USS Coghlan (DD-606)

USS Coghlan (DD-606) was a Benson class destroyer that served in the Aleutians, the invasion of the Gilberts, Marshalls, Mariannas and Philippines.

The Coghlan was named after Joseph Bulloch Coghlan, who served in the US Navy during the American Civil War and in the Philippines during the Spanish American War of 1898.

The Coghlan was launched by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., Inc. at San Francisco on 12 February 1942 when she was sponsored by Mrs G. Coghlan, and commissioned on 10 July 1942.

After her shakedown cruise the Coghlan joined the Pacific Fleet. On 22 September she left San Francisco heading for Kodiak, Alaska, where she arrived on 13 October. 


On 12 January 1943 the Coghlan supported the unopposed Army landings on Amchatka, which became a forward American base.

On 18 February she took part in a bombardment of Gibson Island at the entrance of Chichagof Harbor on Attu.

On 19 February the Coghlan detected a target on radar, which turned out to be a Japanese ammunition ship. This was set on fire by US gunfire, but an attempt to sink her with torpedoes was disappointing. The Coghlan fired one torpedo which passed under the target but without exploding. The Gillespie fired two which missed. The Coghlan then hit her with four 4-gun salvoes, but she stayed afloat. A second torpedo detonated 50 yards short. Finally two more salvoes from the 5in guns sank the supply ship.

The Coghlan fought at the battle of the Komandorski Islands (27 March 1943). This saw a Japanese force of two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and four destroyers escorting three merchant ships to Attu run into a smaller American force, made up of one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser and four destroyers. During the first phase of the battle both US cruisers were damaged, and in an attempt to screen the Salt Lake City the America destroyers were ordered to carry out a torpedo attack. The Bailey, Monaghan  and Coghlan took part in the attack, but only the Bailey reached a position to fire torpedoes. All five missed, and she suffered heavy damage. The Coghlan was hit by fragments from a near miss, which knocked out her SC and FD radar sets and wounded the XO. The Japanese now had the American fleet almost at their mercy, but Admiral Hosogaya decided to withdrew, fearing American air attack.

On the day after the battle Salt Lake City, Coghlan and Monaghan were sent to Dutch Harbor, arriving on 29 March 1943.

She took part in the bombardment of Holtz and Chichagof Harbours on Attu on 26 April.

From 11 May-2 June the Coghlan supported the invasion of Attu. During the initial landings she was part of the southern support group. On 17 May the Coghlan, Bache and Lansdowne were detached to escort the transport St Mihiel (AP-32) from Adak to Massacre Bay on Attu.

She spent part of July undergoing an overhaul at San Francisco. She returned to Adak on 13 August and spent the next two weeks on patrol in the Aleutians, before departed for Pearl Harbor on 25 August, arriving on 1 September.

The Coghlan supported raids on Baker and Tarawa Islands on 15-17 September and Wake Island on 5 October before returning to Pearl Harbor.

On 31 October she left Pearl Harbor as part of the force supporting the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. This lasted until 11 December when she returned to Pearl Harbor.


On 22 January 1944 the Coghlan left Pearl Harbor to screen the carriers during the invasion of the Marshall Islands. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 8 March escorting transports returning from the invasion. She then underwent an overhaul.

From 14-22 April she escorted a carrier heading to Majuro.

On 24 May she departed for Eniwetok to screen the carriers during the invasion of Saipan in the Mariannas on 14 June. She remained off Saipan until 23 June, providing fire support and patrolling. After a visit to Eniwetok to replenish she returned to Saipan on 17 July, this time to support the invasion of Tinian on 24 July. She remained off Tinian until 1 August when she departed for Pearl Harbor and an overhaul.

On 6 November she left Manus to take part in the invasion of the Philippines. She was used on convoy escort duty from Humboldt Bay and Palau to Leyte. On 7-8 December she supported the landings at Ormoc Bay on the western coast of Leyte, where she helped fight off the kamikaze attacks on 7 December.


On 4 January 1945 she left San Pedro Bay as part of TY 77.1.2, heading for Lingayen Gulf on Luzon. She entered Lingayen Gulf on 9 January, and carried out patrols and screening operations to support the landings on Luzon.

The Coghlan remained in the Philippines until 8 April when she departed for an overhaul in the United States. On the first stage of her voyage she escorted the naval cargo ship Lynx (AK-100)to Ulithi.

She was back at Pearl Harbor on 22 July, and reached Okinawa on 26 August in time to take part in the occupation of Japan. She was used to carry passengers, mail and light freight between Okinawa and Japan. On 23 October she departed for the United States, reaching Charleston on 2 December. She was decommissioned and placed in the reserve on 31 March 1947, struck off on 1 July 1971 and sold for scrap in 1974.

Coghlan received eight battle stars for World War II service, for the Aleutians, Pacific Raids of 1943, Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Tinian, Leyte and Luzon

Displacement (standard)

1,620 design
1,911t as built

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

37.89kt at 51,390shp at 2,065t on trial (Mayo)


2-shaft Westinghouse turbines
4 boilers
50,000shp design


6,500nm at 12kt design
5,520nm at 12kt at 2,400t wartime
3,880nm at 20kt at 2,400t wartime

Armour - belt


 - deck



348ft 1in


36ft 2in


Five 5in/38 guns
Five 21in torpedoes
Ten 0.5in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement


Laid Down



12 February 1942


10 July 1942

Struck off

1 July 1971

Sold for scrap


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 2023), USS Coghlan (DD-606) ,

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