USS Trever (DD-339)
|Namesake:||Lt. Cmdr. George A. Trever|
|Builder:||Mare Island Naval Shipyard|
|Laid down:||12 August 1919|
|Launched:||15 September 1920|
|Commissioned:||3 August 1922|
|Decommissioned:||23 November 1945|
|Struck:||5 December 1945|
|Fate:||sold for scrapping, 12 November 1946|
|Class and type:||Clemson-class destroyer|
|Length:||314 feet 4 1⁄2 inches (95.822 m)|
|Beam:||30 feet 11 1⁄2 inches (9.436 m)|
|Draft:||9 feet 10 inches (3.00 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h)|
|Complement:||122 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||4 × 4 in (100 mm) guns, 1 × 3 in (76 mm) gun, 12 × 21 inch (533 mm) tt.|
Trever was built at the Mare Island Navy Yard. She launched on 15 September 1920, sponsored by Mrs. Bess McMillan Trever (George Trever's widow) and was commissioned on 3 August 1922, Lieutenant H. E. Snow in command.
After shakedown, Trever was taken out of commission between January 1923 and June 1930. The ship was recalled to active duty on 2 June 1930, operating out of San Diego with the Battle Force. She was reclassified as a high-speed minesweeper and redesignated DMS-16 on 19 November 1940, after which she was based at Pearl Harbor in 1941 as part of the Base Force, United States Fleet.
World War II
Trever was actively involved in naval operations in the Pacific throughout World War II.
On the morning of 7 December 1941 when Imperial Japan launched its aircraft in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Trever was moored in West Loch with the minesweeping ships Zane (DMS-14), Wasmuth (DMS-15), and Perry (DMS-17). She engaged the aircraft with her .50-caliber Browning machine guns was solely responsible for shooting one down, and contributed (with her sister ships) to another plane's demise. She extremely hurriedly sortied to sea, under the command of the captain of Henley (DD-391), as many commanding officers were not able to reach their ships before sortie. Trever's commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Agnew, who had gone to sea on board the Wasmuth, was able to rejoin his ship later that day. Trever spent the rest of the year, and beginning of the next, conducting minesweeping operations, local escort missions and antisubmarine patrols.
Trever next saw action in the first US amphibious assault of the war against the Solomon Islands with the aim of securing Guadalcanal. At first she screened transports and then joined the bombardment of a Japanese shore battery on the island of Gavutu; she scored a direct hit and the battery was destroyed. Later she used her AA guns to drive off bombers that had attacked transport ships. The following day Trever shot down four twin-engined Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers.
On that evening, 9 August, a Japanese cruiser force conducted a surprise attack on the allied (US and Australian) fleet, now known as the Battle of Savo Island. The outcome was a very heavy defeat for the allies, with 4 cruisers sunk and one severely damaged. However, the Japanese fleet did not press its advantage and the vulnerable transports supporting the invasion escaped unscathed. As a result of the battle the Allied warships withdrew and the transports retreated to New Caledonia (whose withdrawal Trever helped to screen). The invasion was subsequently supported by high-speed transports, including Trever herself. Her first mission was from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal, loaded with reinforcements and supplies for the hard-pressed marines. After hastily unloading she retired toward Nouméa, arriving there on 22 September. After escorting a further high-speed convoy to replenish land forces engaged on the Solomons she was deployed to search for survivors of the Battle of Cape Esperance, fought on the night of 12 October.
During the day's search, Trever took on board 34 enemy survivors, including three officers. One raft of eight refused to surrender and put up a fight, giving Trever no recourse but to destroy it and its occupants. Trever then transferred her prisoners to the transport McCawley and headed back to Espiritu Santo escorting the returning transports.
After completing another resupply mission, on 25 October, Trever had been expecting orders to bombard Japanese positions along Guadalcanal's coast. However, an intercepted message informed Lt. Cmdr. Agnew of Trever that three Japanese destroyers were approaching, apparently to bombard the airstrip at Henderson Field.
Two choices were open to Lt. Cmdr. Agnew, who was commanding the task unit (Trever and Zane). One was to head for the Maliala River to join Jamestown (PG-55) and the damaged McFarland (AVD-14) which were both well camouflaged. By following this plan, Zane and Trever, both uncamouflaged, might attract the Japanese into the area and raise a strong possibility of the destruction of all four highly vulnerable American ships. Accordingly, the ships attempted the alternative, a dash for safety.
