USS Butler (DD 636)
Destroyer of the Bristol class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||Philadelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)|
|Ordered||16 Dec 1940|
|Laid down||16 Sep 1941|
|Launched||12 Feb 1942|
|Commissioned||15 Aug 1942|
|End service||8 Nov 1945|
Converted to High Speed Minesweeper DMS-29 on 15 November 1944.
Commands listed for USS Butler (DD 636)
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||Lt.Cdr. Mitchell Dudley Matthews, USN||15 Aug 1942||17 Sep 1944|
|2||T/Cdr. Robert Messinger Hinckley, Jr., USN||17 Sep 1944||8 Nov 1945|
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Notable events involving Butler include:
11 Aug 1943
Around 0845/11, the Oran section of a convoy (Task Group 89.6) made up of the US transport USS Merak (6982 GRT, built 1932, Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cawthon, USN) and the US tankers USS Chemung (T/Capt. J.J. Twomey, USN) and Salamonie (T/Capt. L.J. Johns, USN) formed off Mers-el-Kebir. They were escorted by the destroyers USS Butler (T/Cdr. M.D. Matthews, USN, with the C.O. DesDiv 34, T/Capt. J.B. Rooney, USN, on board), USS Earle (T/Capt. H.W. Howe, USN), USS Gherardi (T/Cdr. J.W. Schmidt, USN) and USS Roe (T/Cdr. R.L. Nolan, Jr., USN). Course was set to the westwards.
Around 0215/12, the damaged cruiser HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to join the convoy for passage to the USA for repairs.
Around 1300/12, the Casablanca section of the convoy departed Casablanca to join the Oran section at sea. They merged around 1530/12. The Casablanca section of Task Group 89.6 was made up of the tanker Buena Vista (10198 GRT, built 1943) and the transports Borinquen (7114 GRT, built 1931), USS Chateau Thierry (9050 GRT, built 1920, Cdr. B.W. Cloud, USN), Evangeline (5043 GRT, built 1927), Mexico (5236 GRT, built 1932), USS Orizaba (6937 GRT, built 1918, Cdr. L.E. Kelly, USN) and Shawnee (6209 GRT, built 1927). They were escorted by the destroyers Cowie (T/Cdr. C.J. Whiting, USN), Glennon (T/Cdr. F.C. Camp, USN), Herndon (T/Cdr. G.A. Moore, USN), Jeffers (T/Cdr W.T. McGarry, USN), Murphy (T/Cdr. L.W. Bailey, USN) and Nelson (T/Cdr. M.M. Riker, USN, with the C.O. Destroyer Squadron 17, T/Capt. D.L. Madeira, USN, onboard).
This convoy was transporting POW's from North Africa to the USA.
Early in the afternoon of the 15th, USS Gherardi fuelled from the USS Chemung.
Between 0530/17 and 1000/17, all destroyers fuelled from USS Chemung and USS Salamonie.
At 1743/17, USS Glennon reported sighting a submarine while in position 36°27'N, 42°11'W. The convoy made an emergency turn to starboard and USS Glennon and USS Nelson proceeded to hunt the submarine. At 1805/17, USS Nelson dropped a pattern of five depth charges on a sound contact. At 1813/17, USS Nelson dropped nine depth charges on a sound contact. USS Glennon and USS Nelson continued to hunt the submarine until 2102/17 when they left the scene to rejoin the convoy which they did very early the next day. The sumbarine in question was most likely the German U-760 which reported being attacked by two destroyers at the same time but about 75 nautical miles away in approximate position 35°33'N, 43°18'W.
At 0702/18, USS Nelson obtained a sound contact and the convoy made an emergency turn to starboard. Between 0707 and 0715/18, USS Nelson made two depth charge attacks during which two five charge patterns were dropped. She continued her search until 0745/1 but then set course to rejoin the screen which she did at 0840/18.
At 1623/18, USS Nelson obtained another sound contact and once again the convoy made an emergency turn to starboard. Between 1626 and 1830/18, USS Murhpy and USS Nelson searched the area during which USS Nelson conducted three depth charge attacks (one depth charge, five depth charges and nine depth charges) and USS Murphy two (seven depth charges and seven depth charges), but with no result. At 1830/18, USS Nelson set course to rejoin the convoy which she did at 2054/18. USS Murphy continued the seatch on her own until 1930/18. She rejoined the convoy screen at 2330/18.
Meanwhile, at 2315/18, USS Gherardi had obtained a sound contact close aboard on which she immediately dropped a single depth charge and then turned to investigate. USS Cowie was sent to assist her in the hunt and then take over the search but neither destroyer obtained any further contacts. USS Gherardi rejoined the convoy screen at 0150/19 and USS Cowie at 0330/19.
At 0820/20, HMS Newfoundland parted company to proceed to Boston, Massachusetts escorted by USS Butler and USS Murphy. The destroyers parted company with HMS Newfoundland at 1025/21 which then proceeded to the Boston Navy Yard for repairs to her action damage. She arrived at the Boston Navy Yard around 1500/21. The destroyers then proceeded to Newport, Rhode Island via the Cape Cod Canal. They arrived at Newport around 1630/21.
At 1335/20, USS Chemung, USS Salamonie and USS Merak parted company to proceed to Norfolk escorted by USS Cowie and USS Earle. At 0555/22, USS Merak and USS Cowie parted company to proceed to New York where they arrived around 1800/22. USS Chemung, USS Salamonie and USS Earle arrived at Norfolk around 1930/22.
Around 1100/22, the main body of the convoy arrived at New York.
16 Dec 1943
HMS Spirit (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with USS Butler (T/Cdr. M.D. Matthews, USN), USS Doran (T/Cdr. N.E. Smith, USN) and USS Gherardi (T/Cdr. N.R. Curtin, USN). (1)
- ADM 173/18094
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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