The second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Yarnall was DD-541, a Fletcher (DD-445)-class destroyer commissioned on 30 December 1943. After shakedown and training exercises, she sailed for Oahu, arriving there on 19 March 1944.
During the invasion of Saipan, the Yarnall was assigned fire support duties and her group conducted prelanding bombardment beginning on 14 July. Several days after the initial assault, she also took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. On 19 June, the Yarnall was operating as part of Task Group 58.7 when she destroyed three attacking enemy aircraft during the famous "Marianas Turkey Shoot."
In October 1944, she participated in an aerial sweep off Formosa, destroying two Japanese planes. She next took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, during which she screened U.S. Navy aircraft carriers as they raced to destroy Admiral Ozawa's Japanese decoy force. On 17 December 1944, the Yarnall survived a terrible typhoon, which sank numerous other warships.