U.S.S. Lowry (DD-770) is named in honor of Commodore Reigert B. LOWRY, U.S. Navy, a naval hero of the civil war. She is the first ship of the fleet to bear the name. LOWRY was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company of San Pedro, California. Her keel was laid on 1 August 1943 and she was launched on 6 February 1944 under the sponsorship of Miss Ann Lowry, great- granddaughter of the Commodore. Commissioned on 23 July 1944, LOWRY entered the war formally on the morning of 21 December 1944 when she repelled enemy dive bombers from their attack on a convoy enroute to Mindoro in the Philippine Islands. The ensuing months provided LOWRY with much action against the enemy ashore, at sea and in the air. On one occasion, when she was a screening ship for the battleship NEW MEXICO suicide planes pressed attacts against the force. One of the aircraft closed on LOWRY'S port beam and dived directly for a point between the stacks. LOWRY'S gunners sheared off the enemy's right wing at 100 yards and he corkscrewed about 25 feet above the ship, crashing some 25 yards off to starboard. The months following saw LOWRY providing gunfire support and screening services for Vice Admiral MITCHER's famousTask Force 58 as they launched their strikes in the Tokyo area. Then on 5 May 1945, two enemy planes split their attack on LOWRY and another destroyer close by. One of the planes clipped it's wing on the after gun mount and exploded in the air 50 feet from the ship. On 28 May while on anti-air picket duty, she splashed two enemy planes, assisted in the destruction of another and damaged another which gained altitude and crashed into her consort destroyer. For the period 30 April to 22 June 1945 LOWRY and her crew were awarded the coveted Navy Unit Commendation. After World War II, LOWRY participated in the Atomic Bomb tests at Bikini. In May of 1947, while enroute to Sydney, Australia, an interesting moment occurred when she crossed simultaneously the International Dateline (180th meridian) and the equator. Crew members were initiated into the Royal Order of the " Golden Shellbacks."
LOWRY was placed out of commission in reserve on 30 June 1947 and reactivated on 27 December 1950 for service in the Atlantic Fleet. However, on 22 January 1952 she was enroute to the Pacific Fleet to assist SEVENTH Fleet units in support of the Korean Conflict. During this tour she performed pilot rescue duties and gunfire support duties where she fired on enemy troop concentrations and served as watercraft blockade. On 19 May 1952 while anchored off the coast of Korea, she came under fire from three communist coastal gun batteries. LOWRY got underway in thirty seconds and silenced the enemy guns while weighing anchor. LOWRY returned to Norfolk in August 1952 but was back in the Pacific Fleet in early 1954. From August 1954 until April 1958 she participated in various training operationsin the Atlantic Fleet. During the period 12 May 1960 to 14 January 1961, LOWRY underwent the Navy's Fleet Rehabilitation and Moderization Overhaul, Mark II. In the fall of 1962, she participated in the naval blockade of Cuba. On 9 April 1968 LOWRY sailed from Norfolk, enroute to the Pacific to participate in the third conflict there in her 24 year history. She served there as gunfire support ship for U.S. and Allied Troops in Vietnam, as screening vessel for attack aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin and as an interdiction ship north of the demilitarized zone to prevent the trans-shipment of supplies and munitions from North Vietnam to the Viet Cong forces in the South. On 27 November 1968, LOWRY returned to homeport in Norfolk, Virginia.