Gridley DD-92 - History

Gridley DD-92 - History


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Gridley

Charles Vernon Gridley was born 24 November 1844 in Logansport, Inc., and was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1860. Reporting for duty with his class in September 1863, Gridley joined the sloop-of-war Oneida with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and distinguished himself with Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay 5 August 1864. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1867 and Commander in 1882, he spent the net 30 years at various stations around the world, including a tour as instructor at the Naval Academy. Captain Gridley took command of Olympia, Admiral Dewey's famous flagship, 27 April 1898, a post which he held despite failing health during the Battle of Manila Bay 1 May 1898. It was that morning that Dewey gave his famous command: "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," immortalizing the doughty captain. After the destruction of the Spanish squadron and the capture of Manila, Gridley was obliged to leave his command because of his health, and died en route to the United States at Kobe, Japan, 25 May 1898.

(DD-92: dp. 106.0; 1. 315'5": b. 31'8"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35
k.; cpl. 100; a. 4 4", 12 21" tt.)

The first Gridley was launched by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, Calif., 4 July 1918; sponsored by Mrs. Francis P. Thomas, daughter of Captain Gridley; and commissioned 8 March 1919, Comdr. Frank Jack Fletcher in command.

After fitting out at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Gridley departed San Diego 24 March 1919, transmitted the Panama Canal, and joined the Destroyer Force for maneuvers in Cuban waters. She then repaired briefly at Norfolk, VA., before putting into New York 26 April 1919. Gridley's first assignment was with a group of destroyers posted along the route of the Navy's transatlantic seaplane flight. Gridley and her companions sent up smoke and flare signals to guide the intrepid flyers and with the help of the surface ships NC-4 was able to land in the dense fog at the Azores 17 May 1919. Subsequently Gridley participated in the search for NC-1, forced down in the fog, and then acted as guard ship on the last leg of NC 4's historic flight, which was completed at Plymouth. England, 31 May 1919.

Gridley arrived Brest, France, 31 May and spent the next 2 months in various ports of the Mediterranean transporting passengers and making goodwill visits. She arrived back at New York 31 July. Operating out of Portsmouth, N.H., Gridley embarked Major General Lejeune and Brigadier General Butler of the Marine Corps at Charleston 2 September 1920, for an inspection tour of Caribbean bases and commands, including posts in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Her distinguished passengers disembarked 27 September 1920.

In the following years Gridley was active training officers and men of the Naval Reserve Force, operating out of Charleston Newport, New York, and Philadelphia. She decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 22 June 1922 and remained inactive until her name was stricken from the Navy List 25 January 1937. Gridley's hulk was sold for scrapping 19 April 1939.


GRIDLEY DD 380

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.


    Gridley Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid June 3 1935 - Launched December 1 1936

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“YOU MAY FIRE WHEN YOU ARE READY, GRIDLEY.” : January/February 󈨦 American History Feature

U.S. Navy Captain Charles Gridley earned a place in history on May 1, 1898,during the Battle of Manila Bay.

J ust after midnight on May 1, 1898, the USS Olympia led the United States’s Asiatic Squadron quietly through the calm, glassy waters of the Boca Grande Channel, between the island of Corregidor and the coast of Luzon in the Philippines. The United States was at war with Spain, and the American squadron was preparing to attack a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

As Sunday morning dawned hours later, the Olympia’s commander, Captain Charles Gridley, waited for the order to fire his ship’s guns. The order would come from the squadron’s commander, Commodore George Dewey, who watched from atop the Olympia’s flying bridge as shore batteries fired harmlessly at the advancing column of American ships. At 5:40 A.M. Dewey finally hailed Gridley with the now-famous words, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.”

The ensuing Battle of Manila Bay ended with the destruction of the Spanish fleet and the surrender of the Philippine capital of Manila. It signaled to the world that the United States was a major naval power and made Dewey a national hero. The pivotal sea battle also hastened the death of the terminally ill Captain Gridley. Though considered one of the best and brightest officers in the United States Navy at the time of his death, Gridley would probably be forgotten today if it weren’t for Dewey’s command.

Charles Vernon Gridley was born in Logansport, Indiana, on November 24, 1844. When he was three, his father moved the family to Michigan. Thirteen years later Charles won an appointment from that state to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1863.

Gridley’s first assignment was aboard the nine-gun steam sloop Oneida during the Civil War. As part of the Union fleet commanded by Admiral David Farragut, the Oneida participated in the capture of the Confederate port of Mobile, Alabama, on August 5, 1864. It was the only action Gridley saw during the first 33 years of his career. He spent the remainder of the war on blockade duty.

Gridley left the Oneida in 1866 and subsequently received a number of routine assignments, including service in the South Atlantic Station, a four-year stint as an instructor at the Naval Academy, and the command of two training ships. In May 1872, he married Harriet Frances Vincent, and they had three children.

On July 28, 1897, the 52-year-old Gridley reached the pinnacle of his career when he was given command of the USS Olympia. Launched in 1892, the 5,870- ton protected cruiser carried four 8-inch guns, ten 5-inch guns, and fourteen 6-pounders and was manned by a crew of 34 officers and 440 enlisted men. Gridley was particularly pleased with this appointment. Not only was the Olympia the flagship of the Asiatic Squadron, but squadron commander George Dewey was a close friend. The only circumstance marring this professional achievement was an intense pain that Gridley had begun experiencing in his right side. The fleet surgeon was unable to find a cause for Gridley’s discomfort or for the gradual weight loss that had taken him from a robust 200 pounds to 115. It is believed that he was probably suffering from liver cancer.

ON FEBRUARY 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, killing more than 260 men and setting off a chain of events that would lead to armed conflict with Spain. As the international situation deteriorated, Commodore Dewey, stationed with his Asiatic Squadron in British-controlled Hong Kong, became increasingly concerned about the health of his flagship captain. With each passing day Gridley became weaker. He had lost his appetite and barely had the strength to move around the Olympia. Dewey knew that once war was declared, he would be ordered to attack the Spanish Pacific Fleet, and he didn’t want the captain of his flagship debilitated by illness.

On April 15, 1898, the fleet surgeon pronounced Gridley physically unfit for duty, and Dewey reluctantly ordered his old friend home. Gridley protested vehemently. He reminded Dewey that as the flagship’s captain, he was responsible for preparing the squadron for the coming battle. He argued that although he was weak from his illness, he was thoroughly familiar with the battle plan and able to carry out his duties. In the end Dewey relented, and Gridley continued as the Olympia’s captain.

Ten days later news reached Hong Kong that the U.S. North Atlantic Squadron had blockaded Havana. Hong Kong’s British governor, Major General Wilsone Black, sent notice that Great Britain had proclaimed neutrality, and that all Spanish and American warships had until 4:00 P.M. that day to leave Hong Kong Harbor. Despite his country’s position, Black penned, “God knows, my dear Commodore, that it breaks my heart to send you this notification,” beneath his official message to Dewey.

Dewey moved his squadron to Mirs Bay, China, and there received the message he had been expecting. Navy Secretary John D. Long cabled: “War has commenced between the United States and Spain. Proceed at once to Philippine Islands. Commence operations particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture vessels or destroy. Use utmost endeavor.” Dewey waited the two days it took for U.S. Consul Oscar F. Williams to join the squadron from Manila before leaving for the Philippines. Williams brought news that the Spanish squadron was leaving Manila Bay for the more defensible Subic Bay, 25 miles north of Manila.

On April 27, the anchor chains rattled up through the hawser holes, and the Olympia led the squadron out of Mirs Bay. She was followed by the heavy cruisers, Baltimore, Raleigh, and Boston, two gunboats–the Petrel and the Concord–and a Revenue Service cutter, the McCulloch. Two unarmed colliers, the Zafiro and Nanshan, completed the fleet. On the bridge of the Olympia Gridley ordered Lieutenant Carlos Calkins to set a course across the South China Sea to the Philippines.

