Flagship Lang returns to Norfolk in the screen of Wasp early in 1942.
USS Lang (DD 399) USS Stack (DD 406) USS Sterett (DD 407) USS Wilson (DD 408)

Lang, Stack, Sterett and Wilson.

DesDiv 15Benham-class Lang, Stack, Sterett and Wilson—began World War II in the Atlantic theater with DesRon 8.
Destroyer Division 15
1 October 1941
USS Lang (DD 399), flag
USS Stack (DD 406)
USS Sterett (DD 407)
USS Wilson (DD 408)

Early in 1942, Lang and Sterett escorted Wasp (CV 7) into the Mediterranean Sea on missions to ferry Spitfire fighter planes to Malta.

In June, the division plus future DesRon 12 flagship Farenholt escorted Wasp to the Pacific.

In August, Wilson was engaged at the Battle of Savo Island immediately following the Guadalcanal landings.

Destroyer Squadron 15
624K War diary: selected entries from 1942 and 1943.
1641K Action report: Battle of Vella Gulf.

The division continued screening Wasp until turning her over to DesRon 12 in September. Five days later, the carrier was torpedoed and sunk.

Sterett was third in line among the van destroyers at the Battle of Guadalcanal in November, for which she was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

In the summer of 1943, DesDiv 15—less Wilson—under Commodore Rodger W. Simpson, formed Support Division “A-2” in Cmdr. Frederick Moosbrugger’s victory at the Battle of Vella Gulf.

In 1944, the division plus Ellet (DD 398) was reassigned as DesDiv 4 in DesRon 2.

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Sterett was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation “for outstanding performance at the Battles of Guadalcanal and Vella Gulf.”