U.S.S. Fletcher DD-445
War Diary and Action Reports November 1942,



WAR DIARY

U.S.S. FLETCHER (445)

From: November 1, 1942.  To: (and including) December 1, 1942.

November 1, 1942.
        At Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo.  1440 underway with Task
        Group 64.2 -ATLANTA (CTG), ARRON WARD, BENHAM, FLETCHER, LARDNER 
        enroute to Guadalcanal to support landing operations.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  2000                      14-32 S                166-49 E

        Course 317°, speed 21 knots.

November 2, 1942.
        Proceeding with Task Group 64.2 as before.  1600 designation 
        changed to Task Group 65.3.  Received orders to proceed through 
        Sealark Channel to engage enemy light forces reported  enroute 
        Guadalcanal.  1900 received orders for all forces (Task Force 
        65) to retire to eastward in view of strong enemy force 
        reported.  1931 collision occurred between FULLER and CONYNGHAM 
        about 1000 yds. on port bow.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   11-38-15 S              164-21-00 E
  1200                   10-33-30 S              163-00-15 E
  2000                   09-17-30 S              160-25-30 E

November 3, 1942.
        Task Group 65.3 - ATLANTA (CTG), ARRON WARD (CDS12), FLETCHER, 
        BENHAM, LARDER - retiring to south of San Cristobal Island to 
        rendezvous with CTG 65.4 to form striking group to prepare for 
        attack on enemy force reported to northward.  0500 proceeding to 
        rendezvous with all groups of Task Force 65.  1420 joined up 
        with TF 65; constituted as follows: 
        TG 65.1 - HUNTER LIGGETT, BARNETT, PRES. HAYES.  
        TG 65.3 - ATLANTA (CTG), ARRON WARD, FLETCHER, BENHAM, LARDNER, 
                  GWIN, WALKE, McCALLA.  
        TG 65.8 - 65.1 and 65.3 combined.
        TG 65.4 - SAN FRANCISCO (CTF), HELENA, BUCHANAN, LAFFEY, 
                  STERRETT.
        TG 65.5 - MANLEY, McKEAN, NEVILLE, HEYWOOD, FOMALHAUT.
        TG 65.7 - PENSACOLA (CTG), CUSHING, PRESTON, MUSTIN, ANDERSON.
        TG 65.9 - 65.5 and 65.7 combined.
        Operating plan - CTF 65 plan One.  1500 entire force proceeding 
        to Guadalcanal via Sealark Channel.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   10-40-15 S              161-21-45 E
  1200                   11-04-30 S              162-29-30 E
  2000                   09-58-45 S              161-53-30 E

November 4, 1942.
        Proceeding as before.  0130 TG 65.9 detached to proceed Aola 
        Bay.  0315 FLETCHER proceeding ahead of TG 65.8 through Sealark 
        Channel to scout (SG Radar), Guadalcanal - Tulagi area for enemy 
        forces; reported areas clear.  0500 rejoined Task Group off 
        Lunga Point, screening transports.  0721 spotted location of gun 
        (at Kokombuna) that was firing on transports and was directed to 
        engage it.  0730 opened fire at 15,000 yards; 0810 ceased 
        firing, having expended 134 rounds 5" and silenced Jap battery.  
        Resumed screening operations.  1110 maneuvered with transports 
        to defend them against expected air raid.  1300 transports 
        returned to Lunga Point and resumed unloading.  1800 TG 
        65.8 retiring through Sealark Channel for the night.  ATLANTA 
        (CTG), ARRON WARD, FLETCHER, BENHAM & LARDNER proceeding to join 
        TG 65.4 to form striking group.  2300 joined up, steaming 
        various courses in Indispensable Strait.  

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                    9-21-00 S              159-59-00 E
  1200                    9-20-30 S              160-02-00 E
  2000                    9-17-45 S              160-32-30 E

November 5, 1942.
        Proceeding as before with strike force composed of Task Groups 
        65.3 and 65.4.  0430 reassembled TG 65.8 and proceeded through 
        Sealark Channel.  0700 took screening station on transports unloading 
        at Lunga Point.  0930 received warning of 27 bombers and 24 fighters 
        enroute Guadalcanal.  1100 unloading completed, transports underway, 
        screened by TG 65.3 for air attack.  Departed via Nggela Channel, 
        clearing at 1235.  1300 GWIN, BENHAM, WALKE detached.  TG 65.8 now 
        composed of ATLANTA (CTG), ARRON WARD, FLETCHER, McCALLA, LARDNER, 
        HUNTER LIGGETT, PRES. HAYES, BARNETT, proceeding north of San 
        Cristobal enroute Espiritu Santo.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                    9-22-15 S              160-01-00 E
  1200                    9-12-00 S              160-13-45 E
  2000                   10-02-00 S              160-58-00 E

November 6, 1942.
        Proceeding as before, enroute from Solomon Islands to Espiritu 
        Santo.  Screening transports.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   11-48-15 S              164-01-15 E
  1200                   12-23-30 S              164-46-15 E
  2000                   13-36-00 S              166-15-00 E

November 7, 1942.
        Proceeding as before.  0750 entered Segond Channel.  Fueled from 
        GUADALOUPE.  Anchored in berth D-2.  Provisioned ship and replenished 
        ammunition.  Effected minor machinery repairs.

