Welcome to the Tin Can Sailors' Trivia Quiz Page. From time to time we will post new trivia questions here and some of them will have prizes.

To test yourself against the questions, check back here often and see what new questions there are. All participants who answer correctly will be listed in chronological order at the end of the month. The winner will be randomly selected from those who answer correctly. Because we want to give everyone a chance to win, previous winners will be exempt from receiving a prize for six months.

To ensure fairness, we will only accept responses by email so there is a time stamp on the email and only to the following email address:

Because our library has duplicate copies of several books, some prizes may come from this collection.

Now for the question.

April 2018 Question:


This eventual Navy Cross winner enlisted in the army as an infantry volunteer for the Spanish American War, spent time on Cuba as part of the occupation forces, and even sold real estate in Atlanta, GA., before the aviation bug bit him and he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. (A hot air balloon ride did the trick).  

The young Marine, was commissioned a 2nd Lt., in January 1909 subsequently serving time at sea as part of the Marine Guard detachment on the old battleships New Jersey (BB-16), and the North Dakota (BB-29).  

For this months trivia question can you name the WWII destroyer named in his honor?  

As a bonus can you name the heroic acts of organization and daring that won him the Navy Cross in WWI?

Courtesy of Terrence Wright


September 2017 Question:


What were the first three ships authorized by the Continental Congress and served under then General George Washington?

Answer:  Hannah, Andrew Doria, Alfred.

The one who answered correctly: Mike Poncsak

Prize Recipient:  Mike Poncsak

March 2017 Question:


Name the last US Navy destroyer to be sunk by a kamikaze attack and what factor contributed to the planes success?

Courtesy of Henry Piasky

Answer:  The USS Callaghan (DD-792) was sunk by a kamikaze attack on 28 July 1945. The obsolute single engine biplane was of flimsy construction of wood, plywood and lacquered fabric- which defeated two of the staples of US naval air defense - search radar and radar-emitting projectiles.

The ones who answered correctly:  Thomas Perkins,  Mike Poncsak, Thomas Foley, Lou Colella, Jeff Tomlin, Jeffrey A. Smith, Carl Decker, Terrence Wright, Joe Feuker, William Smart

Prize Recipient:  Terrence Wright

January 2017 Question:


What two Coast Guard manned escorts rescued all the survivors of the USS Lansdale (DD-426) after she was attacked and sunk by aerial torpedoes launched by Luftwaffe aircraft?

Answer:  The USS Newell (DE/DER-322) rescued 119 survivors and the USS Menges (DE-320) rescued 115 more, on or about 20 April 1944. Ironically the USS Menges would lose her bow as a result of a torpedo attack not long after she rescued so many survivors of the USS Lansdale (DD-426).

Source: DANFS NavSource Naval History - Photo Archive Main Index

The ones who answered correctly:  Thomas Perkins, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak, Thomas Foley, Lou Colella, Jeff Tomlin, Bill Burress
Prize Recipient:  Carl Decker 

January 2017 Question:


What two Coast Guard manned escorts rescued all the survivors of the USS Lansdale (DD-426) after she was attacked and sunk by aerial torpedoes launched by Luftwaffe aircraft?

November 2016 Question:


The United States Navy was the first service to respond in World War I after the US declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Six destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 8 arrived in Queenstown, Ireland, in May of that year.  The US Navy suffered few losses in the war including the loss of two destroyers to enemy action.  But one of the worst losses was due to actions with an allied ship.

What was the date, which destroyer was lost and which allied ship was involved?

Answer:  The USS Chauncey (DD-3) was lost on 19 November 1917 when she was cut in half by the British steamer Rose during convoy operations. Chauncey's captain and 20 of the crew were lost. 70 were picked up by the Rose.

The ones who answered correctly:
  Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak, Lou Colella, Jeff Tomlin, Carl Decker
Prize Recipient:  Thomas Perkins

September 2016 Question:

  Question:  Name the two destroyers that delivered the final blow to scuttle
  the last American fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy file?

Answer:  The USS Hornet was the last American aircraft carrier sunk by enemy fire.  Badly damaged, 2 US destroyers, USS Mustin and USS Anderson,  unsuccessfully tried to scuttle the ship.  With an approaching Japanese force, the 2 destroyers were forced to withdraw.
The Hornet was sunk from the fire of 2 Japanese destroyers, the Makigumo and Akigumo.

The ones who answered correctly:
  Thomas Foley, Tom Perkins, Mike Poncsak, Carl Decker and Jeff Smith

Prize Recipient:  Joe Feuker

July 2016 Question:

What three ships of the same name served in WWII?

