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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Flaherty (DE 135)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - W - S - O
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - Presidential Unit Citation
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars - WWII Victory Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 8 / 201
Flaherty (DE 135) Building and Operational Data:
  • 07 November 1942: Keel laid by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 17 January 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. J. J. Flaherty, sister-in-law of Ensign Flaherty
  • 26 June 1943: Commissioned at the Orange City Dock by Cap't J. M. Shilling, USN (ret.), representing Commander Eighth Naval District; Lcdr. M. W. Firth, USN, in command
  • 04 June 1944: Awarded the PUC for her role in the USS Guadalcanal Task Group capturing U-505 intact and returning her to the United States
  • 24 April 1945: Rescued survivors from the torpedoed USS Frederick C. Davis (DE 136), participated in the 10 hour battle culminating in U-546 being sunk by gunfire
  • 27 October 1945: Celebrated Navy Day at Tampa, Fla. in company with William R. Rush (DD 714) and Sea Owl (SS 405)
  • 17 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 3 years of service
  • 01 April 1965: Struck from the NVR
  • 04 November 1966: Sold for scrapping to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md.

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    45k Francis Charles Flaherty, the son of Francis F. and Gertrude M. Flaherty, was born on 15 March 1919 in Charlotte, Michigan. Flaherty attended Charlotte High School, graduating in 1936, and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 06 July 1940, shortly after graduating, and was appointed ensign on 12 December 1940. While serving in USS Oklahoma (BB 37) he sacrificed his life in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 07 December 1941. When his ship was being abandoned, he remained in a turret holding a flashlight so that all of his men could see to escape. When Oklahoma rolled completely over, he was trapped inside the hull along with many others. Thirty-two crewmembers of Oklahoma were rescued from inside the hull over the next few days, but Ensign Flaherty was not among them. For this supreme devotion to duty, Ensign Flaherty was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

    Flaherty and 428 other men were entombed in Oklahoma, which was raised in 1943. From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries. In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified, including Flaherty, as non-recoverable. He was memorialized at the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and a memorial headstone was placed in Maple Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Charlotte, Michigan.

    Scientists at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency have been working ceaselessly to identify military members who died in past conflicts. On 30 September 2019, using DNA reference samples from family members, Flaherty's remains were identified. His remains were returned to Charlotte, Michigan in August of 2021 and he was laid to rest in the family plot at Maple Hill Cemetery.

    The destroyer escort USS Flaherty (DE 135) (1943-1946) was named in his honor.

    (Photo from the the Home of Heroes)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    167k 17 January 1943: Orange, Tex. - Flaherty (DE 135) ready for sideways launching at the Consolidated Steel Co. shipyard.

    (Source: National Archive Photo; Courtesy of Task Group 22.3 Association, Captain Jerry Mason, USN (ret.)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    129k undated wartime image John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    102k USS Flaherty transferring a survivor of the USS Frederick C. Davis (DE 136) to a unidentified CVE.

    (Photo taken from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War 11", by Theodore Roscoe
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    50k Oil Painting showing Flaherty underway. Sam L. Massette) From The DESA archives

    Flaherty History
    View the USS Flaherty (DE 135) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Flaherty as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Flaherty's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 26 Jun. 1943 - 16 Oct. 1943Lcdr. Maxim William Firth, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '31) (Bennington, Vt.)
    2.) 16 Oct. 1943 - 14 Sep. 1944Lcdr. Means (Mike) Fernandis Johnston Jr., USN (USNA ‘39) (Schlater, Miss.) (Ret. as Adm.)
    3.) 14 Sep. 1944 - 07 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Howard Carlton Duff, USNR (USNA '33) (Sweetwater, Tex.)
    4.) 07 Dec. 1945 - 11 Jan. 1946Lt. Maurice Golden, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Last Reunion Info We Have:
    Task Force 22.3 & CVE 60 Guadalcanal,
    Spring of 2004, at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Ill.

    Contact Name: Roger Cozens
    Address: 2528 13th Avenue
    City/State: Greeley CO 80631
    Phone: (970) 352-3022
    E-mail: R. Cozens
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 21 March 2023