U.S.S. Fletcher (DD-445)
Paint: Unpainted, Unassembled, Kit do not contain paints and glue.
Condition: New in Box
USS Fletcher (DD/DDE-445), named for Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher, was the lead Fletcher-class destroyer, and served in the Pacific during World War II. She received fifteen battle stars for World War II service, and five for Korean War service.
Fletcher was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearny, New Jersey, on 2 October 1941. She was launched on 3 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. F. F. Fletcher, widow of Admiral Fletcher; and commissioned on 30 June 1942, with Lieutenant Commander William M. Cole in command.Fletcher arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia on 5 October 1942 from the east coast, and at once began escort and patrol duty in the Guadalcanal operation, bombarding Lunga Point on 30 October. Sailing from Espiritu Santo 9 November to cover the landing of reinforcements on the embattled island, she joined in driving off a heavy enemy air attack on the transports 12 November, splashing several enemy aircraft. This was the opening phase of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, a 3-day air and surface action. Fletcher played an important part in the surface action off Guadalcanal 13 November, firing guns and torpedoes in the general melee which sank two Japanese destroyers and damaged the fast battleship Hiei, later sent to the bottom by carrier and Marine aircraft.
Fletcher retired to replenish at Espiritu Santo, arriving the day after the battle, and after patrolling against submarines off Nouméa, sortied on 30 November 1942, with a force of cruisers and destroyers, to intercept a force of enemy transports and destroyers expected to attempt a reinforcement of Guadalcanal that night. Fletcher led the force through Lengo Channel, and made the first radar contact with the enemy off Tassafaronga Point just before midnight. The resulting Battle of Tassafaronga saw one Japanese destroyer sunk, and one slightly damaged, and four American cruisers badly damaged, though all but one were saved by superb damage control measures. Fletcher rescued survivors of Northampton, ingeniously using cork-floated cargo nets to take great groups of them from the water.
Recommissioned 3 October 1949 as a specialist in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) after conversion to an escort destroyer (DDE-445), Fletcher sailed for San Diego 1 May 1950 for a tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific. At the outbreak of the Korean War, she lay at Hong Kong with Valley Forge, and on 3 July arrived off Korea with the Valley Forge group, augmented by Triumph, to begin launching air strikes on North Korea. Through the summer, she sailed off Korea on this duty, replenishing when necessary at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, or Sasebo, Japan. She also participated in the Battle of Inchon from 13–17 September, and returned to Pearl Harbor, her home port, on 11 November.
On 19 November 1951, Fletcher cleared Pearl Harbor for another tour of duty screening the carriers of the 7th Fleet in Korean operations. She also fired shore bombardment on two occasions, participated in antisubmarine training off Okinawa, and patrolled in the Taiwan Straits. Returning to Pearl Harbor on 20 June 1952, she was at sea again from 5 September to 24 November for Operation Ivy, then completed another tour of Far Eastern duty from 14 May to 30 November 1953.
Annually from 1954 to 1962, Fletcher sailed to the Far East for duty with the 7th Fleet, in 1955 providing antisubmarine screening for the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. In both 1957 and 1958, she made her outward bound passage by way of Samoa and Australia. Intensive antisubmarine training was her major occupation during periods between deployment.
Fletcher was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 August 1969, and sold for scrap on 22 February 1972.