. As Japanese planes swept overhead, Tracy's crew boarded their ship and sought to find ways to fight back.
Some sailors went to Cummings (DD-376) and helped to man her guns, others boarded Pennsylvania (BB-38) and assisted in fighting the battleship's antiaircraft batteries. Meanwhile, back on board Tracy, the remaining destroyermen, after assembling three .30-caliber Lewis guns and two .50-caliber Brownings, did their best to drive off the attackers. When the raid ended, a party of 10 men from the destroyer minesweeper assisted in fighting fires raging on board stricken Calif ornia ( BB-44).
Following the interrupted overhaul at the navy yard, Tracy went to sea to commence wartime operations. On 31 March 1942, she assisted in laying a minefield near French Frigate Shoals before returning to Pearl Harbor and conducting local operations. She then headed for Suva, in the Fiji Islands, on 23 July Seven days later, in company with Breese (DM-18j and Gamble (DM-15), Tracy arrived at Suva before proceeding from there to Espiritu Santo.
At bases in the Southwest Pacific, American forces prepared for their first amphibious thrust of the war, aimed at the Solomon Islands. Tracy, in Task Force (TF) 62, arrived off the beaches of Guadalcanal on 7 August, as the guns of American cruisers and destroyers awoke the Japanese to a thundering reveille. She took part in the bitterly fought campaign for the islands in the Solomons, engaged in the unglamorous but vital tasks of escort duty and antisubmarine patrol. She operated between Espiritu Santo and the battle zones through the summer and fall of 1942 before returning to Pearl Harbor in December for a brief refit. On 18 December. she set out for New Caledonia, escorting a west-bound convoy, and arrived with her charges at Noumea on 2 January 1943.
Designated a unit in TF 66, she operated out of Noumea and Nandi, on occasion engaged in laying minefields around the American and Allied bases. She also delivered much-needed gasoline to Henderson Field, on Guadalcanal, for the aircraft of the "Cactus Air Force," whose planes carried the battle to the enemy from the air.
By late January 1943, the Japanese had decided to abandon Guadalcanal and had begun to evacuate as many men as could be plucked from the steamy island and ferried through the gauntlet of American sea and air power. Increased enemy surface activity with corresponding air cover tipped off the Americans that major Japanese troop movements were afoot, and orders went out to try to derail the "Tokyo Express" by any means possible-mines, PT-boats, and air strikes.
On 1 February 1943, a large force of Japanese destroyers was sighted heading for "Ironbottom Sound." Tracy, as task group leader, led Montgomery (DM-17) and Prshle (DM-20) in laying a field of 300 mines between Doma Reef and Cape Esperance. That night, Japanese destroyer Makig?'mo struck one of these mines and was damaged so badly that she was scuttled. Nevertheless, the Japanese managed to extricate the remnants of their garrison from Guadalcanal.
Following this action, Tracy rejoined TF 62 for escort duty and touched at Noumea, Tulagi, and Efate before heading for Hawaii on 19 April. She reached Pearl Harbor on 1 May and, 11 days later, headed toward San Francisco for a much needed overhaul at Mare Island.
After refitting, Trary departed San Francisco on 22 May and spent the next few months engaed in "milk runs"—convoys between the Hawaiian islands and the west coast. On 10 August, she departed Pearl Harbor and steamed to Samoa and thence set her course toward Espiritu Santo and the South Pacific.
At the end of November 1943, Tracy led a division of minelayers in placing an offensive minefield near Bougainville in preparations for the landings there.
Next, operating out of Noumea for the remainder of 1943, Tracy called at Funafuti, Espiritu Santo, and Guadalcanal through December. On 1 January 1944 she steamed in convoy with President Jackson (AP-37) President Haves (AP-39), President Adame (AP-38), Titania (AK-65), and Alhena (AK-26) to the Fiji Islands, arriving at Nandi on 5 January.
Underway again the following day, Tracp escorted another convoy to Guadalcanal, conducting gunnery exercises en route, and arrived on the 10th. Later in the month, she departed Efate, New Hebrides, bound for New Caledonia in company with President Haves. During the passage, they fought through a storm before arriving at Noumea on the 19th. Upon the completion of refueling there, she proceeded to Wellington, New Zealand. For the remainder of January and continuing into May, she threaded her way among the Pacific Island, escorting convoys and carrying out exercises en route.
