SAVE THE DATE! The Tin Can Sailors 2024 National Reunion Will Be Held In Exciting, Historic New Orleans From Sept. 8th-12th. More Information Coming Soon, Check Our Facebook Page For Future Announcements.

Hull Number: DD-422

Launch Date: 03/26/1940

Commissioned Date: 09/18/1940

Decommissioned Date: 03/18/1946



Data for USS Benson (DD-421) as of 1945

Length Overall: 347' 10"

Beam: 36' 1"

Draft: 13' 6"

Standard Displacement: 1,620 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,525 tons

Fuel capacity: 2,912 barrels


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


16 Officers
260 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 Bethlehem Turbines: 47,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 36.7 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Henry Thomas Mayo was born in Burlington, Vt., 8 December 1856. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1876 he experienced a variety of naval duties including coastal survey. During the Spanish‑American War he served in Bennington off the west coast of North America. Appointed rear admiral in 1913, he commanded the naval squadron involved in the Tampico incident of 9 April 1914. His demands for vindication of national honor further accentuated the tense relations with Mexico.

Promoted to vice admiral in June 1915, as the new Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, he received the rank of admiral 19 June 1916. For his organization and support of the wartime U.S. Naval Forces both in American and European waters, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and various foreign decorations. He evidenced foresight in urging the postwar development of fleet aviation.

Admiral Mayo retired 28 February 1921 and for 4 years served as Governor of the Philadelphia Naval Home. He retained his commission as an admiral by a 1930 Act of Congress. He died at Portsmouth, N.H., 23 February 1937.


Stricken 1/12/1970. Sold

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, March 1979

USS MAYO, a sturdy, hard-hitting destroyer of the BENSON Class of 1937-1939, made her reputation by surviving an ordeal, which would probably have sunk many another vessel. She struck a German mine off the Anzio beachhead, and was towed 5,000 miles to New York for permanent repairs. The Atlantic crossing was made during March, the month which usually finds the Atlantic Ocean behaving at its worst.

USS MAYO was constructed by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Fall River, Massachusetts. Her keel was laid on 16 May 1938 and she was launched on 26 March 1940. Mrs. C. G. Mayo, daughter-in-law of Admiral Henry Thomas Mayo, USN, the ship’s namesake, served as sponsor.

USS MAYO (DD-422) was named in honor of Admiral Henry Thomas Mayo, USN. Admiral Mayo served as Commander-In-Chief, Atlantic Fleet during World War I.

USS MAYO was commissioned on 18 September 1940 with Commander Irving T. Duke, USN, as her first commanding officer. Prior to the outbreak of the war she operated as part of the neutrality patrol and as convoy escort for North Atlantic convoys, including the first Marine troops that were sent to Iceland on 7 July 1941. In August 1941 she was present at the signing of the Atlantic Charter.

Upon the outbreak of war on 7 December 1941, USS MAYO continued duty as escort for convoys enroute to the British Island and eventually to North Africa. While escorting USS WAKEFIELD to the United Kingdom in September 1942. A fire broke out aboard the passenger-laden WAKEFIELD. USS MAYO maneuvered alongside with a transport ship and a cruiser. The three vessels took almost 1,000 passengers from the burning ship. Later the fire burned out and a fire-fighting party went back aboard and succeeded in bringing the flames under control. USS WAKEFIELD was then towed back to the USA for repairs.

On 21 August 1943, MAYO entered the Mediterranean and participated in the Salerno Landings the following month. She served as a fire support ship, and her commanding officer was awarded the Legion of Merit for the ship’s fine performance of duty. While participating in those landings, the British hospital ship NEWFOUNDLAND was bombed by German aircraft on 13 September 1943. USS MAYO and USS PLUNKETT sped to the scene to aid and not until a salvage-tug arrived and pronounced the hospital ship beyond saving, did they withdraw. All survivors had been transferred to a nearby hospital and transport ships prior to the arrival of the two U.S. ships and as the NEWFOUNDLAND was pronounced not worth saving. Both MAYO and PLUNKETT immediately withdrew to their battle stations in anticipation of another air raid.

USS MAYO continued escort duty in the Mediterranean as convoy escort to bases in the forward area until January 1944. In January she participated in the Anzio-Nettuno landings as fire support ship. On 24 January 1944, USS MAYO struck a mine, which exploded amidships, flooding the after engine and fire room. The explosion broke her keel, killed several men, blew a hole in her side about 12 by 20 feet, wounded 23 men and knocked out both drive shafts, causing a loss of speed.

A British tug towed the stricken ship to Naples where a temporary patch was placed over the hole in her side. USS HOPI, a sea-going tug, took MAYO in low then and set out for Oran, then to Casablanca. There she was met by the USS CHEROKEE, a seagoing tug out of Bermuda, and the long voyage back to America was begun.

