The Case had some very talented people serving aboard her during the war years. We had accomplished
musicians, artists, a poet and more than a few who were very deft in dealing a deck of cards. However, I
think special mention should be made of Richard E. Franklin who recorded what he saw and experienced
while serving on the Case, in verse. Some of his poems are lighthearted, and others are poignant and sad,
but they document life aboard the Case during the war years and thus become a part of its history.
NOT OFFICIALLY DEAD
I'm a "Tin-Can" sailor, St. Peter
And I'd like to enter within,
For I've left behind the daily
And the world of pain and sin.
St. Peter smiled, and said with a sigh
And a shake of his wise old
"Your line is terrific, but to be
You're not officially dead."
So the sailor turned, and before very
Stood in front of the gates of
When Satan came, and took his name,
And said "I'm sorry to tell,
But, you see my son, I can't let you
For the book I've just read,
There's a sentence or two that pertains
....You're not officially
So with aching heart and worried
He pondered what he should do,
When the devil said: "Jack, Why don't
you go back
And haunt the Case Maru?"
So, if on some dark and stormy
And the lights go out in the
If the steering's bad, and the Skipper's
And somebody's butt gets read.
If this ever happens, as it surely
Remember what I have said:
"He is only a shipmate, in a
And he's not officially
Richard E. Franklin
My purpose in compiling this history of
the U.S.S. Case was two-fold. First, to
write a complete history, I felt it
necessary to go back to the time in the
middle of the Great Depression when the
construction of the ship was authorized.
Many documentaries about our Navy ships
that have been written in recent years
pick up at the start of WW II. The Case
had been in commission more than four
years when the war started, which was
about half of her total life span. She
had steamed many thousand of miles and
visited many foreign ports before the
Secondly, I wanted to inject personal
experiences that I and others who served
aboard the Case remember. These
recollections, if accurately recounted,
are as much a part of the ship's history
as are the matter of fact log entries
which merely record arrivals,
departures, and destinations.
Aside from my personal recollections,
information is taken from The History of
the Ship, which was submitted to the
Secretary of the Navy by Cmdr. R.S.
Willey as per AlPac 202 and AIPac 219.
Other information was gleaned from
Samuel Elliot Morrison's "The Two Ocean
War" a short history of the U.S. Navy in
the Second World War. Information was
also take from the book "U.S. Navy
Destroyers of World War II" by John C.
Credit should also be given to shipmate
R.E. Franklin. His poetry about life and
times aboard the Case adds another
perspective to shipboard life on a
destroyer during the war years. A thank
you to Rex Miles for providing a copy of
the ship's log for December 7, 1941.
Some may feel that I have given too much
credit to the Engineers in this
accounting, but during my 62 months
aboard the Case, all but three months
which was spent as a mess cook, were
spent below deck in the 'Black Gang."
Many officers came and went during my
tour on the Case. Four of them I will
always remember. Cmdr. Bedillion was
Commanding Officer at the start of the
war. He was a fine officer and held in
high regard by all aboard. LCDR. "Jake"
Waterhouse, Chief Engineer and then
Executive Officer, was a compassionate
fair-minded man with a genuine concern
for his men. Then there was Lt. Al
Sheperd, Gunnery Officer; to me he was
the epitome of what a Naval Officer
should be. LtJg. "Fritz" Bertsch was one
of the first reserve officers to report
aboard. He had awesome responsibilities
thrust on him when he was suddenly
assigned the duties of Chief Engineer.
He was probably the youngest Chief
Engineer in the Navy at the time he was
assigned. He bit the bullet and did his
job well. He earned the respect and
affection of the men under him.
There are many more men deserving of
special mention that served on the Case,
too many to single out, but one C.P.O.
stands out in a category unto himself. I
don't even know his first name, but I
remember everything else about the man.
He served his thirty years and had
retired. He was fifty some years old
when he was called out of retirement to
duty on a destroyer, the Case. He never
complained, and was an example of what a
true leader of men should be. His name
is Brown CMM USN.
The Case had its dark side. We had
miscreants, thieves, malcontents, and
goldbrickers, much the same as any cross
section of society. But when the chips
were down we all answered the calls and
did our duty.
When I first started writing this
"history," I couldn't believe the number
of words that I had forgotten how to
spell. I don't have the vaguest notion
where to use punctuation. The reader
will also find a lot of typographical
errors in spite of the word processor's
best efforts to keep me on the right
track. So I hope that whoever may read
this work will judge it, not on it's
grammatical correctness, but rather on
Joseph E. Goffeney
September 19, 1934 to December 6, 1941
The Case was born on September 19, 1934.
If you can perceive the ship a living
entity, as most of us who served aboard
her did, that was the date her keel was
She continued to grow, and on September
14, 1935 the ship was launched at the
Boston Navy Yard. A year later on
September 16, 1936 the U.S.S. Case was
placed in commission. The ship was named
after Rear Admiral Augustus Ludlow Case,
Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval forces
during the Civil War. Miss Muriel
Rodgers Case, great granddaughter of the
Admiral christened the ship.
After acceptance trials the Case went on
her shakedown cruise to Bermuda, and the
Mediterranean Sea, visiting ports in
France, Italy, and North Africa.
The ship returned to the Boston Navy
Yard for a brief period to correct any
discrepancies that showed up during the
shakedown cruise. The Case then
proceeded down the East Coast in route
to Norfolk, Va., but visiting other
ports along the way. During this period
the officers and men familiarized
themselves with their new home, and
engaged in underway training exercises.
The Case was one of sixteen destroyers
that comprised the Mahan class. Fifteen
Mahans were commissioned in 1936 with
the last ship of the class following in
1937. The Mahan class was the third
group of the so-called modern destroyers.
They were preceded by the Farragut class
and the Porter class. Each succeeding
class of destroyers saw changes in
design, particularly in engineering and
fire control. There had been a
twelve-year hiatus in the construction
of new destroyers. The new ships were a
radical departure from the old
four-stack design. The new ships
strongly resembled the design of the
British destroyers that were being built
at that time.
The Mahan class was 341 ft. in length,
and 35 ft. 5 in. in width. They had a
standard displacement of 1500 tons and
48,000 shaft horsepower. The maximum
rated speed was 37 I˝ knots, but later
on in combat situations the Case logged
a sustained speed of 39 knots (43.875
M.P.H.). As the war years dragged on our
gallant lady began to get tired, and 34
knots (38.24 M.P.H.) was just about all
she could manage to do.
The engineering configuration of the
Mahans was two firerooms and one engine
room. From a damage control standpoint
this was not a desirable design. With
both main engines and all essential
auxiliary machinery in one space the
ship was more vulnerable to disablement.
The basic hull design of the Mahans was
used in the design of 35 more pre war
destroyers. The engineering concept and
the topside configuration were changed
in later models, but the basic hull
design remained the same. Eight of the
sixteen Mahan class destroyers were lost
during the war.
On January 1, 1938 the Case left
Norfolk, Va. bound for San Diego, Ca.
via the Panama Canal. Upon arrival in
San Diego she joined the Pacific Fleet
and was assigned to Destroyer
Division 6, Destroyer Squadron 3.
