USS James E. Kyes (DD-787) Association

Appeal to USS James E. Kyes Shipmates:
Donations are appreciated.

The Mission of the USS James E. Kyes Association

If you were aboard the Kyes during the years of 1966-1969,
you may be eligible for VA benefits due to exposure to Agent Orange

If you served aboard the USS James E. Kyes and wish to know
which campaign medals you are entitled to, read page 252 of the

Click here to view info on how to request your medals from the Navy Department.

This site is intended to serve all shipmates who ever served aboard the USS James E. Kyes.
If you have Photos, Stories or other information you would like to share with your Kyes shipmates,
and want to help to document the history of this great ship, please contact us.
Our goal is to constantly improve this site.

Dear Mr. Hanks,

I watched the movie "Greyhound" last night with my daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter
and grandson-in-law. I asked for this movie night with my family because I wanted to
share with them that I had a small connection to that story.

I served 3 years aboard the USS James E. Kyes (DD-787). It was a Gearing class destroyer
named after a war hero, Commander James Ellsworth Kyes, who was posthumously awarded the
Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism" during action against German submarines in the
North Atlantic on 23 December, 1943. For all the years I served aboard the ship that
was named after Commander Kyes, I never knew his story. Back in the 60's, there was no
internet and such information was not readily available to anyone. It wasn't until 50 years
later, when I became the secretary and historian of the USS James E. Kyes Association, that
I started to learn a little more about this extraordinary man and about the extraordinary
times in which he served in the U.S. Navy.

The Battle of the Atlantic was a theater of war that is very seldom captured in popular books
and movies, so my self-imposed historical education opened up my mind and imagination when I
learned that over 3500 merchant ships were sunk in the Atlantic during WW2 by German U-boats.
In all the time I spent in the U.S. Navy, I did not know that. I knew a lot about the Pacific
war, but nothing about the Atlantic war. But even with this new knowledge, I still did not have
sufficient imagination to realize the story of how that conflict played out, until last night
when I watched the movie "Greyhound".

I felt that you, writer of the screenplay, may have heard the story of Commander Kyes, because
you seemed to be playing a man with that same kind of character. The fact that your character
was so disturbed over the death of one of the mess boys during the battle could have been an
homage to the memory of Commander Kyes.

This is from the James E. Kyes Wikipedia page:

As he prepared to leave Leary, he checked to see that none of his men remained on board
and spied a kitchen mess boy whose life jacket was torn and useless. Comdr. Kyes removed his
own jacket and handed it to the boy. He then calmly climbed over the side and was swallowed up
by the waters of the cold Atlantic, gallantly sacrificing his own life to protect a young member
of his crew.

Thank you for your wonderful movie and contribution to the education of our shipmates.

Roger Donnay
President, USS James E. Kyes Association

This piece of shrapnel started its journey as a 105 mm shell created in Russia, shipped by rail through China to
North Korea, put in a 105 mm gun in North Korea, propelled through the air across Wonsan Harbor where it hit the
USS James E. Kyes on April 19, 1953 wounding 9 Kyes shipmates. Shell hit on the Starboard side, main deck aft, near
Mount 53. It later found its way back to the U.S. where it was in the possession of a wounded shipmate for many years.
It was given to Don Webb who placed it in the U.S. Mail and sent it to Roger Donnay in Boise, Idaho.
Its next journey will be travelling by car to Branson, Missouri in October, 2019.
"Of all the tools the Navy will employ to control the seas in any future war ... the destroyer will be sure to be there.
Its appearance may be altered and it may even be called another name, but no type
-- not even the carrier or the submarine -- has such an assured place in future navies."
- Adm. C.W. Nimitz, 1962
This website is dedicated to American Veterans and is not associated with loyalty to any
political party. We proved that in San Diego this year when we all gathered together to
honor each other's service and to demonstrate how important it is that we serve each other
and our country with the values we learned while serving in the United States Navy.

It is time that more veterans served in our government.

It's official. DD-214s are now online. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided
the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214. or try

The Sailor's Creed:

I am a United States sailor.

I will support and defend the constitution of the United States
of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone
before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage
and Commitment.

I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.


I had the good fortune to spend 4 days aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, DD-850
in May, 2014. There is no destroyer anywhere in the world that so closely resembles
the USS James E. Kyes. If your memory fails you after all these years about what it
was like to live aboard the Kyes, then here is an opportunity like no other. I, and
70 other volunteers lived aboard DD-850 and ate 3 meals a day in the mess deck.
I helped to paint the torpedo deck and reminisced about my Navy days with sailors
who served aboard ships in WW-11, Korea, Vietnam and are even serving today aboard
the USS Zumwalt. Some of the volunteers have been doing this since 1974.

I brought my camera and my GoPro, so I now have lots of videos and pics to show
at the next Kyes reunion. I hope to do this again next year and I highly recommend
that other Kyes shipmates join me in this adventure.

All Hands Magazine sent a film crew and wrote a story about this ship and the
dedication of U.S. Navy Destroyer Veterans in trying to preserve this heritage.

Roger Donnay - Secretary, USS James E. Kyes Association
This Website is created by Roger Donnay