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  USS Zane DD-337 (DMS-14/AG-109)
USN
Clemson-class destroyer

1,215 Tons
314' 4 1/2" x 30 11.5" x 9' 4"
4 x 4" guns
1 x 3" gun
12 x 21" torpedo tubes



USN May 31, 1942
Ship History
Built by Mare Island Naval Shipyard on Mare Island. Laid down January 15, 1919. Launched August 12, 1919 sponsored by Miss Marjorie Zane, daughter of U. S. Marine Major Randolph T. Zane. Commissioned February 15, 1921 into the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Zane DD-337. After fitting out and shakedown cruise departed in June 1921 for Bremerton then back to Mare Island and was assigned to Destroyer Division 14 at San Francisco.

On June 22, 1921 departed across the Pacific via Pearl Harbor, Midway and Guam then reached Cavite on August 24, 1921. For the remainder of the year and first half of June 1922 operated from Cavite, Manila, Olongapo and Lingayen Gulf then in early June 1922 departed for China.

On June 6, 1922 at 11:58am Chinese steamer Tse Kiang accidentally collided with Zane off the coast of China. Luckily, Zane only sustained minor damage and under her own power arrived at Shanghai and was moored alongside USS Rathburne (DD-113) then entered the Yangtsepoo dry dock for minor repairs. On July 5, 1922 departed for Chefoo (Zhifu) and remained until the end of the month to Chinwangtao (Qinhuangdao) then back to Chefoo.

On August 25, 1922 departed Chefoo via Nagasaki then to San Francisco arriving October 2, 1922. A week later to Mare Island where armaments were removed ahead of retirement. On February 1, 1923 decommissioned and mothballed at San Diego.

On February 25, 1930 recommissioned with Lt. Comdr. C. J. Parrish in command and was assigned to various units and participated in Fleet Exercises off the west coast and in the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Panama. On November 19, 1940 at Pearl Harbor converted to a high-speed minesweeper and redesignated DMS-14 and patrolled around Hawaii.

Wartime History
On December 7, 1941 at the start of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu moored off Pearl City with Mine Division 4 with USS Trever (DMS-16), USS Wasmuth (DMS-15) and USS Perry (DMS-17). At 7:57am a signalman on watch observed an aircraft drop a bomb on Ford Island and went to general quarters with Lt. Commander L. M. LeHardy the most senior officer aboard who took command and her anti-aircraft gunners fired on attacking planes and by 8:03am was preparing to get underway. At 8:30am spotted a submarine 200 yards astern of USS Medusa AR-1 anchored nearby but was unable to fire with her guns that were blocked by the other minesweepers and observed USS Monaghan (DD-354) ram and depth charge the submarine. As the second wave attacked, one enemy plane was shot down and afterwards got underway to patrol offshore including a mine sweep at the entrance of Pearl Harbor then conducted anti-submarine patrols and was undamaged during the attacks.

During early 1942, Zane operated from Pearl Harbor patrolling around Hawaii. On April 5, 1942 departed as part of the escort for Convoy Number 4079 to San Pedro then proceeded to Mare Island for repairs and alterations. By June 1942 returned to Pearl Harbor then departed for the South Pacific.

On August 7, 1942 conducted mine sweeping operations with USS Hopkins (DMS-13), USS Southard (DMS-10) and USS Hovey (DMS-11) and USS Trever (DMS-16) to clear a 1,000 yard area between Purvis Bay on Florida Island to Gavutu Island then to "Red Beach" on Tulagi Island and down to the Lengo Channel to Indispensable Strait. During the operation, Japanese guns fired on the minesweepers force but did not cause any damage. By 3:50pm the mine sweeping operation was completed without any sea mines found.

During the Guadalcanal campaign, Zane operated from Tulagi Harbor and performed sweeps and patrol operations and departed for Noumea then returned to the Solomon Islands. Later proceeded to Espiritu Santo and with USS Trever (DMS-16) was loaded with deck cargo including drums of aviation fuel, torpedoes and ordnance plus two PT Boats under tow then departed for the Solomons.

On October 25, 1942 at 5:30am with USS Trever (DMS-16) arrived in Tulagi Harbor and was unloaded by 8:09am when an air raid alarm and alert was sounded as enemy warships were spotted entering Iron Bottom Sound. Both minesweepers exit Tulagi Harbor at full speed in an effort to evacuate the area. Meanwhile, three Japanese destroyers Akatsuki, Ikazuchi, and Shiratsuyu entered visual range and at 10:30am opened fire on the minesweepers with armor-piercing shells loaded for their shore bombardment mission scoring near misses with one 127mm shell scoring a direct hit on Zane's no. 1 3" gun turret killing three inside. Other shells damaged rigging and antenna arrays and halyards until 10:40am when the destroyers turned away to engage USS Seminole (AT-65) and YP-284 off Lunga Point while the pair of minesweepers escaped to the east.

During November 1942 repeated the same mission with USS Trever (DMS-16) and Zane towing PT Boats from MTBS 2 from Noumea to Tulagi Harbor. Afterwards, escorted a convoy New Hebrides to Tulagi.

