Buchanan in the South Pacific, 3 August 1942.
USS Buchanan (DD 484) USS Buchanan (DD 484) USS Buchanan (DD 484)
“Dependable in her readiness for combat and bold in fulfilling her missions” reads the Presidential Unit Citation describing the long first wartime tour of USS Buchanan (DD 484) in the Solomon Islands, 1942–44.

Gleaves- (Bristol-) class Buchanan was laid down with Aaron Ward at Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, New Jersey, 11 February 1941. The two ships were also launched on the same day, 22 November, and Buchanan commissioned 21 March 1942.

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USS Buchanan (DD 484) USS Buchanan (DD 484) USS Buchanan (DD 484)

After shakedown, the “Buke” transited the Panama Canal and arrived in the South Pacific. Attached to Destroyer Squadron 12, her first tour included the entire Solomon Islands phase of the war:

  • In the Guadalcanal campaign August 1942–January 1943, supported landings at Tulagi and nearby Gavutu and Tanambogo with Monssen and cruiser San Juan, 7–9 August 1942, rescued survivors following the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August and participated with Farenholt, Laffey, Duncan and McCalla of her squadron in the Battle of Cape Esperance on 11–12 October.
  • In the New Georgia campaign through October 1943, Buchanan supported the invasion of Rendova and New Georgia in June–July and participated the Battle of Kolombangara on 13 July, during which she damaged her bow in collision with Woodworth.
  • In the Bougainville campaign, November 1943–January 1944, she sank Japanese submarine RO-37 and in the following Bismarcks operation in February–March, she participated in her squadron’s raids on Rabaul and Kavieng, in which she was hit by shore battery fire.

Following a West Coast overhaul, her only one of the war, Buchanan supported the invasion of the Palaus in September–October 1944, screened carrier operations against enemy targets in the Philippines, Formosa and South China Sea areas in December 1944 and January 1945, supported the operations at Iwo Jima, February–March, and Okinawa March–May, and then screening strikes by the Fifth and Third Fleets against the Japanese home islands.

Buchanan’s final wartime assignment was at Tokyo Bay. In August 1945, she, Lansdowne and Lardner, the three DesRon 12 ships present, were assigned to escort Admiral Nimitz’s flagship South Dakota into Japanese waters. In the following days, Buchanan transported Adm. Nimitz and Adm. Halsey around the bay; then, on 2 September, she ferried Gen. MacArthur and his party to and from Missouri for the surrender ceremony. Throughout September, she continued to operate in support of the occupation effort before departing for the United States, where she arrived in October.

Decommissioned at Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1946, Buchanan remained in the reserve fleet for 2½ years. In December 1948, she was placed back in commission in preparation for transfer to Turkey. Recommissioned in 1949 as Gelibolu, she served as the Turkish Navy as until 1976.

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In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation, Buchanan earned 16 service stars in World War II. She was also named in wording for a Navy Unit Commendation for Task Force 38.

Source: Naval History & Heritage Command including Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.