The Case took part in the annual Spring
Fleet maneuvers with Destroyer Squadron
3 in Hawaiian waters. Upon return to San
Diego in late April 1938, personnel were
sent to various specialized training
schools in the San Diego area.
Destroyers were being upgraded,
particularly in fire control, sonar, and
damage control and additional training
The routine for ship operations was out
to sea on Monday morning, and back in
port Thursday evening or Friday. The
ship often anchored in the evening at
Coronado Rhodes off the Silver Strand in
full view of the Hotel Del Coronado.
Occasionally orders would be received
that detailed a duty that would break
During the summer of 1939, the Case
received orders to proceed to Oakland,
Ca., and take aboard the Naval R.O.T.C
unit of the University of California at
Berkeley for a training cruise to
Alaskan waters. The itinerary took the
ship up the Inland Passage with stops at
Juneau and Anchorage. Upon return to San
Diego routine training and upkeep
continued as before.
After recruit training at Great Lakes,
Ill., and attending a Class "A" school
at N.T.C. San Diego, the author of this
history reported aboard the U.S.S. Case,
December 31, 1939. I was assigned to the
Case because my brother was serving
aboard her. It was policy at that time
to allow brothers to serve together on
the same ship, if they requested it. The
Navy reversed this policy after the
light cruiser, U.S.S. Juneau was sunk at
Guadalcanal and the five Sullivan
brothers were lost.
On April 1, 1940 the Case along with the
rest of Des Ron 3 left San Diego for the
annual spring Fleet Maneuvers. The
squadron rendezvoused with battleships
and cruisers from Long Beach and
proceeded to Hawaiian waters. The fleet
engaged in war maneuvers for about three
weeks and then anchored at Lahina
Rhodes, Maui for a brief period of shore
leave. There were three more weeks of
maneuvers after which the Fleet pulled
into Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu.
During this period President Franklin D.
Roosevelt ordered the fleet to be based
at Pearl Harbor rather than the West
Coast of the mainland. Naval strategists
believed that this shift of naval power
westward would serve to intimidate the
Japanese who were becoming increasingly
During July or August 1940 the Case made
a cruise to Midway, Johnson, and Palmyra
Islands. The purpose was to survey the
anchorages and facilities of these
islands for possible military bases. The
ship returned to Pearl Harbor and
training continued. Destroyers were
repainted in different camouflage
designs for evaluation. The Case at one
time was painted flat black. Other ships
were painted deep sea blue, and some
were painted with the dappled or zigzag
November 1940 saw the Case enroute to
Mare Island Naval Shipyard for an
extensive three months overhaul.
Thirty-day leaves were granted to all
In February 1941 the Case rejoined
DesDiv 6 at Pearl Harbor and maneuvers
and training continued. In late February
DesRon 3 received orders to prepare for
a cruise to Australia and New Zealand
via American Samoa.
DesRon 3 in company with two light
cruisers left Pearl Harbor in early
March 1941 and crossed the Equator on
March 7, 1941. In spite of increased
readiness conditions because of the
deteriorating international situation,
we were not at war, so elaborate
preparations were made to receive
NEPTUNUS REX and his cohort Davy Jones,
to preside over the "Crossing The
Equator" ceremonies. All members of the
crew who had not previously crossed the
Equator were considered "Polywogs" and
were required to undergo the initiation
rites. No distinction was made between
officers and enlisted men during the
initiation ceremonies. All were lowly
Polywogs. In fact, certain officers who
were less than circumspect in their
dealings with enlisted personnel were
singled out for special attention.
After a brief stop at Samoa, the
squadron split up, with DesDiv 5 going
to Sydney, Australia and DesDiv 6 going
to Auckland, New Zealand.
The New Zealanders greeted the crews of
the American ships with enthusiasm. This
was a country that was at war, and had
lost many of its young men fighting the
Germans in North Africa. Our visit
seemed to lift the moral of the people.
We left New Zealand reluctantly, and
headed back to Pearl Harbor, via Tahiti.
The stay in Tahiti was short but
memorable. There was no overnight
liberty, but the ever-resourceful
destroyer sailor didn't let that stand
in the way of joining the non-stop
partying going on shore.
The Case returned to Pearl Harbor the
first part of April. During the time
between April, 1941 and October 1941 the
Case with DesDiv 6, engaged in various
training and gunnery exercises. Honolulu
in the years just prior to the war,
contrary to rumors in the United States,
was not an idyllic tropical paradise.
There was no overnight liberty for
enlisted men except for special
circumstances, and on weekends and
paydays the streets were wall to wall
sailors. Fistfights on the streets and
in the bars were common, but were dealt
with quickly and severely by the shore
patrol and the military police. Lines of
sailors outside houses of ill repute
extended a half block or more down the
street waiting for three minutes of
romance for three dollars.
Our Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. H.G.
Smith, had a genuine concern for the
moral and physical well being of his
crew. He made arrangements to use a
beach house on the windward side of Oahu
from a friend who was stateside at the
time, for recreational use by his crew.
With the cooperation of the U.S.S. Shaw,
the Captain arranged for the purchase of
a large flat bed truck. Every day in
port a group of twenty or more sailors
left the ship at 0800 and traveled over
the Pall for a day at the beach near a
small, out of the way village. Senior
petty officers were assigned on a weekly
basis as caretakers.
Some of the "Old Salts" aboard
considered this to be "Modern Navy"and
resisted the plan in favor of the bars
and whorehouses on Hotel Street in
Honolulu. This problem was soon solved.
Every day in port a notice was posted on
the ship's bulletin board in bold face
type that read: THE FOLLOWING NAMED MEN
ARE INVITED AND WILL ATTEND A BEACH
PARTY. MUSTER ON THE QUARTERDECK AT
0800. Tragically, on one of
the trips, the truck lost a front wheel
and rolled over. A sailor from the Shaw
was killed and several others were
injured. That was the end of the trips
to the beach.
In September the Case received orders
that directed the ship to proceed to San
Diego for a thirty-day period of rest
and recreation. A state of National
Emergency was in effect by then because
of the torpedoing of two American
destroyers in the Atlantic by German
U-Boats. So it came as a pleasant
surprise when the Case was released from
operations for a month.
The ship arrived at San Diego in early
October 1941 and tied up at Navy Pier at
the foot of Broadway. Because of the
National Emergency all that were on
liberty were required to report back at
the dock at 2000 (8 p.m.) for muster. If
there wasn't any change in the ship's
readiness status we were allowed to
continue on liberty until the next
morning. The month passed pleasantly
but quickly, and preparations were made
to return to Pearl Harbor. The morning
of November 2 saw the Case clearing
Ballast Point bound for Hawaiian waters.
This was the last time the Case would
see San Diego Harbor, which had been her
home for many years. The ship reported
for duty with DesDiv 6, DesRon 3,
November 8, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.
After three weeks of patrol and additional training exercises the Case went alongside the U.S.S. Whitney, a destroyer tender, on November 28 for a three-week maintenance period. The ship had originally been scheduled to enter the floating drydock in the Navy Yard, but the U.S.S. Shaw DD 373 had a minor mishap during training exercises and entered the drydock instead of the Case. As things turned out this was a rare bit of good luck for the Case. In company with the Case alongside the Whitney were the U.S.S. Selfridge DD 357, U.S.S. Conygham DD 371, U.S.S. Reid DD 369, and U.S.S. Tucker DD 374.
