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Hull Number: DD-372

Launch Date: 10/28/1935

Commissioned Date: 08/21/1936

Decommissioned Date: 12/17/1945

Class: MAHAN




Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1963)

Born in Philadelphia, 16 February 1783, Stephen Cassin entered the navy as a midshipman in 1800, and served in Philadelphia in the West Indies during the latter part of the war with France. In the war of 1812, he commanded Ticonderoga in the Battle of Lake Champlain and was awarded a gold medal for bravery by Congress. Captain Cassin died in Washington, DC, 29 August 1857.


Irreparably damaged by Japanese aircraft on 12/07/1941 at Pearl Harbor. Beyond repair. Vital machinary salvaged. Old hull scrapped and new hull built around salvaged machinary. Scrapped 1948.

USS CASSIN DD-372 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1963)

The second Cassin (DD-372) was launched 28 October 1935 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. H C Lombard; and commissioned 21 August 1936, Lieutenant Commander A. G Noble in command.

Cassin underwent alterations until March 1937, then cruised to the Caribbean and Brazil. In April 1938 she joined forces at Pearl Harbor for the annual fleet exercises in the Hawaiian Islands and the Panama Canal Zone. During 1939, she operated on the west coast with torpedo and gunnery schools, and on 1 April 1940 was assigned to the Hawaiian Detachment. Cassin sailed on maneuvers and patrol in the Pacific, cruising from February to April 1941 to Samoa, Australia, and Fiji. Fall of 1941 found her calling at west coast ports.

Cassin was in drydock with Downes (DD-375) and Pennsylvania (BB-35) at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. In the Japanese attack, an incendiary bomb exploded Downes fuel tanks, causing uncontrollable fires on board both Downes and CassinCassin slipped from her keel blocks and rested against Downes. Both ships were considered lost, and Cassin was decommissioned as of 7 December1941. However, superb salvage saved Cassin, to play an outstanding role in World War II, and she was towed to Mare Island Navy Yard for rebuilding. Recommissioned 6 February 1944, Cassin reported at Pearl Harbor 22 April, and was assigned escort duty from Majuro until August. By shooting out caves and bombarding Aguijan Island, she aided in the consolidation of Tinian from 15 to 25 August, and then assumed escort duties out of Saipan. Her guns took revenge on the Japanese once more when she took part in the bombardment of Marcus Island on 9 October. This was part of the preparations for the Leyte assault, and was an attempt to convince the Japanese that the main attack they sensed was coming would be directed at the Bonins. With the same force which had struck at Marcus, Cassin sailed on to join TG 38.1 on 16 October, as the carriers of that group prepared the air strikes designed to neutralize the Japanese airfields in the Manila area prior to the assault landings on Leyte. Cassin steamed northeast of Luzon during the Leyte landings, and when the landings had been successfully launched, was dispatched with her group to refuel and replenish at Ulithi. However, when TF 38 made contact with the Japanese Center Force rounding the southern cape of Mindoro bound for its part in the decisive Battle for Leyte Gulf, Cassin’s group was recalled to join the approaching action. In the afternoon of 26 October, her group at last reached position to launch aircraft which attacked the Japanese ships in one of the longest-range carrier strikes of the war. These strikes continued as the Japanese fleet retired north, diminished and battered.

Cassin’s next assignment was to the preparations for the assault on Iwo Jima on the night of 11-12 November 1944, and again on 24 January 1945. She bombarded the island as part of the pre assault softening up and otherwise engaged in patrol, escort and radar picket duties around Saipan. On 23 February, she sailed from Saipan to escort an ammunition ship to newly invaded Iwo Jima, returning to Guam 28 February with a hospital ship laden with some of the many men wounded on the fiercely contested island. She returned to Iwo Jima in mid-March for radar picket and air-sea rescue duty. With periods at Guam and Saipan for replenishment and repairs, she continued on this duty through most of the remainder of the war.

As vivid proof that hazards of war come not only from the enemy, Cassin endured the violence of a typhoon on 6 June 1945, losing one of her men overboard, as well as a motor whaleboat. On 20 July, she bombarded Kita, Iwo Jima, and on 7 August, she boarded and searched a Japanese hospital ship to insure compliance with international law. Since there were no violations, she allowed the Japanese ship to proceed on its way. With the war over, she continued air-sea rescue off Iwo Jima, guarding the air evacuation of released prisoners of war from Japan. She returned to Norfolk, VA, 1 November 1945, and was decommissioned there 17 December 1945. Cassin was sold 25 November 1947.