During the first day at sea, Gridley began the grim task of preparing his ship for combat. Sailors performed musket and cutlass drills, sanded the decks, and bound the masts with anchor chains. The crew also tossed overboard all wooden furniture, paneling, books, and even pinups to reduce the risk of fire during battle.

On April 29, Gridley assembled his crew on the quarter deck and read from a proclamation the Spanish governor general of the Philippines had issued five days earlier. It warned the Filipinos that a “squadron manned by foreigners, possessing neither instructions nor discipline, is preparing to come to this archipelago with the ruffianly intention of robbing us of all that means life, honor, and liberty. Pretending to be inspired by a courage of which they are incapable . . . [they] shall not profane the tombs of your fathers, they shall not gratify their lustful passions at the cost of your wives’ and daughters’ honor . . . prepare for the struggle . . . .” Whatever effect the words had on the people of the Philippines, they ignited the anger of the American crewmen.

Gridley reminded his men that their nearest point of supply was San Francisco, 7,000 miles across the Pacific, so he urged his gunners to do their best, aim carefully, and make every shot count. When he finished one of the assembled crewmen began to quietly sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Before long every man in the crew was singing.

In the middle of the afternoon of April 30, the squadron reached Subic Bay, only to learn that the Spanish fleet was not there. Admiral Patricio Montojo Y Parsar?n, commander of Spanish naval forces in the Philippines, had arrived at Subic Bay only to find that the defenses there had been neglected and had returned to Manila Bay on April 28. The American fleet regrouped and headed south in pursuit.

When the Asiatic Squadron arrived at the Boca Grande Channel in the early hours of May 1, Olympia’s crew hung battle lanterns, readied the ammunition hoists, and loosened the sea fastening on the cruiser’s guns. Lieutenant Corwin Rees turned to Gridley and said, “Sir, the ship is cleared for action!”

Dewey knew that the strain of the long night had taken a terrible toll on the ailing captain of his flagship. He offered to excuse Gridley from duty and urged him to go below for some much needed sleep. Gridley refused. “Thank you, Commodore,” he said, “but [the Olympia] is my ship and I will fight her.” A mess attendant passed by with a steaming can of coffee. Gridley took a cup, and left for his battle station in the conning tower.

The Battle of Manila Bay began at dawn and ended shortly after noon. The Olympia, firing her forward turret, led the Asiatic Squadron down along the shoreline in a close-order column headed directly for the Spanish ships. Except for the flagship Reina Cristina, all of the Spanish ships remained fixed to their moorings or at anchor.

Closing on the enemy, Gridley swung the Olympia to the west and ran parallel to the Spanish line, adding the fire of the ship’s port batteries to the barrage. Behind him, at 200-yard intervals, the rest of the squadron formed a close ellipse and followed his every move. The Olympia led the American line in a series of U-turns that, with each pass, closed the distance between the themselves and the Spanish. Heavy black smoke covered the bay as the hapless Spanish ships received fire from alternating starboard and port guns.

As the Olympia headed eastward to begin her fourth pass down the Spanish line, the Reina Cristina, maneuvered out of the smoke and headed straight for the American ship. The Spanish flagship was 1,200 yards from Gridley’s ship when several hits forced the Reina Cristina to limp back to shoal waters. It was a gallant but futile effort.

At 7:30 A.M. Dewey received word that the Olympia’s ammunition was low. Concerned that the rest of the squadron was in the same position, Dewey ordered his ships to withdraw and take stock of the situation. Not willing to alarm the crewmen, he gave breakfast as the reason for the withdrawal. One gunner remonstrated to Dewey’s chief of staff, “For God’s sake, captain don’t let us stop now! To hell with breakfast!”

At the captains’ conference that was called, all the news was good. Ammunition supplies were still ample, and though the squadron had taken a number of hits, damage was slight. Only six Americans had been wounded and there were no fatalities.

Shortly after 11:00 A.M. the Asiatic Squadron regrouped to renew its assault on the Spanish fleet. Only the shore batteries and one small cruiser, Don Antonio de Ulloa, were still firing. By 12:30 P.M. the Ulloa had been sunk, and Montojo surrendered. Dewey had executed his orders to perfection. The Americans had sunk or destroyed seven warships. The Spanish had suffered 381 fatalities the Americans, none. The battle, however, would claim one American life a month later.

The searing heat and poor ventilation in the Olympia’s conning tower, combined with the strain of the battle, had proved too much for Gridley. At some point during the day he struck his side on the edge of the chart table, and when the battle was over Gridley had to be carried from his post. He never rose from his sickbed, and Benjamin Lamberton replaced him as captain of the Olympia.

On June 5, Captain Charles Vernon Gridley died in the harbor of Kobe, Japan, on his way home aboard the passenger liner Coptic. Four days later, his casket was carried through the streets of Yokohama in an impressive funeral procession, accompanied by an honor guard of Imperial Japanese Marines. All foreign ships in the harbor flew their flags at half mast.

Gridley’s ashes were returned to the United States and interred at Lakeside National Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania, where four guns sent by the United States Navy from the Spanish Arsenal at Cavite in Manila Bay were placed on his grave. In March of 1918, the navy bestowed another honor on the Olympia’s late captain when his daughter Ruth helped launch a new destroyer, the USS Gridley.

With the immortal words, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,” Commodore George Dewey honored his old friend by allowing him to lead the American squadron’s charge against the Spanish. But the command did more than set the stage for the May 1, 1898, battle. Those eight words assured the dying captain of a place in American history.

Richard Harris is a free-lance writer who specializes in military affairs and history. His work has appeared in armed forces journals and popular magazines.


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Gridley được đặt lườn vào ngày 1 tháng 4 năm 1918 tại xưởng tàu của hãng Union Iron Works ở San Francisco, California. Nó được hạ thủy vào ngày 4 tháng 7 năm 1918, được đỡ đầu bởi Bà Francis P. Thomas, con gái Đại tá Gridley, và được đưa ra hoạt động vào ngày 8 tháng 3 năm 1919 dưới quyền chỉ huy của Hạm trưởng, Trung tá Hải quân Frank Jack Fletcher.

Sau khi hoàn tất việc trang bị tại Xưởng hải quân Mare Island, Gridley khởi hành từ San Diego vào ngày 24 tháng 3 năm 1919, đi qua kênh đào Panama, và tham gia Lực lượng Khu trục để thực hành cơ động tại vùng biển Cuba. Sau đó nó được sửa chữa ngắn tại Norfolk, Virginia trước khi đi đến New York vào ngày 26 tháng 4 năm 1919. Gridley được điều về một nhóm tàu khu trục có nhiệm vụ bảo vệ và dẫn đường dọc theo chuyến bay vượt Đại Tây Dương đầu tiên của các thủy phi cơ hải quân. Gridley và các tàu khu trục khác thả khói qua ống khói vào ban ngày và chiếu sáng bằng pháo sáng và đèn pha vào ban đêm để dẫn đường cho hành trình lịch sử này. Nhờ sự giúp đỡ của các tàu nổi, NC-4 đã hạ cánh được bất chấp sương mù dày đặc xuống Azores ngày 17 tháng 5 năm 1919. Sau đó Gridley tham gia vào việc tìm kiếm chiếc NC-1 bị buộc phải hạ cánh xuống mặt biển, rồi hoạt động hỗ trợ cho chặng sau cùng của chiếc NC-4, thủy phi cơ duy nhất còn lại, hoàn tất tại Plymouth, Anh, vào ngày 31 tháng 5 năm 1919.