December 7, 1941 to December 13, 1945
The morning of December 7, 1941 found
the Case one week into a regular
scheduled overhaul. All essential
services were being supplied by the
tender. (i.e. lighting, power, and
water). The sights of our 5" 38 caliber
main battery along with other parts
necessary for firing were on the tender
for calibration or repair.
In the Engineering Department the
boilers were open for cleaning and shut
off valves in the main steam lines
leading from the boilers to the engine
room were removed and sent over to the
tender for refacing. One of the two main
electrical generators was out of
service. The evaporators used to make
fresh water for the boilers and use by
the crew were disassembled. In short,
the Case was unable to get underway, and
very limited in its ability to defend
It was a Sunday morning that December
7th, with a holiday routine in effect.
The crew was allowed to sleep in and the
only people stirring about was the
oncoming watch, in the galley crew, and
a few hardy souls who were planning to
go on a hike in the hills behind Pearl
Harbor. (Refer to copy of ship's log for
December 7, 1941, page 929, attached).
General Quarters were sounded at 0757
and within four minutes the gunner's
mates had the 50 caliber machine guns
ready to fire. The destroyer nest opened
fire at 0808 at strafing Zeros and low
flying torpedo planes struggling to gain
altitude. The nest scored its first kill
at 0813. Enemy planes strafing from the
direction of Pearl City crossed our bow
ahead of the nest and were taken under
fire. One burst into flames and crashed
and exploded on Aiea Heights. At 0830 a
plane diving towards Ford Island from
the northeast was shot down. At 0908 a
plane attempting to strafe the nest was
splashed off the starboard bow. The
attack continued until 1104. At the
onset of the attack, the tender cut off
electrical power to the nest and the
ships were plunged into total darkness
below decks. When electrical power was
restored all engineers reported to their
work stations and started putting the
engineering plant back together. In less
than eight hours they put back together
what they had been taking apart for a
week. The Case was ready to get underway
at 1600 and reported for duty at 1604
Our first assignment was to drop a depth
charge on an enemy submarine stuck in
the mud in about 40 feet of water. It
was decided that a special device had to
be rigged to prevent the depth charge
from detonating before the ship was able
to get a safe distance away. With
everything set the 600 lb. charge was
rolled off the stern of the ship. The
fact that the charge was automatically
set to explode when it rolled off the
rack was overlooked. It exploded with a
tremendous concussion that lifted the
stern of the ship up out of the water. A
towering geyser of mud and water came
down on the fantail, and the electrical
generators were knocked off the line,
plunging the ship into total darkness
below decks. Those of us who were below
decks thought that we had been torpedoed
or had struck a mine.
The Case was assigned to patrol inside
Pearl Harbor the first night of the war.
As we circled Ford Island, we slowly
passed the Arizona and then the West
Virginia, both still burning. Then we
passed the Oklahoma on our starboard
side; her bottom looming up with men
still trapped inside her. On the port
side we passed the shattered hulk of the
destroyer Shaw and the floating drydock
in which she was moored. Then on around
the end of Ford Island, passing the
sunken remains of the target ship Utah,
also capsized. At 5 knots we continued
this patrol until the next morning.
The ship went alongside the dock in the
early morning at the Navy Yard to take
on fuel and provisions. We also provided
berthing for 32 displaced sailors. The
Case cleared port and assumed
anti-submarine patrol off Diamond Head.
The ship was on station about a week,
and of course rumors were rampant. Then
one morning three battleships that were
able to get underway cleared port. They
were the Maryland, Tennessee, and the
Pennsylvania. The Case along with other
destroyers formed a screen, and set a
course for the West coast, arriving at
the Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard
between Christmas and New Years Day. It
was rough crossing and the Case required
some minor repairs before proceeding on
to San Francisco.
As an aside, it should be noted that
with four battleships on the bottom of
Pearl Harbor, plus other smaller ships
also uninhabitable, there were suddenly
more than 5000 sailors looking for a
place to live. The receiving station
ashore that normally fed and berthed
about 800 men could not accommodate that
many homeless. As a result, any ship
that was operable took aboard as many
personnel as possible. The Case welcomed
aboard, mostly on a temporary basis,
thirty-two men. Included in the group
were a Sgt. U.S.M.C., a Musician First
Class, and a Boilermaker 2/c. Some
stayed on the Case and became permanent
members of the crew. Needless to say,
the Marine and the musician were soon
While at Bremerton liberty was granted,
but because our pay records were
destroyed when the Shaw was sunk, there
was no payday and everybody was broke.
It had been rumored that a reserve
officer that had recently reported
aboard was from
a wealthy eastern Ivy
League family. This was confirmed when
he went ashore and returned with a
of cash. He loaned everyone on the ship
$20.00. Needless to say, he was at the
head of the pay line when we finally did
The Case was assigned to escort duty
from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor from
January 1942, until the 23rd of May
1942. Several round trips were made,
with brief stays at the Mare Island Navy
Yard at Vallejo, California to up date
our weaponry and to change the crews
berthing compartments to accommodate
The convoys between
San Francisco and Pearl Harbor were slow
and tedious. Anything that could float
was pressed into service. Coastal
steamers, lumber packets, ferry boars,
and even what appeared to be a Great
Lakes ore carrier were utilized. The
convoys could only make eight to ten
knots, and the trips took from two to
three weeks. Every morning stragglers
had to be rounded up, and herded back to
On one occasion,
while trying to organize a convoy in
dense fog just outside the Golden Gate,
the Case and another destroyer, the
U.S.S. O'Brian, DD 411, collided. Both
ships had to return to Mare Island for
hull repair. No one complained because
it meant a few more days in port.
The last trip to the mainland (which was
called the Pineapple Run) was in early
May 1942. The ship was in San Francisco
for about 24 hours. The crew was divided
into two liberty parties of four hours
each. Intelligence reports indicated
that something big was about to happen
and all fighting ships available were
needed in the Hawaiian area.
The Case arrived back in Pearl Harbor
May 14, and departed for Kodiak, Alaska
May 23, via Midway Island. Twenty-four
hours before departure from Pearl
Harbor, a company of Marine Raiders
boarded the Case for transport to Midway
Island. Their Executive Officer, Lt.Col.
Jimmy Roosevelt, son of the President,
saw them aboard but did not depart with
them. Traveling at 15 ˝ knots we arrived
at Midway in about 2 ˝ days, stopping
only long enough to disembark the
Marines and top off our fuel tanks. We
continued on to Kodiak arriving May 31,
Upon arrival we went alongside the
U.S.S. Blackhawk, an ancient destroyer
tender that had been on the China
station when the war started. It was a
surprise to see her, because she was
believed to have been sunk by the
Japanese shortly after the war started.
After a brief period alongside the
tender, the Case assumed off shore
patrol and other routine duties.
The first of June 1942 found the Case on
routine patrol in the vicinity of Dutch
Harbor, a base about halfway out the
Aleutian chain. To the southeast a task
group under the command of Rear Admiral
Theobold in the light cruiser Nashville,
along with four other cruisers and a
nine destroyer striking force, were on
The first phase of the Midway battle was
about to begin, with a feint by a
Japanese strike force at the Aleutian
Islands, but specifically at our base at
Dutch Harbor. Another objective was to
establish advanced bases at the end of
the Aleutian chain.
