Allied Warships

USS Nicholson (DD 442)

Destroyer of the Benson / Gleaves class

NavyThe US Navy
ClassBenson / Gleaves 
PennantDD 442 
Built byBoston Navy Yard (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered1 Jul 1939 
Laid down1 Nov 1939 
Launched31 May 1940 
Commissioned3 Jun 1941 
End service26 Feb 1946 

Decommissioned 26 February 1946
Recommissioned 17 July 1950.
Decommissioned 15 January 1951.
Stricken 22 January 1951.
Transferred to Italy 15 January 1951 being renamed Aviere. Aviere was converted to an experimental gun ship in 1970. Aviere was stricken and sunk as target in 1975.


Commands listed for USS Nicholson (DD 442)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. John Stuart Keating, USN3 Jun 1941Jan 1943
2T/Cdr. Lewis Merrill Markham, Jr., USNJan 194314 Oct 1943
3T/Cdr. William Winfield Vanous, USN14 Oct 194323 Sep 1944
4T/Cdr. Warfield Clay Bennett, Jr., USN23 Sep 194426 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Nicholson include:

22 Feb 1942
USS Nicholson picks up 20 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Sama that was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic in position 49°20'N, 38°15'W by German U-boat U-155.

3 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Amherst (T/Lt. H.G. Denyer, RCNR), HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR), USS Nicholson and USS Ludlow. (1)

4 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Nicholson, USS Ludlow and USS Cole. (2)

5 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Nicholson and HMS Bredon (T/Lt. J.R. Fradgeley, RNVR). (2)

7 May 1949
The movie "On The Town" was shot on the Nicholson from 7 May to 11 May 1949. The ship appeared in the first part of the movie and at the last scenes. Movie made it\'s world premier at Radio City Music Hall during Xmas season 1949. The crew were invited guests. Movie starred Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munchin, Anne Miller, Betty Garrett and Vera Ellen. Gene Kelly spent time with crew talking & drinking bos'n locker coffee. (3)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore


  1. ADM 173/17217
  2. ADM 173/17253
  3. Personal communication

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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