Connolly DE-306 - History

Connolly DE-306 - History

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John Gaynor Connolly, born in Savannah, Gal, 28 April 1893, enlisted in the Navy 6 October 1913. He served in Russia, China, the Philippines, and in many ships. On 13 March 1926, he was commissioned Chief Pay Clerk. He was killed in action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, while serving in Oklahoma (BB-37).

(DE-306: dp. 1,140; 1. 289'5", b. 35'1", dr. 8'3", s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a, 3 3", 8 dsp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 det.; cl. Evarts)

Connolly operated in Hawaiian waters on training from 24 September 1944 until 22 January 1945, when she sailed for duty in the Iwo Jima operation from 19 February until 1 March. She patrolled off the island in hunter-killer groups to protect assault shipping Iying inshore and screened carriers providing direct support to the landings. After screening transports to Espiritu Santo, Connolly guarded the movement of a reinforcement convoy to Okinawa, arriving off the Hagushi beaches 9 April. She served on antisubmarine patrol off the embattled island until sailing for repairs at Ulith; 4 May.

Connolly arrived off Okinawa again in the screen of a resupply convoy 6 June 1945, then joined the screen of amphibious ships carrying out subsidiary landings in the Nansei Shoto until she reported in Leyte Gulf 14 July to join the forces of the Philippine Sea Frontier. Between 17 July and 12 August, she voyaged to Okinawa on escort duty, then operated in the Philippines until 7 September, when she cleared Manila for Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, San Pedro, Calif., and Charleston, S.C., arriving 2 November. Here she was decommissioned 22 November 1945 and sold for scrapping 20 May 1946.

Connolly received two battle stars for World War II service.

USS Connolly (DE 306)

Decommissioned 22 November 1945.
Stricken 19 December 1945.
Sold 20 May 1946 and broken up for scrap.

Commands listed for USS Connolly (DE 306)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt. William A. Collier, USN8 Jul 194422 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Connolly include:

25 Sep 1944
During 25/26 September USS Blackfin (Cdr. G.H. Laird, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Charles R. Greer (Cdr. A. Jackson, Jr., USNR), USS Hemminger (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Bodler, USNR), USS Connolly (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Collier, USNR), USS Allen (Lt. J.A. Rowe, USNR) and USS Sea Fox (Cdr. R.C. Klinker, USN). These exercises included night exercises.

10 Dec 1944
USS Blueback (Cdr. M.K. Clementson, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Whitman (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Coan, USNR), USS Wileman (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Tanner, Jr., USNR), USS Connolly (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Collier, USNR), USS Tautog (Cdr. T.S. Baskett, USN) and USS Puffer (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Dwyer, USN).

16 Dec 1944
USS Charr (Cdr. F.D. Boyle, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Connolly (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Collier, USNR) and USS Sicard (Lt. J.W. Botten, USN).

Media links

Connolly DE-306 - History

We now have full color prints for the USS Evarts (DE-5) Class. The prints show the ships as outfitted between 1943 and 1946 with the equipment as listed below.

USS Evarts (DE-5) Class shown carrying three 3-in./50 cal. guns in single MK 22 mounts, one MK 1 40mm twin mount, nine 20mm MK 4 single mounts, one MK 10/11 hedgehog projector, two MK 9 depth charge tracks, eight MK 6 K-gun depth charge projectors.

USS Evarts (DE-5)
USS Wyffels (DE-6)
USS Griswold (DE-7)
USS Steele (DE-8)
USS Carlson (DE-9)
USS Bebas (DE-10)
USS Crouter (DE-11)
USS Brennan (DE-13)
USS Doherty (DE-14)
USS Austin (DE-15)
USS Edgar G. Chase (DE-16)
USS Edward C. Daly (DE-17)
USS Gilmore (DE-18)
USS Burden R. Hastings (DE-19)
USS Lehardy (DE-20)
USS Harold C. Thomas (DE-21)
USS Wileman (DE-22)
USS Charles R. Greer (DE-23)
USS Whitman (DE-24)
USS Wintle (DE-25)
USS Dempsey (DE-26)
USS Duffy (DE-27)
USS Emery (DE-28)
USS Stadtfeld (DE-29)
USS Martin (DE-30)
USS Sederstrom (DE-31)
USS Fleming (DE-32)
USS Tisdale (DE-33)
USS Eisele (DE-34)
USS Fair (DE-35)
USS Manlove (DE-36)
USS Greiner (DE-37)
USS Wyman (DE-38)
USS Lovering (DE-39)
USS Sanders (DE-40)
USS Brackett (DE-41)
USS Reynolds (DE-42)
USS Mitchell (DE-43)
USS Donaldson (DE-44)
USS Andres (DE-45)
USS Drury (DE-46)
USS Decker (DE-47)
USS Dobler (DE-48)
USS Doneff (DE-49)
USS Engstrom (DE-50)
USS Seid (DE-256)
USS Smartt (DE-257)
USS Walter S. Brown (DE-258)
USS William C. Miller (DE-259)
USS Cabana (DE-260)
USS Dionne (DE-261)
USS Canfield (DE-262)
USS Deede (DE-263)
USS Elden (DE-264)
USS Cloues (DE-265)
USS Lake (DE-301)
USS Lyman (DE-302)
USS Crowley (DE-303)
USS Rall (DE-304)
USS Halloran (DE-305)
USS Connolly (DE-306)
USS Finnegan (DE-307)
USS O’Toole (DE-527)
USS John J. Powers (DE-528)
USS Mason (DE-529)
USS John M. Bermingham (DE-530)


