USS Frazier (DD-607)

USS Frazier (DD-607) was a Benson class destroyer that served in the Pacific, taking part in the campaigns in the Aleutians, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshalls and the Philippines, sinking three Japanese submarines during the war.

The Frazier was named after Daniel Frazier, who served in the US Navy during the War with Tripoli, taking part in the attacks on Tripoli itself, where he may have saved Stephen Decatur’s life.

The Frazier was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Co at San Francisco, launched on 17 March 1942 when she was sponsored by Mrs Richard McCullough and commissioned on 30 July 1942.

The Frazier departed for the war zone as part of the escort for a convoy of troop transports, reaching Noumea in New Caledonia on 9 December 1942. She spent the next four months escorting transports to Guadalcanal, as part of the screen for escort carriers operating between Efate and the Solomon Islands and patrolling off Espiritu Santo.


In late January 1943 the Frazier was part of Task Force 18, built around two escort carriers and six cruisers. This force left Efate on 27 January as the close escort for the four transports and four destroyers of TG 62.8 as they carried Army troops to relief the 2nd Marines on Guadalcanal. However the escort carriers couldn’t keep up with the rest of the group, so the Frazier and Meade were detached to protect them, while the rest of the task force rushed on ahead to Guadalcanal. As a result they missed the battle of Rennell Island (29-30 January 1943), which saw Japanese aircraft sink the Chicago (CA-29), but fail to prevent the transports reaching Guadalcanal.

In late February she was part of the fleet that supported the invasion of the Russell Islands, before on 3 March leaving the formation with the Wichita, Louisville and Edwards (DD-619).

USS Frazier (DD-607), Mare Island USS Frazier (DD-607), Mare Island

On 18 March 1943 the Frazier left Efate heading for Pearl Harbor. At Pearl she joined up with a task force heading to the Aleutians.

The Frazier took part in the second bombardment of Attu, on 26 April 1943, attacking the Holtz Bay area.

During the invasion of Attu on 11 May the Frazier was part of the Southern Covering Group. She took part in the pre-invasion bombardment, then covered the landings, before patrolling off Attu and Kiska.

On 12 May the Edwards and Farragut (DD-348) spent ten hours attacking a submarine that had attempted to attack the battleship Pennsylvania. Eventually the submarine was forced to the surface, where it was badly damaged by gunfire from the Edwards. The submarine submerged and escaped from this attack, but her periscopes were then spotted by the Frazier, which opened fire and scored direct hits on them. She then carried out three depth charge attacks, which between then finally sank I-31.

On 13 June the Frazier was operating fifteen miles off Sirius Point on Kiska when her radar detected I-9 on the surface. As she got close the submarine was also detected on sonar, and then visually at a range of only 100 yards. The Frazier opened fire and scored one hit on the periscope. This was followed with three depth charge attacks that probably sank the submarine, although at the time the Americans weren’t sure if they had been successful. The Japanese declared I-9 to be lost on 15 June.

The Frazier took part in the campaign to recapture Kiska. She took part in shore bombardments on 2 August and 12 August, then supporting the landings on 15 August. However the Japanese had evacuated the island without the Americans realising, so the invasion was unopposed.

The Frazier remained in the Aleutians until early September, when she returned the Puget Sound for an overhaul. She then departed for New Zealand, to join the forces assembling for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. She was part of the escort for the transports. She took part in a rehearsal at Efate on 7-13 November before departing for Tarawa.

On 20 November, the day of the landings at Tarawa, the Frazier took part in the pre-assault bombardment, while the Ringgold and Dashiell were sent into the lagoon, from where they were able to provide fire support for the Marines. Later in the day they were replaced by the Frazier and Anderson (DD-411), which continued to perform the same valuable role. Before night they were replaced by the Ringgold, and the Frazier spent the night of 20-21 November patrolling off one end of the island to provide fire support.

On 22 November the Frazier and Meade (DD-602) were patrolling to the west of the transport area off Betio when they detected and attacked the Japanese submarine I-35. They both carried out depth charge attacks that forced the submarine to the surface, then opened fire with their guns before the Frazier rammed and sank her. The entire attack only lasted for 25 minutes. There were no casualties on the Frazier, but her bow was badly damaged, and on 24 November she departed for repairs at Pearl Harbor. This was followed by a period of training in Hawaii, to prepare for the invasion of the Marshall Islands.


