USS Rhind (DD-404)

USS Rhind (DD-404) was a Benham class destroyer that served with the Neutrality Patrol in 1941. In 1942 she operated in the North Atlantic, before joining the Briitsh Home Fleet for operations on the Russian convoy route. At the end of the year she supported Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. 1943 began with a period escorting convoys from the US to North Africa. She then took par tin the invasions of Sicily and the Italian mainland. Late in 1943 she returned to the US and began a period of convoy escort work and anti-submarine warfare that lasted into 1945. In May 1945 she transferred to the Pacific, where she took part in an attack on Wake, then resumed convoy escort duties. She was a target during the Bikini Atoll tests and was decommissioned in August 1946.

The Rhind was named after Alexander Colden Rhind, who served in the US Navy during the Civil War, taking part in attacks on Charleston and on Fort Fisher.

The Rhind was laid down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 September 1937, launched on 28 July 1938 when she was sponsored by Mrs Frederick S. Camp, and commissioned on 10 November 1939.

Her shakedown cruiser took her to Brazil, then from 5 July to 19 December 1940 she took part in exercises in the Caribbean and patrolled off Martinique, watching the Vichy French on the island.


For the first half of 1941 the Rhind served as a carrier escort and took part in fleet exercises.

USS Rhind (DD-404) near New York, 1944 USS Rhind (DD-404) near New York, 1944

In June she joined Task Force 1, and spent the summer patrolling the North Atlantic as part of the Neutrality Patrol.

On 20 June the Rhind was on a neutrality patrol with the Texas, Mayrant and Trippe when they were spotted by U-203, within the German ‘blockade’ zone. However the US ships were faster than the submarine, so the Germans were unable to attack.

In August she escorted Augusta (CA-31), with President Roosevelt embarked, to Newfoundland for the Atlantic Charter conferences. Then, at their conclusion, she escorted HMS Prince of Wales, carrying Prime Minister Churchill, to Iceland. On 17 August she returned to patrol duty off the Newfoundland coast.

On 10-13 October she was part TG 14.3 (built around Yorktown (CV-5), New Mexico (BB-40) and Quincy (CA-39) as it moved from Argenta to Casco Bay, Maine. The Rhind suffered damage in bad weather on the way.

In early November she escorted the Yorktown (CV-5) from the middle of the Atlantic to Halifax, then joined a convoy from Halifax to Capetown. On 27 November, when she was off the south-west of Africa, she was detached to escort the Ranger (CV-4) to Trindad, arriving on 3 December.

On 24-25 December the Rhind, Lang and Savannah screened the Ranger as she practised flight operations off Bermuda. 


With American now in the war, the Rhind began 1942 patrolling the area around Bermuda.

In February-March she escorted convoys heading to Iceland.

In April she escorted a convoy to Canal Zone, then headed back to New York. On 23 April she came within range of a U-boat that had shelled a Norwegian merchant ship off New Jersey, and carried out her first depth charge attack of the war.

On 30 April she left New York to escort convoy AT-15 to Iceland. On 15 May she joined TF 99 at Iceland, and spent the next three months operating with TF 99 and the British Home Fleet, acting to protect the Russian convoys from German units based in Norway. She returned to the United States in July.

In August she escorted convoys between Boston and Argentia. This was followed by a spell of anti-submarine operations off the US south-eastern coast and in the Caribbean, and then by exercises in Casco Bay in early October.

On 24 October the Rhind departed from the US with one of the convoys heading for North Africa to take part in Operation Torch. On the voyage she was part of the screen of the Massachusetts (BB-59).

She arrived off the Moroccan coast on the night of 7 November, and on the following day supported the landings at Casablanca.

At 1102 the Wichita, Tuscaloosa and Rhind were ordered to engage French light warships that were attempting to get back to Casablanca harbour after attacking the fleet. Only one of these French ships, the destroyer Alcyon got back to harbour safely. At 1145 a message was received that an enemy cruiser was laying down a smoke screen to the south-west of Casablanca, so the same three ships were sent to try and find her. However no sign of the cruiser was found and they returned to the fleet off Casablanca at 1300. At 1355 the cruisers and Rhind were ordered to close in to destroy French light forces that were making brief sorties from Casablanca, but by 1450 they had been forced to withdraw by French shore batteries. Despite all of this action the Rhind had only fired 8% of her available 5in ammo. In comparison the Wichita had fired 83% of her 8in ammo and the Tuscaloosa 85% of hers.

The Rhind remained off Casablanca until 12 November, providing fire support and screening the larger ships. She then returned to the US, reaching Hampton Roads on 20 November. She spent the next few months escorting convoys to North Africa.


