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Hull Number: DD-507

Launch Date: 08/16/1942

Commissioned Date: 10/09/1942

Call Sign: NFBD

Voice Call Sign: MILLER, POISON OAK (60-64), MUMBO JUMBO (44)

Other Designations: DDE-507



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, June 2015

William Conway, quartermaster, of Camden, Maine, refused to haul down his country’s flag at the surrender of Pensacola Navy Yard to the rebels 12 January 1861. For his patriotic action he was presented a gold medal by citizens of California and in 1906 a memorial plaque was unveiled at his home in Camden in grateful recognition of his heroic loyalty.


Stricken 11/15/1969. Sunk as target 06/26/1970.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, September 1983

By Ed Zajkowski

Trying to write the history of the USS CONWAY DD-507 to fit into the confines of a Tin Can Sailors newsletter is like trying to condense a Bible. But condense it, we must. Phil Taylor and Jack Noll from the CONWAY sent enough material to write a book.

CONWAY started out like any other destroyer–she was built, launched and commissioned. The builder was Bath Iron Works in Maine. She was launched in November 1941 and commissioned 9 October 1942. The sponsor was Mrs. F. E. Beatty and her first Commanding Officer was Commander N. S. Prime.

CONWAY left Norfolk 5 Dec. 1942 for the Pacific War Theatre. She arrived at Noumea 13 Jan. 1943. CONWAY wasted no time getting into the thick of things. On 29- 30 Jan. 1943, she flew her first battle flag in the Battle of Rennell Island. She was in Task Force 18 under the command of Adm. Giffen. DD-507 shot at many planes, downed one and rescued survivors from the USS CHICAGO (CA-29).

Feb. 1943 saw CONWAY engaged in the bombardment of Villa Stanmore and anti shipping sweeps of Kula Gulf. This action pitted 3 DD’s and 3 light cruisers against 2 Jap DD’s. Both were sunk by gunfire. During March, April and May 1943, CONWAY had patrol duty and training out of Efate.

It might be noted here that Captain Arleigh Burke took command of DesDiv 44 and had his flag in CONWAY. The story goes that he was bored with division command and fell asleep on the bridge wing and was just about blown overboard by a close miss of a Jap bomb. No wonder, later in the war, that he was so aggressive with the “Little Beavers”.

CONWAY next supported the Rendova landings and the New Georgia landings. In between she conducted bombardment of Kolombangara and Munda.

Escorting and runs up the slot occupied CONWAY’s time from 26 July to 12 August 1943. This operation was immediately followed by the Vella Lavelia operation in mid August. The ship was overhauled in the Fiji Islands and at Sydney, Australia.

She returned to action in late October by participating in the Treasury and Choiseul Island operations of 27-28 Oct.

On 16 October 1943, Cdr. Harold C. Bowen, Jr. took command. CONWAY took part in the initial landing at Cape Torokina. The beach was landed at 0726 on 1 November 1943, and during the day, many planes were chased and splashed. CONWAY splashed one Betty on 17 Nov. In early December, she went to New Hebrides for repairs alongside USS MEDUSA.

January and February 1944 found 507 escorting LST’s at Bougainville. The next major offensive for CONWAY was Green Islands on 15-19 Feb. 1944. Patrol and bombardment was next in the area of Rabaul, New Britain and New Ireland Islands.

The first of March saw the CONWAY receive 26 shrapnel holes after being straddled by shore batteries.

Routine war action followed for the next few months. She arrived in Pearl Harbor in May 1944 and command was taken over by LCDR, John M. Besson, Jr. Summer of 44 saw 507 off Guam, Tinian and Saipan. During this time she provided screen, fire support, night illumination and harassing fire. On 12 Aug. 1944 CONWAY received orders to proceed to the USA by way of Eniwetok and Pearl.

Twenty-one months of war duty ended when the Golden Gate bridge was sighted 30 Aug. 1944. She received overhaul at the United Engineering Company.

