Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Hambleton (DD-455/DMS-20)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hambleton (DD-455/DMS-20)

USS Hambleton (DD-455) was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearney, N.J., 16 December 1940, launched 26 September 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Nannie Hambleton Martin, great grandniece of Samuel Hambleton; and commissioned 22 December 1941, Cmdr. Forrest Close in command.

Departing Norfolk 31 January 1942, in company with her sister ship USS Emmons, USS Hambleton (DD-455) began a shakedown, unique in wartime, that took her through the Panama Canal to Callao, Peru; Valparaiso, Chile; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Cartagena, Colombia; and Balboa, C.Z. USS Hambleton (DD-455) joined a fast troop transport out of New York 1 July, sailed for Ireland and arrived 11 July. Immediately she reported for duty with the joint British and American Naval Forces in Europe. With Royal Navy personnel on board as communications liaison, she conducted antisubmarine patrols and served as plane guard for HMS Duke of York through August She then returned to the United States for duty along the coast in preparation for Operation "Torch," the forthcoming invasion of North Africa.

As she lay anchored by USS Winooski off Fedala in the evening of 11 November 1942, USS Hambleton (DD-455) was struck amidships on the port side by a U-boat torpedo. With all power gone, the destroyer took a 12 degree list to starboard as her damage control parties worked swiftly to jettison topside weights and shore up weakened bulkheads. The crippled ship was towed to Casablanca for temporary repairs.

After a second shakedown in the Caribbean and training along the East Coast, USS Hambleton (DD-455) escorted a convoy to Oran in April 1944, and began to prepare for her role in the Normandy Invasion. After returning for provisions at Porlant, England, USS Hambleton (DD-455) was back on the line for the bombardment of Cherbourg 25 June. Steaming via San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok, she arrived Ulithi 9 March 1945, to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific. Departing 19 March, she arrived off Okinawa, the gateway to the heart of the Japanese Empire, 23 March. Prior to the invasion 1 April, she cleared channels and anchorages for the 1,200 ships taking part in the invasion. Departing Japanese waters 20 November, USS Hambleton (DD-455) steamed via Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, and San Diego to Norfolk arriving late December.

During the next decade USS Hambleton (DD-455) participated in fleet and tactical exercises in the Caribbean and along the East Coast. In 1949, 1952, and 1954 she deployed to the Mediterranean and operated with the mighty 6th Fleet from the shores of North Africa to the turbulent Middle East while helping to preserve freedom and maintain peace in that unsettled area of the world.

After returning to Charleston from her third Medlterrean cruise 6 July 1954, USS Hambleton (DD-455) decommissioned 15 January 1955, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was reclassifled DD-455 the same day. At present she is berthed at Orange, Tex.

For a complete history of USS Hambleton (DD-455) please see its DANFS page.