USS Gandy (DE-764)

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History
United States
Name: USS Gandy
Namesake: Andrew Jackson Gandy
Builder: Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida
Laid down: 1 March 1943
Launched: 12 December 1943
Commissioned: 7 February 1944
Decommissioned: 17 June 1946
Struck: 26 March 1951
Honors and
awards:
1 battle star (World War II)
Fate: Transferred to Italy, 10 January 1951
History
Italy
Name: Altair (F-591)
Acquired: 10 January 1951
Struck: 1971
Fate: Sunk as target ship, 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: Cannon-class destroyer escort
Displacement:
  • 1,240 long tons (1,260 t) standard
  • 1,620 long tons (1,646 t) full
Length:
  • 306 ft (93 m) o/a
  • 300 ft (91 m) w/l
Beam: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
Draft: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Propulsion: 4 × GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6,000 shp (4,474 kW), 2 screws
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 10,800 nmi (20,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers and 201 enlisted
Armament:

USS Gandy (DE-764) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

She was named in honor of Seaman Second Class Andrew Jackson Gandy who gallantly gave his life on board heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA-38) in a heroic gunnery action against Japanese torpedo planes during the Battle of Guadalcanal, 12–13 November 1942. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

Gandy was launched on 12 December 1943 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Tampa, Florida; sponsored by Miss Ruby Gandy, sister of Seaman Gandy; and commissioned at Tampa on 7 February 1944, Lt. Comdr W. A. Sessions in command.

World War II North Atlantic operations[edit]

Gandy, following shakedown training in Bermuda waters, joined Escort Division 22 at New York. After escorting Yukon (AF-9) to Norfolk, Virginia, she departed New York on 15 April 1944 as part of the escort for fast tanker Convoy CU-21 bound for Northern Ireland. The second day of the voyage at 0806, on 16 April, German submarine U-550 torpedoed and sank tanker SS Pan-Pennsylvania. During recovery of survivors by Joyce (DE-317), Gandy and Peterson (DE-152) at 0950, Joyce made sound contact with the U-boat and delivered a depth charge attack. When U-550 surfaced about 600 yards (550 m) on Gandy's starboard bow, Comdr. Sessions ordered "Right full rudder, come to 320, open fire and stand by to ram."

Sinking of German submarine U-550[edit]

Gandy headed for the submarine's conning tower but the U-boat's deft maneuvers caused the escort destroyer to hit it 30 feet (9 m) from the stern. Gandy hauled clear, silenced the submarine's machine gun battery with a short burst of gunfire, then observed the Germans abandoning ship. Joyce recovered twelve survivors as Gandy, with nearly four feet of her bow strake gone and several plates buckled, assessed her damage. U-550 was shaken by a muffled explosion and sank. Four of Gandy's men were injured in the fight.

Gandy continued with the convoy which reached Lisahally, Northern Ireland, on 26 April 1944. She returned to New York on 12 May and helped escort nine more convoys safely out of New York to Lisahally and Liverpool by 24 May 1945 when she returned from the last of these voyages.

The sunken German U-boat was found on 23 July 2012 in deep water about 70 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts.[1]

Transfer to Pacific Theatre operations[edit]

After repairs in the New York Naval Shipyard, she sailed on 8 June for brief training in Cuban waters before proceeding to Hawaii. She departed Pearl Harbor on 6 August 1945 en route to the Philippines via the Marshalls and the Carolines, then sailed from Leyte on the 24th in the escort of an occupation force convoy which entered Tokyo Bay on 1 September.

End-of-War activity[edit]

Following the formal signing of the surrender of Japan, the next day she escorted a convoy from Okinawa to Yokohama, Japan, and then departed on 16 November to serve the Philippine Sea Frontier on weather patrol between Manila, Samar, and Manicani.

Post-War decommissioning[edit]

Gandy departed Samar on 1 February 1946 and reached Norfolk, Virginia, via Hawaii, San Pedro, California, and the Panama Canal, on 26 March 1946. She decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Florida, on 17 June 1946. She was in reserve status until 10 January 1951 when she was transferred to Italy under the Military Assistance Program. She served the Italian Navy under the name of Altair (F-591) until she was stricken and sunk as a target in 1971.

Awards[edit]

Gandy received one battle star for service in World War II.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Explorers find downed German U-Boat off Massachusetts nearly 70 years after it sank". FOX News. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 

External links[edit]