USS McCall (DD-400)

USS McCall (DD-400) was a Gridley class destroyer that took part in the carrier raids of 1942, served in the Aleutians, took part in the battle for Guadalcanal, the carrier raids of 1944, the invasion of Hollandia, the invasion of the Marianas and the battle of the Philippine Sea, the invasion of the Philippines and the battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Iwo Jima.

Commissioning Ceremony for USS McCall (DD-400) Commissioning Ceremony for USS McCall (DD-400)

The McCall was named after Captain Edward R. McCall who commanded the Enterprise during its victory over HMS Boxer on 5 September 1813, during the War of 1812.

The McCall was laid down at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding’s Union Plant at San Francisco on 17 March 1936, launched on 20 November 1937 and commissioned on 22 June 1938. She was assigned to Destroyers, Battle Force, in the Pacific, and arrived at her new post at San Diego on 16 January 1939.

She formed part of Destroyer Division 12 (Benham (DD-397), Maury (DD-401), McCall (DD-400) and Somers (DD-381), which was part of Destroyer Squadron 6.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the McCall was at sea with the Enterprise task force (TF 8), returning to Pearl after carrying reinforcements to Wake Island. On hearing news of the attack the force attempted to find the Japanese fleet, but luckily failed to do so. On 10 December aircraft from the Enterprise did sink the submarine I-70 while patrolling outside Pearl Harbor. The McCall spent the rest of 1941 patrolling in the Hawaiian area.


In February the McCall took part in the carrier raids on the Marshalls, Gilberts and Wake Island.

For the raids of 1 February the fleet was split into three task groups. The McCall was part of TG 8.5, built around the Enterprise, which hit Kwajalein, Maleolap and Wotje. The force was back at Pearl Harbor on 5 February.

On 15 February the fleet, now Task Force 16, departed for raids on Wake and Marcus Islands. Wake was attacked on 24 February and Marcus on 4 March, and the McCall and the rest of the fleet was back at Pearl Harbor on 10 March.

This was followed by six weeks on patrol duties around Hawaii, lasting to the end of April.

On 8 April she left Pearl Harbor with TF 16 (built around the Enterprise) to take part in the Doolittle Raid.

In May the McCall was used on escort missions from Hawaii to the new US bases in Samoa, Fiji and the Tonga Islands.

USS McCall (DD-400) from the left USS McCall (DD-400) from the left

On 10 May she departed from Pearl Harbor with the Atlanta (CL-51) to escort the ammo ship Rainier (AE-5) and oiler Kaskaskia (AO-27) to Noumea, New Caledonia, arriving on 16 May. The two warships were then recalled to Pearl Harbor, but while the Atlanta joined the fleet heading for Midway, the McCall was sent north to Kodiak, Alaska.

In late May the McCall departed for the Aleutians. During the summer she was based at Kodiak and took part in patrols along the island chain as well as taking part in the bombardment of Japanese held islands at the western end of the Aleutians.

She took part in the bombardment of Kiska on 7 August and was part of the covering force for the occupation of Adak on 30 August 1942, where a new airfield was soon constructed.

On 25 September the McCall, Reid (DD-369) and Gridley (DD-380) departed from Dutch Harbor heading for Pearl Harbor, where they arrived on either 30 September or 1 October.

After her return to Pearl Harbor on 30 September the McCall underwent a refit. She then departed fo the South Pacific on 12 November 1942 as part of Task Force 11, to take part in the battle of Guadalcanal.


The McCall spent the first three quarters of 1943 operating in the Solomons area. Much of that time was spent based at Noumea, form where she carried out anti-submarine patrols and escorted carriers and convoys.

On 19 September 1943 she set sail as part of the escort of a convoy heading to San Francisco (with the Case (DD-370), Craven (DD-382) and Fanning (DD-385)). After her arrival at San Francisco she underwent an overhaul and then took part in exercises along the west coast.


The McCall was back at Pearl Harbor by January 1944 when she joined the fast carrier force (TF 58) as part of the screen for the aircraft carriers.

The fleet put to sea on 19 January, and in February carried out raids on Wotje, Taroa and Eniwetok. She then took part in raids on the Palaus.

