Less Earle and Davison—the two newest ships—which were were assigned to escort convoys into the area, the squadron participated in the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. Off Casablanca on the 16th, Quick, with DesRon 13’s Woolsey and Swanson, sank U-173, which had torpedoed Hambleton the previous day.
Over the next six months, squadron destroyers typically escorted convoys along the East Coast or between the East Coast and North Africa.
In July, DesRon 15 reformed in the Mediterranean for Operation “Husky,” the invasion of Sicily. Together with DesRon 16, it formed the destroyer screen for cruiser Philadelphia and the “Cent” attack groups of RAdm. A. G. Kirk’s Task Force 85, which landed the US 45th Infantry Division at Scoglitti on the 9th. The squadron moved around the coast to Palermo after General Patton’s troops siezed it on the 28th, and then swept east toward the Strait of Messina in search of Axis shipping.
Thereafter, until the Naval war in the Atlantic and Mediterranean wound down in 1945, the squadron returned to convoy escort assignments.
It did not join Operation “Avalanche,” the assault on the Italian mainland at Salerno in September 1944, but that operation provided two highlights:
In 1945, DesRon 15 ships less Tillman were converted as fast minesweepers and sent to the Pacific in the summer as MinRon 21.
Tillman preceded them in April, and between May and September served as flagship of Destroyer Division 12 with Satterlee, Herndon and Shubrick, operating from Guam and Ulithi on lifeguard and antisubmarine picket duty. On 5 September, she accepted the surrender of Yap Island, and headed home in November.