USS Shubrick DD639
The fourth Shubrick (DD-639) was laid down on 17 February 1942 by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk Va., launched on 18 April 1942, sponsored by Mrs Grosvenor Bemis, great-great- granddaughter of Rear Admiral Shubrick; and commissioned on 7 February 1943, Lt. Comdr Louis A. Bryan in command.
After shakedown, Shubrick sailed for North Africa with a large convoy on 8 June 1943. Reaching her destination, she prepared for Operation "Husky" and, on 10 July, provided fire support for the landings at Gela, Sicily. She engaged enemy shore batteries and broke up an enemy tank concentration, then retired to protect the transports offshore. On 11 and 12 July, she shot down two aircraft. After two trips to Bizerte and another period of shore bombardment, she escorted cruiser, Savannah, to Palermo. There, during a night air raid on 4 August, Shubrick was hit amidships by a 500-pound bomb which caused flooding of two main machinery spaces and left the ship without power. She lost nine killed and 20 wounded in the attack. The damaged destroyer was towed into the inner harbor for emergency repairs and then to Malta for drydocking. Using one screw, the ship returned to the United States, arriving in New York on 9 October for permanent repairs.
After completion of repairs and refresher training in January 1944, Shubrick made two convoy runs to Europe and back before joining the Normandy bombardment group in Belfast. After escorting battleship, Nevada, and five cruisers to the Normandy beaches, Shubrick took her own fire support station and, at 0550 on 6 June, opened fire on her preassigned targets. She continued her fire as the troops landed, then checked her fire at 0630 to avoid hitting friendly forces. She remained off the Normandy beaches for over a month, performing escort duties, fire support missions and anti-motor-torpedo-boat and antisubmarine patrols, with trips to England for replenishment. On 27 June, she escorted six American PT-boats to Cherbourg. There, the patrol craft reconnoitered enemy defenses by drawing their fire. Shubrick herself came under fire before the mission was completed. She left Normandy for the last time on 11 July and, five days later, joined a task group bound for the Mediterranean.
On 12 August, Shubrick sailed from Malta with four escort carriers and five other destroyer to provide air cover for the landings in Southern France on 15 August Aside from float lights dropped on the evening after the landings, the force encountered no enemy opposition and was disbanded on 30 August. On 6 September, Shubrick sailed from Oran for overhaul in the United States.
After overhaul, Shubrick made a convoy trip to Taranto, Italy, and then conducted training along the East Coast of the United States. On 1 February 1945, she transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet. After additional training, she departed from Pearl Harbor on 21 April escorting the battleship Mississippi, to Okinawa. On 12 May, she and one other destroyer supported the landings at Tori-Shima Island and shot down two attacking aircraft. Shubrick completed one radar picket patrol in mid-May, but, on her way to her second, she was attacked at 0010, 29 May 1945, by two aircraft, one of which crashed into the ship. The bomb carried by the plane blew a 30-foot hole in the starboard side, and further damage was done when one of the ship's depth charges exploded. At first the situation looked grim. Van Valkenburg (DD-656) came alongside at 0113 and removed classified material and all wounded and unnecessary personnel. However, the crew finally controlled the flooding, and Shubrick was towed to Kerama Retto by ATR-9. The ship lost 35 men killed and missing, and 25 wounded in the attack.
Shubrick underwent emergency repairs until 15 July, when she began the trip back to the United States on one engine, arriving at Puget Sound Navy Yard on 10 August. On 17 August, due to the end of the war, the Bureau of Ships decided not to repair the damage. The destroyer was decommissioned on 16 November 1945 and struck from the Navy list on 28 November. Later sold to the National Metals and Steel Co., Terminal Island, Calif., for scrapping, her hulk was removed on 28 September 1947.
Shubrick received 4 battle stars for her World War II service.
Action off Okinawa aboard the USS Shubrick as told by crewman John Hogue
Please click here to see the USS Shubrick DD639 Website
--This website is by Shubrick veteran, George Morley.
USS Duncan (DD-485) and USS Shubrick (DD 639) joint reunion
George Morley, 5422 Portland Rd. NE #57, Salem, OR 97305
Phone:503-393-1803 Email:George Morley
--History from DANFS and my own records--R. Angelini, USS MAYO Group
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