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USS Hazelwood (DD-531)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hazelwood (DD-531)

USS Hazelwood (DD-531) was laid down 11 April 1942 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., San Francisco, Calif., launched 20 November 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Harold J. Fosdick; and commissioned 18 June 1943, Comdr. Hunter Wood, Jr., in command.

After shakedown, USS Hazelwood (DD-531) departed the West Coast 5, September. Reaching Pearl Harbor 9 September, she sailed 2 days later with a fast carrier strike force under Rear Admiral C. A. Pownall in USS Lexington to launch carrier-based air strikes against Tarawa, Gilbert Islands. Returning to Pearl Harbor 11 October, the destroyer took part in intensive training to prepare for the giant amphibious drive to Japan. She joined Task Force 53 under Vice Admiral R. A. Spruance at Havannah Harbor, New Hebrides, 5 November. Departing 13 November, she took part in invasion of the Gilbert Islands 20 November. In one of the bitterest struggles during the fleet's push across the Pacific, she served on antisubmarine patrol and as standby fighter-director ship. USS Hazelwood (DD-531) returned to Pearl Harbor 7 December 1943 to prepare for the next operation.

USS Hazelwood (DD-531) next participated in the invasion of the Palaus. As the 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu, Palau Islands, 15 September, she pounded enemy shore positions with gunfire to lessen Japansese opposition. She remained off Peleliu on patrol until 3 October, when she sailed to Seeadler Harbor, Manus Islands. USS Hazelwood (DD-531) engaged in patrols off Leyte Gulf and gunnery and training exercises out of Ulithi during December. After the invasion 1 April, USS Hazelwood (DD-531) operated off Okinawa on radar picket and escort patrols through intense Japanese air attacks. On 29 April the carrier group she was shepherding was attacked by kamikazes who dove out of low cloud cover.

During the next few years USS Hazelwood (DD-531) maintained a pattern of training and readiness operations along the East Coast and in the Caribbean interspersed with deployments to the Mediterranean. During the Suez crisis in the fall of 1956 she served with the mighty 6th Fleet, patrolling the eastern Mediterranean and helping to stabilize a tense international situation. USS Hazelwood (DD-531) arrived Guantanamo Naval Base 5 November, just after the quarantine of Cuba had gone into effect and remained on guard during the crisis, serving as a Gun Fire Support Ship for Task Force 84. When the nuclear submarine USS Thresher failed to surface 10 April 1963, USS Hazelwood (DD-531) immediately deployed to the scene of the tragedy with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Laboratories to begin a systematic search for the missing ship. She decommissioned 19 March 1965, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. At present she is berthed at Norfolk. Va.

For a complete history of USS Hazelwood (DD-531) please see its DANFS page.