(DE-764: dp. 1240; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 8'9"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40 mm. 8 20 mm., 3 tt, 2 dct, 8 dep, 2 dcp. (h.h.); cl. Cannon)
Seaman Second Class Andrew Jackson Gandy was born 20 October 1924 in Chattanooga, Tenn.; enlisted 21 February 1942; and gallantly gave his life on board cruiser San Francisco in a heroic gunnery action against Japanese torpedo planes during the Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-13 November 1942. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Gandy was launched 12 December 1943 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Tampa, Fla.; sponsored by Miss Ruby Gandy, sister of Seaman Gandy; and commissioned at Tampa 7 February 1944, Lt. Comdr W. A. Sessions in command.
Gandy, following shakedown training in Bermuda waters, joined Escort Division 22 at New York. After escorting Yukon (AF-9) to Norfolk, she departed New York 15 April 1944 as part of the escort for fast tanker convoy CU-21 bound for Northern Ireland. The second day of the voyage at 0806, 16 April, German submarine U-550 torpedoed and sank tanker Pan Pennsylvania. During recovery of survivors by Joy, Gandy and Peterson at 0950, Joyce made sound contact with the U-boat and delivered a depth charge attack. When U-550 surfaced about 600 yards on Gandy's starboard bow, Comdr. Sessions ordered "Right full rudder, come to 320, open fire and stand by to ram."
Gandy headed for the submarine's conning tower but the U-boat's deft maneuvers caused the escort destroyer to hit it 30 feet from the stern. Gandy hauled clear, silenced the submarine's machine gun battery with a short burst of gunfire, then observed the Germans abandoning ship. Joyce recovered twelve survivors as Gandy, with nearly four feet of her bow strake gone and several plates buckled, assessed her damage. U-550 was shaken by a muffled explosion and sank. Four of Gandy's men were injured in the fight.
Gandy continued with the convoy which reached Lisahally, Northern Ireland, 26 April 1944. She returned to New York 12 May and helped escort nine more convoys safely out of New York to Lisahally and Liverpool by 24 May 1945 when she returned from the last of these voyages. After repairs in the New York Naval Shipyard, she sailed 8 June for brief training in Cuban waters before proceeding to Hawaii. She departed Pearl Harbor 6 August 1945 en route to the Philippines via the Marshalls and the Carolines, then sailed from Leyte on the 24th in the escort of an occupation force convoy which entered Tokyo Bay 1 September. Following the formal signing of the surrender of Japan, the next day she escorted a convoy from Okinawa to Yokohama, Japan, and then departed 16 November to serve the Philippine Sea Frontier on weather patrol between Manila, Samar, and Manicani.
Gandy departed Samar 1 February 1946 and reached Norfolk, via Hawaii, San Pedro, and the Panama Canal, 26 March 1946. She decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 17 June 1946. She was in reserve status until 10 January 1951 when she was transferred to Italy under the Military Assistance Program. She serves the Italian Navy under the name of Altair.
Gandy received one battle star for service in World War II.