Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher
The first "Admiral Fletcher from Iowa"
The man: Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher
Born on November 23, 1855 at Oskaloosa, Iowa, graduated from the
United States Naval Academy in 1875. While assigned to the Bureau
of Ordnance he developed the Fletcher breech mechanism that increased
the speed of rapid-fire guns. Fletcher was assigned to the battleship
USS Maine when it blow up in Havana Harbor (was absent that night) triggering
the Spanish-American War in 1898. As commander of U.S. Naval Forces
on the East Coast of Mexico in 1914, he occupied the city
of Vera Cruz, was later awarded the Medal of Honor. He became
commander of the Atlantic Fleet, receiving promotion to Full Admiral
and during World War I served on the Navy General Board. He died
November 28, 1928 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Citation: FLETCHER, FRANK FRIDAY, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy,
"For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz,
21 and 22 April 1914. Under fire, Rear Adm. Fletcher was eminent
and conspicuous in the performance of his duties; was senior
officer present at Vera Cruz, and the landing and the operations
of the landing force were carried out under his orders and directions."
The ship: USS Fletcher (DD-445)
Fletcher (DD-445) commissioned 30 June 1942 and arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia,
5 October 1942 from the east coast, and at once began escort and patrol duty in the
Guadalcanal operation, bombarding Lunga Point 30 October. Fletcher participated
in the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Battle of Tassafaronga, sank Japanese submarine RO-102,
supported the landings on the Russell Islands and New Georgia, invasion of the Gilbert Islands,
made a strike on Kwajalein, Taroa, and Wotje, supported the Humboldt Bay landings, the
invasions of Noemfoor, Sansapor, and Morotai, covered the occupation
of the Philippines from Leyte, Luzon, and Manila Bay where she took at
hit that killed eight crewmen.
Fletcher received 15 battle stars for World War II service and five for Korean War service.
The Fletcher Class of Destroyer
About 175 Fletcher class destroyers were commissioned during World War II
from 1942 to 1944. Eighteen were lost to enemy action, all in the
Pacific, eight from kamakazes off Okinawa in 1945. Most were sent to
the reserve fleet after the war, superceded by the heavier
Sumner class of 1944, 55 ships, and the Gearing class of 1945
with 80 ships. Fletcher class ships were reclassified DDE in 1949.
Fletcher herself was modernized and fought in Korea and Vietnam before
decommissioning in 1969.
|Displacement.|| 2,100 tons ||Armament.|| 5 - 5"/38' dual purpose guns|
|Length. || 376' 3" ||2 x 5- 21" torpedo tubes|
|Beam. || 39' 8" ||6 depth charge launchers.|
|Draft. || 13' ||2 depth charge tracks.|
|Speed. || 36 knots.|
|Power. ||twin screws, 60,000 h.p.|
- the Fletcher Class
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About this page: Frank Friday Fletcher - Admiral and Medal of Honor holder,
his namesake destroyer, and that class of destroyers.
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