Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

The Fletcher class


Chantry

Recommended Posts

The largest class of destroyers ever built, 175 ships launched and generally considered one of the great destroyer designs in history.

 

"19 Fletchers were lost during World War II; a further 6 more were severely damaged, evaluated as constructive total losses, and not repaired.[1] Postwar, the remainder were decommissioned and put into reserve. Of the 25 Fletchers sunk or deemed as constructive total losses, 17 were lost between March and July 1945 off Okinawa."

 

One of the very flaws in the design was the single rudder, the Fletcher's had a larger turning circle than the Iowa class battleships.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher-class_destroyer

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandfather was on one of those 17 Fletcher class destroyers lost off the coast of Okinawa.  He was on the USS Luce, DD522.

 

A kamikaze hit the powder magazine and it blew up.  My grandfather's leg was mangled terribly; there was shrapnel littered all throughout and he was bleeding profusely.  Someone put a tourniquet on him and fastened him to a stretcher.  Then the ship started listing hard; it was sinking, and the captain gave the order to abandon ship.  The two sailors carrying my grandfather dropped him and obeyed the order.  So there he was, tied to a stretcher and sitting on the deck of a sinking ship, unable to save himself.

 

As the ship was going down, someone climbed onto the now-45 degree deck, freed him from the stretcher, and put a life vest on him before throwing him into the water.  He floated with the life vest on, but the Japanese aircraft were strafing the survivors in the water with machinegun fire.  He survived that.  Then, while waiting in the water for three days to be rescued, the sharks were feasting on people and body parts.

 

He survived that and was rescued.  He was flown to a hospital in Oklahoma, where my grandmother drove down from Iowa and married him.  He had a metal brace on his leg and walked with a limp and a cane for the rest of his life.  He was in constant pain and never complained about it.  He used to tell me, "Every day since that day is a gift from God."  Every few years some more shrapnel would work its way to the surface and need to be surgically removed.  He used to say, "At least I still have my leg."  The doctors told him that one more such surgery and they would have to amputate his leg, but the opportunity never came.  After beating cancer twice, it finally took him on the third go around in 2010.

 

 

Burr and Virginia McFarland.jpeg

Burr McFarland.jpeg

Burr w medals.jpeg

Edited by Cyrus Cassidy #45437
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

My grandfather was on one of those 17 Fletcher class destroyers lost off the coast of Okinawa.  He was on the USS Luce, DD522.

 

A kamikaze hit the powder magazine and it blew up.  My grandfather's leg was mangled terribly; there was shrapnel littered all throughout and he was bleeding profusely.  Someone put a tourniquet on him and fastened him to a stretcher.  Then the ship started listing hard; is was sinking, and the captain gave the order to abandon ship.  The two sailors carrying my grandfather dropped him and obeyed the order.  So there he was, tied to a stretcher and sitting on the deck of a sinking ship, unable to save himself.

 

As the ship was going down, someone climbed onto the now-45 degree deck, freed him from the stretcher, and put a life vest on him before throwing him into the water.  He floated with the life vest on, but the Japanese aircraft were strafing the survivors in the water with machinegun fire.  He survived that.  Then, while waiting in the water for three days to be rescued, the sharks were feasting on people and body parts.

 

He survived that and was rescued.  He was flown to a hospital in Oklahoma, where my grandmother drove down from Iowa and married him.  He had a metal brace on his leg and walked with a limp and a cane for the rest of his life.  He was in constant pain and never complained about it.  He used to tell me, "Every day since that day is a gift from God."  Every few years some more shrapnel would work its way to the surface and need to be surgically removed.  He used to say, "At least I still have my leg."  The doctors told him that one more such surgery and they would have to amputate his leg, but the opportunity never came.  After beating cancer twice, it finally took him on the third go around in 2010.

 

 

Burr and Virginia McFarland.jpeg

Burr McFarland.jpeg

Burr w medals.jpeg

:FlagAm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.