USS Edison (DD-439)
|Namesake:||Thomas Alva Edison|
|Builder:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company|
|Laid down:||18 March 1940|
|Launched:||23 November 1940|
|Commissioned:||31 January 1941|
|Decommissioned:||18 May 1946|
|Struck:||1 April 1966|
|Fate:||Sold 29 December 1966 and broken up for scrap|
|Class and type:||Gleaves-class destroyer|
|Length:||348 ft 3 in (106.15 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)|
|Draft:||11 ft 10 in (3.61 m)|
|Speed:||37.4 knots (69 km/h)|
|Range:||6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Complement:||16 officers, 260 enlisted|
USS Edison (DD-439), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Thomas Alva Edison, an inventor and businessman who developed many important devices and received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his contributions to the Navy during World War I. Edison was one of the few U.S. Navy ships to be named for a civilian.
Edison was launched 23 November 1940 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Alva Edison, widow of the inventor; and commissioned 31 January 1941, Lieutenant Commander A. C. Murdaugh in command. Murdaugh was allowed to hand-pick the specific 5"/38 caliber gun barrels to be installed on the ship himself, but, much to his dismay, President Roosevelt personally ordered them transferred to the British cruiser HMS Delhi.
In the months following commissioning, Edison operated on the east coast, training and exercising with the fleet, with passenger and mail runs to NS Argentia, Newfoundland. In November she escorted a convoy to Iceland, her first of many voyages which kept the lifelines open to northern bases and Britain.
On 24 October 1942 Edison set sail from Norfolk with a task group bound for the invasion at Fedhala, French Morocco, 8 November. She engaged shore batteries and enemy destroyers at Cape Fedhala and protected shipping lying off the beachheads during the Naval Battle of Casablanca:
A total of 362 rounds were fired, 74 at the shore battery, 20 in the first engagement, and 268 in the second destroyer engagement, of which it is estimated that 200 rounds were fired at the first destroyer and 68 at the second. All firing was director-controlled, rapid, continuous fire. The average gun range for the first firing was 9,500 yards, for the second 14,000 yards, and for the third 12,500 yards ...
... It is particularly pleasing that the guns maintained a sustained rapid fire of 268 rounds (average 68 rounds per gun) at an estimated rate of at least 12 shots per gun per minute without casualty.
From July 1943 to February 1944, Edison served in the Mediterranean Sea. On 10 July she provided fire support for the troops landing on Sicily to which she escorted support convoys from Algiers and Bizerte until September. She screened the assault transports in the invasion at Salerno on 9 September, and remained off the beaches to guard minesweepers and provide fire support for the advancing troops. Continuing Mediterranean escort duty, on 16 December Edison screened while Woolsey forced U-73 to the surface with depth charges and sank it with gunfire. Edison picked up 11 survivors. On 21 January 1944 Edison arrived off Anzio to patrol during the invasion landings. She provided fire support to the beleaguered troops and escorted transports and cargo ships to the beachhead until February, then sailed home for overhaul.
Edison returned to the Mediterranean 1 May 1944 for escort and patrol off Italy. On 15 August she was in the thick of the invasion of southern France. Until the end of the year, she continued to pound shore batteries, railroads, and troop concentrations as well as patrol. At New York 17 January 1945, Edison underwent overhaul then escorted a convoy to Le Havre during April and May.
|ON 34||12-21 Nov 1941||from Iceland to Newfoundland prior to US declaration of war|
|HX 163||5-15 Dec 1941||from Newfoundland to Iceland; war declared during convoy|
|ON 47||22-23 Dec 1941||from Iceland to Newfoundland|
|HX 170||16-24 Jan 1942||from Newfoundland to Iceland|
|HX 173||3-10 Feb 1942||from Newfoundland to Iceland|
|ON 67||19-28 Feb 1942||from Iceland to Newfoundland|
|HX 180||MOEF group A5||19–26 March 1942||from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland|
|ON 81||MOEF group A5||30 March-9 April 1942||from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland|
|AT 17||1–12 July 1942||troopships from New York City to Firth of Clyde|
Edison sailed inter coastal from New York 8 June 1945, and was training at Pearl Harbor when the war ended. She reached Japan in September for the occupation. She left Nagoya on 3 November to be a weather station in the Aleutians. The destroyer returned to San Francisco on 30 December, then continued to the east coast where she was placed out of commission in reserve at Charleston 18 May 1946, later in Philadelphia, where she lay at end of 1962. She was sold on 29 December 1966.
- American Defense Service Medal with "FLEET" clasp
- American Campaign Medal with one battle star
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five battle stars
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Medal with "ASIA" clasp
- United States Navy, AntiAircraft Action Summary, July 1942 to Dec 1942 (Information Bulletin No. 22), p. 161-163
- "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "AT convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 20 June 2011.