USS Warrington (DD-383)

USS Warrington (DD-383) was a Somers class destroyer that took part in the Neutrality Patrol in 1941, in the south Atlantic in 1942 and the first half of 1943, and in the Pacific in the second half of the year, taking part in the invasion of Bougainville and the New Guinea campaign. She then returned to the US for repairs, but was lost in a hurricane off the coast of Florida soon after they had been completed.

The Warrington was named after Lewis Warrington, a US naval officer who served during the Quasi-War with France, against the Barbary pirates, during the War of 1812 and went on to serve in a series of senior shore base posts.

USS Warrington (DD-383) in Perles Bay USS Warrington (DD-383) in Perles Bay

The Warrington was laid down at the Federal Shipbuilding Yard at Kearny on 10 October 1935, launched on 15 May 1937 and commissioned on 9 February 1938.

After a shakedown cruise in the West Indies and exercises with Submarine Division 4 the Warrington joined Destroyer Division 17, Destroyer Squadron 9 at Newport, Rhode Island in December 1938.

In February 1939 she was part of a task group built around the carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Yorktown (CV-5) that moved to the Caribbean to take part in Fleet Problem XX. However in mid-February the Warrington was sent to Key West to escort the Houston (CA-30) as that cruiser carried President Roosevelty and Admiral William D. Leahy as they watched the end of the exercise. After the problem ended she returned to her normal duties along the east coast. These were interrupted on 9 June when King George VI and Queen Mary came onboard to be taken from Fort Hancock, South Caroline to Manhatten.

The Warrington was then assigned to the Battle Force in the Pacific, arriving at her new home port of San Diego in July 1939. She spent the next nine months operating along the Californian coast.

In April 1940 the Warrington and the Battle Force moved to Hawaii to take part in Fleet Problem XXI. After the exercise was over the Warrington and most of the fleet remained at Pearl Harbor, in an attempt to convince the Japanese not to risk war.

1941

On 20 April 1941 the Warrington left Pearl Harbor with the Yorktown, Somers (DD-381) and Jouett (DD-396), heading east to join the Neutrality Patrol. The small fleet passed through the Panama Canal on 6-7 May and the Warrington went on to her new base at Guantanamo Bay. She joined a force made up of the Cincinnati (CL-6), Memphis (CL-13), and Davis (DD-395), with the task of patrolling an area of the eastern Caribbean and western Atlantic. She was also used on some escort duties, ending when she escorted the SS Acadia from Recife, Brazil to Puerto Rico, arriving on 3 November. She then returned to the US for repairs at the Charleston Navy Yard, arriving on 9 November.

USS Warrington (DD-383) from Blimp ZP12 USS Warrington (DD-383) from Blimp ZP12

The Warrington was at Charleston when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She was quickly prepared for action, and put to see on the following day to patrol the coast from Norfolk to Newport. Later in the month she escorted HMS Duke of York on the last stages of a voyage to Norfolk,

Still moored at Charleston on 7 December when word arrived that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had catapulted the United States into World War II, Warrington put to sea the following day to conduct war patrols along the Atlantic coast from Norfolk to Newport. Late in December, she rendezvoused with HMS Duke of York which was carrying Churchill across the Atlantic to meet with Roosevelt, and escorted the British battleship into Norfolk on the 21 December.

From 23 December 1941 to 12 January 1942 the Warrington and Sampson (DD-394) patrolled off Newport.

1942

On 12 January 1942 the Warrington and Sampson left Newport heading for Balbao, at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, arriving on 17 January 1942. They then joined the Southeast Pacific Force, which was based at Balboa.

For the next sixteen months the Warrington and Sampson operated with the three cruisers of the Southeast Pacific Force, escorting ships between Panama and the Society Islands and carrying out anti-submarine patrols between Panama and Callao, Peru. She was also used to help train submarines and Army patrol bombers heading for the war zone. On 10-11 December she escorted the South Dakota (BB-57), which had been damaged during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal into Balboa on her way to New York for repairs.

1943

On 6 January 1943 the Warrington and Strong carried out an anti-submarine patrol off Balboa, before the Strong continued on to the western Pacific.

USS Warrington (DD-383) underway in late 1930s USS Warrington (DD-383) underway in late 1930s

On 23 May the Warrington left Balboa for the last time during her time based there to escort another convoy to the Society Islands. She arrived at Bora Bora on 4 June, where she was ordered to report to duty with the Pacific Fleet in the south-western Pacific.

The Warrington spent the next five weeks on convoy duties that took her to Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, Guadalcanal and the New Hebrides. 

In mid July she met the Sampson off Pago Pago in American Samoa, and the two destroyers continued on to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 20 July. Seven days later, on 27 July, they departed from Pearl Harbor to escort four Army troopships to Sydney, Australia, arriving on 8 August.

On 1 October she left Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides to escort the USS Prince William (CVE-31) to Samoa. The Warrington then continued on to Pearl Harbor for repairs. These were only minor, and she escorted a convoy back to Espiritu Santo later in the month, arriving on 30 October.

