News

Hugh W. Hadley DD- 774 - History

Hugh W. Hadley DD- 774 - History

Hugh W. Hadley DD- 774

Hugh W. Hadley

(DD-774: dp. 2,220; 1. 376'6"; b. 41'2"; dr. 15'8"; s. 34 k.; cpl. 336; a. 6 5"; 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Allen M. Sumner)

Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Co., San Pedro, Calif., 16 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Hugh W. Hadley, widow of the namesake; and oommissloned 25 November i044, ComOr. L. C. Chamberlin in command.

After intensive shakedown training oiT the coast of California, Hugh W. nadlell sailed 21 February 1945 in company with HMS Ranee for Pearl Harbor. The ships arrived 27 February, but JIUgh W. liadley was soon underway again, sailing 8 days later for Ulithi and the great Okinawa invasion. The ship departed in company with a large group of LST's and their escorts 25 March bound for the Japanese island stronghold, and arrived off the Okinawa group 31 March. As the night approach was made, Rugh W. Hadley led a group of LST's toward the beach, shooting down an attacking Japanese plane en route. The destroyer escorted her charges safely to the beach, watched them unload their troops and equipment the morning of 1 April, and then took up antisubmarine patrol station outside the transport area. As the bitter fighting ashore continued, Hugh W. Hadley helped protect against submarines and aircraft as the Japanese made a final effort to stop the invasion. The ship remained on patrol until 4 April, when she sailed with a group of transports to Saipan, arriving 14 April.

Hugh W. Hadley was soon on her way back to Okinawa, however, and arrived from Saipan 27 April to resume her outer patrol. For the next few days the destroyer fought off numerous air raids, picked up a downed fighter pilot, and carried out antisubmarine patrol. She went alongside destroyer Brown 7 May for transfer of communication equipment, and then took up additional duties as a fighter direction ship for the Combat Air Patrols, so vital to the invasion's air cover.

As radar picket ships were scarce, Hugh W. Hadley was assigned this duty on the afternoon of 10 May. Joining destroyer Evans (DD-552) and four smaller craft, she took station 15 west of Okinawa and early the next morning began vectoring aircraft to meet the oncoming Japanese. For nearly 2 hours the morning of 11 May, Hugh W. Hadley and Evans came under severe attack, as the Japanese mounted their sixth attack against American forces at Okinawa. Both ships maneuvered at high speed, downing many suicide planes and directing air attacks on formations of Japanese. The attackers numbered some 150 planes. After Evans took several serious hits and went dead in the water about 0900, Hugh W. :Radley fought on alone. At 0920, she was attacked by 10 planes simultaneously, from both ahead and astern. The ship destroyed all 10, but not without damage to herself. One bomb hit aft, a bake bomb hit, and two kamikaze crashes were indicted on the gallant,ship as her gunners ran low on ammunition. Finally, as the attack ended, all but 50 of the crew were ordered over the side in life rafts, the remaining men fighting fires and working to control the damage. Though her engineering spaces were flooded and she was badly holed,Hugh W. Hadley was kept afloat by the determination and skill of her damage control parties and eventually arrived Iwo Shima.

During this remarkable battle. Hadley had succeeded in downing some 23 enemy aircraft and aided in splashing countless others. After temporary repairs, the ship was taken to Kerama Retto 14 May, where men from repair ship Zaniah worked on her battered hull. Nugh W. Hadley subsequently was taken to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, in a floating drydock towed by Avoyel (ATF-150), 15 July 1945, and after 20 days there began the long voyage under tow to the United States. After encountering heavy weather during the passage the ship arrived Hunter's Point, Calif., via Pearl Harbor, 26 September 1945. Decommissioned 15 December 1945, she was sold 2 September 1947 to Walter W. Johnson Co., San Francisco, and scrapped.

In addition to one battle star for her World War II Service, Hugh W. Radley received the Presidential Unit Citation for her performance in the action off Okinawa 11 May 1945.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)Action Report: 10 May 1945

U.S.S. HUGH W. HADLEY (DD-774)
c/o FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA

The U.S.S. HUGH W. HADLEY (DD774) was assigned duty as RADAR PICKET SHIP AND FIGHTER DIRECTOR SHIP on Station #15 off Okinawa, Nansei Shoto, 10 May 1945. Ships in company were the U.S.S. EVANS (DD552), LCS(L) 84, LCS 82, LCS 83 AND LSM(4) 193 as support ships. The Evans turned over the duties of Tactical Command to the Hadley.

