Allied Warships

USS Somers (DD 381)

Destroyer of the Somers class

USS Somers during the war

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 381 
Built byFederal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. (Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Laid down27 Jun 1935 
Launched13 Mar 1937 
Commissioned1 Dec 1937 
End service 

Decommissioned 13 October 1945.
Stricken 28 January 1947.
Sold on 16 May 1947 and broken up for scrap by Boston Metals, Baltimore, Maryland.


Commands listed for USS Somers (DD 381)

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.

1Cdr. James Edward Maher, USN1 Dec 1937late 1939
2Cdr. Jeffrey Caswell Metzel, Jr., USNlate 1939early 1942 (1)
3Lt.Cdr. Arthur Crosby Wood, USNearly 194226 Feb 1943
4T/Cdr. William Christopher Hughes, Jr., USN26 Feb 194325 Oct 1944 (1)
5T/Lt.Cdr. Edward Michael Luby, USN25 Oct 194413 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Somers include:

20 May 1942
USS R-12 (Lt. E.E. Shelby, USN) participated in A/S exercises of St. Thomas together with USS Davis (Lt.Cdr. M.R. Peterson, USN) and USS Somers (Lt.Cdr. A.C. Wood, USN).

18 Jul 1942

Convoy WS 21P.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 18 July 1942.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports;
Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925) and Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

On assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.C.P. Menzies, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNethN), HMS Buxton (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) W.A. Moens, RN) and HMS Georgetown (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR).

Around 0800O/20, HMS Buxton parted company with the convoy.

Around 2300O/20, HMAS Nepal parted company to proceed to Ponta Delgada, Azores, to fuel. She rejoined the convoy around 0150O/22.

Around 0800O/22, HrMs Tjerk Hiddes parted company with the convoy to proceed to Ponta Delgada, Azores, to fuel. She rejoined the convoy around 0800O/23.

Around 0730Z/25, the destroyer HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 27 July 1942.


The convoy departed Freetown in the same composition on 1 August 1942. It was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Orion, destroyers HMAS Nepal, HrMs Tjerk Hiddes, HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and the minesweeper / sloop Commandant Duboc.

In the morning of 5 August 1942, the American convoy AS 4 joined the convoy. This convoy was made up of the following transports;
American Manufacturer (American, 6678 GRT, built 1941), Empire Oriole (British, 6535 GRT, built 1941), Exhibitor (American, 6736 GRT, built 1940), Hawaiian Shipper (American, 7775 GRT, built 1941), Mormacdale (American, 6976 GRT, built 1942), Santa Cruz (American, 6925 GRT, built 1941), Seatrain Texas (American, 8108 GRT, built 1940), Tarn (Norwegian, 6850 GRT, built 1933) and Zaandam (Dutch, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

On this convoy joining the American escort, made up of the light cruiser Omaha (Capt. T.E. Chandler, USN), AA cruiser Juneau (Capt. L.K. Swenson, USN) and the destroyers USS Somers (T/Cdr. A.C. Wood, USN) and USS Davis (T/Cdr. M.R. Peterson, USN) then parted company.

At 0900Z/6, HMAS Nepal and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes parted company with the convoy and joined the RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917) and her escort, the corvette HMS Snowdrop (Lt. P.A. Tinne, RNVR). The destroyers fuelled from the Rapidol in the early hours of 7 August 1942 when off St. Helena. They rejoined the convoy around 1900A/10.

HMS Boreas also parted company on 6 August 1942. She was also to fuel from the Rapidol.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 12 August 1942.


The convoy, now made up of the Duchess of Atholl, Duchess of York, Empire Oriole, Empress of Japan, Exhibitor, Hawaiian Shipper, Oronsay, Tarn, Windsor Castle and Zaandam departed Capetown on 16 August 1942.

The convoy was now escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) and the destroyer HMS Duncan (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN).

Around 1700BC/19, the light cruiser HMS Orion and the destroyers HMAS Nepal and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes joined the convoy. HMS Shropshire then parted company. HMS Duncan had already parted company with the convoy earlier in the day.

Around 1645C/24, HMAS Nepal and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini.

The convoy was dispersed off Aden on 29 August 1942. (2)

11 Dec 1944

Convoy UC 48A.

