More than 70 destroyers were lost during World War II and hundreds more were damaged. On these pages we will try to tell their stories.
Please visit this pages with respect and reflection. Many good men died aboard the destroyers you will find listed here. Many more good men were wounded. All were doing their part to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted. So as you visit these pages, please remember those dedicated destroyermen and the sacrifices they made.
To learn more about the data presented here, read our notes below.
Click here for an alphabetical list of ships
Click here for a chronological list of ships
Click here for some photos of damaged ships
For a few ships we have developed more detailed accounts.
Click here for information on the following destroyers that were lost:
- USS Reuben James (DD-245)
- USS Preston (DD-379)
- USS Twiggs (DD-591)
- USS Cooper (DD-695)
- USS Meredith (DD-726)
Click here for information on the following destroyers that were damaged:
- USS Blakeley (DD-150)
- USS Bache (DD-470)
- USS Braine (DD-630)
- USS Kidd (DD-661)
- USS O’Brien (DD-725)
- USS Douglas H. Fox (DD-779)
Our data is based in part on a set of reports entitled Summary of War Damage to U.S. Battleships, Carriers, Cruisers, and Destroyers. These reports were classified Confidential and contained the best information available at the time. The information was wrong or incomplete in some cases. Examples include:
USS Pillsbury (DD-227) was probably sunk by 3 Japanese cruisers and 2 Japanese destroyers somewhere off the Java coast. There were no survivors and Japanese records provided little information after the war.
USS Pope (DD-225) was sunk by Japanese cruisers and aircraft.
USS Edsall (DD-219) may have been damaged by two Japanese battleships. It is reasonably certain that she was sunk south of Christmas Island by a Japanese cruiser. It appears there were five survivors, all of whom later died as prisoners of war, so little is known.
USS Stewart (DD-224) was abandoned in dry dock after demolition charges had been exploded to render her useless to the enemy. In fact, she was repaired and served as Japanese Patrol Vessel Number 102. She was recovered by the United States at the end of the war. The ship was ultimately sunk as a target in May 1946.
The War Damage series treats Pearl Harbor damage as a separate topic since the conditions there were unlikely to be repeated elsewhere. The series does not categorize these ships as “lost” or “damaged” since salvage efforts were planned for nearly all of them. Three destroyers (Cassin, Downes, and Shaw) were damaged so severely while in floating drydocks at Pearl Harbor that there can be little doubt that they would have sunk otherwise. In two instances (Cassin and Downes) machinery was salvaged and new hulls built.
Data for destroyers lost to causes other than direct enemy action and data for Destroyer Minesweepers (DMS), Destroyer Minelayers (DM), High Speed Transports (APD), and Seaplane Tenders – Destroyer (AVD) were compiled from various sources.
Since we first published our listings several years ago, we have received many reports of incidents from destroyer veterans. Those events which could be verified have been added to the lists.
Dates of ship losses are not always easy to state since some ships went down days or weeks after the damaged occurred. Some ships damaged during the last months of the war were not repaired. If the damage was severe and the ship not needed, the vessel was just scrapped.
Different sources sometimes use different names for the same geographic location. For example, one source may say a ship was hit at Ormoc Bay while another might refer it as the Comotes Sea. Yet another might say Leyte and a fourth might say just say Philippines.