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USS Mayo Memorial Page

The USS MAYO DD422 - Benson/Livermore Class Destroyer
All Pictures and Information Used with Permission
Picture Courtesy of Mr. Richard Angelini; USS MAYO Web Site

This Page is dedicated to the men and families
of the crew of the USS MAYO DD422 During WWII
A Crew Who Placed Themselves in Harms Way
So that  Others Might Live
And in Particular to Those Men;
Wounded, Missing and Killed in Action At Anzio

Mighty Mayo at Anzio:

An invasion force was sent to land at Anzio to attack the rear of the German's right flank. The landings seemed to take the German's by surprise.

The beachhead was firmly established by the time Nazi reinforcements began to pour into the area. The major entrance for the German's was the bridge over the Mussolini Canal.

To keep the Nazi's from reinforcing their infantry units, Naval gunfire was necessary. One of the first destroyers to give assistance at Anzio was the USS Mayo, commanded by Commander Kaplan.

On D-Day, she steamed in to bombard enemy positions on the Anzio beachhead.

On January 23, she was still at it; sending a continuous barrage of gunfire wherever needed. By this time, the German's had moved artillery pieces up to the Anzio beaches and were fighting their way across the bridge at Mussolini Canal. Again the American landings were being pushed into the sea.

The Anzio Beach head under Bombardment
as seen from the deck of the 'Mighty Mayo' in January
Picture Courtesy of Mr. Richard Angelini; USS MAYO Web Site

Mayo, seeing the imminent danger of a German counterattack, shifted her 5 inch guns toward the bridge and halted German troop movements across the Mussolini Canal.

Admiral Lowry documents the results of the Mayo's action as follows:

"The speed and accuracy of her (Mayo) fire kept the Germans from counterattacking across Canale Mussolini."

' ANZIO ANNIE '  Aberdeen Proving Grounds MD
Picture Courtesy of Mr. Richard Angelini; USS MAYO Web Site

Another danger was a railroad gun called "Anzio Annie" that was stored in a tunnel above the beach. Unleashed, this gun could wipe out artillery, armored vehicles, and the troops themselves. Every now and then this gun would come out and pummel the troops with its high caliber gun.

Mayo was detached to keep "Annie" at bay by firing a shell at the tunnel about every 5 minutes during the peak of battle. This kept the German's from risking the big gun to naval gunfire.

Mayo Site-Editor's Note:     If you get a chance to get to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, you will get to see the BIG GUN that terrorized the troops on the Anzio Beach as well those of us on ships off the shore when the Nazi fired into our area. This  picture is an early view , the last time we visited Aberdeen they did a new paint job and now it is painted camouflage. The Caliber was about 16 inches, range about 50 miles.  Anzio Beachhead Association in Florida brought this railroad gun from Italy to the states. The breech mechanism was blown apart by the Germans before capture. The gun only fired one round a day, reasons were that the barrel got so hot that it had to be brought down into the cradle to cool. The  other reason probably was to pull it back into hiding. Mayo kept this gun from firing at all...Richard Angelini

Mayo continued to shell Nazi targets until the evening of January 24, when it is believed that she hit a mine.

The explosion created a huge gaping hole in her starboard side, wrecking and flooding the After-engine room and Fire room, rupturing the bulkheads between the two compartments, bulging the main deck, and bending the starboard propeller shaft. With the loss of 6 men killed, one missing, and 25 wounded, the crew desperately battled to save the ship.

Though almost broken in two, the Mayo was kept above water and towed to Naples for temporary repairs. Outstanding damage control efforts and the courage of her crew, saved the Merry Mayo to fight another day. A lesser destroyer would have sank. The USS Mayo went stateside for permanent repairs and modernization.


The USS MAYO Web Site is maintained and hosted by Richard Angelini,
grandson of Orlando Angelini MMC -"Ange" served on the Mayo from commissioning to decommissioning.  Richard Angelini is in affiliation with Battleship Cove Naval Park and is the web master for the Benson-Livermore class Destroyers.


If you were on the USS MAYO , you can receive the USS MAYO Newsletter.
Write to the address below or the e-mail address link above to receive a sample copy.
Address letters to:
Mrs. Louise Angelini
Editor of the USS Mayo Newsletter
42 Highview Ave.
Somerset, MA 02726
All Pictures and Other Information Used With Permission

The 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Battle of Anzio 1984
At the Allied Cemetary; 7,000 Us Dead, 4,000 British Dead and 26,000 German War Dead

Visit our World War II War in the Pacific Website:

Okinawa During WWII
Stepping Stone to Victory

Torii Beach; Sobe Okinawa - Yomitan Pennisula

1974 Torii Draw; and a break in the seawall where the first wave of Marines landed on Okinawa; shore resistance was considered light at the initial landing.  However; Allied Forces pummeled Okinawa for 30 days and 30 nights with more ships and bombs than were involved in all of D-Day. US Forces cut the island in-two here at Torii; then moved North and South. Unlike all the other Pacific Islands the Japanese had adopted a plan to hold the high ground and fight a delaying action as the battle heated up; American casualties began to rise and the collapse of the Imperial Japanese war in the Pacific began.  Read the full story of Okinawa; now...

"When the Country is in need it has always been the Soldier...
It's the Soldier not the newspaper reporter who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It's the Soldier not the Poet who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It's the Soldier not the campus organizer who has given us Freedom to demonstrate.
It's the Soldier who salutes the Flag; Who serves under the Flag.
It's the Soldier who is called upon to defend our American way of life. "

- General Douglas MacArthur