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  USS Long DD-209
Clemson Class Destroyer

1,190 Tons
314' 5" x 31' 9" x 9' 3"
8 x 4" gun
1 x 3" gun
12 x 21" torpedo tubes

Ship History
Built by the William Cramp and Sons at Philadelphia, PA. Laid down September 23, 1918. Launched April 26, 1919 by Mrs. Arnold Knapp. Commissioned October 20, 1919 with Commander A. B. Cook in command.

After shakedown along the Atlantic coast, Long departed for the Mediterranean. Assigned to Destroyer Division 26, she cruised the Adriatic and Mediterranean and served as station ship before steaming to the Philippines early in 1921 for duty with Asiatic station. Based at Cavite, she cruised the South China Sea until July 1922. ordered to the United States.

On December 30, 1922 decommissioned at San Diego. Recommissioned on March 29, 1930 with Lt. Comdr. William J. Butler in command operating off the coast of California for the next decade, crusing along the Pacific coast of North and Central America for division exercises and screen and plane guard duty. Between 1933 and 1935 she twice entered the rotating Reserve as part of Destroyer Squadron 20. During 1940 she was converted to destroyer minesweeper, and reclassified DMS-12 on 19 November 1940.

Wartime Service
Long operated along the west coast and in Hawaiian waters with Mine Squadron 2. On 5 December 1941 she departed Pearl Harbor in the screen for USS Indianapolis (CA-35). Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 2 days later, she returned there 9 December and began antisubmarine patrols. She also escorted ships among the Hawaiian Islands and between March and June 1942, made escort runs to Midway, Palmyra, and Canton.

Long left Pearl Harbor 30 June for patrol and escort duty in Alaskan waters. After colliding with Monaghan (DD-354) in heavy fog 27 July, she repaired at San Francisco, California, returning to Kodiak 27 September for screen and antisubmarine patrols. During the Arctic winter she patrolled the approaches to Adak and guarded convoys as American forces sought to defeat Japanese garrisons in the western Aleutians.

On January 12, Long took part in the unopposed occupation of Amchitka and while patrolling around the island, helped repel Japanese air attacks on January 31 and February 1. Afterwards, joined TF-51 commanded by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell on May 3. Steaming through the heavy spring seas and blanketing fog of the Bering Sea, she reached Attu on May 11 and swept for mines prior to the successful landings later that day.

Long continued escort and patrol operations for the occupations of Attu and Kiska through the summer, returning to Pearl Harbor 16 September to escort merchantmen to San Francisco where she overhauled. After patrol in Hawaiian waters 15 November to 22 January 1944, she escorted reinforcements to Roi and Namur on February 2, then joined TF 76 on February 28 in New Guinea. She served as escort and swept mines in the conquest of the Admiralties early in March, then escorted convoys to and from Milne Bay, Guadalcanal, and Espiritu Santo from Cape Sudest.

On 18 April Long sailed for the invasion of the Hollandia, entering Humboldt Bay on 22 April, made an exploratory sweep, then fired a close-in preinvasion bombardment. Next, USS Long arrived at Guadalcanal early in May to prepare for the Marianas assault, for which she sailed 4 June. Arriving Saipan 13 June for preinvasion sweeps west of the island, Long served as radar picket and guard ship until 24 June, then after a voyage to the Marshalls, screened Pennsylvania (BB-38) during preinvasion bombardment of Guam beginning 12 July. After antisubmarine and convoy escort duty, Long joined TG 32.5 at Guadalcanal 16 August.

Long sortied for the assault on the Palaus 6 September, cleared mines off Peleliu and Angaur, and in Kossol Passage from 12 to 16 September, then had escort and patrol duty between the Palaus and Admiralties until joining the 7th Fleet 4 October for the invasion of the Philippines.

Leaving Seeadler Harbor 10 October with Minesweeping Unit 1, Long entered Leyte Gulf the 17th. Spearheading the invasion, she cleared mines off Dinagat and Hibuson Islands, and in the Dulag-Tacloban approach channel. After sweeping Surigao Strait, she patrolled and served as smokescreen ship in Leyte Gulf until 23 October, when she joined the transport screen and steamed in convoy for Manus, arriving 29 October.

After repairs and training at Manus, departed on December 23, 1944 to conduct minesweeping operations in advance of the U. S. landings in Lingayen Gulf. Inbound on January 2, 1945 in the Mindanao Sea her group was attacked as Japanese aircraft, the first of many air raids against the massive American invasion force.

Sinking History
On January 6, 1945 began mine sweeping operations in Lingayen Gulf and came under attack by Japanese aircraft. After noon behgain her second run when she spotted two A6M Zeros headed towards her and reduced speed to 25 knots and opened fire but one crashed into her portside below the bridge about 1' above the waterline.

The impact caused fires and explosions amidship and Long lost power and internal communications, and was unable to fight fires forward. Her commanding officer, Lt. Stanley Caplin, fearing an explosion in the forward magazine, gave permission for men trapped on the forecastle to leave the ship, but through misunderstanding, the crew aft abandoned ship.

Lieutenant Caplin prepared to lead a salvage party and board Long from tug USS Apache (ATF-67), but continuing heavy air attacks prevented firefighting and salvage attempts. Later that afternoon a second plane attacked Long and exploded at the same spot, destroying the bridge and breaking the ship’s back. Long capsized and sank the following morning. Several of the survivors rescued by Hovey perished when Hovey herself was torpedoed and sunk by enemy planes early the next morning. Long received nine battle stars for World War II service.

The crew that abandoned ship were quickly rescued by USS Hovey (DMS-11) that was standing by to render aid.

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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