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Hull Number: DD-440

Launch Date: 11/23/1940

Commissioned Date: 03/13/1941

Decommissioned Date: 03/15/1946



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


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


16 Officers
260 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 Westinghouse Turbines: 50,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 37.4 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1963)

John Ericsson, born 31 July 1803 in Vermland, Sweden, is best known for devising and building the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. A prolific inventor, Ericsson advanced maritime science in many ways, perfecting the screw propeller and other devices which played a significant part in advancing naval engineering. Ericsson died in New York City 8 March 1890.


Sunk as target 11/17/1970 at 39 deg 22 min N., 17 deg 15 min W. by aircraft.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, July 2001

The ERICSSON (DD-440) was launched at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company on 23 November 1940 and was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 13 March 1941. She began her career with escort duty in the North Atlantic, where on 15 January 1942 she sighted life rafts from the SS DAYROSE and rescued two survivors. The STACK (DD-406) rescued several others. Ten days later, she was underway to assist the USCG HAMILTON, which had been torpedoed off Iceland. She found the HAMILTON on 30 January under tow by a British tug and listing badly. When, at 1720, the stricken ship capsized the ERICSSON attempted to sink her by gunfire and then resumed patrolling for submarines, which were still in the area. The ERICSSON was on patrol off Iceland in the early morning hours of 13 February 1942 when the fishing vessel GREEDIR ran into her and sank. The destroyer rescued six of the seven-man crew. She continued her escort and patrol duty through October 1942.

On 7 November 1942, the day before Allied forces landed in North Africa, the ERICSSON was off Media, French Morocco, screening Task Group 34.8. For four days, she covered the landing forces, bombarding enemy strong points and repelling air and submarine attacks. She left the beach area on 14 November for Port Lyautey and a return stateside. The following year was spent mainly on convoy duty in the North and South Atlantic.

February 1944 saw the ERICSSON headed back to the Mediterranean and cruiser escort duty. While there in March, she and the destroyer KEARNY (DD-432) joined in a sub hunt and screened British destroyers, which sank the U-223. From 12–19 May, she and the KEARNY screened the cruiser BROOKLYN (CL-40) during her bombardments of targets in the Gaeta-Terraciana area. A few days later, near Anzio, Italy, the ERICSSON took part in the shore bombardment and successfully destroyed a number of targets. Her patrol and escort duties continued until August 1944.

On 15 August, she moved from Italy to Southern France with Task Group 84.7, which included British and French ships and U.S. DesDiv 21, for Operation Dragoon. From 15–17 August, she furnished close-in support for the initial landing on Yellow Beach during the invasion of Southern France. At 0005 on 27 August, the destroyer’s radar picked up a small target 9,000 yards distant. After reporting the contact to the task force commander, she was ordered to investigate. Closing in, she discovered the vessel was an unarmed fishing trawler with an inoperative motor and fifty Germans aboard. Coming alongside, she took the Germans prisoner. They apparently had thrown their weapons overboard when they saw the American destroyer approaching, but the men of the ERICSSON found a large quantity of small arms ammunition and hand grenades. Under interrogation, the prisoners admitted that they were from the U-230, which they had scuttled when it went aground. Taking the trawler in tow, the DD-440 steamed for Baie de Cavalaire where she turned the prisoners over to the troop landing craft LCI-954 for delivery to the commander of Task Force 84.

During the fall, the ERICSSON joined DesRon 13 for convoy duty between the Mediterranean and the U.S. East Coast. Antisubmarine patrol and a yard period took her into 1945. On 6 May 1945, a pre-World War I collier was steaming up the coast south of Cape Cod when a German submarine, the U-853, targeted her with a single torpedo. The aged ship got off a distress signal before going down with her twelve-man crew. Steaming homeward after escorting a convoy from Europe, the ERICSSON, the destroyer escort ATHERTON (DE-169), and the frigate MOBERLY (PF-63) received the doomed ship’s signal and sped to the area. First on the scene, the ATHERTON picked up faint beat of the U-boat’s propeller as it tried to escape. Within minutes, all three American ships were sowing the sea with depth charges. At least one delivered a fatal blow. The U-boat sank, leaving a trail of oil and debris. The following day, navy divers located the submarine in shallow water off Block Island. She was lying on her side, her conning tower blasted open. Thus, the ERICSSON’s last battle took place just a few miles off U. S. shores. Twenty-four hours later, the war with Germany was over.

