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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS O'Flaherty (DE 340)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - K - F - V
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Class: John C. Butler
Type: WGT (geared-turbine drive, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1350 tons (light), 1745 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 cal. DP guns (2x1), 4 - 40mm AA (2x2), 10 - 20mm AA, 3 - 21" TT, 1 Mk10 Hedgehog, 8 Mk6 Depth Charge Projectors, 2 Mk9 Depth Charge Stern Racks
Complement: 14 / 201
O'Flaherty (DE 340) Building and Operational Data:
  • 04 October 1943: Keel laid by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 14 December 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Ensign Lavada M. O’Flaherty, N.N.C., sister of Ens. O’Flaherty
  • 08 April 1944: Commissioned at Orange, Tex., Lcdr. D. W. Farnham, USNR, in command
  • January 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 9 months of service
  • 01 December 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 27 November 1973: Sold for scrapping
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    50k Frank Woodrow O'Flaherty was born in Tonopah, Nev. on 26 February 1918 to Michael and Carrie O'Flaherty. When Mrs. O'Flaherty became a victim of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, the seven children were split up to live among relatives. Frank lived with his Aunt and Grandmother in Bonner Springs, Kansas where he grew up and attended school.

    Frank entered the U.S. Naval Reserve (V5) on 25 September 1940 (NSN: 4111716) as seaman 2c in Kansas City, Kansas. He was discharged on 26 January 1941 and the next day he was appointed Aviation Cadet with special orders to NAS Pensacola to begin his flight training. He received his commission as an Ensign, AV-(N), USNR, on 12 September 1941. He reported to Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) on 05 February 1942.

    On 04 June 1942 The Air Battle of Midway began. Later that day after his squadron had bombed the Japanese carrier strike force they were attacked by enemy fighters as they were attempting to return to Enterprise. Frank's plane was hit by some of the fire and his plane began losing fuel. Already low on fuel he wasn't able to return to Enterprise and was forced to ditch. Other members of his squadron saw him and his radioman/gunner, AMM1c Bruno P. Gaido, get out of their plane and deploy their life raft. The Navy department listed them as missing in action on 04 June 1942 and presumed dead on 05 June 1943. Thought to be killed in action on 04 June 1942 while pressing home his attacks in the face of a formidable barrage of anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition, he was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism.

    After the war ended, U.S. investigators discovered that O'Flaherty and Gaido had been picked up by the Japanese destroyer IJN Makigumo on 04 June, alive and well. After O'Flaherty and Gaido were interrogated, the ship's commander had them bound with weights and thrown overboard where they drowned. The exact date isn't known but its assumed to be around 15 June 1942.

    USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 100046 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    144k 08 June 1944: Boston, Mass. - Two views of USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) wearing MS31/22D camouflage scheme. Commissioned two months earlier, on 08 April, she conducted her "shakedown" training at Bermuda from 03 to 25 May as a unit of Escort Division 65. She returned to the Boston Navy Yard on the afternoon of 29 May for post-shakedown reapirs and modifications. in the Yard from 29 May until 08 June she sailed out to Broad Sound, off Boston, to calibrate direction finders and compasses, returning that afternoon to complete minor items such as painting and loading stores. Departing the Yard on 09 June she steamed independently to Norfolk, and on 13 June left for the Pacific. In company with New York (BB 34), Trippe (DD 403), and Jack Miller (DE 410), she fueled at NAS Trinidad on 19 - 20 June. Passing through the Panama Canal on 23 June, the group moored at San Diego on 02 July.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-382849 and BS 132045 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    392k 08 June 1944: Boston, Mass. - USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) is seen wearing MS31/22D camouflage scheme. She got underway that morning for Broad Sound to calibrate direction finders and compasses returning to the Navy Yard that evening. The following morning she departed for Norfolk, Va. and change to Pacific duty.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #L45-215.04.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    39k undated: aboard USS O'Flaherty - Two views of O'Flaherty crewmembers. In the top photo, three young men work in the engine room. In the lower photo, crewmen enjoy a meal together on the mess deck.

    Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.

    O'Flaherty History
    View the USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS O'Flaherty as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    O'Flaherty's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 08 Apr. 1944 – 30 Jan. 1945Lcdr. Duane Wesley Farnham, USNR (Comm. CO) (USNA '30) (Alamosa, Colo.)
    2.) 30 Jan. 1945 - 24 May 1946Lcdr. Paul Litchfield Callan, USNR (Winchester, Mass.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Rich Sider
    Contact Name: Sid Morrow
    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
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 23 March 2023