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Hull Number: DD-508

Launch Date: 08/20/1942

Commissioned Date: 10/30/1942

Call Sign: NILX

Voice Call Sign: COFFEE (60-64) (DDE), DOGWOOD (44)

Other Designations: DDE-508


Class: FLETCHER

FLETCHER Class

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

Armament:

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

Complement:

20 Officers
309 Enlisted

Propulsion:

4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots

Namesake: JOSEPH SAVILLE CONY

JOSEPH SAVILLE CONY

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

Joseph Saville Cony, born in 1834 in Eastport, Maine, was appointed acting ensign 3 November 1862. He commanded several successful small-boat expeditions along the Carolina coast while serving in Western World and as executive officer in Shokokon. Promoted to acting master 7 September 1863, Cony was honorably discharged 7 November 1865, and was lost at sea off Cape Hatteras 10 February 1867, when his merchant command City of Bath burned and sank.


Disposition:

Stricken 7/2/1969. Sunk as target 03/20/1970.


A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS CONY DD-508

The Tin Can Sailor, July 2004

Launched on 16 August and commissioned at Boston on 30 October 1942, the FLETCHER-class destroyer CONY (DD‑508) was bound for the Pacific on Christmas day. By 6 March 1943 she was underway with the destroyers WALLER (DD-466) and CONWAY (DD-507) to screen the cruisers MONTPELIER (CL-57), CLEVELAND (CL-55), and DENVER (CL-58) as they bombarded the Japanese airstrip at Vila on Kolombangara Island. Shortly after midnight, the American force met two enemy destroyers, one of which was quickly dispatched by a torpedo from the WALLER, the first sinking by a destroyer-fired torpedo since the Battle of Balikpapan. The cruisers sank the second destroyer and headed for the Vila airstrip while the destroyers battled the shore batteries to silence.Following a stateside overhaul, the CONY returned as flagship for the fire support group covering the landings on Vella Lavella on 15 August 1943. She and the destroyers WALLER, EATON (DD-510), RENSHAW (DD-499), SAUFLEY (DD-465), RADFORD (DD-446), GRAYSON (DD-435), and LAVALETTE (DD-448) formed a strike force to intercept Japanese barges evacuating Kolombangara. On the first night, they sank twenty barges, and the EATON claimed a submarine kill. The next night, the CONY, WALLER, EATON, RALPH TALBOT (DD-390), TERRY (DD-513), and TAYLOR (DD-468) ran off four Japanese destroyers and sank a torpedo boat and another twenty barges.

At dawn on 27 October 1943, the CONY and PHILIP (DD-498) covered troop landings in the Treasury Islands. The CONY, as fighter director and radar picket, stood off Mono Island’s Laifa Point. The PHILIP was off Stirling Island busy silencing coastal mortars that had damaged the LSTs 399 and 485. That afternoon, U.S. fighter planes drove off a bomber attack on the landing craft, and later the two destroyers fought off some 25 enemy bombers, splashing 12. The CONY claimed five of those, but suffered severe damage when the bombers scored two hits. Fire and flooding caused serious damage in the after engine room, living spaces, and magazines, and the loss of electricity put three of her 5-inch guns out of action. She retired from the area, as her crew fought the fires until 0630 the next morning. She lost eight of her crew killed and ten wounded and had to return to the states for repairs.

Beginning in March 1944, the CONY hunted off Bougainville for Japanese barges and submarines, patrolled the Southern Surigao Straits, and supported landings in the Empress Augusta Bay area. On 14 June she was en route to Saipan when her sonar picked up a submarine. Five runs and 46 depth charges brought the end of the sub, I-5. The next day, her crew picked up an I-5 survivor and later turned him over to the authorities at Saipan. The destroyer screened transports at Saipan and hunted enemy submarines until 20 July when she joined the bombardment of Tinian and screened for submarines during the landings on 24 July. August found the CONY en route to Guadalcanal to screen carriers during the landings on Peleliu between 15 and 30 September. In October 1944 she screened and fired in support of underwater demolition teams and bombardment groups in the Leyte Gulf.

