USS Walker
DD-517 (Fletcher class)

contributed by the family of Matthew John 'Pierre' Lavelle
My father-in-law served on the Walker and our family found this photo after he passed away. We would like to share it with other men who may have served on her. My father was also in the Navy during WWII, serving on the USS Hunt DD 674, also a Fletcher Class Destroyer. He is very active with his reunion group, so I thought maybe my father-in-law might have wanted to share this with you.

Builder:        Bath Iron Works, Bath Me.
Laid Down:      August 31, 1942
Launched:       January 31, 1943
Commissioned:   April 3, 1943
Decommissioned: May 31, 1946
Fate:           To Italy 07/02/69; renamed Fante.
Fate            Stricken and broken up for scrap 
                in 1977. 

We are seeking information on the USS Walker and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.

The E-mail:



My name is Russ Wilson. I served aboard Walker from Feb.' 69 until July 2 , ' 69 after the decommissioning ceremonys' that day. Walker and Taylor (DD 468) that day were turned over to the Italian navy. I have the litature of the decommissioning and crew roster of the last west-pac cruise. I provided this info to the original web master of the walker several years ago , but will fax copies of what i have to you , if wanted.

Russ Wilson,

Subject: Link Request
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003
From: Paul Decker


You have created a wonderful web site, dedicated to US Sailors everywhere and the spirit of our Proud Country. My Dad served on the USS Walker 517, 1943-1945. This evening I added his name and rank to your web site. The USS Walker has an incredible website at many photos, stories and a new book published relating to the WWII exploits of the ship. I do not have the authority to grant you link rights, however if you email the web master, I believe they may accommodate you. I have numerous photos of the ship and crew (1943-1945), if you would like, I can email them to you (jpeg files). Interesting to note; when I was an 19 year old infantry soldier in Vietnam, the USS Walker provided artillery support. Life seems to be full of irony. You can visit our 7th Cavalry (Vietnam) web site at

Be that as it may, I am thankful that you have created this historical and comprehensive web site of the US Navy. Most unfortunately, Dad passed in 1985 and I know he would have been proud of what you have accomplished. Congratulations on a job well done!!!

Paul Decker, 11B (infantry)
Bravo Company
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Vietnam 1968-1969

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