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Ahrens DE-575 - History

Ahrens DE-575 - History

Ahrens

Edward Henry Ahrens—born on 4 November 1919 in Dayton Ky.—enlisted in the Marine Corps on 3 February 1942 at Cincinnati, Ohio, and underwent boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. He transferred to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Va., on 16 March 1942

Assigned to Company "A", 1st Raider Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, soon thereafter, Ahrens landed with that unit from Little (APD-4) at Tulagi, Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands, in the second assault wave on 7 August 1942. With Company "C", 1st Raider Battalion, securing the right flank on the beachhead Company "A" moved inland and down the right slope of Tulagi's central ridge. Initially, the marines were not opposed

That evening, Company "A" took positions for the night west of a cricket ground on the island, as part of the defensive line extending along the ridge. The Japanese later launched a fieree nocturnal counterattack which drove a wedge between the two Raider companies. Isolating the latter near the beachhead, the enemy concentrated his efforts on Company "A" in an attempt to sweep up the ridge toward the residency, a former British government building serving as a Raider battalion command post. The Raiders, however, stood firm.

During the savage battle that ensued, Ahrens, in a security detachment assigned the task of protecting the Raiders' right flank, singlehandedly engaged a group of Japanese in hand-tohand combat as they attempted to infiltrate the Raiders' rear. Although painfully wounded in the groin, the gallant young marine killed at least three Japanese (including the attacking unit's senior officer) and aided materially in stopping their infiltration.

For his part in stopping the enemy, Ahrens—who died of his wounds on 8 August—was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross as well as a share of the Presidential Unit Citation earned by the 1st Marine Division.

(DE-575: dp. 1,740; 1. 306'; b 37'; dr 13'6"; s. 23.6 k.; cpl. 213; a. 3 3", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 act., 8 dep.; cl. Buckley)

Ahrens (DE-575) was laid down on 5 November 1943 it Hingham, Mass., by the Bethlehem Steel Corp., launched on 21 December 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Marie Ahrens, the mother of Private, First Class Ahrens and commissioned on 12 February 1944 Lt. Comdr. Morgan ff. Hains in command.

Late in February, Ahrens proceeded to Bermuda for shakedown training. In early April, she sailed to Casco Bay, Maine for additional training. On the 22d at Norfolk, Va., the destroyer escort joined Task Group (TG) 21.11, a hunter/killer group—built around escort carrier Block Island (CVE-21 - which was operat- in the Atlantic and Caribbean. On 29 May, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank Block Island (CVE-21) and Barr (DE-576). Ahrens rescued 673 officers and men in a period of 40 minutes. While carrying out rescue operations, the ship assisted Eugene E. Elmore (DE; 686) in locating U-549. Eugene E. Elmore made two hedgehog attacks which sank the German submarine.

Following repairs at the New York Navy Yard, the destroyer escort carried out training exercises at Casco Bay and Norfolk Va. On 23 July, Ahrens assumed duty as an escort for transatlantic convoys. The highlight of this period eame on 13 October after a merchant ship collided with a gasoline tanker, starting large fires on both ships. Following her rescue of survivors, Ahrens and Holton (DK-703) succeeded in putting out the fires.

On 15 December, Ahrens sailed with TG 27.7 to join the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. She proceeded to Manus, Admiralty Islands, via the Panama Canal. On 23 January 1945, the destroyer escort touched at Manus. She continued on to Leyte, Philippines, arriv- there on 9 February. The vessel was then attached to TG 75.2 to serve as an ocean escort for the Philippine Sea Frontier.

Ahrens escorted merchant and naval convoys until 25 August 1945. During this period, she operated between such points as Hollandia, New Guinea; Manila and Subic Bay, Philippines, Kossol Roads, Palau Islands, Ulithi, and Okinawa.

In late August 1945, Ahrens was detached from the Philippine Sea Frontier and began supporting occupation forces operating in China and Korea, visiting Jinsen, Korea; Chinwangtao, China and Hong Kong.

The ship began her long voyage back to the United States on 5 November and stopped at Pearl Harbor San Diego, Calif., and the Panama Canal Zone before finally reaching Boston, Mass. On 15 December. She then commenced preinactivation overhaul and sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., in early 1946. Ahrens was decommissioned there on 24 June 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list on l April 1965.

Ahrens won two battle stars for her World War II service.


“I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine” – Heroism and Honor at Guadalcanal

Despite being the smallest of America’s Armed Forces, the US Marine Corps are considered the cream of the crop. There is a good reason for this as each member is almost a one man army which many have proven over the years.

One such man was Edward Henry Ahrens who was born on November 4, 1919, in Dayton, Kentucky. After graduating from high school, he got a job with the Wadsworth Watch Case Company.

Life dramatically changed for him when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It forced America into a war it had tried very hard to avoid. Rather than wait to be conscripted, Ahrens went to Cincinnati, Ohio to join the US Marine Corps on February 3, 1942.

First, he went to South Carolina for boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. No doubt impressed that a watch case maker had not only survived their process but had also passed it, he was then sent to the Marine Barracks Quantico in Virginia on March 16, 1942. He did not stay there for long.

Japan did not bomb Pearl Harbor out of any desire to conquer the US. It wanted an empire in the Pacific which meant capturing islands belonging to the US and various European countries.

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Within hours of destroying the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, they attacked the American territories of the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island. They also invaded the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. By February 1942, they were bombing northern Australia.

As America was not the military superpower it is today, at first it fought a defensive war. As a result, Japan’s victory over the Pacific seemed inevitable. Until Operation Watchtower was launched.

Japanese air raid on Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia on February 19, 1942.

Better known today as the Battle of Guadalcanal (or the Guadalcanal Campaign), its original goal was to take only the island of Tulagi in the British Solomon Islands. Japan had captured it on May 3, 1942, and used it to threaten Allied supply routes and communication lines between the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

By the summer, America’s vast resources and industrial might came into play. On August 7, the US went on the offensive for the first time when it attacked not just Tulagi, but also the islands of Gavutu-Tanambogo, Guadalcanal, and Florida in the southern Solomon Islands. With the support of ships from the Navies of Australia and New Zealand, the US 1 st Marine Division landed on the beaches.

US Marines making their way to the beaches of Tulagi on August 7, 1942

Company C, 1 st Raider Battalion had taken and secured the right flank of the beachhead. Ahrens was with Company A, 1 st Raider Battalion, Fleet Marine Force aboard the USS Little (APD-4) as part of the second assault team. To their surprise, they met with very little opposition.

The Marines made their way down the right slope of the island’s central ridge. It was terrain they knew well as Tulagi had been British territory until the Japanese had decided otherwise.

Company A’s target was a former British government building which they intended to use as their Raider command post. Being British, of course, it had a cricket field overlooking a ridge. Private First Class Ahrens’ job was to defend it. His team fanned out and prepared its defenses.

The Japanese launched their counter attack later that evening. They tried to drive a wedge between the two companies, forcing C company to stay where it was while they focused their main attack on Ahren’s group. Their goal was to make their way up the ridge, sweep through the cricket grounds, and take the new Raider command post. Or so they hoped.

Map of the landings and fighting on Tulagi. By Memnon335bc – CC BY 3.0

Ahrens was part of a security detachment guarding the Raiders’ right flank when the attack came. The fighting was so close that guns quickly became useless and it devolved into a melee of hand-to-hand combat.

It was Major Lewis William “Lew” Walt who found Ahrens the following morning. The 22-year-old private was slumped in a foxhole covered with blood but that is not what amazed Walt.

With Ahrens were two Japanese bodies – one a lieutenant while the other was a sergeant. In Ahrens’ hand was a Japanese sword belonging to an officer. Around the foxhole were 11 more corpses all Japanese.

Japanese officers and petty officers of the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force. They took Tulagi in May 1942, and most were killed during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Kentucky native had been stabbed and shot several times, but to Walt’s even greater surprise, Ahrens, who weighed a mere 140 pounds was still alive. Jumping in, Walt tried to do what he could, but he knew it was too late.

The major cradled Ahrens in his arms, pleading with him to lie still until help came, promising that everything would be alright. He knew it was a lie there was far too much damage and blood loss.

With a final gasp, Ahrens whispered, “They tried to come over me last night – I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine.”

The USS Ahrens in the Atlantic.

He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and credited with killing the officer in command of the attack, as well as two others. The following year, they also named a destroyer escort after him the USS Ahrens (DE-575).

It would have made the private proud to know that on May 29, 1944, the USS Ahrens rescued 673 people from two ships sunk by German U-boats. She also protected merchant ships throughout the rest of the war, ensuring the flow of goods to where they were most needed.

Equally important, however, was the fact that the Guadalcanal Campaign was a success. It was also the turning point in the Pacific Theater, forcing Japan to go on the defensive.


Ahrens DE-575 - History

DESTROYERS

A carrier task group is only as strong as its supporting destroyers. The following destroyers / destroyer escorts are mentioned in the history of CVE 21 or the history of CVE 106. The table indicates some of the characteristics of the destroyers / destroyer escorts mentioned on this website.

Typ Class Disp Len Speed Range Crew Armament
DD Bagley 2,325 341 39 6,500 251 4-5″ 4-50cal Torpedos Depth Charges
DE Buckley 1,740 306 24 5,500 213 4-1″ 3-3″ Torpedos Hedgehogs Depth Charges
DE Cannon 1,620 306 21 10,800 216 3-3″ 2-2″ 8-1″Torpedos Hedgehogs Depth Charges
DE Clemson 1,308 315 36 4,900 132 4-4″ 1-3″ Torpedos
DE Edsall 1,590 306 21 10,800 186 3-3″ 2-2″ 8-1″ Torpedos Hedgehogs Depth Charges
DD Fletcher 2,500 377 37 5,500 329 5-5″ 10-2″ 10-1″Torpedos K-guns Depth Charges
DD Gleaves 1,630 348 37 6,500 276 4-5″ Torpedos Depth Charges
DE Rudderow 1,740 306 24 5,500 213 2-5″ 4-2″ 10-1″ Torpedos Hedgehogs Depth Charges

The destroyers are listed by hull number. The list does not include all of the destroyers that were associated with the two carriers.

DE 51 Buckley (CVE 21)

DE 51 Buckley, a Buckley class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 30 Apr 1943. Between Jul 1943 and 22 Apr 1944 Buckley operated along the eastern seaboard as training ship for prospective officers and nucleus crews of other destroyer escorts.
On 29 Apr 1944 she joined CVE 21 Block Island as part of a hunter-killer task group. On 6 May 1944 CVE 21 ordered DE 51 to intercept German U-boat U-66 which had been spotted by aircraft. DE 51 commenced an attack on the submarine and at 0328 hours Buckley rammed U-66 and after a fight that was often hand to hand sunk the submarine. USS Buckley Captain, LCDR Brent Maxwell Abel USNR received the Navy Cross for his actions in the encounter with U-66.

In Jul 1944, Buckley escorted two convoys to North Africa and then operated on anti-submarine and convoy escort duty along the eastern seaboard. Buckley and DE 153 Reuben James sank the German uboat U-548 on 19 Apr 1945. Buckley was placed in reserve 3 Jul 1946.

DE 102 Thomas (CVE 21)

DE 102 was the second USS Thomas, a Cannon class destroyer escort, she was commissioned on 21 Nov 1943. She sailed with CVE 21 USS Block Island on her third combat cruise departing 16 Feb 1944.
DE 102 Thomas was involved in the sinking of three German submarines: U-709, U-233 which was rammed after being forced to the surface by depth charges, and U-548. After being decommissioned in Mar 1946, Thomas was transferred to the Chinese Navy.

DE 103 Bostwick (CVE 21)

DE 103 USS Bostwick, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 1 Dec 1943. On 15 Feb 1944, Bostwick joined CVE 21 USS Block Island and designated Task Group 21.16 as a hunter-killer group in the U-boat-infested waters of the North Atlantic.
Late on 29 Feb 1944, Bronstein made a radar contact and along with Bostwick and Thomas surrounded the target, German submarine, U-709. The three destroyer escorts dropped depth charges on her estimated position. At 0324 hours, Thomas dropped a pattern of charges that produced a huge underwater explosion, the last sounds heard from U-709.

During late March, April, and early May she served as a convoy escort. On 25 Jun 1944, she joined USS Card on another hunter-killer patrol. Thomas rammed U-233 on 5 Jul 1944. On 29 Apr 1955, Bostwick, Thomas, and Coffman joined Natchez in dropping depth charges until a huge underwater explosion indicated the destruction of U-548. Bostwick was decommissioned on 30 Apr 1946.She was sold to nationalist China on 14 Dec 1948.

DE 104 Breeman (CVE 21)

DE 104 USS Breeman, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 12 Dec 1943. On 16 February, Breeman joined USS Block Island Task Group 21.16 On 19 Mar 1944, planes from CVE 21 Block Island sank U-1059, and Breeman assisted in the rescue of the U-boat’s survivors.
Breeman joined several other task groups doing Atlantic hunter-killer searches for the remainder of WWII. Breeman was decommissioned on 26 April 1946 and transferred to the Nationalist Chinese government based on Taiwan.

DE 183 Samuel S. Miles (CVE 106)

DE 183 USS Samuel S. Miles, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 4 Nov 1943. Serving as an escort ship in the Marshall Islands area, she protected fleet oilers during fast carrier air strikes against the Caroline Islands and the Hollandia, New Guinea, area in Apr 1944.
She escorted oilers during the capture of Saipan and Tinian, and splashed two Japanese planes on 18 Jun 1944. She also supported the Leyte and Luzon, Philippine Islands, campaigns in late 1944 and early 1945. Samuel S. Miles sank Japanese submarine I-177 near the Palau Islands on 3 Oct 1944. After guarding the invasion force at Iwo Jima in Feb 1945, she screened the bombardment group that pounded Okinawa, where she splashed one enemy plane on 27 Mar 1945. She sailed with CVE 106 USS Block Island to Okinawa in Apr 1945.

A kamikaze near-miss killed one of her crew members on 11 Apr 1945. She was decommissioned on 28 Mar 1946. DE 186 was transferred to France on 12 Aug 1950.

