USS SAUFLEY (DD-465)
Saufley (DD-465) was laid down on 27 January 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
N.J.; launched on 19 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Helen O'R. Scruggs
and commissioned on 29 August 19-12
Lt. Comdr. Bert F. Brown in command.
Following shakedown off northern New England
Saufley made several coastal escort runs and then
prepared for duty in the South Pacific. She departed Norfolk on 9 September. Arriving at Noumea
on 2 December
Saufley commenced participation in the Guadalcanal campaign three days later.
Initially assigned to escort reinforcements from Espiritu Santo to Lunga Point
Saufley soon undertook
antishipping sweeps in the waters north and west of Guadalcanal and conducted shore bombardment missions
against enemy positions on the island. During the Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal in late January and
early February 1943
Saufley operated with Task Force 11. On 19 February
she sailed for Lunga Roads to join
with other units staging for Operation "Cleanslate
" the occupation of the Russells.
During that operation
Saufley transported troops
towed landing craft to the target islands
provided shore bombardment in support of the troops as they landed on Pavuvu and Banika islands on the
21st. From these islands
planes would be able to cover operations against Rendova.
Saufley resumed escort and antisubmarine duties in the southern Solomons New
Caledonia New Hebrides area. Following an abbreviated availability at Sydney
she returned to
Noumea and resumed escort work until the end of June. On the 30th as Allied forces moved toward Rendova
Saufley bombarded Japanese shore installations there.
July and August found Saufley engaged in assault operations against New Georgia and escort
missions to the New Hebrides and Vella Lavella. On 31 August
she received minor damage
but no casualties
from near misses by shore batteries in the "Slot " the narrow body of water that separates the central Solomons.
At 1011 on 15 September
while Saufley was en route to Espiritu Santo in company with Montgomery
(DD-121) and two merchantmen
a torpedo wake was sighted. As Montgomery's sound gear was inoperative
Saufley initiated a search down the track of the torpedo wake. Over the period of the next three and one half
she delivered five separate depth charge attacks against the submarine. At 1443
surfaced. Saufley's five-inch batteries and machine guns opened up on the conning tower
of the submarine. A Catalina flying boat moved in and crapped two depth charges. The first charge missed the
target by about 40 feet
but the second one hit it. When the splash subsided
the submarine was gone. An
underwater explosion was heard; and
covering an area of approximately one square mile
marked the grave of RO-101.
During the remainder of September and well into October
Saufley was engaged in night anti barge
patrols between Kolombangara and Choiseul. She sank four barges during this period but sustained damage
from Japanese aerial bombs on the night of 1 October which resulted in the death of two crew members and the
wounding of 11 others.
The months of November and December 1943 and January 1944 found Saufley performing escort
duties for the reinforcement of Bougainville. In February
Saufley was engaged in the assault on the Green
Islands which broke the Japanese Rabaul-Buka supply line and provided the Allies with another airfield near
Rabaul. Antisubmarine patrols were followed by call fire support missions during the occupation of Emirau
Island. This action
which completed the "ring around Rabaul
" took Saufley into April. She had returned to the
Emirau-Massau area when
on the morning of the 7th
she gained contact on a submerged submarine.
Forty-five minutes and 18 depth charges later
two underwater explosions were heard. Within hours
the area. Postwar review of Japanese records identified the sunken submarine as I-2. Following Escort duties to
Saufley returned to Purvis Bay on the 18th whence she conducted exercises with TF 38 into May.
On 4 May
the destroyer sailed for Pearl Harbor. Arriving on the 12th
she sailed west again on 1 June
as a unit of Task Group 51.18
the reserve force for Operation "Forager
" the conquest of the Marianas. On
D-day plus 1
Saufley and the other escorts shepherded their charges into the transport unloading
area west of Saipan. Saufley was then reassigned to call fire support duties. For the next month
call fire support
and shore bombardment operations in the Saipan-Tinian area. On 20 July
moved south for the invasion of Guam. Here
the destroyer provided call fire support for the assault troops. She
returned to Tinian on the 23d and supported the landings there on the 24th. For the next week
gunfire support and served on radar picket duty.
