(DD-475 dp. 2,050; l. 376' 6"; b. 39' 8"; dr. 17' 9"; s. 37 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5", 10 40-mm., 7 20-mm.; cl. FLETCHER)
HUDSON (DD-475) was launched 3 June 1942 by the Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Henry H. Hough, wife of Adm. Henry H. Hough (Ret.); and commissioned 13 April 1943, Comdr. Richard R. Pratt in command.
After shakedown and escort duty along the Atlantic coast, HUDSON sailed for Efate, New Hebrides, where she was just in time to provide fire support for the initial landings on Bougainville 1 November. As the Japanese staged a heavy air attack 8 November, HUDSON helped repel them by splashing two "bogies" and assisting on a third. She then made antishipping sweeps in the Truk area and participated in operations against the Green Islands 1 February 1944. En route to the invasion HUDSON attacked and sank a Japanese submarine 31 January.
Following a brief respite in Australia, HUDSON steamed to Kwajalein to join the armada readying for the invasion of the Marianas. After delivering shore bombardment to clear the way for landings on Saipan, Guam, and Tinian, the tough little destroyer took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea 19 June. Here she contributed two kills to the massive destruction of Japanese planes later known as "The Marianas Turkey Shoot". In mid-July, as the invasion of Guam was launched, HUDSON steamed off the island to screen transports and chalk up another "bogie" as well as rescuing three Navy pilots and a Japanese flier. From the Marianas, HUDSON steamed to Palau to support landings on Peleliu and Angaur 12 25 September. Departing Manus, Admiralty Islands, 4 October, she reached San Francisco 2 weeks later for overhaul.
After refresher training at Pearl Harbor, HUDSON returned to battle, arriving off Iwo Jima 19 February 1945. Here she provided vital radar picket protection during the initial invasion of that enemy bastion. While retiring from Iwo Jima after the island was secured, HUDSON rescued eight survivors of a B-29 Superfortress which had crashed at sea 8 March. Her next action came as she assumed duties as a radar picket ship off Okinawa 1 April, when American troops stormed the last enemy stronghold before the home islands. On 5 April the valiant HUDSON gained credit for sinking her second Japanese submarine of the war as a 6-hour attack with six barrages of depth charges resulted in the death of RO-49 off Okinawa. Although under almost constant attack by kamikazes, HUDSON was to come through the war with only one injury of a crewman; that was inflicted when a kamikaze crashed lose aboard 22 April 1945, clipping a chief on the head with a wingtip but missing the ship.
It was off Okinawa that HUDSON earned the title of the "destroyer who saved a carrier." On 4 May a kamikaze crashed in the escort carrier SANGAMON. HUDSON steered for the fiercely blazing carrier. Despite the exploding ammunition on board the drifting carrier, the superbly managed destroyer was able to go alongside three times, getting a total of 16 hoses over the side. The overhanging flight deck of the carrier caused extensive damage to HUDSON's superstructure as burning debris-and a flaming plane jettisoned by SANGAMON's crew which crashed into HUDSON's depth charges on the fantail-caused scattered damage. When the fires were finally under control, HUDSON had suffered damage equal to that of the original victim, although the carrier had been saved with small loss of life through the destroyer's efforts, and was routed to Guam for repairs 10 May.
Promptly repaired, HUDSON joined the 3d Fleet off Okinawa 22 June and then proceeded to Eniwetok for convoy duty in the Marshalls. After escorting a convoy to the Aleutians, she returned to Northern Japan to take part in the occupation and control of the enemy home islands 8 September, 6 days after the signing of unconditional surrender in Tokyo Bay. From Japan, HUDSON sailed to Alaska where she began carrying veterans back to the States in Operation "Magic-Carpet." She then put in at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., to prepare to decommission. Sailing to San Diego 15 March 1946, HUDSON decommissioned and went into reserve there 31 May. In January 1947 Hudson was moved to Mare Island, Calif., where she remains.HUDSON received nine battle stars for World War II service.