Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Johnston (DD-557)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Johnston (DD-557)

USS Johnston (DD-557) was laid down on 6 May 1942 at Seattle, Wash., by the Seattle- Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 25 March 1943; and sponsored by Mrs. Marie S. Klinger, great-niece of Lt. Johnston.

USS Johnston (DD-557) got underway and cleared the navy yard on 11 November 1943 and conducted local operations in Puget Sound for the next three days, under the orders of the Commander [Fleet] Operational Training Command (COTC), tying up at Pier 41, Seattle, at the end of that period. USS Johnston (DD-557) lay anchored in the lagoon at Majuro “refueling, provisioning, taking on ammunition and making repairs to the main engines” (1-6 March 1944). In addition, as her war diarist observed, for the first time since the ship left San Diego, the ship set Condition Four watches, enabling the crew to enjoy “some relaxation and recreation.”

Exiting Pallikulo Bay on 13 March 1944, USS Johnston (DD-557) proceeded to Segond Channel, Espíritu Santo, Berth 27, and began an availability period (13-19 March) assigned her by Commander Third Fleet. As she rested on keel blocks in the floating dry dock ARD-5 (18-19 March), the ship underwent repairs to her streamlined sound dome, which workers found in good condition but badly in need of painting. Consequently, painters applied anti-corrosive and anti-fouling coats before she undocked on the 19th, moving thence back to Berth 27.

USS Johnston (DD-557) patrolled her station, recording “nothing eventful,” then made rendezvous with DesDiv 94 at 0652 on 1 April 1944. She left the formation two hours later to steam to Blanche Harbor, Treasury Island, to refuel, upon completion of which (1330), she proceeded to a patrol station between Mono and Shortland Islands. USS Johnston (DD-557) continued screening the escort carriers, conforming to their movements as they carried out flight operations, while the task group provided air support for operations at Emirau and adjacent areas of the Bismarck Archipelago (12-15 April 1944).

USS Johnston (DD-557) underwent an “availability for emergency upkeep and repairs” alongside Briareus (25-26 August 1944), an interval the destroyer’s war diarist considered “insufficient…for routine repair work.” She got underway the following morning (27 August) as part of TU 32.19.2, the battleships USS Pennsylvania and USS Idaho (BB-42), heavy cruisers USS Louisville (flagship, Rear Adm. Oldendorf) and USS Minneapolis, and an eight-destroyer screen.

Publicly announced on 17 November 1944 as lost in action, USS Johnston (DD-557) was stricken from the Navy Register ten days later, on 27 November 1944. She had been in commission two days shy of one year.

For a complete history of USS Johnston (DD-557) please see its DANFS page.