Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine as USS De Haven DD-469. Laid down September 27, 1941. Launched June 28, 1942 by Miss H. N. De Haven granddaughter of Lieutenant Edwin J. De Haven who the destroyer was named in honor. Commissioned September 21, 1942 with Commander Charles E. Tolman in command.
Departed Norfolk via the Panama Canal and across the Pacific to Tongatapu on Tonga arriving November 28, 1942 and escort a convoy of troopships to Guadalcanal.
Between December 7-14, 1942, De Haven screened the transports to Guadalcanal then to Espirito Santo and Nouméa. During January 1943 participated in two shore bombardments of Kolombangara.
On February 1, 1943 De Haven screened a seaplane tender and six LCTs landing at Maravovo near Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal. In the afternoon, escorting two LCTs to base notified of an impending Japanese air raid (Operation Ke). De Haven spotted nine unidentified planes and opened fire as six swung sharply toward her and claimed three shot down. The Japanese were D3A Vals from the 582 Kokutai that scored three bomb hits and a near miss. One bomb hit the superstructure killing Commander Tolman. The destroyer sank rapidly into Iron Bottom Sound roughly two miles east of Savo Island.
A total of 167 were killed and 38 wounded in the sinking. De Haven was the first Fletcher-class destroyer lost in World War II and was only in service for 133 days before sunk. She earned one battle star for her World War II service.
The surviving crew were rescued by one of the LCTs.
The crew lost in the attack were officially declared dead February 1, 1944. All are listed as Missing In Action (MIA) and are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Commander Tolman earned the Navy Cross, posthumously and USS Tolman (DM-28) was named in his honor.
This destroyer is sometimes misspelled as USS DeHaven or DeHaven.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Charles E. Tolman
FindAGrave - CDR Charles Edward Tolman (photo, tablets of the missing)
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August 4, 2020