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USS SMITH (DD-378)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAJV

CLASS - MAHAN As Built.
Displacement 2103 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 341' 4" (oa) x 35' 5" x 12' 4" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 4 x 0.5" MG, 12 x 21" tt.(3x4).
Machinery, 49,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.5 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 158.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Mare Island Navy Yard October 27 1934.
Launched February 20 1936 and commissioned September 19 1936.
Decommissioned June 28 1946.
Stricken February 25 1947.
Fate Sold August 20 1947 and broken up for scrap.

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Namesake
Smith 136kJoseph B. Smith, born in Belfast, Maine, in 1826, was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1841. After graduating with the Class of 1847, he served at the Washington Navy Yard, in USS Mississippi and with the U.S. Coast Survey. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1855, and soon afterwards was assigned to the steam frigate Merrimack, his station until 1857. Smith next had ordnance duty at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. Lieutenant Smith joined USS Congress in about 1859. As her Executive Officer, he was in charge of the ship during the Commanding Officer's absence when she was attacked and destroyed by CSS Virginia on 8 March 1862. Joseph B. Smith was killed in action during this battle.
Lieutenant Joseph B. Smith, USN, photographed by Black, 173 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1861. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 44970
Bill Gonyo
USS Smith (DD-378)
Smith 63kUndated, location unknown.Robert M. Cieri
Smith 43kUndated, location unknown.Bill Roddy
Smith 49kUndated, location unknown.Ron Reeves
Smith 202kUndated drawing.Richard Miller BMCS USNR RET.
Smith 78kUndated stern view of the USS Smith (DD-378) with the USS Dunlap (DD-384) in the background, off Sydney, NSW, Australia. While the Dunlap is sometimes considered lead ship of a two ship class, both ships show typical Mahan class configuration, note the depth charge rails, open 5/38 mounts and twin 40mm Bofors at both port and starboard. Both ships carry SK-1 air search radars at their mast heads, with SG surface search radar mounted below. Both destroyers carry Measure MS21 camouflage scheme. Source: Australian War Memorial, Photo No.302742.Mike Green
Smith 624kUSS Smith (DD-378) (left) and the USS Preston (DD-379) under construction at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 01 July 1935. National Archives photo 19-N-17722.Robert Hurst
Smith 246kView of the stern of USS Smith (DD-378) on the ways at Mare Island, 19 February 1936.Darryl Baker
Smith 121kSponsor's party at Smith's christening ceremony at Mare Island Navy Yard, 20 February 1936. In front row (left to right): Mayor Fred Heegler of Vallejo, Major General Paul B. Malone (U.S. Army), Mrs. W.M. Hague, Matron of Honor, Mrs. E.M. Campbell, Rear Admiral Yancey S. Williams, Mrs. Yancey S. Williams, ship's sponsor, Mrs. E.D. Almy, Matron of Honor, Mrs. Fred Heegler, and Rear Admiral Edward H. Campbell.
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 75456
Darryl Baker
Smith 96kMrs. Yancey S. Williams about to christen the USS Smith (DD 378), 20 February 1936
Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 75455
Darryl Baker
Smith 160kUSS Smith (DD-378) with yard tug YMT-9 alongside immediately after her launch at Mare Island, 20 February 1936.Darryl Baker
Smith 144kUSS Smith (DD-378) on her way to her outfitting berth with the assistance of Navigator (YT-39) aft and YMT-9 forward, 20 February 1936.Darryl Baker
Smith 553kUSS Smith (DD-378) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 21 September 1936, two days after she went into commission. The destroyer astern of Smith is Preston (DD-379), which was still fitting out.
National Archives photo 19-N-17716
Fred Weiss
Smith 166kUSS Smith (DD-378) in the Mare Island channel, 18 December 1936.Darryl Baker
Smith 158kUSS Smith (DD-378) in San Pablo Bay, west of Mare Island, 14 January 1937.Darryl Baker
Smith 199kBroadside view of USS Smith (DD-378) in San Pablo Bay, 14 January 1937. Photo from the collection of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Smith 376kUSS Cushing (DD-376) at sea on 26 October 1937, followed by USS Smith (DD-378). Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 74266Fred Weiss
Smith 367kUSS Smith (DD-378) Underway on 8 February 1938. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 74325Fred Weiss
Smith 413kUSS Smith (DD-378) in San Diego Harbor, California, 11 April 1938. Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 74328Fred Weiss
Smith 328kOff the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 15 January 1942. National Archives photo 19-N-26694Fred Weiss
Smith 379kOff the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 July 1942. National Archives photo 19-N-32237Fred Weiss / Robert Hurst