The Japanese struck Dutch Harbor June 3,
1942 and again on June 4. Our main force
was positioned too far away to the East
to respond and the Case and two other
destroyers were left to fend for
themselves. The ship took refuge in a
fog-bound inlet and remained hidden. The
Japanese knew we were in the area and we
could hear their search planes overhead
looking for us, to no avail.
On June 7, 1942 the enemy occupied Attu
and Kiska entirely unopposed while our
task group of five cruisers and nine
destroyers spun circles south of Kodiak
On August 7, 1942 the Case, in company
with cruisers and other destroyers,
participated in the bombardment of enemy
forces occupying Kiska. During this
action the Case took an enemy tanker
under fire and is credited with sinking
it. During retirement from the area
Japanese planes appeared, but were
driven off by anti-aircraft fire. A
short time later our forces established
a base on Adak Island, unopposed, and
began construction of an airfield. The
Case, in company with other ships,
escorted the landing force from Kodiak
to Adak. Anything that would float was
utilized in making this move, including
a three-masted sailing schooner in tow
by an Army Corps of Engineers tugboat.
The Case remained on patrol off Adak,
covering the establishment of the base
until October 10, 1942. It was during
this period involving the landing and
the establishment of the base on Adak
that the main propulsion engines of the
Case were in continuous operation for
more than seventy days. On October 10,
1942 long awaited orders were received
directing the Case to proceed
immediately to Pearl Harbor. We arrived
there October 18, 1942.
Before leaving the Aleutians, it might
be worthwhile to relate a few facts
about the rigors of that tour of duty.
First, the weather was almost always
stormy, and the waters in this corner of
the Pacific Ocean were extremely rough.
Destroyers were not noted for ideal
living conditions, even in fair weather.
It was difficult to get a good night's
rest. To keep from rolling out of your
bunk, one had to sleep bottom side up
with one leg pulled up to act as a prop.
At times the ship's cooks could not
prepare proper meals, and the crew
subsisted on soup and sandwiches.
The Case negotiated Umnak Passage four
times. This is a narrow passage between
Umnak Island and another island
providing access from the North Pacific Ocean to the Bering Sea. It is reputed to be one of the roughest stretches of water to be found anywhere on this planet. Later on in the war the U.5.S. Worden DD 352 of the Farragut class, went on the rocks trying to negotiate that passage. The ship broke up and went down with a loss of fourteen men.
The sudden onset of hostilities with Japan caught the Navy woefully unprepared to provide supplies and provisions, especially in remote areas. At the start of the war there were only two supply ships and one refrigeration ship to supply the entire Pacific area.
Destroyermen's reputation for being the most resourceful sailors in the Navy was well deserved. The crew of the Case soon found a way to replenish our dwindling larder. During our deployment in the Aleutians the Case and other ships were, on occasion, dangerously low on provisions, especially meat and fresh produce. Whenever possible the crew put fishing lines over the side, and supplied the ship's cooks with plenty of fresh fish to feed the entire crew. The fish caught were mostly cod and some halibut.
It was with a sense of relief that the crew left the North Pacific. However, the rigors of that tour of duty, in the future would serve the crew well. All too soon the ship would be heading for the bloody battleground of the Solomon Islands.
The Case stayed in Pearl Harbor for two days when orders were received to escort a convoy to San Francisco. Case departed October 20, 1942 and arrived at the West Coast October 30. The ship entered Mare Island Navy Yard for further upgrading of our armament and minor repairs. The crew was divided into three sections with each section getting a three-day pass. This would be the most liberty the crew would get in a more than a year's time.
November 11, 1942 saw the ship clearing port, herding a group of merchant ships into some semblance of order, and setting a course for Pearl Harbor again.
The ship arrived back at Pearl Harbor on November21, 1942 after an uneventful crossing. Time was utilized in conducting training exercises and confronting simulated damage control and fire fighting casualties.
The Case departed Pearl Harbor for the South Pacific December 6,1942 escorting tankers and supply ships. The crew was now fully aware of the desperate fighting that had taken place in the vicinity of Guadalcanal and the heavy losses in both men ships that the Navy had suffered there.
Arrived at Suva, Fiji December20, 1942. Liberty was granted, and the crew found Suva to be a clean, beautiful and friendly place to visit. Natives approached the ship in their bum-boats offering bananas and other tropical fruit for sale. Business was good. Any kind of fresh fruit was a luxury at that time. Departed Fiji December 25, escorting a convoy to Guadalcanal. The ship arrived there December 30, ahead of the convoy to conduct a search of the unloading area. When this duty was completed, we escorted a convoy to our base at Esperito Santo in the New Herbrides Islands arriving on January 1, 1943.
It was here that an unfortunate incident occurred that caused the Case to fail to meet a deployment schedule; the only time during the entire war that this happened. The ship had arrived at Esperito Santo from Guadalcanal, and went alongside the U.S.S. Dixie, a tender. The crew immediately went over to the tender for ice cream. Just about every one from the Captain on down had ice cream of some sort In about two to three hours the entire crew started dropping with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Soon all hands were down and unable to perform their duties. The ship's doctor, Lt. Mann and his pharmacists mate did what they could, but they were as sick as everyone else. The doctor carried his own bucket with him and used it often. The Case was scheduled to get underway at 8 a.m. the next day, but the orders were canceled. As mentioned before, this was the only time during the entire war that the Case was unable to deploy when ordered. A few of the men were so sick and dehydrated that they had to be transferred to the sickbay on the tender where they could receive proper treatment.
On January 5, 1943 the Case made another deployment to Guadalcanal, arriving on January 8th. Her duties consisted of anti-submarine patrol and other routine functions.
The Case entered Tulagi harbor on a
couple of occasions and was once called
on to give close-in gunfire support with
our 5" guns to the troops of
The most noteworthy event during this
period occurred, literally, on a dark
and stormy night. The ship, along with a
New Zealand gunboat, was on patrol in
the "slot" between Guadalcanal and
Florida Islands. During this time, the
Japanese, reluctant to risk any more
transports, were using destroyers as
high speed transports to ferry troops
and supplies down from their base at
Rabaul. They dropped off large
waterproof pouches full of rations and
medical supplies, which would hopefully
be picked up by their troops ashore. The
so-called "Tokyo Express" made almost
nightly runs from their bases further up
the Soloman Island chain.
On this night the Case radar picked up a
large group of enemy destroyers led by
what was believed to be a light cruiser.
As the enemy force closed on the Case
word was passed that we would commence
firing and begin a torpedo run at a
range of 4000 yards. Fortunately at the
last minute the group changed course and
the Case remained undetected. The luck
of the Case once again prevailed. The
next day some of the pouches that had
been dropped were retrieved and found to
The ship departed the Guadalcanal/Tulagi
area on January 17, escorting ships to
Espiritu Santo arriving there January
20. During the next phase of operations,
which extended from late January until
September 1943, the Case operated
primarily with carrier Saratoga out of
our base at Noumea, New Caledonia.
