|USS Cecil J. Doyle (DE-368)|
|Namesake:||Cecil J. Doyle|
|Builder:||Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas|
|Laid down:||12 May 1944|
|Launched:||1 July 1944|
|Commissioned:||16 October 1944|
|Decommissioned:||2 July 1946|
|Struck:||1 July 1967|
|Fate:||Sunk as target, 2 December 1967|
|Class & type:||John C. Butler-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 8 in (11 m)|
|Draft:||9 ft 5 in (3 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp; 2 propellers|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h)|
|Range:||6,000 nmi. (12,000 km) @ 12 kt|
|Complement:||14 officers, 201 enlisted|
2 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 guns (2×1)|
4 × 40 mm AA guns (2×2)
10 × 20 mm AA guns (10×1)
3 × 21 in. torpedo tubes (1×3)
8 × depth charge projectors
1 × depth charge projector (hedgehog)
2 × depth charge tracks
USS Cecil J. Doyle (DE-368) was a United States Navy John C. Butler-class destroyer escort. She was named for USMC aviator Lt. Cecil J. Doyle, posthumous recipient of the Navy Cross for heroism during 18 to 25 October 1942 in the Solomon Islands campaign.
Cecil J. Doyle was launched on 1 July 1944 at Consolidated Steel Corporation, in Orange, Texas, sponsored by Mrs. O. P. Doyle; and commissioned on 16 October 1944, with Lieutenant Commander D. S. Crocker, USNR, in command.
Cecil J. Doyle carried out her first mission while still in shakedown, when she cruised on an air-sea rescue station during the flight of Government officials to the Yalta Conference. On 30 January 1945, she rendezvoused with HMS Ranee, and guarded the escort carrier through the Panama Canal and north to San Diego, California. Cecil J. Doyle continued on to Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, where she arrived on 28 March to join the Marshalls-Gilbert Patrol and Escort Group. Her escort duties took her to Guam, and Ulithi, where on 30 April she was transferred to the Carolines Surface Patrol and Escort Group. On 2 May, Cecil J. Doyle's commanding officer became Commander, Screen, Peleliu, protecting the great anchorage in Kossol Roads.
While on patrol, Cecil J. Doyle several times rescued downed aviators, and on 27 May 1945, bombarded a bypassed Japanese garrison on Koror Island. On 2 August, she was ordered to the rescue of a large group of men in rafts reported at 11°30' N., 133°30' E., and bent on top speed to be the first ship to reach the survivors of torpedoed Indianapolis (CA-35). Her commanding officer, W. Graham Claytor Jr., approached at night and turned searchlights on the water and straight up on low clouds, lighting up the night and exposing his ship to possible attack by Japanese submarines. Captain Claytor ordered his Communications Officer Lieutenant James A. Fite, Jr. to inform command that they were rescuing the crew of the Indianapolis; this was the first definitive message of the Indianapolis's fate. She rescued 93 survivors, and gave final rites to 21 found already dead. Remaining in the area searching until 8 August, Cecil J. Doyle was the last to leave the scene. While only 316 men were rescued out of the crew of 1,196 aboard the Indianapolis, Captain Claytor's actions were widely credited by survivors with preventing an even greater loss of life.
From 26 August 1945, when she sailed into Buckner Bay, Okinawa, the destroyer was assigned to occupation duty. She sailed with hospital ships to Wakayama, Japan, to evacuate released prisoners of war, then screened aircraft carriers providing air cover for landing of occupation troops. Through 12 November, she cruised on courier duty between Japanese ports, and after drydocking at Yokosuka, sailed for San Francisco, California, arriving there on 13 January 1946.
She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego on 2 July 1946.
Other US Navy ships named USS Doyle
- Marks, R. Adrian (April 1981). "America was Well Represented". United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
- Quotes from article by journalist Don Phillips of the Washington Post in Tribute to W. Graham Claytor, Jr., published May 1994
- Survivors Groups official website for the U.S.S. Indianapolis
- Doug Stanton, In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors (ISBN 0-8050-7366-3)
- Richard F. Newcomb, "Abandon Ship!: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's Greatest Sea Disaster" (ISBN 0-06-018471-X)
- USS Indianapolis — Still at sea
- Photographs of Indianapolis
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