USS Young (DD-580)

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USS Young (DD-580) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 26 July 1945
USS Young (DD-580) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 26 July 1945
Career (US)
Name: USS Young
Namesake: Rear Admiral Lucien Young
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation
Laid down: 7 May 1942
Launched: 15 October 1942
Commissioned: 31 July 1943
Decommissioned: January 1947
Struck: 1 May 1968
Fate: Sunk as a target, 6 March 1970
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 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 273
Armament: 5 × 5 in./38 guns (127 mm),
10 × 40 mm AA guns,
7 × 20 mm AA guns,
10 × 21 in. torpedo tubes,
6 × depth charge projectors,
2 × depth charge tracks

USS Young (DD-580), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy of that name. She was the first to be named for Rear Admiral Lucien Young (1852–1912).

Young was laid down on 7 May 1942 at Orange, Tex., by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on 15 October 1942, sponsored by Mrs. J. M. Schelling; and commissioned on 31 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander George B. Madden in command.

1943[edit]

Following a shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, the USS Young briefly operated out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During that assignment, she formed part of the escort for Iowa (BB-61) when that battleship carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic on the first leg of his journey to the Teheran Conference of November 1943. In the midst of that voyage, the destroyer received orders instructing her to head for the Pacific theater. She transited the Panama Canal on 24 November and reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet. She arrived in Pearl Harbor early in December and received orders assigning her to the small U.S. 9th Fleet in the northmost Pacific Ocean. The USS Young remained at Pearl Harbor for several weeks, and she then headed for the Aleutian Islands, where she arrived in mid-January 1944.

1944[edit]

The arrival of the USS Young in Alaskan waters, however, came some three months after the Aleutians campaign ended. Her duties for the next eight months, therefore, consisted of escort and patrol missions spiced with an occasional bombardment of Japanese installations in the Kuril Islands. She was an element of Rear Admiral Wilder D. Baker's striking force on 2 February 1944 when that unit conducted the first bombardment of Japanese home territory in the Kurils. She twice returned to those islands in June, shelling Matsuwa on the 13th and Paramushiro on the 26th. Otherwise, her only enemy during the first eight months of 1944 proved to be the foul Aleutians weather.

During September, she returned to the United States for an overhaul. Upon completing repairs, the destroyer departed San Francisco Bay on 6 October, bound for the western Pacific. Reporting in at Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands late in the month, she received orders to join the escort of a supply convoy bound for the newly invaded Philippines. She reached Leyte Island on 18 November in the midst of an enemy air attack on the invasion fleet. She and her colleagues in the convoy screen combined to splash three of the attacking aircraft.

On 19 December, the Young departed Leyte with 10 other destroyers in the screen of the first Mindoro resupply echelon. The unit came under enemy air attack early in the morning of the 21st but encountered no concerted air opposition until near dusk. At about 17:18, a raid of five kamikazes broke through the combat air patrol, and three of the suicide planes succeeded in their missions, hitting the LST-460, the LST-479, and the Liberty ship S.S. Juan de Fuca. Both LSTs had to be abandoned, but the S.S. Juan de Fuca continued on and reached Mindoro safely with the convoy on the 22nd. During the return voyage, enemy planes returned to harass the convoy but failed to inflict damage. During the approach to and the retirement from Mindoro, the Young claimed a total of five unassisted splashes and two assists.

1945[edit]

The USS Young's first amphibious assault came during the invasion of Luzon in January 1945. During the main landing on the 9th, she served as a unit of the screen for the landing craft of Attack Group "Baker" and covered part of the landings at Lingayen Gulf itself. The assault went off practically unopposed, in an example of the new Japanese tactics of fighting an amphibious force inland with conventional infantry tactics rather than trying to smash the landing at the beach. Since the American troops encountered no real resistance until they had advanced inland well beyond the range of destroyer guns, the Young and her accompanying warships had little to do at Lingayen Gulf.

That pattern repeated itself at Zambales later in the month when the Young, in reconnoitering the landing area, encountered a small boat embarking a Filippino guerrilla lieutenant who informed the destroyer that the area had already been secured by his forces. The Zambales landing went off without a shot being fired.

During operations around Subic and Manila Bays, the warship joined the USS Nicholas (DD-449) in destroying two Japanese 17-foot (5.2 m) suicide boats sent in from Corregidor to break up the Mariveles occupation force on 14 February. Two days later, she participated in the reduction and capture of the source of those boats—Corregidor. She bombarded "The Rock" before the assault and then helped silence enemy batteries on Caballo Island when they opened up on the landing craft. Later that morning, she threaded her way through mine-infested waters to provide gunfire support for the troops taking the island fortress.

During the following weeks, the USS Young conducted patrols out of Subic Bay. In April, she supported one of the U.S. Army's landings on Mindanao, but that operation, thanks to strong Moro guerrilla activity, proved to be another walkover. She continued her patrol operations in the Philippines until the end of the third week in May at which time she received orders to return to the United States for repairs. Steaming via Eniwetok Atoll and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, she arrived in San Francisco Bay on 12 June and began a 47-day overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard.

Late in July, the USS Young completed her post-overhaul trials and, early in August, she headed back toward Pearl Harbor. However, by the time of her arrival, hostilities had already ceased. Instead of continuing westwards, she began operations in the Hawaiian Islands area as escort and plane guard for the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3). On 25 September, she departed Hawaii in company with various units of the U.S. 3rd Fleet en route to the East Coast for the 1945 Navy Day celebration. On 27 October, the Young arrived in New York City, where President Harry Truman reviewed the assembled ships.

The Young remained in New York until 1 November when she steamed towards Charleston, South Carolina, where she was placed in reserve on 31 January 1946. Finally decommissioned sometime in January 1947, the destroyer remained in reserve until 1 May 1968, at which time her name was stricken from the Navy list. On 6 March 1970, the USS Young was sunk as a target off the mid-Atlantic coast.

The USS Young (DD-580) earned five battle stars during World War II.

See USS Young for other ships of the same name.

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