 

She was in the Battle of Surigao Strait on the night of 24 October positioned north of Hibuson Island with five cruisers and the destroyers AULICK (DD-569) and SIGOURNEY (DD‑643). The battle raged through the night and ended in a decisive American victory. That didn’t stop the enemy from supplying their troops on Leyte through the port of Ormoc, which became the next target of U.S. action. On 27 November 1944, after the minesweepers PURSUIT (AM‑108) and REVENGE (AM‑110) cleared the Canigao Channel into Ormoc Bay, the WALLER, PRINGLE (DD‑477), RENSHAW (DD‑499) and SAUFLEY (DD‑465) entered the bay to strike at harbor installations. During that action, the WALLER sank a surfaced enemy sub with gunfire. That night and the one following, the CONY, WALLER, RENSHAW, and CONNER (DD‑582) found Ormoc Bay quiet and free of ships. On the night of 1 December, however, the CONY, CONWAY, EATON, and SIGOURNEY intercepted an enemy transport and sent it to the bottom. The next day, three new SUMNER-class DDs, the ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD‑692), MOALE (DD‑693), and COOPER (DD‑695) found a very different situation in Ormoc Bay. They immediately came under heavy air attack as they entered the bay and inside, were met by enemy PT boats, and fire from shore batteries. In the meantime, they were dodging barrages of torpedoes from enemy submarines and destroyers. They sank the destroyer KUWA, but the trio lost one of their own, in the melee, the COOPER was hit by a torpedo and sank almost immediately.In mid-December, the CONY screened carriers off Mindoro and began 1945 screening transports during the Lingayen Gulf landings. On 1 March, she covered the destroyer escort FORMOE (DE‑509), the minesweepers SENTRY (AM‑299) and SALUTE (AM‑294), and two infantry landing craft (LCI) for minesweeping and reconnaissance in the Luzon area. In March and April, the CONY’s and CONWAY’s guns supported landing on Caballo Island in Manila Bay and on Mindanau and Parang. In May and June, the CONY patrolled the Davao Gulf, covered landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, and supported mine sweepers and underwater demolition teams near Balikpapan, Borneo. She screened transports and supported the landings at Sarangani Bay, Mindanau, in July 1945.

With the end of hostilities, the CONY’s operations included escort duty, assisting minesweepers in the Yangtze River area and Taiwan Straits, and monitoring activity around Shanghai. She returned to the states on 20 December and was decommissioned at Charleston, SC, on 13 March 1946.

After her recommissioning and conversion to an escort destroyer (DDE) for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations, she headed for the Korean War zone in May 1951. There she provided gunfire support through October. Over the next several years she was busy with hunter-killer operations; NATO exercises in the North Atlantic, English Channel, and Mediterranean; and ASW exercises with the British Royal Navy. In April 1958 the CONY joined Task Force Alpha, an experimental group specializing in developing ASW tactics.

April 1961 found Task Force Alpha, which included the carrier ESSEX (CV-9); two submarines; the destroyers CONY, CONWAY, EATON, MURRAY, WALLER, BACHE (DD-470), and BEALE (DD-471) in the Caribbean. The CONY and other destroyers carried an armed force of Cuban exiles bound for a secret landing in the Bay of Pigs on 17 April 1961 to bring about the overthrow Fidel Castro’s Communist regime.

The CONY’s whaleboat was part of the invasion flotilla led by the EATON, but the landing was no surprise. They immediately received fire from the beach and later, a Cuban helicopter fired on the CONY’s whaleboat returning to the beach to rescue survivors. The disastrous operation cost the Cuban exiles and Americans with them 114 lives and 1,189 captured. The Communist forces lost 106.

In October 1962 the CONY returned to the Caribbean to participate in the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was engaged in hunter-killer operations with the carriers RANDOLPH (CVS-15) and ESSEX, and the destroyers BACHE, EATON, and MURRAY. As they patrolled the Sargasso Sea they made contact with the Soviet submarine B-59 prowling along the quarantine line. The destroyers, tracker aircraft, and helicopters maintained contact with the sub, which tried unsuccessfully to shake them. Beginning on the morning of 27 October 1962, the CONY and BEALE tracked the sub and, as ordered, began dropping practice depth charges, which made it rough going for the B-59. They dogged her for twelve hours before her captain had to surface to recharge his boat’s batteries. Soon after the CONY’s signalman had established a communications link by signal light.