Cassin received six battle stars for World War II.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, April 1998

The first of the MAHANs to be built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard would also be the second destroyer named for Stephen Cassin, whose remarkable service while captain of USS TICONDEROGA at the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812 earned him a gold medal from Congress. Capt. Cassin passed away in 1857.USS CASSIN was laid down on October 1, 1934 and launched almost four hundred days later. The new destroyer would be commissioned on August 21, 1936. CASSIN required more than five months of alterations before becoming fully operational, so the new vessel did not enter full fleet service until the spring of 1937.

Following a cruise through the Caribbean to Brazil, CASSIN was ordered to the Pacific. In the years prior to the beginning of World War II, DD-372 would participate in fleet exercises and function as a school ship with the torpedo and gunnery schools in San Diego.

Long in need of an overhaul, USS CASSIN was caught sharing Dry dock 1 with USS DOWNES (DD-375) and the battleship PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. At about 8:50 AM, the second wave of Japanese attackers began to concentrate on both USS NEVADA (BB-36), which at the time was attempting to sortie from the harbor, and the ships docked in the navy yard. Between ten and fifteen dive-bombers and high level bombers concentrated on the area around Dry dock 1. The first bomb to hit DD-372 penetrated the relatively thin skin of the destroyer and exploded on the dry dock floor, immediately starting a fire. Power and water connections were soon lost when a new rain of bombs exploded on the huge dock walls. A second bomb, probably weighing nearly five hundred pounds, penetrated the hull somewhere forward of the bridge. Exploding on the dock floor, the weapon ripped open the fuel tanks of both destroyers. By the end of the attack, CASSIN was aflame from stem to stern, with torpedo air flasks, warheads, and ammunition beginning to “cook off.” Depth charges, still in their stern racks, seemed likely to go next. Yard officials decided to flood the dock to quench the flames, but the unstable nature of the badly damaged ship coupled with inadequate blocking support for the hull, caused CASSIN to list to starboard, coming to rest on the mauled DOWNES. By the end of the day, salvage crews had decided that CASSIN was a total loss. Highly effective recovery techniques and a patriotic zeal proved the initial estimate to be wrong.

There was little question that CASSIN would require extensive repair; the initial plan was to refloat the destroyer merely to clear the dock for more immediate use. Someone developed a novel idea, however. A survey suggested that far more than half of the vessel was in condition for further use. Officials at the Mare Island shipyard suggested that usable items be stripped from DD-372, carefully labeled, and transported to their facility for use in a new hull. All agreed. USS CASSIN was refloated on February 18, 1942 and moved to the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for dismantling. By October, the remnants of CASSIN that could not be used were scrapped. Simultaneously, a “new” CASSIN was arising, like the Phoenix, from the ashes of the Pearl Harbor attack.

With her new hull and modernized “British” bridge, the ship that was recommissioned on February 5, 1944 cut a dashing figure. Her fighting spirit never diminished, however.

DD-372 returned to the war just in time to take part in the final thrusts past Saipan and Tinian toward the Philippines. Her expert gun crews blasted caves on Tinian, then on Marcus Island. Her services were next required to screen the carrier task groups approaching the Philippines, where her effective screening and shore bombardment techniques were utilized again and again. The Marines on Iwo Jima had occasion to thank the ship builders at Mare Island as well. CASSIN’s accurate fire support contributed significantly to the success of the landings on that hotly contested island as well.

The Japanese were not CASSIN’s only enemy. On June 6, 1945, DD-372 was caught in a typhoon that took the life of one crewman and tore away the vessel’s motor whaleboat. Less than a month after that ordeal, the re-doubtable tin can was again on station, providing gunfire support at Iwo Jima.

The end of the war in the Pacific found USS CASSIN guarding the air evacuation of prisoners of war from Japan.

DD-372 returned to Norfolk on November 1, 1945 and was decommissioned at the Virginia base in December. CASSIN was sold for scrapping on November 25, 1947.

USS CASSIN earned six battle stars for her service in World War II.