|Ship Class||Bagley-class Destroyer|
|Builder||Boston Naval Shipyard, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Laid Down||28 Oct 1935|
|Launched||31 Oct 1936|
|Commissioned||16 Aug 1937|
|Decommissioned||29 Aug 1946|
|Sunk||22 Mar 1948|
|Displacement||1500 tons standard; 2325 tons full|
|Power Output||49000 SHP|
|Range||6,500nm at 12 knots|
|Armament||4x5in, 4x0.50cal machine guns, 12x21in torpedoes|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Mugford joined the United States Navy Pacific Fleet in late 1937 and operated off the west coast of the US before the US joined the war. When the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, she was present, offering her anti-aircraft guns to down three Japanese aircraft. She was sent with the task force to relieve Wake Island, but that mission was called off when the Japanese completed the conquest there. She performed convoy duties between the US and Australia in the first few months of 1942, in which capacity she rescued the survivors of the Australian hospital ship Centaur off Point Lookout, Queensland, Australia, after Centaur had been sunk by a Japanese submarine the previous day.
In Aug, Mugford was dispatched to the Solomon Islands. On 7 Aug, she was on patrol off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal with other ships when the task group was attacked by Japanese aircraft; Mugford suffered three near misses and one bomb hit that resulted in 8 killed, 17 wounded, and 10 missing, but she also downed two aircraft. On 8 Aug, she downed another Japanese aircraft, this time without damage to herself, and rescued two Japanese aviators. On 9 Aug, she participated in the Battle of Savo Island, rescuing 400 survivors of heavy cruisers Vincennes and Astoria. After repairs at Sydney, Australia, between 16 Sep and Dec 1942, she patrolled and escorted convoys in the Coral Sea and in waters off northern Australia. In Jul 1943, she participated in the assulat of Woodlark Island off the eastern tip of New Guinea. On 4 Aug, she escorted LST landing craft during the invasion of Lae. In late Aug, she conducted pre-invasion bombardment at Finschafen, and remained there for support until Oct. On 14 and 15 Dec, Mugford participated at the landings on Arawe, New Britain. Later that month, she supported the assault on Buna and Cape Gloucester. After repairs at Milne Bay, New Guinea, she returned to patrol and escort duties until May 1944.
During the Mariana Island campaign in Jun 1944, Mugford escorted aircraft carriers and battleships while they attacked Japanese positions; she also participated in several night time bombardment missions during the campaign. She participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea while escorting carriers, while during the landings on Guam she served as one of the many radar picket ships. On 28 Aug, she sortied with Task Force 38 for attacks on Japanese shipping in the Bonin, Yap, and Palau Islands area as indirect support for the Palau invasion in the following month. On 12 and 13 Oct, she downed several Japanese aircraft during an air raid on the Task Force 38. In late Oct, Mugford escorted carriers Enterprise, Belleau Wood, and Franklin, damaged during Leyte actions, to Ulithi. Returning to the Leyte area, she received a hit from a special attack D3A Navy Type 99 dive bomber, killing eight men. After temporary repairs, she sailed to Mare Island Navy Yard in the United States for permanent repairs until 4 mar 1945.
Returning to the western Pacific in mid‑Mar 1945, Mugford served radar picket and anti-submarine patrol duties between Ulithi and Saipan until the end of the war.
After the war, Mugford served in Task Group 55.7 with primary task of transporting Allied prisoners of war from Japan to Okinawa and escorting carriers in the Nagasaki-Sasebo area. She returned to the United States on 19 Nov 1945 at San Diego, and underwent overhaul in preparing for participation in the Bikini Atoll atomic tests, code named Operation Crossroads, as a target. After being struck by atomic detonations, she participated in decontamination experiments. She was sunk off Kwajalein, Marshall islands in 1948.
Source: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
USS Mugford Operational Timeline
|16 Aug 1937||Mugford was commissioned into service.|
|29 Aug 1946||Mugford was decommissioned from service.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944