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USS Luce file photo [22034]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassFletcher-class Destroyer
Hull NumberDD-522
BuilderBethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, United States
Laid Down24 Aug 1942
Launched6 Mar 1943
Commissioned21 Jun 1943
Sunk4 May 1945
Displacement2,050 tons standard; 2,924 tons full
Length377 feet
Beam40 feet
Draft18 feet
MachineryGeneral Electric geared turbines with two screws
Power Output60,000 shaft horsepower
Speed35 knots
Range6,500nm at 15 knots
Armament5x130mm guns, 10x40mm AA guns, 7x20mm AA guns, 10x530mm torpedo tubes, 6x depth charge projectors, 2x depth charge tracks


ww2dbaseUSS Luce was commissioned into service in Jun 1943. Based out of Attu, Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific starting in late 1943, she engaged in anti-submarine patrols off Attu and participated in three raids in the Kurile Islands, sinking a Japanese freighter during the first raid off Paramushiru. From late 1944 into 1945, she supported the invasions in the Philippine Islands, Huon Gulf in Australian Territory of New Guinea, and Okinawa in Japan. Off Okinawa, she was targeted by two Japanese special attack aircraft on 4 May 1945. She was able to down the first, but only when the aircraft had already closed in, thus the blast of the explosion still caused general power failures aboard the ship. Moments later, she was struck by the second special attack aircraft in the aft section on the port side, knocking out the port engine, jamming the rudder, and causing flooding. When the list became too significant, the commanding officer gave the order to abandon ship. She exploded as she sank. Of the 312 on board, 126 were killed in the attack and the sinking.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Nov 2014

Destroyer Luce (DD-522) Interactive Map


Launching ceremony of destroyer Luce, Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, United States, 6 Mar 1943USS Gherardi (center) and USS Luce (left) at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, Jun-Sep 1943
See all 31 photographs of Destroyer Luce (DD-522)

Luce Operational Timeline

24 Aug 1942 The keel of destroyer Luce was laid down at Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, United States.
6 Mar 1943 Destroyer Luce was launched at Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, United States. She was sponsored by the wife of Stephen B. Luce, Jr., who was the grandson of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, who in turn was the namesake of the ship.
21 Jun 1943 USS Luce was commissioned into service with Commander Donald C. Varian in command.
5 Sep 1943 USS Luce departed New York, New York, United States.
28 Oct 1943 USS Luce arrived at Bremerton, Washington, United States.
1 Nov 1943 USS Luce departed Bremerton, Washington, United States.
22 Nov 1943 Commander Hinton A. Owens relieved Commander Donald C. Varian as the commanding officer of USS Luce at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
24 Nov 1943 USS Luce departed Hawaiian Islands waters.
30 Nov 1943 USS Luce began a period of anti-submarine patrol off Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
31 Jan 1944 USS Luce completed a period of anti-submarine patrol off Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
1 Feb 1944 USS Luce departed Massacre Bay, Attu, Aleutian Islands for Paramushiru, Kurile Islands.
4 Feb 1944 USS Luce began a period of anti-submarine patrol off Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
13 Jun 1944 USS Luce bombarded Matsuwa (Matua), Kurile Islands.
26 Jun 1944 USS Luce bombarded Paramushiru (Paramushir), Kurile Islands.
8 Aug 1944 USS Luce completed a period of anti-submarine patrol off Attu in the Aleutian Islands and departed for San Francisco, California, United States.
31 Aug 1944 USS Luce arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
11 Oct 1944 USS Luce departed Manus, Admiralty Islands.
1 Nov 1944 USS Luce departed Manus, Admiralty Islands.
18 Dec 1944 USS Luce supported landing operations training at Huon Gulf, Australian New Guinea.
27 Dec 1944 USS Luce departed Huon Gulf, Australian New Guinea.
9 Jan 1945 USS Luce arrived at Lingayen Gulf, Philippine Islands. She shot down a Japanese aircraft while in the gulf. She set sail toward San Pedro Bay later in the day.
16 Jan 1945 USS Luce arrived at San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands.
25 Jan 1945 USS Luce departed San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands.
30 Jan 1945 USS Luce departed for Mindoro, Philippine Islands.
1 Feb 1945 Commander Jacob Wilson Waterhouse relieved Commander Hinton A. Owens as the commanding officer of USS Luce at Mangarin Bay, Mindoro, Philippines.
2 Feb 1945 USS Luce began escorting transport ships between Subic Bay and San Pedro Bay in the Philippine Islands.
24 Mar 1945 USS Luce departed Philippine waters to escort ships which were sailing for Kelse Shima, Ryukyu Islands.
1 Apr 1945 USS Luce patrolled waters off Okinawa, Japan.
4 May 1945 USS Luce was attacked by two Japanese special attack aircraft off Okinawa, Japan. The first was shot down near the port side of the ship, and the blast of the explosion caused power failures throughout the ship. The second aircraft crashed into the aft portion of the destroyer, knocking out the port engine, jamming the rudder, and flooding engineering spaces. The commanding officer gave the order to abandon ship at 0814 hours. Of the 312 on board, 126 were killed in the attack and the sinking.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Mikki says:
1 May 2012 05:39:11 PM

Seeking list of sailors who did not survive the sinknig of the destroyer USS Luce in 1945.

