USS BREESE (DD-122)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published
Breese (DD-122) was launched 11 May 1918 by Newport News
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA; sponsored by Mrs. Gilbert
McIlvaine, daughter of Captain Breese; and commissioned 23 October 1918,
Lieutenant J. M. B. Smith in command.
She reported to Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet and cruised
for several days as a convoy escort at the close of World War I. Returning to
Norfolk, she was assigned to Division 12, Destroyer Force Atlantic Fleet, and
served in Cuban waters during the spring of 1919. In July 1919, Division 12 was
assigned to the Pacific Fleet, based at San Diego. For a year she served with
Squadron 4 and from June 1920 was in Rotating Reserve. During October 1920 to
June 1922 she participated in division maneuvers and fleet maneuvers with the
Battle Force, in the Pacific, and went out of commission 17 June 1922.
Breese was redesignated a light minelayer (DM-18) on 5
Recommissioned 1 June 1931, following overhaul and conversion at
Mare Island Navy Yard, she returned to San Diego for trials and standardization
tests before departing for Pearl Harbor. Assigned to Division 1, Minecraft,
Battle Force, US Fleet, in Hawaiian waters, she engaged in training exercises,
served with submarine divisions as target ship, and as station ship for
airplane flights until her return to San Diego in June 1937. She was out of
commission in reserve from 12 November 1937 until 25 September 1939.
Upon recommissioning Breese joined Mine Division 5 Battle
Force. On 2 November 1939 she arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard for Neutrality
Patrol off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The next year she made an
inspection trip to Alaskan bases with Commander, Alaskan Sector, embarked. Upon
returning she rejoined her Division in San Francisco and prepared for a cruise
to Hawaii, where she arrived 10 December 1940. Attached to Mine Division 2,
Minecraft, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, through the succeeding year she took
part in training exercises in the operating area and on the Maui range. On 7
December 1941 Breese was anchored at Pearl Harbor and by 0757 she opened fire with her machine guns at
close range on the attacking Japanese planes. Although she received no material
damage from the Japanese attack, she aided in the sinking of one midget
submarine and damaged numerous enemy planes.
Breese operated in the Central Pacific from 7 December 1941
until 10 October 1944. She then extended her sphere of duty westward to include
various islands in the Marianas-Philippine area and continued to serve as a
mine layer and patrol ship until 7 November 1945.
During her wartime career she carried out minesweeping duties during
consolidation of the Solomon Islands (6-13 May 1943); New
Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu operation (29 June-25 August); occupation and defense
of Cape Torokina (1-8 November ); Leyte landings (12-24 October 1944); Lingayen
Gulf landings (4-18 January 1945); Iwo Jima operation ( 16 February-7 March);
Okinawa seizure (25 March -30 June); and 3rd Fleet operations against Japan
(5-31 July). In August and September 1945 Breese swept mines in the East
China Sea and Kyushu-Korean area.
On 7 November 1945 Breese steamed to the west coast arriving
26 November. She transited the Panama Canal and put into New York 13 December.
She was decommissioned 15 January 1946 and sold 16 May 1946.
Breese received ten battle stars for her World War II