On 17 March, CHEROKEE stood out with MAYO in tow enroute to New York. March is the worst month of the year for dirty weather in the Atlantic and MAYO rolled as much as fifty-five degrees. Yet the rugged destroyer withstood the high seas, and the 5,000-mile voyage turned out to be not only a success, but one of the longest towing jobs of the entire war. The Navy Yard at Brooklyn, New York set to work in 24-hour shifts upon MAYO’s arrival, and by 18 August 1944, all repairs to the battle damage were completed.

USS MAYO returned to duty with about 70 of her original crew after a month’s shakedown and training in the Casco Bay, Maine area. Upon completion of the shakedown period, a voyage was made to Trinidad with USS SAVANNAH. MAYO returned to the U.S. early in October with USS WILKES BARRE, and at the end of October, was designated as escort group flagship assigned to convoy groups in fast convoys from New York to the United Kingdom. That duty continued until April 1945, at which time MAYO was ordered to the Pacific for duty.

USS MAYO sailed for San Diego via the Panama Canal. She transited the Canal in May and sailed on for San Diego. On 22 May she departed San Diego enroute to Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor she received two weeks of intensive gunnery training prior to sailing for Leyte Gulf with a fast carrier task group on 13 June 1945. On 20 June the carriers made an air strike at Wake Island and on 28 June MAYO arrived at the Philippine Islands. There she was ordered to report to Ulithi for convoy escort duty. She arrived on 2 July and continued escort and patrol duty with voyages from Ulithi to Okinawa until Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945.

Following Japan’s surrender, USS MAYO participated in the occupation of Honshu, escorting occupation troops into Tokyo Bay. That duty terminated for MAYO on 5 November 1945 when she sailed for the United States. She arrived at San Diego on 21 November and sailed for the Panama Canal on the 24th. Transiting the Canal on 2 December, MAYO steamed to Charleston, South Carolina, arriving on 7 December 1945.

Decommissioning availability was started immediately as USS MAYO was ordered placed out of commission in reserve as part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

USS MAYO (DD-422) earned two Battle Stars on the European-African-Middle Eastern Area Service Medal for participating in the following operations:

1 Star/Salerno Landing – 9-21 September 1943

1 Star/ West Coast of Italy Operations – 1944

Anzio-Nettuno Advanced Landings – 22-24 January 1944

USS MAYO also earned the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Pacific for the periods from 2 to 8 September 1945 and from 4 October to 6 November 1945.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, July 1997

USS MAYO was laid down as part of the original Bethlehem Ship Building contract. Like many of her sisters, she would be built at Bethlehem’s Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. She would be launched on March 26, 1940 and commissioned the following September.

DD-422 was named for Henry Thomas Mayo, another luminary in the US Navy of the early Twentieth Century. After his graduation from the Naval Academy, Mayo embarked on a career that ultimately led him to the command of the Atlantic Fleet during World War I. His vision led to the development of the post-war naval air arm. ADM Mayo retired in 1921 after more than fifty years of active service, retaining his rank by a special Act of Congress. He passed away in 1937, as the initial plans for the ship that would bear his name were being drawn.

With the worsening world situation in the early 1940’s, most new destroyers were immediately pressed into service and MAYO was no exception. As with many of her class, MAYO was assigned to the neutrality patrol that was intended to prevent the U.S. from being drawn into a European war. The destroyer would convoy the first Marines to be landed in Iceland. She also provided offshore security outside the Canadian port of Argentia, Newfoundland for a truly momentous event. Cruising in Placentia Bay off the Canadian town, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill were reaching an agreement that would come to be known as the Atlantic Charter; a joint declaration of philosophy that formed the foundation for the British-American alliance in World War II.

The declaration of war expanded MAYO’s operational area. The new destroyer, like many of her class, began protecting convoys from the rigors of the North Atlantic as well as Hitler’s submarines. In one remarkable episode, DD-422 found herself protecting a westbound convoy from the British Isles. On September 3, 1942, the collection of ships, labeled TA-18, were approximately three hundred miles east of the safety of New York harbor when the unexpected happened. A United States Liner, MANHATTAN, under her new, militarized name, USS WAKEFIELD (AP-21), was returning more than a thousand construction workers from England. She was already a veteran, having carried British troops to Singapore and U.S. Marines to New Zealand, before becoming part of the largest troop-carrying convoy to date. Less than a day’s run from safety, WAKEFIELD exploded in flames. An accidental fire swept through the decks immediately below the bridge. The convoy escort steamed to her rescue.

