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  USS Gamble DD-123 (DM-15)
Wickes class destroyer

1,090 Tons
314' 5" x 31' 9" x 8' 8"
4 x 4" guns
2 x 3" guns
12 x 21" torpedo tubes
1 depth charge projector
2 dpeth charge racks

Ship History
Built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News. Laid down November 12, 1917. Launched May 11, 1918 sponsored by Miss Evelyn H. Jackson, relative of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. Commissioned November 29, 1918 into the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Gamble DD-123 at Norfolk with H. J. Abbett in command. Named in honor of two brothers: Lt. Peter Gamble and Lt. Col. John M. Gamble. Served in World War I.

On May 24, 1930 recommissioned as DM-15 and during June 1930 converted into a light mine layer at Mare Island. On July 2, 1930 arrived at Pearl Harbor as the flagship for Mine Squadron 2 and later Mine Division 1, Mine Squadron 1. Afterwards, patrolled Hawaii to train Navy personnel in mine warfare and served as a plane guard, radio relay for seaplanes and participated in training exercises. On December 22, 1937 decommissioned in San Diego. On September 25, 1939 recommissioned for service and assigned to Mine Division 5 and patrolled off San Francisco. In April 1941 returned to Pearl Harbor assigned to Mine Division 2 and continued patrols off Hawaii.

Wartime History
On December 7, 1941 Gamble was returning to Pearl Harbor after a patrol off Hawaii. During the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor, her gunners fired at enemy aircraft and observed one crashing into the sea. Afterwards, assigned to provide anti-submarine duties for USS Enterprise (CV-3) then guarded the entrances to Pearl Harbor.

On August 1, 1942, USS Gamble, USS Breese and USS Tracy laid a defensive mine field off the entrance to Second Channel off Espiritu Santo.

The next day, USS Tucker DD-374 accidentally struck a mine while escorting SS Nira Luckenbach. The damaged destroyer sank on August 4, 1942. On October 26, 1942 SS President Coolidge accidentally hit two mines and sank.

On August 29, 1942 Gamble released depth charges that sank Japanese submarine I-123 roughly sixty miles east of Savo. That afternoon, proceeded at full speed to Nura Island to rescue four aviators from USS Saratoga. On August 31, transported 158 Marines to Guadalcanal and patrolled off Lunga Roads. On September 5, 1942 assisted USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) grounded on the southeast end of Sylvia Reef, then escorted the vessel to Espiritu Santo. Afterwards, continued to patrol, escort, and provide transport to Guadalcanal.

On May 6, 1943 USS Pringle (DD-477), USS Preble (DD-345) and USS Breese (DD-122) and USS Gamble (DD-123) laid sea mines into the Blackett Strait and western entrance to Kula Gulf and afterwards refueled at Tulagi.

During the night of May 7-8, 1943 a group of four Japanese destroyers entered the minefield. One was sunk and Oyashio and Kagero were damaged. Michishio attempted to help the damaged vessles, and were spotted by a coastwatcher and aircraft intercepted, damaging Michishio.

During the night of June 29-30, 1943 USS Pringle (DD-477), USS Gamble (DD-123), USS Preble (DD-345) and USS Breese (DD-122) laid 336 mines south east of Shortland Harbor then returned to Tulagi.

During July 1943 Gamble returned to the United States for overhaul and departed again on September 20, 1943.

On November 1-2, 1943 this vessel served as a minelayer off Empress Augusta Bay then mined the Bougainville Strait on November 7-8. Afterwards, to Gamble arrived at Purvis Bay on November 23-24 and then to New Hebrides for escort duty among in the Solomons.

Departed for San Francisco arriving October 12, 1944 for overhaul and training. Departed January 7, 1945 via Hawaii and the Marshalls. Arrived off Iwo Jima on February 17 to provide fire support and mine removal. The destroyer scored a magazine at the base of Mount Surabachi.

On February 18, 1945, Gamble was hit above the waterline by two 250lb bombs, flooding the fire rooms and became dead in the water on fire. Five were killed in the attack, one missing and eight wounded. The next day, Gamble was towed by USS Dorsey, then by L8M-126 reaching Saipan on February 24.

Moored alongside Hamul, repairing the damaged destroyer was deemed too extensive. Gamble was decommissioned on June 1, 1945 and earned seven battle stars for service in World War II.

Sinking History
On July 16, 1945 towed outside Apra Harbor off Guam and deliberately sunk.

War with Japan: The Campaigns in the Solomons and New Guinea page 162

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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