Tuesday, July 2, 2013

USS Morrison (DD-560) Sunk By Four Kamikazes

From Wikipedia.

In the last entry, I wrote about Howie Snell's last ship, the destroyer USS Morrison, which sank after being hit four times by Japanese kamikazes on May 5, 1845 at the Battle of Okinawa.  Decided to do some more research on it.

The Fletcher-class destroyer was named for John G. Morrison who received a Civil War Medal of Honor winner who received it for action on the USS Carondolet versus the CSS Arkansas.  It was built at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. in Seattle.

Commissioned on 18 December 1943, the Morrison was 376.6 feet long, 38.8 beam and mounted five 5-inch guns, torpedoes and depth charges.

In June 1944 it was off Saipan where it shot down three planes.  The it was at Guam and in September, sank 15 Japanese sampans off the Philippines.  During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, it rescued 400 survivors from the light carrier USS Princeton and then went alongside to assist in putting out fires until the bigger ship hit the Morrison.

On March 31, off Okinawa, it sank the Japanese submarine I-8 and rescued just one survivor (Snell's finicky eater)

It then continued operations off Okinawa, replacing the destroyer Daly after it was hit on picket duty by a kamikaze.

On April 30th, the Morrison was a fighter-director ship which made it an even bigger kamikaze target.  It survived three kamikaze attacks starting at 8:25 AM before a Zeke crashed into the funnel and bridge, knocking out the ship's electrical equipment.  Imediately afterwards, three float biplanes found their target.  After two big explosions the ship sank at 8:40 AM.

The Story of a Ship.  --GreGen

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