USS Aaron Ward

USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) was transferred to Britain in 1940 and served as HMS Castleton.  Although she did not served under the Aaron Ward name, she did have that name when transferred to England who was already at war with Germany at that time.
USS Aaron Ward (DD-483) was sunk by Japanese aircraft in 1943.
USS Aaron Ward (DD-773/DM-34) served from 1944 to the end of the war.

In addition to showing the correct answer I want to explain why the USS Meredith was not a correct answer.

USS Meredith (DD-165)was decommissioned 1922 and scrapped in 1936 so it isn't counted.
USS Meredith (DD-434) sunk 15 October 1942.
USS Meredith (DD-726) sunk 9 June 1944.
USS Meredith (DD-890) was commissioned on 31 December 1945 after the surrender.  The technicality of the Occupation of the end of the war by treaty do not apply because officially there has never been a treaty signed by all belligerents.  They simply stopped fighting when the Axis Countries laid down their arms so DD-890 does not count a having served during WWII.

The one who answered correctly:
  Mike Poncsak

Prize Recipient:  Mike Poncsak

June 2016 Question:

Question:  What destroyer at the battle of the Coral Sea a US Navy  fleet class oiler, having completed her assigned refueling was ordered out of the battle area with a destroyer escort.   Two Japanese search planes spotted the ships and misidentified the high riding oiler as a carrier and her escort as a cruiser. Thinking they had found the USS Saratoga, 78 aircraft were launched from the IJN carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku. They arrived and began searching in vain for the "carrier" force. Eventually, they gave up and returned to attack the previously spotted oiler and destroyer, sinking the destroyer and leaving the oiler ablaze aft and in danger of breaking in two.

USS Sims DD-409

Those who answered correctly:  Tom Perkins, Henry Piasky, Joe Feuker, Thomas Foley, Lou Colella, Carl Decker, Mike Poncsak

Prize Recipient:  Henry Piasky

April 2016 Question:

Question:  What ship was named for three brothers lost in action at the Battle of Tassafaronga.

  The Gearing-class destroyer USS Rogers (DD/DDR-876) was named for Jack, Charles and Edwin Rogers who died when a torpedo struck and severed the bow of their ship, the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans (CA-32) on 30 November 1942.

Those who answered correctly:  Mike Poncsak, Lou Colella, Fred Muller, Thomas Foley, Carl Decker and Joe Feuker

Prize Recipient: Carl Decker

March 2016 Question:

Bonus: This ship also helped rescue other sailors from another stricken destroyer sunk during the same storm, can you name that ship as well?

Bonus Answer: This Fletcher class Destroyer also rescued 18 crew members of the USS Hull DD 350.

Footnote: The USS Tabberer, DE418, rescued a total of  55 out of the 93 survivors from 2 of the three foundered destroyers, Spence, Monaghan and Hull. All totaled there were 790 sailors lost from the
3rd Fleet during this epic storm. That's more dead than the total fatalities for the battles of Midway and Coral Sea combined.

Source: DANFS @ for USS Brown, DD-546 and USS Tabberer, DE-418 

Those who answered correctly:   Joe Feuker, Jonathan Mehlrose, Thomas Perkins, Louis Colella, Carl Decker, Lynn A. Cooper, Thomas Foley, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak

Prize Recipient:&n  Jonathan Mehlrose

Courtesy of Terrence Wrightnt>

February 2016 Question:

Question:  What is the US Navy Destroyer Escort that was named for the US Navy LTJG who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for "great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice," while serving on the only US merchantman to sink a German surface vessel during WWII. He was serving as Commanding Officer of the Naval Armed Guard on that freighter.

Answer: USS Kenneth M. Willett DE-354

Those who answered correctly:  Louis Colella, Joe Feuker, Tom Perkins, Thomas Foley, Michael Driscoll, Mike Poncsak, Carl Decker

Prize Recipient: Thomas Foley

Courtesy of Henry Piasky

January 2016 Question:

Question:  In March 1945, what US Navy Destroyer rescued 2 survivors of the USAT J.W. McAndrew and the French Aircraft Carrier Be’arn after the two ships collided in a violent storm?

Answer:  The USS Earl K. Olsen DE-765    Two sailors were rescued the Olsen escorted both ships to Panta Delgada, Azores for emergency repairs.

Those who answered correctly:  Carl Decker, Louis Colella, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak and Tom Perkins

Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Prize Recipient: Louis Colella

December 2015 Question:


What US Navy Ship was the first Navy Ship to be refueled underway and what year did this happen?

