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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Thornton (AVD-11)
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USS Thornton (DD-270) (1918 - 1940)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Zulu - Zulu
NIZZ
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - World War I Victory Medal (with Patrol clasp) - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal


Clemson Class Destroyer:
  • Laid down, 3 June 1918, at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 22 March 1919
  • Commissioned USS Thornton (DD-270), 15 July 1919, CDR. A. G. Stirling in command
  • Decommissioned, 24 May 1922, at the Destroyer Base, San Diego, CA.
  • Recommissioned in ordinary 24 June 1940
  • Converted to Sea Plane Tender, Destroyer at Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, CA.
  • Redesignated Sea Plane Tender, Destroyer AVD-11 August 2 1940.
  • Placed in full commission, 5 March 1941, LCDR. Wendell F. Kline in command
  • During World War II Thornton was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns/actions:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 25 March to 1 May 1945
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 20 November 1942 to 8 February 1943  

  • Thornton's starboard side was severely damaged and open to the sea after colliding with Ashtabula (AO-51) and Escalante (AO-70), 5 April 1945
  • Towed to Kerama Retto, 14 April 1945
  • Board of Inspection and survey called for decommissioning, beaching, stripping her of all useful materiel as needed, and abandoning the hulk
  • Decommissioned, 2 May 1945, at Kerama Retto
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 13 August 1945
  • Final Disposition, hulk was donated to the government of the Ryukyu Islands in July 1957.
  • Thornton earned three battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement; 1,215 t.
    Length; 314'4"
    Beam; 31' "
    Draft; 9' 9"
    Speed; 34.72 kts.
    Complement; 130
    Boats; 4 LCP(L) landing craft
    Armament
    three single 5"/50 gun mounts
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    five single 20mm AA gun mounts
    one depth charge track
    four depth charge projectors

    Propulsion; geared turbines, 26,500shp, two propellers

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Thornton 81k USS Thornton (AVD-11) in port, circa 1944. Her camouflage is Design 21D of the Measure 31-32-33 series, with the lighter color indicating that the Measure is 32 if the darker color is dull black, or 33 if it is Navy Blue.
    US Navy photo # NH 77470 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Collection, Annapolis, Maryland. James C. Fahy Collection.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Thornton 89k USS Thornton (AVD-11) plan view, looking forward from aft, taken at Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA., 14 April 1944. White outlines mark recent alterations to the ship.
    US Navy photo # NH 77471 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Collection, Annapolis, Maryland. James C. Fahy Collection.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Thornton 43k US Thornton (AVD-11) being towed into Kerama Retto harbor, Ryukyu Islands, by a fleet tug (ATF), circa 14 April 1945. Thornton had been heavily damaged, 5 April 1945 in a collision with Ashtabula (AO-51) and Escalante (AO-70). Note the deep vertical gash in her starboard side, amidships. LCT-1409 is passing by in the foreground.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-328478, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Thornton 56k USS Thornton (AVD-11) in Kerama Retto harbor, Ryukyus, circa mid-April 1945, with a fleet tug (ATF) alongside. Thornton had been heavily damaged, 5 April 1945, in a collision with Ashtabula (AO-51) and Escalante (AO-70). Note the deep vertical gash in her starboard side, amidships.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-328469, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Barb Rebold
    Thornton
    NH 103822
    53k Close up views of USS Thornton (AVD-11) showing damage received in the 5 April 1945 collision with USS Ashtabula (AO-51) and USS Escalante (AO-70). Photograph was taken in the Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands and is dated 9 April 1945.
    US Navy photo # NH 103822 and NH 103623 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Thornton
    NH 103823
    107k

    USS Thornton (DD-270 / AVD-11)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Pearl Harbor Action Report
    Back to the Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To USS Thornton (DD-270) Page Back To The Seaplane Tender, Destroyer (AVD) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 12 June 2015