Connolly operated in Hawaiian waters on training from 24 September 1944 until 22 January 1945, when she sailed for duty in the Iwo Jima operation from 19 February until 1 March. She patrolled off the island to protect shipping and providing direct support to the landings. After screening transports to Espiritu Santo, Connolly guarded the convoy to Okinawa, arriving off the Hagushi beaches on 9 April. She served on antisubmarine patrol until sailing for repairs at Ulithi on 4 May.

Connolly arrived off Okinawa again in the screen of a resupply convoy on 6 June 1945, then joined the screen of amphibious ships carrying out subsidiary landings in the Nansei Shoto until she reported in Leyte Gulf on 14 July to join the forces of the Philippine Sea Frontier. Between 17 July and 12 August, she voyaged to Okinawa on escort duty, then operated in the Philippines until 7 September, when she cleared Manila for Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, San Pedro, California, and Charleston, South Carolina.

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CONNOLLY Family History

Ó Conghalaigh- anglicised Connolly, Connelly,earlier O Connally & c. the root word is possibly 'Conghal', an epithet meaning perhaps 'valorous'. This name was also rendered as Ó Conghaile.

Mac Conghalaigh- anglicised Connolly, earlier M'Connolly a rare Sligo/Leitrim name, according to Woulfe in 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' 񢈃), of similar derivation to the above. But see parentheses below.

(Mac Conghaile- more usually anglicised Conneely, and primarily as such a Co Galway name).

Ó Coingheallaigh- anglicised Connolly, a Munster surname of uncertain derivation.

The first of these is probably the most well known, and the homelands would be in in Connacht and Co Monaghan. The leading sept were of the Southern Uí Néill, i.e. descended from the legendary Niall Naoighiallach (of 'the nine hostages'), the fabled late 4th century king of Ireland. They were one of the 'Four Tribes of Tara'. Their original territory was in Co Meath, from where they were driven by the Cambro-Norman mercenaries in the late 12th century, settling in Co Monaghan. This is also the name of a Co Roscommon family. The surname is found in later times also in Co Galway.

The second family seems to have appeared little in Irish history, although a search below in the 1659 'Census' of William Petty, the English administrator 'par excellence', will provide some instances.

The third, Munster surname, which MacLysaght ('Irish Families' series 1982, 1985) gives the form Ó Coingheallaigh, although Woulfe treats it under the form Ó Conghalaigh, is claimed to derive from Mahon, a brother of Brian Boru, the illustrious 11th century king, who curbed the power of the Norse settlers. They, like the O'Briens, are of the Dalcassian tribe of Thomond. According to MacLysaght (op. cit.) they were formerly strong in West Cork.

By the time of Petty's 1659 'Census', therefore, we find the following, listed as 'Principal Irish Name':

Co Monaghan, 9 (families) of McConoly.

Co Fermanagh, Clownish & c. parishes, 13 0f O Connelly Aghaharcher & c. 5 of O Connelly.

Co Sligo, Barony of Leynie, 6 of Conelly

Co Leitrim, Barony of Rosclogher & Drumaheir, 6 of Connelly.

Co Cork, none of the name appear in Petty.

However, in Co Tipperary, Barony of Iffa & Offa, 9 of Connelly/O Connelly. (This area was in the Dalcassian sphere of influence).

The returns for Cos Galway and Cavan are missing from the 'Census'.

Griffith's 'Primary Valuation' of Irish households between 1847 and 1864, shows most Connolly households in Cos Monaghan 鸒), Galway 鶫),
Cork 鵈 + 15 city), Leitrim 鳜) and Cavan 鲿).

For Connelly, the highest counties are Waterford ࿉), Mayo ࿄) and Cork ྐྵ).

The Registrar's 'Special Report' 񢇵) on births distribution in 1890, show most Connolly births in Cos Cork, Monaghan, Galway, Antrim and Dublin. For Connelly, Galway.

Tirlogh O Connola is mentioned in the Elizabethan 'Fiants' for 1591 as chief of his Monaghan clan. He was a military leader who opposed the English incursions of the late 16th century.

James Connolly 񢇌-1916) Edinburgh born Labour leader and Irish Revolutionary. His amazing life: born into poverty, joined the British Army, became a socialist leader and inspirational speaker and writer, was an organiser of the American I.W.W. (the 'Wobblies'), and later leader of the I.T.G.W.U. union in Dublin, founder of the Irish Citizen Army and co-signatory of the 1916 Proclamation. He had a leading military role in the Easter Week fighting. Wounded and suffering from gangrene, he was taken on a stretcher to Kilmainham Jail and shot by a British firing squad.

Tell us about any famous CONNOLLY (or surname variant) you think we should add here. We will get our genealogists to check them out and add them to the list. Thanks!

