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Hull Number: DD-370

Launch Date: 09/14/1935

Commissioned Date: 09/15/1936

Decommissioned Date: 12/13/1945

Call Sign: NIZQ


Class: MAHAN

MAHAN Class


Namesake: AUGUSTUS LUDLOW CASE

AUGUSTUS LUDLOW CASE

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, June 2015

Born in Newburgh, N.Y., 3 February 1812, Augustus Ludlow Case was appointed midshipman in 1828 and attained the rank of rear admiral 24 May 1872. He participated in the Wilkes Expedition of 1837-42 which explored the South Seas and discovered the Antarctic Continent; the Mexican War, 1846-48, when with 25 men he held the town of Palisada against the Mexican cavalry for two weeks to block the escape of General Santa Ana; and the Paraguay Expedition of 1859. In the Civil War he was Fleet Captain of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in its capture of Forts Clark and Hatteras in August 1861, and commanded Iroquois in the blockade of New Inlet, N.C. From 1869 to 1873 he was Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and from 1873 to 1875, commanded the European Squadron and the combined European, North and South Atlantic Fleet assembled at Key West in 1874. Retired in 1875, Admiral Case died in Washington 16 February 1893.


Disposition:

Sold 12/31/1947. Scrapped.


USS CASE DD-370 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, June 2015

Case (DD-370) was launched 14 September 1935 by Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Mass.; sponsored by Miss M. R. Case; commissioned 15 September 1936, Commander J. S. Roberts in command; and reported to the Battle Force, later the Pacific Fleet.

Case joined in fleet problems in the Hawaiian area, and in 1938, served as school ship at San Diego. From this, her home port, she carried midshipmen on an Alaskan cruise in summer 1939, and in April 1940 returned to Pearl Harbor to take part in a fleet problem which found her sailing to Midway, Johnston, and Palmyra Islands. Between February and April 1941, she cruised to Samoa, Tahiti, and Auckland, N.Z.

Case was in a nest of destroyers at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard on 7 December 1941. The nest opened fire on the attacking Japanese, and splashed several enemy planes in the first action of World War II. From 7 December until 23 May 1942 Case escorted convoys passing between the west coast and Pearl Harbor.

From 31 May to 7 August 1942, Case defied the vicious weather of Alaskan waters, as she patrolled and carried cut the usual varied destroyer assignments off Kodiak. On 7 August, she unleashed her guns in the preinvasion bombardment of Kiska, and on an enemy tanker with undetermined results. Case continued on patrol off Adak until mid-October, when she escorted shipping to Pearl Harbor, then proceeded to the States for overhaul.

Returning to Pearl Harbor 21 November 1942, Case cleared to ascort a convoy to the Fiji Islands, arriving 20 December. From Fiji she sailed to Guadalcanal to screen a convoy during its unloading period, and on 1 January 1943, arrived at Espiritu Santo, her base for escort, patrol, and training duty through 23 September. After overhaul at San Francisco, Case returned to Pearl Harbor in December.

For the next 8 months, Case was almost constantly at sea, screening groups of the 3d and 5th Fleets in their air strikes which paved the way for the advance westward across the Pacific. From mid-January through mid-March 1944, these strikes were hurled at Japanese bases in the Marshalls, supporting the invasion of these islands. Palau and the western Carolines were the targets 30 March-1 April, and Case next sailed from Majuro for the late-April air raids on Hollandia, Truk, Satawan, and Ponape. A month of local screening and escort duty at Majuro preceded Case’s assignment to TG 58.4 for the strikes on Japanese airfields in the Bonins, designed to neutralize these bases during the invasion of the Marianas. With this group, she screened carriers in the historic Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19 and 20 June. In this engagement, nick-named the “Marianas Turkey Shoot,” the back of Japanese naval aviation was broken, which had a decisive influence on the remainder of the war.

After a repair period at Eniwetok, Case resumed her operations with TG 58.4, screening for air strikes preparing for the landings on Guam late in July 1944, and the attacks on the Bonins on 4 and 5 August. Through mid-September, Case served on inter-island escort duty in the Marianas. In September, she rendezvoused with two submarines carrying allied prisoners of war, many of them wounded, rescued after the sinking of a Japanese transport. Since rough seas prevented the submarines from transferring the wounded to Case, the destroyer put medical officers on board the submarines.

Case participated in the bombardment of Marcus Island on 9 October 1944 and then joined TG 38.1 for strikes on Luzon in conjunction with the invasion of Leyte from 18 to 23 October. She returned to Ulithi 29 October, putting to sea again 8 November for the bombardment of Iwo Jima on the night of 11/12 November.

Resuming escort duty from Ulithi, Case was screening cruisers bound for Saipan on 20 November, when she rammed and sank a Japanese midget submarine at the entrance to Mugai Channel. Immediately, she put back to Ulithi for an inspection of damage incurred in the encounter, but was back in action just two days later, bound for off shore patrol at Saipan until 6 December.

