|Namesake:||Charles E. Colahan|
|Builder:||Bethlehem Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York|
|Laid down:||24 October 1942|
|Launched:||3 May 1943|
|Commissioned:||23 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||1 August 1966|
|Struck:||1 August 1966|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target, 18 December 1966|
|Class and type:||Fletcher class destroyer|
|Length:||376 ft 6 in (114.7 m)|
|Beam:||39 ft 8 in (12.1 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft 9 in (5.4 m)|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Range:||6500 nm at 15 kn (12,000 km at 28 km/h)|
Colahan was launched on 3 May 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y., sponsored by Mrs. P. C. Hinkamp, adopted granddaughter of Commander Colahan; and commissioned on 23 August 1943, Lieutenant Commander D. T. Wilber in command.
World War II
Colahan arrived at Pearl Harbor on 11 December 1943 to join the Pacific Fleet. She sortied with Task Force 52 (TF 52) for the invasion of the Marshall Islands on 19 January 1944, and screened Mississippi during her bombardment of Enubuj and Kwajalein Islands on 31 January.
After repairs and training at Pearl Harbor, Colahan sailed on 31 May 1944 to rejoin the 5th Fleet, operated on radar picket, shore bombardment and fire support duty during the bombardment, capture, and occupation of Guam from 12 July to 15 August and screened air strikes in support of the invasion of the southern Palaus from 29 August to 28 September. Colahan screened the Fast Carrier Task Force (then 3rd Fleet's TF 38, later 5th Fleet's TF 58) as it prepared for the Leyte assault with air strikes on the Nansei Shoto and Formosa from 10–14 October, then began strikes in the Philippines until 20 October, day of the landings. Carriers she guarded struck the retiring Japanese forces after the Battle of Surigao Strait phase of the massive Battle for Leyte Gulf of 24–26 October. Continued air operations in the Philippines claimed her services until she put into Ulithi for repairs late in December after riding out "Halsey's Typhoon".
From 30 December 1944 to 22 January 1945, Colahan resumed duty as advanced radar picket for the 3rd Fleet raids on Formosa, Luzon, Camranh Bay in Indo-China, Hong Kong, and Hainan Island which were coordinated with the Lingayen assault. On 10 February, she put to sea to serve on the scouting line as TF 58 swept close to Japan for air strikes in the Tokyo area. Colahan served on radar picket duty off Iwo Jima as it was invaded on 19 February, and for 5 days afterward, returning to Ulithi for repairs and replenishment.
Colahan operated with TF 58 in preparations for the Okinawa operation, from 14 March to 1 April, screening during air strikes on Kyūshū and Okinawa. Continuing carrier task force operations after the initial assault, she went to the aid of Hazelwood on 29 April, rescuing some 140 survivors of the kamikaze victim. After replenishing at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Colahan rejoined TF 38 on 13 June for the last great series of air raids against the Japanese home islands. Entering Sagami Wan on 27 August, the destroyer became harbor entrance control vessel for Tokyo Bay until 3 September. On 8 October, she aided the Japanese MV Kiri Marti, which had gone aground on Miyake Shima, and transferred the survivors to Okubo.
Clearing Tokyo Bay on 31 October 1945, Colahan returned to San Diego where she was placed out of commission in reserve on 14 June 1946, and assigned to the 12th Naval District for use in training Naval Reservists.
Recommissioned on 16 December 1950, Colahan had training from her home port at San Diego until 20 August 1951, when she cleared San Francisco for service in the Korean War with the 7th Fleet. Conducting shore bombardment and fire support to aid forces ashore, she also had antisubmarine training off Okinawa before returning to the west coast on 10 March 1952. On 1 November 1952, she sailed again from San Diego to bombard Korean targets and screen carriers, as well as serve on the Taiwan Patrol and train off Okinawa. She returned to the west coast 1 June 1953, and in 1954-1957, returned to the Far East for service with the 7th Fleet. From 1958 to 1963, her operations have been along the west coast, training members of the Naval Reserve. In August 1961, she and her Naval Reservists were deployed to the active fleet as part of President Kennedy's response to the Berlin wall crisis. After several months of training, she was deployed to the Western Pacific on 2 February 1962. On 15 April 1962 she escorted the USS Princeton, LPH-5 to South Vietnam so it could deliver helicopters and advisors to Soc Trang. She returned from the WestPac cruise on 17 July 1962.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- navsource.org: USS Colahan
- hazegray.org: USS Colahan