The MISSION of this group of ships was to detect and report approaching enemy aircraft, to control the assigned Combat Air Patrol, and to prevent enemy planes from reaching the transport area at Okinawa.

On the night of 10 May, an enemy plane attacked our formation at 1935 and was taken under fire by both ships. The Evans reported seeing it destroyed. Throughout the night the ship was at General Quarters due to the threatening movements and a few attacks by enemy planes which were n the immediate vicinity of the formation.

At about 0755, numerous enemy planes were contacted by our instruments as coming towards the ship (and Okinawa) from the north, distance about 55 miles. One division of CAP was ordered out to intercept. Shortly thereafter, several enemy formations were detected, and the entire CAP was ordered out to intercept. Our Fighter Director Officer in CIC has estimated that the total number of enemy planes was 156 coming in at different heights in groups as follows: Raid ONE 36, Raid TWO 50, Raid THREE 20, Raid FOUR 20 to 30, Raid FIVE 20 Total 156 planes.

From 0830 to 0900 the Hadley was attacked by groups of planes coming in on both bows. Twelve enemy planes were shot down by the Hadley's guns during this period, at times firing all guns in various directions. The Evans which, at this time, was at a distance of about three miles to the northwest, was seen fighting off a number of planes by herself, several of which were seen to be destroyed. At 0900 the Evans was hit and put out of action. At one time toward the close of the battle when friendly planes were closing to assist us, the four support ships were prevented from shooting down two friendlies whom they had taken under fire. One plane was seen to splash inside their formation due to their own gunfire. However, I am not able to give an accurate account of their action. They were very helpful in picking up my crew who were in the water, in coming alongside and removing wounded and in helping us to pump.

For 20 minutes, the Hadley fought off the enemy singlehanded being separated from the Evans, which was out of action, by three miles and the four small support ships by two miles. Finally, at 0920, ten enemy planes which had surrounded the Hadley, four on the starboard bow under fir by the main battery and machine guns, four on the port bow under fire by the forward machine guns, and two astern under fire by the after machine guns, attacked the ship simultaneously. All ten planes were destroyed in a remarkable fight and each plane was definitely accounted for. As a result of this attack, the Hadley was (1) Hit by a bomb aft (2) By a BAKA bomb seen to be released from a low flying BETTY (3) Was struck by a suicide plane aft (4) Hit by suicide plane in rigging.

From this point on, a truely amazing, courageous and efficient group of men and officers with utter disregard for their own personal safety approached the explosions and the fire with hoses and for fifteen minutes kept up this work. The torpedoes were jettisoned, weights removed from the starboard side, and finally, the fire was extinguished and the list and flooding controlled and the ship was saved. Although the ship was still in an extremely dangerous condition, one fireroom bulkhead held and she was finally towed safely to the IE SHIMA anchorage.

The total number of enemy planes destroyed by the Hadley in this period of one hour and thirty-five minutes of continual firing was twenty-three. This number includes twenty shot down to the water and three suicide hits.

Our mission was accomplished. The transports at the Okinawa anchorage were saved from an attack by one hundred and fifty-six enemy planes by the action of our ships. We bore the brunt of the enemy strength and absorbed what they had to throw at us. It was a proud day for destroyer men.

PERSONNEL PERFORMANCE AND CASUALTIES: 1. Killed in action twenty-eight wounded in action sixty-seven missing in action none.

No Captain of a man of war ever had a crew who fought more valiantly against such overwhelming odds. Who can measure the degree of courage of men who stand up to their guns in the face of diving planes that destroy them? Who can measure the loyalty of a crew who risked death to save the ship from sinking when all seemed lost? I desire to record that the history of our Navy was enhanced on 11 May 1945. I am proud to record that I know of no record of a Destroyer's crew fighting for one hour and thirty-five minutes against overwhelming enemy aircraft attacks and destroying twenty-three planes. My crew accomplished their mission and displayed outstanding fighting abilities. I am recommending awards for the few men who displayed outstanding bravery above the deeds of their shipmates in separate correspondence. Destroyer men are good men and my officers and crew were good destroyer men.


USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD 774)

Heavily damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft 11 May 1945 while off Okinawa.
Decommissioned in December 1945.
Stricken 8 January 1946.
Sold 2 September 1947 and broken up for scrap.

Commands listed for USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD 774)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Leonard Cornelius Chamberlin, USN25 Nov 194413 Jan 1945
2Lt.Cdr. Baron Joseph Mullaney, USN13 Jan 194519 Jun 1945
3T/Cdr. Roy Arthur Newton, USN19 Jun 194510 Nov 1945
4Lcmdr Robert Marvin Brownlee, USN10 Nov 194515 Dec 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Hugh W. Hadley include:

23 Dec 1944
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cmdr Leonard Cornelius Chamberlin) arrived at San Diego to begin her shakedown training.

21 Feb 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. Baron Joseph Mullaney) departed from San Diego bound for Pearl Harbor.

27 Feb 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

7 Mar 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) departed from Pearl Harbor bound for Ulithi.

19 Mar 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) arrived at Ulithi.

25 Mar 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) departed from Ulithi as escort for a large convoy of landing ships that were to support the Okinawa landings.

4 Apr 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) departed from the Okinawa area with a convoy bound for Saipan.

14 Apr 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) arrived at Saipan.

20 Apr 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) departed from Saipan to return to the Okinawa area.

27 Apr 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) arrived back in the Okinawa area.

11 May 1945
While on radar picked duty of Okinawa USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. Baron Joseph Mullaney) is heavily damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft in position 26°59'N, 127°32'E. The damaged destroyer was towed to the Le Shima anchorage. The Commanding officer was wounded.

14 May 1945
The heavily damaged USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. B.J. Mullaney) is towed to Kerama Retto to be put into a floating dry dock for emergency repairs.

15 Jul 1945
The floating dry dock with USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cmdr Roy A. Newton) is towed from Kerama Retto to Buckner Bay, Okinawa.

29 Jul 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. R.A. Newton) is towed away from Buckner Bay to the US east coast to be fully repaired.

26 Sep 1945
USS Hugh W. Hadley (Cdr. R.A. Newton) finally arrived at the Hunters Point Navy Yard at San Francisco.

Media links


Kamikaze Images

In a mass kamikaze attack on May 11, 1945, the destroyer Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) shot down 23 planes including three that crashed into the ship at Radar Picket Station #15 to the northwest of Okinawa. The number of planes shot down by Hadley's gunners was a naval record for a ship in a single action. The kamikaze attacks over a period of one hour and 40 minutes resulted in 30 deaths and 121 wounded among the Hadley crew. The destroyer Robley D. Evans (DD-552), which fought with Hadley at the same picket station, shot down another 19 Japanese aircraft during the mass kamikaze attack.

Louis Veesenmeyer, the great uncle of this book's author, was killed in action during the kamikaze attacks on Hadley. He was one of nine men on a 40mm gun mount when a bomb dropped by a kamikaze plane made a direct hit. All nine died as a result of the crash described in the following excerpt (p. 136):

As the kamikaze with 40mm shells streaking into it dove towards the ship's deck, he released a small bomb. The bomb made a direct hit on the portside 40mm (44 mount) and the plane crashed into the deck just aft of the quad 40mm (43 mount) on the starboard side. When the bomb hit the base of the 44 mount, the entire gun just disappeared out to sea. Nothing was left of the mount or most of the men manning it. The plane penetrated the after deck house of the starboard quad 40mm and destroyed the officer quarters below. Flaming gasoline sprayed crewmen on nearby guns. Fires raged and magazines were exploding sending shrapnel through any man who was in the way.

The photograph below shows the hole left where the quad 44 gun mount had been located before the bomb exploded.