November 8, 1942.
        Anchored in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.  
        Continued machinery repairs.

November 9, 1942.
        At anchor, Espiritu Santo.  Formed Task Group 62.4 consisting of 
        ZEILIN, BETELGEUSE, LIBRA and escort vessels ATLANTA (CTG 62.4), 
        AARON WARD, FLETCHER, McCALLA and LARDNER.  Operating under 
        Comamphorsopac (CTF 67) Oplan A 23-42 of 7 Nov. 1942.  0915 underway 
        with TG 62.4 enroute to Guadalcanal; screening transports.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  1200                   15-18-00 S              13-50-45 E
  2000                  167-26-00 S              166-66-15 E

November 10, 1942.
        Proceeding as before with Task Group 62.4 enroute Espiritu Santo 
        to Guadalcanal, Screening transports.  1010 in Lat. 11-18 S, Long. 
        163-36-30 E delivered depth charge attack on possible but not definite 
        submarine contact.  1125 enemy seaplane shadowing.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   11-38-15 S              163-54-00 E
  1200                   11-04-00 S              163-09-00 E
  2000                   09-59-00 S              161-45-00 E

        Course 296° T., speed 15 knots.

November 11, 1942.
        Proceeding as before.  0315 proceeded ahead of Task Group 
        through Sealark Channel to search for enemy forces in Guadalcanal - 
        Savo Tulagi area; none encountered.  0615 rejoined Task Group 
        screening AP and AK's unloading west of Lunga Point.  0915 Task Group 
        underway.  standing by for air attack.  0940 Japanese dive-bombers 
        attacked - dropped about 10 bombs around transports, no direct hits, 
        ZEILIN damaged by near miss.  Fletcher shot down one dive-bomber with 
        20 & 40 MM fire.  (Details in Action Report).  1000 resumed unloading 
        and screening.  1120 27 bombers 24 fighters approaching - Task Group 
        underway maneuvering.  1127 opened fire on bombers over air field, 
        altitude 20,000 ft., fire not effective, planes beyond range.  1200 
        resumed unloading operations.  1600 ZEILIN and LARDNER departed.  1815 
        Task Group retired eastward to Indispensable Strait.  2100 joined Task 
        Group 67.4 and formed a column as follows: BUCHANAN, STERRETT, LAFFEY, 
        CUSHING SAN FRANCISCO, (CTG 67), HELENA, ATLANTA, ARRON WARD, McCALLA, 
        FLETCHER.  Proceeded through Sealark Channel to Guadalcanal - Savo - 
        Tulagi area to engage any enemy forces present.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   09-21-30 S              160-02-00 E
  1200                   09-24-00 S              160-08-00 E
  2000                   09-16-30 S              160-25-15 E

November, 12, 1942.
        Proceeding with striking force in Guadalcanal - Savo - Tulagi 
        area.  Circling clockwise in bay at 18 knots.  No enemy forces 
        encountered.  0520 Task Group 62.4 joined with and became Task Group 
        67.3 then comprised of ATLANTA (CTG 67.3), ARRON WARD, FLETCHER, 
        McCALLA, O'BANNON, BARTON.  Joined with Task Group 67.4 - 
        SAN FREANCISCO (CTG 67.4), HELENA, PORTLAND, JUNEAU, LAFFEY, BUCHANAN, 
        STERRETT, CUSHING, SHAW, MONSSEN - and engaged in screening Task Group 
        67.1 - PRES. JACKSON (CTG), PRES. ADAMS, McCAWLEY (CTF 67), CRESCENT 
        CITY, LIBRA, BETELGEUSE - which were unloading east and west of Lunga 
        Point.  1350 Force underway in AA formation, FLETCHER astern of right 
        hand column, maneuvering.  1408 attacked by 21 Japanese torpedo 
        planes, this ship shot down 5.  Details in Action Report.  No torpedo 
        hits scored.  No damage or casualties in FLETCHER.  1419 action 
        terminated, transports stood in to Lunga  and resumed unloading, 
        combatant ships resumed screening.  1810 AP's and AK's underway and 
        stood out Lengo Channel.  screened by BUCHANAN, McCALLA, SHAW, 
        SOUTHARD and HOVEY.  Striking force formed column and stood out 
        Sealark Channel.  Order of ships: CUSHING (CDS 10), LAFFEY, STERRETT, 
        O'BANNON, ATLANTA (CTG 67.3), SAN FRANCISCO (CTG 67.4), PORTLAND, 
        HELENA, JUNEAU, AARON WARD, BARTON, MONSSEN, FLETCHER.  Maneuvered in 
        Indispensable Strait; 2330 set westward course through Lengo Channel.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   09-23-00 S              160-07-00 E
  1200                   09-22-15 S              160-09-30 E
  2000                   09-21-20 S              160-17-00 E

