USS Drexler (DD-741)
|Namesake:||Henry Clay Drexler|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works|
|Laid down:||24 April 1944|
|Launched:||3 September 1944|
|Commissioned:||14 November 1944|
|One Battle star|
|Fate:||Sunk by kamikaze 28 May 1945|
|Class & type:||Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer|
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.8 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft (12.2 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft 8 in (4.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||60,000 shp (45 MW);
|Speed:||34 knots (63 km/h)|
|Range:||6500 nmi. (12,000 km) @ 15 kt|
|Armament:||6 × 5 in./38 guns (12 cm),
12 × 40mm AA guns,
11 × 20mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks
The Drexler was launched on 3 September 1944 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. L. A. Drexler, mother of Ensign Drexler; and commissioned on 14 November 1944, Commander Ronald Lee Wilson in command.
Sailing from Norfolk on 23 January 1945 to escort Bon Homme Richard to Trinidad, Drexler then sailed on to reach San Diego on 10 February. Three days later she got underway for Pearl Harbor for antiaircraft and shore bombardment exercises until the 23rd, when she sailed on escort duty to Guadalcanal and Ulithi, the staging area for the Okinawa invasion.
Drexler departed Ulithi 27 March 1945 bound for Okinawa and dangerous duty on a radar picket station. On 28 May at 07:00, two kamikazes attacked Drexler and Lowry. The first was downed by the combined fire of the two destroyers and planes from the combat air patrol. The second tried to crash onto Lowry but missed, hitting Drexler instead and cutting off all power and starting large gasoline fires. Despite the heavy damage, she kept firing, aiding in shooting down three planes which attacked immediately after the crash. At 07:03 she was hit by another aircraft, a twin-engined "Frances" P1Y1 bomber, and the "impact rolled her on to her beam ends, causing her to sink in less than 50 seconds" at Coordinates: . Because of the speed with which she sank, casualties were heavy: 158 dead and 52 wounded. The captain was one of the wounded. Few of the survivors are still alive. They honor their comrades every year at the annual Drexler Survivors reunion.
- Brown p. 152
- Brown p. 152
- Brown, David. Warship Losses of World War Two. Arms and Armour, London, Great Britain, 1990. ISBN 0-85368-802-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: USS Drexler (DD-741)|
- history.navy.mil: USS Drexler
- navsource.org: USS Drexler
- hazegray.org: USS Drexler
-  Home Port of the U.S.S. Drexler Survivors' Reunion Association (Official website of the Organization)
- Oral history interview with William Burrows, a seaman on the Drexler, describing the sinking from the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University