While operating out of Noumea the Case
was afforded a much needed period of
tender overhaul. There was plenty of
opportunity for liberty but no place to
go except the Red Cross Canteen. The
ship organized a beach party for all
hands not on duty. It turned out to be
quite a rowdy affair. During this
extended period of operations the Case
lost her first man. In very rough waters
leaving Noumea, Shipfitter 3/C L.C. Hale
was washed overboard. Attempts to rescue
him were futile.
The ship got underway May 9, 1943 for
Pago Pago, Samoa arriving May 13. After
refueling Case rendezvoused with H.M.S.
Victorious, a British aircraft carrier,
the U.S.S. North Carolina, and the
destroyers Pringle, Converse, and Smith.
The group set a course for Noumea and
arrived there May 17, 1943. Routine
carrier escort duties continued. On
September 23, 1943 the Case departed
Noumea with orders to proceed directly
to the Mare Island Navy Yard. After a
brief stop at Bora Bora, Tahiti for fuel
the ship proceeded non-stop to San
Francisco. This was the limit of the
ship's cruising range, but the engineers
came through with an outstanding
performance of engineering plant
efficiency, and we arrived at our
destination with fuel to spare. It
should be noted here that from May 9,
1943 until November 2, 1943 the ship was
underway 127 days Out of 145 days. This
period of overhaul would be the ship's
longest stay in port since the overhaul
from November 1940 through January 1941.
The overhaul and modernization began
immediately. The crew was moved off the
ship and on to an old converted
ferryboat where we berthed and took our
meals. This was a welcome and much
needed time for leave and recreation.
The Case had been at sea almost
continuously since leaving Pearl Harbor
for the South Pacific in December 1942.
It was a time to reunite with loved
ones. It was a time to meet sons and
daughters that had been born during our
long absence. Time passed quickly and
all too soon the crew moved back aboard
and the final preparations were made for
getting underway. Many of our
experienced men were transferred to
new construction and a large draft of
recruits fresh from boot camp reported
aboard. Little did anyone know that
officers and men alike would soon be
tested to the limits of their bravery
The Case left the Mare Island Navy Yard
November 27, 1943 bound for Adak,
Alaska. Two days out the ship
encountered very severe rough weather.
What then ensued was a terrifying
experience for all hands, but especially
for the recruits that had just reported
aboard. Everyone aboard at that time
must have their own version of what
happened, but all would agree that the
prospect of facing a watery grave was
Sometime during the 2000-2400 watch as
the ship pounded through increasingly
high seas and hurricane force winds, it
rolled over on its starboard side more
than 45 degrees. One of the blower
intakes that supplied ventilation to the
after part of the engine room became
submerged, allowing sea water to gush
through the ducting spraying the main
power distribution panel. The panel
literally exploded, with balls of
electrical energy shooting from gaping
holes that were burned in the structure.
Electrical power was immediately lost
for the entire ship plunging it into
total darkness. This meant no radio or
navigational equipment, no ventilation,
and most critical of all, no
electro-hydraulic steering engine.
The engineroom and fireroom immediately shifted to all steam auxiliary machinery and continued to operate, but the ship had lost its ability to steer and navigate and the loss of ventilation in the engineroom caused the temperature in that space to soar to 135 degrees. Below deck the berthing compartments, mess hall and engineering spaces all were plunged into total darkness.
Because the ship was unable to steer it began to wallow in the troughs between the gigantic waves. An attempt to steer manually was made, but a combination of seawater and hydraulic oil on the deck of the steering engine compartment along with the violent motion of the ship made it impossible to do. In fact, one of the men who tried to do this suffered broken ribs. The Captain then tried to control the ship by varying the speed of the propellers; sometime reversing one while going full speed ahead on the other. This for the most part was futile and the ship continued to take a pounding as thirty-foot waves continued to crash down upon the ship.
On topside the force of the waves began to tear away ladders, handrails, lifelines and reels of mooring hawsers. The motor whaleboat that was normally secured on the starboard side at the break of the forecastle was shattered and disappeared, leaving only the block and tackles dangling from the boat davits.
The lifeline stanchions that were screwed into sockets that were welded to the deck were torn away leaving holes into the crews quarters below. Every time the ship rolled over seawater gushed through these holes onto the bunks below. The compartments below began to flood. Bedding fell off the bunks into the water that was sloshing back and forth with every roll of the ship. Locker doors came open spilling their contents into the mess. Some lockers were torn loose and toppled over to add to the mess. Water was eight to ten inches deep in the berthing spaces.
The recruits that had never been to sea before were totally traumatized. They huddled together on the compartment deck and tried to hang on to anything that was within their grasp. It was during this time of uncontrolled rolling and wallowing that the Case took her record rolls: 64 degrees to the port and 58 degrees to the starboard. These rolls were measured and recorded in the engineroom by an instrument called an inclinometer. Consider for a moment that a 45-degree roll is half way over!! The ship didn't just roll over and roll back. She lay on her side and struggled like a wounded animal trying to get up. Water started pouring down the after-fireroom stack and out the fireboxes of numbers three and four boilers. The ship was taking on water at an alarming rate and with every roll she was slower in righting herself.
Below decks sailors tried to hang on but soon became disorientated. What had been the deck had now become the bulkhead and visa-versa. Men hanging on valve wheels or hand rails on the starboard side of the ship faced a 35 ft. fall when the ship rolled over on its port side. Some lost their grip and fell and several men were injured. Men prayed who had never prayed before. Storage racks on the main deck that depth charges were stored in were torn loose by the force of the water. Depth charges were heard crashing back and forth; 600 lbs. of TNT threatening disaster. Finally a courageous seaman at the risk of his own life ventured out on deck and cleared debris so the depth charges could roll over the side.
A lot of credit for saving the ship must be given to the ship's electricians led by Harrison Shedd EMC. Working with flashlights and battle lanterns in 130 degree heat, they jury-rigged cables from the control panel for the emergency diesel generator around the burned out main control panel to energize circuits for the steering engine, navigational instruments, the gyro compass, and a ventilation blower for the engineroom. This was accomplished in about six hours. The emergency diesel generator was then started and was soon laboring at full load. It faltered a few times, but its' doubtful that any emergency generator was tested as long or as hard as that old Fairbanks-Morse.
With steering power restored the ship was able to set a course back to San Francisco. A muster of all hands found two men missing; a warrant officer who had just reported aboard and Shipfitter 1/C, J.A. Mitchell. The Case returned to San Francisco in the late evening of December 1, 1943 and anchored in San Francisco Bay overnight. Next morning we proceeded on to the Mare Island Navy Yard for repair of the extensive damage done by the storm. It took a little more than two weeks to get everything done and the crew was grateful for two more weeks in the states. In the interim the orders were changed and on December 16, 1943 the ship out to sea again, this time bound for Pearl Harbor. The only plus to the whole incident was that we had avoided another tour of duty in the Aleutians.
The Case arrived at Pearl Harbor December 22, 1943. Additional repairs were made at the Navy Yard there and when completed the ship engaged in training exercises for the new crewmen. The ship departed Pearl Harbor on January 19th and joined carrier task group 58.4 in support of the assault of Eniwetok. After 32 days of continuous operations the Case entered Eniwetok Lagoon on February 22, 1944. The atoll was not completely secured when we entered the lagoon through the deep-water passage. On the way in we passed a destroyer lying off Parry Island firing at suspected Japanese positions. Parry Island was a beautiful little island, completely covered with palm trees. White sandy beaches encircled the island and the waters of the lagoon were crystal clear.
