Allied Warships

USS Plunkett (DD 431)

Destroyer of the Benson / Gleaves class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassBenson / Gleaves 
PennantDD 431 
Built byFederal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. (Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Ordered17 Aug 1938 
Laid down1 Mar 1939 
Launched9 Mar 1940 
Commissioned17 Jul 1940 
End service 
History

Decommissioned 3 May 1946.
Transferred to Taiwan 16 February 1954 and renamed Nan Yang.
Nan Yang was stricken and scrapped in 1975.

 

Commands listed for USS Plunkett (DD 431)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Peter Gerald Hale, USN17 Jul 194010 May 1941
2Lt.Cdr. William Arthur Graham, USN10 May 194124 Nov 1941
3Lt.Cdr. William Harrison Standley, Jr., USN24 Nov 194114 Sep 1942 (1)
4Lt.Cdr. Edward Joseph Burke, USN14 Sep 194215 Feb 1944
5T/Cdr. William Outerson, USN15 Feb 194413 Mar 1945
6T/Cdr. Fred Lee Ruhlman, USN13 Mar 194528 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Plunkett include:


14 Apr 1942

Operation Calender.

Spitfire fighters to be flown off to Malta.

Around 0700/14, ' Force W ' made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Commodore C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier USS Wasp (Capt. J.W. Reeves, Jr., USN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), USS Lang (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN) and USS Madison (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Ammon, USN) departed the Clyde for a mission to fly off Spitfire fighters to Malta.

At 2020/15, ' Force W ' made a 90° emergency turn to port as HMS Partidge had obtained an A/S contact and attacked it with depth charges. The original course was resumed a little over 20 minutes later. At 2045/15, HMS Partridge dropped more depth charges. ' Force W ' then commenced zig-zagging. HMS Partridge rejoined the screen at 2305/15.

Around 1915/17 all destroyers were detached to refuel at Gibraltar after they had been relieved, temporary, by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN). These destroyers had departed Gibraltar around 0001/16.

HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Partridge, USS Lang and USS Madison arrived at Gibraltar around 1500/18. After fuelling they departed to conduct an A/S patrol to the east of Gibraltar and then rejoin ' Force W '.

Around 0700/19 the original screen rejoined from Gibraltar as did the cruisers HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN) also coming from Gibraltar. The cruisers had departed from Gibraltar at 0145/19 and joined with the destroyers that were on A/S patrol at 0230/19. HMS Antelope, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler were detached around 0630/19 to return to Gibraltar where they arrived at 1100/19. HMS Vidette for now remained with ' Force W '. She left the formation at 1900/19 and proceeded to Gibraltar independently.

After fuelling HMS Antelope and HMS Westcott departed Gibraltar to rejoin ' Force W ' at 1415/19 as did HMS Wishart and HMS Wrestler at 1545/19. They rejoined ' Force W ' around 0900/20.

At 0500/20, in position 37°30'N, 03°20'E, USS Wasp commenced flying off 11 F4F Wildcat fighters to provide a combat air patrol whilst the Spitfires were launched. At 0545/20 the flying off of 47 Spitfires commenced. All were successfully launched and the combat air patrol landed on around 0715/20 when ' Force W ' reversed course and steered for Gibraltar.

At 1620/20, HMS Vidette arrived at Gibraltar to fuel. She sailed again to rejoin ' Force W ' at 0130/21.

At 0250/21, HMS Cairo, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang and USS Madison arrived at Gibraltar. After fuelling they departed again at 0625/21 to rejoin the USS Wasp at sea.

At 1630/21, HMS Renown, HMS Charybdis, HMS Antelope, HMS Vidette, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart, HMS Wrestler, HMS Ithuriel and HMS Partridge arrived at Gibraltar after playing their part in Operation Calender.

USS Wasp now escorted by HMS Cairo, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang and USS Madison set course for Scapa Flow.

Around 1645/25, the destroyers USS Plunkett (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Standley, Jr., USN) and USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN) joined. Shortly afterwards HMS Cairo parted company and proceeded to Bangor Bay near Belfast, Northern Ireland arriving there around 0800/26.

USS Wasp, HMS Inglefield, HMS Echo, USS Lang, USS Madison, USS Plunkett and USS Wainwright arrived at Scapa Flow around 1200/26. (2)

20 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Plunkett, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Madison. (3)

21 Aug 1942
During 21/22 August 1942 HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Madison, USS Lansdale, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Plunkett. These also included night exercises. (4)

21 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Plunkett, USS Hilary P. Jones, USS Charles F. Hughes and USS Lansdale. (3)

23 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Lansdale, USS Plunkett, HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN) and HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR). (4)

9 Oct 1943
USS Plunkett (Cdr. E.J. Burke, USN) picks up 13 survivors of the American destroyer USS Buck that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-616 about 50 nautical miles south of Capri in position 38°57'N, 14°28'E.

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman


United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore

Sources

  1. http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/431.htm
  2. ADM 199/662
  3. ADM 173/17252
  4. ADM 173/17216

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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