Smith 93kBattle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. USS Smith (DD-378) is hit by a crashing Japanese torpedo plane, during an attack on USS Enterprise (CV-6), 26 October 1942. Photographed from USS South Dakota (BB-57). National Archives photo 80-G-33333Scott Dyben
Smith 110kBattle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942. USS Smith (DD-378) burning after she was hit by a crashing Japanese torpedo plane during an attack on USS Enterprise (CV-6), 26 October 1942. Photographed from USS San Juan (CL-54). National Archives photo 80-G-30622Fred Weiss
Smith 99kUSS Smith (DD-378) after the Battle of Santa Cruz showing the damage to the forward 5"/38 gun mounts and forecastle done by a Japanese suicide plane. With the forecastle and bridge an inferno, the Smith's captain, conning from aft, pushed her nose into the foaming wake of the battleship South Dakota. The foam and spray cooled the flames, and allowed firefighters to finish the job. Photo and text taken from United States Destroyer Operations in World War II, by Theodore Roscoe.Robert Hurst
Smith 490kUncropped version of above photo, refueling from USS South Dakota (BB-57) on 28 October 1942. Her two forward 5"/38 guns and much of her forward superstructure are burned out and otherwise damaged, the result of a Japanese torpedo plane that crashed into her two days earlier, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. National Archives photo 80-G-33379Fred Weiss
Smith 76kAdditional photo of the damage.-
Smith 100kNavy Photo 2102-44, broadside view of USS Smith (DD-378) at Mare Island, 03 April 1944. Photo shows collision damage to her stern. USS Flusser (DD-368) is inboard of Smith.Darryl Baker
Smith 112kNavy Photo 2103-44, close-up view of the stern of USS Smith (DD-378) at Mare Island, 03 April 1944, showing collision damage to her stern.Darryl Baker
Smith 121kNavy Photo 2380-44, close-up view of the stern of USS Smith (DD-378) under repair in dry dock #4 at Mare Island, 17 April 1944. USS Flusser (DD-368) is to the left.Darryl Baker
Smith 128kMare Island photo 3545-44 Smith (DD-378) in San Francisco Bay, June 12 1944. Visible aft of her is the Carquinez Bridge.Darryl Baker
Smith 154kBroadside view of USS Smith (DD-378) in San Pablo Bay, 12 June 1944. Photo from the collection of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Smith 95kNavy Photo 3538-44, stern view of USS Smith (DD-378) off Mare Island, 12 June 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 01 April to 19 June 1944.Darryl Baker
Smith 87kNavy Photo 3540-44, broadside view of USS Smith (DD-378) off Mare Island, 12 June 1944. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 31, Design 23d.Darryl Baker
Smith 85kNavy Photo 3543-44, bow on view of USS Smith (DD-378) off Mare Island, 12 June 1944.Darryl Baker
Smith 233kUSS Smith (DD-378) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 12 June 1944. Her camouflage is Measure 31, Design 23d.
National Archives photo 19-N-67558
Fred Weiss
Smith 317kUSS Smith (DD-378) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 12 June 1944.National Archives photo 19-N-67559Fred Weiss
Smith 101kNavy Photo 3610-44, amidships looking aft plan view of USS Smith (DD 378) at Mare Island on 16 June 1944.Darryl Baker
Smith 107kNavy Photo 3611-44, amidships looking forward plan view of USS Smith (DD 378) at Mare Island on 16 June 1944.Darryl Baker
Smith 532kIn Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 30 March 1946. National Archives photo 19-N-115204Fred Weiss
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTONThe President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the
UNITED STATES SHIP USS SMITH (DD-378)
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
"For outstanding performance during action against enemy Japanese forces off Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942. Although a hostile torpedo plane crashed on her forecastle and exploded at the height of the battle, the SMITH, with her forward topside abandoned and aflame, gallantly held to her screening position on an aircraft carrier and fought off attacking planes until the fire could be extinguished. Her survival is a distinctive tribute to the invincible fighting spirit of her officers and men."
For the President, Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy
Bill Gonyo
Smith 287kOriginal DD equipment plaque saved while being scrapped. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.Ed Zajkowski

USS SMITH DD-378 History
View This Vessels DANFS entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
01CDR Homer Louis Grosskopf (USNA 1916)19 September 1936 - 11 June 1938
02LCDR George McFadden O'Rear (USNA 1919)11 June 1938 - 12 June 1940
03CDR Francis Xavier McInerney (USNA 1921-A)12 June 1940 - 27 December 1941
04LCDR Hunter Wood, Jr. (USNA 1925)27 December 1941 - 01 February 1943
05LCDR Robert Alfred Theobald, Jr. (USNA 1931)01 February 1943 - 15 February 1944
06CDR Frank Voris List (USNA 1933)15 February 1944 - 27 December 1944
07CDR Emery Harrison Huff (USNA 1938)27 December 1944 - 28 June 1946

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Edwin R. Buie
Address: 3402 Wedgewood Street, Midland, Texas 79707
Phone: 915-699-7017
E-mail: EdBuie@msn.com


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 11 September 2019