Buchanan dd 131

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Buchanan DD- 131


Born in Baltimore, Md., 17 September 1800, Franklin Buchanan entered the Navy as a Midshipman on board Java in 1815. He organized the Naval Academy and served as its first superintendent (1845-47). He commanded the sloop Germantown in the Mexican War; the steam sloop Susquehanna, flagship of Perry's Squadron, in the expedition to Japan in 1852; and in 1859, became Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard. In 1861 he joined Confederate forces at Richmond, Va., and for gallant and meritorious conduct he was promoted to Admiral, the ranking officer in the Confederate States Navy. He was twice wounded severely and was taken prisoner of war, 5 August 1864. Admiral Buchanan died at his home "The Rest" in Talbot County, Md., 11 May 1874.


(DD-131: dp. 1154; 1. 3.14'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'; s. 35.4 k.
cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 13", 12 21" TT.; cl. Wickes)

The first Buchanan (DD-131) was launched 2 January 1919 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. Charles P. Wetherbee; and commissioned 20 January 1919, Lieutenant H. H. J. Bensen in command.

Buchanan reported to Commander, Destroyer Force, at Guantanamo, Cuba, and was temporarily attached to Destroyer Squadron 2 until ordered to the Pacific Fleet in July 1919 for duty with Destroyer Flotilla 4. From 7 June 1922 until 10 April 1930 Buchanan was out of commission at San Diego. She then joined Destroyer Division 10, Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Force, and operated on the west coast in routine division, force, and fleet activities and problems. In the summer of 1934, after making a cruise to Alaska with ROTC units aboard, she was placed in reduced commission attached to Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 20 at San Diego.

Again placed in full commission in December 1934, she resumed operations with Division 5, Destroyers, Battle Force. Buchanan was again out of commission at San Diego from 9 April 1937 until 30 September 1939. She was then refitted for action with Division 65, Destroyer Squadron 32, Atlantic Squadron, and from December 1939 until 22 February 1940 operated with the Neutrality Patrol and Antilles Detachment. She was then assigned to patrol In the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of Galveston, Tex., and later off Key West and around the Florida Straits. She arrived at Boston Navy Yard 2 September and then proceeded to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where on 9 September 1940 she was decommissioned and transferred in the destroyer-land bases exchange to the United Kingdom.

Commissioned in the Royal Navy on the day of transfer she was renamed HMS Campbeltown. Upon her arrival at Devonport, England, 29 September 1940,


Campbeltown was allocated to the 7th Escort Group, Liverpool, in the Western Approaches Command. In January 1941 she was provisionally allocated to the Royal Netherlands Navy, but reverted to the Royal Navy in September 1941. Between September 1941 and March 1942 she served with Atlantic convoys and was attacked on several occasions by enemy U-boats and aircraft, but escaped without damage. On 15 September 1941 she picked up the survivors of the Norwegian motor tanker Vinga, damaged by an enemy air attack.

Her end came as a fitting conclusion to her fine career, for she acted as blockship in the lock entrance at St. Nazaire during the raid of 28 March 1942. Early that morning she was driven straight at her objective under withering fire. Her commandos scrambled ashore and commenced their demolition work. After scuttling her, her crew escaped in motor boats. Eleven hours later, her five tons of delayed action high explosives blew up, inflicting heavy casualties among the German members of an inspection party who had gone on board and wrought great havoc in the port. Campbeltown's captain, Lieutenant Commander S. H. Beattie, R. N., who was taken prisoner of war, was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry.