DE 189 Bronstein (CVE 21)

DE 189 USS Bronstein, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 13 Dec 1943. The destroyer escort was assigned to CVE 21 Block Island’s Task Group 21.16 along with DD 463 Corry, DE 102 Thomas, DE 104 Breeman , and DE 103 Bostwick. On 16 Feb 1944 the group left Norfolk. On the evening of 29 Apr, Thomas made a surface radar contact, and Bostwick was ordered to assist her in the search for the contact. CVE 21 Block Island had directed Bronstein to search for a second suspected U-boat when one of her star shells revealed U-709 on the surface preparing to attack Thomas and Bostwick. Bronstein opened fire, and her guns registered several hits. The submarine went deep to escape, and the three destroyer escorts attacked her with depth charges. Thomas finally sank U-709 early the next morning.
The second U-boat maneuvered to attack the Block Island, Bronstein immediately began dropping depth charges. A tremendous explosion indicated the end of the Uboat, later identified as U-603.

The Block Island group made radar contact four days later with U-801. The submarine surfaced on the evening of 16 Mar 1944 and was attacked by aircraft from CVE 21. The U-boat dived and managed to evade the hunters until the early hours of 17 Mar, when the German sub sent a radio message. Corry ran down the bearing of the transmission, and she and Bronstein methodically boxed in the U-boat, forcing her to surface. The crew abandoned and scuttled their boat.

Bronstein proceeded to Norfolk to join a hunter-killer group formed around CVE 11 USS Card. Designated task group TG 21.10, DE 190 Baker and Thomas sank U-233 on 5 Jul near Newfoundland. Bronstein was decommissioned on 17 Jun 1946 and sold to Uruguay.

DD 213 Barker (CVE 21)

DD 213 USS Barker, a Clemson class destroyer escort, was commissioned 27 Dec 1913. From 1913 to 1941 DD 213 served the U.S. Navy in several roles visiting ports around the world. On 7 Dec 1941, DD 213 Barker was at Tarakan, Borneo, and immediately commenced patrolling the surrounding area. She participated in the anti-aircraft actions off Bali (4 Feb 1942) and Banka Island (15 Feb 1942). Barker was damaged by near misses during this action. Between Oct 1942 and May 1943, Barker escorted convoys between San Francisco, CA and Pearl Harbor.
On 27 Jun, she joined the USS Core hunter killer task group 21.12. German submarine U-487 was sunk by aircraft from the Core on 13 Jul and Barker rescued 33 survivors. On 24 Aug Core’s aircraft found and sank U-534 and U-185. DD 213 Barker rescued 36 survivors of U-185.

On 15 Oct 1943 Barker joined CVE 21 Block Island task group 21.16 to provide convoy escort duty. She arrived at Philadelphia 4 Jun 1945, and was decommissioned 18 July.

DD 218 Parrott (CVE 21)

DD 218 Parrott, a Clemson class destroyer escort, was commissioned 11 May 1920. From 1920 to 1941 DD 218 served the U.S. Navy in several roles visiting ports around the world.
After dark, on 23 Jan 1942, Parrott, with John D. Ford, Pope and Paul Jones, entered Balikpapan Bay where, lying at anchor, were 16 Japanese transports and three 750-ton torpedo boats, guarded by a Japanese Destroyer Squadron. The Allied ships fired several patterns of torpedoes and saw four enemy transports and one torpedo boat sink as the Japanese destroyers searched in the strait for non-existent submarines.

She engaged the enemy in Sumatra and Bali.

On 21 May 1943, she sailed for New York and reported for transatlantic convoy duty. She completed one convoy passage before joining Paul Jones and Belknap in an offensive antisubmarine group with Croatan. She operated with this group until 15 Oct 1943 when she transferred to another antisubmarine group formed around CVE 21 USS Block Island.

Parrott participated in sinking U-220 on 28 Oct 1943 which was credited to the Block Island’s planes.

While getting underway for Norfolk on 2 May, Parrott was rammed by John Morton, and was so severely damaged she had to be beached by tugs. Later towed to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, she was decommissioned 14 June 1944.

DD 222 Bulmer (CVE 21)

DD 222 USS Bulmer, a Clemson class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 16 August 1920.When the United States entered WWII, Bulmer was still assigned to the Asiatic Fleet and stationed in the Philippines. DD 222 Bulmer took part in the Battle of Bali Sea on 4 Feb 1942. From Jun 1942-May 1943, she operated as an escort vessel for convoys sailing between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco.
Bulmer was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet in May and arrived at New York on 14 Jun. Her first Atlantic assignment was as a unit of Task Group 21.12 (TG 21.12) from 14 Jun-22 Sep. During this sweep of the North Atlantic, aircraft from Core sank U-487 on 13 Jul 1943.

DD 222 Bulmer joined task group 21.16 as part of the CVE 21 USS Block Island hunter-killer group. She then commenced convoy escort duty between northeastern Atlantic ports and North Africa until Jul 1944. Bulmer was decommissioned on 16 Aug 1946 and sold.

DD 230 Paul Jones (CVE 21)

DD 230 USS Paul Jones, a Clemson class destroyer, was commissioned 19 Apr 1921. Until the outbreak of WWII she served in the Asiatic Fleet. She received the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor 8 December 1941, at Tarakan, Borneo, and immediately prepared for action. She took part in Pacific operations in Java, Bali, and Timor before being assigned escort duty between California and Pearl Harbor which continued until the end of March 1943.
Sailing in company with DD 218 Parrott and DD 213 Barker, DD 230 Paul Jones departed San Francisco 30 March, transited the Panama Canal and reported to New York where she commenced convoy escort duty 28 May 1943 between North African ports and the U.S.

On 5 Oct 1943 the destroyers DD 230 Paul Jones, DD 218 Parrott, DD 213 Barker, and DD 222 Bulmer escorted CVE 21 USS Block Island as they left Hampton Roads, VA as Task Group 21.16 . This was CVE 21’s first combat cruise. DD 230 also participated in the second cruise, 15 Dec 1943. Convoy assignments and training operations continued until the end of WWII. She was decommissioned 5 Nov 1945.

DE 326 Thomas J. Gary (CVE 106)

DE 326 USS Thomas J. Gary, an Edsall-class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 27 Nov 1943. She escorted a number of transatlantic convoys until May 1945. She completed her last Atlantic convoy upon her arrival at New York on 7 May 1945. On 1 Aug 1945, she departed Oahu with Escort Division 57 and steamed for Guam where she again got underway, this time with Carrier Division 27. As the force steamed toward the Philippines, word of Japan’s surrender reached the ship. Following her arrival at San Pedro Bay on 17 August, Thomas J. Gary remained in port until the 29th when she departed Leyte to screen the aircraft carriers of Task Group (TG) 77.1 during their passage to Korea. CVE 106 Block Island with CVE 29 Santee and four destroyers sailed for Leyte Gulf on 13 Aug 1945.
En route, the task group was diverted to Formosa. DE 326 Thomas J. Gary was designated to assist in the liberation of Allied prisoners of war who had been held on that island. On 3 Sep, she embarked 19 marines from Block Island charged with arranging the details of the evacuation of the POWs. Her division commander was also responsible for making the preliminary arrangements for the occupation of Formosa.

Before dawn of 5 Sep off the coast of Formosa, DE 326 Thomas J. Gary and DE 329 Kretchmer were detached from the escort carrier task group. Resistance from die-hard Japanese was still a distinct possibility.

As the two ships approached the waters most apt to be mined, the American sailors maintained a state of readiness to repel possible attack. Four Combat Air Patrol planes provided cover, and two anti-mine sweep planes from the carriers relayed word of the sightings of possible mines as the destroyer escorts picked their way through the hazardous approaches to Kiirun. The ships maintained a condition of modified general quarters and stationed armed guards on shore. A detail headed by Thomas J. Gary’s communications officer took over the local Japanese radio station to insure reliable communications between the task group and Japanese authorities in Kiirun. At 1630 hours, a train arrived bearing Allied prisoners of war who were quickly transferred to the waiting destroyer escorts.

DE 326 rendezvoused with the CVE 106 and CVE 29 carriers and transferred the newly freed POWs to the larger ships.

She was decommissioned on 7 Mar 1947 and placed in reserve. On 24 Jul 1956, she was converted to radar picket escort ship and, on 1 Nov 1956, she was designated DER-326. She served the U.S. Navy until 1973 when she was transferred to Tunisia. She sustained a major fire in Apr 1992 and is no longer operational.

DE 327 Brister (CVE 106)

DE 327 USS Brister, an Edsall class destroyer, was commissioned 30 Nov 1943. Between Jun 1944 and Jun 1945, Brister made seven Atlantic escort crossings to Italy and England. On 8 Jun 1945 she departed New York City for the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor, HI after a stop in San Diego. She was active in Far East patrol and escort operations until April 1946. USS Brister assisted CVE 106 in the evacuation of POWs from Formosa. She was stricken from US Navy records 23 Sep 1968.

DE 328 Finch (CVE 106)

DE 328 USS Finch, an Edsall class destroyer, was commissioned 13 Dec 1943. From Aug 1943 through Mar 1947 Finch participated in various Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific operations. She was part of group of several ships including CVE 106 USS Block Island, who evacuated POWs from camps on the island of Formosa. She was decommissioned 6 Mar 1947.
In the movie Tora Tora Tora the USS Finch played the part of the USS Ward.

DE 329 Kretchmer (CVE 106)

DE 329 USS Kretchmer, an Edsall-class destroyer escort, was commissioned 13 Dec 1943. She escorted Atlantic convoys during the summer of 1944 through Apr 1945. After victory in Europe, she was assigned Pacific Fleet duty. Clearing Pearl Harbor 1 Aug 1945, Kretchmer was en route to the Philippines when hostilities stopped on 14 Aug.
After arriving she was assigned to a task group that included CVE 106 Block Island and was sent to Formosa. DE 329 along with DE 326 Thomas J. Gary was designated to assist in the liberation of Allied prisoners of war who had been held on that island. Before dawn of 5 Sep off the coast of Formosa, DE 326 and DE 329 were detached from the escort carrier task group. Resistance from die-hard Japanese was still a distinct possibility as they approached the island.

The destroyer escorts picked their way through mines that guarded the approaches to Kiirun. Allied prisoners of war were quickly transferred from the terrible conditions of Japanese POW camps to the waiting destroyer escorts. The destroyers rendezvoused with the CVE 106 and CVE 29 carriers and transferred the newly freed POWs to the larger ships.

Serving in the Far East until 1 April 1946, the destroyer escort engaged in occupation and repatriation operations. Kretchmer was decommissioned 20 Sep 1946. After extensive conversion, DE 329 Kretchmer was recommissioned as DER-329 on 22 Sep 1956.

In the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kretchmer departed Newport 23 Nov 1962 for picket duty off the southern coast of the United States. She operated as plane guard and screen for CV 9 USS Essex .

Kretchmer joined other vessels off the South Vietnam coast in Operation Market Time, keeping coastal traffic under surveillance to prevent the shipment of Communist arms and supply to South Vietnam by sea. By the end of a year of patrol, the ship had investigated some 17,000 contacts, and boarded over 1,000 small craft.

She was decommissioned 1 Oct 1973.

DD 388 Helm (CVE 106)

DD 388 USS Helm, a Bagley class destroyer, was commissioned on 16 Oct 1937. At 0755 hours on the morning of December 7, 1941, DD 388 Helm had just turned into West Loch in Pearl Harbor when Japanese planes attacked the naval base. She was the only ship under way at the time of the attack. DE 388 brought down at least one of the attackers while she was strafed and slightly damaged by two bombs. She remained active in the South Pacific before joining Admiral Turner’s fleet as they struck Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The destroyer screened the transports as troops disembarked, shooting down several attacking aircraft during the first two days.
For the next few weeks Helm remained in the dangerous waters near Guadalcanal, escorting transports and patrolling. She arrived 7 Jun to join the invasion of the Marianas. The great American and Japanese fleets approached each other on 19 Jun for the biggest carrier engagement of the war. As four large air raids hit the American fleet formation, fighter cover from Helm’s task group and surface fire from the ships annihilated the Japanese planes. They succeeded in sinking two Japanese carriers while inflicting such staggering losses on the enemy that the battle was dubbed the “Marianas Turkey Shoot”.

Following the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea, Helm and the fast carriers turned their attention to neutralizing the enemy bases on the Bonin and Volcano Islands and supporting the invasion of Guam. The mobile carrier groups, screened by destroyers and cruisers, also began attacks on the Palau Islands on 25 Jul 1944. With occasional respite at Eniwetok or Ulithi, the carriers attacked Iwo Jima and other islands in the western Pacific until well into September.

Strikes were launched against Okinawa on 10 Oct after which the carriers turned to their real objective, the airfields and military installations on Formosa. In a devastating 3-day attack carrier planes did much to destroy that island as a supporting base for the Japanese in the battle of the Philippines and other invasions to come. DD 388 Helm brought down one enemy bomber with her 5-inch guns and assisted in shooting down several more.

By 24 Oct it was clear that the assault on Leyte had called forth one final effort on the part of the Japanese to destroy the American fleet. Its three major fleet units moved toward the Philippines. The Northern Group was to lure the American carriers northward away from Leyte, before the others converged on the assault area in Leyte Gulf for a two-pronged death blow. In for the historic Battle of Leyte Gulf, Helm with Rear Admiral Davison’s Task Group 38.4 turned her attention toward Admiral Kurita’s Center Force. Planes from the carriers struck the Japanese ships near mid-day in the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, sinking giant battleship Musashi and damaging other heavy ships.

Admiral Halsey took the carrier groups north to engage the powerful fleet of Admiral Ozawa. Screened by Helm and other surface units, the carriers made air contact on 25 Oct and, in a series of devastating strikes, sank four Japanese carriers and a destroyer. The great sea battle was thus ended, with the invasion of Leyte secured and the Japanese fleet no longer an effective fighting unit. On 28 Oct Helm and companion destroyer Gridley made a contact around noon with a submarine and dropped depth charges sinking I-46.

Departing Ulithi on 5 Nov 1944, DD 388 Helm steamed from Ulithi for Manus as the ship began preparations for the next important amphibious operation in the Philippine campaign, the landings at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon.