November 13, 1942.
        Proceeding in battle formation as before to engage enemy in 
        Guadalcanal - Savo - Florida area.  0148 to 0223 engaged Japanese 
        naval forces in battle; details set forth in enclosed Report of 
        Action.  0350 rejoined with HELENA (SOPA) and SAN FRANCISCO east of 
        Sealark Channel.  0500 JUNEAU joined up.  0730 STERRETT and  O'BANNON 
        joined up; took cruising formation standing to southeastward at 17 
        knots.  1102 Lat. 10-33 S, Long. 161-03, JUNEAU was torpedoed by 
        submarine and blew up.  1130 course 135°, speed 20 knots, retiring to 
        Espiritu Santo.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   09-50-00 S              161-06-00 E
  1200                   10-49-00 S              161-08-00 E
  2000                   12-27-00 S              163-00-15 E

November 14, 1942.
        Proceeding with HELENA (SOPA), SAN FRANCISCO, STERRET, and 
        O'BANNON from Guadalcanal to Espiritu Santo, DD's screening cruisers.
        1300 BUCHANAN joined.  1604 entered Segond Channel.  1703 moored to 
        GUADALUPE, fueled ship.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   13-49-00 S              166-07-00 E
  1200                   14-43-30 S              167-00-15 E

        Task Force 67 was disbanded.

November 15, 1942.
        At Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides.
        Unmoored from Guadalupe and anchored.  Provisioned ship.

November 16, 1942.
        Anchored in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo.  Received 
        ammunition, effected machinery repairs.

November 17, 1942.
        Anchored as before.  Completed machinery repairs.

November 18, 1942.
        Anchored as before.  1825 underway by order Comairsopac (SOPA) 
        to conduct A/S patrol off eastern entrances to channel, vicinity 
        Tutuba, Bogacio, and Malo Islands.  Speed 15 knots.

November 19, 1942.
        Conducting independent A/S patrol off eastern entrances to 
        Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo.  Various courses at 15 knots, sound 
        searching and zig-zagging.

November 20, 1942.
        Patrolling as before off Tutuba, Bogacio and Malo Islands.

November 21, 1942.
        Patrolling as before.

November 22, 1942.
        Patrolling as before.

November 23, 1942.
        Patrolling as before.  FLETCHER assigned to Task Group 67 in 
        Reorganization.  Ref. Comsopac 230612 of Nov. 1942.  Task Force 
        comprised of NORTHAMPTON, PENSACOLA, NEW ORLEANS, HONOLULU, HELENA, 
        LAMSON, NICHOLAS, O'BANNON, FLETCHER, GRAYSON, MAURY.

November 24, 1942.
        Patrolling as before.  0840 relieved on patrol by MAURY.  0918 
        anchored in Segond Channel near eastern entrance on A/S listening 
        watch.  Received 10 torpedoes from RIGEL.

November 25, 1942.
        Anchored at eastern entrance to Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, 
        conducting A/S listening.  0757 underway, fueled from SABINE and then 
        anchored in berth D-3.

November 26, 1942.
        Anchored as before.  Provisioned ship.  1737 underway by order 
        Comairsopac (SOPA) to conduct A/S patrol off eastern entrances, in the 
        vicinity of Tutuba, Bogacio, and Malo Island, relieving NICHOLAS.

November 27, 1942.
        Conducting A/S patrol off eastern entrances to Segond Channel, 
        Espiritu Santo.  Various courses at 15 knots, sound searching and zig-
        zagging.  0810 GAMBLE took over patrol.  Returned to port and anchored 
        in berth D-1, Segond Channel.

November 28, 1942.
        Anchored as before.  0530 underway proceeding to west entrance 
        of Segond Channel, where anchored and took up submarine underwater 
        listening watch.  1632 underway, fueled from GUADALUPE, and then 
        moored alongside MUSTIN in berth D-3.

November 29, 1942.
        Anchored as before.  2305 underway and stood to sea in 
        accordance with orders of CTF 67.	

