Putnam (DD 757), flagship of DesRon 66.
Destroyer Squadron 66
Destroyer Division 131
USS Putnam (DD 757), flag
USS Strong (DD 758)
USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD 774)
USS Willard Keith (DD 775)
USS James C. Owens (DD 776)
Destroyer Division 132
USS Zellars (DD 777)
USS Massey (DD 778), flag
USS Douglas H. Fox (DD 779)
USS Stormes (DD 780)
Destroyer Squadron 66 was—after DesRons 60, 61 and 62 and MinRon 3—the fifth squadron of Allen M. Sumner-class 2,200-tonners to form in the Pacific. The squadron was composed of nine ships commissioned between October 1944 and March 1945 as follows:

Destroyer Squadron 66
World War II Operations

DesRon 66 World War II operations
Putnam arrived in the western Pacific in time to participate in the Iwo Jima operation.

Less Strong, which was delivered too late to figure in World War II, the remaining seven ships of the squadron arrived in the war zone in time to participate in the Okinawa operation. There, while assigned to radar picket stations, four of them were badly damaged:

  • On 12 April, Zellars was hit with 66 casualties.
  • On 11 May, after shooting down a record 20 aircraft in a joint action with Evans (DD 552), Hugh W. Hadley sustained two crashes. A third plane cut the rigging between her stacks and was also splashed. Hadley sustained 95 casualties. She was towed home but not repaired.
  • On 17 May, Douglas H. Fox was crashed and sustained 44 casualties.
  • On 25 May, Stormes was crashed with 37 casualties.
While these four destroyers returned to the West Coast, Putnam, Willard Keith, James C. Owens and Massey continued on to Japan with the Third Fleet.


Hugh W. Hadley was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her action at Okinawa.