Built and Commissioned 3/1/1945
Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTFS
Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - AVOCADO
Completed December 1960
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
USS Hugh Purvis (DD-709),
an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, is currently the only ship of the
United States Navy to be named for Hugh Purvis, a marine who served
from 1869 to 1884 and was awarded the Medal of Honor. The ship was
launched by Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, New
Jersey, 17 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Mary Alice Purvis, widow of
Corporal Purvis; and commissioned 1 March 1945, Commander B. L.
Gurnette in command.
Following shakedown training in the Caribbean
Sea, Hugh Purvis transited the Panama Canal to take part in training
exercises in Hawaiian waters after the close of World War II, returning
to Casco Bay, Maine, 16 April 1946. After a long overhaul at New York
she trained in the Caribbean and arrived her new home port at Newport,
Rhode Island on 14 December 1946. Hugh Purvis sailed for her first
European cruise 2 February 1947 and after exercises with allied ships
in the north Atlantic, formed a part of the United State's official
party at the burial of King Christian X of Denmark in April. The ship
returned to Newport 14 August and took part in antisubmarine exercises
off the New England coast the balance of the year.
Hugh Purvis departed Newport for her first cruise with the
U.S. 6th Fleet 13 September 1948. For the next 5 months she took part
in the fleet's vital work of peacekeeping. Returning to Newport 10
February 1949, she operated from that port until sailing 27 June for
New Orleans. Hugh Purvis made reserve training cruises out of the gulf
port until returning to Newport and regular fleet duties 10 December
As the demands on the Navy increased during the Korean
Conflict, Hugh Purvis continued intensive readiness training. She made
another Mediterranean Sea cruise March to October 1951, and took part
in another giant NATO cruise in August 1952. Another 6th Fleet cruise
was completed in July 1953 after which the veteran ship embarked
midshipmen for a Caribbean training cruise. She participated in
Operation Springboard in the Caribbean before returning to Newport 23
Hugh Purvis spent 1954 on training operations the western
Atlantic, but sailed 5 January 1955 for another important deployment
with the 6th Fleet. She returned 26 May to join a hunter-killer group
in antisubmarine exercises until July 1956. On 2 July she sailed again
for duty in the troubled Mediterranean, joining other 6th Fleet units
in that ancient center of civilization. During this period, American
power afloat did much to dampen the Suez Crisis and to discourage
foreign interference in this vital area. While in the Persian Gulf in
October 1956, Hugh Purvis acted as an escort vessel during evacuation
of refugees from Haifa, Israel, and the removal of United Nations Truce
Team officials from Gaza, Egypt.
During the summer of 1957, the destroyer took part in
another midshipman training cruise to Chile and the Panama Canal Zone,
and operated with NATO units in the north Atlantic. In early 1958 she
trained in the Caribbean, sailing 12 June for visits to NATO countries
in northern Europe. It was during this crucial period that the 6th
Fleet was proving its peacekeeping power in the Lebanon Crisis, and was
successful in preventing a leftist revolt.
After her return from Europe in August 1958 she began 16
months of training and experimental work with the Destroyer Development
Group designed to increase her fighting capacity for the modern navy.
In March 1960 she entered Boston Naval Shipyard to begin a Fleet
Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul, which included
extensive refitting and the installation of a helicopter landing deck
and hangar aft. Emerging with a greatly increased life span, the ship
took part in antisubmarine exercises in January 1961, including the use
of the new DASH antisubmarine drone helicopter. Hugh Purvis then sailed
8 March for her sixth deployment to the Mediterranean. During this
cruise the fleet stood by for any eventuality during a deepening of the
Berlin Crisis. The ship returned to Newport 4 October 1961.
In January 1962, as the dawning space age increased
America's need for control of the sea, Hugh Purvis, while attached to
Destroyer Development Group Two, operated in the Atlantic recovery
area, aiding in the historic recovery of Col. John Glenn's Project
Mercury space capsule. Sonar exercises occupied her until late October,
when the introduction of offensive missiles into Cuba precipitated
another Cold War crisis. Hugh Purvis joined the quarantine line off
Cuba, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She returned to Newport 20
December 1962 and throughout the next year took part in antisubmarine
exercises with antisubmarine warfare (ASW) carriers and helicopters in
The year 1964 found her preparing for her annual operational
readiness inspection and in February of that year she entered the
Boston Naval Shipyard for a regular overhaul. After overhaul and a new
radar dome mounted on a 30-foot mast she began evaluation of a
ASW sensor. On 18 January 1965 she sailed from Newport to become an
important part of Operation "Springboard". At the completion of
competitive year 1965, Hugh Purvis was awarded two Cruiser Destroyer
Force, Atlantic Fleet, departmental excellence awards in operations and
weaponry. During the latter part of 1965 Hugh Purvis was adapted for a
new conformed planar array sonar at the Boston Naval Shipyard.
Ready for action 21 January 1966 Hugh Purvis operated along
the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean through most of the year. On 6
March she rescued the fishing boat Good Will II and her crew of five.
destroyer sailed for the Mediterranean 29 November, and transited the
Straits of Gibraltar 7 December to join the 6th Fleet. She operated in
the eastern Mediterranean into 1967.
Hugh Purvis underwent a regular overhaul period in early
1968. Following this, she trained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in
preparation for a Western Pacific deployment (WestPac). She departed on
deployment in August, arriving on station off Vietnam in support of
carrier and gunfire support operations. During this time, she was
responsible for salvage and recovery of USS Safeguard (ARS-25). For her
service during this deployment, she was awarded the Meritorious Unit
Commendation and Combat Action Ribbon.
Following this deployment, Hugh Purvis transferred from the
Destroyer Development Group to Destroyer Division 102. In the summer of
1969, she participated in training exercises in the Caribbean and
served as a training ship for the destroyer school. In November, she
participated in searching and rescue operations for the SS Koa. In 1970
she once again trained at Guantanamo Bay in anticipation of her final
deployment to the Mediterranean.
The Hugh Purvis was decommissioned 15 June 1972. She would
then be sold to Turkey 1 July 1972, and renamed TCG Zafer (F 253). She
served the Turkish navy until 1993, when the ship was returned to the
United States. In 1994 the ship was broken up for scrap.
United States of America and Turkey - Exchange of notes constituting an
agreement concerning the loan of the destroyer USS Hugh Purvis
(DD-709). Ankara, 1 July 1972"
was sent to the us in December, 2011, by an unknown source. The
envelope return address was covered over by a U.S Post Office bar code.
If anyone can shed light on this, let us know using the contact link at
the bottom of this page. Here is the link to the document...
of America and Turkey - Exchange of notes...
OTHER LINKS for Hugh Purvis DD709 Information...
NOTES from the Webmaster...
information presented above is from Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia. The right to
reproduce is expressly granted, as all information in the encyclopedia
is in the public domain. I present it here as it is specific to our
Someone did a fine job with this write-up and I see no reason to change
If you have any information that may shed further light on the Hugh
Purvis history, please forward it to me via the webmaster link at the
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eventually find its way to this page.
this space for more on the history of the "Hugh Purvis -