USS Bache DD-470 (1942-1968)

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The USS Bache DD-470 was a Fletcher-class destroyer named after Commander George M. Bache. The ship was launched on July 7, 1942 in Staten Island, NY by Bethlehem Steel Company and commissioned on November 14, 1942 with Commander J. N. Opie, III, in command.

Action in World War II

The Bache reported to the Atlantic Fleet and served as an escort to a westbound convoy to Nova Scotia, Canada before returning to New York for overhaul. On February 6, 1943 the ship left Norfolk and eventually made its way to Pearl Harbor on March 4, 1943. On May 10, 1943, following a training period, the Bache left for the Aleutian Islands and served in the area until December of 1943. While there, the ship participated in the bombardment of Kiska.

The vessel operated as part of the 7th Fleet until the fall of 1944 and was part of the bombardment of New Britain Islands, Admiralty Islands, Ndrillo and Karunia Islands, as well as several assault beaches and specific targets in New Guinea and nearby islands. The Bache was also a part of the bombardment of Philippine Islands in the Battle of Surigao Strait. The ship then returned to the U.S. for overhaul.

Following its overhaul, the Bache joined the 5th Fleet at Eniwetok on February 20, 1945. The ship provided air support in Iwo Jima in February and March of 1945. In April, the vessel arrived just off of Okinawa, suffering slight damage on May 3, 1945. However, the destroyer was still able to assist the LSM(R)-195 and rescued that ship’s crew. On May 13, 1945, the Bache sustained damage from a kamikaze attack, resulting in the death of 41 crew members and 32 injuries. The Bache eventually returned to the New York Navy Yard for permanent repairs and went out of commission in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 4, 1946.

After the war

In 1950, the Bache was converted into an escort destroyer at Boston Navy Yard and reclassified DDE-470 on January 2, 1951. The ship was officially recommissioned on October 1, 1951. The Bache was then assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and made cruises to the Caribbean area for training exercises and operations, then serving in the Mediterranean.

The Bache was reverted back to DD-470 on June 30, 1962. The ship wrecked on the Island of Rhodes on February 6, 1968 and was scrapped and decommissioned there, officially being stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on March 1, 1968.

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