USS Mayrant (DD-402)

article - USS Mayrant (DD-402)

The second USS Mayrant (DD-402) was a Benham-class destroyer in the United States Navy, the second ship named for John Mayrant. Commissioned shortly before World War II, she was primarily active in the Atlantic theater of the war, and was decommissioned after being used as a target in the Operation Crossroadsatomic weapons tests.

For other ships with the same name, see USS Mayrant.

United States
Name USS Mayrant
Namesake John Mayrant
Builder Boston Navy Yard
Laid down 15 April 1937
Launched 14 May 1938
Sponsored by Mrs. E. Sheely
Commissioned 13 September 1939
Decommissioned 28 August 1946
Stricken 30 April 1948
Fate Scuttled off Kwajalein 4 April 1948
General characteristics
Class and type Benham-classdestroyer
Displacement 1,725 long tons (1,753 t)
Length 331 ft 1 in (100.91 m)
Beam 35 ft 5 in (10.80 m)
Draft 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Speed 38.5 kn (71.3 km/h; 44.3 mph)
Complement 184 officers and enlisted
  • 4 × 5 in (130 mm) Naval Gun
  • 16 × 21 mm (0.83 in) Torpedo Launcher

. . . USS Mayrant (DD-402) . . .

Mayrant was laid down 15 April 1937 at the Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts; launched 14 May 1938; sponsored by Mrs. E. Sheely, a descendant of Capt. John Mayrant; and commissioned 19 September 1939.

During the summer of 1940, after shakedown and an extended training period, Mayrant escorted her Commander in Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on a tour of east coast defenses. Later on in the year, again escorting the President, she visited island bases newly acquired from Great Britain under the “destroyers for bases” agreement.

The following spring, 1941, as U.S. involvement in European hostilities increased, the Navy expanded its efforts to keep the sealanes open. In May, the limits of the neutrality patrol were extended and the Navy gradually expanded its responsibilities for transatlantic convoys. By September, it was officially responsible for protecting them as far as Iceland, lengthening the patrols of the Support Force, Atlantic Fleet, which had been assigned the task.

Mayrant, on duty with that force, operated off Newfoundland during the spring and summer. In August she stood-by during the Atlantic Charter Conferences and, at their conclusion, escorted HMS Prince of Wales, carrying Prime MinisterWinston Churchill, to Great Britain.

In late October, Mayrant joined a convoy from Halifax to Cape Town. Two days out of the latter port, on 7 December 1941, she received news of the U.S. entry into the war. She then joined Royal Navy ships protecting convoys transporting British and Canadian troops to South Africa. She returned to the United States in January 1942, and for the next 5 months engaged in North Atlantic convoy duty. In April, she sailed to Scapa Flow where she joined the British Home Fleet. As a unit of that fleet she participated in operations in the Denmark Strait in search of the GermanbattleshipTirpitz in addition to escorting several convoys on the “suicide run” to Murmansk.

Mayrant returned to the east coast in July and immediately put her experience to work conducting antisubmarine warfare training exercises in the Caribbean. Relieved of that duty in October, she resumed convoy work. She escorted troops to north Africa for the November invasions and screened the covering force for the Naval Battle of Casablanca off Casablanca 8 and 9 November. Continuing her support activities, she helped to insure the safe passage of supplies to the area into the new year, 1943.

. . . USS Mayrant (DD-402) . . .

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. . . USS Mayrant (DD-402) . . .