USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18)

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18)

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USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18)

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last week of the First World War and then as a fast minelayer during the Pacific campaigns of the Second World War.

The Breese was named after Kidder Randolph Breese, an officer in the US Navy who took part in Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan and fought on the Union side during the American Civil War.

The Breese was laid down at Newport News on 10 November 1917, launched on 11 May 1918 and commissioned on 23 October 1918. She reached the Cruiser Force of the Atlantic Fleet just in time to serve as a convoy escort during the last week of the First World War.

Anyone who served on her between 3-11 November 1918 qualified for the First World War Victory Medal.

After the war the Breese joined Division 12, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. She took part in the spring exercises in Cuban waters, before in July she was alloated to the Pacific Fleet. She served with Squadron 4, Division 12, Pacific Fleet until June 1920, whem she was placed into the Rotating Reserve. Between October 1920 and June 1922 she took part in various divisional and fleet exercises, before on 17 June 1922 she was decommissioned.

The Breese was redesignated as a light minelayer on 5 January 1931 with the designation DM-18. She was converted to her new role at Mare Island Navy Yard and was recommissioned on 1 June 1931. After trials at San Diego she joined Division 1, Minecraft, Battle Force, based at Pearl Habor. She took part in exercises and operated as a target ship for submarine training for the next six years, before in June 1937 she returned to San Diego, where she was decommissioned again on 12 November 1937.

The Breese was recommissioned again on 25 September 1939. This time she joined Mine Division 5 of the Battle Force, and on 2 November she reached Puget Sound, where she joined the neutrality patrol off Oregon and Washington.

In 1940 the Breese was used to carry the commander of the Alaskan Section on an inspection cruise of the Alaskan naval bases. She then joined her division as it moved to Hawaii late in the year. She was then attached to Mine Division Two, Minecraft, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, and she spent most of 1941 engaged in training exercises in Hawaii waters.

The Breese was docked at Buoy D-3 in the Middle Loch at Pearl Harbor, along with the rest of Mine Division Two, when the Japanese attacked. The division put to sea in order, from outer to inner, with the Breese moving second, at 0917 hours. She opened fire on the attacking aircraft, and shot down one dive bomber with a hit from her 3"/23 anti-aircraft gun (described in her own battle report as 'probably accidental'!).

Once she was underway the Breese began involved in the attack on one of the Japanese midget submarines that took part in the attack. Members of her crew spotted a submarine, probably the I-22tou (Lt Iwasa Naoji), which had earlier been sighted by USS Zane (DMS-14). The submarine was rammed and sunk by the Monaghan (DD-354) and sank to the north-west of Ford Island. The Breese also dropped eleven depth charges on suspected submarines, bringing up oil. Overall she fired 45 rounds of 3" ammo and 1,700 rounds of .50in calibre ammo.

The Breese was based in the central Pacific for almost two years after Pearl Harbor, serving as a minelayer and on patrols.

In the spring of 1942 the troop ship President Taylor ran agound on Canton Island. The Breese escorted the transport Argonne (AP-4)when she left Pearl Harbor on 6 April to try and salvage the troop ship. They arrived on 12 April, and remained there until 5 May when they departed for Pearl Harbor.

On 3 August 1942 the destroyer USS Tucker (DD-374) hit a newly laid US mine while assing through the Segond Channel on the way to Espiritu Santo. The Breese arrived on the scene early on 5 August and took part in efforts to save the Tucker, but the damaged destroyer sank early on 4 August.

The Breese took part in the Solomon Islands campaign. She first served there on 6-13 May 1943. She then returned for Operation Toenails, the invasion of New Georgia (29 June-25 August 1943) and the landings at Cape Torokina on Bougainville (1-8 November 1943).

In 1944 the Breese took part in the invasion of the Philippies, supporting the invasion of Leyte (12-24 October 1944). In 1945 she took part in the invasion of Lingayen Gulf from 4-18 January 1945, the invasion of Iwo Jima from 16 February to 7 March and the invasion of Okinawa from 25 March-30 June. She supported the Third Fleet operations against Japan from 5-31 July, and in August and September she swept mines in the East China Sea and in the area between western Japan and Korea.

The Breese left for the west coast on 7 November, and arrived back in the United States on 25 November. She moved to the east coast, where she was decommissioned on 15 January 1946 and sold for scrap on 16 May 1946.

The Breese earned ten battle stars during the Second World War, for Pearl Harbor, the Solomon Islands, New Georgia, Treasury-Bougainville, Leyte, Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa Gunto, 3rd Fleet Operations against Japan and and post-war Minesweeping Operations.

Displacement (standard)

1,160t (design)

Displacement (loaded)

Top Speed

35kts (design)
35.34kts at 24,610shp at 1,149t on trial (Wickes)


2 shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
24,200shp (design)


3,800nm at 15kts on trial (Wickes)
2,850nm at 20kts on trial (Wickes)


314ft 4in


30ft 11in

Armaments (as built)

Four 4in/50 guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple tubes
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid Down10 November 1917


11 May 1918


23 October 1918


15 January 1946

USS Breese (DM 18)

Decommissioned on 17 June 1922.
Reclassified as Light Minelayer DM-18 on 5 January 1931.
Recommissioned as DM-18 on 1 June 1931.
Decommissioned on 12 November 1937.
Recommissioned on 25 September 1939.
Decommissioned on 15 January 1946.
Stricken on 7 February 1946.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 16 May 1946.

