A Brief History: The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. (DD-850) was a Gearing Class destroyer which was commissioned in December of 1945. Her namesake was a lieutenant in the American navy who died during a secret mission to destroy a V2 rocket facility when the special plane he was flying exploded. Joseph was also known for being the older brother to President John F. Kennedy.

During the Korean War the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was ordered to join Task Force 77 serving off the Korean coast. Once there she provided screening for American carriers and other ships bombarding enemy positions. Upon completion of combat duty she sailed westward to achieve a circumnavigation of the world.

She continued being present at important places in history. This came to a head in 1962, as the world held its breath when the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was deployed with other American naval ships to form a blockade of Cuba. This was in order to prevent the Soviet Union from deploying ballistic missile on the island. A Lebanese freighter attempted to break through the blockade. President John F. Kennedy ordered Commander Nicholas S. Mikhalevsky, of the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. to intercept and board the ship.

In 1966 the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. participated in the recovery efforts of Gemini 12. Upon the end of the Vietnam War in 1973 the government made the decision to retire some of its ships. The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was decommissioned, and then later taken off the Naval Register on July 1, 1973.  She was then relocated to Fall River, Massachusetts to be part of the Battleship Cove Museum. In 2010 she opened to the public as a memorial for Massachusetts citizens who gave their lives during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. is also the location of the Admiral Arleigh Burke Destroyermen’s Museum.

Haunted History: Visitors have claimed to hear an unexplainable tapping sound while walking through the ship.  Some visitors have also seen a sailor appear and disappear below decks.



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