USS Fleming (DE-32)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Fleming.
USS Fleming (DE-32).jpg
Career (United States)
Name: USS Fleming (DE-32)
Laid down: 24 December 1942
Launched: 16 June 1943
Commissioned: 18 September 1943
Decommissioned: 15 November 1945
Struck: 28 November 1945
Fate: Sold for scrap on 29 January 1948
General characteristics
Class & type: Evarts class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,140 (standard), 1,430 tons (full)
Length: 283 ft 6 in (86.41 m) (waterline), 289 ft 5 in (88.21 m) (overall))
Beam: 35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)
Draft: 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m) (max)
Propulsion:
Speed: 19 kn (35 km/h)
Range: 4,150 nm
Complement: 15 officers, 183 enlisted
Armament: 3 × 3 in/50 cal Mk 22 dual purpose guns (1x3), 4 × 1.1 in/75 cal Mk 2 AA guns (1x4), 9 × Oerlikon 20 mm Mk 4 AA cannons, 1 × Hedgehog Projector Mk 10 (144 rounds), 8 × Mk 6 depth charge projectors, 2 × Mk 9 depth charge tracks

The second USS Fleming (DE-32), and first ship of the name to enter service, was an Evarts-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. While performing convoy and escort duty in the Pacific Ocean she was also able to sink one Japanese submarine and to shoot down several kamikaze planes that intended to crash onto her. For her military prowess under battle conditions, she was awarded four battle stars.

She was launched on 16 June 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. W. E. Rutherford; and commissioned on 18 September 1943, Lieutenant Commander R. J. Toner in command.

Service history[edit]

After training in the Hawaiian Islands, Fleming arrived at Tarawa on 15 January 1944 for local patrol and escort duty, as well as escort missions to Makin, Majuro, Funafuti, and Kwajalein through April. She returned to Pearl Harbor for a brief overhaul from 19 May – 7 June, then sailed for Eniwetok where she joined a convoy bound for Guam, arriving on 27 June. Fleming patrolled off Orote, and escorted merchantmen from Guam to Tinian and Eniwetok until 20 August, when she sailed to escort an attack transport to Saipan and Pearl Harbor.

Completing her assignment in the Mariana Islands operation, Fleming acted as target for submarines training in Hawaiian waters until 17 October, when she arrived at Eniwetok to begin 4 months of convoy escort duty between Eniwetok and Ulithi, the great base whose buildup was essential to the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.

On the night of 8 January 1945, guarding two tankers en route from Ulithi to Eniwetok, Fleming made a radar contact and began the five Hedgehog and depth charge attacks which sank I-362 just after midnight on 14 January.

In late-February and early-March, Fleming made escort voyages from Eniwetok to Saipan and Guam, then on 13 March arrived at Ulithi to prepare for the Okinawa assault. She sortied on 21 March in the screen of escort carriers providing air support for the initial landings on 1 April, and sailed with them until 17 April, when she departed the area to escort Natoma Bay to Guam for repairs. The escort carrier and destroyer escort sailed from Guam on 4 May to return to duty at Okinawa 4 days later.

On 20 May, still screening the escort carriers, Fleming splashed two of three Japanese planes which attempted to kamikaze or bomb her, driving the third away. Five days later, she rescued 11 survivors of LSM-135 and 20 of Bates, both sunk by kamikazes. Fleming continued to serve off Okinawa until 5 July, when she sailed for a west coast overhaul.

Still in the yard when the war ended, she was decommissioned on 10 November 1945, and sold for scrap on 29 January 1948.

Awards[edit]

Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with four service stars)
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]