Allied Warships

USS Monaghan (DD 354)

Destroyer of the Farragut class

USS Monaghan during the Second World War

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 354 
Built byBoston Navy Yard (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Laid down12 Nov 1933 
Launched9 Jan 1935 
Commissioned19 Apr 1935 
Lost18 Dec 1944 
Loss position14° 57'N, 127° 58'E

After her commission, USS Monaghan served in the Atlantic as a training ship. Then she was relocated to the Pacific, and on Dec 7, 1941, she was stationed in Pearl Harbor, she was about to join USS Ward in pursuing some unidentified submerged vessels (the attacking Japanese midget-subs) at the entrance of the harbor, when the first wave of aircraft stuck Oahu. She opened fire with her AA guns, then a lookout spotted a midget submarine inside the harbor. Monaghan rammed the sub, then finished it off with two depth charges. After the attack Monaghan left Pearl Harbor, escorting the Lexington to relieve Wake, but they were late, and had to turn back. On the way home while protecting the capital ship, with two other escorts Monaghan chased away and possibly damaged a Japanese submarine. Apart from a brief escort duty, she spent the rest of the spring in the task force around the Lexington.

At the Battle of the Coral Sea, the day before the major engagement Monaghan carried messages, keeping this way the radio silence, and missing out on the thick of the battle. With the loss of the Lexington, she was attached to the screen of the Enterprise. In the Battle of Midway she was ordered to save a downed pilot, when she came across the badly damaged Yorktown, and joined other escorts to prevent the Japanese to inflict further damage to the ship. However, one of Japan's most skilled sub-skippers, Cmdr Tanaka manages to sinks the Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann.

After the battle she was sent North, to the Aleutians, where in bad weather she collided with another vessel, forcing her into the repair dock. On 17 November, near the Fijis she suffered damage again, bending her propellers in shallow waters. After repairs she was sent again to the Aleutians, participating in the battle off Komandorski Islands. She spent the summer cruising around the Aleutians. On 20 June, she fought an unidentified foe, without seeing it, directing her fire solely based on information from the radar. 2 days later she pursued and attacked a submarine, wich ran aground in the shallow waters, and was abandoned. She was identified as the I-7. After she escorted convoys, then she was attached to three escort carriers, and took part in the invasion of Tarawa. The following months she fulfilled convoy escort duties, as well as screening task forces, engaged in landings like Kwajalein, Truk and Saipan.

USS Monaghan sinks during a typhoon on the 18 Dec, with two other destroyers, east of Samar, Philippines in position 14º57'N, 127º58'E. Only six of her crew were ever found by the destroyer USS Brown. Amongst the 257 crew who died was the Commanding officer Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, USN). The six survivors were transferred to the hospital ship USS Solace on Christmas eve. They had been in the water for 4 days. All were treated for shock, exposure and dehydration otherwise in fair shape considering their experience.

Before her loss, USS Monaghan received 12 Battle Stars for her services.


Commands listed for USS Monaghan (DD 354)

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1Lt.Cdr. Daniel Fisher Worth, Jr., USN10 Jun 19385 Sep 1939 (1)
2Lt.Cdr. Kenmore Mathew McManes, USN5 Sep 19397 Jun 1940 (1)
3Lt.Cdr. Nicholas Bauer van Bergen, USN7 Jun 194027 Sep 1941 (1)
4Lt.Cdr. William Page Burford, USN27 Sep 19412 Feb 1943 (1)
5T/Cdr. Peter Harry Horn, USN2 Feb 194321 Dec 1943 (1)
6T/Lt.Cdr. Waldemar Frederick August Wendt, USN21 Dec 194330 Nov 1944 (1)
7Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, Jr., USN30 Nov 194418 Dec 1944 (+) (1)

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Notable events involving Monaghan include:

Lt. Cmdr Garrett was Exec Officer on the USS Cowell (DD 547) in 1943 - 1944 prior to assuming command of the USS Monaghan. He served also as the ship's navigator, and as QM2C,I was fortunate to be assigned duty as his assistant and spent much time with him taking star sights, calculating our position, maintaining charts, etc. After being detached to take over command of the USS Monaghan, on his first cruise as Captain and sailing with a task force off the Philippines, his ship ran low on fuel during the onset of a typhoon. With the ballast pumped out in anticipation of refuelling, the ship was top heavy and could not handle the heavy waves and capsized, with the loss of its Captain and all but six hands of his crew. This tragic information was received on the USS Cowell shortly after the disaster, whose crew was greatly saddened by the unexpected loss of its former Executive Officer - a slender, short man but a seasoned naval officer who was much respected by the entire crew of the Cowell. (2)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Blood on the Sea

Parkin, Robert Sinclair
($ 15.98)

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore

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