Ludlow III dd 438


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Ludlow III DD- 438

Ludlow III
(DD-438: dp. 1,630; 1. 348'4"; t. 35'6"; dr. 11'10"; s. 33 k.; cpl. 208; a. 4 5", 10 21 ' tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp., 1 Y-gun; cl. Benson)

The third Ludlow (DD-438) was laid down 18 December 1939 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; launched-11 November 1940, sponsored by Miss Frances Nicholson Chrystie, a descendant of Lieutenant Ludlow, and commissioned at Boston 5 March 1941, Lt. Comdr. Claude H. Bennett, Jr., in command.

Ludlow commissioned a,t a time when the North Atlantic saw daily evidence of the struggle of British ships and planes against German submarines. At this time, too, the vital Lend-Lease Act was destined to demonstrate America's concern for Great Britain's survival.

Having completed shakedown, Ludlow left Boston in October 1941 for Newfoundland and Iceland, convoying supplies ultimately destined for the British Isles. The 7 December attack on Pearl Harbor, and the declaration of war between Germany and the United States soon lengthened Ludlow's convoy runs to include the ports of Londonderry, Liverpool, Greenich, and Freetown, South Africa.

Assign,ed to TF 34 for the invasion of north Africa, Ludlow arrived off: Cape Fedhala, French Morocco, late 7 November 1942. Shortly after the first wave of landing craft headed for shore, Ludlow found herself engaging shore batteries, bombers, and a Vichy French naval force comprised of a cruiser and two destroyers. A 6-inch shell struck her forward and straddling shots were falling close aboard when Augusta and Brooklyn arrived and helped to dispose of the French ships.

Ludlow returned to New York to repair battle damage, then conducted training off the coast of Maine before departing 14 January 1943 for the first of three convoy runs to Casablanca. After the th rd of these, in June, she remained in the Mediterranean for the forthcoming invasion of Sicily. With the invasion forces on 10 July, Ludlow gave flare support off Licata and Porsa Empedocle. Daily enemy air attacks followed, and on 11 August she splashed her first airplane.

Participating in the invasion of Italy on 9 September, Lud ow led a section of the assault wave through a known minefield to the bloody landing at Salerno. She and her sister ships were warmly commended by the commanding general ashore for their effective close range air support. She then served on convoy duty between Naples and Oran, until 11 January 1944. Returning to the beachheads, she covered Allied troops storming ashore at Anzio 22 January. This Joint American-British operation initially met little opposition, but later in the day the Germans struck with a fierce counterattack. Heavy air attacks marked the following days and, in less than a week, Ludlow splashed two bombers one fighter, and three rocket glider bombs. A 5 inch shell crashed through the torpedo director deck and the pilot house, causing Ludlow to retire, but serious damage was averted when Chief Gunners Mate James D. Johnson located the hot, unexploded shell and managed to get it topside and over~board.

Ludlow repaired at New York, then trained along the Atlantic coast and returned to the Mediterranean 20 April for antisubmarine patrols. On 19 May Ludlow and Niblack depth charged U-960 to the surface, where Ludlow's main battery sank her. After convoy alignments in the western Mediterranean, Ludlow steamed 11 August from Palermo for the invasion of southern France. Following preinvasion bombardment and beachhead screening off Frejus, she joined Augusta 25 to 30 August to help overcome the last resistance at Marseilles.While on coastal fire support missions around Monaco, she encountered not only floating mines and E-boats, but also attacks by explosive-laden boats and human torpedoes. Ludlow' captured three operators of these one man diving machines on 5 September atter a series of depth charge attacks. Fire support, convoy, and patrol duty continued until 23 January 1945, when Ludlow sailed for a month's plane guard duty off the west coast of Africa, returning to Boston 28 February.

In April she sailed to England to escort a convoy of LSTs stateside, then prepared for duty in the Pacific.

Transiting the Panama Canal 27 June, she reached Pearl Harbor 17 July and began training for operations with the fast carriers. The surrender of Japan, however diverted her to the job of escorting ships filled with occupation troops to the home islands of the defeated Empire. She departed Pearl Harbor 7 September and arrived at Wakayama, Japan on the 27th. Ludlow operated in the Far East until 3 November, then sailed for the Aleutians where she saw a brief period of "Magic Carpet" duty.

Early in 1946, Ludlow; vas ordered back to the east coast, and on 20 May 1946 she was placed out of commission in reserve at Charleston, S.C. After this she was utilized for Reserve training. She was placed in commission in reserve on 6 June 1960, and on 21 November of the same year she was placed on active status. Lud low' decommissioned 22 January 1961 and was transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy where she was renamed HHMS Dosa.

Ludlow received six battle stars for World War II service.
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