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376' 6" x 39' 8" x 17' 9"
5 × 5" 38 ca. main guns
10 × 40mm AA guns
7 × 20mm AA guns
10 × 21" torpedo tubes
6 × depth charge projectors
2 × depth charge tracks
Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Laid down April 30, 1941 as a Fletcher-class destroyer. Launched May 17, 1942 sponsored by Mrs. Hobart Olson. Commissioned August 7, 1942 into the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Strong as the first ship named in honor of Rear Admiral James H. Strong with Commander Joseph H. Wellings in command. Afterwards, underwent a shakedown cruise.
On October 15, 1942 departed with a convoy to San Juan, Puerto Rico then returned to Norfolk, VA arriving on October 27, 1942 and departed two days later for New York.
On November 13, 1942, Strong joined convoy UGS-2 bound for North Africa and arrived at Casablanca on November 29, 1942 and returned to New York with convoy GUF-2. Afterwards, to Norfolk, VA then departed on December 27, 1942 for the Pacific, traveling via the Panama Canal and refueling at Bora Bora before arriving at Noumea on January 27, 1943. Strong then escorted the convoy northwest for two days then returned to Nouméa. Next, on February 1, 1943 with USS Cony DD-508 escorted a convoy bound for Espiritu Santo then on February 5, 1943 departed for a patrol off Guadalcanal until February 13, 1943 when she joined Task Force 67 (TF 67) composed of four cruisers and part of the destroyer screen.
During the night of May 12–13, 1943, Strong and the task force bombarded Kolombangara, Enogai and Rice Anchorage. Afterwards, Strong performed escort and patrol duty off Guadalcanal.
On June 16, 1943 in the afternoon Strong was halfway between Guadalcanal and Tulagi when a flight of approximately 15 Japanese dive bombers attacked. Strong was the closest ship to the bombers as they approached in a shallow glide from the direction of Koli Point. Between 2:14pm to 2:21pm, the destroyer claimed three shot down.
On July 5, 1943 in the morning Task Force 18 (TF 18) including Strong were supporting the landing by U. S. Marines at Rice Anchorage by shelling targets including Vila-Stanmore on Kolombangara also Enogai and Bairoko on New Georgia. Ahead of the main force, Strong and Nicholas (DD-449) entered Bairoko Harbor to search ahead of the force and shelled the area between 12:30am to 12:40am.
Meanwhile, Japanese destroyer Niizuki fired a salvo of Type-93 “Long Lance” torpedos aimed at both destroyers from 11 nautical miles away in what is believed to be the longest sucessful torpedo shot in the history of Naval warfare.
At 12:49am, Strong's gunnery officer sighted a torpedo wake. Before he had time to notify the bridge, the torpedo hit Strong's port side aft. Damaged, Strong began to settle rapidly with a 40° to 60° list to starboard. After being hit, USS Chevalier DD-451 intentionally rammed Strong's bow to enable her to throw nets and lines to the stricken ship and rescued 241 of her crew over seven minutes.
Meanwhile, Japanese 140mm naval guns on Enogai illuminated the destroyers with star shells, and then opened fire with high explosive shells. In response, USS O'Bannon began counter-battery fire in an effort to silence the enemy guns but their shells were soon hitting Strong and forced USS Chevalier DD-451 to cease rescue operations.
Strong broke in half before sinking into Kula Gulf. As the destroyer sank, several of her depth charges exploded, causing further injuries and loss of life. In total, forty-six men died aboard the ship. Officially, USS Strong was struck from the Navy list on July 15, 1943. Strong received two battle stars for World War II service.
980' / 380m
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