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Hull Number: DD-592

Launch Date: 01/10/1943

Commissioned Date: 04/03/1944

Decommissioned Date: 04/30/1946

Call Sign: NAZN


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: WILLIAM L. HOWORTH

WILLIAM L. HOWORTH

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

William L. Howorth was born in Massachusetts 16 July 1841, and was appointed Acting Master’s Mate 29 April 1863. Attached to Monticello, a blockader off North Carolina, Howorth accompanied the redoubtable Lt. W. B. Gushing on a reconnaissance up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington 23-24 June 1864, gaining valuable information about Confederate defenses. Later in the year, Howorth joined Cushing’s famous expedition up the Roanoke River to sink Confederate ram Albemarle. The ram was destroyed 27 October, but the launch carrying the Federal sailors was destroyed. Gushing and one other man escaped, while Howorth and others were captured. In his report Gushing noted: “Acting Master’s Mate William L. Howorth, of the Monticello, showed, as usual conspicuous bravery.” Howorth was promoted to Acting Master and exchanged in February 1865. Honorably discharged in October, he reentered the Navy in 1866 and was appointed ensign 12 March 1868. He resigned 4 April 1869.


Disposition:

Sunk as target 03/08/1962 by torpedoes off of San Diego, Calif.


A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History

USS HOWORTH DD-592

The Tin Can Sailor, July 2001

The USS HOWORTH (DD-592) was launched at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 10 January 1943 and commissioned on 3 April 1944. By July, she was underway screening a large convoy of marines bound for Pearl Harbor and continued west to Hollandia, New Guinea, to join  the Seventh Fleet. After brief stops at Purvis Bay and Manus on escort duty, she arrived at the newly-taken Morotai, Netherlands East Indies on 30 September. She spent two busy weeks in the Solomons escorting convoys and screening for enemy submarines. The HOWORTH steamed out of Humboldt Bay on 16 October. Arriving off Leyte Island in the Philippines on the 22nd, three days after the initial landings, she entered San Pedro Bay to guard the transport anchorage during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Following a brief trip to the Palau Islands and Guam, DD-592 returned to Leyte Island on 23 November to cover the landing of the U.S. Army’s Seventy-Seventh Infantry Division near the city of Ormoc on 7 December.

Mindoro Island was next, and on 13 December, the HOWORTH was part of the escort for the NASHVILLE, when the ships came under kamikaze attack. She was only 6,000 yards away, fighting off attackers, when a plane crashed into the cruiser, turning its midships into an inferno, killing 133, and injuring 190. Undeterred the invasion force drove on toward Mindoro. Upon arrival, the HOWORTH moved into Mangarin Bay to support the assault troops by knocking out enemy emplacements ashore. She had just completed a shore bombardment mission when three “Zekes” dove through her antiaircraft fire. Skilled maneuvering avoided serious damage as the first two planes crashed into the water, but the third glanced off the forecastle to port, damaging her mast and radio antenna and showering the main battery director and the bridge with gasoline. No fires resulted and the ship returned to Hollandia for repairs to her antenna. She was back in action in January 1945, fighting off kamikaze attacks en route with the first reinforcements for the Lingayen Gulf operations and the invasion of Luzon.

In early February 1945, after seventy days repelling air attacks in the Philippines, she proceeded to Ulithi and from there to Saipan where forces were gathering for the invasion of Iwo Jima. On 19 February she supported the initial landings on Iwo and remained underway for the next twenty-six days. During that time, she carried out eight twenty-four-hour shore bombardments, all within range of enemy shore batteries. Her 5-inch guns fired 2,449 rounds of 38-caliber ammunition. In between bombardment missions, she screened other ships of the invasion fleet and took her turns on picket station. Once the island was secured, she returned to Ulithi for repairs and provisions and then, joined the armada bound for the invasion of Okinawa on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945.

Her first five days on picket and patrol duty were relatively routine, but on 6 April, a deadly wave of more than 200 suicide planes attacked the U.S. forces. The HOWORTH was steaming north toward Ie Shima, off the west coast of Okinawa, when the attacks began. Despite the great number of planes shot down by the American combat air patrol, enough got through to deliver death and destruction. At one point, the HOWORTH was splashing planes on every quarter. In short order, her guns brought down six, one of which severed her radio antennas and another passed over the fantail cutting down the lifelines before plunging into the sea. A seventh, however, could not be diverted and crashed into her main battery director on the bridge spreading burning gasoline and knocking out her steering control. Nine men died and fourteen were injured, but the destroyer’s engines and guns never stopped. Damage control parties put out the fires; steering was taken over aft; and her 40-mm guns splashed an eighth attacker. By the time she had sped safely out of the area, the destroyer’s gunners had fired 332 rounds of 5-inch, 1,414 rounds of 40-mm, and 1,930 rounds of 20-mm ammunition during the fifty-eight minute battle. Because of the seriousness of the damage she had received, the HOWORTH was ordered back to the U.S. for repairs.

