DD 559 (Fletcher class)
© Courtesy of Navsource
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding
Laid Down: June 16 1942
Launched: June 4 1943
Commissioned: December 4 1943
Fate: Grounded off Okinawa 5/14/45;
sunk by Japanese Shore Batteries 5/18/45
We are seeking information on the USS Longshaw and her crews.
Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.
Subject: USS Longshaw DD 559
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004
Regarding the subject destroyer. I was on the
USS Heywood L. Edwards
(DD 663) working in the same sector as the Longshaw
when she went aground. We were standing jus outside of the
her when when was taken under fire by a shore battery.
I we as on the bridge as a talker on the headphones and
was standing on the port wing went the tug arrived to pull
her off the reef. We could see that she had brought ammo
from up forward and was in the process of transferring it
aft to ship weight back and give more leverage to to he tug
boat got the lines across and were taking up the slack when
I saw a shell land between the two ships almost immediately
with one that landed beside the Longshaw. It appeared that
her forward gun commenced to fire when all of suddenly she
exploded forward and her focsel was blown clear.
Instinctively I looked for where the fire was coming from on
the beach, saw it and as I was standing next to a pelorus
I took a bearing an passed it to our main battery director.
Immediately they got on target and we took it out. About
that time all ships nearby opened fire and that was that.
The Longshaw was on fire clear back to her galley. Some of
the crew just stood on the fantail. Immediately we put
over our skiffs and picked up a number of survivors, many
wounded badly. After all survivors were accounted for we
were directed to sink her so the enemy could not board her
for information and a base for directing fire. Along with
the USS Bryant DD 665 we fired two torpedoes each which
failed by hitting the reef instead of the ship. Subsequently
we took her under fire with our main battery until she sunk
and only the top of her radar antenna showed above water.
So you see she was not sunk by the Japanese but by her own.
She was sunk because of the Japanese and it was a sad
ending for an outstanding destroyer.
Regards to the crew of the USS Longshaw DD 559.
Many Thanks to NavSource