November 30,1942.
        At 0000 CTF 67 Operation Plan 1-42 was placed in effect.  Task 
        Force composed of MINNEAPOLIS (CTF 67), NEW ORLEANS, PENSACOLA, 
        HONOLULU (CTG 67.2.3), NORTHAMPTON, FLETCHER, MAURY, PERKINS, DRAYTON. 
        ask Force sortied from harbor and formed with cruisers in column in 
        above order and with DD's in A/S screening stations.  Proceeded on 
        northerly and northwesterly courses at 27 knots enroute to Guadalcanal 
        to intercept and engage Japanese landing force.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   13-03-30 S              165-20-00 E
  1200                   11-39-00 S              163-56-00 E
  2000                   09-31-00 S              160-57-00 E

        At about 2000 DD's formed column 4000 yards ahead of guide in order: 
        FLETCHER, PERKINS, MAURY, DRAYTON.  LAMSON and LARDNER joined and were 
        stationed as DD's rear.  Task Force in battle formation stood in 
        through Lengo Channel.  At 2308 first contact was made.  At 2322 
        action was commenced by DD's van firing torpedoes at group of five 
        enemy ships. At 2323 all ships opened gunfire.  At 2325 ceased fire; 
        DD's van retired around Savo Island.  For details, including track, 
        times, ranges, bearings, see enclosed Action Report.  No damage or 
        casualties in FLETCHER.  Expended 10 torpedoes and 60 rounds 5" 
        ammunition.

December 1, 1942.
        Proceeding in vicinity Savo Island, Solomon Island, retiring 
        from action with five Japanese ships.  Task Force 67 composed of 
        MINNEAPOLIS (CTF 67), NEW ORLEANS, PENSACOLA, HONOLULU (CTG 67.2.3), 
        NORTHAMPTON, FLETCHER, MAURY, PERKINS, DRAYTON, LAMSON, LARDNER.  
        Proceeded, leading DD's van to rendezvous with our previously engaged 
        and now apparently damaged cruisers.  About 0020 CTG 67.2.3 in 
        HONOLULU took tactical command.  From 0213 to 0435 FLETCHER and 
        DRAYTON were engaged in rescuing NORTHAMPTON survivors.  With DRAYTON 
        in company proceeded through Sealark Channel at 25 knots.  Failing 
        rendezvous with OTC or other of own forces, proceeded to BUTTON.  For 
        details of the foregoing see enclosed Action Report.

Positions                    Lat.                    Long.
  0800                   09-40-00 S              161-13-00 E
  1200                   10-21-00 S              162-31-00 E
  2000                   12-01-00 S              164-14-15 E

        Speed 25 knots.