MAYO, along with USS BROOKLYN (CL-40) closed on the inferno. First on the scene, DD-422 deftly maneuvered to the transport’s port bow. As the destroyer men secured rope ladders dangling from the towering liner, dozens lowered themselves to safety from the liner. In just over fifteen minutes, MAYO was to save nearly two hundred fifty. BROOKLYN and other destroyers were able to take the remaining passengers and crew off the endangered liner without the loss of a single person. Days later, rescue vessels were able to tow the liner into Halifax. MAYO had performed spectacularly.

MAYO would be transferred to the Mediterranean just in time to support the TORCH landings in North Africa with reinforcements. Convoy duty was briefly interrupted with special training in Casco Bay, off Portland, Maine, in the winter of 1942.

As greater numbers of BENSONs became available, many were assigned to Allied forces in the Mediterranean. MAYO would arrive as part of DESRON 7 for service with the 8th Fleet in August 1943. The destroyers went into action almost immediately. From the invasion beaches of Salerno to the cauldron of Anzio, MAYO provided fire support and anti-aircraft protection to allied forces struggling up the Italian peninsula.

Air raids ripped into the LSTs approaching Anzio on the evening of January 24, 1943. After more than seventeen hours of continuous fire support, USS MAYO steamed about three miles off the coast. As the raiders left the area, an explosion ripped through the destroyer. MAYO had hit a mine. With her starboard side ruptured, a propeller shaft damaged, water cascading into after fire and engine rooms and steering control lost, the destroyer seemed doomed. Only superb damage control kept the endangered destroyer afloat. Just before midnight, a British tug was able to take the destroyer under tow and the pair reached Naples the next day. Seven had been killed and twenty-three wounded. With a temporary patch barely keeping out the sea, MAYO was towed back to New York Navy Yard. Repairs took four months. MAYO would escort five more convoys to Europe and the Caribbean before the German surrender.

MAYO was transferred to the Pacific to support the final thrust to the Japanese homeland. She would arrive in time to screen carrier forces in an attack on Wake Island, then provide escort to convoys reinforcing Okinawa. In her final service during World War II, MAYO would support occupation troops in Japan and be present in Tokyo Bay when the “Instrument of Surrender” was signed on the deck of USS MISSOURI (BB-63).

MAYO returned to the United States by the end of 1945 and was decommissioned on March 18, 1946. DD-422 would remain in reserve at Orange, Texas, for almost twenty-five years. She was stricken from the Navy List in December 1970.

USS MAYO DD-422 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, April 2016

Mayo (DD‑422) was laid down 16 May 1938 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Fore River, Mass.; launched 26 March 1940; sponsored by Mrs. C. G. Mayo, daughter‑in‑law of Admiral Mayo; and commissioned 18 September 1940, Lt. C. D. Emory in command.

Mayo joined the expanding neutrality patrol after shakedown and escorted marines to Iceland in July 1941 as they took protective custody of this key island. As President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed to the Atlantic Charter during the second week in August, Mayo guarded their meeting by patrolling off Argentia, Newfoundland.

The formal entrance of the United States into World War II lengthened her convoy assignment beyond the western Atlantic. Escort of slow merchant convoys out of Boston gave way in summer 1942 to duty with fast troop transports out of New York. U‑boats and bad weather were not the only dangers to be encountered. When Wakefield caught fire 3 September Mayo swiftly moved alongside the burning ship and removed 247 survivors. With the invasion of north Africa, Mayo appeared at Casablanca, Morocco, 12 November, 4 days after D‑Day, to protect the landing of reinforcements. A retraining period at the end of the year in Casco Bay, Maine, temporarily interrupted convoy assignments.

With DesRon 7, Mayo joined the 8th Fleet in the Mediterranean in August 1943. She gave fire and antiaircraft protection to the beachhead at Salerno, Italy, 8 September and again 22 to 24 January 1944 to the assault beaches at Anzio. At 2001 on the 24th a sudden explosion killed seven and wounded 25 of her crew while almost breaking her in two. Despite a gaping hole at the waterline, starboard, she survived a tow back to Naples for a temporary patch, and 3 March began the long tow back to the States. Pulled into New York Navy Yard 5 April, Mayo required 4 months for repairs.

Mayo made a voyage to Trinidad and four to Europe before Germany was conquered. DesRon 7 sortied from New York 5 May 1945 for the western Pacific, and at Pearl Harbor joined fast carrier TG 12.4. Planes from this group struck Wake Island as a training gesture 20 June as the ships sailed on westward. Upon reaching Ulithi, Mayo began a series of escort missions to Okinawa. On 24 August she got underway escorting occupation troops which were landed on Honshu 2 September. She shepherded additional troops from the Philippines and Okinawa before sailing from Yokohama 5 November for San Diego and Charleston, arriving 7 December. She decommissioned 18 March 1946 and went into reserve at Orange, Tex., where she remains into 1969.

Mayo received two battle stars for World War II service.