- USS Cony (DD-508)
"Cony" was launched
16 August 1942["Radio To Mark Launching of Eight Ships Sunday" Marion Star, The. Marion, Ohio. Saturday, August 15, 1942. Page 4. Launched 16 August 1942 with USS|Conway|DD-507, liberty shipSS "Ethan Allen" and 5 British cargo ships.] by Bath Iron WorksCorp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. W. R. Sleight; and commissioned 30 October 1942at Boston, Lieutenant Commander Harry D. Johnson in command.
"Cony" escorted a troop
convoyfrom Norfolk to Nouméa, New Caledonia, where she arrived 27 January 1943. She patrolled between Espiritu Santoand Efate, and on 6 Marchjoined in the bombardment of the Vila-Stanmorearea on Kolombangara, continuing her patrol and escort duties until clearing for overhaul at San Francisco 28 April. She returned to action waters at Espiritu Santo 1 August, and after screening a group of transports to Guadalcanal, she brought fire support and was Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson's flagshipfor the landings on Vella Lavellaon 15 August. She continued patrols and escorted supplies to Vella Lavella until returning to Espiritu Santo 8 September.
20 September 1943, "Cony" patrolled through the Solomons, and from 1 to 3 Octoberjoined in a sweep against Japanese barges attempting to evacuate Kolombangara. On 27 October, she sailed to cover the landings on the Treasuries. Here complete surprise was achieved, but Japanese reaction came quickly, and later that day about 25 enemy bombers attacked "Cony" and "Philip" (DD-498). Aided by American fighter aircraft, "Cony" and her sister splashed 12 of the enemy planes, but "Cony" received two bomb hits on her main deck, and these with a near miss killed 8 of her men, wounded 10, and caused considerable damage. She was towed into Port Purvisfor emergency repairs, and sailed on to Mare Island Naval Shipyardfor a complete overhaul.
Returning to Port Purvis
27 March 1944, "Cony" patrolled along the southwest coast of Bougainville, hunting Japanese barges and submarines, and giving fire support to troops ashore in the Empress Augusta Bayarea. She sailed from Port Purvis 4 Mayfor Majuroand Pearl Harbor, where she joined the screen of a transport group bound for Eniwetokand the Saipan landings on 15 June. "Cony" screened the transports as they unloaded and carried out antisubmarine patrol until 14 July, when she sailed to replenish at Eniwetok. Six days later she sailed for preinvasion bombardment on Tinian, remaining to patrol in the antisubmarine screen when the landings on Tinian began on 24 July.
"Cony" returned to Guadalcanal
24 August 1944to prepare for the assault on the Palau Islands. She screened carriers as they launched air raids supporting the landings on Peleliu between 15 and 30 September, then put in to Manus to replenish. The destroyer put to sea once more 12 October, screening and providing fire support for underwater demolition teams and bombardment groups in Leyte Gulfbetween [19 and 21 Octoberas the landings began. As Japanese forces entered Leyte Gulf on 24 Octoberto begin the Battle of Surigao Straitphase of the epic Battle for Leyte Gulf, "Cony" took her station with the battleships and cruisers in the battleline, joining in the furious firing of the night action, and pursuing and constantly dueling with Japanese destroyer "Asagumo", finally sunk in the morning of 25 Octoberwith the aid of fire from another destroyer and two cruisers.
After voyaging to Manus for replenishment, "Cony" returned to Leyte Gulf for patrol duties
16 November 1944. On the nights of 29– 30 Novemberand 1– 2 Decembershe joined in sweeps of Ormoc Bay, hunting Japanese shipping. Targets were few, but her group sent a barge to the bottom on their second foray, and bombarded enemy positions on the shores of the bay in preparation for the landings in Ormoc Baya few days later. "Cony" put in to Kossol Roadsfrom 4 to 10 December, then sailed to screen carriers providing air cover for attack groups passing from Leyte to Mindoro, returning to Kossol Roads 19 December.
"Cony" arrived at Manus
23 December 1944and sailed 8 days later to screen transports to the Lingayen Gulflandings on 9 January 1945. She cleared the Gulf 11 Januaryto screen empty transports and cargo ships to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and then took up patrol duty in Lingayen Gulf. The destroyer covered the reconnaissance and sweeping of Baler Baybetween 26 Februaryand 10 Marchby destroyer escort"Formoe" (DE-509), minesweepers "Sentry" (AM-299) and "Salute" (AM-294), and stood by to provide fire support during the landings on Caballo Islandin Manila Bayon 27 March. She bombarded Parangbetween 14 and 19 April, and patrolled in Davao Gulfearly in May. On 7 Juneshe sailed from Subic Bayto cover the landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, on 9 June, and sailed on a fire-support mission aiding minesweeping operations and underwater demolition teams near Balikpapan, Borneo, from 13 Juneto 2 July.
Returning to San Pedro Bay, "Cony" sailed on
11 July 1945to escort transports to landings at Saragani Bay, Mindanao, providing fire support to the forces ashore until 13 July. Through August, she made an escort voyage between Leyte and Ulithi, and on 8 September, arrived in the approaches of the Yangtze Riverto act as navigational ship during minesweeping operations. Between 29 Septemberand 6 October, she called at Shanghai, then sailed to investigate the compliance with the surrender terms of Japanese troops on Raffles Islandin the Chusan Archipelagojust off the Chinacoast south of Shanghai. After making a mail run to Okinawa, she served as harbor entrance control ship at Shanghai until 19 November, when she sailed to Taiwanto serve as navigational ship for minesweeping operations in the Taiwan Straits. She sailed for home from Shanghai 20 December, and after calling at San Diegoand New York, arrived at Charleston, S.C., 13 March 1946. There she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 18 June 1946.
1949 – 1960
Reclassified DDE-508 on
26 March 1949, "Cony" was converted to an escort destroyer, specially equipped for antisubmarine warfare, and recommissioned 17 November 1949. After training and operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, she sailed from her home-port, Norfolk, 14 May 1951, on a cruise round the world, during which she operated in the Korean war zone from 18 Juneto 28 October, returning home by way of the Suez Canal, and arriving at Norfolk 20 December 1951. In September 1953, she again cleared on a distant deployment, taking part in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ( NATO) Operation "Mariner", then exercising with the Royal Navyin antisubmarine operations off Northern Irelandbefore continuing to a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. In 1955 and 1957, she again served in the Mediterranean, and in September and October 1957, joined in NATO antisubmarine exercises in the English Channel. Local operations and cruises to the Caribbean marked 1958, and in 1959 and 1960, "Cony" joined Task Force Alfa, an experimental tactical group concentrating on antisubmarine warfare, in its operations along the east coast. With this group, she visited Quebec City, Canada, in June 1960.
1961 – 1969
"Cony" took part in the
Bay of Pigs invasionof Cubain April 1961.
"Cony" reverted to DD-508
30 June 1962.In October 1962, she took part in the blockadeof Cuba during the missile crisis. On 27 October, "Cony" intercepted the Soviet submarine"B-59", an incident which nearly led to war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
"Cony" was decommissioned and stricken
2 July 1969. She was sunk as a target off Puerto Rico 20 March 1970.
"Cony" received 11
battle stars for World War IIservice, and two for Korean Warservice.
* [http://usscony.com USS "Cony Shipmates" website]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/c13/cony.htm history.navy.mil: USS "Cony"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/508.htm navsource.org: USS "Cony"]
* [http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd508txt.htm hazegray.org: USS "Cony"]
* [http://usscony.com USS "Cony Shipmates" website]
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