U.S.S. FLETCHER % Postmaster San Francisco, California DD445/A16-3 Serial No. (S)-1 November 15, 1942. From: The Commanding Officer. To: The Commander Task Force Sixty-Seven. Via: Senior Officer Task Group Sixty-Seven point Four. Subject: Report of Action. Reference: (a) U.S. Navy Regulations. Enclosure: (A) Executive Officer's Report. 1. This vessel engaged the enemy actively on four occasions during the period from November 11 to November 13, 1942, in the area between Guadalcanal, Florida, and Savo Islands. This activity took place incident to the landing of reenforcements for our forces on Guadalcanal. 2. On Wednesday November 11, 1942, there were two aircraft actions. (a) At about 0925 took stations in close anti-aircraft screen protecting transports and cargo vessels. At 0940 opened fire with five-inch, 40mm and 20mm batteries. This vessel shot down one Japanese dive-bomber with 40mm and 20mm fire. Noted eight or ten other dive bombers shot down by vessels in screen, and observed one of our F-4-F fighters shoot down four Japanese Zero fighters in succession. (b) At about 1127 opened fire on flight of 27 Japanese medium and heavy bombers attacking our ground installations on Guadalcanal. Fired at maximum fuse (range) setting but burst were apparently short. 3. (a) On November 12, 1942, this vessel was operating in a screen protecting transports and cargo vessels during unloading operations at Guadalcanal. At about 1408 a Japanese aircraft torpedo attack commenced. This vessel was stationed on the starboard quarter of the formation with respect to the northerly base course. (b) Of a total of about 21 Japanese torpedo planes, a group of 10 approached from the starboard quarter of the formation, from bearing about 120° (T). This group was taken under fire at 1412 by 5"/38 battery. One plane shot down before other ships opened fire. FLETCHER's High 40mm and STERRETT and MONSSEN 5"/38 opened fire and two more planes fell, one quite definitely hit in nose by own 40mm, and second believed hit with own five inch. Group split, four to starboard and three to port. The first plane to pass up the starboard side was taken under fire by #3 and #5 20mm and hit from tail to nose. This plane caught fire, dropped its torpedo, was taken under by other ships as it reached the formation and crashed. Definite the FLETCHER set fire to this plane and inflicted fatal damage. Second plane taken under fire by Low 40mm and all three starboard 20mm guns. Shot down and burst into flames before releasing torpedoes. Third plane fired on and hit but passed on far side of STERRETT, later crashed, undoubtedly downed by other ships. Fourth plane on starboard side passed beyond STERRETT, not taken under fire by FLETCHER. Of the remaining three planes, the first crossed astern and was taken under fire by #2,#4, and #6 20mm and High 40mm. It crashed in flames. The second plane on the port side was hit by #4 and #6 20mm, dropped its torpedo, apparently toward HELENA, and finally flew off smoking to crash in flames on the beach. The third plane was shot down, on FLETCHER's port quarter, either by HOVEY or SOUTHARD. Total planes shot down by FLETCHER 5, planes shot down by FLETCHER and other ships in immediate vicinity 3. Ammunition expended: 5"/38 cal., 78 rounds; 40mm 175 rounds; 20mm 457 rounds. Action terminated at about 1419. No casualties in this ship. (c) Ships present: Comtaskfor 67 in McCAWLEY (R. Adm. Tunrer), PRES. JACKSON, PRES. ADAMS, CRESCENT CITY, BETELGEUSE, LIBRA, Comtaskgroup 67.4 in SAN FRANCISCO (RAdm. Callaghan), HELENA, PORTLAND, JUNEAU, Comtaskfor 62.4 in ATLANTA (RAdm. Scott), Comdesron 12 in ARRON WARD (Capt. Tobin), O'BANNON, BARTON, SHAW, MONSSEN, Comindiv 5 in SOUTHARD, HOVEY. 4. (a) During the early morning of Friday, November 13, 1942, engaged Japanese surface forces in the area Cape Esperance, Lunga Point and Savo Island. Task Group 67.4 entered the bay through Lengo Channel in column about midnight. This vessel was the thirteenth and last ship in the formation. Destroyers van consited of ComTask Group 62.4 in ATLANTA (RAdm. Scott), ComTask Group 67.4 in SAN FRANCISCO (RAdm. Callaghan), PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU. Destroyers rear were Comdesron 12 in ARRON WARD (Capt. Tobin), BARTON, MONSSEN, and FLETCHER. (b) At 0130 made radar contact with enemy forces in area southwest of Savo Island. Our column had turned to north and enemy was ahead of and to port of own forces. Radar screen showed disposition as in Sketch I. (c) Own course north, speed 18. Enemy forces were apparenly in three groups, one of which had crossed ahead of our column from port to starboard. The second was on the port bow of our column and the third on the port beam. A target in the third, or southwesterly enemy group was selected at the radar. There were apparently three or four heavy ships in this group preceded by a destroyer screen. Approxmiatly twenty enemy ships were visible on the radar screen at this time. At 0149 an enemy ship on our port bow illuminated our cruisers by searchlight and all our vessels opened fire. Opening range of this ship was about 5500 yards. FLETCHER's target turned out to be the ship which had illuminated, and since it was under fire from other vessels, fire was shifted to a cruiser astern of her. This vessel had three stacks and two high masts and was possible of the TENRYU or NATORI class. She burst into flames in many places. One Japanese destroyer in her vicinity blew up and one or two were on fire. At 0153 received order by voice radio from OTC to cease fire. Complied with this order and selected a new target, a cruiser astern of the original target. Opened fire on this thrid target at 0155. By this time the TENRYU type cruiser was seen by several observers to suffer several minor explosions and sink. The radar screen during this first phase of gunfire appeared as in Sketch II. (d) At 0156 BARTON (second ship ahead) exploded and simply disappeared in ftagments. The MONSSEN, low in the water, had by this time dropped aft on FLETCHER's starboard beam and the ARRON WARD pulled out on the port bow. At the same time (illuminated by BARTON's flames) one torpedo was seen to broach and porpoise about 50 yards ahead, two were seen to pass under the ship from starboard to port and one passed astern making a surface run. Medium caliber shells were splashing on both sides of us. (e) The situation at this time became very confused. Our column had disintegrated; the cruisers appeared to have turned left to course 270° and were engaging heavy units ahead. The JUNEAU was crossing our line of fire and necessitated shifted to a target farther aft. Fire from both sides was still heavy and sustained. At this stage the radar screen appeared approximately as shown in Sketch III. Apparently the northerly group of enemy had turned south down our starboard side and fired torpedoes at the starboard side of the rear of our column. One of the destroyers was observed to have a stack marking of white stripe over red strips. Own five-inch guns continued to fire all during the preceding events with unknown results. Two or three men are reasonably sure they saw a medium sized ship catch fire in several places, but, with all the chaos, there is no choerent information. (f) The FLETCHER was then turned hard left (backing port engine) proceeded at maximum speed and threaded through the remainder of enemy disposition, firing at random. Commenced making smoke and retired to south-southwest about 6000 yards. Started turn to right to return and deliver torpedo attack when a large ship was seen emerging from the melee. She was northeast of FLETCHER at this time and moving to the right on a southerly or southeasterly course. About