4 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2021 12:31 AM by Michelle Kinnucan

    History of the US Navy and the Palestine Patrol

    Michelle Kinnucan Wayfarer

      According to Adam B. Siegel*: "In early January 1948, the Sixth Fleet began patrol operations in the Eastern Mediterranean as the situation in Palestine deteriorated toward the end of the British Mandate period. On 15 May, Israel declared its independence and Arab forces invaded. On 18 June, following the death of the U.S. Consul General by sniper fire, a Marine force was detached from the USS Kearsage, then in Tripoli Harbor, to Jerusalem. The Chief of Naval Operations assigned three destroyers to the U.N. mediator for the Palestinian truce the next day. On 23 July, USS Putnam evacuated the U.N. team from Haifa and became the first USN ship to fly the U.N. flag."

       

      Unfortunately, Mr. Siegel does not cite a source for this information. From a variety of sources, including DANFS, I have determined that at least sixteen other US Navy ships participated in the "United Nations Palestine Patrol", as it is termed in DANFS.

       

      I am seeking documents, other than DANFS, concerning the US Navy participation in this operation, Task Force 167, and Marines assigned to Jerusalem. I am especially interested in records pertaining to the evacuation of UN personnel by USS Owens (DD-776) and USS Putnam (DD-757) in late July 1948 and records concerning an armed attack by Israeli forces on a small boat attached to USS MacKenzie (DD-836) on or about October 25, 1948. During all or part of the relevant operations some or all of the ships were under the direction of Admiral Richard L. Conolly, Commander-in-Chief of United States Naval Forces in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

       

      * CNA Research Memorandum 90-246, The Use of Naval Forces in the Post-War Era: U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines Corps Crisis Response Activity 1946-1990, by Adam B. Siegel, Feb 1991, p. 19.