McCalla dd 263


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McCalla DD- 263

McCalla
(DD-263: dp. 1,190, 1. 814'6"; b. S1'8", dr. 9'3" (mean);
s. 35k.; cpl. 120; a. 4 4", 2 3", 4 21" tt.; cl. Clemsonon)

The first McCalla (DD-263) was laid down 25 September 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Fore River Plant, Quincy, Mass., launched 18 February 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth McCMiller, daughter of' Rear Admiral McCalla, and commissioned 19 May 1919, Lt. Comdr. G. B. Ashe in command.

McCalla remained in active status for less than 7 months. On 26 November 1919 she went into reserve at the Norfolk Navy Yard and decommissioned 30 June 1922. As storm clouds gathered over Europe, the destroyer recommissioned 18 December 1939 and prepared for turnover to Great Britain. She decommissioned and became a ship of' the Royal Navy 23 October 1940 at Halifax as one of' the overage destroyers transferred to England in exchange for ba~es in the West Indies. Commissioned as H.H.S. Stanley (I-73) she was designated for service in the Fourth "Town" Flotilla and departed Halifax 1 November. At St. John's on the 5th, when the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer attacked a convoy underway for the United Kingdom, sinking six ships, Stanley was dispatched to escort the convoy back to Nova Scotia. She rendezvoused with ships 60 miles out and escorted 15 vessels to Trinity Harbour. Delayed further for repairs, she finally got underway 14 December, arriving at Plymouth, England, 2 January 1941.

Ready for service by August, Stanley was assigned first to the Western Approaches Command and then to the 40th Escort Group. One of' her first convoys took her to Freetown, Sierra Leone, escorting ships carrying troops and equipment for Commonwealth units in the Middle East. On the return voyage she escorted a merchant convoy, departing 30 November. At Gibraltar in mid December she joined convoy HG 76, departing 14 December for Britain. On the 17th one of' the auxiliary carrier Audacity aircraft sighted a submarine 22 miles on the port beam of the convoy. Stanley and four other escorts quickly established contact, sank the enemy, U-l3l, and picked up 55 survivors. The next day, Stanley, with Blanknel, scored another success, sinking U-434 and picking up 42 of her crew.

On the 19th, success ran out. Stanley, on station astern of the convoy reported the presence of another U-boat. Half an hour later U-574 scored a direct hit; Stanley exploded and sank (38° 12' N.; 17° 23' W.) with the loss of all but 25 of' her crew. Within 12 minutes, however, sloop Stork gained revenge by sinking the submarine; 16 survivors were picked up.
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