I am putting together a short family history for my children as to their fathers side of the family. He lost a brother on the USS Luce and I would like to know more about what his rank was and what he did while on board.

Thanks to anyone who could help.
2. neil shattuck says:
27 May 2012 07:18:59 AM

My uncle Robert Shattuck was killed on the luce
3. Fred Davis says:
25 May 2013 08:58:33 PM

My uncle James Appicelli CMM was killed on the Luce
James was in the after engine room where one of the planes hit.There is a book that I have that tells everything that happened that day. It is DD 522 Diary of a Destroyer by Ron Surels Every Memorial day I honor the Luce and its crew by wearing a Luce
baseball hat.I will never forget the men who were lost and those that survived. They were all heroes!!
4. James Robert Appleby says:
29 Sep 2014 04:22:10 PM

My Grandfather, James L. Appleby was also killed in the aft engine room. I am looking for like people who can tell me more. Thanks
Rob Appleby
5. Trish says:
14 Oct 2015 04:24:04 AM

My grandfathers was a survivor on the Luce, John Welsh. A book was written about it that might mention your relatives. DD 522: Diary of a destroyer : the action saga of the USS Luce from the Aleutian and Philippine campaigns to her sinking off Okinawa Hardcover – 1994
by Ron Surels (Author)
6. Phil Becker says:
31 Oct 2015 12:46:54 PM

I served on Luce as s/1c for only about a year--While in the Atlantic we escorted the- Queen Mary from the coast of Ireland to Halifax Nova Scotia with Winston Churchill on her as a passenger Admiral King was also on board -we also screened the Enterprise on her shake down to Trinidad. Also almost hit a tug towing a target with 5inch fire.
7. kenneth says:
7 Dec 2015 07:40:42 AM

my great uncle frank machacek went down with the ship that day. he could have gotten off the ship but he went back down to save his buddies, god bless him. thank you for your courage and sacrifice uncle frank.
8. maura fischer bunge says:
6 Feb 2016 01:03:14 PM

My grandfather, Walter Fischer went down with the ship. Stayed back to save others, Received the Bronze Star.
9. Debi Reep says:
18 Apr 2016 04:57:35 PM

My father who is turning 90 this year is a survivor of the USS Luce. Looking for any other survivors still alive.
10. Neil Shattuck says:
23 May 2016 07:10:47 PM

Debi Reep
My Uncle Robert L Shattuck went missing on that day the ship went down, anything your father remembers about the crew and ship I would love to know.
Neil Shattuck
I'm watching a documentary tonight on Okinawa and kamikaze attacks. It made me come to this page again.
God Bless those men, they are and were all heros.
11. Maura Fischer Bunge says:
29 May 2016 03:27:05 PM

Debi Deep
Please ask your father if he knew Walter Fischer, Cheif Torpedoman. He was killed when the Luxe went down. Thank you!
Maura Bunge
12. Michael Powers says:
30 May 2016 05:19:03 AM

My uncle Arthur Powers also went down with his crewmates.....Rest in Peace
13. Mike says:
13 Jul 2017 11:09:19 PM

My brother was on the Luce, survived and passed a few years back at the age of 85.
He told me that he's always thought of the Corsair as his "Blue Angels" because he watched them flying cover for him while he was floating in the water after the sinking.
Does anyone know which Marine group that might have been?
14. Connie Maxwell says:
20 Aug 2017 01:08:16 PM

My father, James Maxwell, was a crew member that survived the sinking of the Luce but never really recovered mentally from the experience. He was 17 at the time of the sinking, having lied about his age to join the Navy. Can't even imagine! His mother was initially notified that he had died and when he really did die at age 42 when he was hit by a drunk driver, she said, "could it be another mistake?" One of the saddest things I have ever witnessed. It wasn't a mistake this time. He left six children.
15. Connie Maxwell says:
20 Aug 2017 01:12:31 PM

Debby Deep:
Did your dad know Jimmy Maxwell?
16. Tracy says:
2 Sep 2017 04:52:22 AM

I saw "Dunkirk" last night and it was so upsetting; prompted me to start Googling to get more info on my dad's ship that sunk in World War II. That ship turned out to be the Luce. He was wounded but did survive. Spent months in a hospital in Oakland, CA. I was a second family so he was a much older dad and never talked about his experience. He had a lot of anger. I would love to find out more details of exactly what happened the day the ship sunk. Those men were all so brave.
17. Debi Reep says:
6 Nov 2017 03:16:44 PM

My father was on the Luce when it sunk. He was 19 at the time, today he’s 91. I’ve also tried to find out more information because my dad doesn’t talk about it much. There was a book written about it-it’s out of print. But I was able to purchase it on Amazon.
18. Jerry Lietz says:
31 May 2018 04:43:55 PM

