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Bagley Class Destroyer
341' 8" x 35' 6" x 10' 4"
4 x 5" guns
4 x 50 cal MG
4 x 20mm MG (added)
16 x 21" torpedoes
2 x depth charges
Built by Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia. Laid down July 31, 1935 as Bagley Class Destroyer. Launched September 3 1936 sponsored by Miss Bella Worth Bagley, sister of Ensign Bagley. Commissioned June 12, 1937 in the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Bagley (DD-386) with Captain Lieutenant Commander Earl W. Morris in command.
After a shakedown cruse, operated in the Atlantic. During 1940, Bagley steamed via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor and rotated between Hawaii and California. On December 3, 1941 during anti-aircraft gunnery practice, the starboard bilge keep malfunctioned and tore loose and the next day moored at berth B-22 in the Southeast Loch of Pearl Harbor for repairs.
On December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor, the captain, executive officer and gunnery officer were ashore. During the first wave, her anti-aircraft guns opened fire on B5N2 Kate torpedo bombers with her gunners claiming six shot down. At 9:40am she got underway under the temporary command of Lt. Cann.
On December 29, 1941 Bagley covered the arrival of Task Force 14 (TF-14). The next day, the destroyer departed with USS Saratoga (CV-3) on a patrol west of Oahu, while two carrier groups escorted reinforcements to Samoa. On January 11, 1942 USS Saratoga (CV-3) was hit by a torpedo fired by I-16, Bagley escorted the damaged carrier back to Pearl Harbor.
Between January 23, 1943 to February 3, 1943 four extra 20mm cannons were added. Next, joined Task Force 11 (TF-11) comprising USS Lexington (CV-2), four cruisers and nine destroyers, to cover transports delivering reinforcements to Christmas Island, Canton Island and New Caledonia. Worried about Japanese intentions in the Fiji-New Caledonia area, TF-11 joined the ANZAC cruiser force, HMAS Australia, HMNZS Achilles, HMNZS Leander with USS Chicago (CA-29) and two destroyers, on 16 February. Shortly thereafter, the task force turned to the northwest and headed for Bougainville.
On February 20, 1942 at 5:07pm, the destroyer opened fire on a second wave of nine bombers with her 20mm battery, joining the barrage of anti-aircraft fire around USS Lexington (CV-2). Minutes later, G4M1 Betty piloted by Seto damaged by F4F Wildcat piloted by Lt. Edward 'Butch' O'Hare attempted to crash into the stern of Bagley, but anti-aircraft fire from USS Aylwin (DD-355) helped shoot it down 200 yards off the starboard quarter.
Afterwards, returned to Pearl Harbor for a month of repairs and dry dock. On April 30, 1942 departed Pearl Harbor transporting mail and passengers to Palmyra Island, Christmas Island, and the Society Islands. Off Bora Bora on May 9, 1942, she rendezvoused with USS Hunter Liggett escorting her to Nukualofa Bay, Tongatapuo in Fiji six days later. For the next week, Bagley patrolled outside Nukualofa Bay to protect departing convoys then departed alone to Brisbane arriving May 30, 1942.
Assigned to the Southwest Pacific Force TF-44, Bagley protected convoys in the approaches to Australia, searched for submarine contacts during two patrol sweeps with Henley, and conducted night battle practice and other exercises with the cruisers of TF 44 through mid-July. On the 17th, she departed Brisbane for New Zealand, arriving in Auckland on 20 July. There, she joined TF 62 and began preparations for Operation Watchtower, the invasion of Guadalcanal.
Bagley went to Fiji in company with USS Chicago, Salt Lake City, HMAS Australia, HMAS Canberra, HMAS Hobart, eight other destroyers, and 12 transports. Joined by other convoy elements on the 26th, including three more cargo ships, Bagley guarded the transports as they conducted rehearsal landings at Koro Island.
The task force then proceeded to the Solomon Islands, arriving in the transport area off Lunga Point on Guadalcanal, on August 7, 1942. Assigned to "Southern Force", one of three picket patrols, Bagley and Patterson accompanied HMAS Australia, HMAS Canberra, and Chicago in protecting the transports south of Tulagi.
HMAS Australia, with Rear Admiral Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley, RN, on board, left formation for a command conference at Lunga Roads at 2130. Just over two hours later, with visibility low owing to overcast sky and rain showers, unidentified ships loomed into view about 3,000 yards (3,000 m) distant on the port bow. These were seven Japanese cruisers and a destroyer under Rear Admiral Gunichi Mikawa sent from Rabaul to attack the American transports. At that moment, 0144 according to Bagley's log, float planes from the Japanese cruisers dropped flares that lit up the American warships.
Bagley turned sharply to the left to bring the starboard torpedo tubes to bear on the Japanese warships looming out of the darkness but, either due to the torpedoes not being armed in time or because the ship turned to quickly for the torpedo tubes to be aimed properly, she continued her turn and fired four torpedoes to the northwest from number two port mount. Although the torpedo men claimed hits a few minutes later, no Japanese ships were damaged by torpedoes in that area. It is possible, but unconfirmed, that one or two of Bagley's torpedoes may have hit Canberra on her starboard side.
