Van Valkenburgh (DD 656), flagship of DesRon 58.

Destroyer Squadron 58
World War II Operations

DesRon 58 World War II operations
Destroyer Squadron 58, the last squadron of 2,100-ton Fletcher-class destroyers formed, was composed of nine square-bridge ships commissioned between July 1944 and February 1945 as follows:
  • Van Valkenburgh (DD 656), the last destroyer built by Gulf Shipbuilding and commissioned in August 1944—was taken by Capt. A. D. Chandler as his flagship.
  • Colhoun (DD 801), Gregory (DD 802), Little (DD 803) and Rooks (DD 804), the four Fletchers with twin rudders, which were built by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding and commissioned in July and August 1944.
  • Hart (DD 594) and Metcalf (DD 595) commissioned in November 1944 and Shields (DD 596) and Wiley (DD 597) commissioned in February 1945, all built by Puget Sound Navy Yard.


The nine ships never operated together as a squadron. Destroyer Division 115’s five ships arrived in the Pacific in time for the Iwo Jima operation. While Van Valkenburgh, Gregory, Little and Rooks earned battle stars for this operation, Colhoun apparently did not. The five continued on to Okinawa, where DesDiv 116’s Hart and Metcalf joined them. Shields and Wiley did not arrive in the war zone until May 1945, however; Shields’ one action was a shore bombardment mission off Borneo.


Destroyer Squadron 58
Destroyer Division 115
USS Van Valkenburgh (DD 656), flag
USS Colhoun (DD 801)
USS Gregory (DD 802)
USS Little (DD 803)
USS Rooks (DD 804)
Destroyer Division 116
USS Hart (DD 594) flag
USS Metcalf (DD 595)
USS Shields (DD 596)
USS Wiley (DD 597)
  • On 6 April 1945, against the first wave of suicide planes sent against the Okinawa invasion fleet, Colhoun was struck by three planes while steaming to assist Bush, and sank from progressive flooding.
  • On 3 May, Little broke up and sank following four kamikaze hits.


Van Valkenburgh, one of only ten destroyers to escape damage at Okinawa, received the Navy Unit Commendation for her outstanding sustained record as a fighter-director ship 1 April–24 June 1945.