USS Sims (DD-409)

Sims running trials in July, 1939, before her fire-control directors were installed. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

USS Sims (DD-409) was the lead ship of her twelve-destroyer class, laid down on 15 July, 1937, and commissioned on 1 August, 1939. Sims joined the Atlantic Fleet on commissioning, and pulled Neutrality Patrol duty for much of 1940. She also covered the American occupation of Iceland, and conducted patrols from there in the summer of 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sims was assigned as escort to the carrier Yorktown, and transferred to the Pacific with Task Force 17. Sims remained part of Yorktown's screen, covering her during the 25 January, 1942, carrier raid on the Marshalls, and during the skirmishes in the southwest Pacific, leading up to the Battle of the Coral Sea. During this fight, Sims was detached to cover the tanker USS Neosho. The pair were attacked by Japanese carrier planes on 7 May, and Sims was hit by three bombs, two in the engine room, breaking her back. She suffered a tremendous explosion as she sank, lifting her nearly out of the water. Only sixteen of Sims crew survived.