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Hull Number: DD-435

Launch Date: 08/07/1940

Commissioned Date: 02/14/1941

Decommissioned Date: 02/04/1947

Call Sign: NEKW

Voice Call Sign: L'IL AUDREY


Class: GLEAVES

GLEAVES Class

Data for USS Gleaves (DD-423) as of 1945


Length Overall: 348’ 4"

Beam: 36’ 1"

Draft: 13’ 6"

Standard Displacement: 1,630 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,525 tons

Fuel capacity: 2,928 barrels

Armament:

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

Complement:

16 Officers
260 Enlisted

Propulsion:

4 Boilers
2 Westinghouse Turbines: 50,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 37.4 knots

Namesake: CARY TRAVERS GRAYSON

CARY TRAVERS GRAYSON

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2019

Gary Travers Grayson was born in Culpeper, Va., 11 October 1878. After completing his medical studies, he was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon, USN, 14 July 1903. A variety of posts led Grayson to Washington, where on 12 December 1912 he was assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery with additional duty as Aide to the White House. Commissioned Rear Admiral 29 August 1916, he served as personal physician and aide to President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Before transferring to the Retired List 20 December 1928, Admiral Grayson received the Navy Cross for exceptionally meritorious service as aide and physician to President Wilson. He was also made Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor by the French government. Admiral Grayson served as chairman of the American Red Cross from 1935 until his death 15 February 1938.


Disposition:

Sold 11/22/1972 to Southern Scrap Material Co., LTD., New Orleans, LA for $73,000.00. Scrapped.


A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS GRAYSON DD-435

The Tin Can Sailor, July 1999

Admiral Cary T. Grayson was the personal physician and aide to President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. The DD-435 was launched on 7 August 1940 and commissioned on 14 February 1941. Her first assignment took her to Guantanamo Bay and Caribbean waters. Then, in October, she headed north for ten months on patrol and escort duty steaming between Newfoundland and Iceland.

Early in the spring of 1942, the GRAYSON was ordered to the Pacific. She sailed from San Diego in April 1942 as part of the escort for the HORNET (CV-8), which carried sixteen B-25s under the command of General ‘Jimmy’ Doolittle whose raid on Tokyo on 18 April brought war home to the enemy for the first time.

The GRAYSON’s next assignment found her escorting the carrier ENTERPRISE (CV-6) bound for ‘Operation Watchtower,’ the invasion of Guadalcanal. One of the screening destroyers for the carriers ENTERPRISE, SARATOGA (CV-3), and WASP (CV-7), she was part of the Air Support Force for the upcoming invasion. On 7 and 8 August 1942, the carriers launched their planes and the GRAYSON and the rest of the screening ships turned their guns skyward to stop a flight of Japanese bombers that swooped down on the marines landing on Guadalcanal. By the afternoon of the 8th, the First Marine Division had taken the airstrip—later named Henderson Field—and with the aid of fire from navy ships and airplanes, had driven the Japanese to ground.

The GRAYSON continued operations in the area with the ENTERPRISE and Task Force 16 to block Japanese reinforcements from getting through to their troops on the islands. At 1700 on 24 August, the task force engaged enemy Zeros and bombers northeast of the lower Solomons. In an action-filled half-hour that saw the GRAYSON’s gunners down two planes and damage a third, the ENTERPRISE was hit by three bombs and retired from the war zone. With the ENTERPRISE headed for Pearl Harbor for repairs, her task group dispersed. The GRAYSON joined Task Force 11, built around the carrier SARATOGA. Action soon followed. Sighting a Japanese submarine on the surface on 25 August, the GRAYSON closed in for the kill. After expending her entire supply of forty depth charges in a series of five attacks, the destroyer’s crew finally had the satisfaction of seeing a huge air bubble and oil slick rise to the surface indicating the death of another Imperial submarine.

The battle-proven ship and her crew remained in the bitterly contested waters around Guadalcanal for nearly eight months, convoying troop transports, patrolling the ‘Slot,’ serving as a radar picket ship, and performing vital search and rescue work. On 18 October 1942, the destroyer’s crew picked up seventy-five survivors from the destroyer MEREDITH (DD-434), sunk by aerial torpedo on 15 October. They then helped escort the tug VIREO (ATO-144) and its barge loaded with desperately needed fuel and ammunition to Guadalcanal.

After an extensive overhaul in the United States, the GRAYSON returned to the Pacific theater on 24 September 1943. On the night of 1 October, she joined a destroyer strike force to attack the stream of Japanese barges evacuating the garrison at Vella Lavella and Kolombangara. The GRAYSON’s gun crews accounted for at least four and possibly two more Japanese barges loaded with evacuees during three nights of action. Concluding the year with three months of patrol duty, she steamed east for an overhaul at Puget Sound.

Returning to the Pacific in February 1944, she patrolled the Solomons, Carolines, and Marshalls, and at the end of March, her gunners provided fire support for the U.S. Army’s initial assault landings on Pityiliu in the Admiralty Island chain. By then, American forces were sweeping through the southwestern Pacific. From 22 to 24 April, the GRAYSON was the fighter-director ship for the landings at Tanahmerah Bay, Dutch New Guinea. She then moved on to shell Biak Island near the western end of New Guinea on 27 May.