Gridley đi đến Brest, Pháp ngày 31 tháng 5, trải qua hai tháng tiếp theo đến nhiều cảng khác nhau tại Địa Trung Hải vận chuyển hành khách viếng thăm thiện chí, rồi quay trở lại New York ngày 31 tháng 7. Hoạt động ngoài khơi Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Gridley đón lên tàu Thiếu tướng John A. Lejeune và Chuẩn tướng Smedley Butler thuộc lực lượng Thủy quân Lục chiến Hoa Kỳ tại Charleston vào ngày 2 tháng 9 năm 1920, cho một chuyến đi thị sát các căn cứ tại vùng biển Caribe, bao gồm các sở chỉ huy tại Cuba, Haiti, và Cộng hòa Dominica. Nó tiễn các vị tướng rời tàu ngày 27 tháng 9 năm 1920.

Trong những năm tiếp theo, Gridley tham gia huấn luyện sĩ quan và nhân sự của Lực lượng Trừ bị Hải quân, hoạt động ngoài khơi Charleston, Newport, New York và Philadelphia. Nó xuất biên chế tại Xưởng hải quân Philadelphia ngày 22 tháng 6 năm 1922, và bị bỏ không cho đến khi tên của nó được rút khỏi danh sách Đăng bạ Hải quân Hoa Kỳ ngày 25 tháng 1 năm 1937. Lườn tàu của Gridley bị bán vào ngày 19 tháng 4 năm 1939 để tháo dỡ.


Wickes Class Destroyers

The Wickes Class Destroyers were the first of the famous mass produced flush-deckers of the First World War, and the only type to see active service during that war. Along with the Clemson class they provided the bulk of the US destroyer force during the inter-war years, and many survived to play varied roles during the Second World War.

The Caldwell class destroyers introduced the flushdeck layout, which was introduced in an attempt to improve the stability of American destroyers. This required a wider beam, which then required a reduction in draft to avoid adding too much drag. A raised forecastle would have reduced the amount of weight that could be allocated to the ship's main longitudinal structures, and so the flush-deck layout was adopted.

The Wickes class was designed for the FY 17 programme, which included 35knot battlecruisers and the 35kt Omaha class scout cruisers. The Navy decided that it wanted its new destroyers to match that speed, so they could operate with the new fleet. This required a 50% increase in power compared to the Caldwell class. This was achieved by adding 90-100 tons more machinery and reduction gearing to improve the efficiency of the engine. The sloped keel of the Caldwell class was replaced with a level keel, which reduced drag and allowed for more horizontal propeller shafts. The Caldwell class hull was already strong enough to cope with these changes, so no significant changes were needed there. The General Board specifications called for a speed of 35kts on trial at 1,150 tons and endurance of 2,500nm at 20kts, while the actual contracts called for 3,600nm at 15kts.

The first twenty Wickes class destroyers were authorised by Congress in 1916, as part of a larger programme for 50 destroyers. Another 15 were funded on 3 March 1917, just one month before the US entry into the war. Another twenty-six were ordered in May-April 1917. At this point the General Board of the Navy wanted a massive increase in destroyer production, but didn't want to produce more costly high-speed fleet destroyers. The General Board wanted a mix of a slower mass-produced type and high-speed fleet destroyers, while the Board on the

Submarine Menace wanted 200 austere destroyers. While work was carried out on the new anti-submarine designs, 200 destroyers were approved. The first fifty were to be of the Wickes class, in order to speed up production, bring the total number ordered up to 111. The other 150 were eventually built as Clemson Class Destroyers, which ended up as high speed fleet destroyers with extra fuel capacity.

In the end this massive programme wasn't that effective. Less than half of the Wickes class destroyers arrived in time to take part in the First World War, with only one from the fourth batch seeing combat. None of the Clemson class ships were commissioned in time for the First World War. The US Navy did enter the inter-war period with a massive destroyer fleet, but one that was increasingly outdated.

Two basic detailed designs were produced. Bath produced one, which used Parsons turbines (with a few Westinghouse turbines) and Normand, Thornycroft or White-Foster boilers. This design was used by all non-Bethlehem yards.

Bethlehem Steel produced the second design, which was used at their Quincy, Fore River, Massachusetts and San Francisco Yards. This used Curtiss turbines and mainly Yarrow boilers. These tended to deteriorate in service, and in 1929 the remaining 60 Yarrow powered destroyers were decommissioned.

The quality of these ships varied. Range was the biggest problem. USS Wickes had a range of 5,000nm at 15kts and 3,400nm at 20kts, beating the contract requirements. Cramp-built boats averaged 3,990nm at 15kts and 3,148kts and 20kts. In general the Bath design was considered the better of the two, and ships built to it were called 'Long Radius Boats'. Newport News attempted to reach 3,500nm at 15kts using geared cruising turbines, but these only began to appear after August 1918. The Quincy built boats weren't as impressive. USS Bell managed 4,000nm at 15kts on trials, but these were always conducted with unrealistically light loads. In practice her Commanding Officer reported 3,400nm at 13-15kts. USS Stribling only managed 2,300nm and USS Gregory 2,400nm. These lower figures weren't really good enough for anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, where all of those ships completed before the Armistice were used. The problem was solved in the Clemson class by adding 35% more fuel, meaning that the worst of the Clemson class had better endurance than the best of the Wickes class.

In September 1918 the C/O of USS Wickes produced a report on his ship. It behaved well at maximum displacement with winds not above force 6 - in these circumstances it performed just as well as the 740 ton 'flivver's and 1,000 ton classes. If the ship was light it rolled excessively in winds between force 4 and force 7. She held a course better than earlier destroyers, but at the same time had a large turning circle and turned badly at light loads - both of these were blamed on the V-shaped stern, which also reduced the available deck space at the stern, now needed for anti-submarine weapons. Head winds had a greater effect on the flush deckers than on the earlier types with raised forecastles. She was very wet in Atlantic winter conditions - indeed he said that in winter weather her 'normal condition &hellip is practically that of a submersible', with no-one able to safely walk around on deck. Compared to the earlier classes the 740 ton vessels did better in the short heavy seas off the Irish coast, but the 1,000 tonners and flushdeckers suffered less damage. Compared to their British allies, the Wickes rode heavy seas better than pre-Flotilla Leader Type British destroyers and had sturdier weather deck fittings but weaker hulls.

In general the Wickes was judged to be a better convoy escort that its British equivalents. This was only true of the Bath-designed ships. The more numerous Bethlehem types only had a designed range of 2,250nm at 20 knots, enough for wartime operations from Irish bases, but not enough to escort a transatlantic convoy. A number of solutions were suggested in October 1918, including replacing the forward magazine or one of the boilers with new fuel tanks. These changes were ruled out during the war as being too disruptive to production, and in the post-war period as being too costly. A post-war plan to complete fifty as long range escorts was also cancelled, but during the 1920s some valuable work was done on fuelling at sea, a key technique during the Pacific War.

The Wickes class destroyers were ordered in four batches. The 1916 act authorized 50 destroyers (DD-75 to DD-124), of which twenty were to be built at once (DD-75 to DD-94) under the FY 17 budget. The original plan was for sixteen to be built on the Atlantic coast and four on the Pacific coast if at all possible.

The second batch was funded by an act of 3 March 1917, which provided direct funding for fifteen destroyers (DD-95 to DD-109). This act also created a Naval Emergency Fund that could be used for additional destroyers at the President's discretion.

The third batch was ordered in May-April 1917, and took the total above the original fifty. Twenty six were ordered in this batch (DD-110 to DD-135).

The fourth batch of fifty (DD-136 to DD-185 was ordered in the summer of 1917 as part of a larger batch of 200 destroyers, most of which were built as Clemson class destroyers.

A total of 111 Wickes class destroyers were thus ordered in four batches. At first production was split between the Bath Iron Works, the Bethlehem Steel yards at Quincy and San Francisco and the Mare Island Navy Yard, but as the production programme expanded eight different yards were used, with rather variable results.

