Two different sources, one a newspaper and the other a magazine on the scrapping of the
USS Patterson. I have transcribed them from the originals.
Newspaper clipping October 22, 1946 (newspaper name
From the collection of Robert A. Coburn, Sr., Storekeeper 2/C 1944-1946.
GLUM CREW WORKS
ON CAN FOR JUNK
Destroyer Patterson, With 17 Battle Stars,
Seen Making Good Razor Blades
While awed thousands boarded the big carriers and the newer destroyers in New York
Harbor yesterday, admiring their spit and polish, the crew of the destroyer Patterson
worked glumly in the rain, dismantling their ship for its graveyard run. It is to be
decommissioned within a forthnight.
Breaking up a fighting "tin can" that had battered its way
from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa to earn seventeen battlestars fourteen in the
Asiatic-Pacific theatre, two in the Philippine Liberation, one at Pearl Harbor was a bitter task for the handful of old-timers in her crew of 250 officers and
Down in the CPOs focsle five old hands talked about
itChief Fire Control Man Stanley A. Hatlestad of Frost, Minn; Chief
Electricians Mate Henry Swires of Brockway, Pa.; Chief Water Tender Raymond J. J.
Russell of Union City, Tenn; Chief Torpedoman R. E. Wickland of Sheldon, Wis., and
Soundman First Class Fred Rankin of Ennis, Mont.
They talked of the morning of Dec. 7 when, lying alongside the Henley
and the Talbot, the Patterson rocked under the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack in Berth X-11,
between Pearl City and Aiea Landing.
Chief Hatlestak recalled how "the Japs strafed our whaleboats after
their bombs had rocked us, especially one that fell off the port bow." Twenty men
were on the beach that morning, but the others jumped to the guns and their .50-caliber
machine guns got one Japanese plane, and their 5-inch rifle got another bearing down on
the seaplane tender Curtiss.
Ships Seek Attackers
Within the hour the Patterson was under way, with the
Detroit the Phoenix and the St. Louis tearing westward after the attackers. Their skipper
Lieut. Comdr. Frank Walker, caught up to them in a whaleboat and took over from the
executive officer, Alfred White.
Two months later, off Bougainville, the Patterson had her first
casualty. She was screening carriers against surface and underwater attack, picking a
carrier pilot out of the water, when forty Japanese Bettys bore in, dropping bomb loads
everywhere. The Patterson zig-zagged until her rudder jammed. A bomb fell close and tore a
wound in Charlie Faught, ships cook.
The group talked at length about the Pattersons part in the first
battle of Savo Island. Sometime after midnight on Aug. 9, 1942, Hatlestad, on watch above
the bridge, spotted an enemy task force, 4,000 yards away, bearing down. A Japanese
cruiser closed in to 1,700 yards with her searchlight on the destroyer, but Gunners
Mate Lawrence, on the 20-mm gun smashed the light and threw the cruiser off.
The day before, the Patterson got four kills out of twelve Japanese
planes that were shot out of the sky near Guadalcanal. On the morning of the 9th
she picked up 400 men of the Australian Royal Navys sinking flagship, the Canberra,
although enemy torpedoes hissed under and around her. One shell knocked out her two after
guns, but she stayed in the fight, swapping shots with the enemy.
After that she was in on most of the big sea
showsTulagi, the capture and defense of Guadalcanal, in the Eastern Solomons,
Eastern New Guinea, off the Solomons, at New Georgia, in the Marianas, the Western
Carolines, Leyte, Luzon, Iwo Island and finally, at Okinawa.
The men toyed with the brass plate presented to the Patterson by survivors of the
carrier Bismark Sea who fished it out of the water off Iwo Island on Feb. 21 in the
pitch dark. Lieut. J. P. Kavanagh disclosed that "our skipper (Comdr. A. H. Angelo of
Berkley, Calif.) is sending the plate to the widow of Lieut. Comdr. Walter A. Hering, who
was in command when he picked up the Bismark survivors."
