down: November 1, 1939
Launched: May 31, 1940
Commissioned: June 3, 1941 (as USS Nicholson /
Decommissioned: January 15, 1951
Stricken: January 22, 1951
to Italy in 1951; renamed Aviere
as a target in 1975
Armament, Aviation, etc.)
Length: 106,10 meters
Beam: 11,00 meters
Draft: 3,60 meters (normal) / 5,40
meters (full load)
Displacement: 2520 tons
Speed: 37 knots (68 km/h) maximal
Range: 6000 Nm (11100 km) at 15 knots
Crew: up to 250
Babcock & Wilcox boilers
GE geared steam turbines
2 shafts / 2 propellers
4 x 5”/38 caliber (127mm) guns
12 x 40 mm AA guns
6 x 20 mm guns
10 x (5x2) 21” (53 cm) torpedo tubes
depth charge tracks (DCT)
depth charge projectors (DCP)
D 554 ITS Aviere / ex USS Nicholson (DD 442):
USS Nicholson (DD-442), a Gleaves-class
destroyer, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the
Nicholson family, which was prominent in the early history of the Navy.
Nicholson was laid down 1 November 1939 by Boston Naval Shipyard; launched 31
May 1940; sponsored by Mrs. S. A. Bathriek, a great-granddaughter of Samuel
Nicholson (1743–1811); and commissioned 3 June 1941, Commander J. S. Keating
After a shakedown cruise in the eastern Atlantic, Nicholson escorted convoys
through the U-boat-infested, storm-tossed North Atlantic first from Boston to
Newfoundland and then to Scotland and England until fall 1942. In a brief
training period off the Virginia coast, she prepared for the Casablanca
invasion, but a turbine casualty prevented her participation in the initial
landings. She arrived four days later, 12 November, to assist in the
consolidation of the beachhead and to patrol. She took part in the Bizerte
campaign and the initial assaults on Salerno, coming under heavy air attack
from the Luftwaffe at both Bizerte and Salerno.
HX 160 17-25 Nov 1941 from Newfoundland to Iceland prior to US
declaration of war
ON 41 04-10 Dec 1941 from Iceland to Newfoundland; war declared
HX 173 03-10 Feb 1942 from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 67 19-28 Feb 1942 from Iceland to Newfoundland
AT 17 01-12 Jul 1942 troopships from New York City to Firth of
AT 18 06-17 Aug 1942 troopships from New York City to Firth of
After five months in the Mediterranean, Nicholson returned to the United
States for overhaul in preparation for Pacific deployment, for which she
sailed from Boston early in January 1944. When she reached New Guinea in
February, she was assigned to escort LSTs in the Cape Gloucester campaign,
already under way.
Throughout the long New Guinea campaign, a matter of successive assaults on
coastal points and nearby islands, Nicholson gave gunfire support to troops
ashore. She had similar duty in the Admiralties; when, during the conquest of
Seeadler Harbor, she was assigned to draw fire from an enemy battery on
Hanwei. Here she was hit by a 4" shell which struck in No. 2 ammunition
handling room, killing three and wounding four. She wiped out the enemy
In August 1944 Nicholson joined the 3rd Fleet in the Marshalls. She screened
fast carriers in raids on the Bonins, Formosa, and the Philippines,
supporting the invasion of the Palaus and the neutralization of Yap.
Returning to the Philippines, her group assisted the 7th Fleet during the
invasion of Leyte and the decisive Battle for Leyte Gulf, from which
Nicholson sailed for a Seattle overhaul.
Returning to the western Pacific in February 1945, Nicholson escorted ships
passing between Guam and Ulithi, and arrived off Okinawa for its invasion
late in March. Serving in the exposed radar picket line, Nicholson came
through untouched by kamikazes, but rescued survivors from stricken
destroyers Little (DD-803) and Morrison (DD-560).
Rejoining the 3d Fleet for the final air operations against the Japanese home
islands, Nicholson was off Honshū at the war's end. She entered Sagami
Wan 29 August and Tokyo Bay 15 September. Returning to San Diego 6 November,
she sailed for Panama and Charleston, S.C., arriving 23 November to join the
Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She decommissioned 26 February 1946, was assigned as
a Naval Reserve Training ship in the 3d Naval District 30 November 1948.
Nicholson received 10 battle stars for World War II service.
While serving as reserve training ship at Brooklyn Navy Yard, Nicholson
served as the backdrop for the big-screen musical On the Town starring Frank
Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Vera Ellen, Ann Miller and Betty Garret. The ship was
shown in the beginning of the movie and also in the last scene.
Nicholson was recommissioned 17 July 1950, then decommissioned once more and
transferred to the Italian Navy 15 January 1951.
The Nicholson was sold to the Italian Navy 15 January 1951 and renamed
Aviere. She was converted to an experimental gun ship (A 5302) in 1970. She
was stricken and sunk as a target in 1975.