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Hull Number: DD-406

Launch Date: 05/05/1938

Commissioned Date: 11/20/1939

Decommissioned Date: 08/28/1946



Data for USS Ellet (DD-398) as of 1945

Length Overall: 340' 9"

Beam: 35' 6"

Draft: 13' 3"

Standard Displacement: 1,500 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,350 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,192 barrels


Four 5″/38 caliber guns
Two 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts
Two 21″ quadruple torpedo tubes


16 Officers
235 Enlisted


3 Boilers
2 Westinghouse Turbines: 50,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 40.7 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

Edward Stack, born on 26 April 1756 in Kealand, County Kerry, Ireland, was appointed 2d Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps by John Paul Jones on 4 February 1779. Stack commanded the division in the main top of Bon Homme Richard during her battle with Serapis on 23 September 1779.

Fire superiority aloft enabled the Americans to drive the British from their tops and harass them on deck. A grenade thrown from the tops fired a chain of ammunition on Serapis and caused a severe explosion which was a principal factor in her surrender.

In his report of the action, Jones commended Stack for his great bravery. Lt. Stack remained in United States service until 1780. He died at Calais, France, in December 1833.


Used as target ship during Atomic Bomb Tests at Bikini Atoll in 07/1946. Scuttled off Kwajalein Atoll on 04/24/1948. Stricken 5/28/1948.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, October 1998

USS STACK was the Second BENHAM-class destroyer to be laid down in the Norfolk Navy Yard. Begun in the summer of 1937, the new destroyer would not be launched for almost a year. Commissioning came on November 20, 1939.

DD-406 was named for Lieutenant Edward Stack, the Marine commander of BON HOMME RICHARD’s main top during her action with HMS SERAPIS in the American Revolution. It was Stack whose accurately placed hand grenade caused a chain of explosions that led to the capture of the British frigate. Stack’s heroism was mentioned by Capt. John Paul Jones himself, not a man to be overly free in his praise.

After a rather lengthy shakedown cruise, STACK was assigned to the Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, first at San Diego then at Pearl Harbor. The assignment lasted just over a year; DD-406 was in need of major repairs after almost constant steaming. The Pacific coast yards were already overloaded with work and, since STACK was to take up duties with the Neutrality Patrol, the new destroyer was sent to Philadelphia for an overhaul. Late in November 1941, she began maintaining the neutrality of American ships around Bermuda.

When war finally broke out, USS STACK was well qualified as an escort. She accompanied carriers and heavy cruisers in their sweep across the North Atlantic to Great Britain. She defended plodding transports and freighters through “torpedo alley” west of Iceland. The work was never easy. In one action, she was called to support the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC ALEXANDER HAMILTON (WPG-34). The cutter had been torpedoed while attempting to tow SS YUKON. KAPITANLIEUTNANT Ernst Vogelsang misjudged the speed of the two vessels and in aiming at YUKON hit and sank HAMILTON. STACK sped to the scene at twenty-five knots,

discovering the submarine close to her foundering target. STACK immediately attacked, delivering, with the aid of USS STERETT (DD- 407), four heavy depth charge attacks. Leaking and with her diesel compressor damaged, U-132 was forced to cut her patrol short and return to La Pallice in France. Repairs to the battered submersible took almost four months.

March brought another hazard, fog. On the seventeenth, STACK was operating as an escort for USS WASP (CV-7) out of the new fleet anchorage at Casco Bay, Maine. Visibility dropped to zero as the force closed up. Then, STACK’s luck failed. The huge carrier sideswiped DD-406 on the tin can’s starboard side. Her hull was crushed; with her forward fire room flooded and electrical power a casualty, the destroyer rolled to port. Her own depth charges posed the greatest danger. Each six hundred pound barrel contained more than enough explosive to destroy the destroyer’s stern. Courageously, Torpedoman First Class Frank L. Knight worked his way aft through darkened and flooded passageways to the stern. He reset the depth charge fuses, making them safe regardless of the condition of the ship. He had single-handedly saved STACK and earned the Navy Cross. DD-406 was able to reach the Philadelphia Navy Yard under her own power, but the repairs took almost two months.

In June 1942, STACK joined Task Force 37, a mighty collection that included a carrier, a cruiser, and three other destroyers. The group was bound to the first Allied island invasion of the Pacific war. The destroyer was drawn to the maelstrom around Guadalcanal.

DD-406 performed every task imaginable around the Guadalcanal beachhead. Her accurate anti-aircraft fire helped to chase off a sizable attacking force of Japanese torpedo bombers just west of New Georgia Island in mid-July. A month later, she helped spring a trap on Japanese destroyers carrying reinforcements to their garrisons on New Georgia. Called the Battle of Vella Gulf, the tactics were classic and the six American destroyers executed them flawlessly. STACK, last in line among her division-mates of Destroyer Division 12, lashed at the four Japanese tin cans with gunfire and torpedoes. Her last torpedo spread may have ended the career of His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s ship ARASHI, a two thousand tonner of the KAGERO class. In all, three destroyers were sunk and one badly damaged by the American destroyers that night.