When the Case returned to sea after a few hours the Marine assault on Parry Island was already underway. When the ship returned to Eniwetok about a week later, Parry Island looked like a gigantic lawnmower had gone over it. Hardly a palm tree was left standing. The 1350 Japanese defenders were dug in and so well concealed that their positions were difficult to spot even from a few feet away. Marine losses were 302 killed, but the Japanese were wiped out to a man. The beautiful idyllic South Sea island had been reduced to a trash-strewn sandspit.
On March 1, 1944 the Case entered Majuro atoll, a beautiful deep-water lagoon that had been occupied with only slight enemy opposition. This was a real eye opener for the crew of the Case. At anchor were huge new Iowa class battleships, four Essex class aircraft carriers, plus several Independence class light carriers, cruisers galore, and 2100-ton destroyers by the dozen. For a ship that had been relegated to obscure areas of the war, and operated with mostly pre war ships and hardware, what we saw was truly a revelation. After a brief period of upkeep the Case departed Majuro March 8, 1944 and arrived at Espiritu Santo March 13, 1944. Ten days were spent here taking on stores and performing routine maintenance tasks. Departed Espiritu Santo March 23 and jointed task group 36.2 for strikes against Palau and the western Caroline Islands. This air assault continued for three days from March 30th through April 1st.
The Case returned to Majuro April 6th and joined a logistics group. Our task was screening fleet oilers that were supporting task group 58.1 making strikes against Hollandia, New Guinea. While on this operation the Case crossed the equator, back and forth 18 times in one 24-hour period. On April 25, 1944 Case was reassigned to carrier task group 58.1 and participated in the strikes against the Japanese bastions at Truk and Satawa on April 29th and 30th. These strikes just about neutralized Truk as a major base for the enemy.
We returned to Majuro on May 4, 1944. The Case enjoyed a brief respite during the next few weeks, being assigned to routine patrol duties and to perform necessary repairs and maintenance. This allowed the ship to send recreation parties to a small island that had been designated as a recreation area. Recreation usually consisted of two Spam sandwiches, two warm beers, and returning to the ship with a skull splitting headache.
The Case departed Majuro on June 6, as part of task group 58.4 for the invasion and capture of the Mariannas Islands. The task group was maneuvering close enough to the islands for our air strikes to be fully effective. At the same time this put our ships in jeopardy from the enemy's land based aircraft. During the evening of June 15 the task group was attacked repeatedly by enemy twin engine torpedo bombers. The attacks were repulsed without damage to the group, but some of our sailors were hit by friendly fire when the planes flew up between two ships and our gunners were intent on the target and not what was beyond. On June 19 Japanese carrier air groups attacked the group. Most were splashed by our fighter planes before they got within range of our task group. Those that were able to penetrate our fighter screen were shot down by the task group AA fire. On June 23rd the Case picked up a Japanese pilot floating in a life raft. He had been in the water several days. He was badly sunburned, dehydrated, and his buttock and legs had developed ugly saltwater ulcers. He was taken to sickbay and treated by the ship's doctor. He gave his name as Kikuthi Isakama. He was treated with consideration and when strong enough he was allowed to sit on topside and watch the flight operations of our task group. Of course, he was under constant guard. When he had regained enough strength he was transferred by high line to the carrier Essex, where our intelligence officers interrogated him.
The period from June 19 through June 21 was called "The Great Mairannas Turkey Shoot". It was thus far the greatest carrier battle of the war and the most disastrous for the Japanese. Japan lost 346 planes and two aircraft carriers. Our losses from all causes were 130 aircraft and 76 airmen.
During this three-day battle the Case was at general quarters almost continuously, even at night. Japanese land based planes were snooping around the task force all night long requiring the ship to maintain maximum battle readiness. During this operation the Case was underway from June 6 until July 14; a period of 39 days, much of it at flank speed. The ship entered Eniwetok Lagoon on July 14 and went into the floating drydock for minor hull repairs.
July 20, 1944 found the Case at sea again joining Task Group 58.1 in support of the operations to recapture Guam. The carrier group began strikes against the Bonin Islands on August 4th and 5th. When this operation was completed the Case was detached from the task group to assume patrol and escort duties between Eniwetok and the Guam/Saipan sector. This assignment continued until September 16, 1944.
While at anchor at Saipan the Case received orders to take aboard several doctors and Pharmacist Mates with blankets and medical supplies, and proceed at high speed to the southwest to rendezvous with the submarines Sea Lion and Pompanito. We were to assist as needed to care for a group of Allied prisoners of war who were survivors from a torpedoed Japanese troop transport, carrying the Allied prisoners to Japan. When the ship was sunk the escorting Japanese ships refused to pick up any survivors other than their own. They had been adrift for five days before the subs discovered their identity and picked up the 127 survivors remaining. When the Case reached the rendezvous area, the seas were too rough to transfer the survivors in their weakened condition. The medical team and their supplies were transferred to the subs and the Case returned to Saipan on 20 September 1944.
During the rest of September and until October 6th, Case served as an escort and patrol vessel in the Mariannas area. On October 6, 1944, as part of Task group 30.2 the ship departed Saipan for the bombardment of Marcus Island. The shelling started early on October 9th, 1944 and continued intermittently the entire day. Return fire was heavy and fairly accurate throughout the bombardment, but the Case was not hit. However, one 3-in. gun salvo straddled the ship with near misses hitting a few yards on either side. The task group returned to Saipan arriving there October 11, 1944. The Case was then ordered to join task group 38.1 under the command of Admiral McCain. Rendezvous made October 16th. The task group then departed for the vicinity of the central Philippines in support of the landings at Leyte. These operations commenced on October 18th, and continued until October 23rd, when the task group was ordered to Ulithi, an advanced base in the western Caroline Islands, for refueling.
Orders were received on the morning of the 24th to reverse course and head back to the Philippines at 30 knots. Surface units of the Japanese Fleet were engaging escort carriers under the command of Admiral Sprague. Admiral McCain ordered an air strike at extreme range, knowing that the planes would not have enough fuel to return to the carriers. The Case in company with other destroyers were ordered ahead of the task group at flank speed [36 knots] to reach a point where the planes could ditch, and the airmen could be picked up. About sunset our returning planes were picked up on radar and directed in. Soon the planes started "splashing in" close at hand to the waiting destroyers. The Case picked up several aircrews. Only twelve of our airmen from Task Group 38.1 were lost during this action. The task group returned to Ulithi on October 29, 1944 and remained there until November 8th. A ten-day respite in port didn't happen very often, and the crew made the most of it, performing needed repairs and upkeep.
When the landings at Leyte were over, the task of supplying the troops ashore remained. On December 11, 1944 a convoy of supply ships proceeding through Suragio Straits came under a heavy kamikaze attack, one of the first of the war. The destroyer Reid DD 369 was hit by suicide attackers and sunk. The ship was hit between number 3 and 4 guns and the bomb exploded in the after magazine blowing the entire stern of the ship apart. The Reid sank in less than three minutes with 150 survivors. Mention is made of this because the Reid was next to the Case December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Case and Reid often operated together especially in Alaska during the early months of the war. She was in the truest sense of the word the sister ship of the Case.