Commands listed for USS Breese (DM 18)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt.Cdr. William Jenkins Longfellow, USN25 Sep 19399 Nov 1940 ( 1 )
2Herald Franklin Staut, USN9 Nov 194020 Sep 1942 ( 1 )
3T/Lt.Cdr. Alexander Bacon Coxe, Jr., USN20 Sep 194231 Mar 1944 ( 1 )
4David Barney Cohen, USN31 Mar 19447 Dec 1944 ( 1 )
5George W. McKnight, USNR7 Dec 194424 Jul 1945
6David James Pikkaart, USNR24 Jul 194523 Oct 1945

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USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) - History

(DD-122: dp. 1213,1. 314'5" b. 31'8", dr. 9'4" s. 33.2 k.
cpl 122 a. 4 4'', 2 3', 12 21" TT. cl. Lamberton)

Breese (DD-122) was launched 11 May 1918 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va. sponsored by Mrs. Gilbert McHvaine, daughter of Captain Breese and commissioned 23 October 1918, Lieutenant J. B. Smith in command.

She reported to Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet and cruised for several days as a convoy escort at the close of World War I. Returning to Norfolk, she was assigned to Division 12, Destroyer Force Atlantic Fleet, and served in Cuban waters during the spring of 1019. In July 1919, Division 12 was assigned to the Pacific fleet, based at San Diego. For a year she served with Squadron 4 and from June 1920 was in Rotating Reserve. During October 1920 to June 1922 she participated in division maneuvers and fleet maneuvers with the Battle Force, in the Pacific, and went out of commission 17 June 1922.

Breede was redesignated a light minelayer (DM-18) on 5 January 1931. Recommissioned 1 June 1931, following overhaul and conversion at Mare Island Navy Yard, she returned to San Diego for trials and standardization tests before departing for Pearl Harbor. Assigned to Division 1, Minecraft, Battle Force, U. S. Fleet, in Hawaiian waters, she engaged in training exercises, served with submarine divisions as target ship, and as station ship for airplane flights until her return to San Diego in June 1937. She was out of commission in reserve from 12 November 1937 until 25 September 1939.

Upon recommissioning Breese Joined Mine Division 5 Battle Force. On 2 November 1939 she arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard for Neutrality Patrol off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The next year she made an inspection trip to Alaskan bases with Commander, Alaskan Sector, embarked. Upon returning she rejoined her Division in San Francisco and prepared for a cruise to Hawaii, where she arrived 10 December 1940. Attached to Mine Division 2, Minecraft, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, through the succeeding year she took part in training exercises in the operating area and on the Maui range. On 7 December 1941 Brecoe was anchored at Pearl Harbor and by 0767 she opened Fire with her machine guns at close range on the attacking Japanese planes. Although she received no material damage from the Japanese attack, she aided in the sinking of one midget submarine and damaged numerous enemy planes,

Breese operated in the Central Pacific from 7 December 1941 until 10 October 1944. She then extended her sphere of duty westward to include various islands in the Marianas-Philippine area and continued to serve as a mine layer and patrol ship until 7 November 1945.

During her wartime career she carried out minesweeping duties during the consolidation of the Solomon Islands (1 13 May 1943) New Georgia-Rendova Vangunu operation (29 June-25 August) occupation and defense of Care Torokina (1-8 November ) Leyte landings (12-24 October 1944) Lingayen Gulf landings (4 18 January 1945) Iwo Jima operation ( 16 February-7 March) Okinawa seizure (25 March 10 June) and 3rd Fleet operations against Japan (5-31 July. In August and September

1945 Breese swept mines in the East China Sea and Kyushu-Korean area.

On 7 November 1945 Breese steamed to the west coast arriving 26 November. She transited the Panama Canal and put into New York 13 December. She was decommissioned 15 January 1946 and sold 16 May 1946.

Service history [ edit | edit source ]

Interwar period [ edit | edit source ]

Breese was launched on 11 May 1918 out of Newport News, Virginia. She was sponsored by Gilbert McIlvaine, daughter of Breese and commissioned 23 October 1918 under the command of Lieutenant B. Smith. After her commissioning, she reported to the United States Atlantic Fleet and cruised for several days as an escort for convoys supporting World War I, before the end of the conflict on 11 November. Returning to Norfolk, Virginia at the end of the war, she was assigned to Destroyer Division 12 and served off the coast of Cuba on training exercises during the spring of 1919. In July 1919, Destroyer Division 12 was assigned to the United States Pacific Fleet, based at San Diego, California. For the next year, she served with Destroyer Squadron 4 and, from June 1920, began operating in Rotating Reserve. From October 1920 to June 1922, she participated in division maneuvers and fleet maneuvers with the Pacific Fleet's main battle force, and she was placed out of commission 17 June 1922. Β]

On 5 January 1931, Breese was redesignated as a light minelayer, with the hull classification symbol of DM-18. Following an overhaul and conversion at Mare Island Navy Yard, she was recommissioned on 1 June 1931. She then returned to San Diego for sea trials and standardization tests in her new role. These completed, she departed for Pearl Harbor. She was assigned to Mine Division 1 of the Pacific Fleet, and operated out of Hawaiian waters. She conducted several training exercises, including with the submarine divisions where she served as a target ship. She also served as a station ship for aircraft. She returned to San Diego in June 1937, and placed out of commission and in reserve on 12 November 1937. On 25 September 1939, Breese was again recommissioned and assigned to Mine Division 5 of the Pacific Fleet. On 2 November 1939, she arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard and began to conduct Neutrality Patrol off the Oregon and Washington coasts. Throughout 1940, she cruised to different bases along the coastline of Alaska with the commander of the Alaskan Sector aboard. Upon returning, she rejoined Mine Division 5 in San Francisco and steamed for Hawaii, returning there on 10 December 1940. Attached to Mine Division 2 in the Pacific Fleet, she took part in training exercises in the operating area and on the Maui range during much of 1941. Β]

World War II [ edit | edit source ]

On 7 December 1941, Breese was moored in the Middle Loch, northwest of Ford Island. She was moored to Buoy D-3 alongside a nest of three other minelayers which were also converted Wickes destroyers Ramsay, Montgomery, and Gamble. At the outbreak of the attack, her crew was distracted by the initial assault on Ford Island and was buzzed by a flight of Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers. Ε] Breese quickly loaded her machine guns and began firing at 07:57. Β] She and many of the other ships in the area were quickly able to mobilize a strong anti-aircraft defense which lasted throughout the morning. Ζ] She was credited with hits on several Japanese aircraft and damaging at least one midget submarine. Β] Breese was undamaged in the attack. Β]