The Warrington was then ordered to join the second echelon of the Bougainville invasion force, and joined them off Guadalcanal on 6 November. On 8 November she escorted the troops ships into Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville, then patrolled on their seaward side while they landed reinforcements and supplies around Cape Torokina. At about noon Japanese aircraft attacked, and the Warrington claimed one sole victory and part of a second. At the end of the day she escorted the empty transport ships back to Guadalcanal.

For the last month of 1943 the Warrington was used on escort duty between Guadalcanal and Espiritu Santo.

1944

On 13 February the Warrington, Briane (DD-630) and Terry (DD) left Purvis Bay to support the landings on the Green Islands (15-20 February 1944). On 15 February all three destroyers opened fire on a Japanese aircraft, but it was then shot down by Marine Corps fighter.

On 14 March the Warrington joined the anti-submarine screen for an escort carrier task group that was supporting the fast carriers of Task Force 37 as they attacked Kavieng on New Ireland.

Late in March she escorted the third convoy of troopships to Emirau Island, arriving on 28 March.

USS Warrington (DD-383) at New York Naval Review, 1939 USS Warrington (DD-383) at New York Naval Review, 1939

On 6 April she returned to the New Hebrides. After a brief trip to Efate she spent 11 days on availability at Espiritu Santo, before on 20 April she rejoined Task Force 37 at Efate to accompany them as they visited Sydney, Australia. The force arrived on 29 April and remained for a week, returning to Efate on 10 May.

The Warrington and Balch (DD-363) were then detached from the task force and ordered to New Guinea to join the 7th Fleet. On 15 May she left Milne Bay to escort a convoy of LSTs to Hollandia, arriving at Humbolt Bay on 22 May. She remained there for three days, before on 25 May the Warrington and Balch were ordered to Wakde to carry out shore bombardments. The two destroyers fired into the thick folage on 26 and 27 May. Although they couldn’t see any of their targets, they were praised by the general commanding the troops on the island who considered their support to have been of ‘great assistance’

After a brief return to Holland the Warrington departed from Humbolt Bay on 28 May to escort a convoy of LSTs to Biak Island. The convoy arrived on 30 May, and the Warrington then joined the fire support forces. She spent most of the day patrolling the area to the west of the beachhead to watch for any Japanese reinforcements coming from that direction, then spent the night as fight director ships before returning to Humboldt Bay once again.

On 3-5 June she made another trip to Biak. On 5 June she carried out a brief shore bombardment, before escorting a convoy of empty LSTs back to Humbolt Bay.

After this mission the Warrington returned to the United States for repairs. She reached New York on 15 July where she entered the Navy Yard. The repairs were soon completed, and she left the yard early in August to take part in exercises in Casco Bay, Maine. She then went to the Norfolk Navy Yard for alterations.

These were completed by 10 September when she left Norfolk with the store ship Hyades (AF-28) heading for Trinidad. On 12 September the two ships ran into heavy weather, and that afternoon they were warned that they were heading into a hurricane. By the evening the weather was so severe that the Warrington was forced to heave to, while the much larger Hyades was able to continue on.

The Warrington was relatively untroubled during the night of 12-13 September, but early on 13 September the winds continued to strengthen, and the Warrington began to lost headway. This allowed water into her engineering spaces, which was catastrophic. The water caused a loss of electrical power, which cut power to the engines. The steering engines and mechanisms were also lost. By noon it was clear that the ship couldn’t be saved, and the captain issued the order to abandons hip. By 12.50 the crew had abandoned her and she sank soon afterwards. The Hyades turned back, and was able to rescue 61 survivors. A large scale rescue operation by the Frost (DE-144), Huse (DE-145), Inch (DE-146), Snowden (DE-246), Swasey (DE-248), Woodson (DE-359), Johnnie Hutchins (DE-360), ATR-9, and ATR-62 only found another twelve survivors, and only 5 officers and 68 men from her crew of 20 officers and 301 men survived.  

Warrington earned two battle stars during World War II, for the Treasury-Bougainville operations and Western New Guinea.

Displacement (standard)

1,850t (design)

Displacement (loaded)

2,130t (design)
2,766.6 (Sampson)

Top Speed

37.5kts (design)
38.56kts at 53,271shp at 2,179t on trial (Sampson)

Engine

2-shaft General Electric turbines
4 boilers
52,000shp design

Range

7,500nm at 15kts (design)
10,540nm at 15kts at 2,143t on trial (Sampson)
7,020nm at 12kts at 2,750t wartime
4,250nm at 20kts at 2,750t

Armour - belt

 

 - deck

 

Length

381ft 6in

Width

36ft 10in

Armaments

Eight 5in/38 SP guns in twin mounts
Twelve 12in torpedos in three quad mounts
Eight 1.1in AA guns in four twin mounts
Four 0.5in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement

 

Laid Down

10 October 1935

Launched

15 May 1937

Commissioned

9 February 1938

Sunk in hurricane

13 September 1944

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 (15 June 2022), USS Warrington (DD-383) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Warrington_DD383.html

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