USS McKean (Destroyer No. 90), a 1,060-ton Wickes-class destroyer built at San Francisco, California, was commissioned in February 1919. She served in the Atlantic during 1919–1922, making one deployment to European waters in May–July 1919. Decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in June 1922, she remained in reserve until mid-1940, when she was reclassified as a high-speed transport and given the new hull number APD 5. Following conversion for her new mission, McKean recommissioned in December 1940 and operated in the Atlantic for more than a year.


In May 1942, McKean was sent to the South Pacific, where she arrived in time to take part in the invasion of Tulagi in early August. During the long and difficult campaign to hold Guadalcanal, she performed in logistics support and escort duties. After an overhaul in the first part of 1943, McKean returned to the South Pacific to join in the Allied offensive up the Solomon Islands chain. She participated in landings at Rendova and New Georgia in June and July 1943, and at Vella Lavella in August. During late October and early November, she landed troops at Mono Island, Choiseul and Cape Torokina on Bougainville.

During the morning darkness on 17 November 1943, while bringing up more Marines to Bougainville, McKean was torpedoed by a Japanese plane. She sank within a half hour with the loss of more than a hundred crewmen and Marines.

In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation, McKean earned four battle stars on her Asiatic-Pacific campaign ribbon.

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A second McKean, Gearing-class DD 784, was laid down at Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., and commissioned at Seattle 9 June 1945.

Sources: Clark, Curt, The Famed Green Dragons; Naval History & Heritage Command including Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.