Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Gillis (DD-260/AVD-12)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Gillis (DD-260/AVD-12)

USS Gillis (DD-260) was launched 29 May 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Helen Irvine Murray, granddaughter of Admiral Gillis; and Mrs. Josephine T. Smith, niece of Commodore Gillis; commissioned 3 September 1919, Lt. Comdr. Webb Trammell in command.

USS Gillis (DD-260) sailed from Newport, R.I., 17 December 1919 and moored at San Diego 20 January 1920. She joined the Pacific Fleet Destroyer Force in tactics and maneuvers along the West Coast until decommissioned at San Diego 26 May 1922. Recommissioned in ordinary 28 June 1940, she was reclassified 2 August as seaplane tender destroyer AVD-12. Following conversion USS Gillis (AVD-12) was placed in full commission at San Francisco, 25 March 1941.

USS Gillis (AVD-12) was assigned as tender to Patrol Wing 4, Aircraft Scouting Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. In the following months she performed plane guard patrol between San Diego and Seattle with time out for aircraft tending duties at Sitka, Alaska (14-17 June) ; Dutch Harbor and Kodiak (15-31 July). She was serving at Kodiak when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and returned to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 9 February 1942 for overhaul. USS Gillis (AVD-12) resumed tender duties at Kodiak 26 May 1942. She was stationed at Atka (11-13 June) tending amphibious patrol aircraft bombing the Japanese on Kiska Island. On air-sea rescue patrol 6 June 1942, she made three depth charge runs on an underwater sound contact.

USS Gillis (AVD-12) continued her varied duties as aircraft tender and air-sea rescue patrol ship throughout the Aleutian Campaign. Brief intervals of repair were accomplished in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. She terminated this service 19 April 1944 when she departed Dutch Harbor for overhaul in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. USS Gillis (AVD-12) arrived off Kerama Retto 25 March 1945. She guarded minesweepers to the west, then stood by underwater demolition teams clearing approaches to the western beaches of Okinawa. USS Gillis (AVD-12) departed Guam for home 8 July 1945. She arrived at San Pedro, Calif., 28 July and decommissioned there 15 October 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy List 1 November 1945. She was sold for scrapping 29 January 1946.

For a complete history of USS Gillis (DD-260/AVD-12) please see its DANFS page.