County Down’s Nature

Struell Wells

Struell Wells was built around a stream flowing through a secluded valley. It was a popular place of pilgrimage from the 1600s until the 1840s. The waters were believed to have curative powers and the site has a ruined church, 2 bath-houses (one for men, one for women) and two roofed wells, all fed by the stream. It is a popular destination for any individual seeking serenity and peacefulness in the vast arrays of nature.

Inch Abbey

Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries. While it is believed the church is older than that at Grey Abbey which was built about 1193. It’s definitely a place worth capturing and the weather is always warm.

Ward Park

With beautiful lakes & walks, bird sanctuary & facilities for various sports plus other attractions. Ward Park covers an area of 37 acres and among its attractions are a children’s playground, all-weather hockey pitches, cricket pitch, bowling greens, putting green and tennis courts.

It also has a chain of small lakes providing wildfowl sanctuary with many interesting specimens and dry pens containing a large variety of exotic birds.

Mourne Mountains

One of the most notable features in County Down is the stunning Mourne Mountains. They are the highest mountains found in Northern Ireland. They have also been considered as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and suggested as the first national park in Northern Ireland.

It is one of the most popular attractions in the county with many tourist and locals heading here on any good day. One of the main features in the Mourne Mountains is the Mourne Wall. It is a 22 mile dry stone wall that crosses over 15 summits, to help define boundaries of the area purchased by the Belfast Water Commissioners in the 19th century.

Once you reach the summit of the mountain you will be in admiration of the views that you will experience. One thing you might not know about the mountains is they actually inspired the work of C.S Lewis ‘Narnia’ and you’ll understand why when you take a trip to the Mourne Mountains

Mourne Mountains, County Down

Tollymore Forest Park

Take a trip to the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, the gorgeous Tollymore Forest Park. It is located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, near the seaside town of Newcastle in County Down. The forest covers over 650 hectares that include amazing panoramic views of mountains and sea.

At Tollymore forest part you can take part in a variety of outdoor activities including walking, camping, orienteering, horse-riding and more sporting activities. The walking trails are all colour-coded so that you know the level of difficulty. The four main trails are the Arboretum Path, River Trail, Mountain Trail and the Drinns Trail.

The forest park offers the perfect opportunity to get out and experience the beautiful natural and peaceful surroundings of County Down. The park has also been used in the popular Television series Game of Thrones, which might interest fans of the show to this attraction.

Castlewellan Forest Park

Another great place to explore while you are in County Down is the beautiful Castlewellan Forest Park. The forest park offers one of the most impressive tree collections in Europe as well as a historic castle and a peace maze. You are surrounded by beauty at Castlewellan Forest Park, with its unique 18th-century landscape and features. And not forgetting the amazing panoramic views.

The Peace Maze located here is also a fun attraction that was created in 2000 and 2001 as a symbol of hope and peace in Northern Ireland. Members of the public helped to create the maze by planting 6000 yew trees. For a long time, it held the Guinness world record of being the largest permanent hedge maze in the world. Until the Pineapple Garden Maze in Hawaii was created.

It is a growing tourist attraction in Northern Ireland with many tourists choose to take a trip to see the impressive maze.

Castlewellan Forest Parks, County Down


Hi Richard,
I have one more Steve Connolly boxing story.
Johnny Risko, “The Cleveland Rubber man” is in training to fight the great Max Schmelling.
It will be Max’s first fight in the U.S.A. My father Steve, encounters Johnny in a gym. Johnny recognizes my dad from a previous encounter. He invites my dad to spar with him in the ring. My dad agrees. (Now my dad says, when you spar you “pull” your punches so no one gets hurt”.) My dad gets in the ring, and Johnny knocks out my dad, cold, with the first punch. My dad weighed about 145 lbs, he was a welter weight. Johnny was a heavy weight.

There are several iconic Lee Tanner reproductions which I believe are from Connolly’s hanging at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley CA, specifically the one of Johnny Hodges. Lee Tanner lived in Berkeley. He passed away in 2013, but it looks as if one of his children is publishing his photos. – – There’s a entire book of Lee’s photos which my friend Newton Davis had, taken at Connolly’s and WGBH. Do you know which book that is? I’d like to purchase a copy if I can find one. Last question: are you related to Tony?

Michael, the book is titled Images of Jazz, published in 1996 by Friedman/Fairfax. I found a used one a few years ago on, and there are many Boston photos in it. Lee’s daughter Lisa is running jazzimage, and she’s a good photographer herself.
Nope, no relation to Tony, but I think he’s still kicking around out in western Massachusetts.

I seem to remember Chick Corea playing there. Unfortunately my father (Jim Connolly) had a tin ear and no concept of who was really good except by the draw of patrons. My father was a scrapper and I remember a story about him trying to “throw a bum out” when he went on stage to join a group that was playing. Thankfully Uncle Steve stopped him because it was someone like Benny Goodman.
Rosemary Connolly Quirke

Chick Corea did play at Connolly’s, multiple times in 1964-65 and maybe more. The “throw the bum out” story happened at the Savoy, though, not Connolly’s. Sabby Lewis used to tell the story. His band was on the bandstand, it was during WWII, and Goodman came by to listen. And he did sit in, and your dad wanted to get him out of there because nobody was buying drinks while Goodman was playing. And yes, Steve did stop Jim from escorting Goodman from the stage.