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she remained berthed in the harbor until leaving on 26 December, carrying mail and orders for other ships. She rendezvoused with Southard at the mouth of the harbor to offload this, then steamed east on patrol. Η]

On 6 May 1942, she took on 84 survivors of the carrier Yorktown which had sunk in the aftermath of the Battle of Midway. ⎖] During the summer of 1942, she operated out of the South Pacific On 3 August 1942, she, along with minesweepers Gamble and Tracy, were laying mines in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo. ⎗] Destroyer Tucker entered the strait on escort patrol, having not been notified of the minefield, when she struck one of the mines and sank. Breese, which was moored in the channel, rendered aid. ⎘] On 30 September 1942, she was on a nighttime exercise off Espiritu Santo when she was damaged in a collision with the cruiser San Francisco. ⎙] She carried out minesweeping duties during the consolidation of the Solomon Islands from 1–13 May 1943, where she was assigned to Task Group 36.5 alongside Gamble, Preble, and Radford. They laid mined in Blackett Strait to guard the western approaches to Kula Gulf. ⎚]

She supported Allied efforts around New Georgia-Rendova Vangunu from 29 June to 25 August. Assigned to Task Unit 36.2.2, she, Preble and Gamble laid mines off Shortland Harbor, Bougainville. ⎛] She then supported the occupation and defense of Cape Torokina conducting minesweeping duties there from 1 to 8 November. She later supported the Leyte landings from 12 to 24 October 1944. She was subsequently among the ships to support the Lingayen Gulf landings from 4 to 18 January 1945. She supported the Battle of Iwo Jima from 7 February to 7 March. She undertook mine duties supporting the Battle of Okinawa between 25 March and 30 June. In her final act of the war, she steamed in support of the United States Third Fleet near mainland Japan between 5 and 31 July. In August and September 1945 Breese swept mines in the East China Sea and Kyūshū-Korean area following the end of the war. Β]

On 7 November 1945, Breese steamed to the west coast arriving 26 November. She transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New York City on 13 December. She was decommissioned on 15 January 1946 and sold for scrap on 16 May 1946. She received ten battle stars for her service in World War II. Β]

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) - History

Papers (1929-1961, 1982) including correspondence, photographs, citations, reports, war diaries for USS Zane and Trever , accounts of battles at Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal, publications, orders, and personal materials.

Biographical/historical information

David M. Armstrong (b. 1919) grew up in Cabin John, Md. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in 1941 and spent most of World War II in the Pacific Theatre. He served on the minesweeper USS Zane (DMS 14) from his graduation until 1943 when he was assigned to the USS Terry (DD 513). Armstrong was commanding officer of the USS Higbee (DD 806) from January through September of 1945 when he was transferred to the USS Doyle (DMS 34) where he participated in the Japanese surrender. In 1947, he attended post-graduate school in Naval Intelligence and stayed on as an instructor. From 1951 through 1954 he served as operations officer aboard the USS Rochester (CA 124) and took command of the USS Willis A. Lee (DL 4) in 1957. He was on the staff of Naval Striking and Support Forces in Southern Europe before retiring in 1962. He worked on a daily newspaper in Naples, Fla., as a feature writer for twenty years before moving to North Carolina.

Scope and arrangement

The collection's early correspondence pertains to Armstrong's activities with the Boy Scouts of America, particularly his achievement of Eagle Scout status. Correspondence from Armstrong's years at the USNA include details about his training cruises to Europe (1938), to Panama and Venezuela (1940), and his daily Academy life. Armstrong's first assignment was as a communications officer on the destroyer minesweeper Zane stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In some interesting letters (10 and 13 December 1941) home, Ensign Armstrong reports of his survival and safety after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In other letters, Armstrong mentions his promotions to lieutenant (jg) and lieutenant, new commanding officers and crewmates, and he often requests news from home (1941-1942). Throughout the war-time correspondence it is always noted how little Armstrong can actually tell his family for reasons of security, and he continuously reports on censorship of what he can write in his letters.

Correspondence written while Armstrong was assigned to the destroyer Terry begins when the ship was still fitting out in Bath, Me. (January 1943). Included are details such as the ship's condition, his opinion of the senior officers, different social functions including the ship's christening, the training of messboys, his pay, and the hope that his brother Dick would be assigned to the Terry .

Once the ship is commissioned, Armstrong's letters concern his Fleet Gunnery School training (August-September 1943) his relationships with the vessel's other officers the Terry 's fighting abilities and the ship's mascot "Midnite" the dog. Other correspondence mentions the Terry 's new captain (January 1944) his brother Dick's naval assignment and a visit with him post-war plans his promotion from gunnery officer to executive officer and his enjoyment of increased responsibility (March 1944) shore leave (May 1944) crew and officer reassignments and the obstacles to getting his own command.

While on the destroyer Higbee , Armstrong's correspondence (January-September 1945) primarily concerns his new marriage the approaching end of the war his views on the handling of Japan's surrender and Japan's capitulation to American forces in Tokyo Bay (6 September 1945). Also included is a letter from his brother Dick (September 1945) aboard the destroyer USS Ross (DD 563) that describes the general condition and appearance of Japan. The remainder of Armstrong's Pacific Theatre-based letters (October 1945-March 1946) concern his command of the destroyer minesweeper USS Doyle . Discussed are the details of minesweeping operations along the coast of Japan converting surrendered Japanese ships to minesweepers the unavailability of many destroyer minesweepers due to their alteration to fighting ships for an invasion of Japan a description of Shanghai after the war (December 1945) the status of some USNA classmates and his anxiousness to return home. Interspersed throughout the collection's correspondence are letters from Armstrong's father and his wife.