STACK fought her way north with the Allied forces, slowly battling through the Marshalls, the Gilberts, and, finally, into the Philippines and Okinawa. She was on call as a shore bombardment vessel and many a Marine blessed the ubiquitous tin can that seemed willing to ride right up on the beach to blast away at enemy positions. DD-406 also developed an enviable reputation for anti-aircraft fire. In November 1943, as her carrier launched two air strikes at the Japanese base at Rabaul, the task force was caught almost without air cover by Japanese divebombers. Soon, the ships were swarmed by more than ninety bandits. The curtain of fire that rose from the escorts was almost impenetrable. STACK herself was credited with one definite kill and two more probables.

Long months of battle and high speed steaming had taken their toll. STACK was ordered to the repair yards at San Pedro, California, for extensive repairs. With exercises that followed the yard availability, STACK did not return to the action until the spring of 1945. DD-406 was still potent, however. When Marines stormed ashore on Okinawa, it was behind the protective umbrella of STACK’s firepower. She would remain in service, either off the beachhead or convoying reinforcements, until the Japanese surrender. She even served as a ferry for Japanese military officials arranging for the surrender of the crucial base at Truk.

STACK returned to the West Coast in December 1945. Her crew was cut to a minimum operating force and she was prepared for her final mission. DD-406 would serve as a target at the Bikini Atomic Bomb tests. She survived the blast, but was too badly damaged and rendered unsafe by radioactivity. Ultimately, the veteran destroyer was sunk by naval gunfire in deep water off the coast of Kwajalein. She was formally stricken from the Navy list on May 28, 1948.

USS STACK was awarded twelve battle stars for her service in World War II.

USS STACK DD-406 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

Stack (DD-406) was laid down on 25 June 1937 by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; launched on 5 May 1938; sponsored by Miss Mary Teresa Stack; and commissioned on 20 November 19’39, Lt. Comdr. Isaiah Olch in command.

Following shakedown which lasted until 4 April 1940, including a cruise to the West Indies and Rio de Janeiro, Stack proceeded to the west coast and thence to Pearl Harbor where she operated with the Pacific Fleet until June 1941. She then returned to the east coast for an overhaul at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Stack began patrolling off Bermuda late in November with the Neutrality Patrol. After the United States entered World War II, Stack continued to patrol in the Caribbean until 22 December when she was assigned to escort Wasp (CV-7) from Bermuda to Norfolk.

On the 28th, she sailed from Norfolk as screen for Long Island (CVE-1), She arrived at Casco Bay, Maine, two days later. She refueled and got underway for Argentina in the screen for Long Island and Philadelphia (CL-41). Arriving in Argentina on New Year’s Day 1942, she was assigned to patrol duty. On January 15th, she picked up two survivors from SS Bay Rose which had been torpedoed the night before off Cape Race.

From 17 to 24 January, Stack escorted a convoy which was transporting the first American Expeditionary Force troops to Ireland. En route from Hvalfjordur to Reykjavik, Iceland, on 29 January, she was ordered on a submarine sweep after the U.S.C.G.C. Alexander Hamilton, operating with Task Force (TF) 15, was torpedoed. Steaming at 25 knots on a night sweep, Stack sighted a submarine close aboard. She returned to the point where it had been seen and made two depth charge attacks on sound contact. Sterett (DD-407) came to assist and also made two attacks. The submarine, U-132, suffered damage to a diesel compressor and was forced to return to France for repairs.

Stack departed Iceland on 31 January and operated out of Casco Bay until 17 March. That morning, patrolling with zero visibility, she collided with Wasp. Since her number one fireroom was completely flooded, she steamed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and underwent repairs until May.

On 5 June, Stack joined TF 37 consisting of Wasp, Quincy (CA-39), San Juan (CL-54), Lang (DD-399), Wilson (DD-408), Buchanan (DD-484), and Farenholt (DD-491) and headed for San Diego. The force arrived there on 19 June, was redesignated TF 18, and ordered to Nukualofa, Tongatapu Island, on the 25th. Arriving on the 18th of July, the ships spent five days preparing for battle, and sailed for the invasion of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

Stack covered the Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings with Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 12 and was then assigned independent escort and patrol duty in the Guadalcanal area. On 16 January 1943, she was ordered to return to the west coast, via Pearl Harbor, for yard availability. Stack entered the Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 February. Following repair, overhaul and sea trials, she sailed on the 23d to escort SS Matsonia to Pearl Harbor and continue on to Efate, New Hebrides Islands.

Stack operated out of Efate from 20 April until late May. During this time, she made several patrols off Guadalcanal. She then screened Maryland (BB-46) covering the southern supply routes. Assigned to TF 31 in July and August, she had her first opportunity to “slug it out” with the enemy. Stack was under attack by Japanese aircraft on 17 and 18 July near New Georgia Island. On the night of 6 and 7 August, in what would be known as the Battle of Vella Gulf, Stack, with other units of Task Group (TG) 31.2, was searching for enemy traffic along Gizo and Kolombangara Islands. At 2335, Dunlap (DD-384) reported that she had made radar contact at 19,000 yards. The group tracked the enemy and identified them as four ships in column. The American ships opened the battle with a successful torpedo attack, followed by gunfire and more torpedoes. This resulted in the sinking of three Japanese destroyers, Arashi, Hagikaze, and Kawakaze, and damage to the fourth. The destroyers were loaded with troops who were to have been landed at Kolombangara as reinforcements for the Japanese garrison there. There were no American losses, and the task group retired to Tulagi.