As the ships entered the Sulu Sea, the Japanese struck with suicide planes on 4 Jan 1945 and sank escort carrier Ommaney Bay. Gunfire from Helm and the other screening ships took a heavy toll of the attackers. The carrier groups were hit repeatedly by desperate air attacks, with Helm and the other destroyers accounting for many suicide and torpedo planes. When escort carrier Bismarck Sea was sunk in a massive suicide attack, Helm rescued survivors.

The veteran destroyer continued screening operations off Iwo Jima until she headed for Okinawa to provide close air support. CVE 106 Block Island was escorted by DE 183 Samuel S. Miles and DD 388 Helm to provide for for pre-invasion strikes. During her stay off Okinawa the destroyer shot down many suicide planes which menaced the carriers during fanatical, last-ditch efforts by the Japanese to repel the invasion. DD 388 Helm steamed to Leyte on 19 Jun with Okinawa secured.

Following the Okinawa operation Helm served as an escort and patrol ship out of Ulithi and Leyte and eventually Japan. She earned 11 Battle Stars for her service and was decommissioned on 26 Jun 1946.

DD 463 Corry (CVE 21)

DD 463 USS Corry, a Gleaves-class destroyer, was commissioned 18 Dec 1941. On 16 Feb 1944, Corry sailed for hunter-killer operations in the Atlantic with CVE 21 Block Island’s Task Group 21.16 On 16 Mar joined with Bronstein in attacking German submarine U-801. Corry’s depth charge attack caused the submarine to surface and then DD 463 sank her with gunfire, picking up 47 survivors. On 19 Mar 1944, Corry rescued eight survivors of U-1059, which was sunk southwest of the Cape Verde Islands by aircraft from CVE 21 Block Island.
Corry cleared Norfolk on 20 Apr 1944 for Great Britain, and the staging of the Normandy invasion. Getting underway from Plymouth, England, she was the lead destroyer of the Normandy Invasion task force, escorting ships and transports across the English Channel. Upon arriving off the coast of Normandy, France, she headed for Îles Saint-Marcouf. On D-Day morning 6 Jun 1944 her station was to provide fire support for the front lines at Utah Beach. DD463 fired several hundred rounds of 5-inch ammunition at numerous Nazi targets. As H-Hour, 0630 hours, neared, the plane assigned to lay smoke for Corry to conceal her from enemy fire suddenly got shot down, leaving Corry fully exposed. During a duel with a shore battery, Corry suffered direct heavy-caliber artillery hits in her engineering spaces amidships. Still under heavy fire, DD 463 Corry began sinking rapidly with her keel broken and a foot-wide crack across her main deck amidships. After the order to abandon ship, crew members fought to survive in bone-chilling 54-degree water for more than two hours as they awaited rescue under constant enemy fire. One crew member raised the American flag up Corry’s main mast, which remained above the surface of the shallow 30-foot deep water when the ship settled on the bottom. DD463 survivors were rescued by Fitch, Hobson, Butler, and PT-199. Of her crew, 24 were killed and 60 were wounded.

DE 575 Ahrens (CVE 21)

DE 575 USS Ahrens, a Buckley-class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 12 Feb 1944. Following shakedown training in Bermuda and Maine, she joined Task Group 21.11 a hunter/killer group — built around the escort carrier CVE-21 USS Block Island on 22 Feb 1944 at Norfolk, VA. On 29 May, German submarine U-549 torpedoed and sank Block Island and severely damaged DE 576 Barr. Ahrens rescued 673 officers and men in a period of 40 minutes. While carrying out rescue operations, the ship assisted the destroyer escort DE-686 Eugene E. Elmore in locating the submarine. Eugene E. Elmore made two hedgehog attacks which sank U-549.
On 23 Jul, Ahrens assumed duty as an escort for transatlantic convoys. On 13 Oct 1944 after a merchant ship collided with a gasoline tanker, starting large fires on both ships, Ahrens rescued survivors and then assisted DE 703 Holton in putting out the fires.

On 15 Dec 1944, Ahrens sailed with TG 27.7 to join the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. She sailed to Leyte, Philippines, arriving there on 9 Feb and was attached to TG 75.2 . Ahrens escorted merchant and naval convoys until 25 Aug 1945. In late Aug 1945, Ahrens was detached from the Philippine Sea duties and began supporting occupation forces operating in China and Korea.

An interesting note on the Ahrens history is that Edward E. Lull replaced H. Mullins, Jr. as Commander Escort Division Sixty. Ahrens was the Flagship of Division 60. Commander Mullins had been aboard CVE 21 Block Island and actually brought his Flag aboard the Ahrens when he was fished out of the water with the other Block Island survivors on 29 May 1944. This action indicates that an officer that was rescued from that sinking actually later became the Commander of the very ship that saved his life. Ahrens was decommissioned on 24 Jun 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy List on 1 April 1965.

DE 576 Barr (CVE 21)

/>DE 576 USS Barr was commissioned on 16 Feb 1944. Following shakedown and additional training off Bermuda and Maine, the Barr reported to Norfolk for antisubmarine duty in the Atlantic off the Cape Verde Islands. She operated as part of a hunter-killer task group built around CVE 21 USS Block Island and composed of DE 575 USS Ahrens, DE 686 USS Eugene E. Elmore, and DE 51 USS Buckley. The group left Norfolk 29 Apr 1944 and conducted submarine searches for the next several weeks. On 6 May, Buckley rammed and sank an enemy submarine U-66, verifying that the waters of the South Atlantic did hide enemy submarines.
On 29 May, while closing in on a reported submarine, Block Island suffered two torpedo hits. Barr pursued the submarine, later identified as U-549, until around 2030 hours when a third torpedo struck the Barr. The explosion wrecked the ship aft of the No. 2 engine room, killing four of her crew, injuring 14, and leaving 12 missing. Throughout the night, Barr stayed dead in the water while DE 578 Robert I. Paine patrolled around her. DE 686 Eugene E. Elmore took Barr’s injured and about half of her crew on board, hooked up a towline to the damaged escort and began the journey to Casablanca. DE 397 Wilhoite relieved Eugene E. Elmore and the Dutch tug, Antic took over and finally towed Barr into port six days later.

Barr stayed in drydock at Casablanca until 2 Jul while the wreckage of her damaged stern was burned off, spaces cleared of oil and debris, and stern plates welded on for the trip home. On 3 Jul, ATF 66 Cherokee began the long voyage to Boston with Barr in tow arriving on 25 Jul.

The Barr spent the next three months in drydock being refurbished and converted to a high speed transport. Redesignated APD 39, Barr sailed for Norfolk on 3 Nov for boat training, and departed that port on the 15 Nov as escort for AGC 14 Teton. She sailed westward and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 Dec.

On 10 Jan 1945, Barr set sail for Ulithi, the main staging area for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Barr arrived off the southern end of the island on 16 Feb and she embarked her underwater demolition team, successfully completed the first mission by placing a navigational light on the hazardous Higashi Rocks despite coming under heavy enemy fire. Barr, however, solved the problem, silencing that gunfire with some of her own.

On 18 Feb, Barr received orders to land her UDT on the Higashi Rocks again to reposition the light before retiring for the night. As she and APD-48 Blessman pulled away from the island, a Japanese bomber flew over Barr, crashed Blessman, and caused many casualties. On D day, 19 Feb, Barr and her UDT frogmen, assisted in guiding marines to the landing beaches.

On the 21st, she stood out of Ulithi as part of the Gun Fire and Covering Force under Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo. The warships arrived off Okinawa on 25 Mar and during the next four days, Barr put UDT 13 ashore on Keise Shima, a group of small sand and coral islands between Kerama Retto and Okinawa, to gather information and blast passages through the reef for the LST’s.

The Japanese maintained an almost constant aerial onslaught in the early days of the invasion. Barr did not close Okinawa on D day, 1 April, but remained in the transport area as a part of the antisubmarine screen. She transferred UDT 13 to APA 54 Wayne 7 Apr and continued screening until 9 April.

Barr got underway again on 23 Apr to escort a convoy of LSTs and LSMs back to Okinawa. Along with hundreds of other Allied ships, including the new CVE 106 Block Island she operated off Okinawa during May 1945. She provided anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense until 27 May, when she headed for Saipan as a convoy escort. The fast transport resumed screening duties at Okinawa after her return late in June.

After Japan capitulated on 15 Aug, Barr rendezvoused with HMS King George V and HMS Gambia east of Tokyo, embarked Royal Marines from the two British warships and landed them at Yokosuka. After this mission, she proceeded to the north end of the bay to evacuate 1,135 Allied prisoners of war from central Honshu. On 12 Oct, she was ordered to Nagasaki for duty with the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. She served there as a base of operations and as a barracks ship until 1 Dec when she began the voyage to the United States.

She was placed out of commission and in reserve on 12 Jul 1946. Barr remained in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until 1 Jun 1960 when she was struck from the Navy list. Barr received three battle stars for her World War II service..

DE 578 USS Robert I. Paine

DE 578 USS Robert I. Paine, a Buckley-class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 26 Feb 1944. Robert I. Paine completed shakedown and training in Apr 1944. She departed Brooklyn the same day to screen the carriers CV 4 Ranger and CVE 11 Card as they transported Army aircraft and Allied personnel to Casablanca.
Detached on the 10 May 1944, she joined a hunter-killer group centered on the escort carrier CVE 21 Block Island. On the 29th, CVE 21 Block Island was sunk and DE 576 Barr was struck in the stern of torpedoes from U-549. The remaining escorts commenced rescue and search operations, with Robert I. Paine taking on 279 survivors from CVE 21, then moving in to cover the crippled DE. On 4 Jun, Robert I. Paine steamed for Gibraltar, and rendezvoused with GUF-11.

In February 1945, she shifted to escort work off the southern New England coast and in early March she headed east to join the 12th Fleet for patrol work under the Royal Navy’s Western Approaches Command. For the remainder of the European War Robert I. Paine guarded convoys on the first or last section of the transatlantic convoy lanes. She was decommissioned on 21 Nov 1945 and struck from the Navy List on 1 Jun 1968.

DD 666 Black (CVE 21)

DD 666 USS Black, a Fletcher-class destroyer, was commissioned 21 May 1943. After several east coast shakedown cruises she sailed for Norfolk, VA for refresher training. On 10 Oct 1943 she collided with the escort carrier CVE 21 USS Block Island and was forced to enter the Navy Yard for repairs. Black proceeded to the Pacific where she was assigned screening duty off Tarawa. She saw her first combat during the invasion of the Marshall Islands, followed by New Guinea, Saipan, and Guam. DD 666 saw action at Leyte and Ulithi where Black participated in the Okinawa operation. She served in the Far Fast on occupation duty until 10 Nov 1945. DD 666 Black was placed out of commission in on 5 Aug 1946.
DD 666 Black was recommissioned on 18 Jul 1951 and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. DD 666 departed Norfolk, Va. for Korea where she continued operations until 4 Jun 1953. Black continued to serve the U.S. Navy until Sep 1969 when she was decommissioned. Black received six battle stars for her World War II service and two battle stars for service off Korea.

DE 686 Eugene E. Elmore (CVE 21)

DE 686 USS Eugene E. Elmore, a Rudderow-class destroyer escort, was commissioned 4 Feb 1944. On 22 Apr 1944 at Norfolk, VA, Eugene E. Elmore joined the antisubmarine group formed around CVE 21 USS Block Island, and sailed for Casablanca to provide cover for convoys moving across the mid-Atlantic. During the return passage, on 29 May 1944, Block Island was torpedoed, as was the escort DE 576 USS Barr. DE 575 USS Ahrens began rescuing Block Island survivors when she made a submarine contact and directed Eugene E. Elmore to the target, German submarine U-549. DE 686 Eugene E. Elmore sank the German submarine and then stood by DE 576 Barr throughout the night. The DE 686 took off her wounded and many of her crew members. She took Barr in tow for Casablanca, and was relieved of her tow one day before reaching port 2 Jun 1944.
Eugene E. Elmore returned to New York City 13 Jun 1944, and during the next 4½ months made two voyages escorting convoys to the Mediterranean Sea. On 3 Nov 1944 she got underway from New York for the South Pacific, arriving at Hollandia 11 Dec to join the 7th Fleet. She joined the escort of a convoy bound with reinforcements and supplies for newly invaded Lingayen Gulf. After arriving on 12 Jan 1945, she joined the ships providing antiaircraft fire to protect the assault shipping for 2 days, then sailed to San Pedro Bay to prepare for the landings at Subic Bay 29 Jan 1945.

DE 686 continued to operate out of San Pedro Bay, supporting the continuing battles of the Philippines by escorting convoys from Biak, the Palaus, Ulithi, and New Guinea. Between 13 Jul 1945 and 22 Aug 1945, she twice escorted convoys from the Philippines to Okinawa, and on 3 Sep arrived off Okinawa once more for occupation duty. In Oct 1945 she escorted transports carrying men to Jinsen, Korea, and on 15 Oct, sailed from Okinawa for San Diego, arriving 5 Nov. There she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 31 May 1946. DE 686 USS Eugene E. Elmore received four battle stars for World War II service.

DD 748 Harry E. Hubbard (CVE 106)

DD 748 USS Harry E. Hubbard, a Sumner-class destroyer, was commissioned on 22 Jul 1944. On 17 Apr 1945 DD 748 Harry E. Hubbard sailed from Hawaii for Ulithi in the Carolinas with CVE 106 USS Block Island. She arrived off Okinawa on 8 May 1945 to serve as a picket destroyer. For nearly two months Hubbard fought off the Japanese planes, shooting down four suicide kamikazes planes. Hubbard remained off Okinawa until 24 Jul 1945 then escorted occupation troops to Jinsen, Korea, and carried the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 64 (DesRon 64) to Chinkai, Korea, to oversee the demilitarization of the former Japanese naval base there. She was decommissioned on 15 Jan 1947.
Following the invasion of South Korea, Harry E. Hubbard was recommissioned on 27 Oct 1950. Besides helping guard the fast carrier task force making repeated airstrikes against the enemy, she frequently joined in gunstrike missions to bombard coastal rail and communication centers and performed as sea-going artillery to support the advance of land troops. Between 1954 and 1966 Harry E. Hubbard served on nine Far East tours with the 7th Fleet. During the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964, Harry E. Hubbard was nearby in the South China Sea screening Ticonderoga. The carrier task group struck to destroy North Vietnamese torpedo boats and their supporting facilities. In Oct 1965, she departed for the coast of South Vietnam in company with Valley Forge to provided gunfire support for two Marine amphibious landings. In the following months, she acted as escort to Kitty Hawk and Hancock during their strike operations in the South China Sea.