  The Wickes Class Destroyer
USS Hogan DD-178  October 1921 by USS Cuyama AO-3.
The USS Hogan refueled by the stern method, by the USS Cuyama AO-3. The USS Cuyama played a key role in the development of what would prove to be a major factor in the naval war with Japan, underway replenishment.

Also accepted answer:  BUT, it depends on how you define refueling – if you count coal fired ships then the answer would be USS Massachusetts in 1899.“The United States Navy was the first to carry out under-way coaling experiments in 1899. The first significant underway replenishment (UNREP) operation at sea was with the collier USS Marcellus and the Navy battleship USS Massachusetts in 1899. The USS Massachusetts towed the collier 300-400 feet astern while steaming along at 6 knots. The tramway between the two shuttled the bags of coal from one to the other. It took about 20 seconds to make a one-way trip.”

Those who answered correctly:  Thomas Perkins, Mark Ferguson, Joe Feuker, Henry Piasky, Carl Decker and Mike Poncsak

Prize Recipient:  Mark Ferguson

Courtesy of Terrence Wright

September 2015 Question:

Which US Navy Destroyer rescued the 12 merchant seaman and 2 US Army personnel plus provided much needed naval support the Pacific War effort in Work War II?

Answer: USS Zane former DD-337, converted to DMS 14 on 20 November 1940.

Bonus question:  Can you name the torpedoed US Steamship rescued by these destroyer men?

Bonus: SS Peter H. Burnett

Those who answered correctly:  No winners

Courtesy of Terrence Wright


July 2015 Question: 

What two US Navy destroyers appeared (via stock footage) in a Gilligan’s Island episode searching for the stranded castaways?

USS Grayson DD 435  USS Emmons DD 457
Episode Forget Me Not.”

Courtesy of Henry Piasky

Those who answered correctly: George Cowie, Carl Decker, Joe Feuker, Thomas Foley, David Glowczewski, Jon Mehlrose, Fred Muller, Chester Nimitz, Mike Poncsak, and Terrence Wright

Prize Recipient: Mike Poncsak

June 2015 Question:

Which CNO was given a letter of reprimand after he ran his first command aground yet his career survived the embarrassment?

Then-ENS Chester W. Nimitz ran the USS Decatur (DD-) onto a sand bar on 7 July 1908 in the Philippines. A court martial found him guilty of dereliction of duty and he was given a letter of reprimand. 33 years later he would become the most powerful admiral since George Dewey and would direct the Pacific War through its end.

Those who answered correctly:  
Louis Colella, Ken Bancroft, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak, Thomas Foley, Carl Decker, Terrence Wright and Tom Perkins

Prize Recipient:
Tom Perkins

May 2015 Question:

QuestionName the two destroyers sunk in the action of 3 December 1944 at Ormoc Bay.

Answer: The IJNS Kuwa and the USS Cooper (DD-
695) were both sunk.

Those who answered correctly:  Ted Hayes, Carl Decker, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak
Prize Recipient: 
Ted Hayes

April 2015 Question: 

:  Which three Fletchers were equipped with 1.1-inch guns instead of 40mm and why?

Answer: The first three ships did not include the Fletcher though it had the lowest hull number. These ships:
USS Nicholas (449) laid down 3 March 41 Commissioned 4 June 42
USS O'Bannon(450) laid down 3 March 41 Commissioned 26 June 42
USS Chevalier (451) laid down 30 Apr 41 Commissioned 20 July 42

Were laid down and launched before Fletcher. The standard configuration changed in favor of the 40mm guns and the 1.1-inch guns were not used in the other 172 ships of the class.

Those who answered correctly:  Louis Colella, Tom Harper, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak
Prize Recipient: 
Tom Harper

March 2015 Question:

Prior to WW2, during Fleet exercises off the Southern California coast, two Navy PBY seaplanes collided in midair. Although his plane was badly damaged this Navy Lt. kept his calm, remained at the controls endeavoring to bring the damaged plane to a safe landing or to afford an opportunity for his crew to escape by parachutes. His cool calculated conduct contributed principally to the saving of the lives of the members of his crew who survived the mishap. After hearing the tales told by his surviving crew members this officer was recognized by his superiors for his bravery, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Can you name the US Navy Destroyer that was commissioned in his name as a result of his heroic sacrifice?

USS Hutchins DD 476. This ship was damaged beyond repair by a Japanese suicide boat during the operations off the Island of Okinawa in 1945. Undergoing repairs at the Puget Sound Naval Yard at war’s end she had been damaged so badly she was never fully repaired and was sold for scrap to the Learner and Company of Oakland, Cal.

