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The USS Monaghan (DD-354) was an American destroyer, and the last destroyer built of the Farragut-class. It was the second ship to bear the name of Ensign John R. Monaghan, who was killed in the First Battle of Vailele during the Second Samoan Civil War.

Description

Being a Farragut-class destroyer, the USS Monaghan was armed with five 5"/38 caliber guns mounted in large turrets, four 12.7mm Browning M2 machine guns in the anti-aircraft role, and eight 533mm torpedo tubes. However, later in the war, many of the 12.7mm machine guns were replaced entirely by more effective 20mm Oerlikon or 40mm Bofors autocannons. Furthermore, the Monaghan had a crew of about one hundred men and used two turbines and four boilers for propulsion, all generating a top speed of 67 kilometers per hour.

History

The Monaghan was laid down on 21 November 1933 and completed in 1935, being commissioned on 19 April of that year. Under command of R. R. Thompson, she spent much of her time prior to World War II training sailors in the North Atlantic.[2]

Prior to December 7th, 1941, Monaghan was transferred to Pearl Harbor, where she served as a ready-duty destroyer. When the Japanese attack began, Monaghan was one of the first ships to get underway, and managed to ram and sink an enemy midget submarine before leaving the harbor to join USS Ward on patrol.[3] A week later, she joined a task force centered around USS Lexington that was attempting to get reinforcements to Wake Island, which was under heavy Japanese assault. However, the island fell before the ships could reach it.[2]

In May 1942, Monaghan was present at the Battle of the Coral Sea, during which she was ordered away from the main battle force in order to transmit important communications without risking the discovery of the fleet's location. She later searched for survivors of the Neosho and Sims, two ships that had been sunk by Japanese aircraft on 7 May, but was given incorrect coordinates and found none.[4]

Later that month, Monaghan participated in the Battle of Midway, and spent the first two days screening the carrier Enterprise. On 5 June, she rescued the crew of a downed seaplane, then joined a group of destroyers attempting to protect the severely damaged Yorktown. Despite their efforts, a Japanese submarine managed to sink the carrier as well as the destroyer Hammann before being chased off by Monaghan and the other ships. Following the battle, Monaghan was ordered to patrol the Aleutian Islands. After a collision with another ship and subsequent repair, she returned to the South Pacific in November 1942, only to damage her propellers and go in for repairs again until February 1943. She was then returned to the Aleutians.[5]

On 26 March 1943, Monaghan participated in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands as member of a scouting force called TG 16.69, based around a pair of cruisers.[2] Despite having inferior numbers, the Americans drove off the Japanese aggressors without losing a ship. Monaghan spent the rest of 1943 on escort and patrol duty. 

In 1944, Monaghan escorted light carriers during the Marshall Islands Campaign, and participated in the bombardments of several islands. She spent the rest of the year escorting various ships until December, when she was sunk during Typhoon Cobra along with two other destroyers. Only six of her crewmembers were rescued.[2]

References

  1. http://www.destroyersonline.com/usndd/classfarr.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/m13/monaghan-ii.htm
  3. http://www.history.navy.mil/docs/wwii/pearl/ph54.htm
  4. http://destroyerhistory.org/goldplater/ussmonaghan/
  5. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/1861.html

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