“For exceptionally meritorious service during salvage operations after USS PRINCETON had been critically damaged by enemy Japanese action in the Battle off Samar, Republic of the Philippines on 24 October 1944. Undeterred by foul weather, fires raging on the flight deck and hanger decks of the stricken carrier, and a series of violent internal explosions, USS IRWIN (DD 794) gallantly went alongside. Operating in a choppy sea as the wind steadily rose and rain reduced visibility, USS IRWIN rigged her hoses and, despite dense black smoke and the constant danger of falling debris, succeeded in directing them on fires in the forward part of the hanger deck. Later, when a terrific explosion blew off the major portion of USS PRINCETON’S stern, USS IRWIN immediately dispatched boats and stood by at close quarters to assist in the rescue of survivors, recovering 646 men from the sea and from the decks of USS PRINCETON before this carrier was ordered to be sunk. By their high standards of loyalty, professionalism, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty, the officers and enlisted personnel of USS IRWIN (DD 794) reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Source: Warren Cobb, USS Irwin.
More: United States Navy: USS Princeton (CVL 23) is sunk.