Courtesy of Terrence Wright
Those who answered correctly: 
Carl Decker, Joe Feuker, Mike Driscoll, Thomas Foley, Mike Lester, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak
Prize Recipient:  Joe Feuker

February 2015 Question:

How many ships began life as nuclear-powered destroyers and can you name them in order?

Answer: There were seven
USS Bainbridge DLGN-25
USS Truxtun DLGN-35
USS California DLGN-36
USS South Carolina DLGN-37
USS Virginia DLGN-38 Begun as a nuclear-powered destroyer leader but redesignated CGN before completion USS Texas DLGN-39 Begun as a nuclear-powered destroyer leader but redesignated CGN before completion USS Mississippi DLGN-40 Begun as a nuclear-powered destroyer leader but redesignated CGN before completion
USS Arkansas DLGN-41 - construction was not started until after all DLGNs were redesignated as CGNs.

DLGN-42 was cancelled before construction began and before the ship was>

Note: some guys may refer to the ships as DLG(N) and that's acceptable because the Navy did it that way for a while, too.

Those who answered correctly:  Carl Decker, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak and Bill Burress
Prize Recipient:  Carl Decker

January 2015 Question:

Question:  What two ships are named for the same person yet have the ship name spelled differently and why?

Answer: USS Charles Ausburn and USS Charles Ausburne were both named for Electrician First Class Charles Lawrence Ausburne. He died while serving as radioman in the Army transport ANTILLES and staying at his post to the last. He was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously. His relatives were contacted about the naming of the first ship, DD-294 and they spelled the name Ausburn. A letter signed by Charles Auburne showing that he spelled his name with the final "e" was discovered after the first ship was commissioned so the second ship, DD-570, was spelled as he spelled it.

Those Who Answered Correctly
:  Joe Feulker, Bill Burress, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak
Prize Recipient:  Bill Burress

December 2104 Question:

 Just as the USS Kearsarge was the only battleship not named for a state, one destroyer was not named for a person. Which destroyer and why?

The USS Norfolk (DL-1) was named for the City of Norfolk. The Norfolk was designed to be the first of a new type of ship called the cruiser hunter-killer with a hull designation of CLK-1. Built on the Atlanta-class light cruiser hull, for use as what came to be called a destroyer leader in 1951, Norfolk was too expensive to be produced in large numbers and her proposed sister ship New Haven (CLK-2) was cancelled.

Those Who Answered Correctly:  Bill, Burress, Henry Piasky and Mike Poncsak
Prize Recipient:  Henry Piasky

November 2014 Question: 

 Another tin can movie trivia question: In the Robert Mitchum and Kurt Jurgens classic, The Enemy Below, what famous Hollywood studio head appears briefly as an enlisted sailor in an uncredited role?

: Darrel F. Zanuck appears as a chief.

Those Who Answered Correctly:
Tom Perkins, Mike Poncsak, Bill Burress, Terrence Wright, Thomas Foley, Joe Feuker, Henry Piasky, Frank Bauman, Carl Decker 
Prize Recipient:  Mike Poncsak

October 2014 Question: 
In the 1943 film "Destroyer" starring Edward G. Robinson, there is s scene where Japanese planes are attacking. During the war enemy planes obviously were not available to use in American movies so what planes were actually used? Bonus question: What former actor from Charlie Chan movies appeared in Destroyer as a Japanese sonar operator?

Answer:  Douglas SBD dive bombers with solid circles painted on their wings.

Bonus answer: Benson Fong who had played Tommy Chan, Charlie Chan's #3 son in several films. If you answered both correctly then you also win a hearty pat on the back for a job well done. You'll have to visit TCS HQ in Somerset, Massachusetts to receive your back pat however.

Those Who Answered Correctly: Frank Bauman, Tom Perkins, Thomas Foley, Mike Poncsak, Erich von-Salzen, Henry Piasky, Carl Decker
Prize recipient: Frank Bauman 


September 2014 Question:
This Destroyer Escort was commissioned in the fall of 1943 at Orange, TX. After receiving Huff Duff gear in Charleston SC, she completed at least 11 transatlantic convoys from December 1943 till June 1945 supporting the North African campaign, the Mediterranean and the European theatre of operations.  Transfered to the Pacific fleet after the victory in Europe she was bound for Pearl Harbor via San Diego when Japan capitulated in August 1945.

Decommissioned for the first time in late January 1946, this ship joined the large DE mothball fleet in Green Cove Springs, Fl.

