Crew Contact And Reunion Information Contact Name: Robert Johnson Address: 8 Thorndike Street, Concord, NH 03301 Phone: (603)224-0257 E-mail: None This contact may or may not still be good.
DD-657 Charles J. Badger
(DD-657: dp. 2,050; 1. 376'6"; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9"; s. 36 k.; cpl. 319; a. 5 6", 10 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)
Charles J. Badger (DD-657) was launched 3 April 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y.; sponsored by Miss I. E. Badger; and commissioned 23 July 1943, Commander W. G. Cooper in command.
Charles J. Badger arrived at San Francisco 30 November for Pacific duty, and on 17 December reported at Adak for almost continuous patrol and escort duty in the fog and storm-ridden Aleutians until August 1944. During this time she helped keep the Japanese off balance and unaware of the United States' strategic intentions involving the western Aleutians by joining in the heavy bombardments in the Kuriles in February and June. On 8 August she got underway for warmer waters and warmer action, calling at San Francisco and Pearl Harbor en route Manus. Here she joined an assault convoy and sailed 14 October for the return to the Philippines.
Entering Philippine waters she protected transports in the assault landings at Dulag, Leyte, on 20 October 1944, firing to drive off Japanese air attacks as the unloading proceeded. On the eve of the epic Battle for Leyte Gulf, Charles J. Badger guarded the retirement of empty transports to New Guinea, but returned to Leyte convoying reinforcements in mid-November. In December, she reported in Huon Gulf, New Guinea, for rehearsals of the Lingayen landings, for which she sailed 27 December. On 8 January 1946, as she entered Lingayen Gulf, her force was attacked by Japanese kamikazes, one of whose desperate number crashed the escort carrier Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). Unloading of transports began 9 January, while Charles J.. Badger's accurate AA fire helped protect the unloading during frequent enemy air attacks. Two days later, she escorted Kitkun Bay to San Pedro Bay, where she herself took up patrol duties. On 29 January, she guarded the landing of troops on the Zambales coast north of Bataan.
After a period at Ulithi, Charles J. Badger returned to Leyte to rehearse for the landings on the Kerama Retto, a key preliminary to the assault on Okinawa. Charles J. Badger arrived off the Retto 26 March 1945 to guard the landings, which took the Japanese completely by surprise. This did not prevent them, however, from quickly mounting suicide air attacks, during one of which Charles J. Badger aided in splashing a kamikaze short of its target. Once the landings on Okinawa began, the destroyer took position to guard the southern flank of the landings. On 7 April she joined a force moving north to meet the last Japanese naval force, mighty battleship Yamato and her accompanying cruiser and eight destroyers. However, the accurate attack of carrier aircraft sank Yamato, the cruiser, and all but four of the destroyers before American surface forces could engage. Charles J. Badger continued offer fire support on call to aid the troops ashore. In the half light of early morning on 9 April, as she lay to on her fire support station, an 18-foot Japanese suicide boat suddenly sped out of the gloom, dropped a depth charge close aboard, and raced away. The explosion knocked out Charles J. Badger's engines and caused heavy flooding. Quick work controlled the flooding, and a tug brought the stricken destroyer into the Kerama Retto roadstead. After temporary repairs, she proceeded for overhaul to Bremerton, Wash., where she arrived 1 August. On 21 May 1946 she was placed out of commission in reserve at Long Beach, Calif.