Hull Number: DD-580
Launch Date: 10/15/1942
Commissioned Date: 07/31/1943
Decommissioned Date: 03/31/1946
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
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower
Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots
Namesake: JOHN YOUNG
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1981)
Born circa 1740–began his seafaring career at an early age in the colonial merchant marine and, at the start of the American Revolution, was commissioned 23d on the list of captains in the Continental Navy. On 20 September 1776, the Continental Congress directed Young to take the sloop-of-war Independence to Martinique to protect American mercantile shipping in the West Indies. Collaterally, Independence was to raid British shipping whenever the opportunity arose.
On 5 July 1777, Young was ordered to Nantes, France, and subsequently arrived at Lorient with two prizes. On 17 February 1778, while in French waters, he sailed through the French Fleet, saluting that nation’s government with a 13-gun salute. In return he received a nine-gun salute, one of the earliest salutes rendered by the French government to the fledgling American government. At the time, John Paul Jones was on board Independence.
Young returned to America in the spring of 1778 and successively commanded two Pennsylvania privateers, Buckskin and Impertinent, before he was given command of the sloop-of-war Saratoga–then fitting out at Philadelphia, Pa.–in May 1780. Young took her to sea on 13 August 1780 and, in the course of the ship’s first cruise, captured one prize before she returned to port for repairs and alterations.
Subsequent cruises were more successful, as Young commanded Saratoga on three more sweeps at sea in which he took a total of eight more prizes. Young proved himself a daring and resourceful commander. On one occasion, he took Saratoga between two British ships and captured both. Largely as a result of his dedication and emphasis on training, Saratoga compiled a distinguished, but altogether brief, record before her untimely–and still unexplained–loss.
Saratoga set sail from Cap Francais, in what is now the Dominican Republic, on 15 March 1781. After taking a prize three days later, the sloop-of-war became separated from her later that day when a strong gale swept through the area, the high winds nearly swamping the prize commanded by Midshipman Penfield. After the storm passed by, Saratoga was nowhere to be seen, having vanished without a trace.
Lucien Young–born in Lexington, Ky., on 31 March 1852–was appointed a midshipman on 21 June 1869 and served in the practice ships Dale, Savannah, and Constellation before graduating from the Naval Academy on 31 May 1873. Ordered to Alaska on 23 July 1873, Young, as a passed midshipman, was commended for extraordinary heroism when he saved the life of a seaman who had been knocked overboard.
Young was detached from Alaska at Lisbon, Portugal, and soon joined Hartford. Commissioned ensign on 16 July 1874, he joined Powhatan–on the North Atlantic Station–on 10 December of the following year. Subsequently ordered to Huron, he served in that ship until her tragic grounding off Nag’s Head, N.C., on 24 November 1877. The ship, en route to Cuban waters for survey duty, foundered shortly after 0100 on the 24th. Ensign Young and an enlisted man–Seaman Antonio Williams–struggled ashore through the tumbling surf and gained the beach. Not receiving much assistance from an apparently apathetic group of bystanders, Young sent a horseman off at a gallop for a life-saving depot seven miles away while he, himself, although bruised and barefoot, walked four miles to yet another station, and, apparently finding it unmanned, broke in and got out mortar lines and powder for a Lyle gun. The sheriff of the locality then took Williams and Young to a point abreast the wreck. By the time they arrived, however, the 34 survivors had already reached shore. For his indefatigable efforts, Young received a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy; was awarded a gold medal by act of Congress from the Life-Saving service of the United States; was made an honorary member of the Kentucky legislature; and received advancement to the rate of master.
Ordered to Portsmouth on 17 March 1878 he arrived in Le Havre, France, in time to take charge of a detail of men to serve at the Universal Exposition in Paris, France. Following that duty, he served in Portsmouth with the Training Squadron until he was detached from that ship on 6 April 1880. Young’s next tour of duty was ashore in the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting; and, while there, he served for a time as naval aide to the Secretary of the Navy. Master Young then served successive tours of sea duty in the monitor Montauk and the training ship Minnesota. Next came service as executive officer of Onward and, finally, a tour holding the same office in Shenandoah. While in the latter, Young took part in the landings in Panama to protect American interests in the spring of 1885.
A series of assignments ashore followed: Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I.; at the Naval War College at Newport; at the Bureau of Navigation, and at the office of Naval War Records–the activity then compiling the monumental documentary collection, the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. Young next returned to sea serving successive tours in Detroit, Boston, Yorktown, and Alert.
Given command of Hist, Lt. Young placed that ship in commission and, during the Spanish-American War, took part in two engagements off Manzanillo, Cuba and in the cutting of the cable between Cape Cruz and Manzanillo from late June 1898 to mid-August. Relieved of command of Hist in February 1899, Young received promotion to lieutenant commander on 3 March and became Captain of the Port of Havana on 22 August of the same year. In the spring of 1900, he became Commandant, Naval Station, Havana.
Following his duty in Cuba, Young became lighthouse inspector in the 9th Naval District and served in that capacity into 1904. In March 1904, he was given command of Bennington (Gunboat No. 4) and was in command of that ship at the time of her boiler explosion in the summer of the following year. At San Diego on 21 July 1905, Bennington was preparing to get underway for sea; Commander Young and the ship’s surgeon, F. E. Peck, were returning to the ship in a boat and were not far from the anchorage when the explosion occurred at 1030. Young hurried back to the ship, took command, ordered her watertight compartments closed and her magazines flooded, and then secured the services of an Army tug nearby.
Young later was assigned to duty at the Mare Island Navy Yard and ultimately became Captain of the Yard there before becoming Commandant of the Naval Station, Pensacola, and of the 8th Naval District. His area of command was later extended to include the 7th Naval District. Rear Admiral Young died at New York, N.Y., on 2 October 1912. The first Young (DD-312) commemorated Capt. John Young, the Revolutionary War captain; the second ship of the name, Young (DD-580), honored Rear Admiral Lucien Young.
Sunk as target on 04/16/1970 by Naval gunfire in 978 fathoms at 37 deg 18 min N., 73 deg 59 min W.