From 12–18 August 1940, Madison continued to fit out after her christening. On 21 August, the ship conducted dock trials and then she underwent a series of builder’s trials (23 August, 26 August, 3 September, 5 September, 9 September, and 13–14 September), upon completion of which she received a machinery overhaul and adjustments from 16–30 September. She remained at the Boston Navy Yard until 11 November. During that time she calibrated her radio direction finder and ran the measured mile. She got underway for Newport, R.I., to begin her shakedown cruise, arriving the next day to load her allowance of torpedoes. Leaving on 13 November, she moved on to Norfolk, where she arrived on 15 November. She remained there until 20 November when she set a course bound for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, arriving on 23 November. The ship departed Guantánamo Bay on 4 December for Miami, Fla., reaching her destination on 6 December.
After a three-day port visit at Miami, Madison sailed for Norfolk, arriving at her destination on 11 December 1940 and completing her shakedown cruise. The destroyer received orders to escort the heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa (CA-37) as she transported Ambassador to Vichy France, Adm. William D. Leahy USN (Ret.), to Portugal en route to his diplomatic post. The ambassador embarked with his wife Louise at Norfolk on 22 December and the ships departed Hampton Roads on 23 December. Madison, along with Upshur (DD-144), escorted the cruiser until the destroyers received orders on 25 December to return to Norfolk, Madison entering port on 26 December. She then left the Virginia capes for the Washington Navy Yard on 28 December, arriving at her destination later that same day.
Spending New Year’s Day 1941 at Washington, the ship remained at the Navy Yard undergoing official inspections until getting underway on 13 January for Yorktown, Va., arriving later that day. On 15 January, Madison shifted to Norfolk where she remained until 20 January when she got underway for Charleston, S.C., reaching her destination the following day. After two days there, she stood out for Guantánamo Bay Bay. Arriving on 26 January, she remained just a short time, as the ship weighed anchor that same day and shifted to Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. With just a short stay at Culebra, the destroyer set a course for Port de France, Martinique, where she arrived the next day, 28 January. The ship remained in port at that French possession until 12 February, when she got underway to return to Culebra, arriving the next day. Madison remained off Culebra conducting training until 8 March, when she steamed for a return to Hampton Roads. Arriving on 13 March, the ship remained there until 15 March when she got underway for Newport. She arrived on 16 March and remained there until 23 March when she got underway to conduct the Cape Ann Patrol. She returned to Newport on 25 March and then shifted to the Boston Navy Yard on 28 March, where she remained until 23 April, when she returned to Newport. Following a little less than a month at the Norfolk Navy Yard (26 May–17 June), she loaded ammunition and on 18 June got underway for Plantation Flats, Va., returning to Norfolk later that same day. The next day, 19 June, she departed bound for Charleston, S.C. where she arrived on 20 June. Madison departed on 22 June escorting the battleship New York (BB-34) to Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, arriving there five days later. Leaving Placentia Bay in her wake on 29 June, she set course for Boston, reaching her destination on 3 July. Remaining there until 26 July, the destroyer departed to conduct training and moved on to Newport on 28 July.
On 5 August 1941, Madison shifted to Vineyard Sound. That same day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt embarked in the heavy cruiser Augusta (CA-31), and the destroyer screened the presidential flagship as she proceeded to Argentia. The ships arrived at Ship Harbour, Placentia Bay, and anchored on 7 August, where the President awaited the arrival of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales, carrying Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill for the Atlantic Conference. The British warship arrived on 9 August. After the conclusion of the conference between the two leaders, Prince of Wales departed on 12 August. Madison, in company with Augusta, moved to the waters off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, then to Blue Hill Bay, Maine, and then Rockland, Maine, on 14 August. The next day [15 August], she stood out of Casco Bay, Maine, and on 16 August, she proceeded to Portland, Maine, before leaving the next day, 17 August, to return to Argentia, where she arrived on the 19th.
Madison remained at Argentia until 31 August 1941 when she departed in company with Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 14 escorting Norwalk and Merrimack bound for Iceland. The merchant ships and their escorts reached Reykjavik on 7 September and the destroyer remained there until 11 September when she shifted to Hvalfjordur, Iceland. There until 15 September she got underway in concert with DesDiv 14 to conduct anti-submarine patrols off Iceland. She returned to Hvalfjordur on 20 September before returning to Reykjavik on the 22nd. She remained there until departing on 24 September to conduct convoy escorts with DesDiv 14.
From 24 September to 2 October 1941, the destroyer escorted convoys in the North Atlantic. These included ON-18 from Iceland to Newfoundland (24 September–2 October); HX-154 from Newfoundland to Iceland (12–19 October); ON-30 from Iceland to Newfoundland (2-9 November) during which she spotted a bleeding whale in the wake of a depth charge attack carried out on 7 November by three of her sister ships in Task Unit 4.1.2; and HX-162 from Newfoundland to Iceland (29 November–7 December), during which she suffered damage in a severe storm on 1 December that scattered the 35 merchantmen for the ensuing days. With the U.S. declarations of war in December 1941, Madison operated with DesDiv 14 and Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 7 attached to the Atlantic Fleet. She continued to perform convoy and patrol duty in North Atlantic waters into 1942. From 10-18 January, she escorted HX-169 from Newfoundland to Iceland, then returned to Newfoundland shepherding ON-59 (29 January–5 February).
