D is for DD 647:
The USS Thorn
The USS Thorn (DD 647) was a Destroyer class battleship that my father served on during World War II. It was commissioned on April 1, 1943 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in New York.
The Thorn joined the Destroyer Squadron 19 (DesRon 19) for service in the Atlantic in May of 1943. The Benson Gleaves - class destroyer served in the Atlantic from May 1943 – January 1944. On January 3, 1944 the Thorn had been docked for only a day when an explosion occurred on the boat and she sank to the bottom of the Ambrose Channel. I remember my dad telling me stories about that day. It wasn't an enemy attack but a malfunction within the ship.
The USS Thorn was repaired and relaunched in February of 1944. It was sent to the Panama Canal where it had been ordered to relieve the DesRon 1 in New Guinea waters. It was delayed to the waters around Guadalcanal and Rendova Islands where it escorted an oiler liner. It finally arrived to the Milne Bay in New Guinea on February 29th where it joined the Destroyer Division 37 for service in the South Pacific. The destroyer also served in the Philipines from October to December of 1944 and was off the coast of Japan in 1945. You can learn more about this amazing ship on Wikipedia and the USS Thorn Association.
My dad, Roland Irving Bruning