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  USS Tucker (DD-374)
USN
Mahan-class destroyer

1,500 Tons
341' 4" x 35' x 9' 10"
1942 Armament
4 x 5" 38 cal DP guns
12 x 21" torpedo tubes
6 x 20mm AA guns
2 x Depth Charge racks
4 x K-gun depth charge projectors

Click For Enlargement
USN August 3, 1942

Click For Enlargement
USN August 5, 1942
Ship History
Built by by the Norfolk Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Laid down August 15, 1934 as a Mahan-class destroyer. Launched February 26, 1936 as USS Tucker (DD-374) named for Samuel Tucker an officer in the Continental Navy and the United States Navy, sponsored by a third cousin of Tucker. Commissioned July 23, 1936 in the U.S. Navy (USN) with Lieutenant Commander George T. Howard in command.

After her shakedown cruise, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 3, Destroyer Division 6 based at San Diego. During the late 1930s, operated off the west coast and Hawaii. During February 1939, took part in "Fleet Problem XX" in the Caribbean then returned to Hawaii arriving February 14, 1941. Made a cruise to Auckland arriving on March 17 and the South Pacific before returning to San Diego on September 19, then returned to Hawaii to join Task Force 19 (TF-19).

Wartime History
On December 7, 1941 moored in berth X-8 in the East Loch of Pearl Harbor. Moored to the port was USS Selfidge (DD-357) and to the starboard was USS Reid (DD-365). During the Japanese attack, Tucker responded with anti-aircraft fire from her machine guns and fired her 5" guns, claiming two attacking planes hit that crashed.

Afterwards, patrolled off Pearl Harbor then escorted convoys from the west coast to Hawaii for the next five months, then departed for the South Pacific, escorting USS Wright (AV-1) to Tutuila then to Suva and finally Nouméa. On April 27, 1942 enters Sydney Harbor to refuel then proceeds to Melbourne, Perth, and Fremantle before returning to Sydney Harbor.

On June 3, 1942 arrives Suva with USS Wright and operated off Fiji until early July. On July 10, 1942 departs escorting a convoy, arrives Auckland on July 30, 1942. The next day departs for Fiji where Tucker was ordered to escort SS Nira Luckenbach to Espiritu Santo with the pair departing August 1, 1942 bound for Espiritu Santo.

On August 2, 1942 three destroyers: USS Gamble (DD-123), USS Breese and USS Tracy laid a mine field in this Segond Channel. North of Efate Island and west of the Malekula Islands the ships passed through the Bruat Channel and entered Segond Channel. The presence of the new mine field was not conveyed to the ships. At 9:45pm Tucker struck an American sea mine which exploded and broke the destroyer's back. Aboard, the explosion killed three of the crew and three others were listed as missing.

Rescue
Immediately, SS Nira Luckenbach sent boats to rescue the crew from the sinking ship which began jackknifing. With an hour and a half, YP-346 took the damaged destroyer under tow and attempted to move it to shallower water where it could be beached.

Sinking History
On August 4, 1942 at 4:45am the damaged destroyer jack-knifed then sank in Segond Channel off Malo Island at a depth of ten fathoms.

References
Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) - Tucker II (DD-374)
Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) - USS Tucker, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack December 15, 1941
NavSource - USS Tucker (DD-374)

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Last Updated
August 3, 2021

 

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