USS Hull (DD-350)

USS Hull (DD-350) was a Farragut class destroyer that fought at Pearl Harbor, supported the invasion of Guadalcanal, then took part in the campaigns in the Aleutians, Gilberts, Marshalls and Marianas, before she was lost during the great typhoon of 18 December 1944.

The Hull was launched at the New York Navy Yard on 31 January 1934, when she was sponsored by Miss Patricia Louisa Platt, and commissioned on 11 January 1935. Her shakedown cruise took her to the Azores, (where she was photographed on 1 June 1935), Portugal, France (where she was photographed at St. Nazaire) and the British Isles. She was then allocated to the Pacific Fleet, and reached her new base at San Diego on 19 October 1935.

She took part in several of the fleet problems of the late 1930s, as well as acting as a plane guard for the Pacific Fleet’s carriers.

USS Hull (DD-350) at Mare Island, May 1942 USS Hull (DD-350) at Mare Island, May 1942

The Hull was named after Isaac Hull, a senior US naval commander during the Quasi War with France, the War with Tripoli and the War of 1812.

During the summer of 1936 she cruised to Alaska.

On 14 September 1936 she was part of Destroyer Squadron 20 (Farragut (DD-348), Dewey (DD-349), Hull (DD-350), MacDonough (DD-351), Worden (DD-352), Dale (DD-353), Monaghan (DD-354), Aylwin (DD-355)) when that formation put on a demonstration for Movietone News off San Diego.

On 27 April 1937 she was photographed in Iliuliuk Bay in the Aleutian Islands.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the Hull was alongside the destroyer tender Dobbin undergoing a minor overhaul. Unlike some other destroyers which were undergoing refits, she was still carrying her guns and ammo, but her boiler fires were out, so it would take some time for her to get moving. General quarters was signalled at 0757, and a minute late two Japanese aircraft flew across her bows. At this point the only response was for the men of the gangway watch to open fire with their pistols! The first machine gun opened fire at 0805 and the first of her 5in guns at 0805. By 0812 all of her guns were in action. In her post-battle report her captain reported that his gunners had claimed four victories and a share in a fourth

1942

In the early months of 1942 the Hull was part of Task Force 11, which was built around the carrier Lexington, and took part in some of the early air attacks on Japanese bases in the Solomon Islands. This lasted until 26 March when she returned to Pearl Harbor.

For the next three months the Hull was used on convoy escort duty between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor. Photographs show her at Mare Island on 20 April 1942, 29 May 1942 (taking on provisions)

The Hull was then allocated to the naval force that was to support the American invasion of Guadalcanal. During the landings on 7 August she formed part of the defense screen for cruisers taking part in the shore bombardment, then formed part of the anti-submarine screen for the transport ships. She was still in the area during the battle of Savo Island (8-9 August 1942). On 8 August she helped defend against Japanese air attacks, claiming several victories. Hwoever she also had to sink the transport George F. Elliott, after she proved impossible to save. On 9 August she sank a small Japanese schooner off Guadalcanal, then departed for Espiritu Santo.

USS Hull (DD-350) in the Aleutians, 1937 USS Hull (DD-350) in the Aleutians, 1937

During the first two months of the battle the Hull made three more trips to Guadalcanal escorting warships and transport ships. She was targeted by Japanese aircraft on 9 and 14 September.

On 20 October the Hull returned to Pearl Harbor, and she spent the rest of 1942 operating with the battleship USS Colorado in the New Hebrides, guarding against any Japanese attempt to cut the sea routes between Australia and the United States.

1943

On 29 February 1943 the Hull left Pearl Harbor heading for San Francisco, where a period of repairs began after her arrival on 7 February.

Once the repairs were completed, the Hull was sent north to the Aleutians, arriving at Adak on 16 April. She trained with the battleships and cruisers already assembled in the area as well as carrying out a series of patrols. In July and early August she took part in several bombardments of Kiska Island, then on 15 August supported the full scale invasion of the island. However the Japanese had already evacuated Kiska without the Americans noticing, leaving them to carefully explore the fog bound island without opposition. 

