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De Haven I (DD-469) 

(DD-469: dp. 2,050; l. 376'6"; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9";s. 35 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5", 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher )

Edwin Jess De Haven, born in 1819 in Pennsylvania was appointed Acting Midshipman at the age of 10 and Passed Midshipman 5 years later. He served in Vincennes, flagship of the Wilkes Exploring Expedition in its historic cruise of 1838 to 1842 to the Antarctic and among the Pacific Islands. De Haven served in the Mexican War, assisting in the capture of the Mexican schooner Creole. In command of the Grinnell Rescue Expedition in 1850, he led the search for Sir John Franklin lost in the Arctic. Only traces of the party were found, but De Haven discovered and named Grinnell Land, and was commended for the valuable scientific data he collected concerning the winds and currents of the ocean. He served in the Coast Survey Service until placed on the retired list in February 1862. He died at Philadelphia, Pa., 1 May 1865.


De Haven (DD-469) was launched 28 June 1942 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Miss H. N. De Haven, granddaughter of Lieutenant De Haven; and commissioned 21 September 1942, Commander C. E. Tolman in command.

De Haven
sailed from Norfolk and reached Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 28 November 1942 to escort a convoy of troopships to Guadalcanal to relieve the Marines who had been there since the invasion landings in August. De Haven screened the transports off Guadalcanal from 7 to 14 December, then sailed out of Espiritu Santo and Noumea in the continuing Solomon Islands operations. She patrolled in the waters of the Southern Solomons to stop the "Tokyo Express," the nightly effort to supply the beleaguered Japanese troops still fighting on the invaded islands, and took part in two bombardments of Kolombangara Island during January 1943.

On 1 February 1943 De Haven screened six LCT's and a seaplane tender establishing a beachhead at Marovo on Guadalcanal. While escorting two of the landing craft back to their base in the afternoon, De Haven was warned of an impending air attack. She sighted nine unidentified planes and opened fire as six swung sharply toward her. She splashed three of these planes, but not before all six had dropped their bombs. De Haven was hit by three bombs and further damaged by a near miss. One bomb hit the superstructure squarely, killing the commanding officer at once. All way was lost after the first hit and the ship began to settle rapidly, sinking about 2 miles east of Savo Island. One of the LCT's she had escorted rescued the survivors. She lost 167 killed and 38 wounded.

De Haven received one battle star for World War II.

Published: Mon Jul 06 13:41:39 EDT 2015