On 16 February 1942, while in company with Broome (DD-210), escorting the carrier Wasp (CV-7) in the waters off Maine, she made an underwater sound contact and immediately launched a depth charge attack which was followed by a sound search throughout the remainder of that day and to 0600 the next morning, without success. Returning to Casco Bay, she got underway in the afternoon of 17 February, proceeding independently to Norfolk. Three days later, 20 February, she sortied in company with ammunition ship Shasta (AE-6), destroyer Bainbridge (DD-246), and the oilers Kennebec (AO-36) and Winooski (AO-38) bound for Louisiana.
On the evening of 22 February 1942, Madison sighted a burning vessel and went to her assistance, but before she could get there, however, the ship sank. Arriving at the point of sinking, the destroyer picked up a sound contact and made a depth charge attack with negative results. Rejoining the other ships, she proceeded to New Orleans. During the remainder of February and to 26 March, she steamed on convoy duty between New Orleans; Key West, Fla; Boston; and Casco Bay.
On 26 March 1942, Madison cleared Casco Bay with Task Force (TF) 39, steaming in company with battleship Washington (BB-56), carrier Wasp, heavy cruisers Tuscaloosa and Wichita (CA-45), and the destroyers Wainwright (DD-419), Plunkett (DD-431), Wilson (DD-408), Lang (DD-399), and Sterett (DD-407). The following day at 1058, a wave swept Rear Adm. John W. Wilcox, Jr., Commander, TF 39 over the side. Rear Adm. Robert C. Giffen, Commander, Cruiser Division (CruDiv) 7, assumed command and organized a search that included Wasp launching four aircraft to aid in the search. All efforts to locate the admiral, however, proved fruitless and the formation continued on its way. On 1 April, Wainwright reported a sound contact, and she and Wilson made a depth charge attack with indecisive results. Three days later, on 4 April, the task force steamed into Scapa Flow and joined the Home Fleet of the Royal Navy. For the remainder of April, she operated with elements of the British Fleet steaming from Greenock, Scotland, to the Mediterranean Sea.
Madison formed a part of Force “W”, the units that served as the screen for Operation Calendar, the convoy to ferry desperately needed Supermarine Spitfires to the beleaguered island of Malta. The other units in that force included the battlecruiser HMS Renown, the anti-aircraft cruisers HMS Cairo and HMS Charybdis and the destroyers Madison and Lang. Wasp and her escorts passed through the Straits of Gibraltar under cover of the pre-dawn darkness on 19 April, avoiding the possibility of being discovered by Axis agents. At the end of the mid watch, 0400 on 20 April, Wasp positioned 11 Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters on her deck and quickly launched them to form a combat air patrol (CAP) over Force "W". Meanwhile, the Spitfires warmed up on the hangar deck. With the Wildcats patrolling overhead, the after elevator brought up the Spitfires singly. After being spotted spotted for launch, each received the go-ahead to take off. One by one, they roared down the deck and took off for Malta. With the launch complete, Wasp and her escort retired toward Gibraltar.
While operating off Gibraltar on 22 April 1942, Madison picked up a submarine contact and dropped eight depth charges with negative results. Six days later, on 28 April, the destroyer sailed out of Scapa Flow to screen a Russian convoy route. She remained on patrol stations northeast of Iceland until 4 May, when she received relief. Then, in company with TF 99, Washington, Wichita, Tuscaloosa, Wainwright, Madison, Plunkett, and Wilson, the destroyer proceeded to Hvalfjordur, where she remained for six days and then reported to Commander, TF 38. She got underway on 12 May with New York, Wilson and Plunkett for New York. With the safe arrival at their destination, Wilson proceeded to Norfolk, while Madison steamed to Boston, Plunkett having been detached from the formation on 14 May. Madison arrived at the Boston Navy Yard on 21 May and spent the remainder of the month undergoing a minor overhaul.
Leaving the Navy Yard with DesRon 7, she steamed to Cape Henlopen, Del., to join battleship South Dakota (BB-57) and the destroyers Charles F. Hughes (DD-428) and Hilary P. Jones (DD-427). En route, she rescued thirteen officers and men in a lifeboat from the Norwegian ship Berganger, that had been torpedoed off Cape Cod, Mass., by U-578 (Korvettenkapitän Ernst-August Rehwinkel) on 2 June 1942. Joining South Dakota, Charles F. Hughes, and Hilary P. Jones on the morning of 5 June, Madison steamed in company to Norfolk, arriving there the following day. On the 8th, she Madison got underway to check her degaussing gear and compensate for her magnetic compass on the Wolf Trap, Va., range before returning to Norfolk. On 10 June, Madison, as part of DesDiv 14, sailed with TF 39, reaching Limon Bay, Panama, on 17 June. Madison and Plunkett secured pierside at Cristobal, Panama, and the task force dissolved. On 18 June, Madison departed Limon Bay at 1530 escorting a convoy bound to Key West. The next day, 19 June, she received orders detaching her and re-routing her to Galveston, Texas, in order to escort tankers there. She arrived on 22 June and having rendezvoused with the oilers Housatonic (AO-35) and Mattaponi (AO-41), the three departed on 23 June for Norfolk, where they arrived without incident on 28 June.
