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  USS Renshaw (DD-499, DDE-499)
USN
Fletcher-class destroyer

2,050 Tons
376' 6" x 39' 8" x 17' 9"
5 x 5" guns
10 x 40mm AA
7 x 20mm AA
10 x 21" torpedoes
6 x depth charge projectors
2 x depth charge tracks

Click For Enlargement
USN 1945
Sinking History
Built by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey. Laid down May 7, 1942. Launched October 13, 1942 sponsored by Miss Dorothy Lillian Renshaw. Commissioned December 5, 1942 with Lieutenant Commander C. F. Chillingworth in command.

Wartime History
Following shakedown, Renshaw reported to the Pacific Fleet in the spring of 1943, and protected transports in the Solomon Islands.

On June 30, 1943 participated in a shore bombardment of Shortlands. On 2 July 1943, she participated in the bombardment of the Vila and areas bordering Kula Gulf and came under the fire of enemy shore batteries.

During November 21–25, 1943 bombarded East Island in Empress Augusta Bay with 200 5" shells. Next, bombarded Sorum Island and Makatawa Island northeast Bougainville. Afterwards proceeded north of Buka Island for an offensive sweep between Buka and Green Island Atoll.

On January 20, 1944 in the morning retired southward with her task unit to giving fire support to the landings at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville.

During landings in the New Britain-New Ireland area, Renshaw dealt considerable damage to enemy airfield installations while coming under the fire of shore batteries. On 13 March the ship was in the Empress Augusta Bay area where she bombarded enemy positions in the jungles east of the beachhead held by Allied forces.

After a short period of amphibious training at Pearl Harbor, Renshaw led a force of LSTs to the Marianas. At first assigned to the outer destroyer screen, she later closed on the landing beach on Tinian to provide star shell illumination and fire support for troops ashore who were defending against a counterattack.

Philippines
In November 1944, while operating with a destroyer division she participated in the bombardment of enemy installations in the Ormoc Bay area and conducting anti-shipping sweeps in the waters west of Leyte, Renshaw spotted Japanese submarine on the surface. Renshaw and accompanying destroyers Saufley, Waller, Pringle immediately commenced fire and after a brief one-sided duel during which the submarine returned fire with small caliber weapons, the enemy sub claimed to be claimed to I-46 was destroyed.

After a turnaround in San Pedro Bay, Renshaw and other units of her task group made a high-speed run to Ormoc Bay in an effort to intercept enemy transports reported unloading there. However, only a single Japanese vessel, a large wooden barge, was found which Renshaw destroyed while she came under air attack.

On December 31, 1944, Renshaw sortied with a task unit en route to screen a transport formation bound for Lingayen Gulf. Despite repeated air attacks during the voyage through the Sulu Sea and South China Sea, the powerful invasion armada reached Lingayen Gulf and made an amphibious landing on January 9, 1945 without serious damage.

On February 21, 1945 while in the Mindanao Sea Renshaw was hit by a torpedo fired by Japanese midget submarine HA-84 that impacted roughly 10' below the waterline, flooding the fire rooms. The ship lost all power and a large section of the hull was warped by the explosion, and bulkheads and decks were fractured. Even though 19 men were killed and 20 injured, within a matter of minutes, damage control parties had the flooding reduced by half. Through their efforts the main propulsion machinery suffered no damage and she managed to get underway and was escorted to San Pedro Bay by USS Rudderow.

By April 1945, temporary repairs were made by the crew and men from the destroyer tender USS Whitney and the repair ship Prometheus. Afterwards, Renshaw proceeded under her own power across the Pacific to Todd Pacific Shipyard in Tacoma, Washington, where permanent repairs were underway when the Pacific War ended.

Postwar
By early October 1945 repairs were completed at Todd Pacific Shipyard. On October 27, 1945 U. S. President Harry S. Truman and his party were aboard USS Renshaw during the Navy Day Fleet Review in New York Harbor.

In February 1947 Renshaw was decommissioned and was attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet. During 1949 and 1950, converted for anti-submarine duty and recommissioned in June 1950 as USS Renshaw DDE-499.

During the Korean War, Renshaw had two tours of duty in the Far East, May to November 1951 and November 1952 to June 1953, in which she served as an escort, patrol, search and rescue, and bombardment vessel. Subsequently, Renshaw served in the Pacific Proving Grounds, February to May 1954, during Operation Castle, rendering patrol and air control services for Joint Task Force 7 (JTF-7).

Next, a short tour in the Far East from June to August 1954 where Renshaw rescued a British airman from the sea while acting as plane guard for the Royal Navy carrier HMS Warrior, and also participated in a hunter-killer exercise with a force composed of United States and Canadian ships. On 8 August 1955, Renshaw sailed for her fourth tour in the Far East, spending most of her time in hunter-killer exercises and task force operations. She subsequently made additional Far Eastern deployments from Pearl Harbor, October 1956 to May 1957, December 1957 to May 1958, February 1959 to July 1959, and April 1960 to October 1960.

In 1960, Renshaw received Weapon Alpha, a new anti-submarine weapon, and on 17 December 1961, recovered the nosecone of Discoverer 36. She made a further WestPac deployment in 1962. On 7 August 1962 she was redesignated a destroyer and resumed the hull number, DD-499. On 3 October, Renshaw participated in the recovery of Project Mercury astronaut Commander Walter M. Schirra. During most of 1963 operating from Pearl Harbor then deployed to WestPac in November 1963 then returned six months later.

In 1964 Renshaw took part in the movie In Harm's Way. On March 3, 1965, Renshaw, in company with other units of Destroyer Division 252, departed Pearl Harbor on short notice to augment destroyer forces for the rapidly expanding naval commitments in the South China Sea. During April and May, she served in surveillance roles and in support of carrier striking force operations. In June she was on Taiwan patrols then in July 1965 returning to the Vietnam area where she remained until September 1965 before departing via Japan to Pearl Harbor.

In October and December Renshaw served as an alternate recovery ship in Project Gemini. Her 11th WestPac tour began 5 July 1966. She participated in anti-submarine operations, as an aircraft carrier rescue destroyer, in special operations with USS Chicago (CA-136) in the Tonkin Gulf., and in special operations and patrol duties in the Taiwan Strait. DesDiv 252 returned to Pearl Harbor December 16, 1966 and spent most of 1967 operating off Hawaii.

On April 8, 1968 departed Pearl Harbor for WestPac where she provided escort services for the fast carrier attack forces on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf. In September 1968 Renshaw returned to Pearl Harbor. In June 1969 she departed for WestPac and Yankee Station where she rescued one pilot. In December 1969, returned to Pearl Harbor. On February 14, 1970 decommissioned and struck from the Navy List the same day. In October 1970 sold to to Zidell Explorations Inc and scrapped.

Renshaw earned eight battle stars for World War II service; five battle stars for Korean service; and six battle stars for Vietnam service.

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Last Updated
November 16, 2018

 

 

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