USS Fletcher (DD-445)

Fletcher in the 1960s. US Navy photo NH 68912.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1941
Launched
1942
Commissioned
1942
Decommissioned
1969
AD/BC
AD
History

Entering the fleet in 1942, USS Fletcher began a dynasty that would span fifteen navies and nearly sixty years. Fletcher joined the Solomons campaign in October, and was soon in the thick of the fighting. She was a participant in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Tassafaronga, and sank the Japanese submarine I-18 in February, 1943. Fletcher joined the island-hopping campaign across the Pacific, but managed to miss both the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. After extensive operations in the Philippines, Fletcher headed for California for a well-deserved major overhaul, which took her out of the War. She decommissioned in 1947, but was converted to an anti-submarine escort destroyer in 1949 and recommissioned. Fletcher saw service in the Korean War, escorting carriers and providing gunfire support during the landings at Incheon in September, 1950. Fletcher spent the rest of her career alternating between ASW training, and deploying to the Western Pacific with the US 7th Fleet. She was decommissioned for good in 1969, and scrapped in 1972, but the last of her sister ships didn't leave service until 2001.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: 175 Fletcher-class destroyers were built, more than any other destroyer class.