None of the four batches was entirely completed in time to see wartime service. Fourteen of the twenty ships in the first batch, seven from the second batch, eight from the third batch and only one from the fourth batch saw active service during the First World War (a total of 30), and in most cases that came late in 1918. Another six ships were commissioned before the Armistice but saw no service, for a total of 36 from 111 ships commissioned on or before Armistice Day. The following Clemson class did even worse, with none arriving in time to make any contribution during the First World War.

The first batch of 20 was split between Bath (four ships - DD-75 to DD-78), Bethlehem (fifteen ships - DD-79 to DD-92, eight built at Quincy, seven at San Francisco) and the Mare Island Navy Yard (two ships - DD-93 and DD-94).

Most of these ships saw wartime service. All of the Quincy and Mare Island ships were ready in time, as were three Bath ships - the last was commissioned on 11 November 1918. Bethlehem's San Francisco plant didn't do so well - only one of her ships saw wartime service and a second was commissioned before the armistice but saw no service).

All fifteen ships funded in 3 March 1917 batch were built by Bethlehem (DD-95 to DD-109). Quincy built eight, of which seven saw wartime service. Once again San Francisco was slower - two of her seven were commissioned before the armistice but saw no service, the last five appeared after the end of the war.

Batch Three

In April 1917 the Secretary of the Navy asked the six private destroyer builders what capacity they had for ships beyond DD-109, with the aim of ordering another twenty six ships (DD-110 to DD-135).

Bethlehem's Union Iron Works at San Francisco also couldn&rsquot guarantee delivery until 1919, and neither Bethlehem Yard could take more than six orders. One battleship and two scout cruisers were cancelled at their Quincy plant in an attempt to free up space, but at this stage only San Francisco received a fresh order, for three ships (DD-110 to DD-112). All three were commissioned after the end of the war.

Five scout cruisers were cancelled at Cramp, and six destroyers replaced them (DD-113 to DD-118). Five of these ships saw wartime service, and the last was commissioned before the armistice but saw no service, an impressive record.

Three battleships and two battlecruisers were cancelled at Newport News, and were replaced with six destroyers (DD-119 to DD-124). Three arrived in time for wartime service, one was commissioned but saw no service and two were post-war commissions.

Three battleships and one battlecruiser were cancelled at New York Shipbuilders and replaced with six destroyers (DD-125 to DD-130). None of these ships were commissioned in time to see wartime service.

Bath was already building four ships and said they couldn't add any more before 1919. Even so they received an order for four ships (DD-131 to DD-134). They were proved correct, and the first of these ships wasn't ready until January 1919.

Finally the Charleston Navy Yard was asked to build one ship, DD-135. This was probably the slowest to appear of any Wickes class ships - it was laid down on 29 July 1918 and not completed until 20 April 1920.

Only eight of these twenty six ships arrived in time to see wartime service.

Batch Four (DD-136 to DD-185)

In July 1917 a telegram was sent to the shipbuilders announcing that orders were to be placed for the final fifty Wickes class ships, to be completed within 18 months. By this point the US ship building industry was already working at full capacity, and so although places were found for all fifty, only one ship, built at Mare Island Navy Yard, arrived in time to see wartime service. Another of their ships was commissioned before the end of the war, but the other 48 ships in this batch were commissioned after the end of the war (as were all of the Clemson class ships that followed).

Six ships were ordered from the Mare Island Navy Yard (DD-136 to DD-141). Cramp built fifteen (DD-142 to DD-156), New York Shipbuilding four (DD-157 to DD-160), Bethlehem's Quincy plant ten (DD-161 to DD-170), Bethlehem's Union Iron Works at San Francisco ten (DD-171 to DD-180) and Newport News five (DD-181 to DD-185).

The two Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co yards produced the largest number of ships, with Quincy and San Francisco producing 26 ships each, for a total of 52. This wasn't entirely a positive things, as the Yarrow boilers used in Bethlehem ships deteriorated badly over time, and in 1929 the Navy scrapped sixty of its remaining Yarrow boilered destroyers.

Next came the William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co of Philadelphia, which built 21 ships.

The other yards produced smaller numbers of ships. Newport News produced 11, New York Shipbuilding produced 10, Bath and the Mare Island Navy Yard both produced 8 and the Charleston Navy Yard produced 1, rather slowly.

Private Yards

Bath built four ships from batch one (DD-75 to DD-78) and four from batch three (DD-131 to DD-134). Three from the first batch were commissioned in time to see active service during the First World War, and the last was commissioned on 11 November 1918. All four ships from batch three were commissioned after the end of the war.

Bethlehem Overview

Bethlehem received orders in all four batches. In batch one they built DD-79 to DD-92. They produced all fifteen ships of batch two (DD-95 to DD-99), only three in batch three (DD-110 to DD-112) and twenty from batch four (DD-161 to DD-180). Production was equally split between their Quincy, Fore River yard and the Union Iron Works, San Francisco. The two yards performed rather differently.

Bethlehem Quincy, Fore River

Quincy produced eight ships from batch one (DD-79 to DD-86), eight from batch two (DD-95 to DD-102) and ten from batch four (DD-161 to DD-170). All eight of the first batch arrived in time to serve in the First World War, as did seven of the eight from batch two, with one (DD-100) being commissioned during the war but not seeing service. All ten ships from batch four were commissioned post-war.

Bethlehem San Francisco/ Union Iron Works

Bethlehem's San Francisco Yard didn't perform as well. They produced ships in all four batches - six from batch one (DD-87 to DD-92), seven from batch two (DD-103 to DD-109), three from batch three (DD-110 to DD-112) and ten from batch four (DD-171 to 180).

Of these twenty six ships only one arrived in time to see service during the First World War (DD-87). One more from batch one and two from batch two were commissioned during the war but didn't see service (partly because of the extra time needed to get from San Francisco to the war zone in the Atlantic). Four ships from batch one, five from batch two and all thirteen from batch three and batch four arrived after the end of the war.

New York Shipbuilding

New York Shipbuilding entered the production programme late, and built six from batch three (DD-125 to DD-130) and four from batch four (DD-157 to DD-160). All ten of these ships were commissioned after the Armistice, and all four from batch four were also launched after the war.

Newport News

Newport News was another late arrival, and built six from batch three (DD-119 to DD-124) and five from batch four (DD-181 to DD-185). In total they built twenty five Wickes and Clemson class ships, and another six Clemson class ships were cancelled (DD-200 to DD-205).

Newport News was one of the more efficient builders. Three from batch three arrived just in time to see wartime service, and a fourth was commissioned but saw no service. The last two from batch three and all four from batch four were commissioned after the end of the war.

The Newport News ships were the only Wickes class ships not to use geared turbines. Instead they were powered by Curtis direct drive turbines.

William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co, Philadelphia

Cramp was also introduced to the programme with batch three, and also performed well. They built six from batch three (DD-113 to DD-118) and fifteen from batch four (DD-142 to DD-156).

Five of the batch three ships arrived in time for wartime service and the sixth was commissioned before the Armistice. All fifteen from batch four were commissioned after the end of the war.

Navy Yard Production

Mare Island Navy Yard

The Mare Island Navy Yard was present at the start and end of the production programme, building two ships from batch one (DD-93 and DD-94) and six from batch four (DD-136 to DD-141). Both of the ships from batch one saw wartime service. They were also the only yard to complete any ships from the fourth batch in time for wartime service, with USS Boggs (DD-136) seeing some service off the US Coast in the last few weeks of the war. A second ship was commissioned during the war but saw no service, and another four were commissioned in the post war period.

The Mare Island Yard was responsible for the quickest construction of a Wickes class ship. USS Ward (DD-139) was laid down on 15 May 1918, launched on 1 June 1918 and commissioned on 24 July 1918, a total of only seventy days. Ironically after all of that effort she saw no wartime service.