The remaining correspondence pertains to Armstrong's return to the United States (April 1946) his new baby detachment from the Doyle (May 1947) his assignments on various ships, particularly the heavy cruiser Rochester and destroyer Willis A. Lee. Also included are a naval school transcript, education certificate, and a university admissions application.

The remaining files in the collection contain information concerning Armstrong's naval career and fill in the gaps left by censorship of his letters during World War II. First, a file of Armstrong's naval orders and promotion notifications is included and spans his active naval career (1941-1961). Several files relating to the Pearl Harbor attack include maps logbook pages from the destroyer USS Breese (DD 122), USS Perry (DD 340), Zane , and the destroyer minesweeper USS Wasmuth (DMS 15) reports from the destroyers Trever (DD 339), Wasmuth , Zane , and USS Gamble (10-17 December 1941) a bibliography and a tourist brochure. Also included are newspaper articles written by or about Armstrong's Pearl Harbor experiences (1966-1980), a typescript of an article published in American History Illustrated, and the issue itself (August 1974). Another group of records concerns his first-person accounts of the invasion of Guadalcanal (August 1942) and the Battle of Sealark Channel (October 1942). These files contain documents from the ocean tug USS Seminole (AT 65), Trever , and Zane typescripts and an issue of American History Illustrated containing one of Armstrong's articles (October 1973).

Information on the Terry contains a letter from a Marine on Iwo Jima (February 1945) noting the Terry' s actions during battle. Histories of the ship are given for World War II, as well as a directory of officers for that period.

A file of Armstrong's citations and awards include certificates from high school, his USNA years, and World War II until his retirement. Other citations are located in an oversized folder and include a "crossing the line" certificate (July 1942).

Pearl Harbor Attack, USS Breese (DM-18)

U.S.S. Breese
S16-3/DM18 At sea, off Pearl Harbor,
December 9, 1941.

From: Commanding Officer.
To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Via: Commander Mine Division TWO.

Subject: Action, Pearl Harbor Air Raid, Report of -
Reference: (a) U.S. Navy Regulations, Article 712.
(b) U.S. Breese dispatch 081807 of December.
(c) CinCpac dispatch 081900 of December.

Enclosure: (A) Report of Executive Officer, U.S.S. Breese.

In accordance with reference (a), the following report is submitted.
This vessel was moored in berth D-3, Middle Loch, in nest with division, order of ships from starboard U.S.S. Ramsay, Breese, Montgomery, and Gamble (flagship). This vessel had division guard. Following officers were on board:
Lt-Comdr. H.F. STOUT, USN, Commanding.
Lieut. A.B. COXE Jr., USN, Executive.
Lt. (jg) H.D. WARDEN, (MC) Division Surgeon.
Ensign A.R. BARBEE, USN, Engineer Officer
Ensign E.A. COBEY, Jr., USN, Asst. Engineer and Spotter.
Ensign R.L. CARLSON, USNR D-V(G), Communications and OOD.
Ensign J.P. Graves, USNR, E-V(G), MG Officer.

At 0755 first indication of action occurred with bombing of old hangar on Ford Island. Went to general quarters, set condition "A" and made preparations for getting underway. Started boats for Pearl City landing to pick up returning men. At 0757, opened fire with starboard .50 calibre machine gun, manned by gangway watch who was a qualified machine gunner. At 0805 opened fire with 3"/23 cal. gun, using fuze settings 3 to 12 seconds, pre-set. Dismissed crews of waist guns to attend to getting underway.
At 0825 received signal from tower to get underway immediately but being interior position in nest could not do so. At 0826 a submarine was reported in harbor. About 0830 sighted conning towers of two small submarines in North Channel could not be taken under fire because of our interior berthing in nest. The U.S.S. Monaghan proceeded down channel at high speed, appeared to ram leading submarine which had just fired a torpedo apparently at the U.S.S. Curtiss, but which missed. The Monaghan dropped two depth charges, the first directly upon the leading submarine and the second in the approximate position of the second which was no longer visible. About ten seconds later a submarine of approximately 250 ton type, came up upside down and immediately sank.
At about 0900 a third wave of dive bombers made a determined attack apparently on the U.S.S. Curtiss. One medium bomber descending in flames deliberately crashed the superstructure of the Curtiss.
At 0913 a projectile from our 3"/23 caliber AA gun set at 3 seconds, struck a dive bomber, winging over after an attack on the Curtiss, just aft of the pilot's cockpit. The plane fragmented in the air and caught fire, the forward section with motor landing on the north shore of Waipio Peninsula and burning for some time. While this hit was probably accidental, it was direct, as the tracer could be easily followed at the short range involved.
0917 cleared nest and proceeded down channel. Lookout reported a periscope at 0930 off coal docks but it was not seen from bridge nor picked up on supersonics. Cut in degaussing gear and cleared channel entrance at 0942. Took station as offshore patrol in sector three.
At 1108 a motor torpedo boat reported a periscope at 1115 dropped two depth charges in spot indicated by them with no result. Bearings: Barber point 297? (t), Diamond Head 078?(t), and Hickham Tower 357? (t). However, at 1135, in same vicinity, picked up sounds of submarine. Attacked, dropping first charge at 40 yards by supersonic. The second charge brought up an oil slick and some debris. No further sound was heard but on second pass at target, it gave positive results to "pinging." This was reported in reference (b). In accordance with reference (c), a second attack with four deep-set depth charges was made, with no tangible result. Meanwhile, probably as a result of conditions described in reference (b), several other destroyers were observed to make attacks in same locality. There is good reason to believe if submarine were not sunk by our first attack that it was destroyed by the heavier charges of the other attacks by new destroyers.
Ammunition expended:
45 rounds 3"/23 cal. fused and tracer, AA.
1700 rounds .50 caliber M-2 AP and tracer.
11 depth charges.

