Erben (DD 631), flagship of DesRon 48.
Destroyer Squadron 48 was a squadron of 2,100-ton Fletcher-class destroyers deployed in a wide variety of operations under both Adm. Nimitz and Gen. MacArthur beginning in late 1943. It consisted of nine ships commissioned beginning the previous April as follows:
Destroyer Squadron 48
Destroyer Division 95
Walker (DD 517)
Abbot (DD 629)
Erben (DD 631), flag
Hale (DD 642)
Stembel (DD 644)
Destroyer Division 96
Bullard (DD 660)
Kidd (DD 661)
Black (DD 666)
Chauncey (DD 667)
  • High-bridge Walker (DD 517) and low-bridge Abbot (DD 629), Erben (DD 631), Hale (DD 642) and Stembel (DD 644) from Bath Iron Works commissioned in April and July 1943.
  • Bullard (DD 660), Kidd (DD 661), Black (DD 666) and Chauncey (DD 667), built consecutively at Federal and commissioned in April and May 1943.


The squadron formed slowly. First to arrive in the war zone was Bullard as part of a 40-ship task force centered on Essex, Yorktown and Lexington for a 5–6 October strike on Wake Island in the Central Pacific. On 11 November, Kidd and Chauncey joined her in RAdm. A.E. Montgomery’s Task Force 50.3 escorting Essex, Bunker Hill and Independence in the second of two strikes on Rabaul following the landings on Bougainville.

Destroyer Squadron 48 World War II Operations

DesRon 48 World War II operations

Flagship Erben and Hale joined them for the invasion of Tarawa in the Gilberts later that month. In 1944, the entire squadron was present for the occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro in the Marshalls from late January-March.

In early April, Bullard was detached for the occupation of the Admiralty Islands and was joined by Abbot and Stembel for the Hollandia operation in late April and May. The entire squadron operated together again in the Marianas operation and, less Bullard, remained in the theater for the invasion of the Philippines in October.

Abbot operated with DesRon 21 during further operations in the Philippines. Stembel was with her in Luzon, and then participated in the Iwo Jima operation.

The entire squadron less Abbot participated at Okinawa, where Kidd was damaged. The remainder of the squadron less Walker continued on to Japan with the Third Fleet.

The squadron was fortunate not to sustain any ship losses.

DesRon 48 in the Pacific war