USS Craven (DD-382) was a Gridley class destroyer that took part in the battle for Guadalcanal, the invasion of the Marshall Islands, Hollandia, and the Marianas (including the battle of the Philippine Sea) before spending 1945 in the Atlantic and Mediterrenean theatres.
The Craven was named after Tunis Augustus Macdonough Craven, who served in the US Navy during the Mexican Civil War and the Civil War, before being killed during the battle of Mobile Bay of 1864.
The Craven was launched by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps of Quincy, Mass on 25 February 1937 and commissioned on 2 September 1937. She trained in the Caribbean and along the US East Coast, and took part in torpedo experiments at Newport, before leaving Norfolk on 16 August 1937 for her new base at San Diego.
As the Gridley and Bagley class ships entered service they filled Destroyer Squadron 6, with the Craven forming part of Destroyer Division 11 within that squadron (Craven, Helm (DD-388), Henley (DD-391) and Jarvis (DD-393).
The Craven spent the period between 4 January and 17 July 1939 taking part in a Fleet Problem in the Caribbean, and then visiting the US East Coast, but then returned to her base at San Diego.
From 1 April 1940 the Craven was based at Pearl Harbor after it became the main base for the Pacific Fleet. She took part in more fleet exercises and acted as an anti-submarine screen for the aircraft carriers.
A few days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Habor the Craven left Pearl Harbor as part of the escort for the Enterprise (CV-6), which was carrying reinforcements to Wake Island. The task force was on its way back when the Japanese attacked, and didn’t return to harbour until the following day.
On 19 December the Craven put to sea with the Enterprise, but she was damaged by heavy seas soon after leaving harbour and had to return for repairs.
On 1 February 1942 the Craven took part in the raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
During the raid on Wake Island on 24 February Admiral Halsey split his fleet into two task groups, one to carry out a shore bombardment and one made up of the Enterprise and her destroyer escort. The Craven was part of the Enterprise group.
The Craven was also part of Halsey’s TF 16.5 during the raid on Marcus Island early on 4 March 1942.
The Craven then returned to the US West Coast for a brief overhaul, before on 8 April she began a spell of convoy escort and other duties along the west coast.
This period ended on 12 November when she departed from Pearl Harbor to take part in the battle of Guadalcanal. For most of the next nine months she was used to escort transports to the island.
The Craven took part in the successful battle of Vella Gulf (6-7 August 1943), which saw a force of six US destroyers intercept and almost destroy a force of three Japanese destroyers that were attempting to carry reinforcements to New Georgia.
The US destroyers were arranged in two columns, and the Craven was second in line in the western (port) column, which was slightly ahead of the eastern (starboard) column. The three destroyers in the port column were ordered to fire torpedoes, catching the Japanese by surprise. The Hagikaze, Arashi and Kawakaze were all hit by torpedoes, but the last of the four Japanese destroyers, Shigure, escaped undamaged. The battle was a clear cut American victory, after a series of more costly draws.
Craven departed Efate 23 September 1943 for San Francisco and overhaul (with the Case (DD-370), McCall (DD-400) and Fanning (DD-385).
She had reached San Francisco by 24 November when she was photographed in the bay.
The Craven was back at Pearl Harbor by 19 January 1944 when she set sail as part of the screen for the carriers of Task Force 58.
In February she screened the carriers as they carried out air strikes on Wotje, Taroa and Eniwetok to support the invasion of the Marshall Islands.
She then supported the carriers during strikes on Palau, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai.
She then covered the invasion of Hollandia, and during April took part in raids on Truk, Satawan and Ponape.
In May she returned to Pearl Harbor, but then joined the 5th Fleet to take part in the invasion of the Marianas Islands.
She provided part of the carrier screen during pre-invasion strikes on Guam, Saipan and Rota and the Bonin Islands. She also provided part of the carrier screen during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
In July she screened the carriers during their raids on the Bonins, Guam, Yap and the Palaus.
The Craven returned to Pearl Harbor on 11 October 1944, marking the end of her time in the Pacific Theatre.
After a period of overhaul and training the Craven left Pearl Harbor heading east on 2 January 1945, and arrived at New York on 26 January.
From then until 2 May she carried out a mix of training exercises and anti-submarine patrols along the east coast.
On 2 May she departed from New York to escort a convoy to Southhampton, returning to New York on 29 May. Soon after the convoy left New York the war in Europe ended, so it arrived at Southhampton almost in peace time conditions.
On 22 June she left Portland, Maine carrying a new US Minister to Tangier. She then continued on to Oran, at the start of a period of escort duty, training and transport duties in the Mediterranean.
This lasted until 14 January 1946 when she left for New York, arriving on 28 January. A month later she departed for San Diego, arriving on 16 March. She was decommissioned just over a year later, on 19 April 1946, and sold for scrap on 2 October 1947.
Craven received nine battle stars for World War II service, for the Pacific Raids of 1942, consolidation of the Solomons, New Georgia, Marshall Islands, Pacific Raids of 1944, Hollandia, Marianas, Western Caroline Islands and Leyte.
2 shaft Bethlehem turbines
6,500nm at 12kts design
Four 5in/38 DP guns
25 February 1937
2 September 1937
2 October 1947