USS Fletcher, DD (DDE) 445, was the lead ship of one of the outstanding destroyer classes of World War II - with 175 units, the largest class of destroyers ever built. Named for Medal of Honor winner and Atlantic Fleet commander Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher, the first USS Fletcher was built side-by-side with Radford at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Kearny, NJ, and Fletcher ready for launch, 3 May 1942, commissioned on June 30, 1942 - the third unit of the class to join the fleet.
Arriving in the Solomon Islands in October, the "Fighting Fletcher" - whose hull numbers' sum is 13-was the 13th in line at "Friday the 13th" of November Battle of Guadalcanal, from which she emerged without damage and from which her crew derived the nickname "Lucky 13."
Later that same month, Fletcher also saw action in the same waters at the Battle of Tassafaronga, after which she rescued 600 survivors of the torpedoed heavy cruiser Northampton.
Off Guadalcanal into 1943, Fletcher served as part of the "Cactus Striking Force" and continued operations in the Solomon Islands with Destroyer Squadron 21.