this time the general firing became sporadic, seeming to consist of individual duels. (g) At 0205 turned south at 35 knots to round up ahead of enemy. The gun director matched with radar, found the target and plot commenced to track. The enemy was then northeast on south or southeasterly course at speed 20 knots. FLETCHER gradually drew ahead to position about three miles on her starboard bow. At 0221 the target had slowed to 17 knots and was on course 070°. FLETCHER came left to course 030 to reach firing position. Own track and estimated enemy track during the foregoing period are shown on the track chart. This enemy ship was at this time firing major caliber guns with white tracers at a fairly high range to northward. This was about the only gun action then taking place. At 0222 slowed to 15 knots and when target was on bearing 273 (T) distant 7300 yards fired a half salvo of five torpedoes, previously set for a 36 knot run. At 0223 fired the second half salvo of five torpedoes using new solution which was almost identical with previous data. About six minutes later a series of two or three low horizontal flashes were seen at the target. A series of increasingly large explosions took place in her, followed by continuous burning, and about twenty or thirty minutes later she blew up and completely disintegrated. By means of the gun flashes and occasional flares overhead the target was at times quite well lighted. All witnesses agree that it was a large cruiser or a battleship, that she had two forward and two after turrets, and that her general outline was somewhat comparable to our AUGUSTA class. Her identity cannot, unfortunately, be stated with any certainty. She could have been a "KONGO" battleship or a "MAYA" cruiser. (h) After the action retired to eastward via Sealark Channel and fell in with HELENA, SAN FRANCISCO, O'BANNON, STERRETT and JUNEAU. Retired to southeast down Indispensible Strait. (i) No personnel injuries in FLETCHER. No material damage inflicted by enemy. The only casualties were those due to shock of own gunfire. Many light bulkheads and fixtures have been torn loose and a few doors are warped out of shape. 5. The conduct under fire of all officers and men was exemplary. There was no internal confusion; each officer and man performed his duties efficiently and effectively. All are deserving of the greatest praise. Especially worthy of mention was the performance of duty of the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander J. C. WYLIE. From his station at the SG Radar screen he kept the Commanding Officer continuously advised of the tactical situation (which was often visually obscured), selected targets, and directed gun and torpedo control. The effectiveness of the FLETCHER's engagement was due principally to his intelligent analysis and cool judgement. W. M. COLE.
ENCLOSURE (A) U.S.S. FLETCHER % Postmaster San Francisco, California DD445/A16-3 November 15, 1942. From: The Executive Officer. To: The Commanding Officer. Subject: Report of Action. Reference: (a) U.S. Navy Regulationsm, Art. 948. 1. This vessel actively engaged the enemy on four occasions during the period November 11 November 13, 1942, off Guadalcanal. 2. During the dive bombing and torpedo planes attacks on November 11 and 12 the performance of the five inch, 40mm and 20mm batteries was superb. The fact that six planes were shot down by this ship alone, in addition to sharing with other ships the destruction of three more, is the most adequate description of the performance of duty of the entire ship's company. It is extremely difficult to designate particular individuals whose conduct or action were outstanding. DAHLKE, D.H., 654-19-31, Sea1c, U.S.N.R.-6 the gunner on #3 20mm gun, literally cut pieces out of the nose and cockpit of one plane. HOGAN, W.J., 382-73-55, TM3c, U.S.N., the gunner of #1 20mm was knocked flat on his back three times by the blast from #2 5-inch gun and in each instance was back on his gun, hitting the target, in three or four seconds. WALKER, E.G. 368-48-66, Sea1c, U.S.N, gunner on #2 20mm, opened up on the nose of a dive bomber and continues to until after the plane crashed in the water. The High 40mm gun repeatedly hit and downed a torpedo plane approaching the ship when the range was about 2000 yards. The five inch battery tracked these torpedo planes from 14,000 yards to 3,000 yards and shot down one of the two leading planes with the first burst. 3. To cite individuals as having been responsible for the ship's success would be unfair. Lieut. I.J. Davenport, U.S.N., the Gunnery Officer and Ens. F.C. Gressard, U.S.N., the machine gun control officer, were each in control of perfectly coordinated and effective batteries. 4. During the chaotic night surface action which took place about 0200 November 13 1942, the smooth unhurried coordination of the five inch control party was, if any single incident can be mentioned, worthy of particular praise. Just as during the air attacks, the complete effective coordination of the entire ship's organization made possible the sinking by gunfire of a Japanese cruiser and by torpedo fire of a very heavy Japanese ship. SCOTT, R.W., 372-06-76, FC1c, U.S.N., in charge of the plotting room was the outstanding figure in the plotting room. 5. In as much as this vessel is equipped with a Type SG Radar with a PPI screen, the internal organization of the ship was adjusted to make the maximum use of its potential value. The detailed technical procedures seem more properly the subject of a special report. J.C. WYLIE
U.S.S. HELENA FIRST ENDORSEMENT CL50/A16-3(009) November 21, 1942. From: The Senior Officer, Task Group Sixty-Seven point Four. To: The Commander Task Force Sixty-Two. Subject: Report of Action, U.S.S. FLETCHER. 1. Forwarded. /s/ GILBERT C. HOOVER.
AMPHIBIOUS FORCE A16-3 Serial 00426 U.S.S. McCAWLEY, Flagship, November 29, 1942. SECOND ENDORSEMENT to CO FLETCHER secret ltr. DD445/A16-3 serial (S)-1 dated November 15, 1942. From: Commander Task Force SIXTY-TWO. To: Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Via: Commander South Pacific Force. Subject: Report of Action, U.S.S. FLETCHER. 1. Forwarded. 2. Attention is invited to paragraph 5 of the basic report in which the Commanding Officer commends Lieutenant Commander J.C. WYLIE for his performance of duty; and to paragraphs 2,3, and 4, of the Executive Officer's report, in which the following named officers and men are cited for outstanding conduct: Lieutenant I.J. DAVENPORT, U.S.N. Ensign F.C. GREESARD, U.S.N. DAHLKE, D.H., 654-19-31, Sea1c, USNR-V6 SCOTT, R.W., 372-06-76, FC1c, USN. HOGAN, W.J., 382-73-55, TM3c, USN. WALKER, E.G., 368-48-66, Sea1c, USN. /s/ R.K. TURNER. Copy to: SO TG 67.4 (HELENA) CO FLETCHER Comairsopac
SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE OF THE UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET HEADQUARTERS OF THE COMMANDER A16-3/ Serial 00118c THIRD ENDORSEMENT on CO FLETCHER Secret Ltr. DD445/A16-3 Serial (S)-1 of November 15, 1942. From: The Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force. To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Subject: Report of Action, U.S.S. FLETCHER. 1. Forwarded. 2. The performance of the FLETCHER in the actions covered by this report gives evidance of a high degree of organization and training. 3. The deliberate, calculated attack on and probable sinking of a large enemy ship described in paragraph 4(f) and 4(g) in the face of constant danger of discovery and annihilation typifies the offensive spirit so essential in present operations. 4. The inestimable value of the Sail George radar in a destroyer action is again demonstrated. Copies to: CTF 62 CTG 67.4 (HELENA) CO FLETCHER Comairsopac