This history of the destroyer Hugh W. Hadley includes accounts from many survivors of the kamikaze attacks that nearly sank the ship on May 11, 1945. The book has 20 chapters that tell the ship's story in chronological order, about 80 pages of photos, and nine appendices that include the Captain's Action Report, Presidential Unit Citation, and a poem entitled "The Mighty Hadley" that was written in 1945 by a crewman. The author, Jeffrey Veesenmeyer, did thorough research for this history as evidenced by the number of personal interviews with survivors and three pages of sources in the bibliography. Although accounts of the battle of destroyers Hadley and Evans against the mass kamikaze attack have been included in many other histories, Kamikaze Destroyer published in 2014 is the first book about the destroyer Hadley, which provides a wider distribution of the moving personal stories of Hadley's crewmen. Michael Staton wrote a similar book entitled The Fighting Bob: A Wartime History of the USS Robley D. Evans (DD-552) in 2003, but this history has few personal accounts, although the author talked with many surviving crewmen.

The media had great interest in Hadley's epic fight against kamikaze attackers. "Your Navy Program" featured Hadley in its NBC radio broadcast on May 20, 1945. Captain Mullaney responded to an interviewer's question about what was the final climax of the battle (p. 187):

For us the climax came about nine twenty that morning when ten kamikazes ganged up on us at once. Four came in on the port bow, four on the starboard and two from the stern. They figured they had us this time. Well, we're still here and the Japs aren't. All ten planes were destroyed.

A Ripley's "Believe It or Not" cartoon published in December 1945 included Lt. Ned E. Wheldon, navigator on Hadley. The cartoon explained that he received 900 four-leaf clovers from his mother in Hollywood, Calif., and immediately his ship shot down 23 Japanese kamikazes in a single action. However, no mention was made that he was wounded in action and that 30 Hadley crewmen lost their lives along with 121 men wounded.


The quad 44 gun mount was hit dead center
with a small bomb. The entire mount was blown
out to sea. The bent base ring is all that was left.

The book butchers some Japanese names. For example, Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu gets printed as Kyusha and Kyushi. Another main Japanese island of Shikoku becomes Shikodu. Certain historical details presented for the Japanese side are incorrect. The author writes, "Onishi convinced his superiors that he could destroy the U.S. armada at Okinawa and turn the tide of the war. He was given permission to form a volunteer force. He named it Divine Wind. kamikaze" (p. 67). Although Vice Admiral Onishi formed the first kamikaze units, he did this in the Philippines, not Okinawa, when the Americans invaded the country to take it back from the Japanese. By the time of the Battle of Okinawa, Vice Admiral Ugaki, not Onishi, had command of the Kamikaze Special Attack Forces. The book states that five destroyers sank with the battleship Yamato on her suicide mission toward Okinawa, but the actual number was four.

Hadley received the Presidential Unit Citation for the heroism of her crew as described below:

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Washington

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the

UNITED STATES SHIP HUGH W. HADLEY

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

“For extraordinary heroism in action as Fighter Direction Ship on Radar Picket Station Number 15 during an attack by approximately 100 enemy Japanese planes, forty miles northwest of the Okinawa Transport Area, May 11, 1945. Fighting valiantly against waves of hostile suicide and dive-bombing planes plunging toward her from all directions, the U.S.S. HUGH W. HADLEY sent up relentless barrages of antiaircraft fire during one of the most furious air-sea battles of the war. Repeatedly finding her targets, she destroyed twenty enemy planes, skillfully directed her Combat Air Patrol in shooting down at least forty others and, by her vigilance and superb battle readiness, avoided damage to herself until subjected to a coordinated attack by ten Japanese planes. Assisting in the destruction of all ten of these, she was crashed by one bomb and three suicide planes with devastating effect. With all engineering spaces flooded and with a fire raging amidships, the gallant officers and men of the HUGH W. HADLEY fought desperately against almost insurmountable odds and, by their indomitable determination, fortitude and skill, brought the damage under control, enabling their ship to be towed to port and saved. Her brilliant performance in this action reflects the highest credit upon the HUGH W. HADLEY and the United States Naval Service.”