She was decommissioned Oct 1969.

CDR Roy L. Swift with Robert J Cressman(1986, Winter). The Tale of Two Block Islands., The Hook, 22-39

Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, www.history.navy.mil/danfs/index.html

Naval Historical Foundation Photographic Service. Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC.


Ahrens DE-575 - History

THE ASSOCIATION

Message from the USS Block Island Association.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and all members of the USS Block Island Association, we would personally like to welcome you to our website. It was established to preserve the history of the USS Block Island escort carriers, supporting destroyers, and the many shipmates, Marines, and air crews who proudly served our country. It is our hope that both the current generation and future generations will better understand the great dedication of these personnel. You will find many photos, historical documents, and personal stories as you explore our website.

USS Block Island, CVE-21, USS Block Island CVE-106
( sunk 5/29/44 by a German U-Boat )
Navy Squadron VC-6, VC-25 Navy VS-22 (Korea)
Navy Squadron VC-55 Navy VS-30 (Korea)
Navy Squadron VC-58 Marine VMTB-233
USS Ahrens, DE 575 Marine Carrier Service

USS Barr, DE 576 Detachment #1
USS Buckley, DE 51 Marine Carrier
USS E. E. Elmore, DE 686 Division 27
USS Paine, DE 578 Marine VMF 511
USS Bronstein, DE 189

Board of Directors
USS Block Island Assn.

Association History

The USS Block Island Association was formed as a non-profit organization in 1963. A small group of CVE 21 and CVE 106 crew members laid the real “keel” of the Association by adopting a set of bylaws that made the commissioning a reality in their effort to perpetuate the history of the USS Block Island aircraft carriers and supporting destroyers.

In December 1944, the commissioning ceremony of CVE 106 was attended by many dignitaries, in part because history was being made. It was not just the launching of the second carrier of the same name, but also the first fighting ship that was to be almost completely manned by the surviving crew of its predecessor. In his presentation to the ships crew and to their commitment to taking the helm of their new ship, Captain Hughes made this commitment and obligation to the entire crew:

“We have a more solemn obligation (over and above the task for which the ship was designed and constructed), for on us has fallen a very singular and solemn heritage – that to perpetuate the name USS Block Island. That is indeed a big responsibility and one I know we shall accept with a determination that will not let us fail!”

The crew held to this obligation with much pride and to this day, by way of the USS Block Island Association, has continued to “perpetuate” that history long after the Block Island CVE 21 went to its final rest on the ocean bottom and CVE 106 was stricken in 1957 from Naval records. Many of the survivors of the sinking of CVE 21 maintained personal contact with shipmates and also with crew members of the four destroyer escorts that were operating in the task group. The sinking and subsequent rescue created a comradeship between the survivors and the crews of the DEs. Some of these survivors would meet from time to time to renew friendships, make new friendships and share stories of that common disaster. Over a few years the group grew and the idea came up that an association should be formed that could bring all of their shipmates together at an annual reunion. Today, one of the major activities of the Association is the annual reunion on a date close to May 29th (which was the date of the sinking of CVE 21). In 1964 and 1966 through 1981, regional reunions were held throughout the USA. The last regional reunion was held 1983 after which the Association voted to recognize only the annual national reunion.

The Association included both the Aircraft Carriers CVE 21 and CVE 106 because the majority of the survivors of CVE 21 also served on CVE 106. Within three years over 500 sailors, marines and airmen had joined the Association. The bylaws as originally drafted included “all personnel who served on, over, or in the company of the two Aircraft Carriers”. Little did the drafters of those original bylaws know that over 20,000 Navy and Marine personnel met the conditions. Their thought was that maybe as many as 2,000 personnel would be involved but Navy records show that number was less than 10% of those that qualified for membership.

Public records now show that as great a number as 85% of the qualified personnel are deceased. To maintain the Association the remaining members are looking to the sons, daughters and other relatives of qualifying personnel to continue in their footsteps. The contributions and sacrifices that the Association’s sailors and marines made for their country should never be forgotten. As of September 1, 2006 (over 62 years since the sinking of CVE 21) the Association has 269 registered members with 228 of those members having served on either ship in WWII. The Association has 125 life members who are the known widows of deceased members and 69 members who are relatives of the men who served. The Association also has 41 members who served on CVE 106 during the Korean Campaign after WWII.

In 2007 a special ceremony was held for the members of the USS Block Island as they were honored by the residents of Block Island, RI. The photo at left shows shipmates surrounding the ship’s bell of the CVE 106 at its permanent home in the museum on the island.


“I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine” – Heroism and Honor at Guadalcanal

Despite being the smallest of America’s Armed Forces, the US Marine Corps are considered the cream of the crop. There is a good reason for this as each member is almost a one man army which many have proven over the years.

One such man was Edward Henry Ahrens who was born on November 4, 1919, in Dayton, Kentucky. After graduating from high school, he got a job with the Wadsworth Watch Case Company.

Life dramatically changed for him when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It forced America into a war it had tried very hard to avoid. Rather than wait to be conscripted, Ahrens went to Cincinnati, Ohio to join the US Marine Corps on February 3, 1942.

First, he went to South Carolina for boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. No doubt impressed that a watch case maker had not only survived their process but had also passed it, he was then sent to the Marine Barracks Quantico in Virginia on March 16, 1942. He did not stay there for long.

Japan did not bomb Pearl Harbor out of any desire to conquer the US. It wanted an empire in the Pacific which meant capturing islands belonging to the US and various European countries.

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Within hours of destroying the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, they attacked the American territories of the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island. They also invaded the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. By February 1942, they were bombing northern Australia.

As America was not the military superpower it is today, at first it fought a defensive war. As a result, Japan’s victory over the Pacific seemed inevitable. Until Operation Watchtower was launched.

Japanese air raid on Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia on February 19, 1942.

Better known today as the Battle of Guadalcanal (or the Guadalcanal Campaign), its original goal was to take only the island of Tulagi in the British Solomon Islands. Japan had captured it on May 3, 1942, and used it to threaten Allied supply routes and communication lines between the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

By the summer, America’s vast resources and industrial might came into play. On August 7, the US went on the offensive for the first time when it attacked not just Tulagi, but also the islands of Gavutu-Tanambogo, Guadalcanal, and Florida in the southern Solomon Islands. With the support of ships from the Navies of Australia and New Zealand, the US 1 st Marine Division landed on the beaches.

US Marines making their way to the beaches of Tulagi on August 7, 1942

Company C, 1 st Raider Battalion had taken and secured the right flank of the beachhead. Ahrens was with Company A, 1 st Raider Battalion, Fleet Marine Force aboard the USS Little (APD-4) as part of the second assault team. To their surprise, they met with very little opposition.

The Marines made their way down the right slope of the island’s central ridge. It was terrain they knew well as Tulagi had been British territory until the Japanese had decided otherwise.

Company A’s target was a former British government building which they intended to use as their Raider command post. Being British, of course, it had a cricket field overlooking a ridge. Private First Class Ahrens’ job was to defend it. His team fanned out and prepared its defenses.

The Japanese launched their counter attack later that evening. They tried to drive a wedge between the two companies, forcing C company to stay where it was while they focused their main attack on Ahren’s group. Their goal was to make their way up the ridge, sweep through the cricket grounds, and take the new Raider command post. Or so they hoped.

Map of the landings and fighting on Tulagi. By Memnon335bc – CC BY 3.0

Ahrens was part of a security detachment guarding the Raiders’ right flank when the attack came. The fighting was so close that guns quickly became useless and it devolved into a melee of hand-to-hand combat.

It was Major Lewis William “Lew” Walt who found Ahrens the following morning. The 22-year-old private was slumped in a foxhole covered with blood but that is not what amazed Walt.

With Ahrens were two Japanese bodies – one a lieutenant while the other was a sergeant. In Ahrens’ hand was a Japanese sword belonging to an officer. Around the foxhole were 11 more corpses all Japanese.

Japanese officers and petty officers of the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force. They took Tulagi in May 1942, and most were killed during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Kentucky native had been stabbed and shot several times, but to Walt’s even greater surprise, Ahrens, who weighed a mere 140 pounds was still alive. Jumping in, Walt tried to do what he could, but he knew it was too late.

The major cradled Ahrens in his arms, pleading with him to lie still until help came, promising that everything would be alright. He knew it was a lie there was far too much damage and blood loss.

With a final gasp, Ahrens whispered, “They tried to come over me last night – I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine.”

The USS Ahrens in the Atlantic.

He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and credited with killing the officer in command of the attack, as well as two others. The following year, they also named a destroyer escort after him the USS Ahrens (DE-575).

It would have made the private proud to know that on May 29, 1944, the USS Ahrens rescued 673 people from two ships sunk by German U-boats. She also protected merchant ships throughout the rest of the war, ensuring the flow of goods to where they were most needed.

Equally important, however, was the fact that the Guadalcanal Campaign was a success. It was also the turning point in the Pacific Theater, forcing Japan to go on the defensive.


HISTORY

In 1898, a hard-working, young blacksmith decided to test his luck on the Kalgoorlie goldfields. But Johann Karl Wilhelm Ahrens, better known as Wilhelm, became seriously ill with typhoid fever and was forced to return home to the Barossa Valley with his wife, Alma, and their two young children. Wilhelm rented a barn where he set up a blacksmith shop, offering basic services such as shoeing horses to the local farmers. On 5 April 1906, Wilhelm borrowed 100 pounds from Alma's father to purchase a cottage and blacksmith shop on three acres of land at Sheaoak Log in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. This was the beginning of Ahrens.

The Early Days

For the first 50 years of Ahrens, Wilhelm and his son, Bill, ran a blacksmith shop at Sheaoak Log in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. During this time, the business experienced many changes, including the introduction of motorised vehicles and power tools and tractors replacing horses for transport and farm work. In the 1960s, Bill&rsquos son, Bob, joined the company and three generations of the family worked sided by side for the next few years. In 1964, Bob's wife, Marj, joined the business and under their leadership the company began to show real signs of progress. Bob was an entrepreneurial engineer and grew the business by extending its product range to include grain silos, field bins, rural sheds and stone and land rollers.

Agri Expansion

In the late 1970s, Ahrens began fabricating its own structural steel at the Sheaoak Log workshop. Construction work in the Northern Territory, as well as projects for the local wine industry, gave the business a strong foundation and it quickly established a reputation as a cost-effective supplier of steel buildings. Bob and Marj&rsquos son, Stefan, started working for Ahrens in 1988 and was appointed Managing Director in 1995. In 1998, Ahrens acquired the silo manufacturing and distribution businesses of Sherwell in South Australian and Victoria and in 2002 it acquired Webster's Silos in Queensland. In 2003, Ahrens bought M&S Steel Buildings and established a second steel fabrication and construction base in Queensland. Ahrens Agri division now has a footprint of six primary manufacturing facilities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, as well as a satellite operation in Tasmania. More recent Agri acquisitions include MPH Rural&rsquos silo operations in Toowoomba, Queensland and Gilgandra, New South Wales in 2010, Jaeschke Silos in Tarranyurk, Victoria in 2011 , and Pioneer Water Tanks in Perth, Western Australia in 2015.

Diversification

As well as expanding the Agri business over the last decade, Stefan has transformed the business from a steel fabricator and shed builder to a national construction, engineering and mining services company specialising in design and construct projects. In 2003, Ahrens opened a Brisbane office and a Materials Handling office in Toowoomba in 2005. The growth of the construction business continued with the acquisition of Allbuilt Constructions in Darwin in 2006, and the opening of a Perth office in 2008. Today, the business has the advantage of sourcing steel from its own steel fabrication facilities which have been extended with the addition of a semi-automated shot blast and paintline and a world-class Custom Engineered Building line. We provide steel for the majority of our projects, supplemented by overseas fabricators through our Global Procurement office in China, which was established in 2010.

Our Centenary

In 2006, Ahrens celebrated 100 years in business. This was preceded by the launch of a new logo and culminated in several major events, including a formal dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre and a family day at Sheaoak Log. We also released a book 'A Century of Change' to commemorate the occasion. The book captures the stories and successes of the Ahrens' family and business over 100 years.

Mining growth

To support our expansion into providing non-process infrastructure, residential refurbishment and maintenance services to the mining and oil and gas sectors, Ahrens purchased Mahon&rsquos Asset Management, in Newman, Western Australia in 2010. In 2012, we acquired Olympic Dam Precision Engineering in Roxby Downs, a machining and fabrication business and expanded this by merging it with Sandvik services which were acquired in late 2013. we further extended our specialist maintenance and engineering services after acquiring Barossa Engineering Services in Nuriootpa in 2014 and Savannah Engineers in Western Australia in 2015 . Through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, Ahrens is now a leading provider construction, engineering and mining services to the mining and oil and gas industry in several key locations, including the Pilbara, Western Australia Olympic Dam, South Australia Darwin, Northern Territory and the Surat and Bowen Basins, Queensland.


Tour 11/17/2008, USS Ahrens (DE-575)

This Saturday I gave two tours to small groups of visitors. Both tour groups were very knowledgeable about the USS Slater and Destroyer Escorts. The people in the first group were repeat visitors. They appeared to be very impressed with the progress of the restoration effort since their last visit (approximately five years ago). The Slater's crew is always trying to improve the state of the ship and expand the tour experience. There's also a lot of restoration effort that goes on behind the scenes. Because of accessibility reasons many of these areas are not included on the standard tour. I recommended that they consider the USS Slater's Hard Hat Tour so they could explore areas of the ship that they haven't seen before. Some of the more interesting areas are the Flying Bridge, the Engine Room, and the Motor Room. While these spaces are not open to the public because of accessibility, there have been significant restoration efforts in them.

