The Fletcher-class destroyer William D. Porter (DD-579) earned a reputation as a “hard-luck” ship during her first operational cruise. While she cannot claim to have had a lock on good luck—she was sunk by a kamikaze in 1945—not all of her alleged bad luck has a basis in fact.
Her reputation was cemented on the sunny afternoon of 14 November 1943. She was part of a three-ship escort—with the USS Cogswell (DD-651) and Young (DD-580)—for the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), which was transporting President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the first leg of his trip to the Tehran Conference with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. While the Iowa was engaged in antiaircraft target practice, the destroyers were practicing torpedo attacks, with the Iowa as the target.