On 3 June, she arrived in San Francisco to commence overhaul at Hunters Point. Upon conclusion of the yard work, Tracy underwent refresher training off the west coast, ranging as far north as Seattle and Bremerton, Wash. On 31 August, she departed Seattle in company with SS Cushman K. Davis bound for Oahu, and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 September.
After a navy yard availability from 12 to 24 September, she got underway on the 29th, bound for the Marshalls in company with Convoy BD-HOT. Arriving at Eniwetok on 8 October, she commenced further convoy runs between Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, and Pearl Harbor and San Francisco; arriving back on the west coast on 6 November 1944. Following a brief layover in San Diego, Tracys bow headed west toward Honolulu, before escorting another eastbound convoy back to San Francisco.
With Iwo Jima secured, the Navy then turned its attention to Okinawa, with Tracy taking part in this action as well, serving as buoy-laying and mine disposal vessel, arriving off that island on 1 April 1946. While in support of the Okinawa invasion, she engaged in antisubmarine and antismall boat patrols off the Fleet anchorages. While operating in this vital screening duty, she rescued survivors from LCI(G)~2 which had been hit by a Japanese suicide motorboat. In a period of heavy air activities, when many a ship writhed in agony after being struck by the kamikaze, Tracy bore a charmed life, emerging from the arduous Okinawa campaign unscathed. She departed for Ulithi on 16 April and arrived on 22 April at the sprawling atoll to commence a period of upkeep and availability which lasted until 2 May. Continuing operations in the western Pacific, she took part in convoy escort duties through July, when she escorted an LST convoy from Okinawa to Leyte, anchoring in San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I., on 3 July. From 5 to 17 July, she underwent tender availability before entering floating drydock ARD-2 for hull repairs.
Under the operational control of Minecraft, Pacific Fleet, she anchored at San Pedro Bay through the middle of August. On 10 August, her radio picked up an unofficial Japanese broadcast which announced that Japan had agreed to accept unconditional surrender terms. Traug's log noted: "Much blowing of whistles and searchlight displays by Fleet units present."
On 15 August, she got underway as part of the screen for TU 72.5.38, and, while en route to Okinawa she received word to cease all offensive activities. Entering Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on 20 August, she lay at anchor for five days before transferring Mark VI buoys from Weehawken (CM-12) to various other fast minesweepers gathering to commence the job of sweeping up the mines sown during the war.
The end of the war in the Pacific in August marked only the beginning of Tracy's participation in the gigantic minesweeping efforts in Japanese home waters. From Buckner Bay, the ship proceeded to Japan and she arrived in Nagasaki Wan on 11 September one of the first Allied ships to enter that expanse of water. She served as buoy-laying and mine-disposal vessel during the minesweeping operations which cleared the sea lanes outside of that key seaport and continued these duties until late in October, when she sailed for home.
Her career as a fighting ship in the United States Navy all but over, Tracy pointed her bow towards home on 25 October and called briefly at Buckner Bay en route to Pearl Harbor. Arriving at the Hawaiian base in mid-November, she departed there on the 18th, bound —via San Diego, Calif., and Salina Cruz, Mexico-for the Panama Canal. She arrived at New York in December 1945 and was decommissioned on 19 January 1946. Struck from the Navy list on 7 February 1946, she was sold to the Northern Metals Company of Philadelphia, Pa., and scrapped later in the year.
Tracy received seven battle stars for her World War II service.
Tracy DD- 214 - History
eVetRecs: Request Copies of Military Personnel Records
Info - you can now access your DD-214 on-line. Please pass this information on to retired military personnel you may know.
The National Personnel Records Center has provided the following website for veterans to access their DD-214 online:
This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. Please see the details below.
The National Personnel Records Center is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.
Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180 which can be downloaded from the online web site.
The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center's mailroom processing time.
Also, because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized.
Veterans and next of kin may access this application at:
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What is a DD214?
The Defense Department issues to each veteran a DD-214, identifying the veteran's condition of discharge - honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable or bad conduct. You can find a sample DD-214 which can help you determine if a veteran served in armed combat HERE. Before January 1, 1950, several similar forms were used by the military services, including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and the NAVCG 553.
Want to know the legal nitty gritty? We've provided the complete DoD Instruction NUMBER 1336.1 concernng Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214/5 Series) HERE (4.5 mb). We've also provided:
- Air Force Regulation 36-3202 Guidance Memorandum for the Preparatuion of Separation Documents HERE (494 k)
- Army Regulation 635-8 concerning the preparation and distribution of separation documents HERE (449 k)
- the Marine Corps Separation and Retirement Manual, MARCORSEPMANHERE (1.54 mb)
- the Naval Military Personnel Manual NAVPERS 15560DHERE (19.79 mb)
- and you can access the National Guard's process for their issuance of their discharge certificates (NGB Form 22) HERE (874 k).