I read someplace that the iconic duet Chick Corea and Gary Burton gigged there. Is that true? RIP Chick. I played there years ago sitting in with Salim’s RBA, and also trading off with Walter Radcliffe playing with Harold Layne, Baggie Grant and Leo Stevens. What an education.

In his book Learning to Listen, Burton says he first played with Chick Corea in 1968. Chick was around Connolly’s a lot in 1964-65 but I can’t find any reference to him playing with Gary Burton then. So I’ll say they didn’t gig at Connolly’s, but if anyone out there knows different, please leave a comment!
If you knew Walter Radcliffe and those three drummers, you were with the best in town. An education indeed. Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Richard, another Connolly checking in. My father was Frank Connolly, Chancey, to many. He was a bartender for Steve at the Savoy. I think Morley’s was the bar Jim Connolly owned right next to the Savoy. Above the bars was a gym that the Connolly brothers used to bring fighters along. My father was the trainer. In the summer we used to go to Quincy stadium for outdoor matches. I was a water boy for my father’s boxers. Among them were Lee Williams, a bruising heavyweight and a Golden Gloves boxer named Bonds. Jim’s sons, Dennis and David and I were going to be the next generation of Connolly boxers, but none of us could box.

Hello Thomas and thanks for dropping by. This whole boxing aspect is a part of the Connolly family story that is all new to me. The gym must have been above Morley’s (408 Mass Ave), because there were apartments upstairs above the Savoy (410 Mass Ave). Wonder if any of your father’s fighters ever had matches at Mechanics Hall on Huntington Ave, which presented all kinds of sports events.

I don’t know what happened to the sign. My daughter had expressed an interest in it but by then the building was gone. My brother Jim passed away 2 years ago he may have known what happened to the sign.
When I was a kid my friends and I would play “secretary” at my house. It involved addressing post cards with up coming musicians for Connolly’s.
I remember one evening my father brought Lionel Hampton home for dinner. I was very impressed.
It was an interesting life growing up as Jim’s daughter.

Over the club’s last years, newspaper stories indicated that the sign was to be removed and reinstalled at either a new Connolly’s location, or on whatever structure replaced the club. I guess I should get busy and find out what happened to it.
I have a dozen or so of those postcards, all hand-addressed. Maybe you did a few of them yourself!

Hello, I enjoyed reading this story. Jim Connolly was my father. My brother Jim took over the business only for one year then my father stepped back in. In 1973 my father had a stroke and was unable to fully run the business so he and my mother gave a quarter of the business to his longtime associate “Winnie” (sorry I can’t recall her last name) to assist in the management. When my father passed away the family sold the business to Winnie.

Hello Rosemary, thanks for adding to the story. “Winnie” was Winnie Halford, and as you note, she was with the club for a long time. In turn, she sold the club to Mike and Leona Dixon, and they sold it to the Hamletts. But the sign out front always said “Connolly’s,” and I wonder what happened to it.

I enjoyed the article about my Uncle Jim and his business. My dad, Steve Connolly and family left Boston in 1956. So everything you mentioned in the article was new to me.
Jim Sr. and Steve were inseparable growing up. They were both amateur and professional boxers. They even shared the same boxing manager, the famous Al Weill. In the 1940s, they owned establishments side by side. Around the middle of that decade they both bought houses near each other in Brighton Mass.

The following story is my Tribute to Uncle Jim. Circa 1960, my dad, Steve, and I are attending the Boxing matches in Miami Beach. We are about 10 rows back and have a very clear view of the ring. My dad says to me, there is my old manager, Al Weill sitting
at ring side. Let’s go down and I will introduce you to him. So down we go. Dad taps Al
on the back and quietly says, Al, I am Steve Connolly, do you remember me? Al spins around and very loudly says, “Jimmy, Jimmy Connolly, I will never forget you”. My dad made no attempt to correct him.

Howard Connolly
Jensen Beach Florida

Nice to hear from you, Howard, and thanks for sharing that story. Steve and Jim were both boxers? No wonder people behaved themselves in their clubs… Steve, of course, operated the Savoy Cafe, the home of good jazz in Boston in the 1940s.

Evarts-class destroyer escort

The Evarts-class destroyer escorts were destroyer escorts launched in the United States in 1942–44. They served in World War II as convoy escorts and anti-submarine warfare ships. They were also known as the GMT or "short hull" DE class, with GMT standing for General Motors Tandem Diesel drive.

  • United States Navy
  • Royal Navy
  • Republic of China Navy
  • Radar: Type SL Surface search and type SA Air search only fitted to certain ships.
  • Asdic (Sonar): Type 128D or Type 144 both in retractable dome.
  • Direction Finding: MF Direction Finding and HF/DF Type FH 4 antenna
  • Main guns: 3 × 3 inch/50 guns in open mounts
  • Anti-aircraft guns: 7 × Oerlikon 20 mm guns anti-submarine mortar
  • Depth Charges: Up to 160 depth charges were carried.

