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DD-445 U.S.S. FLETCHER


Destroyer Class: Fletcher
Commissioned 1942
Length Overall 376' 5"
Extreme Beam: 39' 7"
Mean Draft: 17'9"
Standard Displacement tons: 2,050
Normal tons: 2,325
Designed Complement: Off.: 20;  Enl.: 309
Armament: Primary: 5"/38 caliber
Armament: Secondary:  5 40mm twin
4 20mm; 4 1.1"
Torpedo Tubes: 2x5 21"
Designed Speed: 35.2 knots
Designed Shaft Horse Power: 60,000
Screws: 2
Engine Manufacturer: Four Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Type: geared turbines.
Fuel (oil) tons 492


WAR DIARY of the U.S.S. FLETCHER Nov.1 to 30, 1942 & December 1, 1942


Action Report on the Night of Nov. 12-13, 1942 of USS FLETCHER




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.

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ACTION REPORT

U.S.S. FLETCHER % Postmaster San Francisco, California
DD445/A16-3 Serial No. (SD/TS133)-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.

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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.
S.E. DAVIS

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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.

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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

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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



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





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


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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