Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Fanning (DD-385) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Fanning (DD-385) 

USS Fanning (DD-385) was laid down on 10 April 1935 at Staten Island, N.Y., by United Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Corp.; launched on 18 September 1936 by New York, N.Y.; sponsored by Miss Cora A. Marsh, great-great granddaughter of Lt. Fanning; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., on 8 October 1937, Lt. Cmdr. Ellis H. Geiselman in command.

Trials, fitting out, shakedown, and minor repairs occupied USS Fanning (DD-385) until 22 April 1938 when she joined USS Philadelphia (CL-41) at Annapolis, to escort the cruiser as she carried Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States on a Caribbean cruise. The attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 found USS Fanning (DD-385) at sea with TF 8 returning to Pearl Harbor from Wake Island where USS Enterprise (CV-6) had delivered the squadron of Marine Corps fighter planes which became Wake's only airborne defense.

USS Fanning (DD-385) sailed from Pearl Harbor with TF 8 on 19 December to relieve beleaguered Wake Island, however, the island fell before help could arrive, and the reinforcements were delivered to Midway. The destroyer made two voyages along the west coast and escorted three convoys to Pearl Harbor before 12 November when she joined TF 11 for duty in the Solomons. On 19 January 1944 USS Fanning (DD-385) sailed with TG-58.4 for operations in the Marshalls where planes from Saratoga (CV-3) struck at Wotje, Taroa, Utirik, and Rongelap with a 4-day uninterrupted bombardment of Eniwetok which precursed a later all-out attack.

Detached from the Far Eastern Fleet late in May, USS Fanning (DD-385) set course for San Francisco with calls at Fremantle and Sydney, Australia, and Noumea in passage. On 17 July she stood out for San Diego with USS Baltimore (CA-68) and on the 21st escorted President Roosevelt, embarked in the cruiser, north to Adak and Kodiak, Alaska. 

The remainder of the war was occupied with patrol and escort activities among the islands of Eniwetok, Iwo Jima, and Guam. On 19 September 1945 USS Fanning (DD-385) set course for the United States, arriving at Galveston, Tex., on 23 October 1945. She was placed out of commission at Norfolk, Va., on 14 December 1945.

For a complete history of USS Fanning (DD-385) please see its DANFS page.