This convoy was assembled to the south of Ireland on 11 December 1944.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports / tankers; Brandywine (American (tanker), 11401 GRT, built 1943), Brazil (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Bulkfuel (American (tanker), 11016 GRT, built 1944), Bulklube American (tanker), 11016 GRT, built 1943(), City of Capetown (British, 8046 GRT, built 1937), Condesa (British, 10367 GRT, built 1944), Cross Keys (American (tanker), 10195 GRT, built 1943), Duquesne (American (tanker), 9933 GRT, built 1944), Empire Might (British, 9209 GRT, built 1942), Empire Protector (British (tanker), 8148 GRT, built 1944), Empire Regent (British, 9904 GRT, built 1943), Fisher's Hill (American (tanker), 10195 GRT, built 1943), Four Lakes (American (tanker), 10172 GRT, built 1943), Glorieta (American (tanker), 10297 GRT, built 1944), Groveton (American (tanker), 10296 GRT, built 1944), Lightning (American, 8591 GRT, built 1942), Lone Jack (American (tanker), 10296 GRT, built 1944), Marine Raven (American, 11757 GRT, built 1943), Martin Bakke (Norwegian, 5484 GRT, built 1936), Mauvilla (American (tanker), 10296 GRT, built 1944), Mormacswan (American, 7194 GRT, built 1939), Nordahl Grieg (Norwegian (tanker), 10172 GRT, built 1944), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936), Powder River (American (tanker), 10172 GRT, built 1943), Santa Leonor (American, 8258 GRT, built 1944), Santiago (American (tanker), 10318 GRT, built 1944), Sea Owl (American, 7886 GRT, built 1944), Seatrain Lakehurst (American, 8108 GRT, built 1940), South Mountain (American (tanker), 10296 GRT, built 1944), Surprise (American, 8591 GRT, built 1942), Talisman (American, 8258 GRT, built 1944), Tampico (American (tanker), 10296 GRT, built 1944) and White Bird Canyon (American (tanker), 10172 GRT, built 1944).

The escort carriers (fitted out as aircraft ferries), HMS Tracker (A/Capt. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Trouncer (Capt. B.J. Fisher, DSO, RN) were also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer USS Somers (T/Lt.Cdr. E.M. Luby, USN, with ComTaskGr 21.5, T/Cdr. J.F. Gallaher, USN, on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Burrows (Lt.Cdr. J. Parkinson, Jr., USNR), USS Kirkpatrick (Lt.Cdr. V.E. Bakanas, USCG), USS Slater (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Blancq, USNR), USS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Patton, Jr., USNR) and USS Ebert (Lt.Cdr. F. Gibbs, USNR).

Before final assembly on the 11th, the convoy had departed various English ports on 9 and 10 December 1944.

The English Channel section, which was escorted by USS Somers, USS Kirkpatrick and USS Slater was temporarily reinforced from 1730A/10 until 0320A/11 by the frigates HMS Affleck (Cdr.(Retd.) C. Gwinner, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Bentley ( Lt. F.L. Boyer, RN), HMS Capel (Lt. B.G. Heslop, DSC, RN), HMS Garlies (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.M.M. Stamp, RNVR) and HMS Gore (Lt. J.V. Reeves-Brown, DSC, RN).

Late on 11 December 1944, the City of Capetown and Condesa were detached to proceed independently.

On 12 december 1944, HMS Trouncer reported having a flooded compartment. She requised an escort to proceed to the Azores to effect repairs there. The requist was declined and she was ordered to remain with the convoy and try to make repairs. Early on the 14th she reported that repairs had been succesfully made.

Late on the 14th, the Lightning was ordered to be detached to proceed independently to New York. Due to the weather and the reported enemy submarine situation it was decided that she would remain with the convoy for the moment. She was eventually detached on the 19th.

On 18 December 1944, USS Somers and USS Slater sustained weather damage due to the heavy seas encountered.

On 20 December 1944, USS Somers sustained further weather damage. Also early on this day the Mormacswan was detached.

The convoy arrived at New York on 22 December 1944.

21 May 1945
From 21 to 23 May 1945, HMS Sheffield (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises in the Gulf of Maine. She was escorted by the destroyers USS Somers (T/Lt.Cdr. E.M. Luby, USN) and USS Davis (T/Lt.Cdr. T.D. Cunningham, USN). (3)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore


  2. ADM 199/1211
  3. ADM 53/122232

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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