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The USS Hudson (DD-475) was a destroyer that served under the United States Navy during World War II.

Description

Hudson was one of 175 other Fletcher-class destroyer, surviving until the end of the war even after seeing heavy combat. The Hudson was launched on June 3, 1942 and commissioned on April 13, 1943. In the end, the Hudson was used during Operation Magic Carpet to transport veterans of the conflict back to the United States. The Hudson was built as a standard Fletcher class destroyer, featuring an armament of five 5"/38 Caliber Guns, six Bofors Autocannons, seven Oerlikon Autocannons, twenty-one Mark XV Torpedos, and six depth charge dispensers.[1] The crew of the Hudson consisted of around 336 men and was pushed by a single turbine powering two propellers at the back of the ship. 

History

Following the Hudson's shakedown operation operating in the Atlantic, the Hudson immediately joined the Pacific Fleet operating in New Guinea. Here, the ship oversaw the landings on Bougainville, providing fire support for the landing troops on the island as well as shooting down two Japanese aircraft. Following the landing operations, the Hudson was ordered to Truk for anti-shipping duty before once again being sent to cover landing operations at Emirau.[2] It was at this point, the ship was sent to Australia for a refitting. It stayed there until 1944 when the ship was required once more to support the fleet fighting in the Marianas. 

This was where the Hudson had participated in some of the heaviest combat of its career. Besides providing huge amounts of fire support on the neighboring islands, the Hudson participated in rescuing downed American airmen. Once more, the Hudson was moved to the Palau islands to provide more fire support during the Battle of Peleliu. However, shortly after, the ship was moved to San Francisco for another refit.[3] Then, the ship was moved to Pearl Harbor to retrain its crew. It only returned to the Pacific in February of 1945. It was just in time for the Hudson to have been sent in for fire support duty in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Besides fire support, the Hudson also was used as a patrol ship, downing numerous aircraft. Next the ship was sent to Saipan to rescue B-29 crews downed by Japanese anti-aircraft or fighters.

The last major combat operation that the Hudson had participated in was the Battle of Okinawa where it earned fame for 'saving' the USS Sangamon by pulling up next to it and assisting it to put out the fires caused by a kamikaze attack. However, the Hudson was taking large amounts of damage at the same time, flaming debris from the aircraft carrier deck fell on the Hudson, at the same time starting fires on the Hudson. In the end, the Hudson took more damage than the Sangamon. For its actions, the Hudson earned a commendation. After the war, the Hudson was eventually sold for scrap in 1973.

References

  1. http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/475.htm
  2. http://destroyerhistory.org/fletcherclass/ns_hudson/index.asp?r=47500&pid=47503
  3. http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd475txt.htm

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