USS Fletcher DD/DDE-445
THEY THAT GO DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. Psalms, 107:23-24, KJV
The USS Fletcher DD-445 (1942-1969) was the lead ship of the most famous class of destroyers in the history of the United States Navy and the birthplace of CIC. Named after Medal of Honor winner Frank Friday Fletcher, the sleek hull of a Fletcher-class destroyer slicing through the sea with a bone in her teeth is one of the most recognizable images of the Pacific War. Baptized in the fires of the vicious night battles around Guadalcanal in November 1942, she earned her first nickname, Lucky 13. Fletcher served with honor for the remainder of the War making a name for herself independent of her status as First in Class. Whether it was the monotony of patrol duty, a flank-speed night battle slugging it out with enemy destroyers, or a pitched battle with shore batteries, Fletcher took her licks and gave back more than she got. Even when death and destruction visited her on Valentine’s Day 1945 she remained on station for several weeks continuing to perform her duties until properly relieved thus earning her next nickname, The Fighting Fletcher
After World War Two Fletcher was retired to the inactive fleet. Recommissioned in October 1949 as DDE-445, Fletcher was one of the first American destroyers on the scene after hostilities broke out in Korea the following summer. Once again her familiar and comforting profile graced the war torn waters of the Western Pacific. Home-ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii she remained a frequent visitor to the Far East and the South Pacific long after fighting ceased. The Cold War next occupied much of Fletcher’s time as she continued to show the American flag throughout the Pacific Ocean. Later redesignated as DD-445 she soon found herself fighting in Vietnam where again she served with distinction doing a myriad of tasks ranging from aircraft carrier plane-guard duty to gunfire support for our troops and allies ashore and coastal shipping interdiction. Fletcher made four separate WestPac deployments to Vietnam from 1965 until her decommissioning in 1969.
Enduring typhoons, ice storms, atomic bomb tests, back to back deployments and even one of the Navy’s first crew swaps was normal routine for the officers and men who served aboard Fletcher, therefore it is no mystery to those of us who had that honor that we also fondly refer to her as Mother Fletcher.
This site was originally designed for the USS Fletcher DD/DDE-445 however it is for all Fletcher veterans including those from the USS Fletcher DD-992 (1980-2004) which also has a web site at: dd992.org. Our annual Fletcher reunions are for both destroyers and we actively solicit and welcome all crew, family and interested parties of both ships to these reunions. Please come join us!
A special thanks goes out to Ken Grimes of OKC Broadband who graciously hosts our web site on his server located in Oklahoma City and to David McComb (1948-2014) of destroyerhistory.org in New York who provided me with a great deal of assistance in getting the original web site started in 2003. Without the help of these two gentlemen this web site would not exist. The domain ussfletcher.org is owned by Ken Grimes and operated and maintained by webmaster Earl Faubion and the USS Fletcher Reunion Group, Inc., a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1995 in the state of Arkansas.