The father of one of the visitors in the second tour group served as a ship's baker on the USS Ahrens (DE-575) in WWII. The USS Ahrens was a member of Destroyer Escort Division 60. One of the big roles that DEs performed was to rescue sailors from stricken ships. The USS Ahrens performed this task on two arduous occasions. The first involved the USS Block Island (CVE-21). And the second involved a collision between a gasoline tanker and a liberty ship in a North Atlantic convoy.

The USS Block Island (CVE-21) was an escort carrier. In 1944, the Block Island, along with four Destroyer Escorts (including the Ahrens) formed a Hunter-Killer Team (TU 22.11). Hunter-Killer teams would actively search an area for U-Boats. Radio Activity and decoded U-Boat messages (from Bletchley Park) would direct the Hunter Killer team to a region. Since a U-Boat would spend most of the time on the surface, patrol planes from the small carrier would narrow the search. Once a U-Boat was found a pair of Destroyer Escorts would be dispatched to finish the U-Boat. Two DEs would continue to escort the Carrier.

In response to the Hunter-Killer Groups, in 1944 the German U-boat command started to arm U-Boats with Acoustic Homing Torpedoes. They also implemented an offensive strategy to sink the escorts: ". Offense is the best defense. If the enemy bears down on you, do not blind yourselves by going to great depths, but in the daytime remain at periscope depth and fire. You still have enough time after firing to dive. The same applies at night, first fire, then dive. Offense is the best defense. Act accordingly. "

On May 29, 1944 the USS Block Island was torpedoed by three torpedoes from U-549. The USS Ahrens and the USS Robert I. Paine (DE 578) assisted the USS Block Island. Two other Destroyer Escorts in the group, the USS Barr (DE-576) and the USS Eugene E. Elmore (DE-686) attacked the U-549. The U-Boat was equipped with the newly developed Acoustic Homing Torpedoes, and managed to cripple the USS Barr. The Ahrens and the Paine were stationary during the rescue, and they would have been an excellent targets. It was probably a race, would the Elmore get U-549 before another DE was hit. This survivor's account details the action: ". At 2040 Captain Hughes ordered all hands to “Abandon Ship”. By 2100 most men went over the starboard side, either jumping or sliding down knotted 40-ft. Rope ladders. As the ship sank the planes spotted on deck slid into the sea like toys, the TBM’s depth changes exploding deep under the surface. Block Island took her final plunge at 2155. We were equipped with various types of life belts / jackets as well as cork supported rope nets. . The USS Ahrens DE 575 stopped engines and drifted to a stop in the Atlantic swells, recovering the Block Islanders from the sea. With Ahrens’ engines now stilled, her sonar almost immediately detected U-549. Ahrens skipper radioed the USS Elmore DE 686 coaching the sister ship to where the German submarine lay. Three projectiles from Elmore’s hedgehogs slammed into the U-549’s hull at 2127. A great, grinding internal explosion audible to the monitoring ships destroyed the U-boat a moment later.

A postscript to this story - it appears that the Ahrens was being stalked by U-549. An Ahrens crew member, Maury Gamache was given credit for spotting U-549. Perhaps his sharp eye saved DE-549 (and many of the Block Island survivors): ". I normally was assigned to the depth charge and K gun area but while we were picking up survivors I was sent to the 101 gun mount, along with an ensign. While I was there he told me to keep a close look out to the opposite side where the survivor activity was taking place, which I did with an occasional look in that direction. After a while, I think it was just after dusk, I saw a periscope on the left side of the ship and I was so speechless that I tapped him on the shoulder and pointed and he saw the same periscope. He immediately notified the bridge and that is when the Ahrens had to break off the picking up of survivors and make emergency speed to avoid being sunk also. . "

Part of the Block Island Crew in Casablanca

The Ahrens was credited with rescuing 673 sailors from the USS Block Island. The small Destroyer Escort, with it's own crew of 213, had 886 sailors on-board. About a month ago the Slater hosted an open house and had several thousand visitors, but I doubt that 886 were aboard an any given time. I'm pretty sure that a ships baker had his hads full feeding this many sailors. The account from rescued Block Island sailors continues: ". The next morning, 30 May, Elmore with the damaged Barr under tow, and the two DE’s laden with the CVE survivors, cleared the area for Casablanca, arriving 1 June. The personnel of the two DE’s, did a commendable job of making all hands as comfortable as possible, some giving up bunks for others to catch a few winks. The task of feeding this large number, aboard the Ahrens and the Paine, was without parallel. While we were lined up on the main deck, waiting turns to go below to eat our two meals. Sometimes, from the bridge came the order for some men to shift from one side or to the other to maintain an even keel. The odor of diesel fuel oil was everywhere that we touched. My what a mess! However, we were SAFE. . "

  • Complete Damage Control Reports on the USS Block Island are available.

  • Lewis Andrew, in his book Tempest, Fire and Foe, has a detailed account on the USS Ahrens & USS Block Island is detailed on Page 71.

  • One Block Island survivor has made large scale models of the USS Ahrens and the USS Block Island which are on display in Latonia, Kentucky.

When ships are packed into convoys of 50 plus ships accidents are bound to happen. The worst ones occur when one of the ships is carrying a highly explosive cargo. On the 13th of October, 1944 the Liberty Ship Howard Gibson and the British gasoline tanker George W. McKnight collided. The USS Holton (DE-703), USS Cronin (DE-704), and the USS Ahrens (DE-575) were involved with the rescue. Once again, Lewis Andrew's excellent book, Tempest, Fire and Foe gives an excellent account on page 58.

This will be my last duty weekend until April 2008. In early December the USS Slater will move to the east bank of the Hudson River to protect the ship from winter ice. It will be closed for tours until she returns to the Albany-side in April. During the winter I'll continue to post to the blog. If anyone has a topic request concerning Destroyer Escorts e-mail me.


The S.S. Bremen: Last Voyage of a great Luxury Liner

The great German liner Bremen, which ran a British blockade, ended her career in a scrap yard.

  • After docking in New York on August 28, 1939, only four days before the outbreak of World War II, Captain Adolf Ahrens of Germany’s North German Lloyd shipping line was faced with a decision.

  • The independent-minded skipper could disobey orders again by allowing his ship, the passenger liner Bremen, the jewel of the German merchant fleet, to be interned by the neutral United States. Or he could obey instructions and make a run for it, piloting the Bremen on a mad dash for home under the eyes and guns of Britain’s Royal Navy, whose surface fleet dominated the North Atlantic. Ahrens opted to pilot his ship to its berth in Germany.

It proved to be the longest journey the Bremen had ever undertaken. After a dangerous three-month odyssey, the luxury liner finally returned to her mooring at Bremerhaven’s Columbus Quay. Ahrens relied on skillful seamanship, good fortune, and the assistance of Nazi Germany’s ally at the war’s onset, the Soviet Union.

  • The Bremen was among the most highly pedigreed blockade runners in maritime history. Along with her sister ship, Europa, the Bremen represented North German Lloyd’s bid to challenge the Cunard Line and the French Line for luxury transatlantic passenger service in the years between the world wars.

  • Architect Bruno Paul, whose work won prizes for Germany at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and whose buildings were noted for their clean, classic elegance, led her design team. Paul, who had blueprinted one of Berlin’s first high-rise buildings, gave the Bremen’s salons and cabins a thoroughly modern appearance.
  • Among his innovations was a unique split-funnel design in which both of the ship’s twin stacks, obstructions on most passenger vessels, parted on the promenade deck to provide additional space for salons and entertainment rooms.

  • The Bremen was built for speed as well as comfort, taking the coveted Blue Riband for fastest Atlantic crossing on her maiden voyage in July 1929. Cruising at 27.83 knots, she beat the Cunard liner and previous Riband holder RMS Mauretania by two knots, traveling from Cherbourg to New York in only four days, 18 hours, and 17 minutes. The Bremen was nearly as fast as light cruisers, the greyhounds of the world’s navies. It was as up-to-date as possible and was equipped with desalination machinery, transforming seawater into drinking water.

The German liner appeared on the seas only months before the Wall Street stock market crash of October 1929, which caused a global depression and created circumstances favorable for the rise of Adolf Hitler.

  • Labor unrest, including the periodic shipyard strikes that delayed the Bremen’s construction in the old commercial city whose name she bore, would never slow the ship in the years following Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor in 1933.
  • The Bremen’s crew of over 900 men and a few women included a Nazi Party cell and even a unit of the SA, the brown-shirted storm troopers who helped Hitler bully his way to power, but the passengers who traveled on the Bremen after 1933 were seldom disturbed by politics.

In a bid to retain foreign clients and to polish Germany’s image as a modern, moderate state, it was the expressed policy of German shipping lines to downplay Nazism. Except for the swastika flag fluttering from the stern, the Nazi takeover brought few changes to the Bremen from the passenger’s perspective.

  • The mood was decidedly less than carefree, however, when the Bremen sailed from Bremerhaven on August 22, 1939, with cargo, thousands of mailbags, and 1,200 passengers onboard, most of them U.S. nationals trying to outrun the storm clouds gathering over Europe.
  • On the following day, the liner anchored briefly as scheduled in the ports of nations that would soon be at war with Germany, taking on an additional 500 passengers at Southampton and Cherbourg before making for the open Atlantic.

Arriving in America Against Orders

On the evening of August 25 at 56 degrees longitude, the Bremen received word from Germany that all German ships on the high seas were to return to home port before the outbreak of war. Captain Ahrens ignored the order and continued sailing for New York.

  • Likewise, on the following day, he again broke the rules by radioing Germany of his intention to proceed to New York. On August 27, Ahrens broke radio silence again by informing his superiors that he had only enough fuel left for three days and would sail to Havana, where passengers would disembark.
  • This time the German Admiralty and Transportation Ministry issued him clear and direct orders to disembark his passengers in New York, refuel, and return to Germany as soon as possible. Ahrens finally obeyed.

After the Bremen arrived in New York on August 28, greeted by reporters and newsreel cameras along with tugboats and customs officers, Ahrens quickly and ingeniously prepared the ship for what promised to be her roughest journey by purchasing black paper from a theatrical supply company to black out the hundreds of portholes and windows.

  • Although North German Lloyd’s New York bureau passed on instructions from the home office for the liner’s swift departure for Bremerhaven, U.S. Customs officials were not eager for the Bremen to leave.
  • Working under the authority of recently enacted neutrality regulations, 26 customs agents boarded the liner on the morning of August 29, searching her from stem to stern for weapons and contraband, inspecting the lifeboats, counting the lifejackets, and taking breaks for coffee and meals.


SS BREMEN sailing away…

At the end of the workday, the customs agents departed, explaining that their report had to be read by the chief of customs in New York before the ship could leave.

  • Because of the unexpected delay, Ahrens granted his crew a leave for the night. Many of the sailors had been so familiar with New York from previous trips that they jokingly referred to the city as “a suburb of Bremerhaven.”
  • As they sauntered through Times Square, they found a message about their ship’s arrival running on the electrically lit billboard of the New York Times building. Some of the sailors repaired to the German restaurants of Manhattan, while others took in such sights as Broadway and Rockefeller Center.

The Bremen’s officers believed that the Roosevelt administration delayed their departure in order to give the Royal Navy time to establish pickets in the Atlantic or in the hope that Ahrens would lose heart and allow his ship to be interned and, perhaps, eventually seized by the U.S. Merchant Marine.

  • German liner Bremen waits at a Hudson River pier as customs officials search the vessel and refuse to let it sail. Detaining of the ship followed after President Roosevelt’s announcement that all ships of potentially hostile nations be searched for guns. Protests from the German Embassy were ignored.
  • On the morning of August 30, customs agents boarded the liner again, this time removing paneled walls, searching the tanks in the engine room, and probing the deepest recesses of the ship.
  • They returned the following morning, checking the ship’s pumps and, according to an account later published in Germany, milling around and dragging their feet.
  • The crew could only take comfort from observing that customs agents were also inspecting the French liner Normandie docked nearby.

The Crew Prepares For War

Late that afternoon, U.S. authorities, finding nothing, finally authorized the Bremen to depart. At 6:30 pm, she finally set sail. Slowly gliding past lower Manhattan on her way to the Atlantic, the ship’s band struck up “Deutschland Uber Alles” and the Nazi Party anthem, “Horst Wessel Lied.” Many of the crew members had assembled on deck, their arms raised in the Nazi salute. But political zeal and martial fervor did not cancel out the ancient courtesies of the sea.

  • When the Bremen passed the Normandie, sailors from both ships waved and dipped their colors in salute. Unlike the Bremen, the Normandie would never leave New York harbor. It was interned and eventually requisitioned by the United States as a troopship before being destroyed at dockside by a mysterious fire in 1942.
  • After passing the lightship Ambrose, the Bremen’s crew, working from lifeboats suspended above the waterline, rapidly painted the liner’s black hull a dull gray to match the overcast North Atlantic. The Bremen’s white superstructure and yellow funnel were also painted in a mixture of white and black paint once the gray ran out.

The ship’s name and home port were also covered in dark paint. Speeding at 27-28 knots, the Bremen continued northeastward through heavy seas and thick fog. Running lights were extinguished, radio silence was maintained, and extra lookouts were posted on deck and on the masts. At the first indication of another ship on the horizon, the Bremen changed course to avoid being spotted.

  • While hoping either for peace or to outrun the start of the war, the officers drew up detailed plans for scuttling the ship and evacuating the crew in the event of being captured by the British. Mattresses, wood, and gasoline were piled in key places in order to set the ship ablaze, even as the engineers planned to open ducts to flood the liner’s lower decks. Sandbags were positioned around the wheelhouse in case British aircraft strafed the ship.

Hunted by the Royal Navy

On September 1, tension thickened when the wireless received word that the German Army had rolled across the Polish border.

  • The Germans had hoped that France and Great Britain would stay out of Hitler’s way, as they had so many times before in recent years.
  • News updates were regularly posted on the ship’s bulletin boards.
  • By September 3, when Britain declared war against Germany, the Bremen was south of Iceland and entering the Denmark Strait. The captain assembled the crew in the main dining hall to relay the disheartening news.

By that time the Bremen was being hunted by considerable units of the Royal Navy, anxious to seize or sink the pride of Germany’s merchant fleet. British submarines lurked near the entrances of Germany’s ports.