Another event that will never be found in official historical records or the ship's log occurred during the period of extensive operations [February 1944-December 1944]. One of the ship's two main electric generators threw a turbine blade. This was a major engineering casualty. The normal operating speed for this turbine was slightly more than 10,000 rpm so the damage was severe. Repairs of this magnitude would normally be undertaken only in a Navy yard. To be able to supply the power requirements for full battle readiness, it was necessary that both generators be on the line. Someone remembered that stored away in one of the firerooms was a large crate that had been there since the ship went into commission in 1936. Sure enough! The ship was carrying a spare turbine rotor. The decision was made and permission was granted to attempt this repair underway. Working night and day in extreme heat this difficult and highly technical repair was successfully completed. Harold T. Lyons C.M.M. and Carl 0. West M.M. 1/C deserved commendations for their outstanding achievement, but none were ever forthcoming.
The Case joined Task Group 30.2 comprised of heavy cruisers and destroyers for a bombardment of Iwo Jima on November 8, 1944. The task group arrived at Iwo about midnight November 11th, and the bombardment continued until 0130. Return fire was sporadic and inaccurate. The task group then returned to Ulithi arriving there November13, 1944.
On November 20, 1944 the Case was assigned to escort Cruiser Division 5 from Ulithi to Saipan where the group was to rendezvous with other ships for another bombardment of Iwo Jima. At 0532 while patrolling at the entrance to Ulithi Atoll, a periscope was sighted between the Case and the exiting cruisers. The sub was definitely identified as an enemy midget submarine. The Case set a collision course for the sub, but it managed to evade the onrushing ship. On the second attempt at ramming the sub apparently did not see the Case as he held a true course for the nearest cruiser. The sub was struck by the bow of the Case abaft of the conning tower on the port side. Parts of the sub were observed going aft on either side of the ship. Case returned to Ulithi where a diver inspected the hull and reported no visible signs of damage. The ship then made a trial run at 30 knots and reported nothing abnormal. However, it was believed that the port propeller was slightly damaged because a short time later it was necessary to remove it for repairs.
The Case departed for Saipan on November 22nd, and was assigned to off shore patrol until December 6, 1944. On that date the Case rendezvoused with the cruiser bombardment group and proceeded to Iwo Jima where the task group bombarded the island during the day and without benefit of air cover. The task group returned to Ulithi December 10, 1944.
Recreation at Ulithi consisted of the usual two Spam sandwiches and two warm beers, and as a bonus a chance to explore the infamous island, Mog Mog. This island paradise was about one half mile long and a couple hundred yards wide. It was infested with sand fleas and hermit crabs scurrying about. After a brief period of upkeep and recreation, the task group got underway, clearing port on December 16th bound for Saipan, arriving there one day later. On December 22, 1944 Case joined Task Group 94.9 and proceeded north for another daylight bombardment of Iwo Jima. The shelling began at 1300 hours on December 24, 1944.
At 1320 hours the Case and the U.S.S. Roe were ordered to pursue an enemy destroyer type ship which was steaming north away from Iwo at high speed. The Case and the Roe gave chase, and steaming at full power slowly closed the distance between the ships. After about two hours of hard steaming the Case opened fire at extreme range. The Roe opened fire soon after. Maximum range for our 5" guns was about 15,000 yards. The Case opened up at 14,600 yards. Aided by an Air Force B-24 bomber spotting our fire, the Case soon scored the first hits on the fleeing enemy. Scoring a hit midships at the waterline slowed the Japanese ship to 14 knots.
Both U.S. destroyers quickly closed in and sank the enemy ship with close and effective gunfire. It should be noted here that at the height of the action, all hands who were topside and not actually engaged in firing the guns had their eyes riveted on the enemy ship being blown to pieces by our hard hitting salvos.
EXCEPT ONE!!! L.V. Hayes, a seaman 1/C, whose battle station was lookout on the wing of the bridge, was doing the duty assigned him, which was scanning the sea and the sky ahead of the ship and called out a warning at 1552. The Case turned away from the target and a torpedo passed close by on the port side. At 1553 another torpedo passed close by on the starboard side. It was a certainty that had the ship not turned way she would have been hit by both torpedoes and sunk. Seaman Hayes received a commendation; little enough for having saved the ship.
The target sank at 1559 with many survivors struggling in the moderately rough sea. The Case drifted in close to the survivors until they were right against the side of the ship. They refused assistance and rejected lifelines that were thrown to them. Cargo nets were put over the side but not one tried to climb aboard. Bogey contacts were picked up on the radar screen, so the Case steamed off at 20 knots to rejoin the task group. During this action the Roe was hit on the bridge by enemy fire, injuring the Commanding Officer and other personnel in the immediate area, but there were no fatalities.
It was noted that there were an inordinately large number of survivors in the water for the size of the ship. It was reported later that the enemy ship was being used as a high-speed transport, and was carrying a load of soldiers to Iwo Jima. On the return trip to Saipan the Case developed excessive vibration in the port propeller shaft. Repairs were accomplished at Saipan which had become a major advance base.
The ship left port again on January 22, 1945 in company with a task group that included two pre-war battleships. They were excellent platforms for heavy pre-invasion bombardments that would soon take place. The first shelling that involved battleships took place January 24, but the Case was assigned to anti-submarine security patrol during the bombardment. The task group then headed south with the
Case breaking off for Saipan while the battleships and their escorts continued on to Ulithi. The ship arrived back at Saipan February 2, 1945.
Operational data for February and March of 1945 was missing from the logs that were available to the author. I know that the Case was at anchor at Saipan February 12 through February 15, 1945, because your "historian' received orders to report to the Receiving Ship, Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, FFT (for further transfer) on February 12th. I left the Case the next day after 5 years and 2 months aboard. I reported to the Receiving Station at Saipan, and made arrangements to catch a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) PB4Y flying boat to Honolulu. We left Saipan at 0600 on the 14th. As we left the plane flew right over the Case. As I looked down at her trim lines, a wave of nostalgia came over me.
After all she had been my home and a good one for more than five years. I settled down for the 24 hours flight to Honolulu. I dreamed of the reunion with wife and family soon to come.
After the operations that involved the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima the Case was relegated, more or less, to rear echelon duties. There were long periods at sea performing escort duties, manning radar picket stations, anti submarine patrol and air-sea rescue duty. New and larger destroyers with more firepower were being assigned to the fast carrier task groups and ground support and radar picket stations around Kinawa. However, several incidents occurred that broke the routine and kept life from getting too boring. For more than a month the Case remained at sea during an extended period of anti submarine patrol, air-sea rescue, and radar picket duty in the Saipan/Iwo Jima sector. On April 17, 1945 the Case was ordered out to investigate a surface radar contact. Investigation found the contact to be Japanese hospital ship. It was allowed to proceed unmolested.
On May 27th, the ship rescued 2nd Lt. Dale E. Ellis, an Army Air Force B-24 bomber pilot who had been in the water since May 14th, a total of 13 days. He was suffering from salt-water sores, dehydration, and exhaustion. He was transferred to Army medical facilities at Iwo Jima. The Case bombarded Kita Iwo Jima on May 30, 1945. The ship encountered no opposition or return fire.