Charleston Navy Yard

The Charleston Navy Yard only produced one member of the class, USS Tillman (DD-135). This was probably the slowest to be completed - she was laid down on 29 July 1918 and launched on 7 July 1919, but wasn't commissioned until 30 April 1920.

First World War Service

Despite all of the effort that went into their construction, the Wickes class ships didn't make that big a contribution to the American war effort during the First World War. Only 36 were commissioned before the Armistice (two more were commissioned on 11 November) and only 26 saw any service. Most of them didn't enter service until the last few months of the war (some of the later ships only managed a single escort mission before the armistice).

The US Navy thus relied on its older destroyers, even using the original Bainbridge class ships. Those ships constructed on the West Coast were less likely to see combat, simply because of the length of the journey from San Francisco to the key bases in the US north east. The last member of the class to see service was USS Breese (DD-122), commissioned on 23 October 1918 and which spent a few days on convoy escort duties just before the Armistice.

Those ships that did arrive in time were thrown into the battle of the Atlantic, mainly operating from Queenstown, Brest or the US East Coast. After all of the arguments over the correct role for the destroyer - offensive torpedo attack, or gun armed fleet defence, none of the Wickes class performed either of those roles during the First World War, instead becoming convoy escorts and anti-submarine ships.

April 1918 (3)
6th: USS Little (DD-79), USS Fairfax (DD-93)
26th: USS Kimberly (DD-80)

May 1918 (2)
15th: USS Sigourney (DD-81)
24th: USS Stevens (DD-86)

June 1918 (4)
1st: USS Gregory (DD-82), USS Taylor (DD-94)
13th: USS Colhoun (DD-85)
24th: USS Rathburne (DD-113)

July 1918 (7)
1st: USS Dyer (DD-84)
2nd: USS Stringham (DD-83)
20th: USS Talbot (DD-114)
24th: USS Ward (DD-139)
26th: USS Montgomery (DD-121)
31st: USS Wickes (DD-75), USS Bell (DD-95)

August 1918 (6)
8th: USS Waters (DD-115)
16th: USS Stribling (DD-96)
21st: USS Murray (DD-97), USS Israel (DD-98)
22nd: USS Lamberton (DD-119)
24th: USS Philip (DD-76)

September 1918 (9)
7th: USS McKee (DD-87)
9th: USS Dent (DD-116)
11th: USS Luce (DD-99)
18th: USS Dorsey (DD-117)
20th: USS Schley (DD-103)
23rd: USS Maury (DD-100), USS Boggs (DD-136)
30th: USS Woolsey (DD-77), USS Radford (DD-120)

October 1918 (5)
2nd: USS Lea (DD-118)
19th: USS Robinson (DD-88)
23rd: USS Breese (DD-122)
24th: USS Mahan (DD-102)
26th: USS Lansdale (DD-101)

November 1918
11th: USS Evans (DD-78), USS Champlin (DD-104)

Interwar Period

Losses/ Scrapped

A number of ships were lost or struck off in the interwar period.

USS Woolsey (DD-77) was lost in a collision on 26 February 1921.
USS DeLong (DD-129) grounded on 1 December 1921, and was struck off on 1922

USS Hazelwood (DD-107) was struck off in 1935

USS Dyer (DD-84), USS Stevens (DD-86), USS McKee (DD-87), USS Harding (DD-91), USS Champlin (DD-104), USS Mugford (DD-105), USS Radford (DD-120), USS Meredith (DD-165), USS Bush (DD-166), USS Renshaw (DD-176), USS O'Bannon (DD-177) were struck off in 1936

USS Kimberly (DD-80), USS Gridley (DD-92), USS Bell (DD-95) were struck off in 1937

USS Taylor (DD-94) and USS Walker (DD-163) were struck off in 1938

Most of the ships struck off in 1935-38 were Bethlehem built ships with Yarrow boilers that decayed in use. The only exceptions were the Taylor (DD-94), a Mare Island ship, and the Radford (DD-120), a Newport News ship.

Converted to Fast Transports - APD

In 1938-39 the Caldwell class destroyer USS Manley (DD-74) was converted into a fast troop transport, with the new classification AG-28 (Auxiliary). As converted she could carry 120 Marines, with landing boats replacing the torpedo tubes. This first conversion was a success, and so a more ambitious refit was ordered. This time she lost her forward boilers and their two funnels, all the torpedo tubes and one waist gun (the other waist gun was moved to the centre line). She could carry a 75mm pack howitzer on the deck and four 36ft assault boats (either LCPL or LCPR), and a Marine rifle company for 48 hours. The Manley became APD-1, the first of a sizable group of conversions.

In May 1940 the Navy put in place a major programme of conversions, which included five more fast transports (APD-2 to APD-6). This time Wickes class ships were used.

Anther twenty six destroyers were converted into APDs after the US entry into the Second World War - twelve Wickes class and fifteen Clemson class ships.

Wartime Conversions
October 1942: APD-7 to APD-12 (three Wickes, three Clemson)
December 1942: APD-13 (one Clemson)
January 1943: APD-14 to APD-18 (four Wickes, one Clemson)
July 1943: APD-19 (one Wickes)
August 1943: APD-21, APD-23, APD-24 (one Wickes, two Clemson)
October 1943: APD-20 (one Wickes)
December 1943: APD-22 (one Wickes)
January 1944: APD-29 (one Clemson)
May 1944: APD-25 (one Wickes)
March-June 1944: APD-31 to APD-36 (six Clemson class AVDs)

Wickes Class conversions
APD-2: Colhoun (DD-85)
APD-3: Gregory (DD-82)
APD-4: Little (DD-79)
APD-5: McKean (DD-90)
APD-6: Stringham (DD-83)
APD-7: Talbot (DD-114)
APD-8: Waters (DD-115)
APD-9: Dent (DD-116)
APD-14: Schley (DD-99)
APD-15: Kilty (DD-137)
APD-16: Ward (DD-139)
APD-17: Crosby (DD-164)
APD-19: Tattnall (DD-125)
APD-20 - USS Roper (DD-147)
APD-21: Dickerson (DD-157)
APD-22: Herbert (DD-160)
APD-25: Rathburne (DD-113)

Converted to Minelayers - DM

In 1920 DD-96 to DD-102, DD 110 to DD-112 and DD-171 to DD-174) were converted into mine layers as DM-1 to DM-14. This involved removing all of the torpedo tubes and adding storage space and dropping equipment for mines. The 4in gun battery was retained.

In 1930 six of the first batch were scrapped (DM-5, DM-7, DM-8, DM-10, DM-11 and DM-14). Four new conversions were approved, and DD-121 to DD-124 became DM-15 to DM-18 (although not in the same numerical order).

In 1936-37 the last eight of the original fourteen were scrapped, and were replaced with four Clemson class conversions.

In 1944 the 'ultimate approved' battery for the mine layers became two or three 3in/ 50 dual purpose guns and twin power operated Bofors guns. By this point there were four Wickes class and four Clemson class conversions in service. The Wickes class conversions were all struck off in 1945-46.