As the American destroyer and Soviet submarine continued toward the northeast, a U.S. Navy surveillance plane flew over during the night to photograph the B-59. It dropped incendiary devices for illumination, but the unexpected explosions startled the watches on both destroyer and sub. The latter quickly went to battle stations and prepared to launch her torpedoes at the CONY, whose skipper immediately had the destroyer’s signalman flash an explanation and an apology to the submarine. Only later did the Americans learn that the B-59’s torpedoes were armed with nuclear warheads and the incident was far more dangerous than they had thought.

The CONY returned to Norfolk and routine operations along the East Coast and in the Caribbean. She took midshipman on a training cruise to Northern Europe; conducted surveillance of Soviet activity in the Red Sea; and visited several Middle-Eastern ports. By the summer of 1967, she was bound for Vietnam with the LEARY (DD-879), WALDRON (DD-699), and DAMATO (DD-871). From 28 August to 24 September, the CONY provided gunfire support for the First Air Cavalry’s operations in the II Corps area and, on her second tour in Vietnam, for the I and III Corps and navy seal teams operating in the Mekong Delta. The CONY’s next assignment was with Task Group 77.8 on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin, followed by plane guard duty for the ORISKANY (CVA‑34). During her last deployment, from 14 August 1967 to 25 December 1967, she patrolled the Taiwan Straits and was on gunfire support and plane guard duty in Cam Ranh Bay, Cape Saint Jacques, Vung Ganh Rai, the Saigon River, and Mui Ba Kiem, Vietnam.

She returned to Norfolk where she was decommissioned and struck from the navy ship register on 2 July 1969. On 20 March 1970 she was towed to a spot 60 miles off Puerto Rico where an amphibious task force sank her with their 3-inch and 5-inch batteries.

USS CONY DD-508 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

Cony (DD-508) was launched 30 August 1942 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. W. R. Sleight; and commissioned 30 October 1942, Lieutenant Commander H. D. Johnson in command.

Cony escorted a troop convoy from Norfolk to Noumea, New Caledonia, where she arrived 27 January 1943. She patrolled between Espiritu Santo and Efate, and on 6 March joined in the bombardment of the Vila-Stan-more area on New Guinea, continuing her patrol and escort duties until clearing for overhaul at San Francisco 28 April. She returned to action waters at Espiritu Santo 1 August, and after screening a group of transports to Guadalcanal, she brought fire support and was flagship for the landings on Vella Lavella on 15 August. She continued patrols and escorted supplies to Vella Lavella until returning to Espiritu Santo 8 September. ^ From 20 September 1943, Cony patrolled through the Solomons, and from 1 to 3 October joined in a sweep against Japanese barges attempting to evacuate Kolombangara. On 27 October, she sailed to cover the landings on the Treasuries. Here complete surprise was achieved, but Japanese reaction came quickly, and later that day about 25 enemy bombers attacked Cony and another destroyer. Aided by American fighter aircraft, Cony and her sister splashed 12 of the enemy planes, but Cony received two bomb hits on her main deck, and these with a near miss killed 8 of her men, wounded 10, and caused considerable damage. She was towed into Port Purvis for emergency repairs, and sailed on to Mare Island for a complete overhaul.

Returning to Port Purvis 27 March 1944, Cony patrolled along the southwest coast of Bougainville, hunting Japanese barges and submarines, and giving fire support to troops ashore in the Empress Augusta Bay area. She sailed from Port Purvis 4 May for Majuro and Pearl Harbor, where she joined the screen of a transport group bound for Eniwetok and the Saipan landings on 15 June. Cony screened the transports as they unloaded and carried out antisubmarine patrol until 14 July, when she sailed to replenish at Eniwetok. Six days later she sailed for preinvasion bombardment on Tinian, remaining to patrol in the antisubmarine screen when the landings themselves began on 24 July.