There were no casualties from enemy action although a considerable amount of shell fragments fell on deck. Two men injured slightly during the firing of the 3"/23 caliber by recoil while acting as loaders:
FORD, Wesley Ernest, #337-24-95, F2c, USN, abrasions right index finger.
FAUCETT, Kenneth #410-01-43, F1c, USN, deep laceration palm of right hand.

モナハン (DD-354)

1941年12月8日、モナハンは7時51分に、先だって真珠湾口で正体不明の潜水艦を撃沈した駆逐艦ワード (USS Ward, DD-139) に合流するよう命じられる。そのわずか4分後、真珠湾攻撃が始まったため、対空砲火を撃った。0830、港外へ退避するべく航行中の掃海駆逐艦 ゼイン (英語版) (USS Zane, DD-377/DMS-14)が、工作艦メデューサ(USS Medusa, AR-1)の後方180mを航行する甲標的を発見したとの報告が入った。さらに敷設駆逐艦 ブリース (英語版) (USS Breese, DD-122/DM-18)に発見され、水上機母艦カーティス(USS Curtiss, AV-4)が砲撃を行う。0837、モナハンは艦首右舷1100mの距離で潜望鏡と司令塔の一部を発見したため、体当たりするための準備を行う。その間、メデューサと水上機母艦 タンジール (英語版) (USS Tangier, AV-8)が甲標的へ砲撃を行った。甲標的はカーティスへ向け魚雷1本を発射してきたが、その際に砲弾が命中し、艇長が戦死したのが見えた。甲標的はさらに機銃掃射を受けていた。魚雷はカーティスに命中せず、ドックに命中した。体当たりしようとするモナハンに対し、甲標的は魚雷を発射してきたが、魚雷はモナハンの右舷側を通過し、フォード島に命中した。モナハンは体当たりして水深10mの海底に叩きつけ、爆雷2発を投下して撃沈した。

攻撃後、モナハンは空母レキシントン (USS Lexington, CV-2) を中心とする、ウィルソン・ブラウン中将の第11任務部隊に加わり、ギルバート諸島奇襲、次いでウェーク島救援に向かうことになった。ところが、太平洋艦隊司令長官代理ウィリアム・パイ中将が海軍作戦部長ハロルド・スターク大将と合衆国艦隊司令長官アーネスト・キング大将に伺いを立てたところ、ウェーク島守備隊の士気を考慮したものの、「兵力の増強より撤退すべきだ」との示唆を受けたためウェーク島救援は取り消され、間もなくウェーク島のアメリカ軍は日本軍に降伏した [1] 。帰投の途中、モナハンは日本軍潜水艦から出たものと思しき油紋を発見し、駆逐艦デイル (USS Dale, DD-353) およびエールウィン (USS Aylwin, DD-355) とともに爆雷攻撃を行った。

1942年に入るとモナハンは第11任務部隊から一時離れ、西海岸部への輸送船団の護衛に従事。第11任務部隊に復帰後の1942年4月15日に真珠湾を出撃し、南太平洋方面へと向かう。このころ、日本軍の圧力はポートモレスビーやニューギニア島、あるいはオーストラリアやニュージーランドにいたる通商路を徐々に圧迫し、この脅威を取り除くため海軍は迅速に迎撃態勢を整えた。空母ヨークタウン (USS Yorktown, CV-5) からの航空機がツラギ島や対岸の ガヴツ (英語版) にいた日本軍を攻撃したのは5月4日のことであり、珊瑚海を行動していた第11任務部隊および第17任務部隊(フランク・J・フレッチャー少将)は、日本側の第五航空戦隊(原忠一少将)も珊瑚海に入りつつあることを知る。互いの敵を見ずに始まった珊瑚海海戦は、まず5月7日に両任務部隊からの艦載機がMO攻略部隊を発見して攻撃し、空母祥鳳を撃沈して先手を取った。翌5月8日は互いの艦載機群が攻撃を行ったが、モナハンは無線封止を維持して輪形陣にとどまった。その後、前日5月7日の日本側の攻撃で沈没した給油艦ネオショー (USS Neosho, AO–23) と駆逐艦シムス (USS Sims, DD-409) の捜索を行ったが、沈没地点が誤って報告されていたため、救助任務を行えなかった。モナハンはヌメアに到着し、同地で第16任務部隊(ウィリアム・ハルゼー中将)に合流して5月26日に真珠湾に帰投した。

ミッドウェーとアリューシャン 編集

2日後、モナハンは第16任務部隊とともに真珠湾を出撃する。海軍情報部の諜報により、日本軍がミッドウェー島攻略のために複雑な戦闘計画を組み立て、いつ何時に南雲忠一中将の第一航空艦隊がミッドウェー島に接近するかを明らかにして上層部にも通報していた。結論を言えば、アメリカ軍は日本側の空母4隻と重巡洋艦1隻を撃沈して戦いの流れを変えることに成功した(ミッドウェー海戦)。モナハンは海戦の2日間、もっぱら空母エンタープライズ (USS Enterprise, CV-6) の直衛につき、海戦の翌日には救助作業のために一時後退したが、間もなく飛龍からの航空機の攻撃で大破したヨークタウンの直衛にまわった。6月7日、伊号第一六八潜水艦(伊168)が輪形陣の中に入り、ヨークタウンに対して魚雷を発射。魚雷はヨークタウンと、ヨークタウンに横付けしていた駆逐艦ハムマン (USS Hammann, DD-412) に命中し、ハムマンが轟沈、ヨークタウンも16時間後に沈没していった。モナハンは駆逐艦グウィン (USS Gwin, DD-433) および ヒューズ (英語版) (USS Hughes, DD-410) とともに伊168の捜索を行い、爆雷攻撃で打撃を与えたと評価されたが、伊168は苦闘の末に生還した [2] 。

