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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NJFS

Displacement 3218 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 2" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.5 Knots, Range 3300 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny NJ. August 30 1943.
Launched February 9 1944 and commissioned March 27 1944.
Subject of the Bigfoot Entertainment/Daniel Foster documentary - USS Cooper: Return to Ormoc Bay
which is available at
Fate Sunk by Japanese Destroyer Take in Ormoc Bay Leyte, Philippines December 3 1944.
191 of her crew were lost with the ship and remain on duty.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Cooper 116kBorn in Monticello, Ark., May 9 1905, Elmer Glenn Cooper graduated from the Naval Academy June 2 1927. A naval aviator, he served on board several carriers. He died 2 February 1938 as the result of a seaplane crash off the coast of southern California.Bill Gonyo
Cooper 154kArtist's conception of the Cooper as built in a cutaway view 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
Cooper 126kUndated, location unknown. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 3d.-
Cooper 142kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Cooper 37kSouvenir button of the launching of the USS Cooper (DD-695) on February 9 1944. Courtesy of Kerman
Cooper 233kNew York Harbor March 25 1944 two days before commissioning.Courtesy Destroyer History Foundation
Cooper 187kNew York Harbor, March 1944.Hank Wagener
Cooper 152kUSS Cooper (DD-695) photographed when first completed, circa March 1944. Wartime censors retouched this image to obscure radar antennas on the ship's foremast and Mark 37 director. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 55382.Mike Green
Cooper 55kJuly 1944, location unknown.Pieter Bakels
Cooper 75kJuly 1944, location unknown.Pieter Bakels
Cooper 95kNovember 7 1944, western Pacific with USS Yorktown in the background.Robert Hurst
Cooper 65kCropped version of above photo.-
Cooper 53kWilliam Philip Hodnett, Jr. spent his brief naval career in the Pacific. In the early part of World War II, he saw action in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands, before returning to the United States for training prior to his being ordered as Executive Officer of a new destroyer, USS Cooper, launched at Kearney, New Jersey on 9 February, 1944. Cooper joined the fleet in the Pacific, and was also to have a short career. Around midnight on the night of 2-3 December, 1944, Cooper, Allen M. Sumner and Moale were patrolling Ormoc Bay on the west side of Leyte Island in the Philippines. Japanese forces were trying to reinforce their Leyte garrison through the port of Ormoc. First, the destroyers were attacked by enemy aircraft, but the planes were beaten off by AA fire; Cooper shot down two dive bombers. At 0002, Cooper made her first surface contact and opened fire at 12,000 yards on an enemy destroyer close inshore, Cooper closing in fast and raking the Japanese ship from stern to stern for eight minutes until it caught fire and began to sink. Next, Cooper detected another one or two small transport ships to the south, again closing and opening fire. At least one of these ships, with troops on board, was sunk. At 1217, either a mine or a torpedo struck Cooper amidships; she listed 45 degrees, broke in two and sank within seconds, with the loss of half on board, ten officers and 161 crew members -- LCDR Hodnett went down with the ship. The survivors, who were rescued after 15 hours in the water, praised their Executive Officer for his stern insistence on wearing life jackets at battle stations; Bill lost his own life, but his orders saved the lives of many others. For this and other vital actions by Bill during the battle, the Secretary of the Navy posthumously awarded him the Bronze Star Medal. Photo is of him as a Midshipman.Bill Gonyo
Cooper   Cooper   Cooper
Cooper   Cooper   Cooper
In memory of all those lost aboard the Cooper, the above memories are from the family of S2c Samuel Otto Rector USNR who died during the Battle of Ormoc Bay on December 2-3 1944. These memories were also experienced by Samuel's 190 other shipmates who perished that night.
Phyllis Crenshaw
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS COOPER DD-695 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

CDR John William Schmidt    Mar 27 1944 - Oct 21 1944 (Later RADM)
CDR Mell Andrew Peterson Jr.    Oct 21 1944 - Dec 3 1944

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Battle of Ormoc Bay Association
Contact Name: John Moale III

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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