Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Little (DD-79)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Little (DD-79)

USS Little (DD-79) was laid down by Fore River Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass., 18 June 1917; launched 11 November 1917; sponsored by Mrs. Samuel W. Wakeman; and commissioned 6 April 1918, Comdr. Joseph K. Taussig in command.

USS Little (DD-79) departed Norfolk 5 May 1918 for convoy escort duty with Patrol Force, Coast of France, and operated from Brest until she sailed for home 26 December. During this period she escorted President Woodrow Wilson-s party to the Continent to attend the Paris Peace Conference. USS Little (DD-79) arrived Boston 18 January 1919 for drydock and operations with Destroyer Force, Atlantic. She escorted the President's party back into New York 6 to 8 July, and then engaged in tactical exercises, USS Little (DD-79) was transferred to Reserve Status with ComDesRon 3 at Philadelphia 17 November where she remained until 4 January 1921. USS Little (DD-79) then operated along the Atlantic coast until she returned to Philadelphia and decommissioned 5 July 1922.

Converted to a high-speed transport, USS Little (DD-79) was redesignated ADP-4, 2 August 1940, and recommissioned 4 November 1940, Lt. Comdr. K. Earl in command. As flagship for TransDiv 12 she departed for San Diego 14 February 1942 for repairs and alterations. Upon completion of amphibious landing exercises in April, she steamed for Pearl Harbor. A short cruise to Midway Island in late June preceeded her departure to New Caledonia 7 July for the Solomons campaign.

About 0100 5 September, USS Little (ADP-4) observed gun flashes to the east and believed this to be an enemy submarine. Moments later a Navy Catalina flying over Savo Sound released a string of five flares to illuminate what he also thought was a submarine. A surprised Japanese surface force, source of the flashes presumed to have come from a submarine, shifted their guns toward the APDs, and searchlights stabbed through the darkness. Though outgunned, USS Little (ADP-4) opened fire on the enemy destroyers, but took direct hits from salvos which left her helpless and ablaze by 0115. USS Gregory had suffered the same fate. The Japanese, to assure their kill, steamed between the two stricken ships firing shells and straffing survivors. USS Gregory sank stern first about 0140. 

For a complete history of USS Little (DD-79) please see its DANFS page.