USS McLanahan (DD-615)

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USS McLanahan (DD-615) off the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 5 February 1943.jpg
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Name: USS McLanahan (DD-615)
Namesake: Tenant McLanahan
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, San Pedro, California
Laid down: 29 May 1941
Launched: 2 September 1942
Commissioned: 19 December 1942
Decommissioned: 2 February 1946
Struck: 1 July 1971
Fate: scrapped in 1974
General characteristics
Class and type: Benson-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,620 tons
Length: 348 ft 4 in (106.17 m)
Beam: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Draft: 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m)
Speed: 37.5 knots (69.5 km/h)
Complement: 259
Armament: 4 x5 in (130 mm)/38 guns, 4 x 20 mm., 5 x 21 inch (533 mm) tt., 6 dcp.

USS McLanahan (DD-615) was a Benson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second Navy ship named for Tenant McLanahan.

Destroyer Type of warship

In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

McLanahan was laid down 29 May 1941 by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Shipbuilding Division, San Pedro, California; launched 2 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy W. Howard; and commissioned 19 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander H. R. Hummer, in command.

Service history

McLanahan departed San Diego, California 19 February 1943 for assignment with Destroyer Squadron 16 (DesRon 16), Atlantic Fleet. She arrived at Norfolk, Virginia 10 March and, after additional training at Casco Bay, Maine, and several coastal convoys, departed on her first transatlantic convoy, to Algeria, 28 April. She returned to the east coast 8 June, departing again for North Africa on the 11th. The destroyer arrived at Oran 21 June to prepare for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. From 6 to 15 July, she, with other units of Task Force 81 (TF 81), maintained an antisubmarine-antiaircraft screen to protect the invasion forces at Gela. She then returned to escort duties in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic.

Norfolk, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.

Casco Bay inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine, New England, United States

Casco Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine, New England, United States. Its easternmost approach is Cape Small and its westernmost approach is Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. The city of Portland sits along its southern edge and the Port of Portland lies within.

Maine State of the United States of America

Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine, especially lobster and clams. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

During the next 9 months, her convoys suffered only three losses. In August 1943, Lieutenant Commander N. C. Johnson took command, and on 6 November, while en route to Naples from Oran, McLanahan's convoy was attacked by enemy aircraft which launched rocket bombs and torpedoes at the Allied ships. McLanahan escaped damage, but two merchantmen and one escort were lost. On 19 December 1943, a first birthday celebration was held for McLanahan in the Grand Ballroom of the St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, N.Y.

On 13 May 1944, she departed Oran for Naples to aid in the Anzio offensive. For the next month and a half she followed the advancing Allied lines up the Italian coast, providing gunfire support and ensuring the even flow of supplies. By the end of July, she had begun preparations for Operation Anvil, the invasion of southern France. She spent the first part of August off Sicily in amphibious exercises, sailing for the assault area on the 13th. By the 15th, she was in position providing fire support to the forces landing near St. Raphael. On the 18th, she joined the beachhead screen and, along the Italian and Sicilian coasts, protected the invasion forces and their supply lines from enemy aircraft and submarines. At the end of the month, she returned to Oran and continued on, a few days later, to New York, arriving there 14 September.

Anzio Comune in Lazio, Italy

Anzio[ˈantsjo] is a city and comune on the coast of the Lazio region of Italy, about 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Rome.

Operation Dragoon Allied invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944

Operation Dragoon was the code name for the Allied invasion of the French Riviera. Originally planned to coincide with D-Day, it had been postponed due to insufficient landing-craft. In August, it was revived, as the zone had become a low priority for the Germans, and conditions looked favourable for the liberation of Southern France with its key ports of Marseille and Toulon.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

McLanahan returned to the Mediterranean 21 December and on 19 January 1945 joined "le Grande Garde" patrol in the bombardment of the Ligurian coast from Monte Carlo to Genoa. While off San Remo, 11 February, a large caliber projectile fired by a shore battery exploded 20 to 40 feet off her port quarter. Resultant damage included, in addition to one dead and eight severely wounded, numerous holes above and at the water line and one gun out of commission.

Liguria Region of Italy

Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. The region almost coincides with the Italian Riviera and is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns, and cuisine.

Monte Carlo Quarter and ward of Monaco

Monte Carlo officially refers to an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco, specifically the ward of Monte Carlo/Spélugues, where the Monte Carlo Casino is located. Informally the name also refers to a larger district, the Monte Carlo Quarter, which besides Monte Carlo/Spélugues also includes the wards of La Rousse/Saint Roman, Larvotto/Bas Moulins, and Saint Michel. The permanent population of the ward of Monte Carlo is about 3,500, while that of the quarter is about 15,000. Monaco has four traditional quarters. From west to east they are: Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, and Monte Carlo.

Genoa Comune in Liguria, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.

On 20 February, McLanahan departed for Oran. She returned to Toulon 21 March for an awards ceremony at which Rear Admiral P. Jaugard, French Navy, presented her captain, medical officer, and 12 other crewmembers with the Croix de Guerre. Her next assignment took her to Gibraltar, where, for the remainder of the war in Europe, the destroyer patrolled the Mediterranean approaches as far south as Casablanca. After the surrender at Reims, she cruised in the Tyrrhenian Sea and off north Africa and on 30 June sailed for Boston, arriving 8 July.

On 14 August, McLanahan departed Boston, Massachusetts for the Pacific war zone, but, with receipt of news of Japan’s surrender, her orders were changed. She remained with the Atlantic Fleet, completing cruises to New York, New Orleans, Louisiana and Guantanamo Bay before mooring at Charleston, South Carolina, 3 November.

There she joined the Inactive Fleet and decommissioned 2 February 1946 and was berthed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1971 and scrapped in 1974.

Awards

McLanahan earned four battle stars for World War II service.

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References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .The entry can be found here.This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.