USS Leary (i) (DD 158)
Destroyer of the Wickes class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||New York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||6 Mar 1918|
|Launched||18 Dec 1918|
|Commissioned||5 Dec 1919|
|Lost||24 Dec 1943|
|Loss position||45° 15'N, 21° 40'W|
Decommissoned 29 June 1922
On 24 December 1943, the American hunter-killer Task Group 21.14, formed around the USS Card was spotted by a German reconnaissance aircraft and the wolfpack Borkum was ordered to attack. The carrier had a narrow escape when three FAT torpedoes fired at 01.43 hours by U-415 (Neide) missed her. The same U-boat also missed the USS Decatur (DD 341) with a Gnat. At 05.05 hours, U-275 fired a Gnat at the USS Leary (DD 158) (Cdr. James Ellsworth Kyes, USN) and hit her on the starboard side in the after engine room. A second Gnat fired by U-382 (Zorn) at 05.21 hours missed the already sinking destroyer. She sank after a huge internal explosion within one minute about 585 miles west-north-west of Cape Finisterre in position 45º15'N, 21º40'W. 97 of the crew, including the commanding officer died and 59 survivors were rescued by the USS Schenck (DD 159), which found U-645 (Ferro) later the same day, evaded a torpedo and sinks the U-boat with depth charges.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the USS Leary (i)|
Commands listed for USS Leary (i) (DD 158)
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|1||Ethelbert Watts, USN||17 Apr 1938||8 Jan 1941|
|2||Lt. William Lockhart Harmon, USN||8 Jan 1941||Mar 1941|
|3||Lt.Cdr. Clifford Ashton Fines, USN||Mar 1941||15 Dec 1941|
|4||John Connor Atkeson, USN||15 Dec 1941||11 Aug 1942|
|5||James Ellsworth Kyes, USN||11 Aug 1942||24 Dec 1943 (+)|
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Notable events involving Leary (i) include:
24 Dec 1943
On 24 Dec 1943 she was part of the escort for USS Card, when she was hit by 3 torpedoes, fired by U-275. 97 of her crew of 149 were lost. (1)
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