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The USS. Daly was a Fletcher Class Destroyer built by Bethlehem Steel Company in Staten Island, New York.  The ship’s sponsor was Mrs. A. Ransweiler, niece of Sergeant Major Daly, USMC.  The keel was laid in 1942; the ship was launched on October 24, 1942, and commissioned on March 10, 1943, with Commander R. G. Visser as Commander Officer.

The Daly displaced 2,050 tons, was 376½ feet in length, with a 39½ foot beam and a 17¾ foot draft.  Her full crew complement was 297.

Commissioned 10 March 1942

 She had geared turbines, twin shafts and high pressure water-tube boilers with a designed maximum speed of 35 knots delivered by 60,000 shaft horse power.  Her formidable armament included five 5 inch 38 guns; four 40 mm Bufors and four 20 mm Oerlikon Anti-Aircraft Guns, and ten 21 inch torpedo tubes.

 Between 14 May, and 21 June 1943, the Daly screened Ranger (CV-4) on exercises and patrol off Argentia, Newfoundland.  She sailed from New York – a week later screening the carrier Lexington (CV-16) and arrived at San Diego 4 August.  The next day she was underway for Alaska, arriving at Adak 11 August.  She escorted transports to the invasion of Kiska from 15 to 21 August; then patrolled on escort duly between Kiska and Attu until 18 November, when she sailed for Pearl Harbor – arriving 23 November.

 Daly left Pearl Harbor 9 December 1943 and arrived at Milne Bay, New Guinea, 18 December.  Four days later she sortied to escort landing craft during the assault on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on 26 December.  She splashed two attacking Japanese bombers, then aided survivors from Brownson (DD-518) rescuing 168 of her crew despite exploding depth charges from the sinking ship which caused temporary loss of power on the Daly.

Daly  crew picking up Brownson survivors.

Daly bringing survivors on board

 She covered the withdrawal of the LST’s to Cape Sudest, then escorted a convoy to Saidor for the invasion landings of 2 to 4 January 1944.  She remained in the New Guinea area covering re-supply operations for the troops on Saidor and Cape Gloucester until 4 February when she sailed for Sydney, Australia.

Daly ploughing through heavy seas.

 Returning to Milne Bay, 22 February 1944, Daly sailed with TG 74.2 for the invasion of the Admiralty Islands, participating in the bombardments of Los Negros Island on 29 February and  Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, on 7 March, and patrolling in support of the landing forces.  She  returned to Milne Bay 12 March.  She operated from this port on various training exercises and bombarded Wewak Harbor on 17 March, then sortied 18 April for the Hollandia operation.  She provided fire support for the invading troops on 21 and 22 April, then operated out of Seeadler Harbor to bombard Sawar and Wakde on 29 and 30 April and to patrol between Aitape and Tanamerah.

From 15 May to 5 August 1944, Daly served in the Western New Guinea operations.  She provided fire support and bombardment in the Toem-Wakde-Sarmi area, off Biak, Noemfoor, and Mios Woendi Islands, and acted as radar guard and linking ship between the landing and covering forces off Cape Sansapor.  After a brief overhaul at Sydney, Australia, she sortied from Humboldt Bay 11 September for the invasion of Morotai, providing patrol and fire support before returning to Manus 29 September.  She got under-way on 11 October to render fire support to the invading troops on Leyte and joined in the surface action with Japanese ships during the Battle of Surigao Strait phase of the decisive Battle for Leyte Gulf on 25 and 26 October.  Daly returned to Manus 3 November and six days later sailed for a west coast over-haul.

WWII Convoy in formation

Daly arrived off Iwo Jima 16 February 1945 in the screen of air support carriers.  She rescued 11 survivors of Bismarck Sea (CVE-95), sunk by a suicide plane on 21 February.  Daly cleared the area 7 March for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, to join forces preparing for the invasion of Okinawa.  On 27 March she sortied to provide patrol and fire support during the assault and occupation of Okinawa.  During a suicide attack on 28 April, she took an enemy plane under fire and splashed it a scant 25 yards off the port beam.  The plane’s bomb exploded, killing three and injuring 16 of Daly’s crew.  Repairs were quickly accomplished at Kerama Retto, and Daly resumed her hazardous patrol duty.  On 25 May she aided Bates (APD-47), a kamikaze’s victim, rescuing one badly burned survivor from the sinking ship.  On 10 June she screened the carriers of the 3rd Fleet in their strikes on the Japanese mainland. 