The lead ship was USS Evarts, launched on 7 December 1942. The first ship to be completed was commissioned on 20 January 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard it was delivered to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease provisions and became HMS Bayntun. Evarts-class ships were driven by diesel-electric power with four diesel engines mounted in tandem with electric drives. The ships were prefabricated in sections at various factories in the United States and the units brought together in the shipyards, where they were welded together on the slipways. The original design specified eight engines for 24 knots but other priority programs forced the use of only four with a consequent shortening of the hull. [1]

In all, 105 Evarts-class ships were ordered with 8 later being cancelled. The United States Navy commissioned 65 while 32 Evarts-class ships were delivered to the Royal Navy. They were classed as frigates and named after captains of the Napoleonic Wars and formed part of the Captain class along with 46 ships of the Buckley class.

USS Conolly (DD-979)

Conolly was laid down 29 September 1975, launched 19 February 1977 and commissioned 14 October 1978.

From August to December 1980, Conolly deployed as part of the Middle East Force. She deployed as part of this force again from October 1981 to February 1982. In September 1982, she deployed to the Mediterranean including operations off the coast of Lebanon.

In June 1983 Conolly deployed again participating in UNITAS XXIV, an annual exercise working with partner navies in South America. Conolly made multiple port visits and worked with a variety of South American navies before returning home in December of the same year. Conolly was the flagship for the cruise, with the staff of Commander, South Atlantic (COMSOLANT), Rear Admiral Clint Taylor, USN, embarked.

Due to equipment casualties in the engineering plant while on the east coast of Chile, the crew had to repair in place the pneumatic clutch-brake assemblies on the two forward gas turbine engines, the second repair having to be completed at sea en route Montevideo, Uruguay. Once in port, the damaged LM-2500 Gas Turbine Main Engine was replaced in 82 hours, using a large floating crane in the port facility.

In addition to the UNITAS cruise, Conolly left Brazil in November and sailed, initially in company with Jesse L. Brown, east to conduct a West African Training Cruise (WATC). Conolly visited Liberville, Gabon Lagos, Nigeria Monrovia, Liberia and finally Dakar, Senegal, before transiting west to Roosevelt Roads, PR for a refueling stop before returning to her homeport of Norfolk, VA in mid-December, 1983.

While sailing from Brazil, Conolly was required to conduct a transfer of fuel, while underway, to the Jesse L. Brown, so that ship would have sufficient fuel to make her port call in Equatorial Guinea. Conolly was the first Spruance-class vessel to complete such a task, which was not an assigned capability for the ships. Approximately 30,000 gallons were sent to the Brown using 2½" fire hoses to deliver the fuel, taking about 4 hours.

In February, 1984, Conolly sailed to Portland, ME, to enter a regular overhaul (ROH) at the newly opened Bath Iron Works facility. The overhaul lasted 10 months, during which Conolly was fitted with the Tomahawk Weapons System. Also installed was the MK 15 Close in Weapons System and the Mk 23 Target Acquisition System. During the yard period, Commander Harry Maixner was relieved by Commander Gary Voorheis as Captain of the ship.


In October 1985 Conolly once again deployed as part of the Middle East Force. She returned from this deployment in April 1986. In June 1987 she made another deployment to the Mediterranean and followed this up with two more deployments in 1989 and 1992 as part of the Middle East Force.

In 1993, Conolly was deployed in support of Operation Support Democracy, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Haiti.

From 6 June to 10 June 1994, Conolly participated in World War II commemoration activities at Cavalaire-sur-Mer, France.

That same year, Conolly deployed to the Arabian Peninsula, conducting maritime interception operations in the Red Sea in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. During that deployment, on 12 July 1994, Conolly came to the rescue of sixty-two crewmembers of the Panamanian-registered ferry Al Loloa following a fire on board the ferry. Conolly answered the vessel's distress call and proceeded to the scene of the fire. Sixty-one of the ferry's all Egyptian crew had already abandoned ship and were found safe in five life rafts. A survey team from Conolly boarded the Al Loloa and found the fire out of control. Before returning to Conolly, the survey team found the missing crewmember unharmed.

As part of a reorganization announced in July 1995 of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet's surface combatant ships into six core battle groups, nine destroyer squadrons and a new Western Hemisphere Group, Conolly's homeport was changed from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport, Florida, with the shift to occur in 1996–1997.

Conolly deployed with the USS George Washington carrier battle group, on 26 January 1996 for a regularly scheduled deployment. The previous December, the battle group and ARG participated in Joint Task Force Exercise 96-1, their "final examination" before deployment, and the culmination of a year of intense preparation.

While deployed, Conolly took part in the Ships Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness Effectiveness Measuring 114 (SHAREM) Invitational Exercise 1-96 (INVITEX), held 23 February – 29 February. SHAREM 114 was a U.S. 6th Fleet naval exercise conducted in the Gulf of Valencia off the east coast of Spain.

Following the completion of Operation Destined Glory 96, a NATO amphibious exercise, Conolly paid a visit to Augusta Bay, Sicily. Operation Destined Glory 96, lasted 16 days and was a NATO forces combined amphibious exercise which began 13 March and continued through 26 March. It tested forces in the air and at sea in the Central Mediterranean near Sardinia and in the Tyrrhenian Sea and also trained ashore at Capo Teulada, Sardinia. Military units from the NATO countries of Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and United States took part in the exercise which focused on undersea, surface, electronic and air warfare, and included communications and shiphandling skills.

