Lest We Gorget

Wertheim, Eric
August 2003
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Aug2003, Vol. 129 Issue 8, p94
Conference Proceeding
Launched on October 6, 1943, the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Richard P. Leary was built by Boston, Massachusetts-based Navy Yard and commissioned into Navy service on February 23, 1944. As a part of the Third Fleet, she assisted with the bombardment of Peleliu and the Palau islands in the autumn of 1944. On October 25, 1944, she took part in attacks against Japanese warships and successfully hit the battleship Fuso with two torpedoes, contributing to the eventual destruction of that massive warship. Richard P. Leary's sister ship, the A.W. Grant suffered severe damage during the battle, and the Richard P. Leary sailed to the damaged vessel's side, rendering damage control and defense and driving away enemy air attacks with her antiaircraft fire. On November 1, 1944, another American ship, the Abner Read was sinking after a kamikaze attack, and Richard P. Leary again sailed to the rescue, helping to recover dozens of survivors. During the January 1945 invasion at Lingayen Gulf, she fought on in the face of heavy air attacks. At Okinawa, Japan, Richard P. Leary again assisted with fire fighting, receiving numerous casualties from the damaged destroyer Morris. Following the Japanese surrender, she made a brief stopover in Tokyo Bay in Japan and then sailed home to San Diego, California.


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