If you can see this text here you should update to a newer web browser

Normal | Highlight & Comment Highlighted Text will be in Yellow, but there are none yet



Cause of Damage: 2 Torpedoes
Date: 6 October 1943
Place: PORTER (DD 356)
Class: Vella La Vella
Standard Displacement: 1850 tons
Length Overall: 381'
Extreme Beam: 37'
Draft Before Damage: 13' 3"
Launched: 18 April 1936


1.     On the night of 7 - 8 October 1943, SELFRIDGE was unit of a task force assigned the mission of intercepting and destroying Japanese forces attempting to evacuate enemy troops from Vella La Vella Island. At 2300, SELFRIDGE had turned to engage a group of enemy destroyers. At 2305, two torpedoes were seen approaching from a relative bearing of 330°. The Commanding Officer maneuvered to avoid these and other torpedoes reported on the starboard bow. At 2306-1/2, a torpedo detonated at about frame 40, starboard. There was some indication that a second torpedo detonated almost simultaneously at frame 30, port. The bow severed completely at about frame 40 and floated aft on the starboard side. The extensive structural damage to SELFRIDGE is shown on Plate 32 and Photos 57 and 58. The engineering plant was intact. About one minute after damage, the ship backed full until sternway was gained, then the engines were stopped. Damage control measures were effected and after 40 minutes, SELFRIDGE proceeded at 10 knots to Purvis Bay, a distance of 120 miles.

2.     At Purvis Bay, where no drydocking facilities were available, repairs were undertaken by ARISTAEUS (ARB-1). Damage to fuel oil tanks had spread oil over most of the wreckage, and ammunition was present in the remains of the various magazines, handling rooms and hoists. Before undertaking burning or removal of any major portion of the wreckage, it was necessary to reduce the fire hazard. After this had been completed, all salvageable equipment and wreckage were removed. From the keel to second platform all structure forward of frame 51 was removed; between the main deck and second platform, structure was removed forward of frame 55; and above the main deck, all structure forward of frame 52-1/2 was removed (Photo 59).

3.     The principal repairs were: (Photos 60 and 61)

       (a)  The transverse bulkhead at frame 59 between the first platform and main deck was partially replaced.





Espiritu Santos on 16 September. The following repairs were made by 0'BRIEN, CURTISS and the 7th Construction Battalion.

      (b)  Web frame 55 was repaired where necessary at the first platform and main deck levels. Stanchions were installed under it to support the superstructure.
      (c)  Shell plating and longitudinals were replaced between the first platform and main deck, frames 55 to 59, starboard.
      (d)  Bulkheads were reinforced in A-2F, A-3F, A-6F, A-7F, A-8F and A-11F. Cable trunks A-9T, A-10T, and A-208T were blanked.
      (e)  A temporary bow was installed above the first platform. The stem, fabricated from 15# plate, extended from frame 49 at the forecastle to frame 49-1/2 at the first platform. 10" centerline longitudinals were extended forward to meet the stem. At the forecastle and main deck levels these longitudinals were fabricated from 10# plate. A 10" I beam was used on the first platform. A 10" transverse web frame was constructed at frame 52 1/2 under the main and forecastle decks. Forward of this frame, the main and forecastle decks were completed with 7-1/2# plate. No deck was installed at the first platform level. The 10# flat shell plating of the temporary bow extended from the stem back to the shell at frame 55 (Photo 62).
      (f)  A temporary bulkhead of 7 1/2# plate was installed between the forecastle and superstructure decks at frame 53 to close the forward end of the deckhouse.
      (g)  An inclining experiment was conducted to verify the initial stability of SELFRIDGE.

4.     On 23 November, SELFRIDGE got underway for Noumea, New Caledonia, arriving 1 December. There she was drydocked in ARD-2. The structure remaining below the waterline was trimmed to permit the use of straight structural shapes and flat plates in completing the temporary bow structure below the waterline. Bulkhead 55 was stiffened by installing a horizontal 10" I at the second platform level. The stem was made from a 10" I installed from the keel at frame 52 to the lst platform. Similar girders were installed at the 2nd platform level from the center and ends of the I beams used to stiffen bulkhead 55 (Photo 63). Flat plating was then installed (Photos 64 and 65).


- 70 -

Photo 57: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) SELFRIDGE (DD 357) View from port bow showing torpedo damage to SELFRIDGE. Note sagging of structure forward of frame 52 and failure of deck house.
Photo 58: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) Starboard side view of torpedo damage to SELFRIDGE. Shell plating below main deck carried away as bow tore off.
Photo 59: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) View of bow after removal of wreckage and start of temporary repairs.
Photo 60: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) Looking aft and to port at repairs between first platform and main deck.
Photo 61: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) Looking aft and to starboard at temporary repairs between first platform and main deck.
Photo 62: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) View of plating on temporary bow installed at Purvis Bay.
Photo 63: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) View while drydocked in ARD-2, after removal of below water structure and during process of installing stem and supporting girder.
Photo 64: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) View in ARD-2 after plating had been installed on temporary bow.
Photo 65: SELFRIDGE (DD 357) Underway after installation of temporary bow.
Plate 32: U.S.S. SELFRIDGE DD-357 Torpedo Damage

National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, Entry 59A-271 "13th Naval District Bremerton, Washington" General Correspondance 1947-1958
"Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II" -BuShips Booklet dated December 1949.

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

Selfridge Home | Repairs in Forward Areas Home | Ships Home | Researcher@Large Home