USS Sederstrom

USS Sederstrom

DE-31: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 9 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.) ; cl. Evarts)

Originally designated for transfer to the United Kingdom, Sederstrom was laid down as BDE-31 on 24 December 1942 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif.; redesignated for use by the United States Navy on 4 June 1943; launched as Gillette (DE-31) on 15 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas D. O'Dea; renamed Sederstrom on 30 July 1943; and commissioned on 11 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. Lyman M. King, Jr., USNR, in command.

Following shakedown out of San Diego, Sederstrom, a unit of Escort Division (CortDiv) 31, commenced her escort career with a convoy run to Pearl Harbor. Arriving on 1 December, she participated in further training exercises and conducted inter-island escort runs for most of the month; then, on the 24th, the new DE got underway for the Gilberts as a unit of TU 16.25.9. Three days later, she was diverted to Funa Futi, whence she escorted an AK and an LCT as they delivered cargo to various islands in the Ellice group. In mid-January 1944, she proceeded to Samoa for a run to the Wallis Islands after which she escorted merchant ships into the Gilberts. On 4 February, she delivered her charges to Makin; and, on the 5th, she departed for the Marshalls. From the 7th to the 25th, she patrolled the approaches to Kwajalein lagoon; then screened the transport, Prince Georges, back to the Gilberts and Hawaii.

Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 10 March, Sederstrom was underway again on the 25th with a convoy bound for Majuro. During April, she provided escort services in the Marshalls; and, in May, she returned to Pearl Harbor. On the 29th, she departed again to escort reserves of the Saipan invasion force into the Marianas. The force, Reserve Group 2, arrived off Saipan on 16 June, the day after the invasion, and cruised to the east of the island until after the battle of the Philippine Sea. On the 20th, the Army troops were landed south of Charan Kanoa; and, on the 22d, Sederstrom got underway to escort LST's and LCI's back to Eniwetok.

On 16 July, the escort arrived back off Saipan. Screening and patrol duties occupied the next week; then, on the 24th, she shifted to Tinian to cover the initial landings and subsequent offloading there. On the 29th, she returned to Saipan; thence continued on to Eniwetok, providing plane guard services for Midway (CVE-63). On 10 August, she returned to the Marianas for brief duty in the Guam Patrol and Escort Group, serving as flagship of the group when Com-CortDiv 31, embarked in Sederstrom, assumed command of the group. On the 22d, however, she departed the Marianas again and returned to Pearl Harbor for navy yard repairs.

On 8 October, Sederstrom resumed her escort mission. Initially screening a Pearl Harbor-Ulithi convoy, she spent the period November 1944 to mid-February 1945 screening naval auxiliaries, escort carriers, and merchant ships between Eniwetok and Ulithi. In late February, she made a run into the Marianas; and, in March, she escorted reinforcements and supplies to Iwo Jima. From the 5th to the 11th, she patrolled off that island; and, on the 12th, she joined TU 51.29.19 and returned to Ulithi to stage for the Okinawa campaign.

On 21 March, Sederstrom departed the Western Carolines for the Ryukus in the screen of the escort car- riers of Support Carrier Unit 1 and arrived off the southern tip of Okinawa early on the afternoon of the 24th. For the next three weeks, she screened and provided plane guard services for the CVE's as they supported the landings on Kerama Retto and on Okinawa. By mid-April, however, Japanese aerial resistance, particularly the kamikazes, had taken enough of a toll among the destroyer types providing antisubmarine and antiaircraft screens for the beachhead area to necessitate replacements, and Sederstrom was reassigned to this duty. On the 22d, she was targeted by a kamikaze, but her antiaircraft guns damaged the plane sufficiently to cause it to crash into the water about 10 feet off the starboard bow. Gasoline and pieces of metal showered the bridge and forecastle, but major damage was avoided. One man, forced overboard during the action, was quickly recovered.

In early May, the DE escorted Arkansas out of the combat area; and, on the 18th, Sederstrom herself left the Eyukyus area. Escorting Eldorado, she arrived at Guam on the 22d. From the Marianas, she returned to the Western Carolines, whence she escorted convoy UOK-27 to Okinawa. From 24 June to 4 July, she patrolled off the Hagushi anchorage; then, on the 5th, she got underway to return to the United States for overhaul. She arrived in Puget Sound on the 26th; offloaded ammunition; and entered the Todd Shipyard at Seattle. The war ended prior to the completion of her yard period, and she was ordered to prepare for inactivation. Decommissioned on 15 November 1945, her name was struck from the Navy list on the 28th; and, two years later, on 24 November 1947, her hulk was sold for scrapping to A.G. Schoonmaker Co., Inc., New York.

Sederstrom (DE-31) earned five battle stars during World War II.

Armaments: (9) 20mm AA guns

The Oerlikon gun was fielded in United States Navy ships starting in 1942, replacing the M2 Browning machine gun, which lacked range and firepower. It became famous in the naval anti-aircraft role, providing an effective defence at short ranges (in practice up to 1.5 km) at which heavier guns had difficulty tracking a target. The gun was eventually abandoned as a major anti-air weapon due to its lack of stopping power against heavy aircraft and against Japanese kamikaze attacks during the Pacific War. It was largely superseded by the Bofors 40 mm gun and the 3"/70 Mark 26 gun. It did, however, provide a useful increase in firepower over the .50 cal machine gun when adapted and fitted to some aircraft; however, it had some problems with jamming in the ammunition feed.

Dual Purpose 3/50 Caliber

Dual-purpose 3"/50 caliber gun (Marks 10, 17, 18, and 20) were mounted in fleet submarines and replaced the original low-angle 4"/50 caliber guns (Mark 9) to provide better anti-aircraft protection for "flush-deck" Wickes and Clemson class destroyers during World War II. The AVD seaplane tender conversions received 2 guns; the APD transport, DM minelayer, and DMS minesweeper conversions received 3 guns, and those retaining destroyer classification received 6.[4] These guns used fixed ammunition (case and projectile handled a single assembled unit) weighing 34 pounds. Projectiles weighed about 13 pounds including a burster charge of 0.81 pounds for Anti-aircraft (AA) rounds or 1.27 pounds for High Capacity (HC) rounds. Maximum range was 14,600 yards at 45 degrees elevation and ceiling was 29,800 feet (9,100 m) at 85 degrees elevation. Useful life expectancy was 4300 effective full charges (EFC) per barrel.[5]