World War II ASW Operations
Fletcher Class destroyers were designed as multipurpose warships, with speed, maneuverability, endurance and armament for just about any challenge. Taylor had all the equipment necessary to hunt and kill submarines: two depth charge racks aft, six “K-gun” depth charge throwers, five 5” 38 caliber multipurpose guns, and the most advanced sonar underwater contact location equipment available. Even with all this, on at least one occasion, Taylor finished off an enemy sub by ramming her midships.
Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) was among Taylor’s routine assignments during World War II. For a short time after commissioning, she protected convoys in the North Atlantic. She spent the remainder of the war in the Pacific, screening aircraft carriers from predatory submarines, protecting short-range convoys in the Solomons, and chalking up a number of submarine “kills” in the process.
IJN Submarine RO-101 Engagements
12 July 1943: Kula Gulf
USS Taylor, on convoy escort duty, picks up a surface contact, visually confirmed to be a Japanese submarine. Taylor fires, hitting the sub, which hastily dives. Despite Taylor’s dropping additional depth charges, the enemy submarine escapes. That submarine was IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) RO-101, destined to encounter Taylor again the next month, and meet her demise a month after that. Read the Japanese account of the July–September 1943 operations of RO-101 and the full record IJN Submarine RO-101: Tabular record of Movement.
29 February 1944: Marshall Islands
USS Taylor, USS Nicholas, and USS LaValette, escorting CORAL SEA and CORREGIDOR from the Marshall Islands to Pearl Harbor, obtained submarine sonar contact. After two hours of tracking and expending 28 depth charges, the pursuit was abandoned and the transit to Pearl Harbor resumed. CDR Frank’s detailed Action Report.
10 June 1944: New Ireland, Papua, New Guinea
USS Taylor tracked and depth charged an enemy submarine, forcing her to surface. Taylor heavily damaged the sub with 5” and 40mm fire until the submarine had to submerge again. Taylor made two more depth charge runs, which finally sunk the submarine.
5 January 1945: Leyte Gulf
USS Taylor depth charged, rammed, and sank a Japanese “midget” submarine. CDR Frank’s “Unlocking Luzon” (The Drive to Lingayen Gulf) details the engagement as well as the 5 January 1945 USS Taylor Deck Log.