USS Longshaw
DD 559 (Fletcher class)

 Courtesy of Navsource
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.

The E-mail:

Subject: USS Longshaw DD 559
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004
From: Robert Chantler

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.

Bob Chantler

Many Thanks to NavSource

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