修理が終わったモナハンは、軽巡洋艦リッチモンド (USS Richmond, CL-9) 、重巡洋艦ソルトレイクシティ (USS Salt Lake City, CA-25) を基幹とする第16.69任務群(「ソック」チャールズ・マクモリス少将)に加わり、アリューシャン方面での偵察に従事する。3月26日、第16.69任務群はアッツ島およびキスカ島への輸送作戦を掩護中の第五艦隊(細萱戊子郎中将)とコマンドルスキー諸島近海で遭遇し、アッツ島沖海戦が行われた。第16.69任務群は寡兵よく第五艦隊を翻弄して追い返すことに成功した。以降、夏までの間に日本軍拠点への艦砲射撃や哨戒任務をアリューシャン方面全体で行った。この哨戒でのハイライトは、6月21日から22日の2日間にわたって行われた、キスカ島への輸送任務に従事していた伊7との交戦である。6月21日午後、キスカ島七夕岬を確認して浮上航行に移った伊7を発見したモナハンは砲撃を行い、司令塔に命中弾を与えて潜航不能に陥らせ、艦の首脳も戦死させた [3] 。伊7は旭岬に座礁して応急修理を行った上、6月22日夜に横須賀へ向けて七夕湾を出撃 [3] 。しかし、伊7の行く手にはモナハンが待ち構えていた。モナハンは砲撃で伊7にさらなる損傷を与え、伊7は引き返す [3] 。モナハンはこれを追撃して三度目の砲撃を行い、進退窮まった伊7はキスカ島二子岩に座礁して果てた [3] 。伊7の喪失は、水雷戦隊によるキスカ島撤退作戦実施の伏線となった [4] 。

1943年後半 - 1944年 編集

アリューシャン戦線が日本軍の撤退で一段落したあと、モナハンは真珠湾およびサンフランシスコへの護衛任務を行い、11月13日には3隻の護衛空母を護衛してサンペドロを出撃。ギルバート諸島攻略のガルヴァニック作戦では、一貫して護衛空母の直衛にあたった。作戦終了後、モナハンは西海岸に引き返し、大規模な演習を行ったあと、再び護衛空母群の直衛につくためサンディエゴを出撃。1944年1月からのクェゼリンの戦いでは、ロイ=ナムル島の北西海域で行動し、ロイ=ナムル島攻略を支援した。2月7日に戦艦ペンシルベニア (USS Pennsylvania, BB-38) を護衛してマジュロに入港し、次いでエニウェトクの戦いに参加。輸送船団を護衛してエニウェトク環礁に向かい、2月21日から22日にかけての夜間にはメリレン島に対して砲撃を行う。作戦終了後は2月末までマーシャル方面で哨戒任務と護衛任務にあたった。

コブラ台風 編集

10月1日、モナハンは駆逐艦デューイ(USS Dewey, DD-349) とともにピュージェット湾を出港し [5] 、カリフォルニア、ハワイ沖で演習を行ったのち、11月11日にウルシー環礁に向けて真珠湾を出港した。ウルシーに到着後、12月6日に対空演習を行って、12月10日に第38任務部隊(ジョン・S・マケイン・シニア中将)とともにウルシーを出撃した [6] 。第38任務部隊はミンドロ島の戦いの支援を行う予定であり、モナハンはデューイ、エールウィンおよびハル (USS Hull, DD-350) とともに補給支援担当の第30.8任務群を護衛した [7] 。ところが、第38任務部隊は洋上給油予定日の12月17日ごろからコブラ台風の中に入り始め、12月18日にかけて大きく翻弄されることとなった。この時点でモナハンは操舵が困難だったものの、燃料を76パーセント保有しており、動揺にある程度は耐えうると考えられていた [8] 。しかし、モナハンは次第に操舵に加えて針路維持も困難となり、艦内モーターも故障して一切の動力を失った [9] 。やがて構造物が崩れだしたという報告もなされたが、間もなく転覆して沈没していった [10] 。生存者はわずか6名で、いかだに乗って3日間漂流ののち、駆逐艦 ブラウン (英語版) (USS Brown, DD-546) に救助された。生存者は、モナハンは右舷に倒れて波に翻弄されながら沈んでいったと報告した。いかだには当初12名が乗っていたが、暴れたり海中に転落したりして半数に減り、ブラウンによって救助された時も、いかだの後ろにサメが付きまとっていた [11] 。太平洋艦隊司令長官チェスター・ニミッツ元帥はこの悲劇に関し、「(台風は)主だった戦闘よりかは小さいと思われたが、第3艦隊に予想より多くの打撃を与えた。」と表現した。

Horace D. Warden: Veteran Story

I was actually assigned to Mine Division Two. The USS Breese (DM-18) was one of four destroyers in that division. The doctor I relieved had died so I became the medical officer of Mine Division Two, part of what they called the old "Pineapple Navy." We would go and practice laying mines for 2 weeks and then be in port for 2 weeks. I was riding on the Breese because that was the ship that had a stateroom for the doctor. During the 2 weeks we would be in port I would go to the Naval Hospital to get some more surgical experience.

What kind of sick bay did you have on the Breese?

We had a small sick bay on those old four-pipers, not much space, just enough for one hospital corpsmen to work in. It was very cramped but adequate.

Were you on the Breese that Sunday morning when the Japanese attacked?

Yes sir. On that Sunday morning we were moored to a buoy near Pearl City. I happened to be aboard the previous night because in those days they used to divide Pearl Harbor into three areas. There was supposed to be a doctor assigned to each area all night for medical coverage. It was my night to be aboard in Pearl City. I was due to go off duty at 8:00 on Sunday morning. I had changed into civilian clothes and was sitting on the deck for a whaleboat to take me to my car so I could get to breakfast at home on the far side of Honolulu. The Japanese hit at five minutes to eight and I never got off the ship.

Did you see them coming?

No. The first thing I remember was the sound of firing and then they called general quarters. We were not a large ship so we were not immediately threatened. After the Japanese delivered their bombs on the large ships they had to come up over us. That's when we got one of them with what I think was a 3-inch gun.

Did you see that happen?