On 11 April, Conolly was tasked with escorting USS Guam, USS Trenton and USS Portland to Liberia from the Adriatic Sea in support of JTF Assured Response. Guam, Trenton, Portland and Conolly were conducting routine training when they were directed to the coastal waters off Liberia.

Conolly also assisted in search and rescue efforts when the airplane carrying United States Commerce Department Secretary Ron Brown crashed. It participated in Operation Sharp Guard, enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions in the former republics of Yugoslavia. While on station, Conolly queried 121 merchant vessels, ensuring no contraband cargo entered the troubled region.

In June 1996, Conolly took part in Exercise TAPON 96, an allied exercise held in the Alboran Sea, Gulf of Cadiz and the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Conolly conducted combined warfare exercises with the Spanish aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias, and other surface ships including SPS Baleares (F 71), SPS Santa Maria (F 81), SPS Numancia (F 83), the Greek destroyer HS Formion (D 220), the Spanish submarine SPS Delfin (S 61) and the US submarine Grayling. Conolly participated in the nine-day exercise which emphasized procedures and tactics for effective maritime choke-point control. Conolly also completed live-firing exercises in the Central Mediterranean Sea at Avgo Nisi gun-firing range, a small island north of Crete, Greece. She then traveled toward Sicily and conducted a torpedo-firing exercise.

In March 1997, Conolly shifted home port from Norfolk, VA. to Mayport, FL.

Conolly was decommissioned 18 September 1998 and laid up at Philadelphia Naval Intermediate Ship Maintenance Facility. Conolly was sunk as a target on 29 April 2009 as part of a joint fleet exercise. An effort to preserve her in Illinois failed after it lost the support of local politicians.

Connolly Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Ireland. The O’Conghailes were an ancient Connacht sept reportedly descended from Congal, a 10th century chief of the southern Hy Niall. Over the passage of time, they were believed to have separated and dispersed into three main branches:

  • the chief branch resided in county Meath and was one of the “four tribes of Tara.”
  • a second branch belonged to the ancient kingdom of Oriel in modern-day Monaghan.
  • while the Munster branch of the sept established itself in west Cork.

Tirlogh O’Connola was recorded as the Connolly chief and vice-marshal to the McMahons in Monaghan in 1591.

In subsequent years William “Speaker” Conolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons in the early 1700’s, was the most prominent of these Connollys (although he himself was born in humble circumstances). He became rich by acting as a solicitor for landlords who bought and sold property after the Jacobite confiscations. He built Castletown House in county Kildare in 1722 on these proceeds. Apparently it required 240 horses to bring his half year’s rent from Dublin to Castletown and three cellars to store them.

His great nephew Thomas “Squire” Connolly, who inherited the estate, was the quintessential Irish gentleman of the late 18th century and said, erroneously, to be the richest man in Ireland at that time. A branch of this family acquired the Midford castle folly near Bath in 1810.

Today the Connolly name is principally to be found in Monaghan, Galway, and Cork. There appears to have been a particular cluster of Connollys in or around the parish of Clones on the Monaghan/Fermanagh border.

Scotland. Many poor Irish, including Connollys, left Ireland for Scotland in search of work. Among them were John and Mary Connolly from Monaghan who settled in the “Little Ireland” slum area of Edinburgh in the 1860’s. Their son James Connolly was an Irish nationalist and socialist agitator. He played a leading part in the Easter Rising of 1916 for which he was executed and became a martyr to the cause.

Larger numbers came to Glasgow. Billy Connolly’s ancestors, from Ireland and the Isle of Mull, worked in the shipbuilding industry. As did Billy until he discovered his taste for comedy. Another Glaswegian Connolly is Brian Connolly, lead singer of the rock group Sweet.

America. The spelling may be Connolly, Connelly, or Connally. There were a number in America by the 1700’s, mainly in Virginia and North Carolina:

  • John O’Connelly came to the Catawba river valley in North
    Carolina from Ireland in 1743. His offspring spread over Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties. Connelly Springs in the area was named after this family.
  • George Connolly was a plantation owner in Lancaster county, Virginia in the 1760’s. His grandson George fought in the Revolutionary War and then migrated westward to Lewis county.
  • John Connelly, born in Sussex county Virginia, also fought in the War. He later moved to North Carolina and then to Tennessee. His son James was a missionary in Africa.
  • John and Sarah Connelly were living in Bedford county, Virginia during the 1760’s. They moved to Wilkes county, North Carolina after the War.
  • and Charles Connally, born in Virginia in 1772, married in Georgia and later moved to Alabama.

The 19th century saw the destination for immigration shift to New York and Boston. John Connolly was appointed Bishop of New York in 1814 and came out from Meath a year later. He served ten years and was buried in the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The immigrant wave came later in the century, their numbers including:

  • Patrick Connolly who joined the US Navy from Ireland and came to Brooklyn in 1858.
  • the Connelly family from Galway who arrived in Boston from Galway in the 1880’s and worked as longshoremen in the Chelsea area. Edward Connelly from Chelsea was a respected clothier in Wakefield, Mass.
  • and Michael Connolly who came to Boston from Dublin in 1883 and married Ellen Delaney five years later.

