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Silhouette of a Benson-class destroyer, as first completed with five five-inch guns and ten torpedo tubes.  USS Madison had this same general appearance.

Online Library of Selected Images:

USS Madison (DD-425), 1940-1969

USS Madison, a 1620-ton Benson class destroyer built by the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, was commissioned in August 1940. In addition to serving on the Neutrality Patrol in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, in January 1941 she crossed the Atlantic to Portugal as an escort to retired Admiral William D. Leahy, who was enroute to become U.S. Ambassador to France. That summer she also escorted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Newfoundland, where he met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to negotiate and sign the Atlantic Charter. As relations with Germany became increasingly hostile in the late summer and fall of 1941 Madison was employed on convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol duties. This work continued once the United States formally entered the Second World War in December.

In April 1942 Madison began service with the British Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow. She accompanied USS Wasp when that aircraft carrier delivered fighter planes to Malta and also escorted convoys between the North Atlantic and the Soviet Union. In September, while accompanying an eastbound trans-Atlantic convoy, the destroyer rescued survivors of the burned transport Wakefield and stood by that abandoned ship until salvage units arrived to tow her to port. She also screened convoys between the British Isles, Panama and the U.S. Gulf coast, and in November took part in the invasion of Morocco. She was employed on convoy duty for all of 1943, operating between the U.S., the United Kingdom, North Africa and the West Indies. In addition to continuing her escort service during 1944 and the first several months of 1945, Madison participated in the Anzio campaign in February-April 1944 and the invasion of Southern France in August and September of that year. While taking part in the latter operation she destroyed several German manned torpedoes.

With Germany on the verge of collapse in the spring of 1945, Madison steamed through the Panama Canal to join the war against Japan. While performing patrol and escort work in the central and western Pacific, she was one of the ships that rescued survivors of the torpedoed cruiser Indianapolis early in August. A month later, on 2 September 1945, she was present in Tokyo Bay to witness Japan's formal surrender. Remaining in the Far East until November, Madison then steamed back to the U.S. East Coast. She was decommissioned at Charleston, South Carolina, in March 1946 and remained laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until stricken from the list of Navy ships at the beginning of June 1968. Her hulk was expended as a target in mid-October 1969.

USS Madison was named in honor of Commander James J. Madison (1888-1922), who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action as Commanding Officer of USS Ticonderoga (ID 1958) when she was sunk in battle on 30 September 1918.

This page provides information on an image of USS Madison (DD-425) that may be available from the National Archives

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Though the Naval Historical Center's photographic collection includes no images of USS Madison (DD-425), the National Archives appears to hold at least one view of her. The following list features this image:

The image listed below is NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain it using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".

  • Photo #: 80-G-456222
    USS Madison (DD-425) when first completed, circa mid-1940.
    Port broadside surface view, showing the ship with five 5"/38 guns and two sets of quintuple torpedo tubes. She is wearing peacetime light gray paint, with large numerals ("425") on her bow.

    Reproductions of this image should be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system for pictures not held by the Naval Historical Center.

    The image listed in this box is NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections. DO NOT try to obtain it using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".

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    Page made 29 September 2006