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Hull Number: DD-499

Launch Date: 10/13/1942

Commissioned Date: 12/05/1942

Decommissioned Date: 02/14/1970

Call Sign: NWBJ (63-67)

Voice Call Sign: SIDECAR, THROTTLE (44)

Other Designations: DDE-499



Data for USS Fletcher (DD-445) as of 1945

Length Overall: 376’ 5"

Beam: 39’ 7"

Draft: 13’ 9"

Standard Displacement: 2,050 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,940 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,250 barrels


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


20 Officers
309 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, August 2015

William B. Renshaw, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., 11 October 1816, was appointed midshipman in November 1831. Appointed commander 26 April 1861, he was attached to Admiral Farragut’s squadron during the Civil War and was commended for the “handsome manner in which he managed his vessel,” Westfield, during Mortar Flotilla operations on the Mississippi in 1862. At Galveston at the end of the year, he refused to surrender his ship on 1 January 1863 and set fire to her to keep her out of Confederate hands.


Stricken 2/14/1970. Sold 10/1970.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, July 2000

Named for Civil War hero Commander William B. Renshaw, the DD-499 was launched 13 October and commissioned 5 December 1942. She reported to the Pacific Fleet in the spring of 1943 to screen transports off the Solomons followed in July by bombardment of the Vila Stanmore and Shortland Islands. Over the winter of 1942-43, her guns pounded targets in Empress Augusta Bay, on northeast Bougainville, Buka and Green Islands, and Bougainville Island itself. Again, during landings in the New Britain-New Ireland area, her fire hit enemy airfield installations and a gun emplacement. By the summer of 1944, she was off Tinian supporting U.S. forces under a heavy counterattack with regular and illuminating fire. She was close enough to shore for her lookouts to see bodies and machine guns in the debris tossed into the air by successful hits. Near Ormoc Bay that November, the RENSHAW and other destroyers engaged and sank a surfaced Japanese submarine and went on to destroy an enemy barge.

While on convoy duty in the Mindanao Sea on the morning of 21 February 1945, lookouts aboard the RENSHAW spotted a periscope, but before the ship could take evasive action, the torpedo hit, exploding on contact about ten feet below the waterline. Nineteen of her crew were killed, twenty injured. The explosion tore a twenty-six-foot hole in the hull, twisted the keel, damaged bulkheads and decks and caused flooding in the forward engine room and after fire room. Almost immediately, the ship lost power. Quick action by damage control parties greatly reduced the flooding, prevented damage to the ship’s main propulsion machinery, and restored power. Later, after temporary repairs by the ship’s crew and those on the destroyer tender WHITNEY (AD-4) and repair ship PROMETHEUS (AR-3), the RENSHAW was able to proceed under her own power to Tacoma, Washington, for permanent repairs. On Navy Day, 27 October 1945, she was in New York Harbor with President Harry S. Truman aboard as he reviewed the victory parade of ships on the Hudson River.

Decommissioned in February 1947, she was placed in reserve until 1949 when she received the latest antisubmarine armament and electronic detection gear and was redesignated escort destroyer DDE-499. She was recommissioned in June 1950 and, with the coming of war in Korea, was back in action in May 1951. Much of her time was spent in shelling the enemy rail line between Sonjin and Ilsin Dong and railway targets in the Tanchon area. On the morning of 11 October 1951, the RENSHAW was on a bombardment mission when a quartermaster on the bridge noticed large camouflage screens sliding down a 200-foot bluff adjacent to her target. Thus revealed was battery of four guns, which opened fire as their camouflage slipped away. The first two salvos were short, the next two were long and peppered the bridge and midships areas from the waterline to the topmast radar with shrapnel. Topside damage to the ship was superficial, and the one sailor who was hit suffered only slight wounds. The rest of some thirty salvos fell short as the destroyer took evasive action and blasted the enemy guns. Her fourth salvo struck an enemy gun emplacement and blew it and its crew out of their cave and down the bluff into the water, making the RENSHAW the first ship to sink an enemy shore battery. Now 6,000 yards offshore, beyond the range of enemy guns, she was joined by the ERBEN (DD-631). As the two moved in toward shore, the RENSHAW’s gunners fired on the remaining gun emplacements and the ERBEN’s knocked out the bridges that the shore batteries had tried to protect. She was back in icy Korean waters in December 1952, when she rescued four survivors of a downed navy patrol bomber as part of escort, search and rescue, and bombardment duties that continued into June 1953.