Cony returned to Guadalcanal 24 August 1944 to prepare for the assault on the Palau Islands. She screened carriers as they launched air raids supporting the landings on Peleliu between 15 and 30 September, then put in to Manus to replenish. The destroyer put to sea once more 12 October, screening and providing fire support for underwater demolition teams and bombardment groups in Leyte Gulf between 19 and 21 October as the landings began. As Japanese forces entered Leyte Gulf on 24 October to begin the Battle of Surigao Strait phase of the epic Battle for Leyte Gulf, Cony took her station with the battleships and cruisers in the battleline, joining in the furious firing of the night action, and pursuing and constantly dueling with Japanese destroyer Asagumo, finally sunk in the morning of 25 October with the aid of fire from another destroyer and two cruisers.

After voyaging to Manus for replenishment, Cony returned to Leyte Gulf for patrol duties 16 November 1944. On the nights of 29-30 November and 1-2 December she joined in sweeps of Ormoc Bay, hunting Japanese shipping. Targets were few, but her group sent a barge to the bottom on their second foray, and bombarded enemy positions on the shores of the bay in preparation for the landings in Ormoc Bay a few days later. Cony put in to Kossol Roads from 4 to 10 December, then sailed to screen carriers providing air cover for attack groups passing from Leyte to Mindoro, returning to Kossol Roads 19 December.

Cony arrived at Manus 23 December 1944 and sailed 8 days later to screen transports to the Lingayen Gulf landings on 9 January 1945. She cleared the Gulf 11 January to screen empty transports and cargo ships to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and then took up patrol duty in Lingayen Gulf. The destroyer covered the reconnaissance and sweeping of Baler Bay between 26 February and 10 March, and stood by to provide fire support during the landings on Caballo Island in Manila Bay on 27 March. She bombarded Parang between 14 and 19 April, and patrolled in Davao Gulf early in May. On 7 June she sailed from Subic Bay to cover the landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, on 9 June, and sailed on a fire-support mission aiding minesweeping operations and underwater demolition teams near Balikpapan, Borneo, from 13 June to 2 July.

Returning to San Pedro Bay, Cony sailed on 11 July 1945 to escort transports to landings at Saragani Bay, Mindanao, providing fire support to the forces ashore until 13 July. Through August, she made an escort voyage between Leyte and Ulithi, and on 8 September, arrived in the approaches of the Yangtze River to act as navigational ship during minesweeping operations. Between 29 September and 6 October, she called at Shanghai, then sailed to investigate the compliance with the surrender terms of Japanese troops on Raffles Island in the Chusan Archipelago just off the China coast south of Shanghai. After making a mail run to Okinawa, she served as harbor entrance control ship at Shanghai until 19 November, when she sailed to Taiwan to serve as navigational ship for minesweeping operations in the Taiwan Straits. She sailed for home from Shanghai 20 December, and after calling at San Diego and New York, arrived at Charleston, S.C., 13 March 1946. There she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 18 June 1946.

Reclassified DDE-508 on 26 March 1949, Cony was converted to an escort destroyer, specially equipped for antisubmarine warfare, and recommissioned 17 November 1949. After training and operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, she sailed from her home-port, Norfolk, 14 May 1951, on a cruise round the world, during which she operated in the Korean war zone from 18 June to 28 October, returning home by way of the Suez Canal, and arriving at Norfolk 20 December 1951. In September 1953, she again cleared on a distant deployment, taking part in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation “Mariner,” then exercising with the Royal Navy in antisubmarine operations off Northern Ireland before continuing to a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. In 1955 and 1957, she again served in the Mediterranean, and in September and October 1957, joined in NATO antisubmarine exercises in the English Channel. Local operations and cruises to the Caribbean marked 1958, and in 1959 and 1960, Cony joined TF Alfa, an experimental tactical group concentrating on antisubmarine warfare, in its operations along the east coast. With this group, she visited Quebec City, Canada, in June 1960.

Cony received 11 battle stars for World War II service, and two for Korean war service.