For the President,
JAMES FORRESTAL
Secretary of the Navy

Hadley had a short but distinguished battle history after her commissioning on November 25, 1944. The plaque shown below from the National Museum of the Pacific War summarizes the ship's history and accomplishments. Kamikaze Destroyer focuses on Hadley's history and the stories from survivors of the mass kamikaze attack rather than providing a history of the overall course of the Pacific War. The ship's spirit is reflected by the Captain's orders to raise four U.S. flags after the kamikaze strikes ended. He yelled in defiance of the Japanese, "If this ship is going down, she's going with all her flags flying" (p. 142).


Hugh W. Hadley Memorial Plaque at
National Museum of the Pacific War
(Fredericksburg, Texas)

The book's Introduction and Chapter 1 describes the 19th Hadley Reunion in 2012 and a visit by 12 former crewmen to the display of Hadley's Combat Information Center (CIC) at the National Museum of the Pacific War (see photograph below). The display room includes Hadley's original scoreboard of 25 Japanese flags that represent the 23 Japanese planes shot down during the kamikaze attack on May 11, 1945, and two other planes gunned down prior to that date.


Display of Hadley's Combat Information Center (CIC)
at National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas


Hugh W. Hadley DD- 774 - History

The champion kamikaze killer, holder of the all-time single-ship single-engagement anti-aircraft gunnery record&mdash20 kills plus three planes destroyed by hitting the ship among 25 kamikazes attacking in 100 minutes&mdashwas destroyer USS Hugh W. Hadley, DD 774.

Built at Bethlehem Steel&rsquos San Pedro, California yard, the Hadley (as her crew knew her&mdashthere was no other ship named Hadley) commissioned 25 November 1944, the 52nd of 70 2200-ton Allen M. Sumner-class destroyers.

She was named for Commander Hugh William Hadley, commanding officer of Transport Division 12, whose flagship, high-speed transport Little, APD 4 (ex-DD 79) was lost with sister Gregory, APD 3, at Guadalcanal, 5 September 1942.

A fter shakedown, Hadley was attached to Destroyer Squadron 66 and in her short 167-day operational career earned one battle star plus a Presidential Unit Citation for her performance at Okinawa. There on 11 May 1945, she was on Radar Picket Station 15 with Fletcher-class destroyer Evans, DD 552 and five &ldquopall-bearers.&rdquo Although more than one hundred planes attacked the two destroyers and both were hit, both crews managed to save their ships, which were eventually towed to the west coast, but never repaired.


Hugh W. Hadley DD- 774 - History

dp. 2,220 l. 376' 6" b. 41' 2" dr. 15' 8" s. 34 k cpl. 336 a. 6 5", 10 21" tt., 6 dcp. 2 dct. cl. ALLEN M. SUMNER

Hugh W. HADLEY (DD-774) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Co., San Pedro, Calif., 16 July 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Hugh W. Hadley, widow of the namesake and commissioned 25 November 1944, Comdr. L. C. Chamberlin in command.

After intensive shakedown training off the coast of California, HUGH W. HADLEY sailed 21 February 1945 in company with HMS RANEE for Pearl Harbor. The ships arrived 27 February, but HUGH W. HADLEY was soon underway again, sailing 8 days later for Ulithi and the great Okinawa invasion. The ship departed in company with a large group of LST's and their escorts 25 March bound for the Japanese island stronghold, and arrived off the Okinawa group 31 March. As the night approach was made, HUGH W. HADLEY led a group of LST's toward the beach, shooting down an attacking Japanese plane en route. The destroyer escorted her charges safely to the beach watched them unload their troops and equipment the morning of 1 April, and then took up antisubmarine patrol station outside the transport area. As the bitter fighting ashore continued, HUGH W. HADLEY helped protect against submarines and aircraft as the Japanese made a final effort to stop the invasion. The ship remained on patrol until 4 April, when she sailed with a group of transports to Saipan, arriving 14 April.

HUGH W. HADLEY was soon on her way back to Okinawa, however, and arrived from Saipan 27 April to resume her outer patrol. For the next few days the destroyer fought off numerous air raids, picked up a downed fighter pilot and carried out antisubmarine patrol. She went alongside destroyer BROWN 7 May for transfer of communication equipment, and then took up additional duties as a fighter direction ship for the Combat Air Patrols, so vital to the invasion's air cover.

