USS Edison (DD 439) was launched 23 November 1940 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, New Jersey; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas A. Edison, widow of the inventor; and commissioned 31 January 1941, Lieutenant Commander A. C. Murdaugh in command.

In the months following commissioning Edison operated on the East Coast, training and exercising with the fleet, with passenger and mail runs to Argentia, Newfoundland. In November she escorted a convoy to Iceland, her first of many voyages which kept the lifelines open to northern bases and Britain.

On 24 October 1942 Edison set sail from Norfolk with a task group bound for the invasion at Fedhala, French Morocco on 8 November. She engaged shore batteries at Cape Fedhala and protected shipping lying off the beachheads. Returning to Norfolk on 1 December, Edison made a voyage to gulf ports escorting tankers, and then resumed safeguarding convoys from New York and Norfolk to Casablanca and Oran.

From July 1943 to February 1944 Edison served in the Mediterranean. On 10 July she provided fire support for the troops landing on Sicily to which she escorted support convoys from Algiers and Bizerte until September.

She screened the assault transports in the invasion at Salerno on 9 September, and remained off the beaches to guard minesweepers and provide fire support for the advancing troops.

Continuing Mediterranean escort duty, on 16 December Edison screened while Woolsey (DD 437) forced U-73 to the surface with depth charges and sank it with gunfire. Edison picked up 11 survivors.

On 21 January 1944 Edison arrived off Anzio to patrol during the invasion landings. She provided fire support to the beleaguered troops and escorted transports and cargo ships to the beachhead until February, and then sailed home for overhaul.

Edison returned to the Mediterranean on 1 May 1944 for escort and patrol off Italy. On 15 August she was in the thick of the invasion of southern France. Until the end of the year, she continued to pound shore batteries, railroads and troop concentrations as well as patrol. At New York on 17 January 1945, Edison underwent overhaul, then escorted a convoy to Havre during April and May.

Edison sailed intercoastal from New York on 8 June 1945 and was training at Pearl Harbor when the war ended. She reached Japan in September for the occupation. She left Nagoya on 3 November to be a weather station in the Aleutians. The destroyer returned to San Francisco on 30 December and then continued to the East Coast, where she was placed out of commission in reserve at Charleston on 18 May 1946—later in Philadelphia, where she lay at end of 1962.

Edison earned six battle stars for World War II service.

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