  • Two British cruisers accompanied by eight destroyers prowled the coast of Norway, and heavier units of Britain’s Home Fleet patrolled the North Atlantic.
  • But the British never expected the Bremen to brave the threat of icebergs by crossing the Arctic Circle into the chilly Denmark Strait.
  • Lacking clothing warm enough for the cold, the crew availed themselves of clothes that would normally be on sale for passengers in the ship’s store, piling on layers to retain body heat.

Arriving Safely in Murmansk

On September 6, Germany’s ambassador in Moscow, Count Friedrich Werner von der Schulenberg, informed the Kremlin of his government’s intention to divert blockade runners to the ice-free northern Russian port of Murmansk on the eastern shore of the Kola Inlet, 30 miles from the Barents Sea. Soviet authorities were expected to unload German ships and send their cargo by rail to Leningrad, where German freighters waited. The Soviets complied willingly.

  • Ahrens received orders to steam for Murmansk while in the Denmark Strait. Given the confusion of war, the crew of the Bremen entered Russian waters in a state of anxiety.
  • The Germans reversed direction and withdrew to sea at the sight of a plume of smoke from low in the waterline, steaming toward them from the shore.
  • They easily outran the warship, which turned out to be a Soviet torpedo boat.
  • After it was identified as a friend and not foe, the Bremen resumed course and rendezvoused with the Soviet warship.
  • A boarding party was dispatched from the torpedo boat.
  • The German and Soviet officers tried to communicate in halting English but were relieved to discover that one of the Bremen’s stewards, born in Kronstadt before World War I, was fluent in Russian.

On September 6, the Bremen finally dropped anchor, having covered 4,045 nautical miles since leaving New York six days and 13 hours earlier. Lining up on both sides of the deck for a view, the crew saw a port city that was raw, unfinished, and largely unpaved. Among the few modern amenities offered by Murmansk were the Hotel Arctic and a clubhouse for foreign sailors, mainly Swedish, Dutch, and Norwegian merchant seamen.

  • During the Bremen’s sojourn in Murmansk, the liner’s whereabouts were the subject of avid speculation in the foreign press.
  • An Italian newspaper put the Bremen at Veracruz while a Stockholm paper claimed the liner had been reflagged under Italian colors and was making her way to Italy.
  • In Antwerp, reporters speculated that the Bremen had arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland. One Belgian paper guessed the truth, calling Murmansk the ship’s destination.

On September 18, about 850 crew members were sent home to Germany aboard a pair of Russian trains, leaving behind a skeleton detail of 70 officers and men to stand watch and maintain the ship. Winter came early in that part of the world. It was already snowing when the trains pulled out of Murmansk.

A Hero’s Welcome

Boredom set in during the months when the Bremen waited for the last leg of its journey home.

  • By the end of September, a German tanker arrived in Murmansk to replenish the Bremen’s fuel.
  • The outbreak of the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland after Stalin invaded the neutral country on November 30 dampened spirits.
  • After a Finnish air raid damaged a nearby air base, the Soviets insisted that all ships in the harbor darken their lights.

Murmansk was busy with German shipping during this time. Also in port was the U.S. merchantman City of Flint, which had been seized by the pocket battleship Deutschland in the North Atlantic for carrying contraband bound for Britain. Ironically, Murmansk would become a key destination for Anglo-American convoys supplying the Soviets after Hitler turned on Stalin in 1941.

  • Ahrens bided his time, waiting patiently for the snow squalls of winter before taking the Bremen back to sea and to Bremerhaven. Fifty-seven of his crew secretly returned to the Bremen in preparation for the journey home.
    Early morning on December 7, the ocean liner pulled out of Murmansk before sunrise and under cover of a heavy snowstorm. She was a gray ghost sailing against a dark horizon the long nights and rough seas at those latitudes in the last weeks of the year aided the voyage.
  • However, the Bremen had one close call with the Royal Navy after leaving the safe haven of Murmansk. On December 12, the British submarine Salmon intercepted the Bremen off the Norwegian coast.
  • The Salmon was enjoying an eventful patrol in the North Sea, which included the unusual feat of torpedoing an enemy submarine, the U-36.

The Salmon’s skipper, Lt. Cmdr. E.O. Bickford, surfaced after identifying the Bremen through his periscope and gave the liner repeated warnings to surrender. Bickford was unable to claim his prize. He was forced to crash-dive when a Dornier Do-18 flying boat, dispatched by the German Navy to escort the Bremen, appeared on the horizon. The Salmon survived to cripple the German cruisers Leipzig and Nuremberg before returning to base.

  • On December 13, the Bremen finally returned to its berth in Bremerhaven’s Columbus Quay. “The joy at having won the race twice, and having brought safely home our beloved Bremen, this precious possession of the German mercantile fleet, can be seen in everyone’s eyes,” Ahrens said.
    The captain and crew received a hero’s welcome from the chairman of North German Lloyd and the Reichsminister of Transportation.
  • A band played, and a company of naval sailors presented arms.
  • Ahrens’s earlier disobedience on the high seas before the outbreak of war was forgotten.
  • He was promoted to Commodore for his derring-do and seamanship.
  • He was lionized in the German news media and received thousands of letters from well-wishers.
  • The Bremen won its battle, but would never go to sea again.

Sinking the Bremen

In the following months, the ship was painted in camouflage colors and refitted as troopship No. 802 for Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of Great Britain that would never be launched. Aware of the Bremen’s new mission, the Royal Air Force attempted but failed to sink her. On March 16, 1941, a fire broke out in her expensively furnished wood-paneled dining room, which had been converted to a mattress storeroom.

It spread over the entire ship, and despite a vigorous response from Bremerhaven’s fire brigades burned out of control.

Badly listing toward the quay, the Bremen was flooded so that she could right herself and sink in the shallow water of the Weser River, making salvage of machinery easier.

The Gestapo initially suspected that British intelligence had a hand in the destruction of the ship, but before long the investigation fell upon a 15-year-old deckhand from the Bremen, Walter Schmidt, who eventually confessed to having set the fire in revenge for a clip on the ear given him by a supervisor. Wartime justice was swift and severe. Schmidt was executed.

The Bremen, which began the war with a storybook adventure, ended it as charred hulk brooding over the ruins of Bremerhaven, a port city regularly visited by the RAF and U.S. Eighth Air Force bombers.

In 1946, the Bremen was towed to a sandbar three miles upriver.

The mammoth ship, resembling by then a beached and decomposing whale, was gradually dismantled and scrapped between 1952 and 1956.


Ahrens DE-575 - History

Enrolled here are the shipmates who did not survive the combined efforts of Allied Forces to restore peace to a war-torn world. They are heroes who gave their lives in combat, accident or illness, in service to their country.

We were together once, part of a crew serving in the DE Navy during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. We were all there. These gallant sailors were with us once, but not long enough. They paid the highest price for peace, part of the terrible cost of war, never to enjoy the fruits of victory.

These brave Navy and Coast Guard sailors are honored here, with their ships. They are also enshrined in the hearts of all who knew them.

May these noble men rest in peace they so richly deserve, until we all sail together again.

Two Ways To Have A Copy Of This Roll

The Roll was professionally printed, September 10, 2003, on a 14x23" sheet and
is suitable for framing. It is available only to DESA members and
may be requested by contacting the DESA office.

Click here for a printable version of the Roll of Honor
This will print approximately 23 pages.
Use your "back" button to return to this page.

This Roll was last updated: April 2009
This page is updated as information becomes available. Please be sure you
print the most recent version of the Roll so that you have the most correct copy.

7 April 1944
Kenneth R. Hallin F 1/C

10 January 1945
J. F . Bergin S 2/C

4 December 1945
V. L. Adkins S 1/C
E. J. McKernan GM 3/C

USS ANDRES (DE-45)

30 November 1944
Charles R. Crawford

USS BARR (DE-576/APD-39)

29 May 1944
James E. Adams S 1/C
Carl I. Bennett GM 1/C
Carl N. Burdett GM 3/C
Robert W. Cook PhM 2/C
Thomas G. Ellis S 1/C
Michael H. Gorchyca F 1/C
Gordon B. Haynes CSK
David M. Jenkins F 1/C
Phi l lip E. Marion F 1/C
Leland A. McCabe EM 3/C
William A. Roddy S 2/C
James A. Rouse SM 2/C
James Simmons, Jr. StM 1/C
Jessie C. Strong StM 2/C
Thomas W. Williams Cox

30 May 1944
Meredith K . Brady GM 2/C
Clyde H. Johnson S 2/C

25 May 1945
Virgil L. Adams SM 1/C
Glenn H. Buchner SoM 2/C
Anthony D. Chunko SoM 2/C
John M. Cox S 1/C
Joseph W. Davis Cox
William M. Dillon S 1/C
James M. Eller S 1/C
Robert G. Ellis Cox
John D. Garrido S 1/C
Coy D. Harris S 1/C
Larry G. Hoxie Cox
William E. Lancaster SC 2/C
Robert E. Lynch S 1/C
George Markus S 1/C
Wilmer V. Resner F 1/C
Kenneth J. Ridgeway S 1/C
Anthony Schiff, Jr. MM 3/C
Fred H. Thielen Q M 2/C
Richand A. Torrey S 1/C
Harry A. Towsley F 1/C
Hugh W. Windham StM 1/C

26 May 1945
Woodrow W. Falls, Jr. Cox

9 June 1945
Arthur H. Schwartznau RM 2/C

USS BEBAS (DE-10)

3 December 1943
Wells CMoMM

16 September 1944
William Henderson Cox
James Perkins S 1/C

USS BLESSMAN (APD-48)

17 February 1945
Frank W. Sumpter MoMM3/C

18 February 1945
Kermit Allen BM 2/C
Joseph Arcisz PhM 2/C
Harry T. Blanot CM 1/C
Claudie Bert Boyd StM 1/C
Paul H. Davis S 1/C
James Vincent Di Mauro SC 3/C
Frank Paul Dimeling MM 2/C
Paul C. Goldsborough, Jr. MM 3/C
Paul E. Gordon SF 1/C
Richard William Hawley RM 2/C
Earl E. Hilke MM 2/C
Harold Patterson Jordan S 1/C
Ralph Edwin Krepps MM 3/C
Emmett McLeod, Jr.StM 2/c
Sidney Marshall SoM 2/c
Eugene E. Maki CM 3/C
Hugo M. Novak SC 1/C
Charles Louis Robertso n ST 2/C
James Ignatius Rodgers MM 2/C
Gerald Matthew Schnabel MoMM 2/C
Mike Senedak S 1/C
Joseph Roy Snellenberger EM 2/C
Hoyt Stiles S 1/C
Gordon Sutton WT 2/C
Donald E. Thompson S 2/C
Harry Preston Treadway Cox
Chester Edward Trent,Jr. SC 2/C
Samuel Francis Vince SC 2/C

USS BOWERS (DE-637/APD-40)

16 April 1945
Ralph M. Bagley, Jr. RM 3/C
Robert Cowan Baker SM 1/C
Hiland C. Batcheller CM 2/C
Robert Crawford Belk S 1/C
Louis F. Belville S 1/C
Earl Davis Braddy S 2/C
Joseph F. Cassidy CM 3/C
Kent Samuel Chollar SM 3/C
Kenneth A. Clark S 1/C
Alvin Brownlow Clawson S 1/C
Thomas Cosme RdM 3/C
David Lyle Crow RT 1/C
Lawrence Michael Fife SC 3/C
Leon Otis Gerwig F 1/C
James Alton Harris MM 3/C
Harvey Blane Hayes S 1/C
Ralph Harvey Hess QM 3/C
James Edward Honnert QM 1/C
Herbert W. Howard, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Ralph Edward Johnson SoM 3/C
Wayne Wesley Johnson S 1/C
Vincent Peter Killewald GM 2/C
Theodore E. Lanquille RdM 2/C
Buford Joseph LeJeune Y 2/C
Frank E. Martinciu FC 3/C
Paul Laverne Mathieu S 1/C
John Joseph McCardle S 1/C
Robert Baker Mincer SK 2/C
Fred J. Nagy SK 1/C
Howard Wesley Noland Y 1/C
William Norman, Jr. S 1/C
Frederic D. O'Neill Lt.(jg)
Frank Orlowski F 1/C
Roland Arthur Pace SoM 2/C
Frank Thomas Pascaretti GM 2/C
Edward Lee Putt S 1/C
James Landon Ragen S 1/C
Charles Ridgway RdM 3/C
Benjamin Floyd Sanford SC 2/C
William Henry Semmer, Jr. S 1/C
Paul L. Sheeler S 1/C
Thomas T. Simpson Lt.(jg)
Vincent Emenio Squillante F 1/C
Alton Ernest Strange S 1/C
William Neal Tincher RdM 3/C
Samuel Clay Vaden RdM 3/C
Perry H. Wallis ENS
Ray Deny Warren S 1/C
Lewis Wilson Webb RM 2/C
Michael Edward Weber RM 2/C
John Edward West S 2/C
Frank J. Wiesemann F 2/C
Richard S. Winbourne CRM
William D. Wolman LT
William G. Word ENS
Woodrow Wright S 1/C
Gilbert B. Yancey RdM 3/C

17 April 1945
Robert M. Wagner S 1/C

18 April 1945
L. C. Sherrin, Jr. S 1/C

24 April 1945
Michael Aber QM 2/C

12 November 1943
Kenneth J. Hartley LCDR

13 September 1944
Alwynne W. Wood S 2/C

13 September 1944
Ed G. Chariker S 1/C

February 1952
Roy L. Pease, Jr. S 1/C

July 1953
Harry Himmelberger S 1/C

USS CAMP (DE-251)

18 November 1944
Albert Roerth SoM 2/C

USS CHAMBERS (DE/DER-391)

May 1945
William Leonard S 1/C

USS CHASE (DE- 1 58/APD 54)

10 May 1945
Rufus Hayes F 2/C

USS CHARLES J. KIMMEL (DE-584)

7 October 1944
Edwin A. Lowy RT 1/ C

13 June 1945
Zalaman Rosenberg SM 3/C

USS COFFMAN (DE-191)