My father was also a survivor of the Luce, There is an excellent book written by Ron Surels titled DD 522: Diary of a Destroyer.It is told through interviews with the actual crew members of the ship.
19. Terry says:
8 Dec 2018 05:47:15 AM

My uncle, Christian, was killed on this ship. If any of the survivors are still living and knew him I would enjoy hearing about him.
20. Anonymous says:
20 Jan 2019 05:03:12 PM

My Uncle John Herzog was a Survivor of the USS Luce. He passed away in 2006. He was a very good swimmer. My cousin told me of stories of what he went thru then and thru his life. I was told when they abandoned ship the ship was already starting to list. He did a cannon ball into the water and had to swim away from ship. He said he remembered a cook clinging to one of the mast as ship went down. Just when he thought he was clear he noticed sharks in area and swam towards oil slick left from ship. Not only did you have to worry about Sharks the Japanese we’re trying to shoot them while in the water. Luckily American planes came and the rest is History.
21. Anonymous says:
12 Feb 2019 03:27:13 PM

My grandfather, Robert Brown, was a survivor of the USS Luce. I wish I came across this page before his passing a few years back. Like many others he didn't talk about his experience much, but when I needed to interview someone who lived through World War 2 for history class he was able to recall the experience in great detail. Like others had noted, he also lied about his age and was 17. He recalled it being every man for themselves at the time the ship was going down. He stated that people were being trampled on the stairs. He had to come all the way up from the fire room. He was lucky enough to make it to the deck and only needed to step off into the water. He recalled there being sharks all around but said they worked together floating on driftwood and all kicked in unison when a shark came by. My grandfather received the purple heart after that day, his stomach was effected by the depth chargers going off. Thank you for the book recommendation!
22. Anonymous says:
16 Feb 2019 04:12:09 PM

My uncle, William Murgatroyd was killed on the ship. He worked in the sick bay
23. Anonymous says:
11 Nov 2019 07:27:49 AM

My dad Robert D. Harrison RM1 (P1) was a survivor of the USS Luce.
24. DAR member says:
18 Jan 2020 05:34:05 PM

We had the pleasure of having another Luce survivor speak to our Chapter today. Chief Petty Officer Jim Phillips was given a Quilt of Valor today from a very grateful group.
It was such an honor to meet him.
25. SD says:
24 May 2020 03:20:09 PM

My Uncle Robert Sherman was KIA aboard the Luce. Does any of the survivors remember him?
26. ls says:
15 Dec 2020 11:21:47 AM

my uncle urstle keck was KIA aboard luce. wondering if any survivors can provide information about him.
27. stephen gladieux says:
22 Mar 2021 06:54:16 PM

Does anyone remember The duke???
He was 3rd class radioman
real name was calvin newlon. he was 20 years old. KIA. Would love to chat by phone or email.
Please anyone? anyone?
28. Matt Studer says:
23 Mar 2021 09:50:17 PM

My Uncle Mike J Studer was KIA on the Luce and I was given some great letters from my other Uncle about this fateful time

I am planning to share this with my other family members and am reaching out to anyone else connected to this ship
29. Derry Kate Moll says:
26 Mar 2021 11:52:00 AM

My Father was a Lt.Cmmdr in the Navy on DD522. Derry Oakley Moll. I wonder if anyone remembers him ?
30. Matt Studer says:
1 Apr 2021 05:38:06 PM

An old friend of mine was able to give me the action report of the final days of the Luce and the Casualty List.

I found it very helpful
31. Ted says:
17 May 2023 11:25:32 AM

Matt Studer could you possible send me the info you have. My mothers fiancé was a Radar operator on that ship and was killed. Any info I could get would be great. Thanks.
32. Steve Fletcher says:
3 Jul 2023 08:21:02 PM

My father survive the sinking but has long since past. Does anyone know the coordinates/location of the Luce during the engagement or at the time of sinking??
33. David Stubblebine says:
4 Jul 2023 01:08:54 PM

Steve Fletcher (above):
The official US Navy Chronology for World War II lists the loss of the Luce at 26-35N, 127-10E (26.583333, 127.166667).
Additionally, the two planes that attacked USS Luce were Mitsubishi Ki-21 Type 97 “Sally” heavy bombers.
34. Joy Dunbar says:
24 Dec 2023 07:15:06 PM

I was told that my uncle, Raymond Ira Brown was a radioman aboard the USS Luce and died when the kamakaze struck the radio room. Do you have a list of those who served aboard? thank you in advance.

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More on Luce
Event(s) Participated:
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Okinawa Campaign

» The Muster Roll of USS Luce

Destroyer Luce (DD-522) Photo Gallery
Launching ceremony of destroyer Luce, Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, United States, 6 Mar 1943USS Gherardi (center) and USS Luce (left) at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, Jun-Sep 1943
See all 31 photographs of Destroyer Luce (DD-522)

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