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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Rhind

 

Alexander Colden Rhind, born in New York City 31 October 1821, was appointed midshipman, 3 September 1838. He served with the Home Squadron off the coast of Mexico and with both the South and North Atlantic Blockading Squadrons during the Civil War. He was ordered to command Crusader, 14 December 1861; and, while commanding her, earned the thanks of Congress for the capture and destruction of Confederate works commanding the South Edisto, Dawho, and Pon-Pon Rivers, in April 1862. A year later, he participated in the attacks on Charleston's defenses as commanding officer of Keokuk. During the attack on 7 April 1863, Keokuk was struck 90 times, suffering 19 holes at or near her waterline. Retiring, she was kept afloat until the following morning, by which time the crew had been taken off. Later, after commanding Paul Jones and Wabash, he assumed command of Agawam, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 23 October 1863, and earned praise from Rear Adm. Samuel Lee for the "gallantry and endurance displayed" by himself and his crew during an engagement with three batteries at Deep Bottom, 13 August 1864. In December 1864 he was detailed to command the powder boat Louisiana, which was towed by Wilderness to a point 250 yards off Fort Fisher. There Commander Rhind and his crew set the fuzes and started a fire before escaping to Wilderness. The blast from the explosion, although loud, did little damage and 2 days later Rhind returned to close proximity to the fort to plant a marker buoy as near to the fort as possible to allow the fleet to bombard Fort Fisher at close range. For his feats he was commended by Admiral Porter and recommended for promotion. Rear Admiral Rhind died at New York, 8 November 1897.

 

(DD - 404: displacement 2,350 (full load); length 3413; beam 355; draft 144; speed 34 knots; complement 184; armament 4 5, 16 21 torpedo tubes; class Benham)

 

Rhind (DD-404) was laid down 22 September 1937 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; launched 28 July 1938; sponsored by Mrs. Frederick S. Camp; and commissioned 10 November 1939, Comdr. G. R. Cooper in command.

 

Following an extended shakedown cruise to Brazil and post-shakedown availability, Rhind steamed south again and from 5 July to 19 December 1940 conducted exercises in the Caribbean and patrolled off Martinique. Employed as carrier escort and engaged in fleet exercises during the first half of 1941, she joined TF 1 in June and through the summer steamed in the North Atlantic shipping lanes on Neutrality Patrol. In August she escorted Augusta (CA-31), with President Roosevelt embarked, to Newfoundland for the Atlantic Charter conferences. Then, at their conclusion, she escorted HMS Prince of Wales, carrying Prime Minister Churchill, to Iceland. On 17 August she returned to patrol duty off the Newfoundland coast.

 

Detached in October, Rhind escorted Yorktown (CV-5) from midocean to Halifax in early November, then joined a Halifax-Capetown convoy as escort. Off Southwest Africa 27 November, she was detailed to escort Ranger (CV-4) to Trinidad. They arrived 3 December. Four days later the United States entered World War II.

 

Rhind then steamed north to patrol the waters off Bermuda. In February 1942, she shifted further north and through March escorted Icelandic convoys. In April she shepherded a convoy to the Canal Zone and on the 23d, while en route back to New York, conducted her first depth charge attack on a German submarine. The U-boat had shelled a Norwegian merchantman off New Jersey. Arriving at New York the same day, she departed again on the 30th to escort convoy AT-15 to Iceland. There, on 15 May, she joined TF 99 and for the next 3 months operated with that force and the British Home Fleet in hunting German units operating out of Norway to intercept convoys to Murmansk and Arkhangel [sic; Archangel].

