Tuesday, June 3, 2008
USS Lamson (DD-367)
Figure 1: USS Lamson (DD-367) off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, 2 April 1945. Note that her waist torpedo tubes have been removed and a pair of 40mm quad gun mounts fitted to increase the ship's anti-aircraft firepower. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS Lamson (DD-367) anchored off Yorktown, Virginia, on 19 April 1939. Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Ted Stone Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: Navy Photo 3090-44, broadside (Port) view of USS Lamson off Mare Island on 24 May 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 18 March until 29 May 1944. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: Navy Photo 3089-44, broadside (starboard) view of USS Lamson off Mare Island on 24 May 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 18 March until 29 May 1944. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 23d. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: Navy Photo 3092-44, bow on view of USS Lamson in the Mare Island channel on 24 May 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 18 March until 29 May 1944. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS Lamson afire off Ormoc, Leyte, on 7 December 1944, after she was hit by a Kamikaze. The tug assisting with firefighting is probably USS ATR-31 (USN Photo No 80-G-290898). Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: The ship's bell of the USS Lamson as it currently (as of 21 October 2004) hangs on the Quarterdeck of the Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center, Des Moines, Iowa. Lamson was named in honor of Iowa native and Naval Academy graduate Roswell Hawkes Lamson, a Civil War hero. Courtesy David Johnston. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after the naval Civil War hero Roswell Hawkes Lamson, the USS Lamson (DD-367) was a 1,500-ton Mahan class destroyer built at the Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine, and was commissioned 21 October 1936. She was approximately 341 feet long and 34 feet wide, and had a top speed of 36.5 knots and a crew of 158 officers and men. Lamson was armed with five 5-inch guns, depth charges and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. During World War II additional anti-aircraft armament was added as well.
Lamson was sent to the Pacific in June 1937 and stayed there for the rest of her career. She was initially based in San Diego, California, but was transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in October 1939. Lamson remained there for the next two years and was patrolling off the Hawaiian coast when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
In January 1942, Lamson was sent to the South Pacific for patrol and escort duties. She performed these missions throughout 1942 and 1943, and took part in several combat operations. Most notably, Lamson participated in the Battle of Tassafaronga off the coast of Guadalcanal in November of 1942 and bombarded shore targets along the coast of New Guinea from mid-1943 to early 1944.
After being sent back to the United States for an overhaul at Mare Island, California, in August 1944, Lamson was sent to the central Pacific where she joined the Seventh Fleet in late October. She escorted ships to Leyte, in the Philippines, where there was intense fighting between US and Japanese forces. On 7 December 1944, while supporting the American landings at Ormoc Bay, a Japanese suicide plane seriously damaged Lamson. Although 25 men were killed and 54 were injured when the plane hit the ship and exploded, Lamson withstood the damage and was able to steam back to the United States for repairs under her own power.
After being repaired, Lamson was sent back to the central Pacific and was assigned to patrol and air-sea rescue duties from May 1945 until the end of the war in August. In early September she took part in the surrender of the Bonin Islands and then spent almost two months assisting in the occupation of Japan. Lamson arrived back on the West Coast in late November 1945 and remained inactive for the next few months. She was then selected to be a target ship for “Operation Crossroads,” the atomic bomb test that took place at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Lamson arrived at Bikini Atoll in May 1946 and sank as a result of the atomic bomb explosion on 2 July 1946 (known as “Able Day”). Lamson had a distinguished naval career and received five battle stars for her part in World War II.
Many warships, after ending their useful service lives, are sunk as targets. Lamson, though, was one of approximately 90 ships that were used as targets in Operation Crossroads, which was the first nuclear test conducted by the United States after World War II. The lessons learned from this test taught the US Navy a great deal about the effects of a nuclear blast on warships. So even in death Lamson was able to make a contribution to naval warfare.
Posted by Remo at 6:19 AM