USN Destroyers
A MuseumShips website

USS Hudson - (DD-475)
rr hudson


z novemberz bravoz alphaz victor
International Radio Callsign: November-Bravo-Alpha-Victor

Builder:  Boston Navy Yard
Laid down: February 20 1942
Launched: June 3 1942
First commissioned: April 13 1943
Last decommissioned:  May 31 1946
Struck: December 1 1972
Fate: Sold November 27 1973 and broken up for scrap.

Hudson (DD-475),  named for Captain William L. Hudson (1794–1862),  was laid down on 20 February 1942 at Boston, Mass., by the Boston Navy Yards; launched on 3 June 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Henry H. Hough, wife of Adm. Henry H. Hough (Ret.) ; and commissioned at her building yard on 13 April 1943, Cmdr. William R. Smedburg, III, in command.

After shakedown and escort duty along the Atlantic coast, Hudson sailed for Efate, New Hebrides, where she was just in time to provide fire support for the initial landings on Bougainville on 1 November 1943. As the Japanese staged a heavy air attack 8 November, Hudson helped repel them by splashing two "bogies" and assisting on a third. She then made antishipping sweeps in the Truk area and participated in operations against the Green Islands obn 1 February 1944. En route to the invasion Hudson attacked and sank a Japanese submarine on 31 January.

Following a brief respite in Australia, Hudson steamed to Kwajalein to join the armada readying for the invasion of the Marianas. After delivering shore bombardment to clear the way for landings on Saipan, Guam, and Tinian, the tough little destroyer took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19 June 1944. Here she contributed two kills to the massive destruction of Japanese planes later known as "The Marianas Turkey Shoot". In mid-July, as the invasion of Guam was launched, Hudson steamed off the island to screen transports and chalk up another "bogie" as well as rescuing three Navy pilots and a Japanese flier. From the Marianas, Hudson steamed to Palau to support landings on Peleliu and Angaur 12-25 September. Departing Manus, Admiralty Islands, 4 October, she reached San Francisco 2 weeks later for overhaul.

After refresher training at Pearl Harbor, Hudson returned to battle, arriving off Two Jima 19 February 1945. Here she provided vital radar picket protection during the Initial invasion of that enemy bastion. While retiring from Iwo Jima after the island was secured, Hudson rescued eight survivors of a B-29 Superfortress which had crashed at sea 8 March. Her next action came as she assumed duties as a radar picket ship off Okinawa 1 April, when American troops stormed the last enemy stronghold before the home islands. On 5 April the valiant Hudson gained credit for sinking her second Japanese submarine of the war as a 6-hour attack with six barrages of depth charges resulted in the death of RO-49 off Okinawa. Although under almost constant attack by kamikazes, Hudson was to come through the war with only one injury to a crewman; that was inflicted when a kamakaze crashed close aboard 22 April 1945, clipping a chief on the head with a wingtip but missing the ship.

It was off Okinawa that Hudson earned the title of the "destroyer who saved a carrier." On 4 May a kamikaze crashed in the escort carrier Sangamon. Hudson steered for the fiercely blazing carrier. Despite the exploding ammunition on board the drifting carrier, the superbly managed destroyer was able to go alongside three times, getting a total of 16 hoses over the side. The overhanging flight deck of the carrier caused extensive damage to Hudson's superstructure as burning debris, and a flaming plane jettisoned by Sangamon's crew which crashed into Hudson's depth charges on the fantail, caused scattered damage. When the fires were finally under control, Hudson had suffered damage equal to that of the original victim, although the carrier had been saved with small loss of life through the destroyer's efforts, and was routed to Guam for repairs 10 May.

Promptly repaired, Hudson joined the 3d Fleet off Okinawa 22 June and then proceeded to Eniwetok for convoy duty in the Marshalls. After escorting a convoy to the Aleutians, she returned to Northern Japan to take part in the occupation and control of the enemy home islands 8 September, six days after the signing of unconditional surrender in Tokyo Bay. From Japan, Hudson sailed to Alaska where she began carrying veterans back to the States in Operation Magic Carpet. She then put in at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., to prepare to decommission. Sailing to San Diego on 15 March 1946, Hudson decommissioned and went into reserve there 31 May. In January 1947 Hudson was moved to Mare Island, Calif,

Ultimately, Hudson was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 December 1972, and disposed-of, by Navy sale, 1 November 1973 and scrapped.

Hudson received a Navy Unit Commendation (Okinawa, 1 April-10 May 1945), and nine battle stars for her World War II service. 

Sources:  Navsource - Wikipedia - DANFS - Hudson's website