The Hull returned to Pearl Harbor on 26 September, but only three days later she left with a fleet that carried out a raid on Wake Island, then escorted a force of escort carriers that was carrying out diversionary attacks. She then joined the main force engaged in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands, bombarding Makin on 20 November. She then departed for the US, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 7 December and Oakland, California on 21 December.

Once back in the US she took part in amphibious exercises that were part of the preparation for the invasion of the Marshall Islands.

1944

The Hull left San Diego on 13 January 1944 as part of Task Force 53, heading for the Marshall Islands. On 31 January she formed par tof the screen for transport ships in the reserve area off Kwajalein. During February she carried out a mix of screening and patrol duties off Eniwetok and Majuro. On 18 March she supported a group of battleships and carriers during a bombardment of Mille Attol. She also supported the bombardment of Wotje on 22 March.

On 29-30 April the Hull supported the forces that took part in a massive raid on Truk.

USS Hull (DD-350) refueling at sea, 1943 USS Hull (DD-350) refueling at sea, 1943

She then moved to Majuro, arriving on 4 May, where she joined Admiral Lee’s battleship force for the invasion of the Marianas. On 13 June she took part in the bombardment of Saipan. She then provided gun support for the minesweepers, before carrying out patrols during the landings of 15 June.

This triggered a massive Japanese response, which led to the battle of the Philippine Sea. The Hull provided part of the anti-aircraft screen for the American fleet, and opened fire on several Japanese attacks during the battle. Japanese naval aviation never recovered from the damage suffered during this battle.

In July the Hull operated off Guam, then patrolled off the island during and after the assault of 21 July.

In August the Hull returned to Seattle for repairs. After the repairs were complete the Hull departed for Pearl Harbor along with the new destroyer USS Gregory (DD-802), arriving on 23 October.

On 20 November the Hull departed from Pearl Harbor with a 3rd Fleet refuelling group, joining the fast carrier strike force in the Philippine Sea. Refueling operations began on 17 December, but soon had to be stopped as Typhoon Cobra hit the fleet.

The worst came on 18 December, with wings of over 90 knots/ 103mph and monsterous waves. The Hull was somewhat top heavy because of later additions, and began to roll heavily. By about 1100 she was unable to stear and was trapped in the troughs between the waves. Eventually she rolled 80 degrees to her side, allowing seawater to flood into her interior. She capsized, and sank with heavy losses. Only 7 officers and 55 men (including her captain) were rescued.

Hull received 10 battle stars for World War II service, for Pearl Harbor, the Bougainville and Salamaua-Lae raids of 1942, the landing on Guadalcanal, the longer Guadalcanal campaign, the occupation of Attu, the Wake Island Raid of October 1943, the Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Truk raid of April-May 1944 and the Marianas campaign (Gaum, Saipan and the Philippines Sea).

Displacement (standard)

1,500t

Displacement (loaded)

2,064t

Top Speed

36.5kts
36.6kts at 40,353shp at 1,513t on trial (Farragut)

Engine

2-shaft Parsons turbines
4 boilers
42,800shp (design)

Range

6,500nm at 12kts
8,968nm at 12kts on trial (Farragut)
5,980nm at 12kts at 2,150tons (wartime)
3,710nm at 12kts at 2,150tons (wartime)

Length

341ft 3in

Width

34ft 3in

Armaments

Five 5in/38 DP guns
Four 0.5in AA guns
Eight 21in torpedoes in two quad mounts
Two depth charge tracks added later

Crew complement

160 (much higher in wartime)

Laid down

 

Launched

31 January 1934

Commissioned

11 January 1935

Sunk

18 December 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 (18 August 2021), USS Hull (DD-350) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Hull_DD350.html

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