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(DD-381) USS Somers

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(DD-381) USS Somers Empty (DD-381) USS Somers

Post  Kiwi's son on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:47 am


Class and type: Somers-class destroyer
Displacement: 1850 tons (2905 tons full)
Length: 381 feet
Beam: 36 feet 11 inches
Draft: 14 feet
Propulsion: 52,000 shp; geared turbines, 2 screws
Speed: 39 knots
Range: 6500 nm@ 12 knots
Complement: 294
Armament: 8x5"/38LA[1], 8 1.1", 12 tt.


Somers was built at Federal, Kearny and commissioned 1 December 1937. Though active for only eight years she acquired an enviable record.

In 1938 she transported a consignment of gold from the Bank of England to New York. On 6 November 1941, she and the cruiser USS Omaha captured the German freighter Odenwald which was carrying 3800 tons of scarce rubber while disguised as the American merchantman Willmoto. Somers also accounted for two other blockade runners, Anneliese Essberger and Westerland.

Odenwald was taken to Puerto Rico. An admiralty court ruled that since the ship was illegally claiming American registration, there was sufficient grounds for confiscation. A legal case was started claiming that the crews of the two American ships had salvage rights because the Odenwald crew's attempt to scuttle the ship was the equivalent of abandoning her. The court case, settled in 1947 ruled the members of the boarding party and the prize crew were entitled to $3,000 apiece while all the other crewmen in Omaha and Somers were entitled to two months’ pay and allowances. This was the last prize money awarded by the US Navy.[2]

Somers next participated in the Normandy and Southern France invasions providing naval gunfire support as well as serving in the anti-submarine screen. On 15 August 1944, four hours before H-Hour, D-Day, along the French Riviera, Somers encountered and sank the German corvettes Comascio and Escabort. Following this action, she moved inshore to give gunfire support to the invasion. For two days she bombarded enemy strongpoints off the coast near Toulon with 5 inch (127 mm) shells and then exchanged fire with enemy shore batteries east of Marseilles. Although Somers sustained many hits during this action, she emerged the victor.

For the next month, the destroyer operated in the Mediterranean Sea, visiting ports on the southern coast of France, Ajaccio, Corsica, and Oran, Algeria. She steamed out of Oran on 28 September and arrived in New York on 8 October. Somers was overhauled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard until 8 November, then moved to Casco Bay, Maine, for training. On 23 November, she joined the screen of a Britain bound convoy for the first of four transatlantic voyages which closed Somers' combat service. She returned to the United States on 12 May 1945 at the end of her last voyage to the United Kingdom. For the remainder of the war, Somers operated along the eastern seaboard and, in July, made one summer cruise to the Caribbean to train midshipmen.

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Kiwi's son
Kiwi's son
O-11 Fleet Admiral
O-11 Fleet Admiral

Posts : 102
Join date : 2010-01-18
Age : 30

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