Edit- Sorry about the screwed up pics and dates in the first go round this morning… Apparently something ‘glitched’ in the upload. My bad… All corrected now, thanks Grog for the comm date!
By popular demand, some WWII Destroyers that my readers have connections to…
These first three are Fletcher Class DDs…
First is USS McCord, DD534, she was attached to both TF38 and TF58 under Admiral’s Halsey and Spruance.
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo NH 107248 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo NH 78955-KN from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
Here’s a pic of one of my reader’s dads who served on USS McCord during the war.
USS McCord survived the war, was shifted to the ready reserve, then brought back for Korea under TF77. She was decommed in the early 1970s.
Next is USS Hazelwood, DD531
Commissioned in 1942, was the second named for Commodore John Hazelwood; a naval leader in the American Continental Navy.
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo NH68373-KN from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
Underway somewhere in the South Pacific…
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo USN 1045624 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
On April 29th, 1945, she and the carrier group came under attack. She sunk two kamikazes, but a third screamed out of the clouds from astern. Although hit by Hazelwood’s fire, the enemy plane careened past the superstructure. It hit #2 stack on the port side, smashed into the bridge, and exploded. Flaming gasoline spilled over the decks and bulkheads as the mast toppled and the forward guns were put out of action. Ten officers and 67 men were killed, including the Commanding Officer, Cmdr. V. P. Douw, and 36 were missing.
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-187592 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
Larry’s dad was a GMG (Gunner’s Mate, Guns) on the Hazelwood, but rate changed to YN at some later point.
USS Hazelwood was decomm’ed, but brought back in service for Korea, staying in service through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the search for USS THRESHER, and was the test ship for the DASH unmanned helicopter.
And last but not least USS Haggard, DD555
Commissioned in 1943, named for Captain Haggard of the Louisa, who fought in the Quasi-War. I was unable to find a ship’s crest or patch for her. She was part of the Taffy-2 Group (Battle of Leyte Gulf) and TG38 and TG58.
U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
USS Haggard was acting as a forward picket on 22 March 1945 when shortly before midnight she detected a surfaced submarine with radar, and after the submarine dived attacked with depth charges. Ten minutes later the submarine surfaced on Haggard‘s port beam. Commander Soballe brought his ship into a hard left turn toward his adversary. Haggard rammed the submarine I-371 amidships, sinking I-371 in three minutes.
On 29 April, she was proceeding to picket station and was attacked by a kamikaze making a shallow dive to starboard. The aircraft crashed close aboard and penetrated her hull near the waterline. Soon afterward, her bomb exploded in Haggard’s engine room. As water gushed through the gaping hole in the destroyer’s side and she began to settle, another suicide plane attacked, but was splashed by anti-aircraft fire. Wounded were taken by cruiser San Diego (CL-53) and destroyer Walker (DD-517) arrived to tow the stricken ship to Kerama Retto, near Okinawa.
She departed Kerama Retto 18 June 1945 and arrived Pearl Harbor via Saipan and Guam 12 July. From there she steamed to San Diego and the Panama Canal Zone, arriving at Norfolk 5 August 1945. Decommissioned 1 November 1945, Haggard was scrapped because of war damage.
And a picture of another reader’s father that served on USS Haggard.
HERE is a link to the Peripatetic Engineer’s blog, his dad also served on DDs in WWII and he recounts a story from his dad’s logs on USS Ericsson, DD 440, in the Atlantic, the Med and the Pacific. He also has links to earlier post on her in that post.
USS Ericsson was a Gleaves-class destroyer, one generation older than the Fletcher Class ships above, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after John Ericsson, who is best known for devising and building the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. USS Ericsson was commissioned on 13 March 1941.
Here she is in camouflage paint #1 during Convoy Duty. She supported five Atlantic convoys before going to other assignments, culminating in Pacific duty in September 1945.
They all served with honor, in some of the most trying times in the South Pacific…
And I must add this LINK, Typhoon Cobra or Halsey’s typhoon. 790 men were lost as ships sank in that typhoon during operations off the Philippines.