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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

DD-270 / AVD-11 Thornton


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
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 1940 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, April 1945
    Consolidation of northern Solomons, November 1944 .

  • 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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    Thornton 81k 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 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 Thornton (AVD-11) is 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 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 53k Close up view of Thornton (AVD-11)'s starboard side, amidships, showing damage received in the 5 April 1945 collision with Ashtabula (AO-51) and Escalante (AO-70). Photograph was taken in the Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands and is dated 9 April 1945.
    US Navy photo # NH 103822 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Thornton 107k Close up view of Thornton (AVD-11)'s starboard side, amidships, showing damage received in the 5 April 1945 collision with Ashtabula (AO-51) and Escalante (AO-70). Photograph was taken in the Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands and is dated 9 April 1945.
    US Navy photo # NH 103823 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center

    View the Thornton (DD-270 / AVD-11)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval Historical Center web site
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
    Fleet Reserve Association

    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
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 15 December 2006