Case ioined in a smashing bombardment of Iwo Jima once more on 24 December, during which she and Roe (DD-418) were dispatched to attack a fleeing Japanese transport. A 2-hour chase at full speed followed, both destroyers firing as the range closed. At 1559, the effect of accurate gunfire told as the transport sank, her sur- vivors refusing any assistance from the American destroyers. After repairs at Saipan, she returned to Iwo Jima 24 and 25 January 1945 for antisubmarine patrol during the opening phases of operations ashore. Escort and patrol duty from Saipan occupied her until 19 March, when she began an extended period of antisubmarine patrol, aid-sea rescue, and radar picket duty between Saipan and Iwo Jima until the close of the war.

A fitting climax to Case’s fine war record came on 2 September 1945, when she sailed to Chichi Jima to accept and supervise the surrender of the Bonins Islands. On 19 September, she took departure from Iwo Jima for Norfolk, Va., arriving 1 November. Here she was decommissioned 13 December 1945, and sold 31 December 1947.

Case received seven battle stars for World War II service.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS CASE DD-370

The Tin Can Sailor, October 1997

USS CASE, the first of the MAHAN class to be started at a Navy yard, was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard on September 19, 1934 and launched just short of a year later. Like many of her sisters, CASE profited from the less hectic building pace of the years immediately before World War II, requiring almost exactly two years from keel laying to commissioning.

DD-370 was named for RADM Augustus Ludlow Case. In a career that spanned forty-seven years, Case served with the Wilkes Expedition in exploring the South Pacific, blocked the escape of Mexican dictator Santa Ana during the Mexican War, served with distinction in the Union blockade in the Civil War, and became a pivotal factor in weapons development and experimentation in the post-war years. At the height of his career, he served as the joint commander of the European, North, and South Atlantic Squadrons in 1874. RADM Case retired the following year, and passed away in Washington, D.C. on February 16, 1893 at the age of eighty-one. DD-370 was the second ship to bear RADM Case’s name.

In the years preceding World War II, new destroyers were immediately transferred to fleet operations, usually with the Pacific Battle Force. After participating in a number of fleet exercises in Hawaiian waters, CASE was assigned as a school ship for midshipmen cruises. For three years, her duties took her far from her homeport of San Diego.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor found CASE moored with a nest of destroyers in East Loch around the destroyer tender USS WHITNEY (AD-4). The new destroyer contributed to the intense anti-aircraft fire that downed several of the attackers.

For the first six months of the Pacific War, CASE helped to keep the convoy routes between Hawaii and the West Coast safe for Allied shipping. The scores of merchant vessels that DD-370 patiently shepherded between California and Pearl Harbor carried the fabric of the American victory.

The summer and fall of 1942 found CASE in some of the most treacherous waters in the World. The Japanese, as a part of their thwarted strategy to bring the American fleet to decisive battle, had invaded the western islands of the Aleutian archipelago, extending west of Alaska. DD-370 was sent North to contest the move and, along with the sparse forces available, helped to wrest Kiska from the Japanese grasp. Off the contested island, CASE battled with shore batteries and fought off the attacks of two Japanese fighters and a four-engine “flying boat”. Fortunately, the destroyer suffered no casualties, while the bombardment force with which she served accounted for the destruction of a number of shore installations, scores of landing barges, three large aircraft, and the eight thousand ton freighter, KANO MARU.

After a much-needed stateside overhaul, CASE was ordered to Pearl Harbor to join the fast carrier forces that would slash away at the perimeter of the Japanese Empire in the central Pacific. Through the summer of 1944, DD-370 helped to screen the task groups that would pound the Marshals, the Bonins, and the Marianas. She protected the flat tops that massacred the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force in what came to be called the “Mariana’s Turkey Shoot.”

Destroyers in World War II served in a variety of roles, and CASE was no exception. In September, 1944, she put medical personnel aboard two U.S. submarines to help care for Americans rescued after the sinking of their prison ship. In November, CASE, serving once again as part of a cruiser/destroyer screen bound for the invasion of Saipan, rammed and sank a midget submarine attempting to penetrate the fleet repair and supply base at Ulithi. With her minor damage repaired, CASE was off to the war once again.

In December 1944, CASE found herself in the invasion forces off Iwo Jima. On the day before Christmas, DD-370 and USS ROE (DD- 418) were dispatched to stop an escaping Japanese transport. In a two-hour chase, the destroyers slowly overtook the fleeing vessel. The accurate fire of the two destroyers took effect and the transport settled; her survivors refused rescue.

CASE spent the rest of the war supporting operations around Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. As an honored member of the “fleet that came to stay”, DD-370 was called upon to accept the formal surrender of Japanese forces in the Bonin Islands on September 2, 1945. Seventeen days later, the veteran tin can set sail for Norfolk, VA, and deactivation.

DD-370 was decommissioned on December 13, 1945 and sold for scrapping two years later.

USS CASE earned seven battle stars for her services in World War II.