The United States Ship Abbot (Navy hull number DD 629) served between 1943 and 1974, including periods in mothballs. It was a Fletcher-class destroyer, designed in the early 1940s to escort large ships — most often carriers and battleships — and attack shore targets, submarines and smaller vessels. Destroyers also served as general patrol ships, running errands for the fleet such as rescuing downed aircrew and policing backwater areas.
Abbot’s nickname, Dabbler, originated as it dabbled around the Pacific performing the mundane tasks that keep fleets moving.
Abbot lost three crewmen during World War II and earned eight battle stars. In the 1950s Abbot patrolled, among other places, the Mediterranean and Pacific. Its crew served in both active duty and reserve rolls in three different decades, and its missions included the blockade of Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis and the Project Mercury recovery fleet for Alan Shepard’s 1961 space flight. In its later years, Abbot’s main mission was training. The bare facts are in the official history compiled by a U.S. Navy historian.
The web site
This site is dedicated to Abbot and its crew, including my father — Lt. Cmdr. Walter R. Baranger, U.S.N.R., who served on Abbot from its commissioning to August 1945.
The goal of this site is to archive material that directly pertains to Abbot, and to provide research tools to former Abbot crew and their families, and anyone interested in naval history.
I’m always happy to add material from Abbot’s cruises, whether from World War II or later periods. I’m especially looking for recollections, photos and printed materials from the post-war era. Please e-mail me with details. You may also post your suggestions to the guestbook.
Photos and documents submitted for posting to this site should be scanned at the highest practical resolution; it’s a lot easier to make files smaller than to make them larger. For documents, Adobe PDF files are fine.
Most material on this site is in the public domain, except some of the Cool Menus software and the collection of newspaper articles. Use what you like of the public domain material, but please credit the source and do not modify the metadata. Copyrighted material (noted with a © symbol) cannot be copied without permission of the copyright owner.
High-resolution versions of many photos are available upon request.
I also maintain a site for U.S.S. Worden (DD 352), a Farragut-class destroyer that was lost in early 1943.
Viewing the site
I’ve used XHTML and CSS2 throughout this site. This means that any Web browsers older than Netscape 7 or Internet Explorer 6 may have trouble viewing these pages. Firefox works well. AOL users will have trouble if they use the bundled browser; downloading a new version of Internet Explorer or another browser is the best solution.
In any case, your browser should be upgraded if you see anything (such as •) except a red dot here: •
Users who dial up with a modem may find this site slow. I’ve assumed that all users have fast Internet connections since this allows me to include videos and high-resolution photos. I don’t want to omit any material because of slow Internet connection speeds, and modem users will still find most download times acceptable. A DVD of high-resolution versions of the videos and many photos on this site is available.
We also have viewing hints for handicapped visitors.
Finally, Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view much of this site. For fastest rendering, the most recent version is highly recommended.