DM-1 - USS Stribling (DD-96), struck off 1936
DM-2 - USS Murray (DD-97), struck off 1936
DM-3 - USS Israel (DD-98), struck off 1937
DM-4 - USS Luce (DD-99), struck off 1936
DM-5 - USS Maury (DD-100), struck off 1930
DM-6 - USS Lansdale (DD-101), struck off 1937
DM-7 - USS Maham (DD-102), struck off 1930
DM-8 - USS Hart (DD-110), struck off 1931
DM-9 - USS Ingraham (DD-111), struck off 1937
DM-10 - USS Ludlow (DD-112), struck off 1930
DM-11 - USS Burns (DD-171), sold 1932
DM-12 - USS Anthony (DD-172), struck off 1936
DM-13 - USS Sproxton (DD-173), struck off 1936
DM-14 - USS Rizal (DD-174), struck off 1931
DM-15 - USS Gamble (DD-123), scuttled 1945
DM-16 - USS Ramsay (DD-124), struck off 1945
DM-17 - USS Montgomery (DD-121), struck off 1945
DM-18 - USS Breese (DD-122), struck off 1946

Converted to Fast Mine Sweepers

As part of the May 1940 programme four Wickes class ships from DesDiv 52 were converted into fast minesweepers as DMS-1 to DMS-4. All of the torpedo tubes were removed and a false squared off stern was added to support mine sweeping davits. Another four ships were recommissioned to serve as DMS-5 to DMS-8. In 1941 another ten ships were converted (DMS-9 to DMS-18). Most of these were Clemson class ships, but DMS-18 was a Wickes class.

At first these ships kept their 4in guns, but in 1942 they were scheduled to get 3in/ 50 dual purpose guns as they were expected to face air attack. By 1944 this was reduced to two or three 3in/ 50 dual purpose guns and twin power operated Bofors guns.

DMS-1: USS Dorsey (DD-117)
DMS-2: USS Lamberton (DD-119)
DMS-3: USS Boggs (DD-136)
DMS-4: USS Elliot (DD-146)
DMS-5: USS Palmer (DD-161)
DMS-6: USS Hogan (DD-178)
DMS-7: USS Howard (DD-179)
DMS-8: USS Stansbury (DD-180)
DMS-18 - USS Hamilton (DD-141)

To Royal Navy

Fifty flushdeck destroyers went to the Royal Navy under the Destroyer for Bases deal of September 1940, where they became the Town Class. The fifty were made up of three Caldwell class ships, twenty-seven Wickes class ships and twenty Clemson class ships.

USS Wickes (DD-75) - HMS Montgomery
USS Philip (DD-76) - HMS Lancaster
USS Evans (DD-78) - HMS Mansfield
USS Sigourney (DD-81) - HMS Newport
USS Robinson (DD-88) - HMS Newmarket
USS Ringgold (DD-89) - HMS Newark
USS Fairfax (DD-93) - HMS Richmond
USS Williams (DD-108) - HMS St. Clair
USS Twiggs (DD-127) - HMS Leamington
USS Buchanan (DD-131) - HMS Campbeltown
USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) - HMS Castleton
USS Hale (DD-133) - HMS Caldwell
USS Crowninshield (DD-134) - HMS Chelsea
USS Tillman (DD-135) - HMS Wells
USS Claxton (DD-140) - HMS Salisbury
USS Yarnall (DD-143) - HMS Lincoln
USS Thatcher (DD-162) - HMCS Niagara
USS Cowell (DD-167) - HMS Brighton
USS Maddox (DD-168) - HMS Georgetown
USS Foote (DD-169) - HMS Roxborough
USS Kalk (DD-170) - HMS Hamilton
USS Mackenzie (DD-175) - HMCS Annapolis
USS Hopewell (DD-181) - HMS Bath
USS Thomas (DD-182) - HMS St. Albans
USS Haraden (DD-183) - HMCS Columbia
USS Abbot (DD-184) - HMS Charlestown
USS Bagley (DD-185) - HMS St. Marys

Second World War Service

The Wickes class ships performed an impressively wide range of tasks during the Second World War. The conversions have been dealt with above, and many of them were heavily involved in the fighting, especially in the Pacific, where the fast transports played a part in many amphibious landings. A significant number of members of the class were still unmodified destroyers. Some operated as rear area patrol vessels, but their main contribution came in the Battle of the Atlantic, where they served as convoy escort vessels and anti-submarine warfare ships, a repeat of their First World War duties.


Legacy

USS Fletcher (DD-992), the second ship to bear the Fletcher name, was named for Admiral Fletcher. The first USS Fletcher (DD-445), commissioned June 30, 1942, was named for Admiral Fletcher's uncle, Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher.

The 1976 movie "Midway" depicted Fletcher (played by Robert Webber) as somewhat confused and hesitant during the battle. Charlton Heston, who played a fictional officer working with Fletcher, wrote in his personal journals that this portrayal was based on the advice of some Navy veterans critical of Fletcher, and he said he and Webber tried to make it as subtle as possible.

Fletcher was born in Marshalltown, Iowa on April 29, 1885. Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from his native state in 1902, he graduated from Annapolis on February 12, 1906 and commissioned an Ensign on February 13, 1908 following two years at sea.

The early years of his career were spent on the battleships USS Rhode Island (BB-17), USS Ohio (BB-12), and USS Maine (BB-10). He also spent time on USS Eagle (1898) and USS Franklin (1864). In November 1909 he was assigned to USS Chauncey (DD-3), a unit of the Asiatic Torpedo Flotilla. He assumed command of USS Dale (DD-4) in April 1910 and March 1912 returned to Chauncey as Commanding Officer. Transferred to USS Florida in December 1912 he was aboard that battleship during the United States occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, in April 1914. For distinguished conduct in battle at Veracruz he received the Medal of Honor (see citation below). World War I and post-War period

Fletcher became Aide and Flag Lieutenant on the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in July 1914. After a year at this post, he returned to the Naval Academy for duty in the Executive Department. Upon the outbreak of World War I he served as Gunnery Officer of USS Kearsarge (BB-5) until September 1917, after which he assumed command of USS Margaret (SP-527). He was assigned to USS Allen (DD-66) in February 1918 before taking command of USS Benham (DD-49) in May 1918. For distinguished service as Commanding Officer USS Benham, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling European waters and protecting vitally important convoys, he was awarded the Navy Cross.

From October 1918 to February 1919 he assisted in fitting out USS Crane (DD-109) at San Francisco. He then became Commanding Officer of USS Gridley (DD-92) upon her commissioning. Returning to Washington, he was head of the Detail Section, Enlisted Personnel Division in the Bureau of Navigation from April 1919 until September 1922. Interwar service

He returned to the Asiatic Station, having consecutive command of the USS Whipple (DD-217), USS Sacramento (PG-19), USS Rainbow (AS-7), and Submarine Base, Cavite. He served at the Washington Navy Yards from March 1925 to 1927 became Executive Officer of USS Colorado (BB-45) and completed the Senior Course at the Naval War College, Newport in 1929-30 followed immediately by the Army War College in Washington, D.C., 1930�, in preparation for strategic leadership responsibilities.

Fletcher became Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Asiatic Fleet in August 1931. In the summer of 1933 he was transferred to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Following this assignment he had duty from November 1933 to May 1936 as Aide to the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Claude A. Swanson. He assumed command of USS New Mexico, flagship of Battleship Division THREE in June 1936. In December 1937 he became a member of the Naval Examining Board, and became Assistant Chief of Bureau of Navigation in June 1938. Returning to the Pacific between September 1939 and December 1941 he became Commander Cruiser Division THREE Commander Cruiser Division SIX Commander Cruiser Scouting Force and Commander Cruiser Division FOUR. World War II Wake Island — December 8�, 1941

Responding to reports from US Marines on Wake Island of Japanese bombardment and a subsequent invasion attempt in the first week after Pearl Harbor, Fletcher was sent west with the carrier Saratoga (Task Force 11) to provide relief. He was one day away when plans were changed and ordered to wait for Lexington (Task Force 12, Vice Admiral Brown).[1] The next day the Japanese successfully invaded Wake Island. The task force was recalled by Admiral Pye, who was "keeping the seat warm" until Admiral Nimitz could arrive at Pearl and take over as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. January - April 1942

On January 1, 1942, Rear Admiral Fletcher took command of Task Force 17 built around the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5). He, a surface fleet admiral, was chosen over more senior officers to lead a carrier task force. He learned air operations on the job while escorting troops to the South Pacific. He was junior TF commander under tutelage of the experts: Vice Admiral William Halsey during the Marshalls-Gilberts raids in February Vice Admiral Wilson Brown attacking the enemy landings on New Guinea in March and had aviation expert Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch with him during the first battle at Coral Sea. Coral Sea — May 4𠄸, 1942

In May 1942, he commanded the task forces during the Battle of the Coral Sea. This battle is famous as the first carrier-on-carrier battle fought between fleets that never came within sight of each other.

