USS Bradford (DD-545)

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Broadside view of USS Bradford (DD-545) off Mare Island on 19 Oct 1944.
Broadside view of USS Bradford (DD-545) off Mare Island on 19 Oct 1944.
Career (United States)
Name: USS Bradford (DD-545)
Namesake: Gamaliel Bradford
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, San Pedro, California
Laid down: 28 April 1942
Launched: 12 December 1942
Sponsored by: Mrs. Sarah Bradford Rose
Commissioned: 12 June 1943
Decommissioned: 28 September 1961
Struck: 1 September 1975
Fate: Transferred to Hellenic Navy, 27 September 1962
Career (Greece)
Name: Thyella (D-22)
Acquired: 27 September 1962
Struck: 1981
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: Fletcher-class destroyer
Displacement: 2,050 tons
Length: 376 ft 6 in (114.7 m)
Beam: 39 ft 8 in (12.1 m)
Draft: 17 ft 9 in (5.4 m)
Propulsion: 60,000 shp (45 MW); 2 propellers
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h)
Range: 6500 nmi. (12,000 km) @ 15 kt
Complement: 329
Armament:

  5 × 5 in (130 mm)/38 guns,
10 × 40 mm AA guns,
  7 × 20 mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes,
  6 × depth charge projectors,

  2 × depth charge tracks

USS Bradford (DD-545) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy. She was named for Captain Gamaliel Bradford (1768–1824), a privateer during the Quasi-War with France.

Bradford was launched 12 December 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Terminal Island, Calif., sponsored by Mrs. Sarah Bradford Rose, great-great-granddaughter of Captain Bradford, and commissioned 12 June 1943 Commander R. L. Morris in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II[edit]

Bradford sailed for Pearl Harbor 18 August 1943. On 25 August, less than 24 hours after arrival in Pearl Harbor, she was underway for Baker Island to take part in its capture and occupation (1 September). Afterwards, Bradford joined the carrier striking forces to participate in the Tarawa raid (18 September) and the Wake Island raid (5–6 October).

She operated as a screening unit in Task Group 52.3 (TG 52.3), covering the occupation of the Gilbert Islands (13 November–8 December). Following this operation she went to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, and was assigned to TG 37.2. With this group Bradford participated in three strikes (25 December 1943, 1 and 4 January 1944) against the shipping and harbor installations at Kavieng, New Ireland, during the Bismarck Archipelago operations. Between 29 January and 8 February she took part in the occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, during the Marshall Islands campaign.

In the ensuing months Bradford participated in the Truk attack (17–18 February), during which she scored several torpedo and 5-inch gunfire hits on an enemy cruiser and destroyer, and the Marianas raids (21–22 February). She then supported

In September she returned to the United States for a complete overhaul.

Bradford steamed to Pearl Harbor in December 1944 and, after undergoing training as a fire support ship, took part in the assault on Iwo Jima (19–27 February 1945). In the Okinawa operation (24 March–25 July) she supported the landing and occupation operations as a screening unit of TG 52.1 and as a radar picket ship. From 25 July to 10 August she participated In 3rd Fleet operations against Japan. She acted as a fire support and fighter director ship for the minesweeping operations in the East China Sea-Ryukyus area (10–25 August). After a number of transport missions in the Far East Bradford left for San Diego 31 October 1945 where she was placed out of commission in reserve 11 July 1946.

1950–1961[edit]

Bradford was recommissioned 27 October 1950 and reported to the Pacific fleet.

Bradford in 1961.

Between 29 January 1951 and 2 November 1953 she completed three Far Eastern tours (29 January–August 1951, 22 March–November 1952, and May–November 1953) during which she acted as a unit of TF 77 and TF 95 on duty off Korea. While on this duty she engaged in shore bombardment and patrolling in support of the United Nations ground forces.

She made three additional cruises to the Far East. Between these cruises she operated out of San Diego conducting extensive individual and type training exercises.

Bradford was decommissioned 28 September 1961.

HNS Thyella (D-22)[edit]

The ship was transferred to Greece 27 September 1962. She served in the Greek Navy as HNS Thyella (D-22) ("Storm"). She was stricken in 1981 and scrapped.

Awards[edit]

Bradford received the Navy Unit Commendation for her services as a radar picket ship during the Okinawa operation. In addition, she received 12 battle stars for her World War II service and six battle stars for her participation in the Korean War.

References[edit]