Ellyson in the Atlantic early in World War II.
The second Bristol-class destroyer was one that, as flagship of Destroyer Squadron 10 in the Atlantic and Mine Squadron 20 in the Pacific, operated with the British Home Fleet, supported the invasions of North Africa, Normandy and south France, was first to arrive at Okinawa, and closed World War II by preparing the way for the Allied Third Fleet’s grand entrance into Tokyo Bay, 29 August 1945.

USS Ellyson—known to her crew as the “Elly Mae”—was laid down as DD 454 on 2 December 1940 with Bristol at Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, New Jersey. The two ships were also launched the same day, 25 July 1941, the first destroyers of the repeat 1,630-ton Gleaves-class completed at Federal. Named for the US Navy’s naval aviator No. 1, Ellyson commissioned 28 November. After shakedown, as flagship of Destroyer Squadron 10, she operated with Destroyer Division 19—Federal-built sisters Hambleton and Rodman plus Emmons and Macomb from Bath Iron Works.

Deployed mainly in the Atlantic and later in the Mediterranean Sea over the next two years, Ellyson led her division in providing gunfire support off Utah Beach during the Normandy landings and in the bombardment of Cherbourg before returning with the squadron to the Mediterranean for the invasion of southern France.

Converted at Boston as fast minesweeper DMS 19 in November–December 1944, Ellyson with her squadron then went to the Pacific as flagship of Mine Squadron 20 for the invasion of Okinawa. There, northeast of Ie Shima in the early hours of 7 April 1945, she scuttled Emmons with gunfire after that ship had been gutted by five kamikaze hits and four near misses the previous day.

Ellyson earned four bronze service stars her European-African-Middle Eastern Area Service Ribbon and three on her Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon in World War II.

After World War II, Ellyson and her minesweep sisters remained in commission as Mine Division 4 until 4 May 1954, when she was reclassified DD 454. Decommissioned 19 October 1954, she was transferred to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, she served in the Japanese Navy as Asakaze (“morning sea breeze”) until 1972, when she was scrapped.