Fletcher with Yorktown, Task Force 17, had been patrolling the Coral Sea and rendezvoused with Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch with USS Lexington (CV-2), Task Force 11, and a tanker group. Fletcher finished refueling first and headed West. On hearing the enemy was occupying Tulagi, TF 17 attacked the landing beaches, sinking several small ships before rejoining Lexington and an Australian cruiser force under Rear Admiral John Gregory Crace on May 5.

The next day, intelligence reported a Japanese invasion task force headed for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and a Carrier Strike Force was in the area. The morning of May 7, Fletcher sent the Australian cruisers to stop the transports while he sought the carriers. His combat pilots sank Japanese aircraft carrier Shōhō, escorting the enemy troop ships, — "Scratch one flat top." radioed Lt. Commander Robert Dixon flying back to the USS Lexington. That same day, Japanese carrier planes of Rear Admiral Chuichi Hara found the American tanker USS Neosho (AO-23). Believing they had found a carrier, they severely damaged her after several all-out attacks, and sank her escorting destroyer, USS Sims (DD-409) on May 11, USS Henley (DD-391) located her, rescued the surviving crew, and sank her by naval gunfire.

On May 8, at first light, "round three opened." Fletcher launched seventy-five aircraft, Hara sixty-nine. Fitch had greater experience in handling air operations, and Fletcher had him direct that function, as he was to do again later with Noyes at Guadalcanal. Shokaku was hit, but not damaged below waterline it slunk away. Zuikaku had earlier dodged under a squall. The Japanese attack put two torpedoes into Lexington, which was abandoned that evening. Yorktown was hit near her island, but survived. Hara failed to use Zuikaku to achieve victory and withdrew. The invasion fleet without air cover, also withdrew, thereby halting the Port Moresby invasion. Fletcher had achieved the objective of the mission at the cost of a carrier, tanker, and destroyer. In addition, his Wildcats had beaten Japanese air groups, 52 to 35, and had damaged Shokaku, neither Japanese carrier would be able to join the fight at Midway the following month.

This was the first World War II battle in which the Imperial Japanese Navy had been stopped. In battles in Pearl Harbor, East Indies, Australia and Ceylon, they had defeated the British, Dutch, and Asiatic Fleets, and had not lost a fleet ship larger than mine sweepers and submarines. Midway — June 4𠄷, 1942

In June 1942, Fletcher was the Officer in Tactical Command at the Battle of Midway with two task forces, his usual TF 17 with quickly repaired Yorktown, plus TF 16 with USS Enterprise and USS Hornet. Vice Admiral William Halsey normally commanded this task force, but became ill and was replaced by Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance. When aircraft from four Japanese carriers attacked Midway Island, the three U.S. carriers, warned by broken Japanese codes and waiting in ambush, attacked and sank three enemy carriers – Akagi, Kaga, Soryu. Enterprise and Hornet lost seventy aircraft. Japanese attacks on June 4 severely damaged Yorktown repairs returned her to the battle until she was hopelessly disabled by a new round of attacks two hours later. Fletcher's scouts found the fourth carrier and Enterprise with Yorktown planes then sank Hiryu. At dusk, Fletcher released Spruance to continue fighting with TF 16 the next day. During the next two days, Spruance found two damaged cruisers and sank one. The enemy transport and battle fleets got away. A Japanese submarine, I-168, found crippled Yorktown under tow on June 5 and sank her, along with an adjacent destroyer, USS Hammann (DD-412). Japan had had seven large carriers (six at Pearl Harbor and one new construction) – four were sunk at Midway. This did not win the war, but evened the odds between Japanese and American fleet carriers. Following the battle Fletcher was promoted to Vice Admiral and continued to command a carrier group at sea after shifting his flag to USS Saratoga. Landing at Guadalcanal — August 7𠄹, 1942

As the U.S. took the offensive in August 1942, Vice Admiral Fletcher commanded the Task Force 61's invasion of Tulagi and Guadalcanal by the 1st Marine Division (United States). Carrier close air support was provided at Tulagi. The invasion of Guadalcanal was uncontested on the beach. Fletcher requested permission from Admiral Ghormley, the overall commander, to withdrew his carriers from dangerous waters when they were no longer needed, claiming that his aircraft losses and fuel state due to maneuvering required him to leave. Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner's offloading of supplies did not go as well as expected, he did not tell Fletcher, and then had to withdraw the transports after Fletcher left, over the strenuous objections of the ground commander, Marine General Alexander Vandegrift. The Marines refer to this as the 'Navy Bugout', because the reserve Marine regiment and the division's 155mm heavy artillery, much of its ammunition and also most of its medical supplies and rations had yet to be unloaded. Fletcher and Turner felt that the few US carriers could not be risked against multi-engine, land based, torpedo bombers, when they were needed for combat against carriers. Fletcher chose to withdraw on the third morning to prepare for the inevitable Japanese counterattack. The Navy's withdrawal left the Marines ashore initially completely unprotected against Japanese land-based air raids from Rabaul and from nightly shelling by IJN cruisers and battleships that came down the "Slot" from their large Naval and air base at Rabaul.

The Battle of Savo Island occurred on August 9, 1942. Allied warships under Rear Admiral Victor Crutchley, RN, screening the transports were surprised at midnight and defeated in 32 minutes by a Japanese force of seven cruisers and one destroyer, commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa. One Australian and three U.S. heavy cruisers were sunk, and one other U.S. cruiser and two destroyers were damaged in this lopsided Japanese victory. However, as Crutchley notes, the transports were not touched. Fletcher is sometimes criticized because his carriers were at the far end of their nightly withdrawal, steaming back for the morning, yet too far to away to seek revenge. East Solomons - August 24�, 1942

Fletcher fought a superior Japanese fleet intent on counter-invasion in the carrier aircraft Battle of the Eastern Solomons. He started the engagement and sank his sixth carrier, Ryujo. The ensuing battle was essentially a giant aerial dog fight interspersed with ship borne antiaircraft fire. The U.S. lost 20 planes, the Japanese lost 70. USS Enterprise was hit by three bombs and Chitose was nearly sunk, but survived. The enemy withdrew without landing troops on Guadalcanal. They had to resort to the Tokyo Express : overnight delivery of a few hundred troops and supplies by destroyers. Fletcher was second guessed by non-combatants, and was criticized by Admiral Ernest King, in Washington, for not pursuing the Combined Fleet as it withdrew. This criticism may have affected the decision to not return Fletcher to his command[citation needed] after his flagship, the carrier USS Saratoga, was torpedoed and damaged by a Japanese submarine on August 31, 1942. Fletcher himself was slightly injured in the attack on Saratoga, suffering a gash to his head and was given his first leave after eight months of continuous combat. Northern

In November 1942, he became Commander, Thirteenth Naval District and Commander, Northwestern Sea Frontier to calm the public fear of invasion from the north. A year later, he was placed in charge of the whole Northern Pacific area, holding that position until after the end of World War II, when his forces occupied northern Japan. He also held that command when he ordered the front to bombard the Kurile Islands and other operations as well. Postwar and final days

Vice Admiral Fletcher was appointed to the Navy's General Board in 1946 and retired as Chairman of that governing board in May 1947 with the rank of full Admiral. He retired to his country estate, Araby, in Maryland.

