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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NIBS

Displacement 2395 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 348' 4"(oa) x 36' 1" x 13' 2" (Max)
Armament 4 x 5"/38AA, 6 x 0.5" MG, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 50,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 208.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath Me. October 9 1939.
Launched February 12 1941 and commissioned May 7 1941.
Decommissioned June 13 1946.
Stricken July 1 1971.
Fate Sold June 12 1974 Andy International and broken up for scrap.

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Melancthon Taylor Woolsey

Melancthon Brooks Woolsey

Melancthon Taylor Woolsey was born near Plattsburg, New York, in 1782. He joined the Navy as a Midshipman in April 1800, during the Quasi-War with France, making a cruise in the frigate Adams during that year and the next. In 1805 he participated in operations late in the war with Tripoli, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1807. After developing a signal code for the Navy, in 1808 Lt. Woolsey was assigned to supervise the building of the brig Oneida for service on Lake Ontario, and commanded her from the time of commissioning in 1810 through the first year of the War of 1812. Promoted to Master Commandant in 1813, Woolsey continued his important work on Lake Ontario, taking part in several actions ashore and afloat. When the conflict ended early in 1815, he remained on the lake station for nearly another decade, with the rank of Captain from 1816 onward. Captain Woolsey was at sea as Commanding Officer of the frigate Constellation during 1824-1827, and was Commandant of the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida from late 1827 into 1831. With the courtesy title of Commodore, he commanded the Brazilian Station in 1832-1834. His final active service was supervising survey work on the Chesapeake Bay in 1836-1837. His health was by then failing, and Commodore Woolsey died at Utica, New York, on 18 May 1838.

Melancthon Brooks Woolsey, the son of Captain Melancthon Taylor Woolsey, USN, was born at Sacketts Harbor, New York, on 11 August 1817. His Naval service began as a Midshipman in September 1832 and he rose in rank to Lieutenant by 1847. In September 1855, Lt. Woolsey was placed on the reserve list, but was recalled to active service after the Civil War began in 1861. From late in that year until mid-1862 he commanded the gunboat Ellen during active operations along the Confederate coast from South Carolina to Florida. In July 1862 Commander Woolsey took command of the sloop of war Vandalia and in early 1863 became Commanding Officer of the steam gunboat Princess Royal, in which he served in the Gulf of Mexico until the war ended in 1865. Captain Woolsey commanded the steam sloop Pawnee and the much larger Guerriere in the south Atlantic during the last years of the decade. Promoted to Commodore in 1871, he was in charge of the South Atlantic Station and, in 1873-1874, of the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida. He died in of yellow fever at Pensacola on 2 October 1874. The U.S. Navy has named one destroyer in honor of Commodore Melancthon Brooks Woolsey: USS Woolsey (DD-437), 1941-1974. Photo #: KN-10908. Lieutenant Melancthon Brooks Woolsey, USN (1817-1874) oil on canvas, 30" x 25", by Henry Woodward (active 1848-1852). Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Transferred from the U.S. Naval Lyceum, 1892. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.
Bill Gonyo

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure commending the


for service as follows:
"For extremely meritorious service in support of military operations during the invasion of Sicily and off Ligeta, Gela and Salerno, from July 9 to August 25 and from September 9 to 15, 1943; in the Oran Area, December 16, 1943; off Anzio, Italy, from January 21 to February 17, 1944; and off the coast of Southern France, from August 15 to September 23, 1944, and from October 21 to November 28, 1944. Engaged in numerous shore bombardments on enemy coastal defenses and in providing fire support for our amphibious landings in scattered Mediterranean Areas, the U.S.S. WOOLSEY repeatedly penetrated hazardous mine-infested waters and despite frequent hostile counter-battery fire, delivering devastating barrages, accounting for the destruction of an enemy railway battery, gun emplacements and tank concentrations. Vigilant and relentless in covering her assigned areas, she contacted and tracked down the U-73 without the assistance of aircraft and, dropping but one pattern of depth charges, crippled the undersea craft and finished it off by gunfire. The WOOLSEY’s inspiring combat achievements exemplify the superb teamwork and indomitable fighting spirit of her officers and men and reflect the highest credit upon herself and the United States Naval Service."
All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. WOOLSEY during one or more of the above periods are hereby authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
Woolsey 82kArtist's conception of the Woolsey as she appeared in World War II by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Woolsey 256kUndated, location unknown.-
Woolsey 89kUndated, location unknown.-
Woolsey 74kUndated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Woolsey 153kThe Woolsey's Telephone Directory which Ed removed while the Woolsey was in Philadelphia Navy Yard on August 13 1974.Ed Zajkowski
Woolsey 76kUSS Woolsey (DD-437) Launching, at the Bath Iron Works shipyard, Bath, Maine, 12 February 1941. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photo Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Woolsey 105kUSS Woosley (DD-437) Kennebec River, Maine, during her builder's trials, 22 April 1941. Note that Woolsey carries both sets of torpedo tubes, but only has one 5"/38 gun installed.Ron Titus/Captain Jerry Mason USN
Woolsey 101kUSS Woolsey (DD-437) Off Kennebec River, Maine, during her builder's trials, 22 April 1941. Note the Bath Iron Works flag at the top of her foremast. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photo Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Woolsey 132kUSS Woolsey (DD-437) Off Kennebec River, Maine, during her builder's trials, 22 April 1941. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photo Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Woolsey 62kUSS Woolsey (DD-437) underway in 1941, four months after joining the fleet, location unknown. Charles W. Hatch.Robert Hurst
Woolsey 105kUSS Woolsey (DD-437) off Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, following overhaul, 5 August 1942. Courtesy of the James C. Fahey Collection, U.S. Naval Institute (USN Photo No NH 93173.Robert Hurst
Woolsey 64kMothballed along side CVE-28 Chenango, South Boston Naval Annex, 1959.© Richard Leonhardt
Woolsey 65kSouth Boston Naval Annex, September 1960.© Richard Leonhardt
Woolsey 57kThe USS Laub (DD-613), USS Woolsey (DD-437) and the USS Heermann (DD-532) at South Boston Naval Annex.© Richard Leonhardt
Bids   Bids   Bids   Bids
Bids   Bids   Bids
Sealed Bid pamphlet - Spring 1974
Ron Reeves

USS WOOLSEY DD-437 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR William Henry Von Dreele    May 7 1941 - Feb 21 1942

CDR Bernard Lige (Count) Austin     Feb 21 1942 - Dec 1 1942 (Later VADM)

CDR Henry Robert Wier    Dec 1 1942 - Feb 28 1945

CDR William Marshall Shifflette    Feb 28 1945 - Jun 13 1946   

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: John Kenes
Address: 108 Wayside Dr, Uniontown, PA 15401-9702
Phone: 412-437-1220
E-mail: None

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 03 December 2017