As radar picket ships were scarce, HUGH W. HADLEY was assigned this duty on the afternoon of 10 May. Joining destroyer EVANS (DD-552) and four smaller craft, she took station 15 west of Okinawa and early the next morning began vectoring aircraft to meet the oncoming Japanese. For nearly 2 hours the morning of 11 May, HUGH W. HADLEY and EVANS came under severe attack, as the Japanese mounted their sixth attack against American forces at Okinawa. Both ships maneuvered at high speed, downing many suicide planes and directing air attacks on formations of Japanese. The attackers numbered some 150 planes. After EVANS took several serious hits and went dead in the water about 0900, HUGH W. HADLEY fought on alone. At 0920, she was attacked by 10 planes simultaneously, from both ahead and astern. The ship destroyed all 10, but not without damage to herself. One bomb hit aft, a baka bomb hit, and two kamikaze crashes were inflicted on the gallant ship as her gunners ran low on ammunition. Finally, as the attack ended, all but 50 of the crew were ordered over the side in life rafts, the remaining men fighting fires and working to control the damage. Though her engineering spaces were flooded and she was badly holed, HUGH W. HADLEY was kept afloat by the determination and skill of her damage control parties and eventually arrived Ie Shima.

During this remarkable battle. HUGH W. HADLEY had succeeded in downing some 23 enemy aircraft and aided in splashing countless others. After temporary repairs, the ship was taken to Kerama Retto 14 May, where men from repair ship ZANIAH worked on her battered hull. HUGH W. HADLEY subsequently was taken to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, in a floating drydock towed by AVOYEL (ATF-150),15 July 1945, and after 20 days there began the long voyage under tow to the United States. After encountering heavy weather during the passage the ship arrived Hunter's Point, Calif., via Pearl Harbor, 26 September 1945. Decommissioned 15 December 1945, she was sold 2 September 1947 to Walter W. Johnson Co., San Francisco, and scrapped.

In addition to one battle star for her World War II Service, HUGH W. HADLEY received the Presidential Unit Citation for her performance in the action off Okinawa 11 May 1945.


Kamikaze Images

The destroyers Robley D. Evans (DD-552) and Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) destroyed 23 kamikaze aircraft each on May 11, 1945, as they fought together at Radar Picket Station 15. Michael Staton, son of James Staton who served on Evans, put together this history to honor the men who served on the destroyer, to have a permanent record for family members, and to remember his father. He succeeded in writing a complete history with the ship's deck logs serving as a primary source, but the book does not really capture the crewmen's emotions during the battle with kamikazes and its aftermath. The author talked with many surviving crewmen to create this ship history, but few of their personal accounts found their way into this book.

After an extended introductory chapter on Admiral Robley D. Evans, known as "Fighting Bob," the remaining 11 chapters cover the destroyer Evans' history in chronological order. The book includes numerous historical photos, including about 50 photos taken by a crewman aboard Evans. Most of these are posed photos of different groups such as radarmen, electricians, machinists, and radiomen. The narrative does not discuss much about the general course of the Pacific War but rather focuses on Evans from her commissioning in December 1943 to her decommissioning in November 1945. Evans experienced relatively little battle action besides the mass kamikaze attack on May 11, 1945, with the focus of the destroyer's duties being logistic support. However, the destroyer did rescue six downed aviators, and Evans' gunners helped shoot down a Zero fighter making a suicide run on April 2, 1945.

"Sea Pawns," the title of Chapter 9 about the kamikaze attacks on May 11, 1945, is a term that describes the radar-equipped destroyers sent to 16 radar picket stations around Okinawa in order to detect and destroy attacking enemy planes before they could reach the main American fleet. At 0755, radar operators reported an estimated 150 aircraft headed toward Radar Picket Station 15 where Evans, Hadley, three LCSs (Landing Craft, Support), and an LSM (Landing Ship, Medium) were on patrol. Combat Air Patrol (CAP) and destroyer guns brought down or chased off many of the incoming aircraft, but four kamikaze planes crashed into Evans, and another three hit Hadley. Evans lost 32 men as a result of these kamikaze attacks, and Hadley lost another 28 men.