Madison then underwent an upkeep and overhaul period at Norfolk (1–8 July 1942), upon completion of which she proceeded through the swept channels off Cape Henry, Va., to shepherd oiler Salamonie (AO-26) to Iceland. On 16 July, the destroyer was detached from Salamonie at Reykjavik, and moved on to Hvalfjordur to fuel from Mattole (AO-17). On 17 July, she returned to Reykjavik and rendezvoused with Chicopee (AO-34) to escort her to Norfolk, making port without incident on 25 July. Detached from Chicopee and TF 39 and receiving orders to report to the New York Navy Yard, Madison arrived there on 26 July to begin an overhaul.
On 6 August 1942, Madison departed New York as part of DesDiv14, within TF 38, escorting convoy AT-18 with troops and equipment embarked for Iceland and the United Kingdom. The ships rendezvoused with vessels that had sortied from Halifax, Nova Scotia, proceeding toward Britain. On 16 August, the destroyer made radar contact with British convoy DS-31 which then escorted two of the convoy’s ships to Iceland. Madison escorted the convoy’s ships into the Irish Sea on 17 August and when released from escort duty at Liverpool, departed for Londonderry with DesDiv 14. The division, Madison, Lansdale (DD-426), Charles F. Hughes, and Hilary P. Jones, arrived at Londonderry on 18 August. From 20–23 August, Madison conducted anti-submarine warfare training and gunnery practice off Lough Foyle, Northern Ireland, and then got underway bound for Greenock on 24 August. Arriving that same day, she remained there until 27 August, when she departed with battleship Arkansas (BB-33), light cruiser Brooklyn (CL-40), the transports West Point (AP-23) and Wakefield (AP-21), the War Shipping Administration U.S.-registry troopship Monterey, destroyer Barry (DD-248), and DesRon 7, bound for New York. During the passage, Plunkett (DD-431) conducted a depth charge attack on a suspected submarine contact, but saw no positive result.
On the evening of 3 September 1942, while escorting a group of ships from Greenock, a fire broke out on board Wakefield. Several of the ships in convoy TA-18 stood by the distressed transport and took off passengers while the crew remained to combat the fire. With the fire out of control at 2000, the crew received the order to abandon ship. Madison rescued the captain, executive officer, and 78 officers and men and remained in the vicinity of the burning ship throughout the night. The next morning, the captain, executive officer, and a few others boarded Wakefield and concluded that, despite the extensive damage, towing the crippled vessel to port was possible. Madison remained in the vicinity awaiting the arrival of ships to tow and escort Wakefield to port. Shortly after daylight on the morning of 5 September, the transport’s captain and a salvage party transferred to Radford (DD-446) which had joined them during the night. At noon, Madison detached and proceeded to New York with the remainder of the survivors, and upon arrival turned them over to the Coast Guard.
After an overhaul period in the New York Navy Yard, she escorted light cruiser Columbia (CL-56) to Norfolk (15–16 September 1942) and then returned to New York escorting the British troopship Aquitania (18–19 September). Upon completing that assignment, she received her release from convoy duty and anchored with Charles F. Hughes at Gravesend Bay, N.Y. On 21 September, the destroyer moved to New London, Conn., in company with Charles F. Hughes, then undertook a brief training period operating with Shad (SS-235) on anti-submarine training cruises in Long Island Sound (21–22 September). The destroyer then shifted to Brooklyn, N.Y. and moored to the 33rd Street Pier on 23 September. She then got underway on 26 September for Halifax. Arriving 28 September, Madison rendezvoused with convoy AT-23 carrying troops and equipment to Great Britain and all the ships departed the next day, 29 September. With some elements detached from the convoy off the Isle of Arran, Scotland earlier in the day, Madison and Hilary P. Jones along with Arkansas arrived with the rest of the convoy at Greenock at 2000 on 6 October. The destroyer then got underway in company with Hilary P. Jones and Arkansas on 9 October.