William Connelly arrived in Boston during Prohibition in the 1920’s and started up in the mob business. His business boomed and the Connelly family was soon running the streets of Boston. Eldest son James took over from him in the late 1960’s.

Heading West. Some Connollys headed west. Perhaps the most successful was Tom Connolly who started a carriage business in Dubuque, Iowa in 1858. By 1885 his factory was producing a thousand buggies, carriages and sleighs annually and Tom had become wealthy.

“Connolly had one of Dubuque’s most elegant mansions built in 1893. Fine woods floated down the Mississippi river from forests in Wisconsin and Minnesota were used in the construction. The home was one of the few in Dubuque with a carriage step, a raised platform three feet off the ground enabling visitors to leave their carriages without soiling their clothes.”

Son Maurice was a local politician unfortunately killed in an early airplane accident in 1921.

Also unfortunate was the Irish group from Galway who were transplanted to rural Minnesota under an assisted emigration scheme in 1880. There they encountered the worst winter in the state’s history and nearly froze to death in shanties on the prairie. Newspapers featured their plight as the welfare scandal of the year. The story was recounted in the 2003 book Forgetting Ireland by Bridget Connelly, a descendant.

Australia. The early Connollys in Australia were convicts. A Connolly and a Connelly in fact came on the First Fleet in 1789. Bridget Connolly, transported from Dublin in 1802, was one of the first inmates of the “female factory” at Parramatta.

In 1820 Father Philip Conolly was sent by the Catholic Church to minister to the Irish convicts in Tasmania. “A man ‘of no small ability and attainments, witty and full of dry humor,’ Conolly labored alone for fourteen years among ‘a wicked and perverse generation,’ making regular quarterly visits on horseback to Launceston, George Town, and other settlements.”

Later came Connolly settlers, often under assisted passage. Patrick and Julia Connolly, for instance, arrived in Sydney with their seven children on the Elphinstone in 1840. They settled to farm in Queanbeyan, NSW.

Some headed for colonial outposts such as Western Australia and Queensland. John Connolly was a private in the 63rd Regiment who arrived in Western Australia in 1829 and farmed in the Upper Swan valley. Connolly, a northern suburb of Perth, is named after him. Two Connollys, John and Paddy, struck it lucky during the Western Australian gold rush of the 1890s. The latter achieved fame as a racehorse owner/

“‘Lucky Connolly’ was known throughout the country as an astute breeder, a canny owner and a big punter. Tall and well-built, he had a determined jaw and eyes that told nothing. Few shared his confidence fewer claimed him as a friend.”

A Connolly family from Ballinasloe in Galway left Ireland in stages during the 1840’s and 1850’s and eventually settled in Gayndah, Queensland. Matthew Connolly arrived with his family in 1852 and became a constable in Gatton.

Connolly Miscellany

Connolly, Connelly, and Variants. Connolly and Connelly are the main spelling variants. Conolly also appears, as does Connally in America. The table below shows the approximate current numbers.

Numbers (000’s) Connolly Connelly Others Total
Ireland 15 1 16
UK 15 7 22
America 10 9 1 20
Canada 5 1 6
Australia 5 3 8
New Zealand 1 1
Total 51 21 1 73

Castletown House and The Connollys. Castletown House in county Kildare was built in 1722 for “Speaker” William Conolly, the speaker of the Irish House of Commons from 1715. It was designed by the famous Italian architect Alessandro Galelei and it remains the only house in Ireland designed by him. The only Irish Palladian house built with the correct classical proportions, it is said to have influenced the design of the White House in Washington.

Catherine Conolly, widow of the great “Speaker,” continued to live in Castletown until her own death in 1752. Castletown was then inherited by her nephew William. He died just two years later and the house was inherited by his son Tom Connolly. “Squire” Connolly, as he was known, married Lady Louisa Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond, in 1758. Louisa was just fifteen years of age at the time.

The Print Room, dated around 1765, is attributed to Louisa. It is the only print room to have survived. The fashion of print rooms originated in England and consisted of engravings and mezzotints being pasted onto the wall and framed with decorative borders.

Castletown House stayed with the Connollys until 1965 when it was put up for auction by Lord Carew, whose mother was a member of the Connolly family.

James Connolly’s Trial and Execution. Connolly had been in charge of the General Post Office during the Easter Rising and was immediately arrested once the rebels had surrendered. At his trial he made the following statement:

“We want to break the connection between this country and the British Empire and to establish an Irish Republic.

In this rising, we have succeeded in proving that Irishmen are ready to die endeavoring to win for Ireland those national rights which the British government has been asking them to die to win for Belgium. As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe. I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys and hundreds of Irish women and girls were ready to affirm that truth and to attest it with their lives if need be.”

James Connolly was sentenced to death and, on May 12 1916, he was shot by firing squad. He had been taken by military ambulance to Kilmainham prison, carried on a stretcher to a courtyard in the prison, tied to a chair and shot. His body was put into a mass grave with the other executed rebels and given no coffin.