While the NPRC does not issue service medals directly, it can forward a request to the proper military service department, depending on the case. All other requests for medals should be directed to the branch of service.
There is no cost associated with obtaining a replacement meda l for the veteran . Next of kin may be subject to a fee dependent upon the branch of service and whether the request involves an archival record.
Records burnt from the 1973 fire. (Photo via National Archives)
Service members are given the option of accepting the edited, unedited or both copies upon separation. The National Personnel Records Center is the government agency tasked with replacing lost and destroyed DD Form 214s upon request from a veteran. Requested copies are mailed from the Military Personnel Records Center.
The most important copy of the DD 214 for the individual is the "Member 4" copy. It is the standard form needed to obtain benefits such as GI Bill or government employment priority.
The "Service 2" copy contains information as to the nature and type of discharge, and the re-enlistment code. This code is used to determine whether or not the service member can go back into the service. For unemployment benefits, veterans affairs benefits, as well as for several other services, the "Member's Copy 4" is usually needed. An identical copy to the "Service 2", the "Member 4", is provided directly to the service member upon release from active duty. The military will not provide a replacement "Member's Copy 4" (it is the service member's personal copy) and any request for a replacement is always honored by providing a "Service 2" copy. Other versions of the DD Form 214 include the "Member 1" (deleted version), "Service 7 & 8" (carbon copies of the "Service 2"), "Veterans Affairs 3" (sent directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs), and "Department of Labor 5" (provided directly to the United States Department of Labor). Most veterans who separated from their service generally pre-1992 can obtain their DD 214 from the National Personnel Records Center, ("NPRC"). The NPRC has two distinct tracks available to obtain records for veterans. The first is for the veteran to submit a Department of Defense Standard Form 180 ("SF180") to the facility via mail or fax. The second is to appear in-person at the facility. The National Archives also maintains a list of independent researchers who will physically visit the St. Louis facility to request records in person. Ώ]
How Do I Get my DD Form 214?
The DD Form 214 is necessary for obtaining VA benefits, applying for new jobs, getting subsidized loans, enrolling in Veterans organizations, etc. The certificate is given out to each soldier on the day of discharge. A DD Form 215 can be used to correct any mistakes found on the certificate.
The process of replacing a lost or stolen certificate by the veteran, authorized representative, or next-of-kin takes three to four weeks.
- The simplest to request a copy of any of your military records is to visit the National Archives Website and file an online application. Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, is used to facilitate the process both when filing digitally and sending requests by mail.
- Mail or fax a filled-out Standard Form 180 to the National Personnel Records Center. The official address of the organization is 9700 Page Avenue St. Louis, MO 63132-5100, Fax: (314) 801-9049. Contact a Veterans Service Organization, the DoD, National Personnel Records Center, Federal Information Centers, or Veteran Administration Offices for further information and assistance.
- If you experience any difficulties with obtaining the DD Form 214 by yourself, you can always hire a third-party representative that will assist you with filing the required paperwork.
To speed up the acquisition process and avoid any unnecessary delays make sure that all the required information is provided in full and all forms are signed and dated properly. Your application will be reviewed over the course of ten workdays. If requesting older records and forms that may have been lost to the 1973 fire at NPRC, be prepared to wait 6 months or longer.
Trace your military ancestors! This eBook contains great strategies for finding your ancestors who served in the military, including how to research Civil War ancestors, find military service records and interpret draft registration cards.
Here, you’ll find information on why the government issued this form. For example, the class of discharge or separation indicates the circumstances surrounding the person’s discharge: Honorable, General, Bad Conduct (i.e., court-martial) or Dishonorable (for an offense such as rape or murder). Note that those Honorably Discharged or receiving a General discharge typically transferred to that service branch’s reserves. The DD Form 217AF indicates the person is being discharged from the Air Force.
Veterans History Project
This week, I wanted to cover a few ways that people across the nation are paying their respects to those who serve. Yesterday, I talked about a few ways colleges and universities paid their respects. Today, I want to talk about a preservation project run by the Library of Congress (LOC) called the Veterans History Project.