With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in 1950, the ship was recommissioned in October 1951. She spent the next few years operating out of Newport and the Fleet Sonar School in Key West, Fl., as part of Escort Squadron CORTRON 10.

During the summer of 1954 Hurricane Carol devastated the area in and around Narragansett Bay. Five brave sailors from this DE risked their lives to rescue 3 civilians who were clinging perilously to the roof of their summer cottage that had been swept into Narragansett Bay by the hurricane. Can you name the ship that these 5 brave sailors called home when they preformed their daring rescue?

Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Answer: USS Blair DE 147 Edsall Class

Those who answered correctly: 
Ted Hayes, Mike Lester, Bill Burress, Henry Piasky, Michael Driscoll, Carl Decker, Mike Poncsak, Erich von-Salzen
Prize recipient: 
Michael Driscoll

August 2014 Question: 
What two destroyers surfaced a Soviet submarine during the Cuban blockade in 1962 and why was that so important?
Courtesy of Bill Foley

Answer:  USS Blandy (DD-943) and USS Charles P. Cecil (DD-835). The submarine carried nuclear-tipped torpedoes that could have inflicted tremendous damage to American ports.

Those who answered correctly:  Terrence Wright, Tom Erb and Carl Decker
Prize recipient: 
Terrence Wright

July 2014 Question:

What two U.S. Navy destroyers were named for (then) living persons?

Answer:  USS ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG-51) and USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG-108) Admiral Burke was present at the commissioning of his namesake but Rear Admiral Meyer, father of the AEGIS System, died five weeks before the ship was commissioned. He was present at launching and had often visited during her construction.

Those who answered correctly:
 Bill Burress, Carl Decker, Joe Feuker, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak and Jonathan Mehlrose
Prize recipient:  Carl Decker

June 2014 Question: 

This World War Two submarine commander chose not to abandon ship with the rest of his crew. Instead he chose to stay with his ship and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for his county by going down with his ship. His gallantry was later explained by his shipmates, who said the Captain chose to remain onboard the ship rather than be taken prisoner by the Japanese.
The Captain reasoned that if captured he would be tortured and possibly be given drugs to extract the truth from him about current submarine tactics and strategy, possible fleet movements and the important plans for the impending invasion of the Gilbert Islands. This heroic officer earned the Medal of Honor posthumously for his brave actions.
This trivia question asks the name of the ship christened in his honor, and the name of the submarine he so heroically went down with after saving his crew.

Answer: DE 1014, Dealy Class Destroyer Escort and SS 191 USS Sculpin.
Captain John Phillip Cromwell born 11 September 190, he graduated the US Naval Academy with the class of 1924. Prior to his submarine commands he served on the battle ship Maryland BB-46. He was flying the pennant of Commander Submarine Division 44 onboard the USS Sculpin, when after repeated Japanese depth charge attacks, Captain Cromwell was forced to quit the fight in order to save his crew.

Those who answered correctly:  Henry Plasky, Joe Feuker, Lou Colella, Tom Perkins, Bill Buress, Mike Lester, Thomas Foley, Robert Wilson, Carl Decker
Prize recipient:  Mike Lester

May 2014 Question:

More than 50 years ago a US Navy escort ship was cited by a Coast Guard board of inquiry for the main responsibility in the collision with a commercial transport ship just off the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, in the area marked by the Cape Henry lighted channel entrance buoy.
This Navy escort vessel had two sailors killed in the collision as a result of the incident and several injured. The question is, can you give the exact date of the tragedy and the names of both ships involved in this unfortunate incident? Courtesy of Terrence Wright.

USS Darby DE 218, and the TS (transport ship) Soya Atlantic (Swedish registry), 19 March 1960.
Source: DANFS  and

Those who answered correctly:
 Mike Lester, Patrick McGrath, Thomas Foley, Lou Colella, Robert Wilson, Michael Driscoll, Tom Perkins, Carl Decker, Henry Piasky, Mike Poncsak
Prize recipient:  Robert Wilson

April 2014 Question:

Question:  During the Battle of Santa Cruz, with her entire bow and bridge a blazing inferno from a Japanese Torpedo suicide plane, which US Destroyer survived because her courageous and ingenious Captain, a Lieutenant Commander, stuck her bow into the foaming wake of a US Navy Battleship? This action helped extinguish the inferno preventing further damage to the ship and saving more sailors below deck?
This action most likely saved the destroyer and subsequently she was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation from Navy Secretary Knox, commending the action of both officers and crew.
Question courtesy of Terrence Wright.