During Oct. CONWAY was at sea for refresher training off San Clemente Island. On 26 Oct. 507 left for Pearl and another war cruise. Upon arrival at Leyte Gulf, she joined TG 77.2. CONWAY was attacked by 15 planes on 27 Nov. 1944, while refueling. No damage resulted. She left Palau in Dec. with TG 77.12 for the landings on Mindoro. She survived another bombing near miss on 15 Dec. 1944. Christmas gave the CONWAY a much-deserved break– she had an availability and upkeep period in Manus.

Jan. 1945 and the CONWAY participates in the Lingayen Gulf landings. She continued war duty in the Philippine area until June. At wars end the ship supported minesweeping ops in the Yellow Sea.

CONWAY visited Korea for four days in late Sept. 1945. On 29 Dec., she left Shanghai for Charleston, S.C. by way of San Diego on New York arriving there 13 March. She was decommissioned 25 June 1946.

CONWAY received 11 Battle Stars for WWII service.

On 8 Nov. 1950, she was recommissioned under Cdr. W. Carey. CONWAY was now an escort destroyer (DDE). She sailed with division 21 for Japan and arrived there in June. Then to Oct. was routine escort duty. In mid October she conducted shore bombardment. On 28 Oct., 507 proceeded to Japan and then West to the USA arriving at Norfolk 20 Dec. 1951. In Feb. 52, Cdr. J. D. Reese became CO. East Coast operations lasted until June 52, then an overhaul at Norfolk. On 2 Nov. 1953 Cdr. D. L. Byrd took command. She made a Med cruise and returned to Norfolk in Feb. 1954. 1955 was routine destroyer duty. On 22 Dec. 1955, Cdr. F. J. Berry became CO. 1956 was routine. 1957 found CONWAY in the Med again. On 9 July 1957, Cdr. Carl S. Baker took command. 1958 was routine with an overhaul in Norfolk. 17 Oct. 1958 Cdr. G. R. Bryan became CO. The next two years were typical of a DD-cruise, training and upkeep. In Jan. 1961 Cdr. R. M. Keller assumed command. In 1962 CONWAY was one of the ships assigned to rescue Gus Grissom and the Mercury capsule.

507 was reclassified DD-507 on 1 July 1962. 1963 saw Cdr. E. J. Myers become CO in March. In June another Med cruise started. She then headed for the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In Oct. she arrived home in Norfolk. June of 1964 started yet another Med cruise, this one only for three months for midshipmen. The following three years were routine and in Nov. 1967 she left again for the Med.

On 6 Sept. 1968, CONWAY arrived at Philadelphia to begin a new life as a Naval Reserve Training ship. On 15 Sept. 1969, it was decided that CONWAY was “unfit for further service” and would be stricken from the Naval Register on 15 Nov. 1969. She was decommissioned the same day.

In March of 1970, CINCLANTFLT decided CONWAY would be a target ship. She was sunk 6-26-70.

CONWAY received 2 Korean Stars, the Philippine PUC Badge; China, Korea, and UN Service Medals and the Navy Occupation Medal.

USS CONWAY DD-507 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, June 2015

The second Conway (DD-507) was launched 5 November 1941 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. F. E. Beatty; and commissioned 9 October 1942, Commander N. S. Prime in command.

Conway cleared Norfolk 5 December 1942 for Noumea, and Efate and arrived 13 January. She put to sea 27 January as her force sailed to meet Japanese ships evacuating troops from Guadalcanal. On 29 and 30 January, her force came under heavy enemy air attack in the Battle of Rennell Island. Conway splashed several enemy planes, and rescued survivors of Chicago (CA-29). Throughout February, she patrolled between Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal, and between 4 and 6 March, participated in the bombardment of Villa Stanmore and a shipping sweep of Kula Gulf.

From 10 March 1943 Conway had patrol duty and conducted training from Efate. She sailed from Efate 15 June in support of the Rendova landings, escorting supply ships, then had the same duty for the New Georgia operations, and conducted bombardments of Kolombangara and Munda. Between 26 July and 12 August, she operated out of Purvis Bay, escorting fueling units and making night raids on Japanese shipping “up the slot.” She sailed from Purvis Bay 13 August to take part in the Vella Lavella operation, escorted LST’s and supply ships in to the beach, and then took up patrol north and west of the island. She returned to Guadalcanal 30 August escorting transports carrying the First Marine Raiders, and until 12 September conducted night raids on enemy barges off Guadalcanal.