The two old minecraft got underway and accelerated as fast as possible to clear the area. Some fifteen minutes later the Japanese destroyers' silhouettes came over the horizon, hull-down and travelling at high speed. The American ships could only manage 29 knots (33 mph; 54 km/h) and the Japanese, making 35 knots (40 mph; 65 km/h), gained rapidly and opened fire with their 5.5-inch (140 mm) guns while still out of range of the Americans' 3-inch armament. The first enemy shells overshot and sent up fountains of water several hundred yards ahead of the minecraft; the next salvo fell some 300 yards (300 m) astern.
The American ships used evasive action and returned fire from their 3-inch (76 mm) guns as Japanese salvos exploded into nearby sea. The Japanese then hit Zane amidships, killing three men.
Agnew now decided that his ships' best chance of survival would come from attempt to make a high speed transit of shoal-studded Niella Channel. Just as the Americans were changing course, the Japanese broke off the action, perhaps remembering their primary mission.
After continuing resupply runs through January 1943, Trever then steamed to Australia for overhaul, arriving at Sydney on 27 January.
She returned to Espiritu Santo on 28 February before calling at Wellington, New Zealand, on 31 May.
Returning to escort duties, she accompanied LST-343 from Lunga Roads to the Russell Islands on 20 June 1943. After nightfall, a twin-float Japanese biplane — a "washing machine Charlie" — came over and dropped bombs on the two ships, sending them to general quarters and provoking a return fire from Trever's 20-millimeter guns.
The old destroyer minesweeper next took part in operations in the New Georgia campaign. On the 29th, Rear Admiral George H. Fort raised his flag on Trever as Commander, TG 31.3. That night, in company with Schley (APD-14), McKean (APD-5), and seven infantry landing craft (LCIs), Trever departed Wernham Cove, Russell Islands. At daybreak the next morning, the APDs launched their landing boats. The troops landed at Oliana Bay, taking the Japanese defenders by surprise. Later that day, with the objective secured, Rear Admiral Fort disembarked at Renard Sound ending Trever's brief role as flagship.
On 5 July, American forces attacked at Kula Gulf to occupy Rice Anchorage and thus to prevent Japanese reinforcements from reaching Munda from Vila. Trever transported infantry and joined bombardment and transport groups in the assault.
On 5 August, Trever joined Honolulu (CL-48), which had lost her bow to a "long-lance" torpedo during the Battle of Kolombangara, and escorted the damaged cruiser from Espiritu Santo to Pearl Harbor. On 19 August, Trever got underway to escort an east-bound convoy to San Francisco.
After a month's overhaul at Mare Island, Trever steamed for Pearl Harbor on 8 October and touched there briefly before heading for Guadalcanal. On 11 November, she joined the screen for American Legion (AP-35) and escorted her to Empress Augusta Bay. Later that month, Trever took part in the landings at Cape Torokina, Bougainville.
Trever devoted the next year to escort missions and target towing duty in the South and Central Pacific. Perhaps the highlight of this service came in October 1944 when she joined the screen for torpedoed cruisers Houston (CL-81) and Canberra (CA-70) and escorted them safely to Ulithi.
On 18 December, as she was escorting a convoy toward the Western Carolines, Trever was caught in a typhoon. Visibility dropped to zero due to torrential rains, with mountainous waves and 90-knot (100 mph; 170 km/h) winds. At 16:30, a man making emergency repairs topside was washed overboard, and Trever immediately began a search for the missing sailor. Two hours later, she picked up her man: bruised, battered, and in shock — but alive.
The following day, Trever put into Guam and transferred her injured sailor to the naval hospital. On 22 December, she reached Eniwetok. On 24 December, she and Army transport Santa Isabel got underway for Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on the last day of 1944. Trever reached the Naval Repair Base, San Diego and began overhaul on 9 January 1945.
Upon completion of her repairs, she headed for Oahu on 25 March 1945. For the remainder of the war, Trever operated out of Pearl Harbor, where she had entered the hostilities with Japan four years before. On 4 June 1945, she was reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary and designated as AG-110.
On 22 September 1945, she departed Pearl Harbor for the last time and steamed to San Diego. After repairs, she proceeded via the Panama Canal Zone to Norfolk, Virginia, where she arrived on 21 October 1945. She was decommissioned on 23 November 1945, struck from the Navy list on 5 December 1945, and sold for scrapping on 12 November 1946.
Trever received five battle stars for her World War II service.
As of 2010, no other ship has been named Trever.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Cradle Cruise: A Navy Bluejacket Remembers Life Aboard the USS Trever During World War II, by Lon Dawson. ISBN 978-1-880954-07-2
- The "Terrible Tee" Goes Forth to War, by CDR D. M. Agnew, USN; United States Naval Institute Proceedings; Vol. No. 70, No. 7; July, 1944; pgs 817-828.