They commenced their return to New York on 10 October 1942, but on 14 October, Madison, Hilary P. Jones, and Lansdale received a change of orders, being detached from the formation for Casco Bay, Maine in order to escort Indiana (BB-58) to Norfolk. The destroyers arrived at Casco Bay on 18 October and the next day, 19 October, sailed in company with Indiana. On 20 October, however, Madison detached and proceeded with Hilary P. Jones to New York for a limited availability (21–26 October). On 27 October, Madison, in concert with Hilary P. Jones, Lansdale, and Niblack (DD-424), conducted division tactics en route to New London, arriving later that day. The ships then conducted anti-submarine and anti-aircraft training in the New London Area (28–29 October), after which DesDiv 14, with Nicholson (DD-442) attached, departed New London for New York. Conducting division tactics en route, they arrived later in the day. Madison then received orders to be ready for sea by midnight on 31 October.
On 2 November 1942, Madison departed New York as part of TF 38, Arkansas, DesRon 7 (less Benson (DD-421), plus Nicholson (DD-442)), and British destroyers HMS Duncan (D.99) and HMS Anthony (H.40), to cover the sortie of convoy UGF-2 consisting of 25 troop transports and cargo vessels bound for Vichy French-held North Africa as part of Operation Torch. En route, the ships of the convoy and their escorts conducted tactical maneuvers.
On 8 November 1942, Madison fueled from Chicopee (AO-34) while underway and also received news of the initial Torch landings. On 12 November, dispatched to intercept British escorts and lead them to the convoy, Madison made contact with corvette HMS Jonquil (K.68). On 17 November, the ships rendezvoused off Casablanca, French Morocco, and the next day, 18 November, they entered Casablanca harbor while Madison patrolled to cover their arrival. Relieved on 19 November, she anchored that same day at Casablanca, whence she conducted patrols (21–24 November). Having moored in the harbor from 25–27 November, she got underway to conduct anti-submarine sweeps on 28 November and then on 30 November rendezvoused with UGS-2. On 1 December she escorted arriving convoy ships into Casablanca. She remained there from 2–10 December before she moved to Safi, Morocco, on 11 December to escort Benjamin Rush back to Casablanca. Having met Benjamin Rush on 12 December, both ships arrived at Casablanca on 13 December.
Madison conducted patrols on 18 December 1942, and on 22 December rendezvoused with the TF 37 as it escorted GUS-2. After assembling that same day, the convoy departed bound for the United States. Madison arrived at New York on 10 January 1943 and with that arrival, the task force dissolved. The destroyer then underwent a routine overhaul (11-20 January) and then conducted training in Long Island Sound (21-30 January).
Madison returned to New York for further assignment. TF 99, DesDiv 14, stood up on 30 January 1943, consisted of Lansdale, Hilary P. Jones, Charles F. Hughes, and Madison. The group departed for Londonderry and made the passage without incident, arriving in Northern Ireland on 7 February. Eight days later, on 15 February, in company with DesDiv 14 and the 42nd Escort Group, Madison got underway to rendezvous with convoy UC-1 and the British Escort Group 44 bound from Liverpool, England, to Curaçao, Netherlands West Indies. The German wolfpack Rochen, consisting of eight U-boats, U-43, U-66, U-87, U-202, U-218, U-504, U-521, and U-558, along with three additional U-boats, U-382, U-522, and U-569, attacked the convoy on 23 February. The attack saw five merchant ships (British Fortitude, Empire Norseman, Esso Baton Rouge, Athelprincess, and Murena) torpedoed; three (Empire Norseman, Esso Baton Rouge, Athelprincess) sank. The escorts made depth charge attacks with unknown results. The next day, Charles F. Hughes, Lansdale, and Hilary P. Jones engaged six enemy submarines on the surface. Two of the submarines were damaged, and one was probably sunk. After that encounter there were no further incidents and the convoy proceeded to Curaçao arriving there on 6 March.
Madison, in company with DesDiv 14 operating with Task Group (TG) 21.6 and TF 62, continued to escort convoys of merchant ships. These included CU-1 from Curaçao to Liverpool (20 March–1 April); UC-2 from Liverpool to Curaçao (9–23 April); CU-2 from Curaçao to Liverpool (21 May–5 June); UC-3 from Liverpool to Curaçao (10–26 June); CU-3 from Curaçao to Greenock (11–24 July); UC-3A from Liverpool to Curaçao (30 July–10 August 1943); CU-4 from Curaçao to Liverpool (26 August–9 September); and UC-4 from Liverpool to Curaçao (15–27 September 1943). On 1 October 1943 Madison departed Curaçao as part of DesDiv 14 and TG 21.6 and continued shepherding UC-4 to New York. The convoy arrived at its destination on 7 October. After being moored for a time at Gravesend Bay, the destroyer entered drydock at the New York Navy Yard until 19 October.
Madison loaded ammunition at Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) Iona Island, N.Y. on 22 October 1943. The next day, she sailed for Casco Bay, conducting calibrations and training en route, reaching her destination 26 October to moor alongside destroyer tender Denebola (AD-12), after which she conducted further equipment checks and training in Casco Bay (27-28 October). She then sailed for Norfolk on 29 October, arriving on 1 November.