No. I didn't see the plane get hit.

When you went to general quarters, your station was in the sick bay below decks?

Yes. But I didn't have time to get there. I remember one of our food handlers was milling around very upset and crying, a real basket case. We went to where we had the firearms stashed away and we got a rifle and gave it to him. Once he started shooting he was alright. The plane we had shot down landed right near us in the water. The pilot was still alive so they got a whaleboat to go rescue him. Apparently he made a move, put his hand under his vest or something, and so they killed him and then didn't have a live pilot to question. The sailor who shot him was told that he was going to get court-martialed. But later that all was quashed and there was no court martial.

We then tried to get underway and out of the harbor. Our ship was ready because we had the duty the night before, but we were tied to three other ships and they didn't have many people aboard on Sunday morning. So we had to wait until enough crew members arrived on these ships to get them out of the harbor.

Did you have any casualties to treat at this point?

None. After about an hour or an hour and a half we were out to sea and started to patrol looking for miniature subs and dropped depth charges. We stayed out about a week and then came back. I can't remember whether we ran out of food or fuel.

Anyway, we came back in to Pearl Harbor. Then we could see all the damage that had been done. Going out we couldn't see it because of where we were. While we were out we kept wondering why the big ships hadn't come out.

What did you think of all that damage?

It was just terrible. It was one of those things when you think, what's the world coming to? What's going to happen to us now? Everyone was all set to try to get even if we could, but my family was on the other end of Oahu so the first thing I wanted to do was get ashore and let them know that I was okay and find out that they were okay. That was probably the worst week of the war for me.

What did you do once you got back to Pearl?

We stayed there waiting for further orders. There was nothing really to do. I then got permission to go to the Naval Hospital to help out over there.

Did you still have a lot of casualties to deal with from the attack?

Yes. We still had surgery to do. One of the Japanese planes had crashed in the Naval Hospital yard and I have a piece of it.

Did you still go patrolling with the Breese?

Yes. We would go out for a few days patrolling looking for submarines and then come back to Pearl. I remember that on Christmas Day in 1941 we were tied right at Hospital Point, Meanwhile, my family came out to the Naval Hospital to have Christmas dinner with me. That was a wonderful occasion.

How long were you with Mine Division Two?

I was with that outfit for another year. We got to work laying mines throughout the South Pacific.

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) - History

by D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:03 pm

Built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, Cost:$1,342,900.09 (hull & machinery)
Laid down:10 November 1917. Launched:11 May 1918. Commissioned:23 October 1918 to 17 June 1922 and 1 June 1931 to 15 January 1946
Reclassified:DM-18, 5 January 1931
‘Wickes’ class destroyer ,displacement:1,213 tons, Length:314’ 5” (95.83 m.) Beam:31’ 8” (9.65 m.) Draft:9’ 4” (2.84 m.) 4 Yarrow/Thornycroft boilers, 2 Curtis 24,200shp. geared turbines, two shafts. 35 knots.
Complement:122, Armament: 4 × 4" (102 mm.), 2 × 3" (76 mm.), 12 × 21" (533 mm.) torpedo tubes

USS Breese (DD–122) was a Wickes class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I, and later redesignated, DM-18 in World War II. She was the only ship named for Captain Kidder Breese.

Commissioned as a destroyer in 1919, she undertook a number of patrol and training duties along the East Coast of the United States until being decommissioned in 1922. Overhauled in 1931, she returned to service with the United States Pacific Fleet on training and patrol for the next 10 years. She was present during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and following this she supported several operations during the war, laying minefields and sweeping for mines in the Pacific. Following the end of the war, she was sold for scrap in 1946 and broken up.

In Harm’s Way: The Ships that Got Underway at Pearl Harbor

They were an odd collection of ships. A battleship, two modern light cruisers, an elderly light cruiser and a collection of destroyers, destroyer minesweepers and destroyer minelayers. Yet in the midst of the din and bloody chaos of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor these ships, sometimes with only the most junior of officers in charge got underway and took to sea in order to seek out and engage the Japanese.

Their sortie is dramatized in the Otto Preminger film In Harm’s Way.

For the first forty minutes of the attack only two ships were underway. The USS Ward which had sunk the Japanese midget submarine outside the harbor entrance an hour before the attack began. The USS Helm was in the main channel as the attack began. They were joined over the next two hours by other ships.

The USS Nevadawas the only battleship to get underway that morning and though she did not get to sea her example served to inspire those on the battered ships in the harbor and ashore. Her commanding officer and executive officer were ashore, along with many other senior officers. However her Damage Control Officer, Lieutenant Commander Francis Thomas, a reservist took command and as the senior officer present on the the ship got her underway. Then as she was battered by the second wave of Japanese attackers he skillfully grounded her off Hospital Point to keep her from being sunk in the narrow main channel.

USS St Louis passing Battleship Row

The USS St. Louis was moored outboard of her sister ship USS Honolulu at the Naval Station. Her sortie was enabled by members of her crew who chopped down the gangplank and cut water lines to the shore. Under command of Captain George Rood she got underway at 0931 and was the first cruiser to get underway.

USS Phoenix sortie at Pearl Harbor

She was joined by her sister ship USS Phoenix and the elderly light cruiser USS Detroit which was moored on the far side of Ford Island. Phoenix survived the war only to be sunk in the 1982 Falklands war as the Argentine ship General Belgrano.

The destroyer USS Bluegot underway under the command of Ensign Nathan Asher, who had just three other ensigns with him as that ship got underway. She was joined by Monaghan, Dale, Henley, Phelps, Farragut, MacDonough, Worden, Patterson, Jarvis and Aylwin also under command of an junior officer, Ensign Stanley Caplan. Henley left without her commander under the command of Lieutenant Francis Fleck Jr.

Others too got underway, The USS Mugford was the duty destroyer and got underway quickly, as did Cummings. The Ralph Talbot was underway by 0900. Conyngham got underway in the early afternoon. Perhaps the most interesting story was the USS Selfridge which got underway manned by a composite crew of 7 different ships.

