World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

USS Preston (DD-379)

Article Id: WHEBN0003118644
Reproduction Date:

Title: USS Preston (DD-379)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of destroyers of the United States Navy, Mahan-class destroyers, USS Perkins (DD-377), USS Smith (DD-378), Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

USS Preston (DD-379)

The USS Preston while underway in the late 1930s.
United States
Namesake: Samuel W. Preston
Builder: Mare Island Navy Yard
Laid down: 27 October 1934
Launched: 22 April 1936
Commissioned: 27 October 1936
  • sunk in enemy action,
  • 14 November 1942
General characteristics
Class & type: Mahan-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,500 tons
Length: 341 ft 4 in (104 m)
Beam: 35 ft (10.7 m)
Draft: 9 ft 10 in (2.8 m)
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h)
Complement: 158 officers and crew
  • As Built:
  • 1 × Gun Director above bridge,
  • 5 × 5"(127mm)/38cal DP (5x1),
  • 12 × 21" (533 mm) T Tubes (3x4),
  • 4 × .50cal(12.7mm) MG AA (4x1),
  • 2 × Depth Charge stern racks,
  • c1942:
  • 1 × Mk33 Gun Fire Control System,
  • 4 × 5" (127mm)/38cal DP (4x1),
  • 12 × 21" (533 mm) T Tubes (3x4),
  • 2 × Mk51 Gun Directors,
  • 4 × Bofors 40 mm AA (2x2),
  • 6 × Oerlikon 20 mm AA (6x1),
  • 2 × Depth Charge roll-off stern racks,
  • 4 × K-gun depth charge projectors

USS Preston (DD–379) was a Mahan-class destroyer in the United States Navy before and during World War II. She was the fifth Navy ship named for Lieutenant Samuel W. Preston (1840–1865).

Preston was laid down 27 October 1934 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, and launched 22 April 1936. She was sponsored by Mrs. Edward H. Campbell, commissioned 27 October 1936, with Commander C. D. Swain in command.


Following shakedown, Preston operated briefly under the Chief of Naval Operations, then joined Battle Force, U.S. Fleet. Initially assigned to Destroyer Squadron 2 (DesRon 2), then shifted to DesRon 5, she conducted peacetime training exercises in the Pacific until 7 December 1941. Patrol and coastal escort duties along the west coast kept Preston in the eastern Pacific until 1 June 1942. Then setting a westward course she headed for Hawaii in the screen of Saratoga. Arriving on the 6th, her group, TG 11.1, departed again the next day to rendezvous with Task Force 17 (TF17) and deliver planes, pilots, and material to Enterprise and Hornet as that force refueled and rested after the Battle of Midway.

On the 13th, Preston returned to Pearl Harbor and for the next four months conducted type exercises and performed patrol and escort work in the Hawaiian area. She joined TF 16 on 4 October, and on the 15th sailed for the Solomon Islands. On the 24th, TF 16 rendezvoused with TF 17, formed TF 61, and continued on. Two days later, Preston, in the carrier screen, introduced her guns to the enemy at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Downing two planes, she emerged unscathed from her first engagement and retired to Nouméa.

Rearmed, she headed back to the Solomons for her second and last fight. On the evening of 14 November, Preston, with TF 64, sailed along the western end of Guadalcanal to intercept another Japanese run down the “Slot” to bombard Henderson Field and land reinforcements. Swinging around Savo Island, the force, two battleships preceded by four destroyers, entered the channel between Savo and Cape Esperance. At 23:00, the battleship Washington picked up the Japanese cruiser Sendai on her radar, and, at 23:17, the Third Battle of Savo Island began.

Sendai, accompanied by the destroyer Shikinami, had been following the Americans, but 16” projectiles drove them off. Soon after, however, the battle was rejoined. The Japanese force had been dispersed and within minutes of the battleship/cruiser encounter, enemy destroyers, edging along the southern shore of Savo, entered the fray. Benham and Preston followed. Gwin, which had been firing illumination shells toward the earlier gunfire exchange, came into the action in time to sight the cruiser Nagara and 4 destroyers closing in. Farther out, heavier Japanese ships were preparing to join in. The concentrated American destroyers were now central targets.

Approximately 8 minutes after the enemy was engaged, Walke was hit. Soon after, Preston, preparing her torpedoes, was struck. One salvo from Nagara had put both firerooms out and toppled the afterstack. Her fires made an easier target and shells came in from both port and starboard. The fires spread. At 23:36, she was ordered abandoned. Seconds later she rolled on her side. She floated for another 10 minutes, bow in the air; then sank, taking 116 of her crew with her.

The battle continued. Gwin now became the target of Japanese guns. Shells exploded in an engine room and on the fantail. At 23:38, Walke’s forecastle was blown off. Benham’s bow was all but demolished; she would go down on the 15th. Walke soon followed Preston to the Savo Island graveyard. At 23:48, as the battleships took over, the remaining destroyers were ordered to retire. In the ensuing duel, Washington inflicted irreparable damage on the Japanese bombardment force and remained unscathed. South Dakota, however, was exposed by searchlight and took shells from that enemy force. The Japanese had again scored heavily, but in doing so had lost a battleship and a destroyer, and, more important, had abandoned their mission of bombarding Henderson Field into uselessness.


Preston (DD–379) earned two battle stars for World War II service.

See also


External links

  • websitePrestonUSS at Destroyer History Foundation
  • USS

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.