The following spring, she served with the Surface Security Unit for nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, and that summer, rescued a British airman while serving as plane guard for the carrier HMS WARRIOR. She continued regular Far East deployments for hunter-killer and task force exercises into 1961. That December, she recovered the satellite nose cone of DISCOVERER 36 north of Oahu. In August 1962, she was redesignated DD-499 and in October participated in the recovery of Mercury astronaut Walter M. Schirra. In April 1965, the RENSHAW and other units of Destroyer Division 252 were on station in the South China Sea off Vietnam serving in surveillance roles and supporting carrier strike force operations. Following a stint with the Taiwan Patrol Force, she returned to the coast of Vietnam for surveillance with the BENNINGTON (CVS-20) and ASWGROUP 5. Beginning in August 1966, she served at various times with the KEARSARGE (CVS-33), ORISKANY (CVA-34), FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA-42), and CHICAGO (CG-11); participated in antisubmarine warfare exercises; patrolled the Taiwan Strait; and fought fifty-knot winds and high seas of tropical storm Olga. Her next service in the Tonkin Gulf was in 1968 and again in 1969 when she rescued a downed pilot. During these tours, she operated with the BUCHANAN (DDG-14), GEORGE K. MACKENZIE (DD-836), ROWAN (DD-782), and HAMNER (DD-718) as well as the EPPERSON (DD-719), NICHOLAS (DD-449), and COCHRANE (DDG-21).

The RENSHAW’s career ended at Pearl Harbor where she was decommissioned and struck from the navy’s list on 14 February 1970. She was sold for scrap in October 1970.

USS RENSHAW DD-499 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, August 2015

The third Renshaw (DD-499) was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; launched 13 October 1942; sponsored by Miss Dorothy Lillian Renshaw; and commissioned 5 December 1942, Lt. Comdr. C. F. Chillingworth in command.

Following shakedown, Renshaw reported to the Pacific Fleet in the spring of 1943, and protected transports in the Solomon Islands area. On 2 July 1943, she participated in the bombardment of the Vila Stanmore and Shortland Island areas in Kula Gulf, coming under the fire of enemy shore batteries.

From 21 to 25 November, she pounded East Island in Empress Augusta Bay with 200 rounds of 5-inch ammunition. Sorum and Makatawa on northeast Bougainville next felt her blows, and she then proceeded north of Buka Island for an offensive sweep between Buka and Green Islands. On the morning of 20 January, she retired southward with her task unit to give fire support to the landings on Bougainville Island itself.

During landings in the New Britain-New Ireland area, Renshaw dealt considerable damage to enemy airfield installations while coming under the fire of shore batteries. On 13 March the ship was in the Empress Augusta Bay area where she bombarded enemy positions in the jungles east of the beachhead held by Allied forces.

After a short period of amphibious training at Pearl Harbor, Renshaw led a force of LSTs to the Marianas Islands. At first assigned to the outer destroyer screen, she later closed the Tinian beach to provide star shell illumination and fire support for troops ashore who were undergoing a heavy counterattack.

In November 1944, while operating with a destroyer division bombarding enemy installations in the Ormoc Bay area and conducting antishipping sweeps in the waters westward of Leyte, Renshaw spotted a Japanese submarine on the surface. Renshaw and accompanying destroyers immediately opened fire and, after a brief one-sided duel during which the submarine returned fire with small caliber weapons, the enemy vessel was destroyed.

After a turnaround in San Pedro Bay, Renshaw and other units of her task group made a high-speed run to Ormoc Bay in an effort to intercept enemy transports reported unloading there. However, only a single Japanese vessel was found, a large wooden barge, which Renshaw took under fire and destroyed while she came under air attack.

