USS Pringle

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Pringle DD-477

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Pringle
(DD-477: dp. 2,940 (f.); 1. 376'5", b. 39'7"; dr. 13'9"; s. 35 k.;

cpl. 329; a. 5 5", 10 40mm, 7 20mm, 10 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp.; cl. Fletcher)

Pringle (DD-477) was laid down by the Navy Yard, Charleston, S.C., 31 July 1941; launched 2 May 1942, sponsored by Mrs. John D. H. Kane, and commissioned 15 September 1942, Lt. Comdr. Harold O. Larson in command.

Following shakedown, Pringle joined Convoy ON-154 in mid-Atlantic 1 January 1943 to escort the Halifax-bound

contingent. While on this duty she was the first U.S. destroyer to use an aircraft with catapult. On 6 February, she got underway for the Pacific Theater. Arriving off Guadaleanal 30 May, she took up patrol duties off the Solomons and, on the night of 17-18 July, joined Waller (DD466) and Saupey (DD-465) in attsehng three Japanese destroyers off Vanga Point, Kolombangara. Seoring several torpedo hits, she also splashed a Japanese plane.

As the Solomons' Campaign continued into August, Pringle screened advance units of the Vella Lavella assault force escorted LST's through Gizo strait and on the 24th eovere minelaying operations off Kolombangara under Japanese guns. On the night of 3-4 September Pringle with D~on (DD-572) made a sweep of Japanese barges between Gambi Head, Choiseul, and Kolombangara, sinking three.

While escorting TG 31.7 into Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, 11 November, 10 days after the initial landing there, Pringle shot down one Japanese plane and damaged another. With the exception of a run to Sydney in late January 1944, she continued to operate in the Solomons for the next few months. She swept the southwest coast of Bougainville during daylight in early March, bombarding enemy installations and beached barges.

The Marianas operation produced another long period of bombardment, screening and anti-submarine missions for Pringle. During the assaults on Saipan and Tinian, she conducted fire support operations.

After overhaul at Mare Island, Pringle sailed for Pearl Harbor 19 October. She departed Pearl Elarbor 10 November

and bombarded near Ormoe Bay, Leyte, 27 28 November, splashing a Japanese plane on the same day.

Pringle eame under her most intense air attack while escorting a resupply eehelonto Mindoro from 27 to 30 December. Several ships in the convoy were sunk, while Pringle shot down two planes. On the 30th a Kamikaze crashed into her after deckhouse, hlling 11 men and injuring 20, totally destroymg one 40mm mount and damaging two 5-inch mounts.

Back in service in February, Pringle screened transports to Iwo Jima for the assault there on the 17th, then provided fire support for the Marines ashore. Returning to Ulithi 4 March, she prepared for the assault on Okinawa.

Operating with DesDiv 90, she screened transport areas, covered minesweepers, and provided support fire. Assigned to radar picket duty, 15 April, she splashed two Kamikazes on the 16th before a third crashed into her bridge, and plowed through the superstructure deck, abaft the base of number one stack. A single 1000 pound bomb, or two 500-pounders, penetrated the main and superstructure decks and exploded with a violent eruption, buckling the keel and splitting the vessel in two at the forward fire room. Six minutes later 258 survivors watched Pringle slide beneath the surface.

Pringle earned 10 battle stars for World War II service.