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Chandler (Destroyer No. 206)

(DD-206: dp. 1,215; l. 314'4"; b. 31'9"; dr. 9'10"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 12 21" tt; cl. Clemson)

William Eaton Chandler was born in Concord, New Hampshire, 28 December 1835, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1854. Chandler served as Secretary of the Navy from 1882 to 1886, and as Senator from New Hampshire from 1887 to 1901. He died at Concord, 30 November 1917.

Assigned to Destroyer Squadron 3 of the Atlantic Fleet, Chandler sailed from Newport, R.I., 19 December 1919 for duty with U.S. Naval Forces, Turkey. After carrying a diplomatic mission to the Crimea, and aiding the American Red Cross in its relief work with Russian refugees, Chandler joined the U.S. Naval Detachment, Adriatic. She served as station ship at Venice, Italy, and had relief duty throughout the Adriatic until January 1921.

Sailing through the Suez Canal, Chandler arrived at Cavite, P.I., 15 February 1921. She served with the Asiatic Fleet, protecting American interests throughout the Far East, until 25 August 1922. Clearing Chefoo, China, she arrived at San Francisco 30 September. She was decommissioned 20 October 1922, and placed in reserve at Mare Island Navy Yard.

Chandler was recommissioned 31 March 1930 for operations off the west coast, Hawaii, the Panama Canal Zone, and in the Caribbean. In 1934, she sailed to New York for the Presidential Fleet Review of 31 May. In 1936 she took part in radio sound tests, and in 1940, served as plane guard during the flight of the Secretary of the Navy to Hawaii.

Reporting to Mare Island Navy Yard in October 1940, Chandler was reclassified DMS-9 on 19 November, and converted to a high-speed minesweeper. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 12 February 1941 to begin operational training and patrol. At sea on 7 December, she returned to her devastated base 2 days later. Until 30 June 1942, she escorted convoys to San Francisco, Palmyra, Christmas, and Midway Islands, and swept and patrolled in Hawaiian waters.

While en route to operations in the Aleutians on 27 July 1942, Chandler and Lamberton (DMS-2) collided in a heavy fog, and although none of Chandler's men was hurt, she spent 11 August to 27 September under repair at Mare Island Navy Yard. On 5 October, she reported at Dutch Harbor for duty patrolling and escorting convoys in the Aleutians. In May 1943, she covered the landings at Attu, and in August, those at Kiska. Leaving the fog and difficult waters of the Aleutians behind in October, Chandler was readied at San Francisco for arduous duty in the Pacific.

Reporting at Pearl Harbor 1 January 1944, Chandler quickly proved that her age was no barrier to skillful, aggressive action. In a succession of landings, at Majuro (31 January), Eniwetok (17 February-6 March), Saipan (13 June-20 July), and Tinian (21-24 July), the aging ship swept mines and screened assault shipping. Patrolling watchfully in each invasion area as the operation developed, Chandler joined with Newcomb (DD-586) in sinking the Japanese submarine I-185 on 22 June, in 15-55' N., 147-09' E.

On 17 October 1944, Chandler resumed her yeoman service in landings, as she sailed into Leyte Gulf in advance of the major force for the assault, sweeping a path for the attack amphibious ships. She remained on duty, sweeping, patrolling, and screening, through the start of the landings, retiring on 25 October for Manus after the delay caused by the Battle for Leyte Gulf.

Called upon for similar duty in the Lingayen operation, Chandler, came under heavy fire from Japanese aircraft on the night of 6-7 January 1945. Fire from Chandler and Hovey (DMS-11) splashed one of the enemy, but not before he torpedoed Hovey, which sank within 3 minutes. Chandler stood by, recovering 229 officers and men from her stricken sister. Chandler remained on duty in Lingayen Gulf until 10 January, when she cleared for convoy escort operations through mid-February. The grand old lady had one more assault in her, for at Iwo Jima from 16 February to 28 February, she gave her experienced aid in sweeping, patrolling, and screening for the assault and its buildup.

Chandler returned to the west coast for overhaul in April. While there, she was reclassified AG-108, 5 June 1945, and after training, she began a tour of towing targets in gunnery exercises for new ships engaged in shakedown training. While performing this essential task she based on both San Diego and Pearl Harbor. After the end of hostilities, Chandler proceeded to Norfolk, Va., arriving 21 October 1945. There she was decommissioned 21 November 1945, and sold 18 November 1946.

Chandler received eight battle stars for service in World War II.

Published: Tue Feb 23 13:06:19 EST 2016