Answer: Lieutenant Commander Hunter Wood Jr. was the C/O of the USS Smith, DD 378, who stuck the destroyers bow into the foaming wake of the USS South Dakota during the Battle of Santa Cruz.. The Presidential Unit Citation is listed below.
CITATION: “For outstanding performance during action against enemy Japanese forces off Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942. Although a hostile torpedo plane crashed on her forecastle and exploded at the height of the battle, the SMITH, with her forward topside abandoned and aflame, gallantly held to her screening position on an aircraft carrier and fought off attacking planes until the fire could be extinguished. Her survival is a distinctive tribute to the invincible fighting spirit of her officers and men.” For the President,
/s/ Frank Knox
Secretary of the Navy
Source: page 198 “Destroyer Operations in WW2”, by Theodore Roscoe USNI Press

Those who answered correctly: Tom Perkins, Lou Colella, Joe Feuker, Robert Wilson, Henry Piasky, Bill Buress, Tom Erb, Mike Driscoll, Thomas Foley, Carl Decker and Mike Poncsak
Prize recipient:  Lou Colella

March 2014 Question:

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, many a US Destroyer got underway without their C/O, or their X/O. Those destroyers that got underway were missing many other very important rated members of their respective crews. One notable example of a destroyer getting underway with less than a full complement had four Ensigns as the only officers in the wardroom when the attack started. At 0847 their make shift C/O had the ships crew cast off lines and they got the ship underway. The ship got underway with about 85 percent of their crew intact, and started fighting back as best they could as soon as they could. This destroyer got underway temporarily commanded by one of the 4 Ensigns, with the other 3 officers assuming other underway duties while the ship was at general quarters.

Name the destroyer
who was commanded by this Ensign on Dec. 7, 1941.
Bonus question
: Can you name which one of the 4 Ensigns aboard the ship took command along with the names of the other 3 officers?
Question courtesy of Terrence Wright.

 USS Blue - DD 387
onus answer:  Ensign N.F. Asher took command of the USS Blue, while Ensigns, M.J. Moldafsky, USNR, J.P. Wolfe, USNR, and R.S. Scott USNR manned their battle stations. Source: Page 49 paragraph 4, United States Destroyer Operations of World War 2, US Naval Institute Press, by Theodoore Roscoe.  For additional information see:

The other destroyer was the USS Aylwin DD 355 under the command of ENS. Stanley B. Caplan The other 3 ensigns on board were ENS. Hugo C.Anderson,  ENS. William K. Reordan, and ENS. Burdick H. Britton. The USS Aylwin got underway around 0850. 

Those who answered correctly:  B
ill Posson, Joe Feuker, Tom Perkins, Mike Lester, Thomas Foley, Henry Piasky, Carl Decker, Bill Burress, Tom Erb, Mike Poncask
Prize recipient: Thomas Foley

February 2014 Question:

What famous Hollywood actor's father was a Naval Academy graduate (1925) retiring as a Rear Admiral, and the first CO of a destroyer nicknamed "Mighty Mac" commissioned in 1942?  His mother was a relative of American Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

Robert Duvall and USS Macomb (DD-458/DMS-23)

Those who answered correctly: 
Mike Lester, Joe Fueker, Thomas Foley, Henry Piasky, Bill Burress, Tom Perkins and Mike Ponscak
Prize recipient:
Joe Feuker

January 2014 Question:

Which U.S. Navy ship was the only vessel to be referred to as “he”? And why?

Answer: USS Piedmont (AD-17) was given the nickname “Doc” by Walt Disney along with a logo featuring Doc of the Seven Dwarfs as a sailor with his tool bag, repairing a destroyer. For that reason the ship was referred to as “he”.

Those who answered correctly: 
Carl Decker, Mike Ponscak
Prize recipient: 
Carl Decker

December  2013 Question:

There are many famous brother stories during WW II. Some of these brothers, who perished while serving bravely in battle, had ships named after them.
Of these ships, the Fletcher class destroyer “The Sullivans”, is the most recognized. The Barber brothers, killed on the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack, had the Buckley class destroyer escort DE-161 (later APD 57) named in their honor.
Can you guess the US destroyer, commisioned in 1945, who is named for three brothers who served valiantly in the U.S. Navy during WW II in two different units?
Hints: one brother was killed during a German glide bomb attack on a US destroyer, during the beach landings at Anzio in Italy.  The other two brothers were killed when their escort carrier was struck by a Japanese torpedo in late 1943. Of the officers and enlisted men who served on this ship only 272 of her crew survived.

Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Answer: uss hollister (dd-788), Gearing Class destroyer.

