U.S.S Plunkett. The Unsinkable Destroyer of WWII
Today, three generations of family members of James Dale Feltz visited the museum to see his display. Jim served on the U.S.S. Plunkett (DD-431) in the Mediterranean during World War II. The Plunkett, a Gleaves Class Destroyer, had the distinction of being simultaneously targeted by 12-14 German Luftwaffe JU 88’s bombers. The Plunkett was the most heavily attacked ship in the European Theater during WWII. The ship was able to avoid torpedoes and all but one bomb. A 500 pound bomb struck the fantail (rear) of the ship killing 53 men including Jim’s best friend John Gallagher. The entire attack lasted only twenty minutes. The Plunkett had exhausted 1500 rounds of the 1.1 inch, 200 shells of five inch, and 2500 rounds of 20 mm ammunition. In just twenty harrowing minutes, the Plunkett used 27% of the ammunition the ship would expend in the entire war! The crew fought heroically.
The museum extends its appreciation to the author of “Unsinkable”, James Sullivan. Sullivan’s great uncle was John Gallagher, water tender 3rd class (on 20 mm gun at general quarters), and best friend of Jim Feltz.
For more of Jim’s story, go to stories on this website.