Underway again in mid-July, the ship was headed for Adak in the Aleutian Islands on V-J Day. Upon reaching Adak, she joined the North Pacific Fleet and DesRon 45 and on 31 August 1945, left for occupation duty in Japan with a group of escort carriers and destroyers. On 14 September, the HOWORTH and two other ships entered Hakodate, Hokkaido, to remove several hundred Allied prisoners of war, many of whom were survivors of the Wake Island and North China garrisons. They carried the men to Yokohama for medical attention and transport home. The HOWORTH continued to operate in the Western Pacific until November 1945 when she returned to San Diego. There on 30 April 1946, she was decommissioned and remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until March 1962 when she was sunk in torpedo tests off San Diego.

USS HOWORTH DD-592 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, March 2016

Howorth (DD-592) was launched by Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., 10 January 1943; sponsored by Mrs. R. P. Bromley; and commissioned 3 April 1944, Comdr. E. S. Burns in command.

After exhaustive shakedown training had been completed, Howorth sailed 22 July 1944, screening a large convoy carrying Marines toward Pearl Harbor. The ship arrived 7 days later and began a second training period in Hawaiian waters. Departing 25 August she joined the 7th Fleet at Hollandia and, after brief stops at Purvis Bay and Manus on escort duty, she arrived at newly-taken Morotai 30 September. The next 2 weeks were spent in the busy Solomons on escort and antisubmarine duty.

Howorth steamed out of Humboldt Bay 16 October en route to Leyte. Arriving 22 October, three days after the initial landings, the ship guarded the transport anchorages while other fleet units decimated the Japanese in the epochal Battle for Leyte Gulf. She next made convoy voyages to Kossol Roads, Guam, and Manus before returning to Leyte for the Ormoc landings 7 December 1944. Next on the destroyer’s schedule was the Mindoro operation. Howorth departed 12 December with Nashville and soon came under kamikaze attack. Upon arrival off Mindoro, the destroyer moved to Mangarin Bay for shore bombardment, aiding the assault troops by knocking out enemy emplacements. She was attacked by three suiciders, and while two were shot down close aboard, the third damaged Howorth’s mast before splashing. Accordingly, the ship returned to Hollandia via Leyte, arriving 28 December. With the bases on Mindoro necessary for air support of Lingayen Gulf landings under construction, preparations continued for the invasion of Luzon.

The Lingayen operations got underway 9 January, and Howorth arrived with the first reinforcement group 13 January, after again fighting off suicide attacks en route. The ship was occupied until 1 February providing fire support to ground forces in the area, fighting off air attacks, and patrolling to seaward of the Gulf. From Luzon she sailed to Saipan 15 February to take part in rehearsals for the next major amphibious assault, Iwo Jima.

Howorth arrived off Iwo Jima with the invasion fleet 19 February and, as troops landed for what was to be one of the hardest fought campaigns of the war, she began nearly a month of continuous air action and shore bombardment. With accurate ground support fire Howorth contributed much to the taking of this strategic island. Departing 14 March, she spent only a short rest at Ulithi before getting underway again, this time for the Okinawa invasion, last stop on the island road to Japan itself.

The veteran destroyer screened a transport group from Ulithi, arriving Okinawa with the huge invasion fleet 1 April. Once again she performed shore fire and screening duties, and shot down many attacking aircraft as the Japanese made a desperate attempt to stop the landings. While proceeding with cruiser St. Louis to station 1 April, Howorth and the larger ship were attacked by no less than eight kamikazes. While literally splashing planes on every quarter, the destroyer was crashed in the superstructure. Nine men were billed, but while the fires were being extinguished the last kamikaze was shot down astern.

Howorth was routed back to the United States for repairs, arriving Mare Island 2 May 1945. After shakedown training in early July, the ship sailed 15 July for Pearl Harbor and was en route to Adak. Alaska 15 August when the surrender of Japan was announced. She departed Adak 31 August for Japanese waters to screen flight operations and receive former prisoners of war before mooring at Yokohama 17 September 1945. Escort work carried Howorth to Pearl Harbor and back to Japan in October. She sailed finally from Tokyo Bay 11 November, arriving San Francisco 28 November. She decommissioned 30 April 1946 at San Diego and remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet until March 1962 when she was sunk in torpedo tests off San Diego.

Howorth received five battle stars for World War II service.