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USS Henley (DD-391)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Henley (DD-391)

USS Henley (DD-391) was launched 12 January 1937 by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Beryl Henley Joslin, a collateral descendant of Captain Robert Henley; and commissioned 14 August 1937, Lt. Comdr. H. Y. McCown in command.

After shakedown in the Pacific and Hawaiian waters, USS Henley (DD-391) joined the Pacific Battle Force, Destroyer Division 11, at San Diego 12 September 1938. She departed San Diego 14 April 1941 to join the Fleet at Pearl Harbor. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, USS Henley (DD-391) was moored in Bast Loch with battle stations manned, a green sailor having sounded General Quarters instead of Quarters for Muster. USS Henley (DD-391) carried out convoy and antisubmarine duty, primarily in Australian waters, until departing Wellington 22 July 1942 to escort transports to Guadalcanal. As American forces stormed ashore in the Solomons 7 August, USS Henley (DD-391) patrolled on an ASW station, coming under fire from enemy planes but suffering no casualties and assisting in splashing two in the process.

On 3 October 1943 USS Henley (DD-391) was steaming with USS Reid and USS Smith on an offensive sweep off Finschafen when her skipper sighted two torpedoes heading for her. Split-second maneuvering permitted USS Henley (DD-391) to evade those two torpedoes; but a third was immediately sighted, closing too fast and too near to be avoided. USS Henley (DD-391) was struck on the port side, with the torpedo exploding in the number 1 fireroom, destroying her boilers, breaking her keel, and displacing her bow about 30 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the ship.

At 1829, with all her crew having abandoned ship, USS Henley (DD-391) went down, stern first Her companion DD's searched for the sub, then returned to rescue USS Henley (DD-391)'s survivors, who had lashed their life-rafts together and were using flashlights as signals. Eighteen officers and 225 men were rescued, with 1 officer and 14 men missing.

For a complete history of USS Henley (DD-391) please see its DANFS page.