In about ten days to two weeks, when the Patterson is stripped
clean, there will be decommissioning services aboard and she will make for the Navy Yard
in Brooklyn and for the scrap heap.
Mailman Second Class John J. Butler of 196 Lawrence Avenue, Brooklyn, standing in the
heaped up fighting lights, disorderly deck crates and dismantled ships gear, said:
"Go ahead, fella, give all the publicity to the big ships. The Old Pats
going to be made into razor blades. But dont forget thisthere was many a tight
spot when the big ones were screaming. Screen us, Old Pat, screen us: and we
screened em, or they wouldnt be all spit and polish now, with all the pretty
ladies walking their decks in New York Harbor. Dont forget that."
Chief Russell said: "Easy, Johnny. She did her bit and we know it, and thats
enough. And if shes going to be turned into razor blades, shell make good
razor bladesthe best."
The following is transcribed from a magazine article. Date and magazine unknown but was
under the ARMY & NAVY Section. It was prior to the Pattersons final scrapping..
U. S. S. FARRAGUT, DEWEY, PATTTERSON
Next port: the bone yard
When she minced into Pearl Harbor, just in time to see war break over Hawaii, the
destroyer Patterson was only four years old and one of the best. A survivor of Dec
7s disaster, she became one of the thin line of U.S. warships left to stop the Jap
fleet in the Pacific. Lean as an alley cat, "Pat" stalked off to westward. It
was a bad time. On the blackest night in U. S. naval history, off Savo Island, the Japs
destroyed the Allied cruisers Astoria, Quincy, Vincennes and Canberra. Pat, hit and hurt,
stood by and picked up 400 survivors. It was the kind of work expected of destroyers. They
were the tin cans and expendable.
With little rest Pat labored on ,convoy-ing ships off Australia, operating in the
"Slot," seeing the tide of war turn at last as reinforcements began to arrive
from a nation which had tardily remembered its Navy. She fought at Saipan and Tinian,. She
was a picket ship. She was fire support. She was mobile 5-in. artillery steaming in- shore
against Jap pillboxes. She operated at Guam and later at Palau and later with Halsey in
the second Battle of the Philippines.
Like her sister cans, she seldom figured in communiqués, but she was beloved by the
big ships whenever there was trouble. ("Screen us, Pat!") She rescued 124 men
from the blazing Ommaney Bay. She rescued 106 survivors of the Bismarck Sea off Iwo Jima.
She fought off Okinawa. When there was nothing else to do she carried the mail.
When the war ended, rusty old Pat lay in Saipan Harbor, worn out and obsolescent. Soon
after, she was ordered home.
Last Port. In some ways, Pat had been lucky. Seventy-one of her sister destroyers had
been lost in the oceans of the world"; their bones lay in Iron Bottom Bay, in Bali
Strait, in watery locations marked simply:
"12 28 S, 164 08 E."
She plodded back across the Pacific, rested briefly at San Diego and went on the New
York Harbor. She was tucked away in an East River pier, her carcass decently out of sight.
Agents came aboard her to calculate coldly the amount of aluminum in her superstructure,
the steel in her hull. Officers and men learned the that old Pat was through. They were
not bitter. More than 200 other veterans of World War II (about 600,000 tons of warships)
were also marked for the scrap heap. Considering the life she had led, Pat had lasted a
They set to stripping her of her movable gear, littering her decks with outmoded radar,
communication equipment, boxes of crockery and silverware. A faded jack at her bow, her
commission pennant, and her ragged ensign hanging limply aft indicated that she was still
a ship of the U. S. Navy, but soon these flags would be hauled down and she would be towed
off to the bone yard.
On Navy Day old Pat rested alongside her two sister who were awaiting the same forlorn
ending the heroic Dewey and Farragut. Across Manhattan, in the North River, the
august battleships and carriers and the newer cans of the U.S. Fleet took the applause.