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Dortch

 

Isaac Foote Dortch, born 12 December 1883 in Gads-den, Ala., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1905. He commanded Warrington (DD-30) in 1915, and during World War I, commanded Wadsworth (DD-60) and fitted out and commissioned Talbot (DD-114). For his distinguished service while commanding Wadsworth and Talbot, he was awarded the Navy Cross. Captain Dortsch served as naval attache in Argentina and Chile during 1922-25 and died while on active duty 4 June 1932 at San Francisco, Calif.

 

(DD-670: dp. 2,050; l. 376'6"; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 336; a. 5 5", 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)

 

Dortch (DD-670) was launched 20 June 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.; Sponsored by Miss M. C. Dortch, daughter of Captain Dortch; and commissioned 7 August 1943, Lieutenant Commander R. C. Young in command.

 

During October and November 1943 Dortch sailed to Trinidad, British West Indies, where she served as plane guard and screen for Langley (CVL-27) during the carrier's shakedown cruise. Dortch sailed from Norfolk 3 December in the screen of newly commissioned Intrepid (CV-11) and arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 December.

 

Dortch served in the screen of the fast carriers of TF 58 during the capture and occupation of the Marshalls from 29 January 1944. She took part in theinitial raids on Truk of 16 and 17 February and on the Marianas on 23 February, then sailed with the task group providing air cover for landings on Emirau Island in March. Later that month she rejoined TF 58 for raids on Palau, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai from 30 March to 1 April; support of the Hollandia operation in New Guinea on 21 and 22 April; and a repeat raid on Truk from 29 April to 1 May.

 

After screening escort carriers to Pearl Harbor, Dortch returned to TF 58 for the capture and occupation of Saipan, screening the carriers as they fought and won the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea. During the invasion of Guam Dortch patrolled west of the island as life guard and fighter director ship, as well as screening the carriers that provided air support for the troops ashore.

 

Dortch saw action in the 5th Fleet raids on the Bonins on 4 and 5 August 1944, then returned to cover the landings on Peleliu, Palau Islands, 15 September. She remained with the fast carriers while they pounded airfields and installations in the Nansei Shoto, Formosa, Luzon, and on the Chinese coast to neutralize Japanese bases in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. She continued to protect the carriers as they launched strikes against the Japanese fleet in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24-25 October.

 

On 10 February 1945 Dortch sortied in a scouting line ahead of TF 58 for the strike on the Tokyo Bay area of 16 and 17 February. On the following day Dortch with Clarence K. Bronson (DD-668) attacked and seriously damaged an enemy picket vessel; Dortch received 14 casualties in the action. On the 19th she was off Iwo Jima for the assault landings, and continued to patrol off the island in the day and screen transports at night. She rejoined the carriers for raids on Tokyo on 25 February and strikes and photographic reconnaissance missions over Okinawa 1 March. Returning to duty at Iwo Jima, Dortch sailed 29 March for an overhaul on the west coast, arriving at San Francisco 21 April.

 

Dortch got underway 9 July 1945, and bombarded Wake Island 8 August while making her passage to Guam. On 27 August she entered Tokyo Bay, and served in the occupation of Japan and its possessions until sailing for the States 5 December 1945. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Charleston, S.C., 19 July 1946.

 

Recommissioned 4 May 1951 Dortch was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, find from Newport, operated on the east coast and in the Caribbean. In August 1952 she sailed to take part in NATO Operation "Mainbrace," off Norway and Denmark, returning to Newport 9 October. On 27 April 1953 she sailed for the Pacific, and operated with TF 77 off Korea until October. She continued west to complete a round-the-world cruise, returning to Newport in December. In 1954-55 and 1957 she served with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, patrolling off the Gaza Strip, where conditions remained tense after the Suez Crisis, during the latter cruise. Dortch continued her east coast and Caribbean operations until again placed out of commission in reserve 13 December 1957.

 

Dortch received eight battle stars for World War II service and one for Korean war service.