After overhaul in the Fiji Islands and at Sydney, Australia, Conway returned to Southwest Pacific operations in October 1943. On 27 October she participated in the initial landings in the Treasury Islands, and then in landings on Choiseul. She supported the landings at Bougainville on 29 October, and until 10 February 1944, she continued operations in support of troops ashore on Bougainville, escorting reinforcement convoys and firing on shore targets. Between 11 and 17 February, she participated in the landings on Green Island, then returned to her Bougainville operations.

Between 28 February 1944 and 17 March, Conway bombarded targets in New Britain and New Ireland by day, and conducted searches for enemy shipping by night in the waters off these islands, and until 4 May, continued operations in the Solomons on escort duty, patrol, and in exercises with cruisers.

On 8 May, at Majuro, Conway joined the 5th Fleet. She sailed from Majuro 14 May for Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein, where she loaded troops for the Saipan operation, landed them 15 June under heavy gunfire, and served as close fire support and screening vessel off the island. After replenishing at Eniwetok, Conway joined in the preassault bombardment of Guam and Tinian, remaining to cover the landings at Tinian. She continued to operate in the Saipan and Tinian campaigns until 12 August, when she cleared for San Francisco and overhaul.

Conway returned to Ulithi 21 November 1944 to join the 7th Fleet. She put to sea at once to patrol in Leyte Gulf, join in an antishipping sweep in Camotes Sea, and fire in the bombardment of Plompon and Ormoc Bay. After replenishing at Kossol Roads, Conway covered the Mindoro landings, then patrolled west of Mindoro in the Sulu Sea until 23 December, when she put in to Manus. She sailed again 31 December for the initial landings on Lingayen, Corregidor, and Parang, and continued operating in Philippine waters until June 1945.

On 7 June 1945 Conway sailed from Subic Bay in the distant covering group for the Brunei Bay operation. She covered minesweeping and fired in preassault bombardment at Balikpapan, guarded an underwater demolition team as it prepared the beach, and conducted bombardment during the actual landings. She rested briefly at Leyte. and then took part in the landings at Saragani Bay, Mindanao.

With the close of the war, Conway began patrolling east of Leyte Gulf, and supported minesweeping operations in the Yellow Sea, visiting Okinawa and Tsingtao. She put in to Jinsen, Korea, from 20 to 24 September 1945, and then sailed in the China Sea as flagship of the forces lifting Chinese troops from Indo-China to Formosa and Manchuria until 29 December, when she sailed from Shanghai for San Diego, New York, and Charleston, arriving 13 March. Conway was placed out of commission in reserve 25 June 1946, berthed at Charleston.

Conway was recommissioned at Boston 8 November 1950, following her conversion to an escort destroyer (DDE). After training, she departed Norfolk 14 May 1951 for Sasebo, arriving 15 June. She escorted a convoy from Shantung to Manchuria, participated in hunter-killer exercises off Okinawa, and screened TF 77 off the coast of Korea. Between 14 and 28 October, Conway fired in bombardments at Kolgochi-Ri, Hodo Pando, Hungnam, and Wonsan, and patrolled in these areas. She departed Sasebo 31 October for the Suez Canal, crossed the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and returned to Norfolk 20 December.

Conway operated from her home port at Norfolk on coastwise and Caribbean training operations and on 16 September 1953 sailed for her first North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise, in the North Atlantic, continuing to a tour of duty in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet, returning to Norfolk 8 February 1954. Her training concentrated on antisubmarine warfare, and in 1955 and 1957 she returned to the Mediterranean, in 1957 patrolling the eastern Mediterranean and the Dardanelles during the crisis in Jordan. In the early fall of 1957, she visited ports of northern Europe while joining in NATO exercises, and from January to March 1958, tested new antisubmarine weapons off Key West.

In April 1958, Conway put to sea with TF Alfa, a group experimenting with antisubmarine tactics, and through the remainder of 1958, 1959, and 1960 spent most of her time at sea with this force. In June 1960, she visited Quebec City, Canada, and in December of that year participated in the rescue of survivors of a merchant tanker which had broken in two off Cape Hatteras.