Sims file photo [3603]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassSims-class Destroyer
BuilderBath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine, United States
Laid Down15 Jul 1937
Launched8 Apr 1939
Commissioned1 Aug 1939
Sunk7 May 1942
Displacement1,570 tons standard
Length348 feet
Beam35 feet
Draft10 feet
Speed35 knots
Armament4x5in, 2x4x1.1in AA, 2x4x21in torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge racks


ww2dbaseSims was the lead ship of her class of destroyers. With Lieutenant Commander W. A. Griswold in command, she had her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea, then joined the Atlantic Squadron at Norfolk, Virginia, United States on 2 Aug 1940. Her base of operations shifted to Newport, Rhode Island, on 28 May 1941. She patrolled the Caribbean and Atlantic waters off the United States, sailed with the 28 Jul 1941 convoy to Iceland, and then patrolled the North Atlantic before the US entered the war.

ww2dbaseOn 16 Dec 1941, with the rest of the Task Force 17 that Sims was now a part of, she sailed from Norfolk for San Diego. She escorted a convoy carrying Marines to Samoa in the South Pacific, arriving on 23 Jan 1942. Two days later, the task force sailed to strike Japanese positions at Mili, Jaluit, and Makin; the task force was attacked by a Japanese bomber at 1114 on 28 Jan 1942, straddling the wake of Sims but did not cause any damage. In Feb, Sims, with Task Force 17, patrolled in the Canton Island area. On 10 Mar, she was a part of the distant cover force of cruisers and destroyers for carriers Lexington and Yorktown as the two carriers struck Japanese positions.

ww2dbaseOn the morning of 7 May 1942, Sims sailed aside oiler Neosho in the Coral Sea as the US Navy maneuvered a powerful fleet to meet a suspected Japanese force advancing at Port Moresby, New Guinea. A search plane from the Japanese striking force spotted them and mistook the oiler for a carrier and Sims for a cruiser, and the Japanese attacked with a powerful air force. At 0930, 15 horizontal bombers dropped bombs on the two ships, but made no damage. At 1038, 10 dive bombers attacked next, but Sims avoided all bombs. The third attack wave of 36 dive bombers hit Neosho with seven bomb hits and Sims with three. Two of the hits on Sims exploded in the engine room, nearly breaking the ship in half. She sank within minutes, stern first. As she disappeared below the waves, another explosion lifted the ship almost 15 feet out of the water, and that was the last time the ship was seen. Only 15 survivors were rescued and were brought to Neosho, which remained afloat despite the serious damage. The survivors of the two ships were transferred to destroyer Henley on 11 May 1942, and Neosho was then scuttled.

ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2007

Destroyer Sims Interactive Map

Sims Operational Timeline

1 Aug 1939 Sims was commissioned into service.


Sims off the Kennebec River, Maine, United States during her trials, 6 July 1939, photo 1 of 3; note flag of shipbuilder Bath Iron WorksSims off the Kennebec River, Maine, United States during her trials, 6 July 1939, photo 2 of 3Sims off the Kennebec River, Maine, United States during her trials, 6 July 1939, photo 3 of 3Sims off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, United States, 9 May 1940, photo 1 of 3
See all 6 photographs of Destroyer Sims

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Event(s) Participated:
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Destroyer Sims Photo Gallery
Sims off the Kennebec River, Maine, United States during her trials, 6 July 1939, photo 1 of 3; note flag of shipbuilder Bath Iron Works
See all 6 photographs of Destroyer Sims

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