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McClelland (DE-750)

(DE‑750: dp. 1,240; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 8'9"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 10 20mm., 3 21" tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Cannon)

Thomas Alfred McClelland, born 13 March 1905 at Kansas City, Mo., enlisted in the Navy as apprentice seaman, 12 September 1924, and received an honorable discharge 11 September 1928. On 7 October 1940, he was appointed ensign, USNR. On 6 April 1941, having completed a special course in communications, he reported aboard West Virginia. Ensign McClelland was reported dead after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.

McClelland (DE‑750) was laid down 21 July 1943 by the Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif., launched 28 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. T. A. McClelland, widow of Ensign McClelland; and commissioned 19 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. Glendon D. Williams, in command.

McClelland departed the west coast for Pearl Harbor 11 December 1944. There, until 24 January 1945, she received further training in antisubmarine and antiaircraft warfare in preparation for the assault on the Volcano Islands. By the end of January she was in the screen for TG 51.5 bound for Iwo Jima. She arrived off that island 20 February, the day after the initial landings. On the 21st, TG 51.5 was attacked by three suicide planes; two scored hits on ships of the main body while the third was splashed. The next day, the combined fire of the group destroyed four more enemy aircraft as they went into their attack dive. Following this action, McClelland assumed antisubmarine screening duties and HUK activities to the north and west of the island.

On 28 February, the destroyer‑escort steamed to Espiritu Santo to prepare for the Okinawa offensive. She arrived off Okinawa 9 April, remaining until 8 June. During that long, bitter campaign she took part in the capture of Isuken Shima; performed escort services among the Ryukyus, and helped to maintain the antiair and antisubmarine screen. While she was patrolling on the latter duty, 1 June, a kamikaze pilot dived from astern. McClelland's gunfire and fast maneuvering caused the airplane to splash when 25 yards off her starboard beam.

On 8 June, McClelland steamed to Saipan. On 4 July she joined the 3d Fleet-s logistics task group east of Japan. She screened that group, TG 30.8, as they provisioned units of TF 38, then striking the Japanese homeland. On 21 July she departed the area, escorting Presidio (APA‑88) to Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Leyte. The two ships rejoined TG 30.8, 21 August, and after the signing of the official surrender document, sailed for Ulithi.

McClelland arrived in Japanese waters 27 September, remaining in Tokyo until 12 October when she sailed for the United States. She arrived Norfolk 2 December, and 5 January 1946 departed for Green Cove Springs, Fla. There she decommissioned 15 May and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

The following September, McClelland was placed in service and assigned to the 7th Naval District as a Reserve training vessel, operating out of Jacksonville, Fla. After the disestablishment of that district, she continued her training duties in the same area under the authority of the Commander, 6th Naval District. On 14 July 1950 the ship was placed in commission, in reserve, at Charleston, S.C. She conducted weekend and summer cruise programs for naval reservists of the 6th Naval District until 1959. Her summer cruises during this time took her as far north as St. John's, Newfoundland; as far south as Barranquilla, Columbia; and as far east as Cadiz, Spain.

In 1959 she was transferred to Philadelphia and at the end of the year began deactivation for a second time. On 12 September 1960, she decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Inactive Fleet. Into 1969 she remains berthed at Philadelphia.

McClelland received three battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Thu Apr 28 02:54:19 EDT 2016