Those who answered correctly: 
Mike Poncsak, Tom Perkins, Henry Piasky, Bill Burress, Johathan Mehlrose
Prize recipient: 
Jonathan Mehlrose

November 2013 Question:

Can you name the only Navy destroyer to have the following dimensions and armament? This ship was 440’ 3” long with a beam of 38’ 1” with 8each 4”/65 guns, 37each 25mm anti aircraft guns and 4 each 13mm anti aircraft guns? Courtesy of Terrence Wright

DD 934 former IJN Destroyer Hanazuki was a war prize delivered to the US Navy in June 1947 and subsequently sunk as a target off the Goto Islands on February 3, 1948. She also carried 8 of the feared type 93 long lance torpedoes.

Those who answered correctly:
Mike Poncsak, Henry Piasky, Bill Burress, Bob Crawford, Lou Colella, Tom Perkins and Mike Lester
Prize recipient:
Tom Perkins

October  2013 Question:

What was the first US Navy ship to be named for an African American Naval Hero? Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Answer: The USS Harmon DE 678. This Buckley Class Destroyer Escort was commissioned on 31 august 1943. Mess Attendant Leonard Roy Harmon was killed in action trying to save one of his shipmates onboard the USS San Francisco during the naval battle of Guadalcanal in November 12 + 13, 1942. Mess Attendant 1st class Harmon shielded Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Lynford Bondsteel with his body, from the shrapnel of a 6” projectile fired from the secondary batteries of the Battleship Hiei.
Right after the first attack on USS San Francisco, by Japanese torpedo planes, Mess Attendant 1st Class Harmon tended to his Executive Officer Commander Mark Crouter. Who, although gravely wounded, refused to be moved below for medical treatment so he could remain topside in charge of the ship. Mess Attendant 1st Class Harmon then reported to his battle station where he heroically gave his life to save his fellow shipmate, Pharmacist Mate 3rd class Lynford Bondsteel. Mess Attendant 1st class Harmon was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions.

Those who answered correctly: Lou Colella, Mike Driscoll, Bill Burress, Fred Muller, Henry Piasky, Mike Lester, Joe Feuker, Tom Foley, Tom Perkins, Mike Poncsak
Prize recipient:
Fred Muller

September 2013 Question:

What was the name of the first U.S. Navy destroyer to go to sea with the first American search radar, and what year did this happen? Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Answer: USS Leary.  April, 1937
Source Material: “Destroyer Operations of WW2” , by Theodoore Roscoe

Those who answered correctly: Mike Poncsak, Lou Colella, Bill Burress, Tom Perkins, Fred Muller, Henry Piasky, Joe Feuker
Prize Recipient: Bill Burress

August 2013 Question:

Before radar was perfected scouting by plane or blimp was the only way Navy ships had any knowledge of what lay beyond the horizon. Scout cruisers and battleship had seaplanes launched from their decks to determine where the enemy was and what their strength was. With this technology in place the U.S. Navy decided to try a seaplane launched from a destroyer.

In sticking with this theme there were 6 Fletcher class destroyers who were designed with this configuration. The USS PRINGLE (DD-), USS Halford, and the USS Stevens were the only 3 Fletchers to be built with the seaplane. The other 3 ships didn’t receive this configuration because of the vast numbers of Kaiser built CVE’s or escort carriers that would eventually take this responsibility over from the tin cans, much to the chagrin of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

This trivia question is asking the name of the two destroyers used by the US Navy as test beds for the idea of destroyer launched seaplanes that culminated in the 3 Fletcher class destroyers so configured.

Answer: USS Charles Ausburne DD 294 and USS Noa DD 343. The Charles Ausburne was fitted with a seaplane and the accompanying picture was taken in 1923. The USS Noa had her seaplane installed on or about 1 April 1940 soon after she was re-commissioned.

Unlike the seaplanes launched from a battleship or a cruiser the USS Noa’s plane was hoisted over the side and it took off from the water, not launched as it were from the ship itself. See the two following pages for pictures of both destroyers with a seaplane.
Source: DANFS for both DD 294 and DD 343.

Those who answered correctly: Tom Perkins, Bill Burress, Mike Poncsak and Henry Piasky
Prize recipient: Henry Piasky

July 2013 Question:

What destroyer was the first to do plane guard duty? Question courtesy of Henry Piasky

Answer: USS Roe DD 24    14 November 1910

Those who answered correctly: Terrence Wright, Tom Perkins, Lou Colella and Mike Poncsak
Prize recipient: Mike Poncsak

June 2013 Question:

This interesting sailor and explorer fought in the Mexican War while serving on the frigate Congress in California coastal waters. He was rated as a “passed midshipman” on 1 July 1842.