In March the fleet moved to a new base at Majuro. From there they raided the Palaus, Rota, Saipan, Ulitia and Woleai om 30 March-1 April.

The McCall then took part in the fleet’s intervention in the fighting on New Guinea, supporting the invasion of Hollandia on 22 April. Truk, Satawan and Ponape were raided on 29 April-1 May as the fleet returned to its normal area of operations.

The McCall returned to Pearl Harbor for repairs, then rejoined TF 58 at Majuro on 4 June.

On 6 June the fleet sortied to take part in the invasion of the Marianas. The fleet supported the invasion of Saipan on 15 June. This triggered a Japanese plan for a massive counterattack, but the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea (19-20 June 1944) was a disaster for the Japanese, tearing the heart out of their naval aviation forces. However at the time the scale of the victory wasn’t so clear, as the Japanese still had plenty of aircraft carriers, and had just about been able to replace lost aviators in the past. After the battle the carriers raided the Bonins then returned to Eniwetok. On 24 June the McCall left the fleet with the Helm to escort the cruiser Baltimore (CA-68) to Eniwetok, arriving on 27 June. The rest of the fleet arrived on the same day.

The fleet was soon back at sea, raiding Iwo Jima on 4 July before returning to the Marianas. On 10 July the McCall and Gridley took up position off Guam. Later on the same day they spotted heliograph signals coming from the cliffs near Uruno Point. A motor whaleboat was sent to rescue the messenger, who turned out to be G. R. Tweed of the US Navy, who had been in hiding on Guam since the Japanese had invaded! He was rescued and was able to provide valuable information about the Japanese troops on the island. The invasion of Guam began on 21 July.

Over the next few weeks the McCall escorted the carriers as they attacked Iwo Jima, the Palaus, Yap and Ulithi.

On 10 October they attacked Okinawa, to draw Japanese attention away from the Philippines. They then attacked Formosa and targets on Luzon, before moving to Leyte to support the invasion of 20 October. This triggered another massive Japanese attack, resulting in the battle of Leyte Gulf. The McCall escorted the US carriers as they dashed north to intercept the Japanese aircraft carriers, but these were a decoy force. Although several were sunk at the battle of Cape Engano, they carried almost no aircraft, and the main threat had been further south.

The McCall spent most of November supporting the fighting on Leyte. She then went to the US base at Manus, before on 27 December departed as part of the force heading for Lingayen Gulf and the invasion of Luzon.


The McCall spent most of January supporting the fighting at Lingayen Gulf. In mid-January she joined TG 78.12 to help escort convoys of transport ships, before on 28 January she returned to fire support duties.

The McCall then took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, arriving in the transport area on 19 February 1945, the day of the initial landings, She remained off Iwo Jima well into March, taking part in shore bombardment missions, providing illumination fire and protecting the transports.

She departed on 27 March heading back to San Diego and then New York, where she began a scheduled overhaul. This was completed by 4 August, but she was still undergoing training in Casco Bay when the Japanese surrendered.

On 30 November 1945 she was decommissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard. She was struck off on 28 January 1947 and sold for scrap on 17 November 1947.

McCall received ten battle stars for World War II service, for the Pacific Raids of 1942 and 1944, Marshall Islands, Hollandia, Marianas, Western New Guinea, Western Caroline Islands, Leyte, Luzon and Iwo Jima.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

37kts design
38.99kts at 47,265shp at 1,774tons on trial (Gridley)
38.7kts at 53,073shp at 1,992tons on trial (Gridley)


2 shaft Bethlehem turbines
4 boilers
44,000shp design, 50,000shp as built


6,500nm at 12kts design
7,735nm at 15kts at 1,771t (trial)
5,520nm at 12kts at 2,150t (wartime)
4,910nm at 15kts at 2,150t (wartime)
3,660nm at 20kts at 2,150t (wartime)

Armour - belt


 - deck



341ft 4.25in


35ft 6.5in


Four 5in/38 DP guns
Sixteen 21in torpedo tubes in four quad mounts
Four .50in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid down

17 March 1936


20 November 1937


22 June 1938

Sold for scrap

17 November 1947

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 May 2022), USS McCall (DD-400),

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