On 3 November 1943, convoy UGS-23 began to assemble in Hampton Roads, and it stood out for Casablanca the next day. The convoy arrived at its destination on 21 November and Madison was detached there on 22 November. She remained at Casablanca until 29 November, when she, as a part of TF 62, escorted convoy GUS-22, setting course for the United States. The destroyer arrived at New York with the respective section of the convoy on 17 December. On that date the TF dissolved and Madison went into dry dock to begin the repairs and alterations that carried her through the end of the year 1943.
With her repairs and training completed, Madison steamed to Norfolk and joined the light cruiser Philadelphia (CL-41) and her old division-mate Hilary P. Jones en route to the Mediterranean, and assignment to TF 86. Arriving at Oran, Algeria, on 30 January 1944, she then got underway on 1 February to conduct gunnery exercises. The next day, 2 February, she joined Philadelphia and Hilary P. Jones for a practice shore bombardment off Arzew, Algeria, before she proceeded to Algiers, Algeria. The destroyer then returned to Oran on 5 February where she moored alongside Vulcan (AR-5) for tender availability that included repairs to her main battery director. With that work complete, the ship then transported Commander DesDiv 7 to Algiers on 9 February.
On 10 February 1944, Madison conducted additional gunnery exercises and the next day, 11 February, sailed for Naples, Italy, as part of TG 81.6. Madison arrived at her destination on 13 February and remained there until the 16th when she shifted to Pozzuoli Bay, Italy. Remaining there on 17 February, she moved to Anzio for anti-submarine patrolling. On 19 February, she departed Anzio with Hilary P. Jones to escort Philadelphia. With escort duties completed on 20 February, the destroyer made a sound contact while returning to Anzio. She dropped two full patterns of depth charges with negative results. She then returned to her screening duties off Anzio on 21 February. On 22-23 February 1944, Madison provided anti-submarine patrolling and anti-aircraft protection for Allied ships anchored at Anzio then proceeded to Naples where she anchored before shifting to Castellammare Bay, Italy on 24 February. She then returned to Anzio to screen the Allied ships there (26-28 February) before moving to Naples.
On 2 March 1944, the destroyer moved to Capri where she remained until she shifted back to an anchorage in the bay at Naples on 4 March. The next day, 5 March, she returned to Anzio, accompanied by Livermore (DD-429), to again screen the Allied shipping there until 10 March when she returned to Naples. The destroyer conducted screening duty at Anzio on 15 March. On 17 March, the destroyer expended eleven depth charges on a sound contact believed to be a submarine. Other destroyers joined in the attack, but there was no confirmation of any results. The search for an enemy submarine continued the next day, but there was no contact. On 19 March, while still engaged in screening operations, Madison closed at high speed with a radar contact believed to be an enemy E-boat. The destroyer abandoned the chase when she approached a minefield. The next day, 20 March, she again gave chase to a radar contact believed to be hostile. While she fired her 5-inch batteries, she lost contact. On 21 March, she continued to conduct anti-submarine and anti-E-boat patrolling off Anzio and then moved to the Isla di Ponza area with the British destroyer HMS Urchin (R.99) to conduct an anti-submarine sweep. The next day, 22 March, she escorted a convoy of tank landing ships (LST) and infantry landing craft (LCI) to Naples and then after refueling, moved on to Palermo, Sicily, arriving on 23 March. Madison got underway for a return to Anzio on 25 March and when she arrived on 26 March, the destroyer continued her anti-submarine and anti-E-boat patrolling. She continued to patrol until 31 March, when she proceeded to Naples and anchored in the bay.
She remained there until 3 April 1944 when she got underway with Livermore for Anzio. Arriving in the evening, she moved to the Tiber River to investigate a surface radar contact. The next day, 4 April, Madison and Livermore continued to patrol off Anzio before returning to Naples to anchor in the bay. The two destroyers departed Naples on 6 April, escorting storeship Polaris (AF-11) to Palermo. After a day at Palermo, the three ships departed in the evening of 8 April en route to Bizerte, Tunisia, and arrived on 9 April. They then departed on 10 April, en route to Oran where they arrived and moored at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria on 12 April. That same day, Madison got underway and rendezvoused with Philadelphia, MacKenzie (DD-614), and Kendrick (DD-612) to participate in a shore bombardment exercise, upon completion of which she returned to Mers-el-Kebir to undergo a tender availability alongside Vulcan until 21 April. She got underway on 22 April along with Livermore, HMS Usk (K.295) and the Polish destroyer Garland escorting the 16 ships of UGS-38 from Oran to Naples. En route, Madison conducted test firing of her newly installed 20- and 40-millimeter guns. The convoy anchored at Naples on 26 April. Later that day Madison departed bound for Algiers, arriving on 27 April. Moored at Algiers on 28 April, the destroyer embarked the 238 survivors of Lansdale, that had been sunk by an aerial torpedo in German attacks on UGS-38 eight days before, and transported them to Mers-el-Kebir, disembarking them after arriving later that day.