Bagley then turned left again and her gunners scanned the passage between Guadalcanal and Savo Island; but, as the Japanese cruiser force had already passed by to the north, they saw no enemy ships. She then steamed to the northwest, toward the designated destroyer rendezvous point, and at about 0300 came across the heavily damaged and burning USS Astoria. That warship, along with USS Quincy and USS Vincennes, had been mortally wounded in the short, but violent, Battle of Savo Island before the Japanese force retired to Rabaul.
Bagley came alongside USS Astoria and rescued about 400 survivors--including 185 wounded--from the stricken warship, out of the water or from nearby rafts. With daylight, Bagley delivered a salvage party of 325 men to Astoria to fight fires, plug holes and raise steam. The effort ultimately failed, and the cruiser sank that afternoon. Meanwhile, Bagley's medical officer and pharmacist's mates treated shell-fragment lacerations and second-degree burns before the wounded were transferred to President Jackson that afternoon. Bagley then withdrew to Nouméa with TF 62, mooring there on 13 August.
On 15 March 1943, Bagley executed orders reassigning her to TF 74 as the newly created 7th Fleet readied itself for offensive operations in New Guinea. Underway from Townsville on 27 June, Bagley, in company with Henley and SC-749, escorted six LSTs carrying 2,600 Army troops and airfield equipment to Woodlark Island. While the destroyers patrolled south of the island, the landing proceeded without Japanese interference on the night of 30 June and 1 July. Bagley escorted three more echelons of LSTs from Townsville to Woodlark between 9 July and 7 August; all arrived safely, and the fighter airstrip became operational on 23 July. The destroyer then escorted Henry T. Allen (AP-30) between Milne Bay, Cairns, and Brisbane, arriving at the last port on 15 August.
Bagley steamed back to New Guinea late in the month, delivering a convoy to Milne Bay on 1 October. She quickly returned to Townsville to pick up another convoy, escorting it safely into Milne Bay on the 8th. Sailing again to Australia, this time to Brisbane, the destroyer shepherded a third convoy from Townsville to Milne Bay between 25 and 29 October. After moving to Buna on 8 November, Bagley helped escort a convoy of three LSTs to Finschhafen, delivering supplies to the Australian 20th Brigade on the 11th. Over the next four weeks, the destroyer escorted six more reinforcement convoys out of Buna; three to Finschhafen, one to Lae, one to Woodlark and the last to Cape Cretin on December 12.
After steaming to Buna on December 23, Bagley joined the seven LSTs of TU 76.1.41, carrying the 7th echelon of 1st Marine Division's engineers, artillery, and stores for the Cape Gloucester operation. The crew watched the heavy cruisers bombard the beach at 0600 on 26 December, and then Bagley screened the LSTs as they landed troops and equipment. That afternoon, around 1430, a large Japanese air raid attacked the task force, sinking USS Brownson (DD-518) and damaging USS Shaw (DD-373). Later that evening, Bagley's crew saw friendly fighters splash three "Betty" bombers over the beachhead. Returning to Buna on 28 December, Bagley then helped leapfrog elements of the 32nd Infantry Division at Saidor on 2 January 1944.
Next, Bagley was ordered "to act as stand-by escort for supply echelons" to escort a convoy of LSTs to Saidor on February 5. The next day, in company with USS Smith and two LSTs, departed for Cape Gloucester then departed the area on February 10 via Florida Island, Guadalcanal, Palmyra, and Pearl Harbor then arrived at San Francisco on February 27.
On February 28 began an overhaul at Mare Island over eight weeks, adding two more 20mm guns (for a total of six) and an improved fire control radar while a twin 40-millimeter gun tub was placed forward of the two aft 5" guns. When completed on May 5, departed for Hawaii and began training at sea for Operation Forager, the invasion of the Marianas. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on the May 10, the destroyer conducted screen, anti-aircraft, and shore bombardment the departed for the Marshall Islands on May 29, arriving at Majuro Atoll on June 3 where Bagley joined TG 58.2 on June 8, escorting USS Bunker Hill.
On 25 June, the destroyer returned to the Marianas for two weeks of call-fire assignments in support of Marine Corps operations. Under the direction of fire control units ashore, Bagley fired over 700 5-inch rounds of high-explosive, white phosphorus, and star shell into the final pocket of Japanese resistance at the north end of Saipan. On 6 July, after receiving more ammunition from Montpelier, she closed shore and fired on "caves and crevasses near waters edge on Saipan", expending 537 5-inch and over 1,000 rounds of 20-millimeter and 40-millimeter shells.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
On January 1, 1945 Bagley was one of nineteen destroyers that formed the screening force for the twelve escort carriers of TG 77.2 and 77.4 that departed Kossol Roads bound for Leyte Gulf then onward to the Mindanao Sea to provide air support for amphibious landing at Lingayen Gulf. On January 4, 1944 in the late afternoon, after a day of false alarms and "snooper" alerts, a twin-engine Japanese kamikaze plane crashed into USS Ommaney Bay (CVE–79) causing explosions and fires and was scuttled.
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