Information on the U.S.S. FLETCHER DD-445


                            FLETCHER Class
                         Completed - 1939 - 40

Dimensions:

Displacement:
   2,050 tons (stand)
   2,700 tons (Mean War Service)
Length: 376' (oa)
Beam: 40'
Draft: 15' (max)

Armament:

5 5"/38 DP
4-5 40mm twins
6-11 20mm 
2 DC tracks; 2 track extensions
4-6 DC projectors
2 21" TT (quads)

Propulsion:

Speed: 37 knots (max)
Max. Cruising radius:
  2,500 miles @ 25 knots 
  4,400 miles @ 15 knots
Horsepower: 60,0000 (shaft)
Drive: 2 screws; geared turbine
Fuel: 556 tons oil (max)


In the FLETCHER Class, the U.S. Navy definitely 
abandoned the medium-sized destroyer, and adopted 
new standards for size sea-keeping ability and 
sustained speed.  A new basic destroyer design 
was introduced, to which all succeeding classes 
have been built.  Salient features of this design
are: increased beam, reversion to the flush-deck 
hull, but with a conventional destroyer stern, and
the retention of the BENSON's boiler and engine 
room arrangement.  The FLETCHER's have proven 
themselves one of the most successful destroyer 
classes ever built for the Navy.

War losses include:  CHEVALIIER (DD 451), STRONG (DD 467), 
DEHAVEN (DD 469), PRINGLE (DD 477), BROWNSON (DD 518),
ABNER READ (DD 526), BUSH (DD 529), HOEL (DD 533), 
JOHNSTON (DD 557), HALLIGAN (DD 584), COLHOUN (DD 801), 
and LITTLE (DD 803).