Madison then got underway on 30 April 1944, escorting convoy NSF-21 to Naples from Oran, arriving on 3 May. A day later, 4 May, she was underway escorting a convoy to Oran. Arriving at Mers-el-Kebir on 7 May, she remained there until 17 May, when she got underway with Woolsey (DD-437), Benson (DD-421), and Ludlow (DD-438) to participate in a hunt for a German U-boat. An aircraft sighted the submarine on 18 May and on 19 May, Niblack (DD-424) and Ludlow engaged what proved to be U-960, sinking her; Woolsey, Madison, and Ludlow picked up the survivors. Afterward, Madison returned to Mers-el-Kebir. She got underway on 21 May, steaming with Hilary P. Jones, to conduct a patrol in the Gulf of Oran. While deployed, the destroyers rendezvoused with MKF-31 and escorted it into port. They then joined UGS-41 as escorts. The destroyers detached from UGS-41 on 23 May, returned to Oran, and there, joined NSF-23 bound for Naples. Detached on 24 May, Madison returned to Mers-el-Kebir. She then got underway on 26 May to conduct exercises with Charles F. Hughes and returning the next day to Mers-el-Kebir on 27 May. The following day, 28 May, she again got underway to escort a convoy but detached the next day and returned to Mers-el-Kebir.
Madison went into dry dock at Mers-el-Kebir on 4 June 1944. She then conducted exercises on 6 June before shifting to Arzew, Algeria. She then returned to Mers-el-Kebir the next day, 7 June. Joining TF 64 to escort UGS-43 on 9 June, but she detached on 11 June and became an escort for SNF-24. The destroyer then detached from that escort tasking to escort the British destroyer HMS Aldenham (L.22) to Algiers on 12 June. She then moved on to Mers-el-Kebir, where she remained until 18 June. Along with Livermore, Madison got underway on 19 June 1944 to rendezvous with TF 65 escorting UGS-44. Both escorts detached from UGS-44 and proceeded to Oran on 21 June. From 22 June to 25 June, Madison, conducted trials and training exercises then returned to Mers-el-Kebir. With Livermore, the destroyer deployed on 28 June to rendezvous with TF 66 in order to escort UGS-45.
Madison detached from TF 66 on 1 July 1944 and attached that same day to TF 65 escorting GUS-45, an assignment that lasted only one day as she was detached from TF 65 on 3 July to proceed to Mers-el-Kebir. She then got underway with Kearny (DD-432) escorting Samarta to Naples. That same day Madison requested relief and received orders to proceed to Mers-el-Kebir. After several days, she got underway for degaussing calibration at Arzew on 9 July. She moored at Arzew (10–11 July) and moved to Oran on 12 July for drydocking. She then got underway with Niblack on 14 July to screen the escort carrier Tulagi (CVE-72) during flight operations. She then reprised those activities the next day, 15 July, with Kasaan Bay (CVE-69) before she returned to Mers-el-Kebir. Upon her return, Madison underwent an availability with Vulcan (16-19 July), then got underway on 20 July to rendezvous with TF 61 to escort UGS-47. She detached from the task force on 22 July to return to Mers-el-Kebir, where she arrived on 24 July before she got underway with Nields (DD-616), en route to Malta for duty with Commander, TF 86.
Madison arrived at Valetta, Malta, on 26 July 1944 and moored there from 27-29 July. She got underway with Nields to screen Philadelphia during an exercise off Gozo Island, Malta, on 30 July. The destroyers continued training off the Maltese coast on 31 July before anchoring at Marsalokk Anchorage, Malta, later in the day. She then got underway with Philadelphia on 1 August, bound for Palermo, arriving on 2 August and remaining there until 6 August, when she shifted to Salerno Bay off Castellabate, Italy, and reported for duty to Commander, TG 86.3. Later that day, the destroyer escorted an assault force for an amphibious exercise in the Gulf of Gaeta in preparation for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. The next day, 8 August, she continued to cover the landing exercise before returning to Naples where she remained until 12 August, when she shifted to Castellamare Bay, Italy. On 13 August, Madison got underway in company with destroyers Baldwin (DD-624) and Carmick (DD-493) and the escort vessels Haines (DE-792) and Marsh (DE-699), bound for the Assault Area where she arrived at daybreak on 15 August. After her arrival, Madison detached and took up a patrolling station in an anti-submarine screen.
Five days later, on 20 August 1944, she was with TG 86.3, screening Omaha (CL-4) and Nevada (BB-36) while the latter shelled targets in the Toulon area. She returned to the fire support area off Cape Sicie, France, the next day, 21 August. On 27 August she joined TF 86 off Marseilles harbor and stood by as a fire support ship for minesweepers against shore batteries. That afternoon she opened up with a two-hour barrage that silenced the gun emplacements on Cape Croisette. The following afternoon while supporting minesweepers in the Bay of Marseilles, a boat bearing nine German military personnel came alongside waving a white flag and asked to come on board to discuss surrender terms for approximately 850 men stationed on the Isle d' If, Isle de Ratonneau, and the Isle de Pomeques. They accepted the terms of unconditional surrender presented to them in the name of Naval Commander, Western Task Forces. On 30 August, Madison stood by in the Bay of Marseilles while infantry landing craft embarked 881 prisoners. When the landing craft departed, the destroyer took up her patrol south of Marseilles.