In death he was a martyr. There is a statue of him in Dublin outside Liberty Hall. There is also the Dublin Connolly railway station and the Dublin Connolly hospital.

The Bible Record of John Connelly from Virginia.

Births. “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Genesis XI: 1.

  • Milton H. Connelly was born January 22, 1810
  • James M.C. Connelly was born January 22, 1810
  • Jefferson Connelly was born November 3, 1803
  • Charles L. Connelly was born August 10, 1807.

Marriages. “This is now bone of my bones…therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis II: 23-24.

  • John Connelly was born January 27, 1760
  • Married March 2, 1790
  • Died June 29, 1835.

Connelly Springs, North Carolina. In 1838 William Lewis Connelly was the first settler in the area later called Connelly Springs. His pioneer settlement was called Happy Home. Son William started a general store there in the 1860’s.

His wife Elmira would wash the family clothes in water from a spring on their property. Her white clothes always had a yellowish tint and in 1885 she had the water treated by the state
chemist in Virginia. The chemist found in his analysis that the water had a high content of bicarbonate of iron. He told Mrs. Connelly that in his opinion the water should be beneficial for healing a large number of diseases.

Soon the news of the mineral springs spread and visitors began to visit Happy Home to drink the wonderful healing waters. Some arrived by horse and wagon and carted the water away in five gallon demijohns. Others came by train from further afield. In time the town’s name was changed to Connelly Springs and the town itself became a summer resort.

Philip Conolly and The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce.The Australian film The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce described the extraordinary saga of the escaped convict Alexander Pearce, tried and convicted of murder and cannibalism in Hobart in 1824 and sentenced to hang.

Father Philip Conolly recorded Pearce’s confession in Gaelic and he accompanied Pearce to the gallows the next day where it seems (although accounts vary) he made an impassioned speech condemning the harsh treatment of the prisoner.

In the film it was pointed out that both Conolly and Pearce had come from the same parish of Clones on the Monaghan/Fermanagh border. Like Pearce, Conolly had been forced to go to Australia. At that time Catholic priests were barely tolerated in the colony and the hopelessness of Conolly’s parish of extreme sinners apparently weighed heavily upon him.

By being a cannibal, Pearce had forced Conolly to examine the idea of what it is to be human. As Pearce had advanced across the wilderness – starving, killing, eating – it seemed that he had been shedding the very constructs of society. Many saw him as a
monster. But Conolly had to look beyond these judgments. Pearce may have been a terrible sinner. But he was still a man and therefore not beyond the possibility of redemption.

Matthew Connolly Dead in Queensland. Matthew Connolly was 36 when he brought his family to Australia in 1853, leaving behind famine-stricken Ireland in the hope of finding a better life. After joining the police force in Queensland, Constable Connolly worked as a watchhouse keeper at Gatton.

On August 25, 1861 he had finished a routine prisoner escort to Ipswich when a doctor requested that he obtain medication from Ipswich for two ill women, including the wife of a district magistrate. However, heavy rains in the region had created dangerously high water levels in surrounding creeks and streams. Connolly, determined to deliver the medicine, attempted to cross a flooded creek on horseback with the two parcels tied across his chest. The horse made it to the opposite bank. But Constable Connolly didn’t. His 44 year old body was found the next day along with the medication. He left behind a wife and six children.

In 2006 his descendants, together with police and other local community members, unveiled a plaque commemorating Constable Connolly in Toowoomba.

Connolly Names
  • Speaker Conolly prospered from the Jacobite confiscations after the Battle of the Boyne and was reportedly the richest man in Ireland when he died in 1729.
  • James Connolly was one of the leaders of the Irish Easter Rising of 1916. He was captured by the English and executed by a firing squad.
  • Cyril Connolly was an English writer and literary critic of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
  • Little Mo Connolly was an American tennis player of the early 1950’s. She was the first woman to win all four Grand Slam titles in the same year.
  • John Connally was Governor of Texas in 1963 and subsequently Secretary of the Treasury under President Nixon.
  • Billy Connolly is a well-known Scottish comedian, actor, and entertainer.
Connolly Numbers Today
  • 22,000 in the UK (most numerous in Glasgow)
  • 25,000 in America (most numerous in Massachusetts)
  • 32,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Ireland).
Connolly and Like Surnames

The Irish clan or sept names come through the mists of time until they were found in Irish records such as The Annals of the Four Masters. The names were Gaelic and this Gaelic order was preserved until it was battered down by the English in the 1600’s.

Some made peace with the English. “Wild geese” fled to fight abroad. But most stayed and suffered, losing land and even the use of their language. Irish names became anglicized, although sometimes in a mishmash of spellings. Mass emigration happened after the potato famine of the 1840’s.

Some surnames – such as Kelly, Murphy and O’Connor – span all parts of Ireland. But most will have a territorial focus in one of the four Irish provinces – Leinster, Munster, Ulster, and Connacht.

Leinster in SE Ireland covers the counties of Carlow, Dublin, Kilkenny, Offaly, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, West Meath, Wexford, and Wicklow. Here are some of the Leinster surnames that you can check out.

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