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USS Downes (DD-375)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Downes (DD-375)

USS Downes (DD-375) was launched 22 April 1936 by Norfolk Navy Yard; sponsored by Miss S. F. Downes, descendant of Captain Downes; and commissioned 15 January 1937, Commander C. H. Roper in command.

USS Downes (DD-375) reached San Diego from Norfolk 24 November 1937, and based there for exercises along the west coast, in the Caribbean, and in the Hawaiian Islands until April 1940, when Pearl Harbor became her home port. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, USS Downes (DD-375) was in drydock with USS Cassin (DD-372) and USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). The three came under heavy attack and an incendiary bomb landed between the two destroyers, starting raging fires fed by oil from a ruptured fuel tank.

On 15 November 1943, USS Downes (DD-375) sailed from San Francisco 8 March to escort convoys to Pearl Harbor and on to Majuro, arriving 26 March. In July USS Downes (DD-375) began convoy duty from Eniwetok to Saipan in support of the Marianas operation, then patrolled off Tinian during its invasion. Downes sailed from Saipan 14 October 1944 to join TG 38.1 2 days later in a search for Japanese ships which Admiral W. F. Halsey hoped to lure into the open with damaged cruisers USS Canberra (CA-70) and USS Houston (CL-81). The task group returned to Leyte to support the landings there 20 October.

Continuing to Pearl Harbor for overhaul, USS Downes (DD-375) returned to Ulithi 29 March 1945 escorting a convoy, then sailed for Guam. She served at Iwo Jima on similar duty from 9 June. With the end of the war, USS Downes (DD-375) was ordered to return to the United States and sailed from Iwo Jima 19 September with homeward-bound servicemen on board. She touched at San Pedro, Calif., called at Beaumont, Tex., for Navy Day celebrations and arrived at Norfolk 5 November. USS Downes (DD-375) was decommissioned 17 December 1945, and sold 18 November 1947.

For a complete history of USS Downes (DD-375) please see its DANFS page.