The book has four appendices, including general data on Evans, a summary of her accomplishments, a listing of US victories and Japanese Units of Kikusui No. 6 that do not have much direct connection to the book's main narrative, and a roster of crewmen who served aboard Evans with arrival and departure dates. The book's last two pages have ten humorous color sketches drawn by Torpedoman First Class Kenneth Beals while serving aboard Evans. The book includes a bibliography of persons interviewed and books used, but the short background on kamikaze contains at least a couple of errors. When describing the legend of kamikaze, Staton incorrectly describes the destruction by a great typhoon of the Mongol fleet approaching Tokyo Bay, not Hakata Bay in Fukuoka (p. 74). The date of the first Kikusui mass kamikaze attack during the Battle of Okinawa is incorrectly given as April 4, 1945, whereas this actually occurred on April 6 (p. 82).

Later in 1945, the crew of Robley D. Evans received the Presidential Unit Citation for their heroism demonstrated against the attacking kamikaze aircraft on May 11, 1945.

In a book published in 2014, Kamikaze Destroyer: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD774) tells the story of the destroyer that fought with Evans at Radar Picket Station 15 against the mass kamikaze attack.


History [ edit | edit source ]

After intensive shakedown training off the coast of California, Hugh W. Hadley sailed 21 February 1945 in company with HMS Ranee for Pearl Harbor. The ships arrived 27 February, but Hugh W. Hadley was soon underway again, sailing 8 days later for Ulithi and the great Okinawa invasion. The ship departed in company with a large group of LST's and their escorts 25 March bound for the Japanese island stronghold, and arrived off the Okinawa group 31 March. As the night approach was made, Hugh W. Hadley led a group of LST's toward the beach, shooting down an attacking Japanese plane en route. The destroyer escorted her charges safely to the beach, watched them unload their troops and equipment the morning of 1 April, and then took up antisubmarine patrol station outside the transport area. As the bitter fighting ashore continued, Hugh W. Hadley helped protect against submarines and aircraft as the Japanese made a final effort to stop the invasion. The ship remained on patrol until 4 April, when she sailed with a group of transports to Saipan, arriving 14 April.

Hugh W. Hadley was soon on her way back to Okinawa, however, and arrived from Saipan 27 April to resume her outer patrol. For the next few days the destroyer fought off numerous air raids, picked up a downed fighter pilot, and carried out antisubmarine patrol. She went alongside destroyer Brown 1 May for transfer of communication equipment, and then took up additional duties as a fighter direction ship for the Combat Air Patrols, so vital to the invasion's air cover.

As radar picket ships were scarce, Hugh W. Hadley was assigned this duty on the afternoon of 10 May. Joining destroyer Evans (DD-552) and four smaller craft, she took station 15 west of Okinawa and early the next morning began vectoring aircraft to meet the oncoming Japanese. For nearly 2 hours the morning of 11 May, Hugh W. Hadley and Evans came under severe attack, as the Japanese mounted their sixth attack against American forces at Okinawa. Both ships maneuvered at high speed, downing many suicide planes and directing air attacks on formations of Japanese. The attackers numbered some 150 planes. After Evans took several serious hits and went dead in the water about 0900, Hugh W. Hadley fought on alone. At 0920, she was attacked by 10 planes simultaneously, from both ahead and astern. The ship destroyed all 10, but not without damage to herself. One bomb hit aft, a Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka hit, and two kamikaze crashes were inflicted on the ship as her gunners ran low on ammunition. Finally, as the attack ended, all but 50 of the crew were ordered over the side in life rafts, the remaining men fighting fires and working to control the damage. Though her engineering spaces were flooded and she was badly holed, Hugh W. Hadley was kept afloat by the determination and skill of her damage control parties and eventually arrived at Ie Shima. The attack took the lives of 30 crew members.