1 March 1945
Dennis William Judge S 1/C (TM)

USS CONKLIN (DE-439)

5 June 1945
Peter N. Meros LT
Anthony Monti S 1/C
Rudolph Slavich S 1/C

USS CROUTER (DE-11)

4 July 1943
Fred Williams S 1/C

USS CURRIER (DE-700)

5 August 1944
Walter W. Priem CSC

January 1945
Howard Tucker RM 3/C

August 1949
W. D. Hamilton BM 2/C

25 October 1944
William Arnold Curtis FC 3/C
Charles Burette Davis, Jr. F 1/C
Maynard Warren Emery F 1/C
George Washington Grater S 1/C
John Andrew Sambo F 1/C

USS DON O. WOODS (APD-118)

May 1945
Raymond E. Dudding S 2/C

October 1945
Earl J. Garner S 2/C

USS DONALDSON (DE-44)

18 December 1944
William C. Lightning F 1/C
Amador Martinez S 1/C
Lyle W. Roland MS 2/C

USS DONEFF (DE-49)

15 December 1944
Harold Painter S 1/C

USS DONNELL (DE-56)

3 May 1944
James B. Beaumont, Jr. F 1/C
Eugene D. Burdue EM 2/C
Harold N. Cohen S 1/C
Guy R. Coleman SM 1/C
John E. Coppinger SF 1/C
William E. Corzine S 1/C
David W. Danner TM 3/C
Lloyd A. Dellinger WT 1/C
George R. Ellison S 2/C
Henry Ferrario MM 1/C
Robert E. Fisher Cox
Victor T. Gallotto S 2/C
Edgar L. Guy, Jr. TM 3/C
Robert C. Hanrahan MM 3/C
James K. Haworth TM 2/C
Lando H. Hendrix WT 2/C
Cortes D. Jackson FC 3/C
William R. Johnson WT 2/C
Richard H. Johnston MM 1/C
Alonzo R. Kashner, Jr. MM 3/C
James H. Mason S 1/C
Thomas C. Matelak SoM 3/C
Edward I. Moskal F 2/C
Edward F. Ryan GM 2/C
Arthur E. Scheff S 2/C
Thomas K Staton MM 3/C
Harry H. Sykes S 1/C
Frederick Wilklow Y 2/C
James L. Wright SM 2/C

USS DOYLE C. BARNES (DE-353)

22 April 1945
Lawrence Earl McCarthy GM 2/C

USS EDWIN A. HOWARD (DE-346)

June 1944
John W. Propst S 2/C

USS EICHENBERGER (DE-202)

4 January 1945
Earl R. Giezentanner, Jr. CBM
James L. Kelly Lt.(jg)

5 January 1945
Erwin M. Ewald SM 3/C

USS ELDEN (DE-264)

22 January 1945
Henry Duncan, Jr. Cox

27 September 1945
Paul Jerome Centonize GM 3/C
Maurice Gunn Covington CPhM
William Doniel StM 2/C
Andrew James Newmes Y 3/C
Andrew Smith S 1/C

4 January 1945
Charles Kenneth Abshire S 2/C

9 May 1945
David Autrey F 2/C
Wayne T. Avery RM 3/C
Jack L. Balderston EM 2/C
Ralph N. Ball F 1/C
William J. Barber S 1/C
Harry W. Beggs RM 3/C
John R. Bell S 1/C
Lee D. Cantrell S 1/C
Albert Chernoff S 1/C
Billy C. Davis S 1/C
Michael T. Di Blasi RM 2/C
Francis J. Faccilo S 2/C
Wyman T. Goodloe StM 1/C
Raymond M. Huffman S 1/C
James Earl Hurst S 2/C
Paul Jacobs EM 3/C
Harold G. Knight, Jr. LT.
Billy H. Kuehnert Cox
Edward E. Lademann S 1/C
William J. Leibrant MM 3/C
Steve Maciboba GM 2/C
Frank S. Manlove CBM
Daniel P. McClain S 1/C
Dix Vinson Moser ENS
William A. Napper S 1/C
Harold S. Powell, Jr. S 1/C
Roland G. Rasmussen SF 1/C
Bernard J. Rau RdM 2/C
Wylie S. Rhodes RM 2/C
George T. Sartwelle, Jr. S 1/C
Milton H. Schindler CRM
James H. Shields F 1/C
Ralph E. Sonanstine RM 3/C
Julius A. Squire, Jr. S 2/C
Myrl R. Stuler ENS

10 May 1945
Stanley A. Larson S 2/C

11 May 1945
Carl H. Bricker SSML 3/C

USS ENRIGHT (DE-216/APD-66)

6 April 1944
Carl Augustus Mims SF 3/C

28 October 1944
Vito Thomas Accardi PhM 2/C
Reny Albert Cox
Donald R. Aldrich S 2/C
Warren H. Arnold F 2/C
Raymond L. Bates S 2/C
Bilton Ross Beed EM 3/C
Burr Brayman, Jr. S 2/C
George William Boland F 1/C
Joseph L. Brennan S 2/C
Merrill C. Brimer S 2/C
Steven L. Brown S 2/C
Charles W. Campbell GM 2/C
Clifford H. Carr F 2/C
Harry E. Clopp, Jr. F 1/C
Nicholas W. Combas S 1/C
Milan W. Cottam S 1/C
Dale F. Cox S 1/C
Robert J. Deshaies S 1/C
Theodore J. Doyle RM 3/C
Frank J. Drobot WT 3/C
Jack Dropkin F 2/C
Nelson W. Elliott WT 3/C
Earl W. Exum F 2/C
Albert J. Faatz S 2/C
Alvin W. Finley MM 1/C
Charles M. Frierson, Jr. F 1/C
Thomas J. Galvin F 1/C
John L. German QM 3/C
Noah A. Graham GM 3/C
Dayton Green F 1/C
Nick Griz SoM 3/C
George E. Hagerdorn F 1/C
Lawrence H. Hamner F 1/C
Randall G. Harbough MM 3/C
Robert J. Hayes F 1/C
Rueben B. Heffel S 1/C
Charles R. Hemstreet F 1/C
Lawrence S. Hitchcock F 1/C
William B. Holder S 1/C
Robert L. Horner S 2/C
Frank R. Inda, Jr. S 2/C
Angelo R. Iovino S 2/C
Lewis J. Isaac MM 3/C
Raymond A. Jambois F 1/C
Bonnie H. Johnson F 2/C
Kenneth Kean S 1/C
Forest H. Kirby SK 1/C
Seymour Kluger F 1/C
Richard T. Kratoska F 2/C
Robert W. Lattimer QM 3/C
Earl H. Lease F 1/C
Alfred A. Lebel F 2/C
Calvin I. Light ENS
Francis A. Macri F 1/C
Domineck J. Merico S 1/C
Robert J. Morrison RM 2/C
William H. Moschelle, Jr. FC 3/C
Dellovare R. Newman, Jr. Y 2/C
Joseph S. Nobile S 1/C
James W. Patterson Y 1/C
Louis Perera F 1/C
Frank J. Petito S 1/C
Raymond A. Pfeiffer S 1/C
Willis M. Pitt WT 1/C
Thomas E. Rearden GM 2/C
Herbert Reiser MM 3/C
Arthur Robert Riddle QM 1/C
Ernest C. Roberg S 1/C
Manuel Saladrigas F 1/C
Edwin F. Schuler LT
Hoyt C. Smith RdM 3/C
John B. Sochalski F 1/C
Robert J. Stella F 1/C
Eugene P. Tomassa Cox
Mervin F. Udell SM 3/C
Edward L. Weide MM 3/C
Robert E. Wiegand SoM 3/C
Robert E. Wilson MM 2/C

30 October 1944
Joseph V. Houdek WT 1/C

31 October 1944
Stephen G. Mroczlowski Lt.(jg)

USS FAIR (DE-35)

23 November 1943
Eli Lincoln Smith StM 2/C

USS FALGOUT (DE-324)

23 February 1944
James G. O'Brien EM 3/C

USS FECHTELER (DE-157)

5 May 1944
Joseph Casper Aloi EM 3/C
Chester Joseph Bazidio S 1/C
Romaine O. Blandy ENS
Le Roy Stewart Carlson MM 1/C
Myron Barthelemew Cieswki WT 2/C
Harry Emery Clark MM 2/C
Louis Joseph Contravo F 1/C
James William Craig MM 1/C
Richard Harold Daniels EM 3/C
Clyde Raymond Day MM 3/C
Raymond Camiele De Craemer F 1/C
Howard Leonard Dedrick Y 2/C
Henry Albert Elliott F 1/C
Charles Robert Jacoby CMM
Byron Kenneth Locke RdM 3/C
Thomas Hugh Loyd WT 1/C
Roland Laverne Oberly EM 3/C
Lawrence I. Rosenberg EM 2/C
John N. Scariano. Jr. MM 1/C
William Roswell Smith MM 1/C
James Joseph Tidwell S 1/C
Calvin Doss Weatherly WT 3/C
Robert Stephen Weimer FC 2/C
Roland Guy Wells S 2/C
Charles Roscoe Wilkins S 2/C
Norbert Frederick Wimmer S 2/C

6 May 1944
George Edward Davies MM 3/C
Henry Ossian Redman, Jr. F 2/C

7 May 1944
Floyd Anson Brymer, Jr. F 1/C

USS FESSENDEN (DE/DER-142)

22 June 1945
Millard L. Hahn S 1/C

2 August 1944
Herbert Alston StM 1/C
Theadore Askew StM 1/C
Jack L. Best S 2/C
George T. Bradshaw S 2/C
David Busto F 2/C
Edward Campillo TM 3/C
Julian J. Commons QM 2/C
William L. Dickinson Lt.(jg)
Marvin H. Driskell TM 2/C
Robert L. Earnest S 2/C
Bertram M. Engleman CRM
Kenneth W. Eshleman Y 3/C
William G. Essex FC 2/C
Harold E. Garner EM 2/C
Lupe Higareda S 2/C
Carroll A. Hudson MoMM 2/C
Judson L. Knecht MoMM 1/C
Chauncey W. Leppia F 1/C
Harding W. Martinson MoMM 1/C
Harry J. Parker S 1/C
Robert G. Pumphrey CM o MM
Walter A. Ribbentrop MoMM 3/C
Frank Rozman MoMM 3/C
Edward Rutko F 1/C
Harold W. Shaw MoMM 2/C
William M. Snyder CEM
Huston G. Sutton MoMM 3/C
Lawrence R. Utz S 1/C
Charles Vasslowski MoMM 1/C
Warren C. Walden F 1/C
Alfred L. Wheeler F 2/C
Junior H. Yates S 1/C
Melvin H. Zastrow MoMM 3/C

USS FLAHERTY (DE-135)

21 November 1944
Anthony B. Marinara Cox
Milton E. Price S 1/C

USS FOGG (DE/DER-57)

20 December 1944
Boyce B. Beale, Jr. S 1/C
James M. Beardsworth Y 2/C
Russell S. Boston S 1/C
James Branson EM 2/C
James J. Capogreca PhM 3/C
Richard N. Johnson M 1/C
Nellis F. Jones TM 2/C
Roy A. Loesing S 1/C
August C. Mattes CEM
Gordon D. Nichols F 1/C
James L. Riley TM 3/C
Clarence A. Walker TM 3/C
Raymond W. Weber F 1/C
Andrew W. Yost MM 2/C

23 December 1944
Lillon B. Lynch CBM

USS FOSS (DE-59)

James G. Sullivan CSK

12 December 1943
William L. Wilson CEM

USS FRAMENT (APD-77)

9 January 1946
John March F 1/C

USS FRANCIS M. ROBINSON (DE-220)

USS FREDERICK C. DAVIS (DE-136)

24 April 1945
Leland W. Alexander S 1/C
Fred C. Allen, Jr. MoMM 1/C
Howard M. Anderson ENS
Henry Astrin Lt.(jg)
Ezelle O. Bailey MoMM 2/C
Harold F. Baker St 3/C
Walter J. Ballard S 1/C
Ferd S. Bambauer LT
Slerriman T. Bames S 1/C
Kenneth L. Barrus RdM 3/C
Albert A. Barnak S 1/C
Bates F 1/C
Jack O. Beaman S 2/C
Dayton J. Betts MoMM 3/C
William F. Blau RT 1/C
Dennis W. Brann S 1/C
Clyde E. Bridges F 1/C
Oscar L. Bronenkant RM 3/C
Henry S. Brown StM 1/C
Leroy H. Brown Lt.(jg)
Harry R. Burr, Jr. FC 3/C
Thomas R. Campbell S 1/C
Walter T. Cannon GM 3/C
Walthin M. H. Cardwell F 1/C
Clayton L. Carter SM 1/C
Harry E. Chadwick RdM 2/C
R a y A. Cierley MoMM 1/C
Robert B. Cline SC 3/C
Verrill T. Colburn CMoMM
James H. Copeland CSoM
Edward R. Coursey EM 2/C
James R. Crosby LT
Vernon W. Cross SM 3/C
Lawrence J. Denning GM 2/C
John R. Derichemond, Jr. RM 3/C
Roy C. Deviney S 1/C
Willie T. Doster GM 3/C
Joe E. Douthitt MoMM 2/C
William E. Downing Lt.(jg)
Stanley M. Drezewski S 1/C
Harry Drogan F 1/C
William L. Dunn RM 3/C
Robert L. Eckstein MoMM 2/C
John A. Elsby ENS
Kenneth A. Floren RdM 2/C
Edwin C. Floyd, Jr. SM 2/C
Thomas L. Garner BM 2/C
David O. Gentry StM 1/C
William A. Glass MoMM 2/C
John A. Hamlin Ck 3/C
Harry C. Harmon Cox
Frank B. Hanson, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Frank C. Hartranft S 1/C
Charles Ingram S 1/C
John Jacobs EM 3/C
Vincent D. Jacques Cox
Woodrow W. Johns S 2/C
Arthur F. Johnson S 1/C
James P. Kaminer S 2/C
Francis X. Kenney SM 1/C
Lloyd Kerby S 2/C
Robert Klube LT
Robert M. Knott F 1/C
Bernard E. Kuntz Y 3/C
Alfonzo C. Leatherman, Jr. SC 1/C
Harvey L. Lumley S 2/C
John F. McWhorter, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Robert E. Meece SM 2/C
Wayne J. Morgan SoM 2/C
Maynard I. Moyer F 1/C
Bruce E. Murphy Bkr 3/C
Davie B. Musick S 1/C
Paul M. Neighbors Cox
Clifford G. O'Brien S 1/C
Russell B. Palmes, Jr. CSK
Sunda Palumbo S 1/C
Henry G. Parker MoMM 3/C
Robert E. Parks CRM
Robert G. Peoples F 1/C
John Peterson F 1/C
Lorrin L. Peterson EM 3/C
Elwyn L. Petty SF 1/C
Robert W. Philabaum F 1/C
Grover G. Phillips F 1/C
William Plum F 1/C
James A. Reeves SSMB 3/C
William J. Regan, Jr. MoMM 3/C
David A. Rex RdM 3/C
David Richstein EM 2/C
Frank Sadauskas EM 2/C
George N. Sanders, Jr. EM 2/C
William Sanders, Jr. S 1/C
Stanley M. Svey S 1/C
Jack T. Smith CGM
Edward F. Stebbins S 1/C
Arthur D. Strock RT 1/C
Charles M. Taggart Lt.(jg)
Donald R. Taylor RM 3/C
Leonard C. Taylor S 2/C
Willie W. Thompson (?) 3/C
John Tisney S 1/C
William A. Tyree S 1/C
Julius E. Weber MoMM 1/C
Robert C. Wheeler RM 1/C
Richard L. White CMoMM
Roydel K. White S 1/C
Clifford H. Whitten PhM 3/C
Forrest B. Williams MoMM 3/C
Henry Williams S 1/C
George A. Willis WT 2/C
Aeired O. Wosinski SM 3/C
William W. Wright MoMM 3/C
Walter J. Zaydell RM 3/C

