USS Clarence K. Bronson, DD-668, arriving at Mare Island April 19, 1945 looking a little battle weary. Note the stuffed in bow. My uncle said this occurred early in the war when the Task Force was trying to fuel during a typhoon. The Bronson tried to hook up with the transport ship several times and finally the rough seas threw them together hard, crushing the Bronson's bow. The ship looked like a bulldog for the remainder of that tour.

Photo credited to Darryl Baker and used with permission of Visit for more wonderful photos of this ship and many others!

USS Clarence K. Bronson, DD-668, off Mare Island, 15 June 1945

Photo credited to Fred Weiss and used with permission of Visit for more wonderful photos of this ship and many others!

Near the end of the war a tired and damaged CK Bronson returned to Pearl Harbor from the Pacific front and then sailed on to Mare Island, California for repairs and refurbishing. She arrived at Mare Island on April 19, 1945. My Uncle was chief electrictian and remained on board for two weeks after most of the crew had left to show the maintenance crews what work needed to be done. He then came home to New York on a 30-day leave. Near the end of his leave he received a telegram advising that his leave had been extended for another five days. I would guess that meant repairs had not yet been completed to the Bronson. The photo above was taken after she was repaired and returned to duty for a second tour in the Pacific Theater. Note the completely rebuilt bow!


Members of the Engineering Group on the deck of the CK Bronson in 1944. The man on the right side in the front row is John F. Cooney.

Electricians group

Front row left is Frank Edelmann, back row second from left is Charles Werner and the next is Bob Murphy.on the right.

Charles Werner says this photo is of the electricians group that he was the head of near the end of the war. The dog was a white "spitz" that came on board in Honolulu. She had at least four puppies while at sea that were adopted by other ships of the fleet.The dog was totally deaf. Probably from being near one of the 5" guns when it was fired. One of the officers took the dog home after the war. Does anyone remember the dogs name?

Some shipmates in December 1945. Photo probably taken on leave in San Francisco.

L to R - Bob Killian, Charles Werner, Unknown, T.C.(Thornton) Atkinson, and Louis Hlad on the right.

Louis "Louie" Hlad on leave in Hawaii. Louie manned a 25mm deck gun on the Bronson.

Signalman Third Class

Robert McMahon was on the original crew of the Bronson and served from her commission in June 1943 through the end of the war in 1945. He came home on leave in May 1945 to marry his fiancée but had to return to the ship less than two weeks later. He supplied the following information regarding the exploits of the CK Bronson in the Pacific theater to his local newspaper and it was printed in his wedding announcement in May 1945.

Signalman McMahon….. is not yet 21 years old but he wears a gold star and two bronze stars on his Asiatic Pacific ribbon which indicated participation in seven major engagements and in addition wears two more combat stars for action in the Philippines.

He is a member of the famed Task Force 58 and joined the crew of the Bronson when that destroyer was commissioned on June 11, 1943. At that time he had been in the Navy four months. Some of the highlights in the record of the Bronson for the past two years start with its first stop in Pearl Harbor, then to Tarawa, its first crossing of the equator on Jan. 22, 1944, then on to Majuro in the Marshalls, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, A raid on Paula in the Carolines, Humbolt Bay on Hollandia, the second raid on Truk, Eniwetok, Iwo Jima, the Bonins, Luzon, Formosa, Honkong and even Okinawa, though not in the present invasion but in a preliminary raid.

The job of his destroyer was to help protect the carriers from which the planes were launched against the Jap-held islands. He reports that he saw plenty of Japs, but they were all in the water. Despite the imposing list of actions in which his destroyer was engaged he says “it wasn’t bad”. The Bronson had plenty of near misses, but was never damaged.

Special thanks to Steven McMahon, the son of Robert McMahon, for supplying some of the information and photos used here and for his gracious permission to share them with others.

Another member of the Bronson Crew

Charles E Hankley GM3/c

Charles Hankley enlisted in the Navy in Richmond, VA on Feb. 10, 1944. It was one day short of his 18th birthday. He was scheduled to graduate High School in May 1944 but had left school early to join the Navy. An article in the local paper announcing his enlistment said that he would be awarded a High School diploma at closing exercises in May. He reported to the US Naval Training School at Bainbridge, MD. After completing book camp and training in Maryland he was stationed in Hawaii will awaiting a ship assignment.

He was assigned to the CK Bronson and came aboard on May. 6th. His transfer papers said “received from R/S South Annex Norfolk, VA” but the Bronson was nowhere near Virginia at that time and not even near Hawaii. On that date the ship was patrolling near the village of Majuro in the Marshall Islands. I wonder how he got to the Pacific so quickly and how he was transferred onto the ship?

Except for two weeks aboard the USS Massachusetts for medical attention Charles spent his entire hitch on the Bronson ending up rated GM3/c – Gunners Mate. He mustered out on April 16, 1946. You can find his name on the Christmas Program for Christmas 1944. – Many thanks to his family for sharing his photo!

Below is a list of the operations and campaigns that the Bronson participated in during WW2. My uncle said this list was given to all the crew as they were leaving the ship for home.

Below is a list of the activities of the Bronson during her two tours of the Pacific.



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