On 1 September 1944, the GRAYSON joined Task Group 38, part of an eight-hundred-ship fleet steaming toward the Palau Islands. The 15-September invasion called for an all-out fire-support effort from the DD- 435 and the other destroyers involved. Less than three weeks later, she was part of another major strike, this time against Formosa and the Philippines. The Japanese struck back. On 15 October 1944, their torpedo planes scored hits on the American cruisers CANBERRA (CA-70) and HOUSTON (CL-81). The GRAYSON was on hand to rescue 194 men from the HOUSTON and then escort the cruiser as she was towed to Ulithi. From Ulithi, the destroyer sailed to Saipan for radar picket and lifeguard duty. She was in Seattle when the war ended, and after a brief return to Pearl Harbor, sailed for the East Coast and Charleston, S.C. in the fall. For her service in the war, the GRAYSON had earned thirteen battle stars. On 27 October 1945, the battle-scarred ‘tin can’ hosted over 5,000 visitors—a grateful Navy-Day tribute. The GRAYSON remained at Charleston until she was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Orange, Texas, on 4 February 1947. She remained in reserve until 1 June 1971 when she was struck from the navy’s list. The GRAYSON was sold on 22 November 1972.

USS GRAYSON DD-435 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2019

Grayson (DD-435) was laid down 17 July 1939 by the Charleston Navy Yard, S.C.; launched 7 August 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Alice Gertrude Gordon Grayson Harrison (Mrs. George Leslie Harrison), widow of Rear Admiral Grayson; and commissioned 14 February 1941, Lt. Comdr. Thomas M. Stokes in command.

After shakedown along the New England coast and in Chesapeake Bay, Grayson joined Destroyer Division 22 of the Atlantic Fleet. On 28 August the new destroyer became flagship of DesRon 11 operating in the Carribbean out of Guantanamo Bay. She reported for neutrality patrol in the North Atlantic waters between Newfoundland and Iceland 26 October.

After 10 months patrolling and protecting convoys in the icy North Atlantic, Grayson was ordered to the Pacific to join an American fleet battered but resolutely carrying the war to the enemy. She sailed from San Diego 2 April 1942 as part of Hornet’s escort and rendezvoused at sea 13 April with Enterprise under Admiral William “Bull” Halsey. From this fast carrier force, steaming less than 800 miles from the Japanese home islands, Lieutenant Colonel “Jimmy” Doolittle launched his famed B-25 raid on Tokyo 18 April, bringing war to the enemy’s own land.

The task group sailed into Pearl Harbor 25 April. Grayson departed almost immediately for repairs in California, but soon returned to the Pacific war.

Grayson again found herself with a fast carrier force as she sailed from Pearl Harbor 15 July to escort Enterprise and Hornet. Reaching Guadalcanal via Tongatabu 7 August 1942, the carriers launched their planes to cover Marine landings there, America’s first major blow of the war on the road to Japan; and then operated in the area to block Japanese reinforcements. As they maneuvered off Guadalcanal, Enterprise was hit by Japanese bombs 24 August in an action-filled half-hour which saw Grayson down two planes and damage a third. The task group dispersed, Enterprise returning to Pearl Harbor for repairs, and Grayson joined TF 11, built around Saratoga under Admiral Fletcher. Action soon followed. Sighting a Japanese submarine on the surface the next day, 25 August, Grayson closed for the kill. After expending 46 depth charges, her entire supply, in a series of five attacks, the destroyer finally had the satisfaction of seeing a huge air bubble and oil slick rise to the surface indicating the death of another Imperial submarine.

The battle-proven ship and crew remained in the bitterly contested waters around Guadalcanal for nearly 8 months in a variety of duties. The versatile Grayson convoyed troop transports loaded with reinforcements from Noumea and other staging areas to Guadalcanal, patrolled in “The Slot”, served as a radar picket ship, and performed valuable rescue work. On 18 October she picked up 75 survivors from, DD Meredith, sunk by serial torpedo 15 October, and helped escort the barge Vireo, loaded with desperately needed fuel and ammunition, to Guadalcanal.

Returning to Pearl Harbor 15 April 1943 for overhaul, Grayson continued on to the States for further repairs and finally sailed to New Caledonia, arriving 24 September. She accounted for at least four and possible two more Japanese barges loaded with evacuees from Kolombangara during three nights of action, 30 September-3 October, with DesRon 21 under Commander A. D. Chandler. After 3 months of patrol duty, Grayson sailed for Puget Sound Navy Yard 16 December for overhaul.

Grayson soon returned to the Pacific, putting in at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, 10 February 1944. Patrol -duty in the Solomons, Carolines, and Marshalls occupied her the following 6 months. On 30 March Grayson supported initial assault landings on Pityiliu Island Admiralties; from 22 to 24 April she was fighter-director ship for the landings at Tanahmerah Bay, Dutch New Guinea. She bombarded Biak Island 27 May and Nosmfoor Island 2 July prior to invasion landings.

On 1 September 1944 Grayson joined TG 38, for carrier strikes against the enemy in the Palau Islands, scene of the next major invasion. She returned to Seeadler Harbor 31 September. She again sailed 2 October for a major strike against Okinawa and the Philippines. Japanese planes harassed the withdrawal, and on 15 October Gray-son rescued 194 men from the torpedoed light cruiser Houston, who was towed safely to Ulithi.

From Ulithi, Grayson sailed straight to Saipan, where on 3 November she took up radar picket and lifeguard duty. Finally Grayson was ordered home, reaching Seattle 9 June 1945 for her first real rest since the war began.

Grayson returned to Pearl Harbor 1 September 1945, the day of the signing of the Articles of Surrender in Tokyo Bay. After brief training she sailed for the United States. Transiting the Panama Canal 8 October, she put in at Charleston, S.C., 16 October. Eleven days later the battle-scarred “tin can” hosted over 5,000 visitors as a grateful and jubilant public paid tribute on Navy Day. Grayson remained at Charleston until decommissioned, 4 February 1947, and was placed in reserve. At present she is berthed at Orange, Tex.

Grayson received 13 battle stars for World War II service.