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  USS Colhoun APD-2 (DD-85)
Wickes-class destroyer
High-Speed transport

1,060 Tons
315' 5" x 31' 9" x 9' 2"
4 x 4" 50 cal guns
1 x 3" 23 cal gun
4x3 21" torpedo tubes
20mm cannons

Click For Enlargement
USN August 30, 1942
Ship History
Built by Fore River Ship Building Company in Quincy, MA. Laid down September 19, 1917 as Wickes-class destroyer. Launched February 21, 1918 as USS Colhoun sponsored by Helen A. Colhoun, the daughter of Edmund Ross Colhoun. Commissioned June 13, 1918 in the U.S. Navy (USN) with Commander B. B. Wygant in command.

During World War I, assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, she was assigned to convoy escort duty between New York and in Europe, escorting transports with troops and supplies between June 30, 1918 until September 14, 1918.

On November 18, 1918, arrived at New London, to assist in tests of acoustic equipment under development. On January 1, 1919, she rushed to assist the troop transport returning from Europe bound for Hoboken, NJ that ran aground off Fire Island, NY and assisted the rescue of 194 passengers.

On December 1, 1919, placed in reduced commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard, and then underwent an overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard. Between 1919 and 1922, Colhoun remained assigned to the Atlantic Fleet on reserve status, based out of Charleston, SC. She took part in sporadic fleet exercises and large maneuvers, as well as taking several midshipman cruises through the Caribbean and along the east coast. On July 17, 1920 designated DD-85.

During 1922, returned to Philadelphia Naval Yard and was decommissioned on June 28, 1922. Afterwards, towed to Norfolk Navy Yard on June 5, 1940, and began conversion to a high-speed transport. She was recommissioned into the fleet on December 11, 1940, reclassified as a high-speed transport designated APD-2. Following this, she underwent a year of training between Norfolk and the Caribbean.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War, Colhoun joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Transport Squadron 12 based at Pearl Harbor and began conducting anti-submarine exercises off Hawaii. Afterwards to Nouméa Harbor arriving July 21, 1942 then joins the task force bound for the invasion of Guadalcanal.

On August 7, 1942, Colhoun landed Marines of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion at Red Beach on Guadalcanal then served as a transport and anti-submarine vessel in support of the invasion force.

Sinking History
On August 30, 1942 in the morning Colhoun unloaded supplies at Kukum Point on Guadalcanal then began an anti-submarine patrol. Before noon, an air raid siren signaled an incoming Japanese air raid and Colhoun got underway.

A second alert was received at 2:00pm and soon after a lookout spotted a formation of Japanese aircraft approaching and dove down to release three bombs aimed at Colhoun, two landing nearby and one hitting the aft searchlight platform and a boat. The bomb blew the aft davits down and forward, blocking the aft engine room hatches, and starting a fire from the diesel oil spilled by the boat. Colhoun attempted to return fire with her anti-aircraft batteries, but the Japanese aircraft remained obscured by clouds.

A second dive bomber dropped five or six bombs off the starboard side, knocking down the foremast and blowing two 20mm cannons and one 4" gun off the ship. A oil cooler pump in the aft engine room blew through the bulkhead into the forward engine room. Another two bombs scored direct hits on the aft deck house, killing everyone inside. An order was given to abandon ship before Colhoun sank a roughly Lat 09°24′S Long 160°01′E off Lunga Point into Iron Bottom Sound. Fifty-one men were killed and 18 wounded in the sinking. Officially stricken from the Navy register on September 11, 1942. Colhoun earned two battle stars for her World War II service.

Fates of the Crew
Several lighters from Guadalcanal arrived to rescue survivors. Others swam to Guadalcanal.

Navy Source USS Colhoun (APD-2)
The Four Stack APDs: The Famed Green Dragons pages 58-59

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Last Updated
September 2, 2021


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