By mid-summer, the ERICSSON was headed for combat duty in the Pacific, but the war ended before she could steam into action. She went on to operate in the Sasebo-Nagasaki area during the occupation before returning to San Diego, en route to Charleston, SC, and inactivation. She was decommissioned on 15 March 1946 and placed in reserve in January 1947. The ERICSSON was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1970 and in November was sunk as a target in training exercises off the Atlantic coast.

USS ERICSSON DD-440 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1963)

The third Ericsson (DD-440) was launched 23 November 1940 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, NJ; sponsored by Mrs. Ruth E. Wallgren, great-great-grandniece of John Ericsson; and commissioned 13 March 1941, Lieutenant Commander G. E. Sage in command.

After shakedown, Ericsson arrived at Norfolk, her home port, 2 May 1941, and at once began operations along the east coast and to Bermuda, training Naval Reserve midshipmen, exercising with submarines, making tests of her equipment and machinery, and joining in battle practice. In the fall of 1941, she twice voyaged to Newfoundland and Iceland, escorting convoys, continuing this service after the United States entered the war. Patrolling off Argentia 15 January 1942, she sighted the life rafts of sunken SS Dayrose, from which she rescued two survivors. Her rescue work also include, patrol service during the rescue of survivors from the torpedoed Coast Guard cutter Hamilton on 30 January 1942.

Ericsson escorted a convoy to the Canal Zone in May 1942, and another to Ireland and Scotland in June. Through the remainder of the summer, she escorted convoys along the east coast and in the Caribbean and took part in exercises, and also patrolled out of San Juan, P.R. On 24 October, she sortied from Norfolk for the invasion of North Africa, and took part in the landings on the coast of French Morocco 8 November. For the next week she offered direct fire support to the troops ashore, assisting in knocking out four enemy batteries on a ridge commanding the landing area the first day; she also screened transports lying off the beach. Ericsson returned to Norfolk 26 November.

After a brief overhaul at Charleston, Ericsson returned to patrol and escort duty in the Caribbean and to Recife and Trinidad. In May 1943, she made the first of five convoy escort voyages to Casablanca from east coast ports, between which she joined in training, and patrolled the western Atlantic. On 11 February 1944 she arrived at Gibraltar for duty in the Mediterranean, and through the next 6 months, operated primarily to support the troops fighting the bitter campaign for Italy. She escorted convoys and carried passengers between north African and Italian ports, bombarded points near the fiercely contested Anzio area and in the Gulf of Gaeta, patrolled off anchorages and harbors, and joined in exercises preparing for the invasion of southern France.

On 13 August 1944, Ericsson sortied from Malta in a task group composed primarily of British ships, but including one French ship and the remainder of Ericsson‘s division. This group covered one section of the amphibious landings on southern France from 15 to 17 August, and Ericsson, after screening HMS Ramillies to Corsica, returned to join an American task group and fire bombardments along the French coast. She also served on patrol, and on 27 August intercepted a trawler, in which the crew of a German submarine, previously grounded and scuttled in the area, were attempting to escape through the American patrol line. Fifty prisoners were thus taken. Ericsson remained in the Mediterranean for patrol and escort assignments until 11 November, when she sailed from Oran to the Azores on escort duty. Upon her return to Gibraltar, she got underway for New York City, arriving 30 November for overhaul.

After refresher training, Ericsson escorted a convoy to Oran from the east coast in April 1944, and while returning to Boston, on 5 May joined Atherton (DE-169) and Moberly (PF-63) in a submarine hunt off Block Island. With other ships joining from time to time, and two airships helping to determine the final sinking, the three ships found and sank U-853. At Boston from 6 May to 18 June, Ericsson prepared for Pacific service, and after training in the Caribbean and at Pearl Harbor, escorted a group of transports to Saipan, arriving 13 September 1945.

Ericsson sailed to Okinawa, Japan, the Philippines, and back to Japan again on escort duty until leaving Sasebo astern 14 October 1945, bound with servicemen eligible for discharge to San Diego. She continued to Charleston, arriving 5 December 1945, and there was decommissioned 15 March 1946 and placed in reserve.

Ericsson received three battle stars for World War II service.