During this remarkable battle. Hugh W. Hadley had succeeded in downing some 23 enemy aircraft and aided in splashing countless others. After temporary repairs, the ship was taken to Kerama Retto 14 May, where men from repair ship Za-niah worked on her battered hull. Hugh W. Hadley subsequently was taken to Buckner Bay, Okinawa, in a floating drydock towed by Avoyel (ATF-150), 15 July 1945, and after 20 days there began the long voyage under tow of the US Navy tug ATA 199 (still in service on the Great Lakes as the M/T Undaunted) to the United States. After encountering heavy weather during the passage the ship arrived at Hunter's Point, Calif., via Pearl Harbor, 26 September 1945. Decommissioned 15 December 1945, she was sold 2 September 1947 to Walter W. Johnson Co., San Francisco, and scrapped.

In addition to one battle star for her World War II Service, Hugh W. Hadley received the Presidential Unit Citation (US) for her performance in the action off Okinawa 11 May 1945. Also several crew men received fame for their actions during the war.


HUGH W HADLEY DD 774

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid February 6 1944 - Launched July 16 1944

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.

Postmark Type
---
Killer Bar Text

Other Information

HUGH W. HADLEY earned 1 Battle Star (WWII)
* Okinawa operation, March 1945

Earned Presidential Unit Citation for her performance in the action off Okinawa May 11 1945

NAMESAKE - Hugh William Hadley USN (February 17 1901 - September 5 1942)
Hadley was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1918. Commissioned Ensign May 29 1922, he served on board many ships, including USS PENNSYLVANIA BB-38 and USS S-27, and various shore stations in the prewar years. After serving as Executive Officer of USS ROPER DD-147 1936-1939 and on board USS MARYLAND BB-46 1941-1942, on which he was aboard during the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7 1941, he was appointed Commander and assigned to command Transport Division 12 in the Pacific. Hadley's attack transports made nightly runs into Guadalcanal to support American troops there, and while on board USS LITTLE APD-4 September 5 1942 Hadley was surprised by three Japanese destroyers off Lunga Point. His outgunned ship fought valiantly, but was sunk along with attack transport USS GREGORY APD-3. Commander Hadley was killed in the action and was posthumously awarded The Silver Star for his outstanding performance in the bitter Solomons campaign

If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


Our Newsletter

Product Description

USS Hugh W Hadley DD 774

"Personalized" Canvas Ship Print

(Not just a photo or poster but a work of art!)

Every sailor loved his ship. It was his life. Where he had tremendous responsibility and lived with his closest shipmates. As one gets older his appreciation for the ship and the Navy experience gets stronger. A personalized print shows ownership, accomplishment and an emotion that never goes away. It shows your pride even if a loved one is no longer with you. Every time you walk by the print you will feel the person or the Navy experience in your heart (guaranteed) .

The image is portrayed on the waters of the ocean or bay with a display of her crest if available. The ships name is printed on the bottom of the print. What a great canvas print to commemorate yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her.

The printed picture is exactly as you see it. The canvas size is 8"x10" ready for framing as it is or you can add an additional matte of your own choosing. If you would like a larger picture size (11"x 14") on a 13" X 19" canvas simply purchase this print then prior to payment purchase additional services located in the store category (Home) to the left of this page. This option is an additional $12.00. The prints are made to order. They look awesome when matted and framed.

We PERSONALIZE the print with "Name, Rank and/or Years Served" or anything else you would like it to state (NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE). It is placed just above the ships photo. After purchasing the print simply email us or indicate in the notes section of your payment what you would like printed on it. Example:

United States Navy Sailor
YOUR NAME HERE
Proudly Served Sept 1963 - Sept 1967

This would make a nice gift and a great addition to any historic military collection. Would be fantastic for decorating the home or office wall.

The watermark "Great Naval Images" will NOT be on your print.

This photo is printed on Archival-Safe Acid-Free canvas using a high resolution printer and should last many years.

Because of its unique natural woven texture canvas offers a special and distinctive look that can only be captured on canvas. The canvas print does not need glass thereby enhancing the appearance of your print, eliminating glare and reducing your overall cost.

We guarantee you will not be disappointed with this item or your money back. In addition, We will replace the canvas print unconditionally for FREE if you damage your print. You would only be charged a nominal fee plus shipping and handling.

Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these prints have been very satisfied.

Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.


Watch the video: WWII Veteran Doug Aitken USS Hadley DD-774 Danville Veterans Memorial Building 07NOV2015 part 1 (November 2021).