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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Tuesday, January 12, 1943

Two days after Christmas 1942, Worden sailed from San Francisco to support the occupation of Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. She reached Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on New Year's Day 1943 and, on 12 January, was guarding the transport Arthur Middleton (AP-55) as that transport put the preliminary Army security unit on the shores of Constantine Harbor, Amchitka Island. The destroyer maneuvered into the rock-edged harbor and stayed there until the last men had landed and then turned to the ticklish business of clearing the harbor.

A strong current, however, swept Worden onto a pinnacle that tore into her hull beneath her engine room and caused a complete loss of power. Dewey passed a towline to her stricken sister and attempted to tow her free, but the cable parted, and the heavy seas began moving Worden, totally without power, inexorably toward the rocky shore. The destroyer then broached and began breaking up in the surf; Comdr. William G. Pogue, the stricken destroyer's commanding officer, ordered abandon ship; and, as he was directing that effort, was swept overboard into the wintry seas by a heavy wave that broke over the ship.

Pogue was among the fortunate ones, however, because he was hauled, unconscious, out of the sea. Fourteen of his crew drowned. Worden, herself, was a total loss. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 22 December 1944.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships