+9-2-04 USS Hudson DD475 475 Navy Day 1945


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The U.S.S. Hudson is a 2100-ton destroyer of the Fletcher class. Her armament consists of 5 five-inch, 38 caliber dual-purpose, single mount guns, 5 twin forty-millimeter guns, 7 twenty-millimeter guns, ten torpedo tubes, and a depth charge array. Her overall length is 376 feet.

She is propelled by two sets of main engines, each consisting of three steam turbines driving one shaft. Four boilers furnishing 600 lbs. steam pressure enable the engineering plant to develop 60,000 shaft horsepower at full power.

The Hudson was built in 1943 by Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts.


The U.S.S. Hudson (DD475), Commander W. R. Smedberg, III, USN, Commanding, was commissioned on 13 April 1943 in the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass., and on 16 May, when ready for sea, reported to Commander Destroyers, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, for shakedown. On 13 July the ship reported to Comander-in-Chier, U.S. Atlantic Fleet for duty, and was assigned escort duty between Boston and Trinidad, B.W.I. On 20 August the Hudson departed from Norfolk, Va., for Efate, New Hebrides via the Panama Canal, and reported to Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, for duty.

The Hudson operated in Task Force 31 as part of the transport screen during the initial landing on Bougainville on 1 November 1943, and escorted eight subsequent echelons to the Empress Augusta Bay area in addition to providing shore fire support. Two enemy planes were shot down by the Hudson and an assist was credited on a third plane during the heavy air attacks an the transports on 8 November. A total of over 1,400 rounds of five-inch ammunition was expended in shore bombardment before the ship was relieved of duties with Task Force 31.

Early in February 1944, the Hudson, now under the command of Commander R. R. Pratt, USN, with other ships of Destroyer Division 89 escorted a division of APD's to Green Island, north of Bougainville, to conduct a night reconnaissance preparatory to the landing there. A few days later she supported the landing and occupation of that island.

The next mission was an anti-shipping sweep with DesDiv 89 through St. George Channel, along the coast of New Ireland, past Rabaul and Kavieng, and then north to within 150 miles of Truk. This task, commencing on 24 February and finishing on 3 March, netting only several small barges and fishing boats in the Kavieng area. It did give evidence though, that little enemy air or surface opposition could be expected to combat future operations through the southern Caroline Islands or Bismarck Archipelago. Throughout the remainder of March 1944, anti-submarine and anti-barge patrols were conducted in the Northern Solomons area, and a shore bombardment was delivered against enemy installations on Choiseul.

Most of April was spent in traveling to and from Sydney, Australia, and in a recreation period at that port. On returning to the forward area, the Hudson operated off Euka Passage, north of Bougainville, and then conducted operational training until departure from Espiritu Santo for the Marianas on 2 June 1944.

The ship was at sea continuously following its departure from Kwajalein on 10 June until its return to Eniwetok on 13 August. During this time the Hudson participated in shore bombardments of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam; joined Task Force 58 for the first battle of the Philippine Sea, in which she shot down two enemy aircraft; escorted a covering force off Saipan, where she shot down another plane; covered the underwater demolition teams at Guam and screened the transports at both Saipan Guam. Three Navy flyers were rescued when their plane was shot down, and one Japanese flyer was rescued from the sea.

After retirement from the Marianas, the ship was routed back to Espiritu Santo for logistics, and then joined the Third Fleet again to support the Palau operation in September. The initial assignment was bombardment, preparatory to the landing on Angaur and Pelelieu. On 28 September the Hudson proceeded to Manus, Admiralty Is. for logistics, and then was ordered to San Francisco, California, for overhaul.

The overhaul was completed on 7 December 1944, and after a short period of refresher training at San Diego, the ship proceeded to Pearl Harbor for additional training, during which period two more flyers were rescued.

The Hudson then proceeded to Saipan, Marianas Islands, where she joined the Fifth Fleet in preparation for the bombardment and occupation of Iwo Jima. While in the rehearsal area, she acted as a radar picket ship west of Pagan Island.

On 16 February 1945 the Hudson departed 5aipan in company with a transport group and arrived off Iwo Jima on 19 February. During the ensuing operation the Hudson operated primarily as a radar picket. Three times during that period the ship was assigned to ComTaskForce 52 to deliver close support fire in aid of the Marines ashore. A total of 1,453 rounds of five-inch ammunition was expended in shore bombardment. On several occasions the Hudson assumed fighter director control of combat air patrol.

The Hudson departed Iwo Jima on 6 March 1945, returning to Saipan in company with other Fifth Fleet Units. On 8 March the ship rescued eight survivors of a B-29 Superfort which had crashed at sea. On 10 March the Hudson departed for Guam, Marianas\Islands, and further proceeded to Ulithi Atoll for logistics. The ship was then routed to Leyte Gulf, P.I., where she took part in rehearsals for the invasion of Okinawa, Ryukyus Islands.

Departing Leyte on 27 March the Hudson arrived at Okinawa on 1 April, where she immediately assumed duties as a radar picket ship under the screen commander. On 5 April, while on duty as picket station, the Hudson made contact with a submarine, and made depth charge attacks which resulted in the destruction of the submarine.

On 22 April the Hudson was slightly damaged by a Kamikaze suicide plane which failed in its attempt to crash the ship. Unsuccessful in its attempt to hit the bridge largely because of the heavy volume of machine-gun fire which riddled it, the plane crossed the forecastle, carried away the jackstaff, and splashed close aboard to port. As a radar picket ship the Hudson was quite successful in utilizing its combat air patrol, destroying thirty-three aircraft through this medium, and accounting for three more with its own guns.

On 4 May, while on picket station, the ship directed the interception of fourteen enemy aircraft, eleven of which were splashed by combat air patrol, two were shot down by other ships, and the last crashed into the escort carrier, U.S.S. Sangamon. The Hudson obtained permission from ComDesRon 45 to go to the aid of the Sangamon which was burning fiercely. Despite the fact that ammunition on board the Sangamon was exploding and she was out of control, the Hudson was able to get alongside three times, putting a total of sixteen hoses over the side in spite of the danger involved. The overhanging flight deck of the carrier caused extensive damage to the port side of the Hudson while burning debris, particularly a plane which fell on the depth charges on the fantail, caused scattered damage over other parts of the ship. Eventually the fire was brought under control, mainly through the efforts of the Sangamon' s own gallant crew, the Hudson, and three small radar picket support ships under the control of the Hudson.

On 10 May the Hudson departed for Guam in company with other Fifth Fleet units to undergo repairs for battle damage suffered in fighting the fire alongside the Sangamon. Upon completion of these repairs on 22 June, she returned to Okinawa and operated with a strong covering force in the vicinity of Nakagusuku Wano

On 1 July the Hudson proceeded independently to Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, and reported for escort duty to the Commander, Marshall-Gilbert area. For a period of about one month the ship was on convoy duty between Eniwetok and neighboring bases. On 11 August the Hudson, under the command of Lt. Cdr. R. A. Zoeller, USN, proceeded to Kuluk Bay, Adak, Aleutian Islands in company with Destroyer Squadron 45 and escort carriers for duty in the North Pacific area. One crashed carrier plane pilot was rescued enroute.

On 31 August the ship departed Adak in company with Task Force 44 (escort carrier group) and proceeded to Ominato in the Northern Honshu and Hokkaido area to provide cover for the occupation and control of Northern Japan. Enroute the Hudson rescued a total of four pilots and crew members of crashed planes from escort carriers in company.

Thanks to Donn Claybaugh for sending above.

Links to other pages

Hudson Crew List Navy Day 1945
Hudson Deceased Crew Members Page
Hudson History
More Hudson History from Tom Reilly
Hudson Memorial Plaque
Hudson Home Page
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