On 22 January 1944 the Frazier left Pearl Harbor to take part in the invasion of the Marshall Islands.

On 30 January she bombarded Taroa and Maloelap, then screened the San Francisco (CA-38) as the cruiser bombarded Kwajalein to support in the invasion. Over the next few days the Frazier was part of the anti-submarine screen, before departing for Pearl Harbor on 15 February to escort empty transport ships back to Hawaii. She returned to the Marshalls from 28 February to 20 March to carry out a mix of escort and patrol duties.

The Frazier then supported the fast carrier task force as it raided the Palaus, Yap, Ulithi and Woleai from 30 March-1 April. She returned to Majuro on 6 April.

On 13 April she left Majuro to support the fast carriers as they raided Wakde and Sawar on New Guinea on 21-21 April, supporting the landings at Aitape and Hollandia.

On 21 April she rescued Ensign Harvey P. Jolly after his Kingfisher had run out of fuel while searching for the crew of a missing dive bomber.

On the return trip from New Guinea the task group attacked the Carolines. It returned to Kwajalein on 4 May.

From 10 May to 27 July the Frazier was used to watch the remaining Japanese held islands in the Marshalls, amongst them Wotje, Jaluit and Mille. On 26 May she bombarded Mille. On 9 June she took part in a complex rescue, which began when a flying boat attempted to rescue a downed aviator and was itself then stranded after coming under fire. The Frazier had to send her motor whale-boat to rescue them, coming under from Japanese guns on Taroa, which then came under fire from Japanese guns on Taroa, but successfully completed the rescue. Two weeks later the Frazier rescued two more airmen near Mille.

The Frazier returned to the West Coast for an overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Base, which was probably complete by 20 September when she was photographed off Mare Island in dazzle camouflage.

The Frazier then returned to Pearl Harbor for training. On 29 November she joined the Wisconsin and Meade (DD-602) in TY 12.5.9 and on 30 November-1 December this unit carried out gunnery exercises off Hawaii. The unit then departed for Ulithi, where they arrived on 9 December. The Frazier remained at Ulithi and from 15 December to the end of 1944 was used on escort duties from the island.


At the start of 1945 the Frazier was sent to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, arriving on 6 January to take part in the invasion of Luzon.

On 7 January the Frazier left San Pedro Bay as part of the escort for TG 77.9, heading for Lingayen Gulf. Near the entrance to the Surigao Strait they were joined by TU 79.9.9.

From 9 January, the day of the landings in Lingayen Gulf, until 26 February, the Frazier remained off Luzon, carrying out a mix of shore bombardments, fire support, patrol and escort missions. She also took part in the bombardment of Corregidor on 16 February. She then returned to San Pedro Bay for supplies, before returning the Luzon to take part in the fighting at Manila.

In mid-March she supported the landings on Mindanao. During the landings at Zamboanga on Mindanao on 11 March she was part of TG 74.2 which was on standby duty to assist the close support forces of TG 78.1. However the landings went so well that they weren’t needed.

On 13-15 March the Frazier and Stevens (DD-479) searched for survivors from downed American aircraft. The Frazier rescued six men from the crew of a B-24.

On 13 May she left San Pedro Bay heading to Morotai, from where she took part in the invasion of Borneo. She supported the landings at Brunei Bay and Balikpapan, and escorted convoys to the island. She returned to Subic Bay on 29 July.

At the end of the war she was assigned to the Philippine Sea Frontier. Between then and 3 November she made a number of trips to Okinawa and Japan. On 3 November she departed for the United States, wher she was decommissioned on 15 April 1946. She remained in the reserves until 1 July 1971 when she was finally struck off. She was sold for scrap on 6 October 1972.

Frazier received 11 battle stars for World War II service, for Rennell Island, Luzon, Borneo, the Aleutians, the Gilberts, Marshalls, Asiatic-Pacific raids 1944, Hollandia, Philippines and sinking I-31 and I-55 (actually I-35).


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



17 March 1942


30 July 1942

Struck off

1 July 1971

Sold for scrap

6 October 1972

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 (22 June 2023), USS Frazier (DD-607) ,

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