The cruisers and destroyers were joined by a number of elderly former destroyers which had been converted to Destroyer Minesweepers or Minelayers. The Ramsay, Breese, Trever and Perryall got underway, Trever also minus her commanding officer.

Some of the ships formed in a vain search for the Japanese strike force while others conducted defensive anti-submarine operations in the waters off Pearl Harbor.

The fact that all of these ships were able to get underway and navigate through the chaos of the attack, often under the command of junior officers and without key crew members was a testament to the courage and initiative of US Navy Officers and Sailors. It is a courage and initiative still in evidence today.

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USS Tucker (DD-374)

Figure 1: USS Tucker (DD-374) completion photograph, taken off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, 2 March 1937. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 2: USS Tucker (DD-374) completion photograph, taken off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, 2 March 1937. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 3: USS Tucker underway on 28 April 1938. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 4: USS Tucker off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 11 March 1942. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 5: USS Tucker "jackknifed" amidships and under tow by USS YP-346 in the Bruat Channel, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, at about 2330 Hrs. GCT, 3 August 1942. Tucker had struck a mine in the area at about 2145 Hrs. GCT on that day, breaking her keel. She sank on 4 August. Photographed from a plane based on USS Curtiss (AV-4). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 6: USS Tucker "jackknifed" amidships and under tow toward the northwest corner of Malo Island at about 0315 Hrs. GCT on 4 August 1942. She is being towed by a motor launch from the Naval Air Station, Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, in a final attempt to beach her before she sank. USS Breese (DM-18) is standing by, in the foreground. Tucker had struck a mine in the area at about 2145 Hrs. GCT on 3 August 1942, breaking her keel. She sank on 4 August. Photographed from a plane based on USS Curtiss (AV-4). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Figure 7: USS Tucker sunk near Malo Island, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, on 5 August 1942. She struck a mine after entering an unannounced defensive minefield during the evening of 3 August and sank early the following morning. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.

Named after Captain Samuel Tucker, an American naval hero during the Revolutionary War, the 1,500-ton USS Tucker (DD-374) was a Mahan class destroyer that was built at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia. The ship was commissioned on 23 July 1936 and was approximately 341 feet long and 34 feet wide, had a top speed of 36.5 knots and carried a crew of 158 officers and men. Tucker was armed with five 5-inch guns, 12 21-inch torpedo tubes and depth charges.

Following her shakedown cruise in the western Atlantic, Tucker was assigned to the destroyer forces of the US Battle Fleet based at San Diego, California. She remained in the Pacific (cruising between the West Coast and the Hawaiian Islands) until 1940, except for a brief period of time when Tucker took part in Fleet Problem XX, a naval exercise that was held in the Caribbean and was personally observed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board the USS Houston (CA-30). With tensions rising between the United States and Japan, Tucker was sent from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to Auckland, New Zealand, arriving there on 17 March 1941 on a good will visit that was designed to “show the flag” in the South Pacific. Tucker returned to Pearl Harbor after her trip to New Zealand and took part in some fleet exercises before returning to her homeport in San Diego on 19 September 1941. After a brief stay there, the ship was sent back to Pearl Harbor where she began patrolling the waters around the Hawaiian Islands.

On 7 December 1941, Tucker was moored at berth X-8, East Loch, Pearl Harbor, in the center of a group of five destroyers and the tender USS Whitney (AD-4). Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class W.E. Bowe was on board Tucker and quickly manned a machine gun on the ship’s after superstructure as soon as he saw the Japanese planes attacking the surrounding warships. He began firing his machine gun even before the alarm for general quarters was sounded. Approximately two minutes later, the ship’s after 5-inch guns began firing as well, joining the antiaircraft gunfire that was coming from the other destroyers that surrounded Tucker. Soon the five destroyers put up a curtain of lead that brought down two of the attacking Japanese aircraft. Fortunately, Tucker was not damaged during the attack.

After the attack, Tucker patrolled the waters outside of Pearl Harbor. She went on to spend the next five months escorting convoys between the West Coast and Hawaii. Tucker then was sent to the South Pacific. She escorted the USS Wright (AV-1) to Tutuila, American Samoa, and the pair then sailed on to Suva in the Fiji Islands. The two ships next went to Noumea, New Caledonia, and then to Sydney, Australia, arriving there on 27 April 1942. After that, Tucker made port visits to Melbourne, Perth and Fremantle before returning to Sydney. Tucker escorted Wright once again to Suva, arriving there on 3 June 1942. The pair operated out of that base until 10 July, when Tucker relieved the USS Boise (CL-47) for convoy escort duties. On 30 July, Tucker arrived at Auckland and was sent back to the Fiji Islands the next day.

After arriving back at Suva, Tucker received orders to escort the freighter SS Nira Luckenbach to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. On 1 August 1942, the two ships departed Suva. Because of a communications failure, the two ships were not informed that they were heading directly for an American defensive minefield that was laid on 2 August near Espiritu Santo. As a result, at 2145 on 3 August Tucker hit a mine that almost immediately broke the destroyer’s back. Six men were killed in the explosion and the Nira Luckenbach quickly sent over lifeboats to rescue the crew of the stricken destroyer. The next morning, 4 August, the YP-346 and the USS Breese (DMS-18) arrived on the scene and tried to tow the Tucker into shallower water to make salvage operations easier. But as soon as the rescue ships tried to take the Tucker into tow, what was left of the destroyer broke in two, jack-knifed, and sank.

The destruction of the Tucker shows that ships can be lost in wartime by sheer accident. This tragic event not only cost the lives of six men, but it also prevented a badly needed US destroyer from taking part in the upcoming naval battle for Guadalcanal. The Japanese had just scored a victory without having to lift a finger, a bitter lesson for the US Navy.

Watch the video: USS Radford - Guide 140 (July 2022).


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