During January 1943 arrived at Sydney Harbor for repairs and rest and recuperation for her crew. On January 22, 1943 ordered to rescued survivors of Peter H. Burnett that was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-21 and was abandoned but remained afloat. On January 25, 1943 Zane rescued surviving crew and passengers and took the damaged ship under tow back to Sydney Harbor arriving two days later.

In late February 1943 returned to Guadalcanal and was assigned to the Spit Kit Expeditionary Force to Task Unit 61.1.3 (TU-61.1.3) towing landing craft for Operation Cleanslate to occupy the Russell Islands.

On June 1, 1943 in Calliope Drydock at Devonport and temporarily attached to the mine sweeping group for Task Force 32 (TF-32) under Rear Admiral Turner. On June 14, 1943 left dry dock and was moored to the jetty at Devonport for refueling. On June 16, 1943 anchored in Waitematā Harbour (Auckland Harbor) off Auckland. On June 17, 1943 departed with F. B. Willard and three days later rendezvoused with tanker Quebec at sea. On June 22, 1943 moored in Havana Harbor at berth #17 off Efaté and refueled the departed five days later.

On June 29, 1943 anchored off Koli Point on Guadalcanal then departed towing a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) and at 8:01am anchor in Pepesala Bay off Pavuvu Island in the Russell Islands and began embarking U. S. Army 169th Infantry Regiment, A Company and supplies for the upcoming landing with PT-109 briefly mooring alongside. Assigned to "Operation Toenails" to Task Unit 31.1.1 (TU 31.1.1) Onaiavisi Occupation Unit with USS Talbot (APD-7) then in the Russell Islands embarked a company from the 169th Infantry Regiment and an LCVP and that afternoon departed bound for the New Georgia Islands.

On June 30, 1943 at 2:25am despite bad weather in the Blanche Channel reached Onaiavisi Channel with USS Talbot (APD-7). At 2:57am, Zane ran aground but was able to land her troops and cargo off Sasavele Island (Dume Island). While grounded, Zane attempted to break free by turning to port and a second attempt was made with an LCVP pulling the stern but was unsuccessful.

At 5:15am Zane managed to twist free and jettisoned the starboard anchor. At 5:30am ran aground again on the stern and suffered propeller damage. Aboard, the crew was ordered to move ammunition and fuel forward and flood forward tanks in an attempt to break free. At 10:00am a tow line was secured from USS Talbot (APD-7) but the line parted. At 11:10am enemy aircraft were reported in the area. At 11:50am another tow line was attached from USS Talbot (APD-7) but the line again parted.

At 2:00pm USS Rail (AT-139) attached a tow line and ten minutes later freed her but the line again parted. By 3:00pm Rail resumed towing at a speed of 8.5 knots on a course of 137° to the southeast transiting Blanche Channel. At 3:47 began firing at G4M1 Bettys and at 3:50pm observed fighters engaged in dog fights off the starboard beam. At 3:52pm the Bettys commenced torpedo runs and the crew observed several crashing in flames into the sea, fighter combat at low level and USS McCawley (APA-4) hit by a torpedo and by 4:03pm the air raid had ceased.

On July 2, 1943 arrived at Tulagi Harbor for temporary repairs then via Espiritu Santo and Pearl Harbor to Mare Island for permanent repairs and other alterations. On September 23, 1943 departed bound for Pearl Harbor arriving at the end of the month and operated off Hawaii until the middle of January 1944.

PARTIAL HISTORY

On June 5, 1945 reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary AG-109. On June 13, 1945 departed Leyte across the Pacific via Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor and San Diego. On November 25, 1945 transits the Panama Canal and four days later arrives at Norfolk. On December 14, 1945 decommissioned at Norfolk. On January 8, 1946 stricken from the Navy list and sold for scrap.

Fate
On October 22, 1946 delivered to Luria Brothers and Company and scrapping commenced on March 3, 1947.

Awards
For her World War II service, Zane earned six battle stars. In addition, she received the Navy Unit Commendation for her actions off Guadalcanal during 1942–1943.

Memorial
The starboard anchor of Zane jettisoned on June 30, 1943 remained underwater off Sasavele Island. During the 1990s, World War II veteran and former Zane crew member Joseph "Joe" Gunterman who was aboard June 30, 1943 hired local people to recover the starboard anchor where it was jettisoned on June 30, 1943 into Onaiavisi Channel and was placed near Sasavele village on the northeast of Sasavele Island as a memorial with a plaque and flag pole.

References
Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) "USS Zane, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack" December 10, 1941

Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) "Combat Narratives Miscellaneous Actions in the South Pacific" pages 47-53
NARA USS Zan War Diary June 1943 pages 1-31
NARA USS Zane War Diary June 1943 (Action Report) pages 32-36
(Page 35) "16 to 18 Proceeding as before in tow of USS Rail on course 137° (T) at 8.5 knots. 1603 Sky clear of enemy planes. Ceased firing. No casualties. Rounds expended 60 3"50 caliber, 1000 20mm."
NavSource - USS Zane (DD-337 / DMS-14 / AG-109)

FindAGrave - Joseph E. Gunterman (photo) passed away November 27, 2014 at age 91
Thanks to Shane Elliott for additional information

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020

 

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June 30, 1943
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