Remaining in the Marianas until 12 August
the destroyer then sailed for California
arriving at San
Francisco with her squadron
Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 22
at the end of the month. Overhaul took her into
October. On the 26th
she again steamed west.
On 17 November
she arrived at Ulithi Atoll. Proceeding to Leyte Gulf
Saufley soon found herself
engaged in antisubmarine action after moving into the Camotes Sea to search for a submarine reported to be in
the area. Shortly after entering the area on the 28th
the Japanese submarine was located on the surface off
Ponson Island. In a multi-destroyer gun action involving Saufley
the submarine was sunk 45 minutes later.
Returning to Leyte Gulf
Saufley lost one man and suffered considerable hull damage in an
engagement with enemy planes on the 29th. Following repairs at the Admiralties
she proceeded to a 2 January
1945 rendezvous with the Lingayen attack force. Moving into the Sulu Sea on the 7th
Saufley shot down an
attacking Japanese aircraft at dusk on the 8th. On the morning of the 9th
the formation stood into Lingayen Gulf.
Saufley provided screening services as the assault waves landed in the Lingayen area. On the morning of the
Saufley splashed another aircraft
this time a Val attempting to crash the destroyer. Saufley got underway
on the 12th to return to Leyte Gulf. From Leyte Gulf
she escorted a convoy to Morotai and returned on the 26th.
Sailing for Luzon
Saufley arrived off Nasugbu to support the landing there on the 31st. On 1 February
an attacking Japanese boat. She then commenced call fire support which continued for four days. Saufley then
set a course for Subic Bay.
The balance of February and most of March was spent in support operations in the areas of Manila
Bay and Mindoro. Saufley participated in amphibious operations at Sanga Sanga (31 March to 4 April) and Jolo
(8 to 11 April) where she served as flagship
and call fire support ship.
The next two months found Saufley engaged in Escort duties. She participated in the assault against
on 1 July. The destroyer returned to Morotai on 22 July. She engaged in escort work
between Leyte Gulf and Ulithi until the end of hostilities in mid-August.
In early September
Saufley moved up to the Ryukyus and then proceeded to the China coast. She
assisted in minesweeping operations in the Yangtze delta area. The destroyer remained off the coast of China
until she departed for home on 12 November. Arriving at San Diego at the end of the year
Saufley continued on
to the east coast in mid-January 1946. During February
she underwent repairs at the New York Naval Shipyard.
In early March
Saufley headed south to Charleston for inactivation.
Decommissioned on 12 June 1946
Saufley remained in the Reserve Fleet for just over three years.
Redesignated DDE-465 on 15 March 1949
she was recommissioned on 15 December 1949 and assigned to
Escort Destroyer Squadron (CortDesRon) 2
Atlantic Fleet. Within a year
she had participated in two search
and rescue operations. The first
in June 1950
was the rescue of 36 passengers from a downed commercial
airliner on a Puerto Rico-New York run. The second in October
was the rescue of a Navy TBM pilot assigned
to Palau (CVE-122).
On 1 January 1951
the escort destroyer was reclassified an Experimental Escort Destroyer
and assigned to experimental work under the control of Commander
Force. A unit of DesDiv 601
she was home ported at Key West
and for the next twelve years
engaged in testing and evaluating sonar equipment and antisubmarine warfare weapons.
On 1 July 1962
Saufley was redesignated a general purpose destroyer and regained her original
DD-465. At the end of that month she participated in the filming of the movie "PT109." In
she resumed test and evaluation work. In late October
she was placed on standby
proclamation of the Cuban Quarantine
she commenced patrols off the coast of Florida. She continued that duty
until 20 November; then returned to Key West. On the 26th
she participated in a Presidential review of the
For the next two years
Saufley continued her experimental projects
interrupting those operations only
for scheduled exercises
sonar school ship duties
in the spring of 1963
assistance in the search for
Ordered back to Norfolk in the fall of 1964
Saufley was decommissioned on 29 January 1965. Her use
as an experimental ship
continued. In 1967
instruments and gauges to register strain and stress of
successive explosions were installed
in February 1968
as a result of tests
she was sunk off Key West.
Saufley earned 16 battle stars during World War II.
[Note: The above USS SAUFLEY (DD-465) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS SAUFLEY (DD-465) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]