DD 445 - FLETCHER              DD 446 - RADFORD                
DD 447 - JENKINS               DD 448 - LAVALLETTE          
DD 449 - NICHOLAS              DD 450 - O'BANNON
DD 452 - PERCIVAL              DD 465 - SAUFLEY            
DD 466 - WALKER                DD 468 - TAYLOR            
DD 470 - BACHE                 DD 471 - BEALE
DD 472 - GUSET                 DD 473 - BENNETT            
DD 474 - FULLAM                DD 475 - HUDSON            
DD 476 - HUTCHINS              DD 478 - STANLY
DD 479 - STEVENS               DD 480 - HALFORD            
DD 481 - LUEUTZE               DD 482 - WATSON            
DD 498 - PHILIP                DD 499 - RENSHAW
DD 500 - RINGOLD               DD 501 - SCHROEDER          
DD 502 - SIGSBEE               DD 507 - CONWAY            
DD 508 - CONY                  DD 509 - CONVERSE
DD 510 - EATON                 DD 511 - FOOTE              
DD 513 - TERRY                 DD 514 - THATCHER          
DD 515 - ANTHONY               DD 516 - WADSWORTH     
DD 517 - WALKER                DD 519 - DALY               
DD 520 - ISHERWOOD             DD 521 - KIMBERLY          
DD 527 - AMMEN                 DD 528 - MULLANY
DD 530 - TRATHEN               DD 531 - HAZELWOOD          
DD 532 - HEERMANN              DD 534 - McCORD            
DD 535 - MILLER                DD 536 - OWEN
DD 537 - THE SULLIVANS         DD 538 - STEPHEN POTTER     
DD 539 - TINGEY                DD 540 - TWINING           
DD 541 - YARNALL               DD 544 - BOYD
DD 545 - BRADFORD              DD 546 - BROWN              
DD 547 - COWELL                DD 550 - CAPPS             
DD 551 - DAVID W. TAYLOR       DD 552 - EVANS
DD 553 - JOHN D. HENLEY        DD 554 - FRANKS             
DD 555 - HAGGARD               DD 556 - HAILEY            
DD 558 - LAWS                  DD 561 - PRICHETT
DD 562 - ROBINSON              DD 563 - ROSS               
DD 564 - ROWE                  DD 565 - SMALLEY
DD 566 - STODDARD              DD 567 - WATTS
DD 568 - WREN                  DD 569 - AULICK
DD 570 - CHARLES AUSBURNE      DD 571 - CLAXTON
DD 572 - DYSON                 DD 573 - HARRISON
DD 574 - JOHN RODGERS          DD 575 - McKEE
DD 576 - MURRAY                DD 577 - SPROSTON
DD 578 - WICKES                DD 580 - YOUNG
DD 581 - CHARRETTE             DD 582 - CONNER
DD 583 - HALL                  DD 585 - HARDEN
DD 586 - NEWCOMB               DD 587 - BELL
DD 588 - BURNS                 DD 589 - IZARD
DD 590 - PAUL HAMILTON         DD 592 - HOWORTH
DD 593 - KILLENS               DD 594 - HART
DD 595 - METCALF               DD 596 - SHIELDS
DD 597 - WILEY                 DD 629 - ABBOT 
DD 630 - BRAINE                DD 631 - ERBEN
DD 642 - HALE                  DD 643 - SIGOURNEY
DD 644 - STEMBEL               DD 649 - ALBERT W. GRANT
DD 650 - CAPERTON              DD 651 - COGSWELL
DD 652 - INGERSOIL             DD 653 - KNAPP
DD 654 - BREARS                DD 655 - JOHN HOOD
DD 656 - VAN VALKENBURGH       DD 657 - CHARLES J. BADGER
DD 658 - COLAHAN               DD 659 - DASHIELL
DD 660 - BULLARD               DD 661 - KIDD
DD 662 - BENNION               DD 663 - HEYWOOD L EDWARDS
DD 664 - RICHARD P. LEARY      DD 665 - BRYANT
DD 666 - BLACK                 DD 667 - CHAUNCEY
DD 668 - CLARENCE K. BRONSON   DD 669 - COTTON
DD 670 - DORTCH                DD 671 - GATLING
DD 672 - HEALY                 DD 673 - HICKOX
DD 674 - HUNT                  DD 675 - LEWIS HANCOCK
DD 676 - MARSHALL              DD 677 - McDERMUT
DD 678 - McGOWAN               DD 679 - McNAIR
DD 680 - MELVIN                DD 681 - HOPEWELL
DD 682 - PORTERFIELD           DD 683 - STOCKHAM
DD 684 - WEDDERBURN            DD 685 - PICKING
DD 686 - HALSEY POWELL         DD 687 - UHLMANN
DD 688 - REMEY                 DD 689 - WADLEIGH
DD 690 - NORMAN SCOTT          DD 691 - MERTZ
DD 792 - CALLAGHAN             DD 793 - CASSIN YOUNG
DD 794 - IRWIN                 DD 795 - PRESTON
DD 796 - BENHAM                DD 797 - CUSHING
DD 798 - MONSSEN               DD 799 - JARVIS
DD 800 - PORTER                DD 802 - GREGORY
DD 804 - ROOKS

DICTIONARY OF FIGHTING SHIPS

History of the U.S.S. FLETCHER DD-445





Links to other web-sites with information on the
U.S.S. FLETCHER DD-445



To learn more about the U.S.S. FLETCHER visit their Web-site
DD-445   (Battle of Guadalcanal) information. Provided from
"The Fighting FLETCHER DD/DDE445 DD992 History 1998 book"
NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER  Has photos of DD-445
NavSource Online  Has photos of DD-445



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