Stack joined TF 38 to participate in raids against Rabaul during November. On the 11th, two carrier attacks had already been launched when radar picked up a flight of incoming bogies. The actual attack began at 1355 when Stack commenced firing on a group of 20 “Vals” coming in on her starboard bow. Thereafter, antiaircraft fire was continuous from the task force against all types of Japanese planes. The attacking force numbered about 90 planes. Stack splashed one and had two more probable kills.

Stack then operated with TG 50.4 during the assault and landings on Tarawa and Makin Island in the Gilberts. She was a unit of the group screening the carriers which were providing fighter cover to the landing forces, when it was attacked by enemy bombers on 20 November, the day of the landings.

Stack then steamed west of the Gilberts to participate in the combined aerial and shore bombardment of Nauru Island on 8 December 1943.

In late January and early February 1944, Stack, as part of TF 58, participated in the bombardment and assault on Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshalls. She was one of five destroyers in the Bombardment Support Group, which included three battleships, that shelled Roi-Namur and adjacent islands. On 17 and 18 February, the task force, now including nine carriers, carried out raids against the Japanese bastion at Truk and, on the 20th, against Jaluit Atoll.

Stack then departed the Central Pacific for Pearl Harbor and for the west coast of the United States. She was overhauled and held sea trials from 11 March to 22 June when she weighed anchor for Pearl Harbor and Milne Bay.

Stack arrived at Milne Bay on 15 July and began operations as a unit of TG 76.7. She laid a mine field off Wewak, New Guinea, and, on the night of 31 August and 1 September, shelled Kairiru Island in the Wewak area. Stack was part of the assault force that landed troops on Morotai, North Moluccas, on 15 September.

Stack was attached to TG 78.4 which entered Leyte Gulf on 17 October. She spent the next two days performing pin-point fire support in the Dinagat Island landing area. On the 20th, she, in company with Lang and five YM’s, performed mine sweeping operations and provided antiaircraft support for landings in the Philippines on Pinaon Island.

Stack, with TG 78.5, sortied from Sansapor, New Guinea, on 30 December 1944 bound for Lingayen Gulf to support the assault and landing at “Blue Beach,” Luzon. During the period from 5 to 12 January 1945, she provided antisubmarine and antiaircraft cover for various units and call fire on the beaches. Stack spent the next three weeks escorting convoys between Leyte and Lingayen Gulfs.

On 8 February, Stack departed San Pedro for the Solomon Islands and a period of upkeep, training, logistics, and exercises which were to last until mid-March. She sailed from Purvis Bay on the 15th; moored at Ulithi for a week; and, on 27 March, steamed for the Ryukyus with TF 53. Stack arrived off Okinawa on 1 April, -L-Day,- and began her assigned duties as an antisubmarine and antiaircraft patrol ship. There were numerous enemy planes the next two days, and she fired on several. On the 5th, she was ordered to Saipan and thence to Ulithi where she joined TU 94.18.12 on 13 April for the return voyage to Okinawa.

Arriving at Hagushi on the 21st, Stack was assigned to patrol duty west of Zampa Misaki for the remainder of the month. She then patrolled southeast of Okinawa to cover the Sakashima Group during May and early June.

Stack reported to Louisville (CA-28) on 15 June and was directed to screen that vessel to Pearl Harbor. Stack had boiler trouble en route which forced her to undergo tender availability at Pearl Harbor until late July. She stood out of Pearl on the 27th underway for Eniwetok, Saipan, Okinawa, and Guam. On 28 August, she was en route from Guam to Truk Atoll with Brigadier General L. D. Hermle, USMC, and various other Navy and Marine Corps officers on board for a preliminary conference with Japanese military authorities regarding the surrender of their forces. The conference was held on 30 August, and Stack transported the Japanese officers and civilians to Guam who were to take part in the surrender. She remained in the Marianas until ordered to Two Jima on 16 September. Stack relieved Cummings (DD-365) on 19 September, at Haha Jima, as Commander, Naval Occupation Forces. She returned to the Marianas and remained in the area until 15 December when she weighed anchor for Pearl Harbor and the west coast.

Stack arrived at San Diego on 30 December for stripping and reduction of her personnel. She sailed two weeks later for Pearl Harbor and ultimate disposal. She was assigned to Joint Task Force 1 as a target for Operation “Crossroads,” the atomic bomb tests to be held in the Marshall Islands. Stack arrived at Bikini on 29 May. She survived the bomb tests of July and August and was decommissioned in the Marshalls on 29 August. Stack was sunk by gunfire near Kwajalein on 24 April 1948 and struck from the Navy list on 28 May.

Stack received 12 battle stars for World War II service.