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HISTORY

LOWRY was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company of San Pedro, California. Her keel was laid 1 August 1943 and she was launched 6 February 1944 under the sponsorship of Miss Ann Lowry, great-grand daughter of Commodore Lowry. The ship was placed in commission on 23 July 1944 under the command of Commander Lawrence H. Martin, U.S.N. She conducted shakedown training while based at San Diego and after post-shakedown repairs in the Terminal Island Navy Yard, sailed for further training exercises in the Hawaiian area, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 1 November 1944. On 2 November 1944, Lieutenant Commander Edwin S. Miller, U.S.N. relieved as Commanding Officer. As a unit of Destroyer Squadron 60, she joined a task unit at Pearl Harbor and sailed 20 November, enroute via the Marshall Islands to Ulithi in the Caroline Islands, arriving 2/December 1944. She refueled at Ulithi and after joining Task Unit 78.3.13 departed 11 December as one of the screening units for a convoy of 18 amphibious craft, 6 liberty ships and a merchant vessel, enroute to Mindoro, Philippine Islands. On the morning of 21 December she assissted in repelling two dive bombers who dropped bombs harmlessly into the sea. Late in the afternoon she opened fire as 7 enemy bombers made runs on the center of the convoy from ahead. A liberty ship and 3 LST's were damaged by suicide crashes. On 22 December the Task Unit arrived off Mondoro and LOWRY joined in screening the amphibious craft which landed troops and equipment on the beachhead. The Task Unit departed late the same afternoon and returned to San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf on 24 December 1944.

On 26 December LOWRY joined a special cruiser striking force and steamed to intercept a Japanese surface force that threatened the Mindoro beachhead. When the force arrived off the southwest coast of Mindoro on 27 December, it was discovered that the Japanese had bombarded the beach area with negligible damage and had already fled. The striking force was dissolved upon return to San Pedro Bay 29 December and LOWRY joined a Bombardment and Fire Support Group under Vice Admiral J.B. Oldendorf, U.S.N. with battleship U.S.S. CALIFORNIA (BB-44) as flagship. Departing San Pedro on 2 January, the task group steamed for Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands. The next day the escort carriers joined and the Task Group was divided into the Van and Rear Groups with tactical command under Vice Admiral Odlendorf in CALIFORNIA and Rear Admiral Weyler in U.S.S. NEW MEXICO (BB-40) respectively. The Task Group now comprised 12 heavy units, 12 escort carriers, 3 tankers, with 52 screening ships composed of destroyers, destroyer escorts and high-speed transports. Late in the afternoon of 4 January a suicide dive bomber crashed OMMANEY BAY (CVE-79). Damage subsequently proved so serious as to necessitate abandonment and destruction of the ship by our own forces (11-43.2N; 121-12.2E). The next day LOWRY opened fire to assist in splashing a plane who had dropped a bomb to damage HMAS ARUNTA. A second enemy plane crashed U.S.S. LOUISVILLE (CA-28) and one escort and an escort carrier in the rear group were also hit by suicide planes. The night of 5 January LOWRY was assigned duty with Destroyer Division 120 and joined the San Fabian Fire Support Unit under Rear Admiral George L. Weyler in NEW MEXICO for long range bombardment of enemy positions on Poro Point and San Fernando. During the bombardment conducted by heavy units the next day, LOWRY acted as screening vessel. Suicide planes again pressed home attacks. One of the enemy closed on LOWRY's port beam and dived directly for a point between stacks. LOWRY's gunners sheared off the enemy's right wing at 100 yards and he corkscrewed about 25 feet above LOWRY and crashed some 25 yards off her starboard. Two automatic weapon projectiles fired by adjacent ships struck LOWRY, killing one man and injuring another. The Task Force retired that evening to the west of Lingayen Gulf but LOWRY reentered the next morning (7 January) screening U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48) seaward during bombardment. In the afternoon LOWRY closed within 300 yards of Blue Beach to give gunfire support to Underwater Demolition Teams and retired that night to conduct independent harassing and interdictory fire on shores extending from Poro Point and San Fernando to the north and San Fabian town to the south. She rejoined units of the Task Force on 8 January to continue screening of heavy ships during bombardment and later in the day knocked out an enemy gun emplacement which had been harassing minesweeping units. On 9 January 1945, she participated in the prelanding bombardment of Blue Beaches and remained in support of troops to furnish night illumination fire as directed by shore fire control parties. LOWRY was relieved of fire support missions 10 January but remained on patrol off the entrance of Lingayen Gulf in support of the unprotected beachheads until 22 January when she sailed for Ulithi, arriving 28 January 1945.

