Friday, April 4, 2014

#AtoZChallenge D is for DD647: USS Thorn

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


  1. How awesome! Thanks for sharing a little history with us. :)

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. My grandfather and grand-uncle served in WW2. My grandfather survived but my granduncle didn't (he died in the Bataan Death March). I've always been interested in this war. Great informative post on your dad and the USS Thorn. Enjoy your weekend and the Challenge!

  3. What a proud heritage! Thanks for sharing this. My grandfather served in a sub in WWII,Navy. Love to hear these stories!

    1. Thank you. They are very interesting. I like to read about their lives were changed from the experiences they had. Do you realize that the men who fought in the war were the children of those who fought in WWI?

    2. Love the old stories about heritage. I've managed to trace mine back to 1500 England and I have some great family was best friends with William Penn and was one of the first 13 families to found Pennsylvania. I have a printer in my midst who printed copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. One of my ancestors is buried in Westminster Abbey. Another married Betsy Ross. etc, etc, etc.

      I found some stories for my husband too. His grandfather was on the USS Wasp when it went down in WWII. He was a hero, saving as many of his shipmates as possible...but never enough for him to not feel guilty.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
      My A to Z Challenge
      Caring for My Veteran

    3. What an interesting family background! I love all the family stories. I use the stories I discover in my family history to write some of my stories. There is just so many interesting stories from the past that need to be past down.