Mahan file photo [4316]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassMahan-class Destroyer
BuilderUnited Dry Docks, Inc., Staten Island, New York, United States
Laid Down12 Jun 1934
Launched15 Oct 1935
Commissioned18 Sep 1936
Sunk7 Dec 1944
Displacement1,460 tons standard
Length341 feet
Beam35 feet
Draft10 feet
Speed35 knots
Armament5x5in, 12x21in torpedo tubes


ww2dbaseMahan was the lead ship of her class of destroyers, named after Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. Her training cruise, which also doubled as a good will tour to Caribbean and South American ports, began on 16 Nov 1937 and completed in Jan 1937. She patrolled the east coast of the United States until Jul 1937, and then sailed for the Pacific Ocean. Between 1938 and the start of the Pacific War in Dec 1941, she served mostly on the west coast of the United States and Hawaii, conducting training cruises and participating in exercises. After the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 Dec 1941, Mahan was among the task force sent to search and intercept the Japanese fleet, but the ships came home empty handed; she returned to Pearl Harbor on 12 Dec. In late Dec 1941, she carried reinforcements to the US Marine detachment at Johnston Island and then assisted with the evacuation of Johnston civilians to Hawaii. Between 24 Feb and 24 Mar, she patrolled off Canton Island, halfway between Hawaii and Fiji. After overhaul at the United States, she returned to the Pacific in Oct 1942; en route with Lamson, she conducted a raid on Japanese patrol boats south of the Gilbert Islands, sinking two. Late that month, she participated in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, downing four aircraft during the battle and then at 0414 on 30 Oct collided with battleship South Dakota as they both maneuvered to avoid a submarine contact. Mahan's bow was turned to port and crumpled to frame 14, and a fire, soon brought under control, started in her forward hold. After temporary repairs at Noumea, New Caledonia, she proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she was quickly given a new bow. She returned to the front on 9 Jan 1943, escorting convoys between the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Fiji Islands. In Mar and Jul, she operated off New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Australia. On 9 Aug, she participated in the landing operations at Nassau Bay, then on 22 and 23 Aug the bombardment at Finschhafen. Between 4 and 8 Sep, she covered the landings at Lae. On 22 Sep, she covered the landing of Australian troops at Finschhafen, in which action she downed three Japanese aircraft. In Dec 1943, she bombarded Japanese installations in New Britain. On 26 Dec, she provided gunfire support for the Cape Gloucester landings. On 28 Feb 1944, she bombarded Los Negros Island. In spring 1944, she returned to the United States for overhaul. She returned to duty in Jul and escorted convoys between Hollandia and Leyte. On 7 Dec 1944, while patrolling between Leyte and Ponson Island in the Philippine Islands, she was attacked by Japanese aircraft. She shot down three, but was unable to stop three special attack aircraft diving at her. The three crashes started a fire. Mahan was abandoned and sunk by Walke's gunfire an hour later.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007

Destroyer Mahan Interactive Map

Mahan Operational Timeline

18 Sep 1936 Mahan was commissioned into service.


Mahan off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, United States, 28 Apr 1942Mahan maneuvering near a battleship and a destroyer, Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 Oct 1942South Dakota, DD Mahan, DD Lamson repaired by USS Prometheus at Nouméa, New Caledonia, Nov 1942

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More on Mahan
Event(s) Participated:
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

Destroyer Mahan Photo Gallery
Mahan off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, United States, 28 Apr 1942
See all 3 photographs of Destroyer Mahan

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