Bridge Fire Control 43-44

After replenishing at Leyte Gulf, Daly returned to Okinawa 16 July 1945.  She joined with TF 95 to sweep the East China Sea for enemy shipping.  Two more searches off the mouth of the Yangtze River and approaches to Shanghai were made before the end of the war.  Daly arrived at Nagasaki 14 September for occupation duty, serving in Japanese waters until 17 November when she departed Sasebo for the United States, arriving at San Diego 6 December.  She arrived at Charleston, SC, 23 December, and was placed out of commission in reserve 18 April 1946.

Mothballs could not hold the spirited ship, however, and subsequent to WWII during the period of international tension between the communist and non-communist nations, the Daly was re-activated early in 1951 along with a fleet of other destroyers.   During the next several months during the sweltering heat of summer temperatures, a green crew comprised of recalled reserves and recently drafted recruits put forth a supreme effort to prepare the Daly for active duty.


She was re-commissioned on 3 July 1951, in the US Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina.  Following a seven-weeks’ shakedown cruise at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she joined the US Atlantic Fleet as part of Destroyer Division 302.

During February and March 1952, Daly participated in the fleet-wide Convex III as part of a fast carrier task force unit operating from the Northern Atlantic to the north- eastern tip of South America.  In the latter part of March she once again returned to the Charleston Yard.

Daly on Cooper River, Charleston, SC  1953

 Leaving the yard in July 1952 she again sailed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where training continued until September at which time she returned to her home port, Newport, Rhode Island, with a stop-over for three days’ liberty in New York City, docking along side a Hudson River pier.

In January of 1953 Daly joined other ships of the fleet in Operation Springboard which, in addition to extensive training, included liberty in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and French Martinique.  She returned to Newport in February.

After a short pre-deployment yard availability in Boston Naval Ship-yard, Daly departed Newport, RI, on 18 May 1953 for duty in Korea.  Services were provided for gunnery exercises at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Then a transit of the Panama Canal and several days at Balboa.  Next port was San Diego for four days.

Panama Canal

The original schedule a port call at Pearl Harbor was changed with orders to escort an AE, the Mt. Katmai, to Japan.  So instead of a visit to Hawaii, Daly spent about four hours at Midway Island on 14 June to refuel and arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, on 22 June to replenish and proceeded to the east coast of Korea for duty with Task Force 77, conducting air missions over Korea.

Some time was spent on patrol at Cheuju-Do Island, which contained large numbers of Chinese and North Korean POW’s.  The armistice was signed on 27 July, and Daly continued operations with TF 77 with occasional independent duly.  While in the area, operational and R&R visits were made at Pusan, Korea, and  Sasebo, Beppu and Hokadate in Japan.

Looking Aft from Port Side 40mm Gun Mount

In November Daly was detached to proceed home.  The itinerary provided for visits to Hong Kong, and crossing the equator at longitude 106º 38’ before entering Singapore where Thanksgiving 1953 was celebrated.  Then to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Bahrein in the Persian Gulf, and Aden. 

Daly then transited the Suez Canal and called at Pireaus, Greece.  Christmas 1953 was spent in Greece and it was on to Cannes, France, to welcome 1954.  After a brief stop at Gibraltar 4 January, then Bermuda 12 January, Daly proceeded home to Newport, RI, USA, arriving 15 January 1954.

 Daly in Dry Dock

In April 1954 Daly entered the Boston Navy Yard for a major alteration to the armament and other ship equipment.  After the yard period, Daly proceeded to the Caribbean on 27 August 1954 for a shakedown and training at Guantanamo Bay, returning to Newport 26 October 1954.

Daly departed again to the Caribbean on 3 February 1955 for fleet operations, returning to Newport on 5 March 1955.

The next extended cruise was to Northern Europe and then on to the Mediterranean, departing Newport on 28 July 1955.  Visits to the following ports were interspersed with Fleet Operations, Portsmouth and Plymouth in England, Invergorden in Scotland, Copenhagen and Aalborg in Denmark, Helsinki in Norway, and Tuku in Finland, and Bremerhaven and Kiel in Germany.

After a tour of many popular Med ports, including Rhodes and Istanbul, the Daly returned to Newport on 28 November 1955.

Another trip to the Caribbean area was scheduled for the period 5 January 1956 to 10 February 1956.

These types of operations continued until that fateful day in 1960 when five sailors were lost at sea during the ship’s return to Norfolk.  The Daly was then retired in 1960 to the inactive fleet.  She was eventually sold for scrap in 1967, and now is nothing more than memories to those who served with her.


Sources for this information were:

The Directory of American Naval Fighting Ships.

US Naval Historical Foundation

Thomas Rowan USN (retired)

Daly Cruise Book 1945 & 1955




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