 He was part of the shore party commanded by Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearney and his First Dragoons. The party was sent ashore to the recently captured Port of San Diego and encountered no trouble on the way in. However on December 7th and 8th the shore party had sharp engagements with a much larger Mexican force and were eventually surrounded. Kit Carson, who was with the shore party, and this sailor/explorer volunteered to sneak out past the Mexican lines and return to San Diego for reinforcements. Traveling all night this sailor/explorer took 27 hours of walking to beat Kit Carson, by several hours, to San Diego. Together with Kit Carson they lead the 200 man relief column back to the beleaguered shore party and escorted them safely to San Diego.

 He was promoted to Master on 1 August 1849 and to Lieutenant on 28 February, 1850. He resigned from the Navy in 1852 to accept an appointment as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada. He was eventually appointed Surveyor General of California. At the end of the Civil War he retired to his ranch near present day Bakersfield California. President Ulysses Grant appointed him as Minister to the Austrian Hungarian Empire and he held that post for a year before he retired for good. Can you name this man and the 2 destroyer’s that bore his name? Courtesy of Terrence Wright

Answer: Edward Fitzgerald Beale born Feb 4, 1822, died 4-22-1898 at WDC. The Paulding Class USS Beale, DD 40 and Fletcher Class DD 471.

Those who answered correctly: Ed Zajkowski, Lou Colella, Tom Foley, Mike Poncsak, Bill Burress, Henry Piasky, Tom Perkins, Mike Lester, Ted Hayes, Carl Decker, Mike Driscoll and Robert Wilson
Prize recipient: Mike Lester

May 2013 Question:

What US Navy destroyer was sunk as part of an action scene in a 1933 movie about WW1 Naval service in the Adriatic?  Please name the movie as well.


USS Moody DD277 Clemson Class destroyer.
Movie name: 
“Hell Below”, starring Robert Montgomery, Jimmy Durante, Robert Young and Madge Evans as the love interest. The cinematography team developed a way to film targets through a periscope using a series of lenses and prisms. USS S-31 played the fictional U.S. submarine AL-14.
MGM purchased the USS Moody, a World War I-era destroyer destined for scrapping due to the London Naval Treaty limits on navy strength, for US$35,000. The firm of Merritt-Chapman & Scott was hired to sink the ship to simulate the torpedoing of a German destroyer.
Where Moody went down:
Date of Sinking: February 21, 1933 Rig/Type: Wickes/Clemson Class Destroyer DD-277 Cause of Sinking: Blown up for the movie "Hell Below" Length: 314' 4" Breadth: 30' 6" Tons: 1,090 Cargo: None Built: Bethlehem Ship building Corp., Squantum, Mass 1919 Location: San Pedro Bay Hull Construction: Steel Depth:  135-150'

Those who answered correctly: Tom Perkins, Carl Decker, Ted Hayes, Lou Colella, Tom Foley, Mike Poncsak, Robert Wilson and Henry Piasky
Prize recipient: Lou Colella

April 2013 Question:

What’s the name of the first U.S. Navy Torpedo Boat capable of launching self propelled torpedoes?

WTB-1 Stiletto. Wooden Torpedo Boat launched by Herreshoff Manufacturing Company Bristol, R.I. Purchased by special act of Congress on March 3, 1887. Stiletto was stricken from the navy list 27 January 1911 then sold on 18 July1911 to James F Nolan, East Boston, MA. for scrap.

There were no answers for April.

March 2013 Question:

This trivia question seeks a two part answer.

Can you name the man who wrote to his daughter in September 1814, telling of his orders by the Secretary of the Navy to burn the Washington Navy Yard to prevent it’s falling into enemy hands?

Can you also name the first of 3 US Navy ships to be named in honor of this man for his distinguished Naval service.  Courtesy of Terrance Wright


Thomas Tingey, and TB# 34.

Thomas wrote to his daughter on September 17, 1814 and the two sentences below are quoted from that letter.

 “I was the last officer who quitted the city after the enemy had possession of it, having fully performed all orders received, in which was included that myself retiring, and not to fall into their possession. I was also the first who returned and the only one who ventured in on the day on which they were peaceably masters of it.”

Thomas Tingey distinguished himself during the Quai War with France, as a Captain of the 24gun ship Ganges who along with the brig Pickney and Revenue Cutter South Carolina, formed a squadron to guard the Windward Passage.

There were no correct answers for March.