Many of Fletcher's papers were lost in combat. He declined to reconstruct them from Pentagon archives and to be interviewed by Samuel Eliot Morison, who was writing the History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. In return, he received no consideration by Morison[citation needed], an attitude picked up by later authors.

Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher died on April 25, 1973, four days before his 88th birthday at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His widow, Martha Richards Fletcher (b. 29 March 1895, at Kansas City, Missouri), whom Fletcher married in February, 1917 died seventeen months later on 14 September 1974. Martha Fletcher was buried next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Medal of Honor citation

For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Under fire, Lt. Fletcher was eminent and conspicuous in performance of his duties. He was in charge of the Esperanze and succeeded in getting on board over 350 refugees, many of them after the conflict had commenced. Although the ship was under fire, being struck more than 30 times, he succeeded in getting all the refugees placed in safety. Lt. Fletcher was later placed in charge of the train conveying refugees under a flag of truce. This was hazardous duty, as it was believed that the track was mined, and a small error in dealing with the Mexican guard of soldiers might readily have caused a conflict, such a conflict at one time being narrowly averted. It was greatly due to his efforts in establishing friendly relations with the Mexican soldiers that so many refugees succeeded in reaching Vera Cruz from the interior.


Gridley fitted out at Boston Navy Yard and conducted shakedown in the Caribbean area until 27 October 1938, visiting Puerto Rico, Cuba and Venezuela. She then underwent alterations at the Boston Navy Yard until 13 June 1938, when she departed that port, transited the Panama Canal and entered San Diego harbor 5 July 1938. Joining Destroyer Division 11, Gridley spent the next months in tactical maneuvers off the coast of California, and 4 January 1939 departed with the Battle Force for combined maneuvers in the Caribbean. She participated in Fleet Problem 20 with the Fleet off Cuba and Haiti, after which she returned to Boston for repairs.

The destroyer again sailed into San Diego 13 July 1939 and became flagship of Division 11. She conducted maneuvers off California until 2 April 1940, when Gridley and other ships of the fleet conducted Fleet Problem 21 in Hawaiian waters. Subsequently, Gridley operated out of Hawaii.

Gridley cleared Pearl Harbor 28 November 1941 as part of the antisubmarine screen for famed carrier Enterprise, flagship of Admiral Halsey, and after a stop at Wake Island, reversed course for Pearl Harbor. The Task Force was approaching that base on the morning of 7 December when the astounding message heralding the beginning of the war was received: &ldquoAir raid on Pearl Harbor, this is no drill.&rdquo Gridley entered the harbor next day to help protect against renewed attack, and during the next 5 months was occupied escorting transports and repair vessels to and from Pearl Harbor and South Pacific ports. Her last such voyage was completed 27 May 1942 and 5 June she arrived at Kodiak, Alaska, with cruiser Nashville. In the Alaskan theater, Gridley escorted transports and patrolled the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu, assisting in the bombardment of Kiska 7 August 1942. She acted during this period as flagship for famous destroyerman Comdr. Frederick Moosbrugger. (continued)


USS Gridley (DDG-101)

O USS Gridley (DDG-101) é um navio de guerra da Marinha dos Estados Unidos. O contratorpedeiro da classe Arleigh Burke, é o 51º navio de sua classe e tem como seu porto a Base Naval de San Diego, a maior base da Marinha dos Estados Unidos na costa oeste [ 6 ] .

  • um canhão leve Mk-45 5"/62[ 5 ]
  • um 1 MK-15 20mm Phalanx CIWS
  • dois lançadores verticais de mísseis Mk-41 VLS para Tomahawk ASM/LAM
  • dois tubos de torpedo Mk-32 (triplo) para torpedosMk-50 e Mk-46
  • duas metralhadoras Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm
  • dois sistemas de defesa de mísseis anti-navio CIWS Phalanx

O contratorpedeiro navega com o lema Ignis ubi Paratus (Atire quando estiver pronto).

Charles Vernon Gridley (1844-1898) foi um oficial da Marinha dos Estados Unidos combatente na Guerra Civil Americana e na Guerra Hispano-Americana [ 8 ] . Quatro navios norte-americanos foram nomeados USS Gridley em honra ao comandante Charles Vernon Gridley.


WASSAIC IRON

The Wassaic Charcoal Pits are all that remain of the Reed, Gridley & Co. Iron Works, which remained open to the mid-to-late 1820s. The charcoal made in the pits was used to fire the Gridley Blast Furnace. Constructed of stone, the pits are about 30 feet in diameter with an entrance about six-feet high. It took about three weeks of slow burning to transform wood into charcoal. This charcoal was used for fuel in the blast furnace because of its low sulfur content which is harmful to iron.

Gridley Blast Furnace was included in a Phase IA/IB Archaeological Survey Silo Ridge Project Parcels 1,2, and 3 and Phase II Archaeological Evaluation West Lake Amenia Road Historic Site (2014) a cultural resources survey completed by the Town of Amenia in conjunction with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) and Historical Perspectives, Inc. Through documentary research and field reconnaissance, the survey identified 11 charcoal hearths and logging roads that allowed charcoal to be brought down out of the mountains to supply local furnaces. These features were found along the western ridge of the Northern Part of the project site. Although it was never finalized, interestingly, the original NYOPRHP reviewer, Cynthia Blakemore, reported her opinion in project correspondence that these iron-ore-processing elements might form the basis of a future Archaeological District, referred to as “the Peekskill Archaeological District”.

More specifically, the survey reported that Gridley Mine, situated at Amenia adjacent to the old Amenia mine, opened in 1825. Proprietors in 1877 were N. Gridley and Son, Wassaic, NY. Operations in 1877 included one 15 horsepower engine, one tubular boiler 30” x 12”, one No. 5 Knowles pump, 4” suction. Ore drawn up from the mine in carts was washed in a Newbould washer transported in wagons two and one half miles to the furnace at Wassaic, where it was smelted into charcoal pig iron. Capacity in 1877 was 8,000 tons per year.

In addition, more history about the mine was provided in the survey. In 1825 the N. Gridley and Son iron works –also referred to as the Deep Hollow Iron Factory or Wassaic Furnace –was established at the hamlet of Wassaic, immediately south of the project site. Nathanial and Noah Gridley, Joseiah Reed, and Leman Bradley built their works covering several acres, purchased the Amenia mine, and began iron production. When Gridley and Son built their furnace in 1826, it was 32 feet high and nine feet across. It was driven by an overshot wheel powered by the Wassaic Creek, measuring about 22 feet in diameter, and six feet at face. Two blowing cylinders provided for warm blast. Brown hematite ore from Amenia was used alone or mixed with other ore to produce iron. The process required about two tons of ore, limestone, and roughly 150 bushels of charcoal to produce one gross ton of iron.

In 1844 the iron works and mine was purchased by Noah Gridley and his son, William, who continued the venture. Over the 40 years that Gridley’s furnace was in operation, it was also noted by Amenia Historical Society, the hills surrounding Deep Hollow, including those in the western part of the project site, were heavily denuded in the harvest of timber for charcoal. According to the Survey history, “Noah Gridley’s wealth allowed him to essentially grow the community of Wassaic by building a chapel, luring Gail Borden’s Condensed Milk Factory to the town, and convincing Commodore Vanderbilt and Jay Gould to continue the train north. The village of Wassaic essentially became a company town, with Borden and Gridley bolstering the local economy.”

A historic photo provided by the Town of Amenia showed the 150-year old uncommon charcoal furnaces at the Wassaic end of Deep Hollow Road. Although they were no longer used, the 1898 photo showed them as they appeared. A similar photo of the Wassaic Charcoal pits appeared in an earlier survey, Phase I Archaeological Survey Silo Ridge Resort Community Town of Amenia, Dutchess County, NY (2006) now identified as “kilns”.


Watch the video: History


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