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USS Patterson (DD392) Cartoons and Sketches — 13 Comments

  1. Greetings! No, he was not one of the 3 killed on the Patterson. He did serve on the Patterson for some time, but was transferred to the USS Wadsworth (DD516) on which he served as an Electrician’s Mate. On November 1, 1943, Japanese planes attacked the Wadsworth with several bombs landing nearby. Two crewmen were killed including Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Libby. On the November 5th Report of Changes for the USS Wadsworth he is listed as “Killed in action against the enemy”

    My quick scan of information seems to put Mr. Libby on the Patterson during the Pearl Harbor attack. I can verify this with certainty if you would like.

    Dave

    • Thank you very much, Dave. Yes I would appreciate whatever information you could provide. Forgive my ignorance about this but do all those that are KIA receive, or next of kin, receive a purple heart? If so I was wanting to enroll him in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

      • Technically, Mr Libby should have been awarded a Purple Heart. I found an Action Report from the USS Wadsworth indicating that the CO intended to recommend the dead and wounded from the November 1, 1943 attack for the award. To determine if the award was, in fact, officially given you would need to get a copy of Mr. Libby’s DD-214. The WWII Museum in New Orleans has recently published a guide for this and other types of research on military records https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/family-research-guide. I am going to send you a graphic (to the email listed on your reply) of the Wadsworth’s Report of Changes that indicates Mr. Libby’s death. I found that the casualties of that November action were caused by shrapnel from bombs landing close to the ship. She shot down two of the attacking planes.

        As best I can tell, Mr. Libby was stationed on the USS Patterson (DD392) during the Pearl Harbor attack. Whether he was actually on the ship or on leave in town at the time, I do not know. He also appears to have been on the Patterson during one of her most heroic efforts, The Battle of Savo Island during which the Pat picked up hundreds of survivors of the sinking HMAS Canberra (Australia’s flagship at the time).

        I also find that someone uploaded a picture of Mr. Libby and a picture of his gravestone to Fold3, an online database of many military records. If I find any additional information, I’ll pass it along to you.

        Dave

  2. My dad, Eugene Figgins, was a radioman on the Patterson from 1943-1945. Is there anything about him in the book that you have? Is there a website for photos? I’ve got a few that were probably mass produced for the crew. I could post them if possible.

    • Greetings, Steve!

      My Father-in=Law was an officer on the Patterson, and like your father, served on her until her decommissioning. I posted all the photos that he had plus a few that I got from the National Archives in a Flikr album that you can find here https://www.flickr.com/photos/socpsy/albums/72157685710081226. Some of those photos, I believe, fall into the category you mentioned. I believe that they were mass-produced for the crew. Fortunately, there are several of my father-in-law alone while onboard or with his good friend Chief Sorenson. I also posted all of his reunion photos in separate albums that you can find at that same Flikr site. I would be interested to know if you have other photos.

      The 2-volume set of books edited by Roy Bergstrom mention your father twice. Once on a crew list and then in an appendix listing as many addresses as Mr Bergstrom could get when the book was compiled. My wife and I had my father-in-law’s 2 volumes hard-bound and they now reside at the U.S. Navy Library in DC. I had the volumes digitized in searchable form. If you would be interested in having the digitized copies, we could arrange for you to download them. I also have access to some Reports of Changes and Muster Roles. I’d be happy to pass those on to you if you are interested. For example, I just looked at the RC that shows your father’s change in rating from Seaman to Radioman.

      My goal is to get as much of the Patterson’s lore “out there” as possible. Of the thousands of ships operated by the Navy, only about 21 received more battle stars. She had a pretty good run!

      Dave

      • Thanks Dave. My dad passed away in November 1999. He suffered from PTSD his whole entire life. He told me that he broke down during the Okinawa battle due to endless kamikaze attacks. I would have to say that a large part of him died on the Pat during the war. I’ve got his medals hanging on my wall with a picture of him and his “Tin Can”. I just ordered a resin model of the Patterson from a model company on the internet. I can send you that information if you want it. Let me know where I can send pictures to you and I’ll send anything that you don’t have.

        • I am so sorry to hear about the effects of the war on your father. The Pat was certainly in the thick of battle on many occasions. One of her commanders was cited for his skill at maneuvering the Pat and breaking up enemy plane formations at the Battle of the Philippine Sea https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/56649. So many of the sailors were just out of high school. I can’t imagine what their experiences were like. My father-in-law was one of the “old” guys on the ship. He was 28 when he reported for duty on the Pat and was actually older than at least one of the commanders of the ship.

          I would be interested in any photos you have that I do not have. Are they digitized? I scanned all of our photos for posting online. Because we don’t have any family members to pass them on to, I gave them to a historian friend of mine. He occasionally teaches a course on the war in the Pacific and he actually uses the Patterson as a way to help students track the war because she was so active across the Pacific.

  3. I’ve also get pictures from several of the reunions that my dad attended. Do you know if any of the crew is still living?

    • I do not know of any surviving crew members. My father-in-law and mother-in-law attended every reunion for quite a few years until he became unable to travel. She continued to attend reunions for many years, including the trip to Australia for ANZAC Day.

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