USS Stevenson (DD-645)
USS Stevenson underway in December 1942.
|Namesake:||John H. Stevenson|
|Builder:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company|
|Laid down:||23 July 1942|
|Launched:||11 November 1942|
|Commissioned:||15 December 1942|
|Decommissioned:||27 April 1946|
|Struck:||1 June 1968|
|Fate:||Sold 2 June 1970 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 Stevenson (DD-645), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be assigned that name. The first vessel, Stevenson (DD-503), was cancelled during construction and never completed. Both ships are named for John H. Stevenson.
Stevenson was laid down on 23 July 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey and launched on 11 November 1942, sponsored by Miss Mary Stevenson, daughter of Pay Inspector Stevenson. The ship was commissioned on 15 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander Thomas C. Greene in command.
Stevenson commenced shakedown in late December immediately after commissioning, but, on 4 February 1943, she collided with SS Berwind Vale off Newport, Rhode Island, losing part of her bow. After repairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, she escorted five merchant convoys between the U.S. east coast and North African ports. During that period, March through December 1943, she made several attacks on suspected submarine contacts, but none resulted in a confirmed kill.
On 23 January 1944, Stevenson left Norfolk to join the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Southwest Pacific. Shortly after arriving, she saw her first action, providing gunfire support for the landings on Los Negros Island in the Admiralties on 29 February 1944. For the next five months she took part in the leap-frogging assaults along the New Guinea coast, participating in the landings in Humboldt Bay in April, at Wakde in May, and at Sansapor and Noemfoor in July. On 20 August, Stevenson departed New Guinea to join the Palau Islands invasion force. She was employed during the landings as a unit of the transport screen, both en route and at the objective. Upon completion of the Palau operations, she sailed on 14 October for Seattle, Washington, for overhaul.
Refresher training lasted until 27 January 1945, when she left Pearl Harbor for Ulithi. From February to August 1945, Stevenson escorted the replenishment units of the Logistics Support Group, which supported the fast carrier forces during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations and the air strikes on the Japanese homeland. On 5 June, she weathered a typhoon; by the end of the war, she was operating within 200 miles (370 km) of the Japanese coast to support Admiral William F. Halsey's carriers. After brief occupation duty, during which she rode out Typhoon Louise in Japan between 9–11 October, the destroyer sailed for home via Singapore and Cape Town. She arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, on 20 January 1946, where she was decommissioned on 27 April 1946 and placed in reserve. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 June 1968.