On 31 December 1944, Renshaw sortied with a task unit en route to screen a large transport formation assigned to land troops in the Lingayen Gulf area 9 January 1945. Despite repeated air attacks during the voyage through the Sulu and South China Seas, the powerful invasion armada reached its objective without serious damage.

While in the Mindanao Sea, on 21 February 1945, Renshaw was struck by a torpedo from an enemy submarine. The torpedo exploded on contact about 10 feet below the waterline, flooding the firerooms. The ship lost all power, a large section of the hull was warped by the explosion, and bulkheads and decks were fractured. Even though 19 men were killed and 20 injured, within a matter of minutes, damage control parties had the flooding reduced by half and through their efforts the main propulsion machinery suffered no damage.

Temporary repairs were made in April by the ship’s crew and men from the destroyer tender Whitney (AD-4) and the repair ship Prometheus (AR-3). Renshaw then proceeded under her own power from the forward area to the Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Wash., where permanent repairs were completed early in October 1945.

On Navy Day, 27 October 1945, in New York Harbor, President Harry S. Truman reviewed the greatest victory parade in naval history from Renshaw.

Renshaw decommissioned in February 1947 and was attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet. During 1949 and 1950, she was converted to a specialized antisubmarine vessel and recommissioned in June 1950 as DDE-499.

During the Korean Conflict, Renshaw had two tours of duty in the Far East, May to November 1951 and November 1952 to June 1953, in which she served as an escort, patrol, search and rescue, and bombardment vessel. Subsequently, Renshaw served in the Pacific Proving Grounds, February to May 1954, during Operation “Castle,” rendering patrol and air control services for Joint Task Force 7.

This was followed by a short tour in the Far East from June to August 1954 where Renshaw rescued a British airman from the sea while acting as plane guard for the British carrier HMS Warrior, and also participated in a hunter-killer exercise with a force composed of United States and Canadian ships. On 8 August 1955, Renshaw sailed for her fourth tour in the Far East, spending most of her time in hunter-killer exercises and task force operations. She subsequently made additional Far Eastern deployments from Pearl Harbor, October 1956 to May 1957, December 1957 to May 1958, February 1959 to July 1959, and April 1960 to October 1960.

In 1960 Renshaw received Weapon Alpha; and, on 17 December 1961, she recovered the nose-cone of Discoverer 36. She made a further WestPac deployment in 1962. On 7 August 1962 she was redesignated a destroyer and resumed the hull number, DD-499. On 3 October, Renshaw participated in the recovery of Project Mercury Astronaut Comdr. Walter M Schirra. Spending most of 1963 operating out of Pearl Harbor; Renshaw deployed to WestPac again in November 1963, returning 6 months later.

On 3 March 1965, Renshaw, in company with other units of Destroyer Division 252, departed Pearl Harbor on short notice to augment destroyer forces for the rapidly expanding naval commitments in the South China Sea. During April and May, she served in surveillance roles and in support of carrier striking force operations. In June she was on Taiwan patrol, returning to Vietnamese waters in July, where she remained until September before steaming via Japan for Pearl Harbor.

In October and December Renshaw served as an alternate recovery ship in Project Gemini. Her 11th WestPac tour began 5 July 1966. She participated in antisubmarine operations, as an aircraft carrier rescue destroyer, in special operations with Chicago (CG-11) in the Tonkin Gulf, and in special operations and patrol duties in the Taiwan Strait.

Renshaw remained in the Hawaiian area throughout 1967. She departed Pearl Harbor 8 April 1968 for WestPac where she provided escort services for the fast carrier attack forces on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf. In September Renshaw returned to Pearl Harbor. In June 1969 she sailed for WestPac and Yankee Station where she rescued one pilot from the water. In December 1969, she returned from the Far East to Pearl Harbor. Renshaw decommissioned 14 February and was struck from the Navy list the same day. She was sold for scrapping in October 1970 to Zidell Explorations Inc.

Renshaw earned eight battle stars for World War II service; five battle stars for Korean Conflict service; and six battle stars for Vietnam service.