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Loss of USS Reuben James (DD-245)

On 23 October 1941, REUBEN JAMES sailed from Argentia, Newfoundland, with four other destroyers escorting eastbound convoy HX-156. On the morning of 31 October, the convoy was making about 9 knots and was approximately 600 miles west of Ireland. At about 0525, REUBEN JAMES was torpedoed by German submarine U-552. One –possibly two – torpedoes struck her between the bridge and No. 1 stack. Her magazine forward exploded and the forward section sank quickly. Her stern remained afloat for about five minutes. Depth charges exploded when it sank. Of her crew, 115 were lost and 44 survived.

Loss of USS Preston (DD-379)

On 14 November 1942, PRESTON and Task Force 64 intercepted a Japanese force in the “Slot” off Guadalcanal in what became the Third Battle of Savo Island. Preston was struck by two 6″ projectiles from the cruiser NAGARA. Both firerooms were hit and her after stack was toppled. She was hit on port side amidships by about three more projectiles. Fires were started which set torpedo warheads on fire. At 2336, she was ordered abandoned. PRESTON rolled on her side, then floated for about ten minutes. She then sank by the stern with the loss of 116 of her crew.

Loss of USS Twiggs (DD-591)

TWIGGS was on radar picket duty in the western fire support area off Okinawa, at 2030 on 16 June 1945. A single, low-flying “Jill” dropped a torpedo that hit causing her No. 2 forward magazine to detonate. The bow jack-knifed stem up but remained attached. The plane then completed its suicide mission and crashed into the blazing ship between guns 3 and 4. Fires raged throughout the ship and she was showered with roasted 20 and 40mm ammunition. Forty-five minutes after the initial damage, the after magazine blew up and the ship sank. Casualties totaled 152 lost and 34 wounded.

Loss of USS Cooper (DD-695)

Late on the night of 2 December 1944, COOPER entered Ormoc Bay, Philippines, in company with ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD-692) and MOALE (DD-693). The ships came under an air attack that lasted until about 0145 the following morning. Radar contact was then made with two enemy destroyers. COOPER and ALLEN M. SUMNER attacked and destroyed the Japanese ship KUWA. As the American destroyers shifted their fire to the destroyer TAKE, it fired a torpedo which struck COOPER amidships. The ship quickly listed 45 degrees and then rolled completely over. Within 30 seconds she broke completely in two. Ten officers and 181 enlisted men were lost.

Loss of USS Meredith (DD-726)

On 8 June 1944, MEREDITH was patrolling off Normandy as a screening vessel. She either struck a mine or was hit by a glide bomb dropped by a German aircraft. Three machinery spaces had free flooding and she took on a list. Severely damaged with a 65-foot long hole in her port side, and with the loss of seven dead and over 50 wounded or missing, MEREDITH was towed to an anchorage to be salvaged. The next morning she was damaged during an enemy bombing raid when a 2000 pound blockbuster exploded about 800 yards away. Shortly thereafter and without warning, she broke in two and jack-knifed, with the stern sinking first.