 

Rhind returned to the United States in July. In August she escorted coastal convoys between Boston and Argentia, then turned south to conduct ASW operations off the southeastern coast and in the Caribbean. Exercises in the Casco Bay area followed in early October and on the 24th she got underway for North Africa. Screening Massachusetts (BB-59) en route she arrived off the Moroccan coast on the night of 7 November. On the 8th she shelled Vichy vessels attempting to repel the Allied invasion of North Africa and blasted shore batteries. Through the 12th, she supported the troops ashore and screened larger ships in the Fedhala-Casablanca area. Back at Hampton Roads 20 November, the destroyer resumed escort duty and into the new year, 1943, guarded convoys to North Africa. On 28 April she returned to New York with convoy GUS-6, which had departed, as UGS-6, 4 March and had lost five merchantmen to a wolfpack between the 13th and 17th. On 10 May, Rhind departed New York again for North Africa, escorting a troopship convoy, and arrived at Algiers 2 June. For the next month she conducted ASW patrols and escorted ships along the North African coast.

 

On 10 July the invasion of Sicily began. On the 14th Rhind arrived off the coast, in the screen of a reinforcement convoy and joined the antiaircraft defense and fire-support group. Through the 20th she patrolled off Gela, then shifted to Palermo. After screening the mine and patrol craft which cleared the harbor, she remained on antiaircraft station. On the 26th, as she stood by the heavily damaged Mayrant (DD-402) taking off wounded and assisting in salvage work, she sustained several casualties and some damage to her hull from a near miss delivered by a Junkers 88. Through 2 August she continued to patrol off Palermo, then on the 3d, commenced offensive sweeps near Messina, sinking an E-boat on the first day, and supported "leap frog" landings along the coast.

 

Caught in another air raid on the 22d, Rhind gained a brief respite at Oran, but suffered further near misses while escorting a convoy to Bizerte through September. At Bizerte on the 6th, she fought off another raid, an attempt to disrupt the forces staging for the invasion at Salerno. On the 9th, the destroyer arrived in the Gulf of Salerno and continued her war with the Luftwaffe. On the 11th she got underway for Oran, whence, for the next month and a half, Rhind escorted reinforcements to Italy. In November she sailed for New York and, after guarding two New York to United Kingdom convoys, shifted to coastwise and Caribbean escort duty interspersed with offensive ASW activities. On 26 July 1944 she resumed transatlantic convoy duty with a run to the United Kingdom. A convoy to Naples followed in late September and, in November and December, she screened carrier Shangri La (CV-38) on her shakedown cruise.

 

Between January and March 1945 Rhind continued coastal and Caribbean escort duty. Then after another run to Britain, 23 March to 18 April, she prepared for transfer to the Pacific Theater. Sailing 5 May, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 30th; and, after exercises there, steamed westward in the screen of carriers Lexington (CV-16), Hancock (CV-19), and Cowpens (CVL-25). On 20 June, the carriers launched strikes against Wake. Then, minus Cowpens and an escort, the force continued on to Leyte, arriving 26 June. From Leyte, Rhind steamed to Ulithi, whence she escorted cargo and troop ships to Okinawa and conducted ASW patrols in the Carolines. Shifted to Saipan in August, she escorted another convoy to Okinawa after the cessation of hostilities, then on 2 September steamed to Pagan Island where Commodore Vernon F. Grant accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrisoned there.

 

Returning to Saipan the same day, Rhind accompanied landing craft to Marcus Island. Then, on the 16th, headed north for Iwo Jima, whence she patrolled on air/sea rescue station until 2 November. She returned to Saipan on the 4th and operated in the Marianas until mid-December when she got underway for the United States. Arriving at San Diego 30 December, she was stripped and returned to Pearl Harbor and prepared for experimental testing. On 15 May she joined Joint Task Force 1 for operation "Crossroads," the atomic test series scheduled to be detonated at Bikini in July. Surviving the tests on 1 and 25 July, but highly contaminated, Rhind was decommissioned 26 August 1946 and moved to Kwajalein where, after radiological clearance had been given and further examinations had been made, she was sunk, 22 March 1948. Her name was struck from the Navy list 5 April 1948.

 

Rhind earned four battle stars during World War II.



25 September 2005