From 12-19 March she escorted the outbound convoy UGS-6, which lost five ships to a wolfpack between 13-17 March. She then returned to New York with GUS-6, arriving on 28 April.

On 10 May, Rhind departed New York again for North Africa, escorting a troopship convoy, and arrived at Algiers 2 June.

For the next month she conducted ASW patrols and escorted ships along the North African coast.

On 10 July the Allied invasion of Sicily began. The Rhind reached the island on 14 July as part of the escort for a reinforcement convoy, and was then allocated to the anti-aircraft and fire support group. Until 14 July she was posted off Gela, and she then moved to Palermo, where she protected the minesweepers that cleared the harbour. She then remained at Salernon on anti-aircraft duties. On 26 July the Mayrant (DD-402) was badly damaged. The Rhind went alongside to help rescue the wounded, but then suffered casualties of her own after suffering a new miss from a Junkers Ju 88. She remained off Palermo to 2 August, then carried out an offensive sweep near Messina on 3 August before supporting Patton’s advance along the north coast.

The Rhind suffered another air attack on 22 August. She then visited Oran, before being attacked once again while escorting a convoy to Bizerte. She was there by 6 September when she was caught in yet another raid. She then departed for Salerno, where the Americans carried out their part of the invasion of mainland Italy. The Rhind only stayed off Salerno to 11 September, then returned to Oran at the start of a month of a half spent escorting convoys between Oran and Salerno.

In November she departed for New York, where she was allocated to convoy escort duties on the transatlantic route from New York to Britain.

On 2 December she left Long Island with the Glennon, Nelson, Jeffers, Ericsson and Nicholson (DD-442), conducting gunnery exercises on their way to New York.

On 5 December she left New York as part of the escort of Convoy UT-5 and the battleship Nevada (BB-36), which were both heading across the Atlantic to Northern Ireland. They reached Lough Larne on 14 December 1943.


She was photographed off New York on 16 January 1944.

On 18 January she formed part of the escort of Convoy UT-7 as it departed from New York heading for Lough Larne, arriving on 28 January 1944. On 30 January she moved to Greenock, Scotland, and then formed part of the escort for a west-bound convoy.

On 29 February she joined with the Glennon, Butler and Herndon to carry out a series of training exercises off the coast of Maine (3-18 March).

After escorting two transatlantic convoys the Rhind moved to the Caribbean, where she combined escort duties and anti-submarine patrols.

On 20 March she and the Wainright (DD-419) escorted the new carrier Franklin (CV-13) on her shakedown cruiser, which took her to Trinidad.

On 27 May she left Port Royal, Bermuda, as part of a hunter-killer group (Rhind, Wainwright (DD-419) and Stewart (DE-238). The three warships met up with Convoy UC 24 on 3 June and escorted the convoy on its way north along the US East Coast.

On 26 July she departed from the US to escort another convoy to the United Kingdom.

In late September she escorted a convoy to Naples.

In November-December she escorted the carrier Shangri La (CV-38) on her shakedown cruiser.


From January-March 1945 the Rhind carried out escort duties along the US east coast and in the Caribbean.

On 26 January 1945 she left Boston with the newly repaired Augusta and the Bainbridge (DD-246) heading for Trinidad, where they arrived on 31 January.

From 23 March to 18 April she escorted another convoy to Britain.

By this point the war in the Atlantic was almost over, and it was decided to send the Rhind to the Pacific. She departed on 5 May and reached Pearl Harbor on 30 May.

In June she left Pearl Harbor as part of the screen of the Lexington (CV-16), Hancock (CV-19), and Cowpens (CVL-25). On 20 June all three carriers launched attacks on Wake Island. The Cowpens was then detached, and the Rhind and the other two carriers continued on to Leyte, arriving on 26 June.

The Rhind then moved to Ulithi, from where she was used to escort cargo and troop ships to Okinawa and to carry out anti-submarien patrols in the Caroline Islands.

In August she moved to Saipan. After the end of the war she escorted a convoy to Okinawa, then moved on to Pagan Island, where on 2 September Commodore Vernon F Grant accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrison. The Rhind then escorted landing craft to Marcus Island, before on 16 September she departed for Iwo Jima. She was based there until 2 November, carrying out air-sea rescue duties.

From 4 November to mid December the Rhind operating in the Marianas. She then returned to the United States, where she was selected to take part in Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. She survived both of the atomic blasts, but was too contaminated to be used again. She was decommissioned on 26 August, moved to Kwajelein, and sunk on 22 March 1948.

Rhind earned four battle stars during World War II, for North Africa, Sicily, Salerno and escorting convoy UGS-6.

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.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 October 2022), USS Rhind (DD-404) ,

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