Started via Congressional legislation in 2000 and partially funded through a donation by AARP, the project collects personal accounts – videos, memoirs, diaries, letters, photos, and other memorabilia – of veterans and U.S. civilians who directly supported war efforts, such as USO workers, to preserve them for future generations. Stories from World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, and Iraq and Afghanistan are being sought and will be available to researchers and other visitors to the LOC.
If you’d like to donate something, either your own or of a veteran you know or both, the website has a “kit” that can be downloaded to walk you through the process. The kit contains 16 pages with items such as a release form and a photography log. It also provides detailed information on how to prepare for and conduct an interview, what is and isn’t accepted, formats, and FAQs.
Once a veteran’s information has been submitted, they will be given their own page on the LOC Veterans History Project website where their basic bio information (essentially the details collected on the veteran’s release form) will be displayed. The LOC intends to add all the audio or video interviews to the individual pages but, currently, only about 10% of the entries have had their accompanying videos and documentation uploaded. To locate an individual veteran’s page, you can search the database by veteran’s name, conflict/era, branch of service, POW status, unit, and other options.
I looked through the online documents of Vietnam Veteran and draftee Dennis Keith Martin, KIA 11 July 1970. Reading his letters, the day to day of the war, his hopes and dreams, his matter-of-fact recounting of daily attacks and walking around in the dark after his CO got them lost, makes the war, which ended before I was born, feel so much more tangible and provides an insight that all the books I’ve read and History Channel specials I’ve seen could not.
– All documents and photos sent to the Library of Congress must be originals and will not be returned to the sender.
– All documents must be sent via commercial carrier.
– Since the items will be kept in a library, not a museum, bulky items, like medals or helmets, will not be accepted. Sending such items could result in everything you send being returned or, worst case, destroyed.
– Documents to be included in the collection, such as a DD-214, should have the social security number and any other personal details, such as address, removed before submission. (The veteran’s release form and the personal information revealed on that form will not be made public.)
– Processing time between receipt of the documents and the veteran’s information being posted online is approximately 6-8 months.
Before beginning his rap career in the early 1980s, Ice-T spent four years in the United States Army, after which he returned to Los Angeles and took up a life as a self-styled hustler. Crime paid for a time, allowing Ice-T to take impromptu trips to the Bahamas and collect over 350 pairs of sneakers, but soon his addiction to the high life began to fade. In an interview, Ice-T recalled his breaking point: "I had a friend who I looked up to, &aposcause he made more money than me. And he said, &aposYo, Ice, you got a chance. Do that rap thing.&apos And that word &aposchance&apos messed up my mind. And I just gave up hustling completely."
Because every hip-hop artist needs a nom de guerre, "Ice-T" came into being with help from author Robert Maupin Beck III, whose pen name "Iceberg Slim" became Tracy Marrow&aposs inspiration. After spending a few years honing his craft by creating music for videos and releasing various recordings, Ice-T signed with Sire Records in 1987. Later that year, he released Rhyme Pays, his debut album, which eventually went gold. His recording of the theme song for Dennis Hopper&aposs gang-themed movie Colors (1987) also garnered the new artist plenty of attention. The movie explored life in the Los Angeles projects and marked the beginning of Ice-T&aposs controversial depictions of South Central in his artistic work. When the Black community pushed back against Colors&apos cultural critique, Ice-T said, "People should give Dennis Hopper credit—he deglamorized the situation. He just showed the street gangsters. He didn&apost show the kids wearing their diamonds and cruising in their Ferraris."
Ice-T released two more albums in the late 1980s, confirming his status as one of West Coast rap&aposs most promising stars. His album O.G. Original Gangster (1991) was later cited as one of the key factors in developing the genre of gangster rap. Mixing social commentary with inflammatory lyrics, the rapper pushed musical boundaries by recording a heavy metal track with the band Body Count. He would later tour with the band and play at the rock-oriented Lollapalooza festival.
In 1992, Ice-T again collaborated with Body Count on their self-titled debut album, a record that included the most controversial song of Ice-T&aposs career: "Cop Killer." This song quickly drew widespread condemnation for inciting violence against police officers. The artists claimed that the song was simply intended as a commentary on the police brutality and racism felt by the Black community in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, the contentious track led to a firestorm of controversy, prompting Time Warner to block the release of Home Invasion, Ice-T&aposs next solo album. The artist soon broke with Sire/Warner Bros. Records, releasing his work for the remainder of the 1990s through his own Rhyme Syndicate and Priority Records. The next eight years would yield a number of Billboard hits, several groundbreaking singles, and further collaboration with heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Slayer.
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