After escorting Brooklyn to Naples, she proceeded to the fire support area off Menton, France for duty with Task Group 86.5, to provide fire support for the troops of the U.S. Army’s First Airborne Task Force. While Allied ships operated in the Menton area, the enemy introduced a new concept in naval warfare, the human torpedo. On the morning of 10 September 1944 while closing on Cape Mortola for a firing mission, Madison spotted one of those and attacked it with machine gun fire and depth charges. Throughout the remainder of the morning, Madison encountered and destroyed four more human torpedoes. With four certain "kills" and one probable on her record, Madison became the preeminent human torpedo shooter of the destroyer fleet. Afterward she participated in seven shore bombardment missions during the remainder of the day. She remained in the waters off Southern France for three and one half months operating between Menton, France and Bordighera, Italy, rendering fire support for the U.S. Army First Airborne Task Force in addition to conducting anti-submarine patrols and acting as an escort. After a brief stay at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, and having been detached from the Eighth Fleet on 30 December, she got underway the next day, 31 December, in company with Commander, TF 68 and Mervine (DD-489), Hilary P. Jones, and Jouett (DD-396) escorting the seven ships of GUF-18 from Oran to the United States.
Upon the completion of her mission, Madison arrived at NAD Earle, N.J. on 11 January 1945 for ammunition offload before progressing to Brooklyn, where she underwent a 27-day availability. On 10 February, she got underway to calibrate her degaussing gear and then moved on NAD Earle for ammunition onload, moving on to Brooklyn when completed. She then got underway to Boston Navy Yard on 13 February. Undergoing further maintenance from 14-16 February, she then got underway for trials to Rockland, Maine, before returning to Boston the next day, 18 February. She then shifted to Casco Bay on 20 February, conducting trials and calibrations en route. From 21-23 February, the destroyer conducted additional trials in Casco Bay before setting a course to Norfolk, where she arrived on 25 February. UGS-77 commenced assembling at Hampton Roads on 27 February and departed for the Mediterranean. The convoy rendezvoused with the New York section of the convoy on 28 February, and continued on its designated route. The convoy cleared Gibraltar on 14 March, and on 15 March, Madison received relief from her escort duties and moved to Mers-el-Kebir. The destroyer then got underway with TG 60.2 on 23 March to escort GUS-79 from Oran to the United States. On 8 April, Madison and Hilary P. Jones detached from the convoy and the next day, 9 April, entered the swept channel into New York. She immediately entered dry dock and remained there undergoing maintenance until 13 April. The ship then got underway bound for Casco Bay on 15 April, but on 17 April moored at Melville, R.I. and the next day, 18 April, returned to New York.
On 21 April 1945, after having been joined by the destroyers Charles F. Hughes, Trippe (DD-403), Wainwright (DD-419), Satterlee (DD-626), and Herndon (DD-638), the destroyer departed with this group for Cristobal and transited the Panama Canal en route to San Diego, Calif. From San Diego the group, minus Trippe, steamed to rendezvous with Frank Knox (DD-742) and then on to Pearl Harbor. Madison remained in Hawaiian waters undergoing training until 18 June at which time she received orders to proceed to Saipan in the Marianas Islands, arriving there ten days later, on 28 June. From Saipan she steamed singly to Guam and reported for temporary duty patrolling off Agana Bay, Guam, with TU 94.7.1. On 8 July, Madison and George (DE-697) proceeded to Ulithi. Madison escorted a convoy to Okinawa and later, on her return to Ulithi, took up a picket station. Madison made a sonar contact on 11 July 1945 and made four attacks with depth charges with negative results. The destroyer then moved to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, arriving on 17 July. After several days, she got underway escorting convoy OKU-14 to Ulithi, and entered port on 26 July. After remaining there for several days, Madison began patrolling her picket station 50 miles southwest of Ulithi on 31 July.
While patrolling sector 6-Echo at 1600 on 2 August 1945, Madison, along with Ralph Talbot (DD-390) received orders to proceed “at best speed” to a rendezvous position. Within five minutes, the ship got underway at flank speed to join the rescue group searching for survivors of the ill-fated Indianapolis (CA-35). The Japanese submarine I-58 (Lt. Cmdr. Hashimoto Mochitsura), attacked Indianapolis, which had been steaming independently from Guam to Leyte, at 0014 on 30 July. After taking two torpedoes in her starboard side, the cruiser sank in twelve minutes. The destroyer approached the rendezvous in the early morning of 3 August. Madison slowed and set a special lookout at 0400, arriving on the scene 30 minutes later.
