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USS Fitch (DD-462/DMS-25)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Fitch (DD-462/DMS-25)

USS Fitch (DD-462) was launched 14 June 1941 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. H. W. Thomas, grand-niece of Commander Fitch; and commissioned 3 February 1942, Lieutenant Commander H. Crommelin in command. She was reclassified DMS-25 on 15 November 1944, and again classified DD-462 on 15 July 1955.

USS Fitch (DD-462)'s first mission, between 1 July 1942 and 5 August, was to escort USS Ranger (CV-4) to a point off the Gold Coast, where the carrier flew off Army planes for the base at Accra. The destroyer returned to Norfolk 5 August for exercises in preparation for the assault on North Africa, for which she sailed from Bermuda 25 October. Returning to Norfolk 24 November, USS Fitch (DD-462) joined in exercises in Casco and Chesapeake Bays, and performed coastal escort duty, sailing as far south as the Canal Zone, through the remainder of 1942.

Sailing 2 September 1943 to escort a convoy to Londonderry, N.I., USS Fitch (DD-462) continued to Thruso Bay, where on 20 September she embarked Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and Admiral Harold R. Stark for transportation to Scapa Flow. Operating out of Scapa Flow for the next two months, USS Fitch (DD-462) screened USS Ranger as her planes attacked German forces and installations near Bodo, Norway, on 4 October, and patrolled off Spitzbergen as the men of the weather station there were relieved and resupplied.

Arriving off Utah Beach early in the morning of the invasion, USS Fitch (DD-462) followed the minesweepers through the newly swept channels to within 2,000 yards of the coast. Her mission was to draw out and silence German batteries prior to the landings. After 2 days screening the transport area, USS Fitch (DD-462) returned to Plymouth for supplies, then continued to give fire support and to patrol off the beachheads until 19 June. Between her return to Norfolk 10 November and 3 January 1945, when she sailed for the Pacific, USS Fitch (DD-462) was converted to a high-speed minesweeper.

Arriving at Pearl Harbor 10 February 1945, USS Fitch (DD-462) trained in minesweeping exercises there and at Ulithi, where her propellers were badly damaged when she ran afoul of a coral pinnacle. Repairs were made at Pearl Harbor between 10 April and 6 August, when she sailed to join the 3d Fleet off Japan. On 9 January 1946, USS Fitch (DD-462) arrived at Norfolk, where she was immobilized for a month. She voyaged between Norfolk, Charleston, and New York transferring minesweeper crews for several months, and in November, from her home port at Charleston, began regular operations training Mine Force officers, exercising in the Caribbean and along the east coast, and cruising to the Mediterranean in 1949, 1951, and 1953. During 1955, she conducted tests in the Caribbean for the Operational Development Force. USS Fitch (DD-462) was decommissioned at Charleston 24 February 1956 and placed in reserve.

For a complete history of USS Fitch (DD-462) please see its DANFS page.