Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Destroyer
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Macdonough III (DD‑351)

USS Macdonough (DD-351)

Macdonough (DD-351) off the Boston Navy Yard, 14 June 1935. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 60642.

(DD‑351: dp. 1,395; l. 341'3"; b. 34'3"; dr. 15'6"; s. 136.5 k.; cpl. 160; a. 5 5", 4 .30 cal mg., 8 21" tt.; cl. Farragut)

Commodore Thomas Macdonough was born 23 December 1783 in The Trap (now Macdonough), Delaware. He was appointed midshipman 5 February 1800 and participated with distinction in operations against Tripoli, 1803‑04, serving on Philadelphia before her capture and volunteering for the dash into Tripoli Harbor with Decatur to burn the captured vessel. During the War of 1812, he commanded the United States Squadron on Lake Champlain. His energy in preparation and vigor in combat won a skillfully executed victory over the British in Plattsburg Bay, 11 September 1814 that had far‑reaching effects. In denying control of the lake to the British, Macdonough's victory forced the invading army to retire to Canada, and left no grounds for British territorial claims in the area at the Ghent peace conference. Honored by Congress with promotion to captain, he served as Commandant, Portsmouth Navy Yard 1815‑18, before assuming command of Guerriere and taking up station in the Mediterranean. He sailed to the Mediterranean again in 1824 as commanding officer of Constitution, but because of poor health was relieved 14 October 1825 at his own request. He departed for home in Edwin, but died at sea 10 November 1825 and was buried in Middletown, Conn.

Commodore Thomas Macdonough, USN

Commodore Thomas Macdonough, USN. An oil portrait painting by Orlando S. Lagman from an earlier painting. The Lake Champlain Battle is depicted in the background. Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 48034-KN. 


The third Macdonough (DD‑351) was laid down 15 May 1933 by the Boston Navy Yard; launched 22 August 1934; sponsored by Miss Rose Shaler Macdonough, granddaughter of Commodore Thomas Macdonough; and commissioned 15 March 1935, Comdr. Charles S. Alden in command.

Following an extensive shakedown cruise to Europe and western South America, Macdonough joined the Pacific Fleet and operated out of San Diego until 12 October 1939. She then shifted to a new home port, Pearl Harbor, as part of Destroyer Squadron 1. In port 7 December 1941, Macdonough splashed one of the Japanese attack planes before heading out to sea to join others in the search for the enemy task force. For the next 31⁄2 months, the destroyer performed scouting assignments southwest of Oahu. Before returning to Pearl Harbor to escort convoys to and from west coast ports, she steamed as far as New Guinea, lending support to airstrikes on Bougainville, Salamaua, and Lae.

Macdonough returned to the western Pacific to prepare for the Guadalcanal invasion. Operating with Saratoga, she provided cover for the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, 7 August 1942. She remained in the area, taking part in the Battle of Savo Island and fighting enemy aircraft and shipping during the landing of reenforcements on the island. At the end of September, she commenced escort work, plying between New Guinea, Espiritu Santo, and Pearl Harbor until reporting to Mare Island, 22 December, for overhaul.

Macdonough next steamed north for the assault and occupation of Attu Island in the Aleutians. Arriving at Adak, Alaska, 16 April 1943, the destroyer patrolled northeast of Attu until the assault. On 10 May, while maneuvering in heavy weather to guard the attack transports, she collided with Sicard and was forced to retire under tow. The ship remained in the repairs dock at Mare Island until 23 September, when she prepared to get underway for the Gilbert Islands. Arriving for the invasion of Makin Island, 20 November, she acted as control vessel for the landing craft and, following the completion of that phase of the operation, entered the lagoon to bombard Japanese installations. On 23 November Makin was declared secure and Macdonough returned to Pearl Harbor.

In January 1944, she joined the Northern Attack Force staging for the assault on the Marshalls. As the primary fighter director ship for the initial transport group, Macdonough at first operated off Kwajalein Atoll. On 29 January, she proceeded to Wotje Atoll and participated in the shore bombardment there until returning to Kwajalein on the 31st for the occupation of Root and Namur Islands. The indispensable destroyer then took up radar picket duties until proceeding on to Eniwetok Atoll.

On 21 and 22 February, Macdonough accurately shelled enemy positions on Parry Island at the deep entrance to Eniwetok lagoon. A month later, she was a reference and rendezvous ship for carrier TF 58, then striking the Palau Islands. Continuing her varied pace, she was at Hollandia, New Guinea, by 21 April, providing fire support for the landings there. Then, at the end of the mouth she steamed eastward to take up radar picket duty south of Truk. During this assignment, Macdonough, with Monterey and Stephen Potter, sank Japanese submarine RO‑45, 30 April 1944.

On 4 May, the destroyer arrived at Majuro to join the forces gathering for the invasion of the Marianas. Departing the Marshalls 6 June, Macdonough operated with the fast carrier force during the Saipan invasion. She performed screening and picket duties and was part of the bombardment group firing on Japanese installations on the west side of the Island. She next took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19 to 20 June, firing at the few enemy planes which got through the combat air patrol. After the victory, Macdonough returned to the Marianas. Ordered to Guam, she covered underwater demolition teams reconnoitering the beaches and provided harassing fire to prevent repairs to beach defenses on the island. On 21 July, the destroyer patrolled the waters off Guam to protect the assault craft from enemy submarines, continuing that role until departing for Hawaii 10 August.

After a brief stay at Pearl Harbor, Macdonough departed for the Admiralty Islands. She arrived at Manus 15 September and commenced escort duties. On 14 October, she accompanied troop transports to Leyte and remained to protect her charges through the battle for Leyte Gulf, 24 to 25 October. She then steamed back to Manus for another convoy to Leyte, 3 November, and upon her return to Philippine waters patrolled Leyte Gulf and the southern Surigao Strait area. The next mouth, Macdonough resumed escort duty. Operating out of Ulithi, she guarded fleet oilers on their refueling runs in the Philippine, Formosa, and South China Sea areas. In January 1945, the destroyer sailed for Puget Sound and a 3‑month overhaul period. Returning to Ulithi, she was assigned to radar picket station off that island until 5 July, when she resumed screening convoys. For the remainder of the war, she protected Allied shipping between Ulithi and Okinawa.

At Guam when hostilities ended, Macdonough soonreceived orders to return to the United States. She arrived at San Diego 3 September, continuing on the next week to the New York Navy Yard, where she decommissioned 22 October 1945. On 20 December 1946, she was sold to George H. Nutman of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Macdonough received 13 battle stars for World War II service.


Macdonough (DD-351) leading Hull (DD-350) at sea 30 May 1937. Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 74272.

Published: Mon Sep 16 12:39:02 EDT 2019