High speed transport Bassett (APD-73) and escort vessel Dufilho (DE-423) were actively engaged in recovering survivors from the water. At daybreak, 0630, the ships present included Madison, Ralph Talbot, and Dufilho. Bassett had already picked up 150 survivors and received orders to proceed to Leyte. There were also three Consolidated PBY Catalinas and 2 PV-1 Lockheed Venturas aloft. At 0700 the search group increased with the arrival of Cecil J. Doyle (DD-368) and two additional Catalinas. At 1202 Madison received a message that Ringness (DE-590) had recovered Capt. Charles B. McVay III, the commanding officer of Indianapolis. At 1300 Cecil J. Doyle, detached from the search, proceeded to Peleliu with 93 survivors. At 1431 the searching vessels formed a scouting line on course 135º at 15 knots to try and locate more survivors. At 1600 Ringness and Register (APD-92) detached from the search and proceeded to Peleliu. Madison recovered three sets of remains during her search on 3 August. Three ships Madison, Ralph Talbot, and Dufilho, continued the search into the next day. On 4 August, at 0600, Alvin C. Cockrell and Aylwin (DD-355) joined the search as Station 4. Madison served as the reference point, while Ralph Talbot was Station 1, and Dufilho was Station 3, and Helm (DD-388) was Station 2. These ships coordinated with aircraft searching each of their respective stations. At 0600 on 5 August, Madison went to general quarters. At 0630 French (DE-367) joined while the group continued to seek Indianapolis survivors in those waters. At 1500, Madison and Ralph Talbot departed the search and Madison returned to Ulithi, where she arrived on 6 August.
Madison remained there until getting underway on 9 August 1945 with Task Unit (TU) 90.18.17, escorted UOK-46 from Ulithi to Okinawa, arriving on 14 August. The destroyer then got underway to escort OKU-20 as a part of TU 95.5.57. On 19 August 1945, Doherty (DE-14) detached and proceeded independently to Guam, Marianas. The next day, Tallulah (AO-50), detached as well. On 21 August the Saipan section of the convoy detached and proceeded separately under escort by Trippe and Marsh. On 23 August, Madison, along with the convoy, entered the harbor at Ulithi. The next day, 24 August, Madison got underway in company with DesDiv 13 minus Hilary P. Jones, to rendezvous with TG 33.1. The division affected that rendezvous on 28 August and set course for Tokyo, Japan. Joined by Burke (APD-65) and PC-466, TG 33.1 entered Tokyo Bay and passed abeam of the battleship Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender of Imperial Japan on 2 September 1945.
On 4 September 1945, Madison got underway in company with Benson and Mayo (DD-422) to escort Transport Squadron (TransRon) 16 from Tokyo to Guam. While en route on 5 September, the destroyer expended 80 rounds of 40 millimeter and 630 rounds of 20 millimeter ammunition to sink a floating mine. The convoy received orders modifying its destination to Leyte Gulf, Philippines, making arrival there on 11 September. That same day, Madison proceeded independently to San Pedro Bay and moored to a tanker to refuel. She then received orders on 12 September to proceed to Manila in company with Benson and Mayo. They reached Manila on 14 September, and she remained there until 20 September. Having received orders to escort the 18 medium landing ships (LSM) of LSM Flotilla 14, the destroyer departed bound for Tokyo. En route on 22 September, she expended 28 rounds of 5-inch/38 ammunition in addition to 40 millimeter and 20 millimeter rounds to sink a large floating pontoon barge. The convoy entered Tokyo Bay on 27 September and the task unit dissolved. She remained at Tokyo Bay until 1 October, when she got underway in company with TU 32.6.12 to escort amphibious craft to Senami, Honshu, Japan. While various elements of the task unit detached, Madison continued on to Senami on 2 October. The destroyer arrived with her charges at Senami on 7 October and at 1115 the amphibious craft commenced landing units from the XIVth U.S. Army Corps. The ship arrived at Yokosuka on 16 October, and two days later began a three-day availability for repairs and upkeep. She remained there through 4 November when she refueled and shifted to Tokyo Bay. Madison received orders to get underway for a return to the U.S. on 5 November. In company with DesDiv 13, she departed Tokyo Bay and with brief stops at Pearl Harbor and San Diego, Calif., the destroyer reached her final destination, the Charleston [S.C.] Naval Shipyard, on 7 December 1945.
The Navy placed Madison out of commission in reserve on 13 March 1946 at Charleston and later moved her to Orange, Texas. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1968, and she was later sunk as a target about 85 miles due east of St. Augustine, Fla., on 14 October 1969.
Madison received five battle stars for her World War II service.
Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Lt. Cmdr. Thomas E. Boyce 6 August 1940–25 July 1941
Lt. Cmdr. William B. Ammon 25 July 1941–23 October 1942
Lt. Cmdr. James W. Hager 23 October 1942–8 January 1944
Cmdr. Daniel A. Stuart 8 January 1944–22 January 1945
Cmdr. Donald W. Todd 22 January 1945–13 March 1946
Christopher B. Havern, Sr.
24 July 2016