Letter from U.S. Navy Memorial

Dear Ms. Sautter,

On behalf of the U.S. Navy Memorial I would like to thank you for the ship’s bell from the destroyer USS Murphy (DD-603) that you delivered to our Curator Jarrett Smith on November 21, 2018.  The bell is nicely mounted for display with plaques covering 25 ship reunions from 1988 through 2012.  This is a special artifact from a World War II era destroyer that, in addition to seeing much action and suffering serious losses in a collision, played a major supporting role in Mideast diplomacy.

The USS Murphy supported most of the major amphibious operations in Europe beginning with the invasion of North Africa late in 1942 through that of southern France in August 1944.  After her participation in the invasion of Sicily she was seriously damaged in a collision while doing escort duty.  In that collision she lost her bow (including her first ship’s bell) and a number of crew.  She was restored to service in time to support the Normandy invasion.

In 1944 she transported Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, and his extensive entourage to his meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Egypt.  With all this history you can see why we are proud to have her bell.

If you have any information on the history of this bell from the time the ship was decommissioned in 1946 until the first 1988 reunion I would be very interested.

Thanks again for this generous donation and for your interest and support.


Robert C. Smith


United States Navy Memorial

701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20004-2608

Desk: (202) 380.0734

Main: (202) 737.2300

The mission of the United States Navy Memorial is to Honor, Recognize and Celebrate the men and women of the Sea Services, past, present and future; and to Inform the public about their service. To learn more, visit us online at navymemorial.org


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