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USS Buck (DD-420)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Buck (DD-420)

USS Buck (DD-420) was launched 22 May 1939 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Julius C. Townsend, wife of Rear Admiral Townsend, and commissioned 15 May 1940, Lieutenant Commander Horace C. Robison in command.

After shakedown training, USS Buck (DD-420) joined the Atlantic Fleet for a brief period before augmenting the Pacific Fleet from February until June 1941. On 1 July, as part of Task Force (TF) 19, Buck got underway for Argentia, Newfoundland, where she joined a convoy carrying the First Marine Brigade (Provisional) to Reykjavik, Iceland. 

With the entry of the United States into World War II USS Buck (DD-420) continued to serve as a convoy escort, steaming from the seaports of the eastern United States to ports in Newfoundland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, North Africa, and the Caribbean. As a convoy escort warship, Buck screened ships from enemy attack, pursued unidentified surface and undewater contacts and shepherded merchantmen to keep them in formation while underway. Assigned to the Western Naval Task Force on 8 July, USS Buck (DD-420) performed bombardment, screening, and patrol duties during Operation "Husky," the invasion of Sicily (10 July 1943). On 10 July, the destroyer escorted a landing convoy of LCTs to the beach before retiring to escort follow-on convoys to Sicily. 

After escorting a convoy back to the United States, USS Buck (DD-420) returned to the Mediterranean in late September 1943 in support of Operation "Avalance," the landings at Anzio, Italy. Following the landings, the destroyer patrolled off the coast to protect the delivery of reinforcements and supplies to southern Italy. While on patrol off Salerno, Italy, on 9 October, USS Buck (DD-420) was ambushed just after midnight by German submarine U-616 and hit forward starboard by at least one and possibly two torpedoes. The warship flooded quickly, settling down forward and sinking within four minutes. Although most of the depth charges were set to safe before the destroyer was abandoned, a severe underwater explosion killed and wounded sailors in the water. Spotted by friendly aircraft the next morning, 97 survivors were rescued by Gleaves (DD-423) and the British LCT-170 the following evening.

For a complete history of USS Buck (DD-420) please see its DANFS page.