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  USS Duncan DD-485
USN
Gleaves Class Destroyer

1,630 Tons
348' 3" x 36' 1" x 11' 10"
4 x 5" cal 38 guns
6 x .50 cal MG
6 x 20mm AA
10 x 21" torpedo tubes
2 x depth charge tracks

Click For Enlargement
USN August 17, 1942
Ship History
Built by by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Kearny, NJ. Laid down July 31, 1941. Launched February 20, 1942 as USS Duncan DD-485 sponsored by Mrs. D. C. Thayer. Commissioned April 16, 1942 in the U.S. Navy (USN) was 2, Lieutenant Commander Edmund B. Taylor in command then underwent a brief shake down cruise.

Wartime History
On June 20, 1942 departs New York via the Panama Canal to the South Pacific. On September 14, 1942 arrives Espirtu Santo and the same day departs with Task Force 17 (TF-17) and Task Force 18 (TF-18) escorting transports with the 7th Marine Regiment bound for Guadalcanal.

On September 15, 1942 Duncan was part of the screening force for USS Wasp (CV-7) when hit by torpedoes fired by Japanese submarine I-19 and sunk. Duncan rescued 701 of her crew and transfers them to other ships. The next day returns to Espirtu Santo with 18 wounded for hospitalization. Afterwards, operates from Espirtu Santo screening transports and warships then assigned to Task Force 64 (TF-64).

Battle of Cape Esperance
On October 11, 1942 part of the screening force for transports and ships for a reinforcement convoy bound for Guadalcanal. Before midnight, a large enemy force was spotted on radar at the start of the Battle of Cape Esperance (Second Battle of Savo Island). At the start of the engagement, Duncan opened fire on a Japanese cruiser then shifted her fire to a destroyer while maneuvering wildly to avoid gunfire from both sides then released two torpedoes at Furutaka and continued firing until hit by enemy gunfire causing fires and was disabled. Aboard, the crew fought the fires until electrical power failed and the crew were ordered to abandon ship.

Sinking History
On October 12, 1942 in the early morning, Duncan sank roughly six miles north of Savo Island.

Rescue
Afterwards, USS McCalla (DD-488) rescued 195 of her crew and attempted to salvage the destroyer before she sank.

Awards
Duncan earned one battle star for the Battle of Cape Esperance during World War II.

References
NavSource - USS Duncan DD-485
Maritime Quest - USS Duncan DD-485 In the Battle of Cape Esperance October 12, 1942

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Last Updated
October 10, 2021

 

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