At Ulithi, LOWRY joined Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitcher's Fast Carrier Task Force 58, forming with the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5) Task Group (TG 58.4). On 10 February 1945 the Task Force sailed and on 16 February LOWRY screened carriers as they launched strikes on the Tokyo area then retired towards the Bonin and Volcano Islands to give air support over Iwo Jima and make strikes on neighboring Islands from 21 to 22 February 1945. The Task Force advanced off Tokyo on 24 February but foul weather prevented launching of aircraft and heavy seas sprung LOWRY's center longitudal which supported her main deck. Further damage was prevented by use of vertical wooden shores between frames under her main and first platform deck. Strikes against Nagoya and Kobe had to be cancelled because of foul weather and the Task Force returned to Ulithi on 1 March 1945.

LOWRY remained at Ulithi until 21 March, undergoing tender overhaul and engaging in anti-submarine warfare and gunnery exercises. She then joined screen escort carrier units for strikes on Okinawa and small neighboring islands of the Ryukyu Islands chain. On 29 April LOWRY was assigned to Task Group 51.5 under command of Captain E. Mooseburger in U.S.S. BISCAYNE (AGC-18). The next day at Kerama Retto, she embarked a Navy Fighter Director Team and commenced operations as a radar picket vessel on various picket stations to the north and northwest of Okinawa Jima, in company with U.S.S. INGRAHAM (DD-694). On 4 May radar picked up two enemy suicide planes as they came straight in at about 500 feet altitude then orbited to about 1,500 feet altitude to split attack. One dove on destroyer U.S.S. MASSEY (DD-778) but crashed into the water after passing over. The second plane made a sweeping dive on the starboard quarter of LOWRY, striking its wing against the 5-inch gun (Mount 53) mount then passing over the port beam to explode some 50 feet from the ship. LOWRY was showered with fragments of the exploding bombs and plane. Two men were killed and 23 were wounded.

A third plane was knocked down after making one pass at MASSEY. The next day PCE-852 came alongside LOWRY to receive 6 seriously wounded men for transfer to a hospital ship. During 12-13 May 1945, LOWRY performed fighter director control in support of the Amphibious landings on Tori Shima, then steamed to form part of the anit-aircraft screen for the inner transport area of Hagushi Beach, assissting in repelling night heckler raids on 15-16 May 1945.

On 28 May 1945, LOWRY joined destroyer U.S.S. DREXLER (DD-741) on picket station some 40 miles from Zampa Misaki, Okinawa. At 0654 she opened fire on an enemy plane as it passed over to crash DREXLER at her waterline. A second plane was downed by LOWRY's gunfire and crashed close aboard to port. Another was splashed as it approached on her port bow and crashed close to starboard. A fourth enemy plane was intercepted by a combat patrol plane who followed the enemy in through the ship's gunfire. Although this enemy was hit he gained altitude for a complete circle on DREXLER, now dead in the water, and returned to crash her port side amidships. The resulting explosion broke DREXLER in two and she sank within two minutes. Survivors were rescued by picket support ships. LOWRY suffered no damage but one man was wounded by a shell fragment.

On 4 June 1945, LOWRY was asigned temporarily to screen merchant ships from the transport area and remain underway until a threatened typhoon had passed. She then resumed radar picket duty and was under direct attack on 7 June by two enemy planes which were splashed by fire from all three ships on station. On the night of 12-13 June, LOWRY gave support to two high-speed transports which landed reconnaisance troops on Kume Shima. She took up night picket station off the Hagushi Beach area on the night of 25-26 June and immediately went to general quarters. All raids coming in from an area which extended 40 miles seemed to rendezvous at her picket station and she blazed away throughout the night as they continued in a succession. LOWRY was relieved of radar picket duty on 26 June and anchored at Kerma Retto.

On 29 June 1945, LOWRY was assigned to Vice Admiral Oldendorf's Task Force 52 and operated to the south of Okinawa and to the west of Kume Shima in support of minesweeping operations in the area between Okinawa and the China Coast. On 23 July she continued with Task Unit 32.12.4 enroute to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Phillipine Islands. On 26 July work commenced for the aeration and cleaning of a void compartment. A can of tetrachlorethane exploded as it was being passed out of the compartment, killing one man and seriously burning four others. Minor to severe burns were also suffered by fourteen other men. No fires resulted from the explosion and LOWRY steamed independently for San Pedro Bay, arriving 27 July alongside hospital ship U.S.S. RELIEF (AH-1) to transfer the injured men. Five men with minor burns returned to duty but another died on board RELIEF from burns received in the chemical explosion.