On June 7th, the Case recovered 2nd Lt. W.J. Wajtaszek A.A.F. of the 21st Fighter Group, 46th Fighter Squadron. He was transferred to the Army Medical Facility at Iwo Jima.
The Case was on radar picket station, 320 degrees true, 60 miles from Mt. Suribachi when the enemy surrendered August 15, 1945.
A fitting climax to Case's fine war
record was when she was ordered to
Chichi Jima to accept and supervise the
terms of surrender of the Japanese
forces on the Bonin Islands. On
September 2, 1945, the Case in company
with the U.S.S. Dunlap DD 384 departed
Iwo Jima and arrived off Tatsumi Wan,
Chichi Jima at 0845 September 3, 1945 to
accept the surrender of the Japanese
forces in the Bonin Islands. The Case
patrolled close at hand, while Commodore
Magruder USN accepted the surrender of
the enemy forces.
Departed Chichi Jima at 1155, the same
day, inroute to Iwo Jima, arriving there
at 1700. At 2200 (10 PM) underway again
as a task group with Commander R.S.
Willey in U.S.S. Case as task group
Arrived off Futami Ko, Chichi Jima at
1145 September 4, 1945 and our
minesweepers commenced sweeping
operations to clear the harbor area of
mines. On the evening of the 7th it was
reported that a safe channel had been
swept, and entry to Futomi Ko was made
by the Case at 0834, September 8, 1945.
The Captain of the Case, Commander R.S.
Willey assumed duties as S.O.P.A.
(Senior Officer Present Afloat), and
Commander Naval Occupation Forces,
Chichi Jima. At 1226 the U.S.S. Dunlap
carrying Captain H.P. Smith moored
alongside the Case and the Japanese
liaison group reported aboard the Dunlap
for the first conference. At 1625 the
Dunlap with Captain Smith aboard
departed for Iwo Jima.
The Japanese liaison party reported
aboard the ship daily at 0900. They had
been ordered to repair the airfield,
clear the harbor of wreckage, repair
navigational aids, and set buoy markers
and to dispose all explosives in 100
fathom of water. No trouble of any kind
was encountered in dealing with the
Japanese, who were fully cooperative.
The entire crew of the Case was able to
acquire souvenirs provided by the
Japanese. Swords, pistols, and rifles
were distributed to the crew according
to rank and rating. The Japanese
garrison totaled more than 22,000
well-armed and well-trained troops, all
willing to fight to the death for their
Emperor. The leap frog strategy of the
U.S. high command saved thousands of
lives, for both sides, by isolating
entire sectors of enemy held territory.
It was estimated that an assault on
Chichi Jima would have been as costly as
was Iwo Jima.
On September 19, 1945, Commander C.R.
Kear USN, Commanding Officer of the
U.S.S. Trippe DD 403 assumed command of
the U.S. Naval Occupation Forces, Chichi
Jima. The Case left the area the same
day for Iwo Jima. She arrived there at
1730, stopping only long enough to fuel
and to receive passengers aboard. Case
got underway for the United States at
2155. The ship had last departed the
U.S. January 19, 1944, and returned to
San Pedro, Ca. October 16, 1945; a total
of 21 months of almost continuous sea
The Case left the west coast and
continued on through the Panama Canal up
to New York City where she anchored in
the Hudson River for the Presidential
Review by President Truman on Navy Day,
1945. After a brief stay in New York
City the ship departed for the Norfolk,
Va. Navy Yard for decommissioning.
The U.S.S. Case DD-370 was
decommissioned December 13, 1945. She
served her country, manned by a crew
without peer, for nine years and three
By a SupShips directive effective
December 1947 the ship was disposed of
On the preceding pages you have read about the travels and trials of the U.S.S. Case and her crew. These pages tell the story of strength and the devotion to duty of the men who served on her. They faced weeks and months of utterly boring routine, punctuated by brief periods of excitement and sometimes terror, with no prospect of any change in the foreseeable future. However, to build a framework that will help the reader gain a better perspective of which has been documented in these pages, here are some facts and figures that will emphasize the truly extraordinary achievements of the Case, her crew, and especially her engineering department.
The following statistics were compiled by Ensign Kaplan who was Assistant Engineering Officer when the Case was put Out of commission at the Norfolk Navy Yard.
From December 7, 1941 until December 13, 1945 the Case steamed 321,570 miles or almost 13 times around the world.
During six separate months the Case steamed more than 10,000 miles, and during February, 1944, which was a 28 day month she steamed 11,751 miles for an average 17 1/2 miles per hour, every hour for the entire month. This amounts to 420 miles a day. The Case, never once, due to an engineering breakdown, failed to meet a deployment schedule.
As a fitting climax to its performance, which rivals that of any other ship, the Case steamed 12,000 miles from the Bonin Islands via Iwo Jima, the Marshall Islands, Pearl Harbor, San
Pedro, California, the Panama Canal, and on to New York City.
This is a tribute to the people who back in the 1930's designed and built the engineering plant, and to sailors who operated and maintained it.
The Case was awarded seven battle starts on the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal for the following engagements.
Pearl Harbor……………………..December 7, 1941
Marshall Islands…………………29 Jan. - 2 Mar.1944
Asiatic/Pacific Raids…………….30 Mar. - 9 Oct.1944
Includes assaults on:
Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai, Truk, Satawas, Ponape, The bombardment of Marcus Island
Hollandia Operations…………….21 April - 1 June 1944
Mariannas Operations……………..11 June - 15 Aug.1944
Includes assaults on:
Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, Battle of the Philippine Sea, The Boninin Island Raids
The assault of Luzon & Leyte……15 Oct. - 25 Nov.1944
Iwo Jima Operation……………… 11 Nov. - 16 Mar.1945
The U.S.S. Case also earned the Navy Occupation Service Medal for the period 2 September to 1 November 1945.
During surface engagements with the enemy the ship sank an enemy destroyer north of Iwo Jima December 24, 1944. On March20, 1944 Case rammed and sank an enemy midget sub. One merchantman was claimed sunk by the ship during the bombardment of Kiska on August 7, 1942.
The Case participated in nine shore bombardments of enemy held islands.
The Case did not incur any damage to the ship, nor have any personnel casualties due to hostile action.
From December 7, 1941 the Case fired 6,616 rounds of 5" shells, 7,905 rounds of 40 MM ammunition and 50,246 rounds of 20 MM ammunition.
The war record of the Case was not spectacular when compared to some of the other destroyers that survived the war, but she performed all tasks that were assigned her, and did them well. She served her country to the highest traditions of the Naval Service.
Ship's Log - December 7, 1941
More interesting information about the Case during World War II
Orphan Annie is a more detailed account of the storm of November 27 - December 1, 1943.
A Photo Album Pictures of Joe Goffeney during Navy years and after, and several pictures of
the U.S.S. Case and its Crew.
There is a an almost unlimited amount of interesting information
on the Web about the U. S. Navy, its men and ships, and their involvement in World War II.
Here are a few that we found particularly interesting:
Destroyers Online webpage. A tremendous amount of information about destroyers, frigates and the other small ships of the U.S. Navy