mardi 12 octobre 2010

Lancement des USS Bryant et USS Albert W. Grant du Destroyer Squadron 56


29 mai 1943: Lancement des USS Bryant et USS Albert W. Grant aux chantiers Charleston Navy Yard de Charleston, South Carolina. Les sister-ships ont été construits en un temps record de 59 jours. (coll. Agence Adhémar)
On may 29th of 1943: Launching of the USS Bryant and USS Albert W. Grant, built in a record 59 days at the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina.  

Les contre-torpilleurs USS Bryant et USS Albert W. Grant de la classe Fletcher légèrement modifiée
appartenaient à l'escadron 56 (voir ci-dessous) qui lutta dans le Pacifique. Voir les caractéristiques de ces destroyers ci-dessous.
The USS Bryant was a Fletcher class destroyer with some variations from the original. Displacement: 2,050 tons (2,924 tons full load). Length: 376 feet 5 inches Beam: 39 feet 7 inches Draught: 17 feet 9 inches Machinery: Four Babcock & Wilcox boilers; 2-shaft G.E.C. geared turbines. Performance: 60,000 shp for 35 knots. Bunkerage: 492 tons Range: 6,500 nautical miles at 15 knots. Guns: Five 5/38s; five twin mount 40mm; six 20mm Torpedoes: Ten 21 inch Complement: 329 officers and men.
The keel of USS Bryant was laid on 30 December 1942 and she was launched on 29 May 1943. Her sistership was USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649). 


L'escadron de destroyers 56 (en abrégé Desron 56) était le dernier des trois escadrons de destroyers de 2100 tonnes de la classe Fletcher qui rejoignirent la guerre du Pacifique pour la bataille des Mariannes en 1944. Il s'agissait de neuf contre-torpilleurs à passerelle carrée construits entre novembre 1943 et mars 1944 : Newcomb (DD 586, navire amiral), Bennion (DD 662), Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663) et Richard P. Leary (DD 664) construits au Boston Navy Yard - Albert W. Grant (DD 649) and Bryant (DD 665) construits au Charleston Navy Yard - Robinson (DD 562) et Ross (DD 563) construits au Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding - Leutze (DD 481) construit au Puget Sound Navy Yard.
Tous sauf Leutze servirent à Guam, Saipan et Tinian. L'escadron réuni participa à l'invasion des îles Palao avant de rejoindre les Philippines.
Albert W. Grant fut mis hors de combat à la bataille du détroit de Surigao les 24 et 25 octobre 1944 par pas moins de 22 tirs ennemis et… amis! Il fut remorqué hors de la zone de combat par le Newcomb qui venait de participer par ses torpilles à la destruction du navire amiral japonais Yamashiro.
En 1945, Robinson (comme navire-amiral de la DesRon 22) et Albert W. Grant réparé furent transférés à la Septième flotte avec laquelle ils participèrent à l'invasion de Bornéo. Les sept autres destroyers du DesRon 56 étaient ensemble à la conquête de Luzon (île principale des Philippines). Après l'accident du Halford, les six derniers du groupe opérèrent ensemble à Iwo Jima et Okinawa. Le 6 avril 1945, une attaque de sept avions kamikazes mit hors de combat le Leutze et le Newcomb, une autre, une semaine plus tard, détruit partiellement le Bryant. Albert W. Grant, Richard P. Leary et Halford (DD 480, sister-ship de Leutze qui avait remplacé Ross en octobre 1944), finirent la guerre en Alaska.

Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 56 was the third of three squadrons of 2100-ton Fletcher-class destroyers that joined the Pacific war in time for the Marianas operation in 1944. It consisted of nine square-bridge ships commissioned between November 1943 and March 1944 : Newcomb (DD 586, flagship), Bennion (DD 662), Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663) and Richard P. Leary (DD 664) from Boston Navy Yard - Albert W. Grant (DD 649) and Bryant (DD 665) from Charleston Navy Yard - Robinson (DD 562) and Ross (DD 563) from Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding - Leutze (DD 481) from Puget Sound Navy Yard.
All except Leutze served at Guam, Saipan and Tinian. The squadron was fully formed for the following invasion of the Palau Islands before moving on to the Philippines. On 19 October 1944, while preparing for the Leyte landings, Ross sustained two mine explosions off Homonhon Island at the entrance to Leyte Gulf. She was replaced for the Leyte operation by DesRon 45's Halford (DD 480, Leutze's sister ship from Puget Sound, which had been commissioned April 1943 and initially fitted with an experimental seaplane catapult, removed that November). Under Capt. Roland N. Smoot, these nine ships attacked in three sections at the Battle of Surigao Strait, 24–25 October 1944. Newcomb Several ships timed one or more torpedo hits on Japanese flagship Yamashiro, which sank soon thereafter. In retiring, Grant was disabled by as many as 22 enemy and friendly hits, then towed clear from alongside by Newcomb.
In 1945, Robinson and - after repairs - Grant were transferred to Seventh Fleet, with which they operated through the invasion of Borneo, during which Robinson served as flagship of DesRon 22. The other seven ships remained together for the invasion of Luzon. In February 1945, Halford was sent home for repairs when her bow was damaged in collision, after which she was assigned to other squadrons. This left six ships (Newcomb, Leutze, Bennion, Edwards, Leary and Bryant) operating together for the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. 
On 6 April 1945 off Ie Shima, a seven-plane suicide attack disabled Newcomb and Leutze. Newcomb was towed home while Leutze made it back on one screw, but both were scrapped after the war. One week later, an attacking plane hit Bryant in the bridge, putting her out of the war as well. Grant, Leary and Halford ended the war in Alaska.