(DD-484: dp. 1630; 1. 348'3"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'5"; s. 37.4
k.; cpl. 276; a. 4 5", 5 21" TT.; cl. Gleaves)

The second Buchanan (DD-484) was launched 22 November 1941 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N. J.; sponsored by Miss Hildreth Meiere, greatgranddaughter of Admiral Buchanan; and commissioned 21 March 1942, Commander D. L. Roscoe, Jr., in command

Buchanan got underway for the Pacific 28 May 1942 She played an effective role in the landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi (7-9 August) and on 9 August she was present during the Battle of Savo Island and rescued many survivors of Astoria (CA-44), Quincy (CA-39), Vincennes (CA-44), and HMAS Canberra, sunk during the battle. In September she escorted Wasp (CV-7) and other units to Noumea, New Caledonia. Shortly thereafter, as part of TF 64.2, Buchanan assisted in the occupation of Funafuti Island in the Ellice Islands.

On the night of 11-12 October, as a unit of TG 64.2, Buchanan took part in the Battle of Cape Esperance. On 12 November the destroyer was damaged during the initial stages of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal when she was accidentally hit by U. S. naval gunfire. She suffered the loss of five of her crew and had to withdraw from the action. After undergoing repairs, she was assigned to convoy escort duty until February 1943.

After leave in Sydney, Australia, Buchanan joined the screen of TF 15. On 30 April 1943, while screening in convoy, the ship ran aground off the southern coast of Guadalcanal and, after jettisoning heavy gear and ammunition, she was eased off the reef by three tugs. She proceeded to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, for repairs. Repairs completed, she participated in the New Georgia Group operations (30 June- 13 July) and while under heavy attack she effectively bombarded the enemy shore batteries during the invasion of Rendova. She participated in the bombardment of Munda (12 July) and the Battle of Kolombangara (13 July). Buchanan was damaged when she collided with Woodworth (DD-460) during the latter engagement and retired to Noumea for repairs. During the ensuing months, Buchanan convoyed ships to Noumea, Espiritu Santo, and Guadalcanal. She participated in the Treasury-Bougainville operation (1-11 November), taking part in the Rabaul and Buka-Bonis strikes. Next, as a, unit of TF 38, she bombarded Shortland Island and Bougainville (8 and 13 January 1944). On 22 January, while going to the rescue of the torpedoed oiler Cache (AO-67), Buchanan hunted down and sank the Japanese submarine RO-37 in 11'47' S., 164'17' E.

During February the destroyer participated in various phases of the Bismarck Archipelago operation (15 February-1 March). She covered the Green Island landings and took an active part in the bombardment of Kavieng, Rabaul, and New Ireland before steaming to the United States to undergo a yard overhaul at Mare Island.

Upon completion of overhaul and refresher training Buchanan returned to the Pacific and served with the transport screen during the assault and capture of the southern Palaus (6 September-14 October 1944). She next participated in the strikes against Luzon between 14 and 16 December. On 18 December she was damaged by a typhoon in the Philippine Sea. Upon completion of repairs she engaged in attacks on Luzon, Formosa, and the China coast (6-16 January 1945) in support of the Luzon operation. During the remainder of World War II she participated in the Iwo Jima invasion (15 February-5 March) ; Okinawa operation and supporting 3d and 5th Fleet raids (16 March-30 June); as well as the 3d Fleet operations against Japan (10 July -15 August 1945).

On 29 August she entered Tokyo Bay escorting South Dakota (BB-57). On 1 September she carried Fleet Admirals Nimitz and Halsey from their respective flagships to Yokohama where they met with General MacArthur and then returned them to the fleet. The following day she carried General MacArthur to Missouri (BB63) where he accepted the Japanese surrender and then returned him to Yokohama. She remained on occupation duty in the Par Bast until 8 October and then departed for San Francisco where she arrived 20 October. Buohanan steamed to Charleston, S. C., for pre-inactivation overhaul and went out of commission in reserve there 21 May 1946.

Buchanan was recommissioned 11 December 1948 at Charleston and underwent shakedown and refresher training with a nucleus Turkish crew aboard. On 29 March 1949 she got underway for Goleuk, Turkey, where she was turned over to the Turkish Navy 28 April 1949.

Buchanan received the Presidential Unit Citation and 15 battle stars for her World War II service.
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