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CountryUnited States
Ship ClassFletcher-class Destroyer
BuilderBethlehem San Pedro Shipyard
Laid Down2 May 1943
Launched31 Oct 1943
Commissioned14 Feb 1944
Decommissioned31 May 1946
Displacement2,050 tons standard
Length376 feet
Beam40 feet
Draft18 feet
MachineryTwo propellers
Power Output60,000 shaft horsepower
Speed35 knots
Range6,500nm at 15 knots
Armament5x5in, 10x40mm AA, 7x20mm AA, 10x21in torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge posts, 2 depth charge tracks
Recommission26 February 1951
Second Decommission10 Jan 1958
Transferred to Brazil10 May 1968


ww2dbaseIrwin was sponsored by the daughter of Rear Admiral Noble E. Irwin, for whom the ship was named after; she was also the wife of Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Jr. With Commander Daniel B. Miller in command, she held her shakedown cruise off the west coast of the United States and departed for Hawaii on 26 Apr 1944. After preparations at Eniwetok of the Marshall Islands, she sailed for the Mariana Islands invasion on 11 Jun 1944, screening escort carriers off Saipan on 15 Jun, during the Battle of the Philippine Sea between 19 and 21 Jun, and off Tinian on 23 Jul. Between 21 and 29 Jun and then in late Jul, she bombarded Japanese shore installations on Saipan and Guam, respectively. In the following few months, she escorted carriers as they struck Japanese bases in the greater Palau Islands-Philippine Islands-Taiwan-Okinawa region, shooting down a torpedo bomber off Taiwan on 14 Oct. On 20 Oct 1944, she supported the Leyte landings in the Philippine Islands. On 24 Oct, land-based Japanese aircraft attacked and scored a hit on light carrier Princeton. Irwin and other ships fought the raging fires on the carrier, and after an explosion blew off a portion of Princeton's stern, Irwin's men rescued 646 survivors. She was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation for this action off Leyte. After delivering Princeton's survivors to Ulithi, she sailed for San Francisco Naval Shipyard in the United States for an overhaul that lasted from 17 Nov 1944 to 23 Jan 1945. She returned to Saipan on 14 Feb 1945, then supported the Iwo Jima invasion between 19 and 23 Feb 1945. Between 27 and 31 Mar, she bombarded Okinawa in preparation of the landing operations. On 30 Mar, off Okinawa, she repelled three torpedo boats, sinking one, damaging another, and turning back the third. On 1 Apr 1945, she shot down a twin-engine bomber and rescued the lone Japanese survivor from the aircraft. On 12 Apr, she shot down a Japanese aircraft, and then repeated the same score again on 16 Apr. After supporting the Okinawa operation with her guns through the end of May, she was dispatched on 16 Jun 1945 to rescue survivors of destroyer Twiggs. She remained in the general area near Okinawa until the end of the war. After the war, she delivered occupation troops between Okinawa and Japan, with the first entry into Tokyo Bay on 31 Aug. On 28 Oct 1945, she sailed out of Yokosuka for San Diego, arriving 15 Nov 1945 for inactivation that took place in the following next year.

ww2dbaseIrwin was recommissioned in 1951 to bolster the strength of the US Navy presence in the Mediterranean Sea in 1952 and off Korea in 1953. Off Korea, she escorted carriers as well as used her guns to bombard shore targets. She returned to Boston, Massachusetts, United States via Suez Canal on 2 Oct 1953. She exercised the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea with NATO forces then patrolled the United States' Atlantic coast in 1955. In 1956, she served mostly in the waters in the region between Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippine Islands. She was inactivated again on 24 Aug 1957, and was decommissioned five months later.

ww2dbaseOn 10 May 1968, Irwin was transferred to Brazil. Renamed as Santa Catarina, she served with the Brazilian Navy for twenty years, and then was damaged as a practice target for a helicopter-launched Sea Skua missile in 1989. She was finally sunk in 1990.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007

Irwin Operational Timeline

14 Feb 1944 Irwin was commissioned into service.
31 May 1946 Irwin was decommissioned from service.


Preston and Irwin anchored off Naples, Italy, circa 1955Preston, Irwin, and Bordelon anchored off Naples, Italy, circa 1955

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More on Irwin
Event(s) Participated:
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign

Destroyer Irwin Photo Gallery
Preston and Irwin anchored off Naples, Italy, circa 1955Preston, Irwin, and Bordelon anchored off Naples, Italy, circa 1955

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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