USS GANTNER (DE-60)

7 July 1944
William Hubert Fowler S 1/C

USS GARCIA (DE-1040)

1973
Clyde Edward Buck

USS GARFIELD THOMAS (DE-193)

27 June 1945
William V. Ball MoMM 3/C

3 November 1945
Clifford J. O'Leary S 1/C

USS GENDREAU (DE-639)

10 January 1945
James William Cameron S 1/C

10 June 1945
Jack Robert Moeller F 1/C
Harry Earl Scott F 1/C

USS GILLIGAN (DE-508)

12 January 1945
Thomas Archie, Jr. StM 2/C
John Choman (?)
Vincenzo A. Floramo S 1/C
Clarence Kane TM 2/C
Nash L. Lamb S 1/C
Hugh D. McWaters S 2/C
Arthur B. Munday GM 3/C
Edgar O. Poole S 1/C
John J. Silver GM 3/C
Arthur E. Strom BM 2/C
Robert I. Summerour S 2/C
Emil J. Wesolowski BM 2/C

USS HAAS (DE-424)

10 September 1944
Michael I. Talent S 2/C

13 December 1944
R. H. Langdon F 1/C

USS HALLORAN (DE-305)

21 June 1945
George Ackerman, Jr. Ptr 2/C
Raymond Holste, Jr. S 1/C
Truman Montgomery S 1/C
Melvin Wondel

USS HANNA (DE-449)

24 November 1952
Robert Joseph Potts MM3

USS HAROLD C. THOMAS (DE-21)

14 June 1944
Harold Dean Lacy S 2/C

USS HILBERT (DE-742)

17 December 1944
Charles Douglas Smith Cox

USS HISSEM (DE/DER-400)

March 1944
Edward Marshall ENS

USS HODGES (DE-231)

23 October 1945
Gerald G. Grant S 1/C

USS HOLDER (DE-401)

11 April 1944
Harold M. Armstrong MoMM 3/C
Earle W. Hohensee F 1/C
Harold F. Horner F 1/C
Chester Johnson MoMM 1/C
Ernest J. Kelly F 1/C
Vincent V. Leone MoMM 3/C
Ernest R. Lepage MoMM 3/C
Philip J. Locke F 1/C
David F. Lougheed MoMM 3/C
John F. Lucas F 1/C
Allen F. McKay MoMM 2/C
Leo D. Perkins EM 1/C
Luther R. Pringle MoMM 2/C
Guadalupe P. Salazar S 2/C
Donald L. Swigart MoMM 3/C
Robert E. Tyler LT
Howard B. Vath S 2/C

USS HOPPING (DE-155)

12 December 1943
Norman F. Becker F 2/C

9 April 1945
Julius F. Jurgelionis MM 1/C

USS HORACE A. BASS (APD-124)

30 July 1945
William P. Foley RM 3/C

USS HOWARD D. CROW (DE-252)

7 April 1944
Anthony Alesi S 1/C
Horace L. Thomas CEM

USS HUBBARD (DE-211/APD-53)

23 November 1944
John T. Cockeram BM 2/C

USS J.R.Y. BLAKELY (DE-140)

8 December 1943
Charles E. Ridenour GM 3/C

28 April 1945
Adam Ryba S 1/C

USS JACCARD ( DE - 355 )

8 April 1946
Jeremiah Joseph McCauley, Jr. QM 3/C

USS JACK W. WILKE (DE /EDE -800)

1956
William M. Thorpe BT 3/C

USS JOBB (DE-707)

6 October 1944
A. M. Navatril S 2/C

November 10th 1944
Roy Smith S 1/C

USS LANSING (DE /DER -388)

2 March 1963
Billy Joel Kibby HM 1/C

USS LELAND E. THOMAS (DE-420)

28 October 1944
Robert E. Roundtree, Jr. RT 2/C

USS LEE FOX (APD-45)

19 November 1945
John Francis Hodges RM 2/C

USS LEOPOLD (DE-319)

9 March 1944
Basilio Anchales St 2/C
Jerome Antior F 1/C
Vincent Edward Astyk MM 3/C
John Carl Austgen S 1/C
George Ayrault Lt.(jg)
Joseph Edward Balezon S 2/C
Clyde Edward Ballenger BM 2/C
William Frederick Becker QM 3/C
John Donley Bell S 2/C
Joseph Powers Billet EM 2/C
David Charles Biotti F 1/C
William Harold Bissett S 2/C
Clyde Alvin Boblitt EM 3/C
Robert John Bolton S 2/C
Gilbert Alfred Bordovsky WT 2/C
Huey Leon Bracknell MoMM 1/C
Charles Francis Bradley GM 1/C
Seymour Bressler S 2/C
Shirley Junior Brown S 1/C
James Arthur Busey F 1/C
Richard Lee Cantine S 2/C
Frank Anthony Carbon SK 1/C
William Henry Clark, Jr. MoMM 2/C
Jerald William Claus S 2/C
B. P. Cone LT
Eldridge Hugo Cooper S 2/C
Henry Joseph Corp BM 2/C
Harold Francis Cottreall S 2/C
Michael Joseph Coviello RM 3/C
Robert T. Covington, Jr. MoMM 1/C
Robert Francis Crandall S 1/C
William Stephen Cronin CY
Lindsay Freeman Croswell RM 2/C
Joseph James Croteau S 1/C
Daniel Francis Culkin S 2/C
Francis Patrick Currey SM 3/C
Howard L. Cutler TM 3/C
John Danielski MoMM 2/C
William James Davey S 1/C
Lee Winter Davis F 1/C
Lawrence Thomas Deaton S 1/C
Bartolo DiLuvio F 2/C
Leo Edward Donohue Cox
Harold S. Duhamel Lt.(jg)
Leon Ellis Durrence S 1/C

Joseph Benjamin Eastman MM 3/C
Robert Willis Eick MM 3/C
George Leslie Elliott SC 2/C
Joseph Ellis, Jr. S 1/C
Arthur B. Evans, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Clarence Henry Follman F 2/C
Raymond James Farnsley S 2/C
John Ferencik S 2/C
Charles Marshall Fitzgerald S 2/C
Harry Robert Flinn S 1/C
Edwin Ward Frazier S 1/C
Frank Garside Lt.(jg)
Glenn Dale Geasman SoM 3/C
Robert Walter Gilder MM 3/C
Loris Winfield Giroux CMoMM
Louis McFerrln Goan CMoMM
Richard Leo Graham CQM
Ozzie Lee Greene S 2/C
John David Guenther GM 3/C
William Arthur Gee RM 3/C
John Francis Harrison CM 1/C
Harold Huey Haun RdM 3/C
Daniel Joseph Hayes SM 3/C
John Hanzarak S 1/C
Hans August Claus Hake SC 2/C
Stephen Howard Hamilton S 1/C
John Francis Hefferon EM 1/C
Edward Andrew Heike S 1/C
Claude J. Hoffman Lt.(jg)
William Patterson Hoopes MM 2/C
Albert Edward Hoppe F 2/C
Frank William Hunt SK 2/C
Edward Ingraham S 1/C
Leiser Irving RdM 3/C
Earl Julius J. Jaskowiak S 2/C
Kenneth Jack Johnson F 1/C
Robert Edward Jones RM 2/C
Menceslaus S. Juskiewicz, Jr. CRM
Augustus Spurgeon Kerr CPhM
Benjamin Kinnard, III CRM
Bob Charles Klein S 2/C
William Charles Knox F 1/C
Robert Kratochvil S 1/C
Frank Charles Kurpiel S 1/C
Kingsley Jay La Reau CBM
Gayhart Benedict LaRoche QM 1/C
Ernest Martin Larson, Jr. S 1/C
Theodore Larson (?)M 1/C
William Lichvarcik Y 1/C
Samuel C. Logue ENS
James David Lowrie RM 2/C
Edwin H. Lozon BM 1/C
William Rogerson MacLennan S 2/C
Howard Joseph Marcoullier GM 2/C
Orville Earl Martensen TM 3/C
Albert Peter Mascetti S 1/C
Eugene Wallace Mathews EM 3/C
John S. Miecznikowski MoMM 1/C
Charles Kupraites Miles MoMM 1/C
Everett Vernon Miller S 1/C
Cecil Kirtland Molder S 1/C
Bradner James Moore, Jr. CMoMM
Hugh Joseph Moran S 1/C
WillIam Moster Mosler, Jr. S 2/C
William Arthur Mullinax MM 3/C
Almo Edward Musetti S 1/C
William Henry Neff, Jr. F 2/C
Kenneth B. Nelson Lt.(jg)
Charles Augustus Nicholas S 2/C
John William O'Grady S 2/C
John Ohar S 2/C
Harry William Ott EM 2/C
John Pawlen S 1/C
Victor Camille Pelletier S 2/C
John Wentworth Perkins S 1/C
Leonard Peterson S 1/C
K. C. Phillips CDR
Bennie Ralph Porter S 2/C
Jack Junior Powley MM 3/C
Walter Pruss MM 1/C
John Jacob Reitsema MoMM 1/C
Forrest Dunfee Ridenour S 1/C
Joseph Louis Roberts GM 3/C
John Galvin Robinette GM 3/C
Elwood Eugene Rotruck S 1/C
Donald Merrill Rowell GM 3/C
Vance Eugene Ryan S 1/C
Eddie 'B' Samson St 1/C
Edward Arthur Savage MoMM 2/C
Joseph Horace Savoy PhM 3/C
William Joseph Schmalfuss RM 3/C
Elmer Stephen Simon S 2/C
George Simpson StM 2/C
Howard Reese Sitgreaves F 1/C
Edwin Dupes Snook StM 2/C
Marshall Fulliviove Snook CGM
William E. Spencer Lt.(jg)
Willard Leroy Starrett S 1/C
Lyle William Stepanek S 1/C
Eddie Milton Stevens StM 2/C
James Alfred Stobart S 2/C
Richard Price Storts S 2/C
John Ackerly Strouse QM 3/C
Raymond Eugene Sullivan MoMM 1/C
Virgil Leroy Sutton F 2/C
Leon Emmett Sweeney S 1/C
Jacob Talsma F 1/C
John Tamas, Jr. RM 1/C
William N. Tillman ENS
Paul Timocko S 1/C
Charles W. Valaer ENS
Rene Vallet SC 2/C
William James Van Egmond S 1/C
Dala Leon Vance S 2/C
Lester Andrew Wahl MoMM 2/C
Walter Lee Ward RM 3/C
Frank Wassilak, Jr. Cox
John Howard Wassmer S 1/C
Ray Leonard Wells S 2/C
Robert J. Wescott Lt.(jg)
James Peter White S 2/C
Paul William Wigger MoMM 1/C
Lester Brayton Wingate SoM 2/C
Francis Frederick Winter Y 2/C
Sheeman Francis Woodin F 2/C
Gabriel De Vaber Wright Cox

USS LERAY WILSON (DE-414)

10 January 1945
Louis S. J. Boero S 2/C
Dan Bryant, Jr. StM 1/C
Wade H. Cottingham SC 2/C
Joseph H. D. Ellison S 1/C
James E. Humbert S 1/C
Joseph Kimble, Jr. StM 1/C
Lorrin R. Koapke S 1/C
James B. Vehorn Y 1/C
Lewis White OC 2/C

11 January 1945
William W. Boggess, Jr S 2/C

26 January 1945
William S. Haney SK 1/C

USS LEWIS (DE-535)

21 October 1952
Richard E. Brower BT 1/C
James T. Crossman F 1/C
Arnold W. Karlin BT 1/C
Raymond E. Remers BTG 1/C
David J. Schmit (?)
George A. Schofield, Jr. (?)
Floyd Sneed (?)

7 December 1944
Chester A. Bassett Lt.(jg)
Henry J. Beeftink S 1/C
Lloyd C. Brogger LCDR
Frank J. Caramanica F 2/C
Sylvester Cunningham LCDR
Thomas Gaylord Daine S 1/C
James D. Deane SM 3/C
Frederick M. Denning S 1/C
Theodore J. Dumas S 1/C
Glenn V. Eagon S 1/C
Wynn Epler SK 2/C
William H. Freeman, Jr. S 1/C
Albert P . Gabler S 1/C
Joseph E. Gilbert Lt.(jg)
William B. Graddy, Jr. RM 1/C
Jerome W. Greenbaum LT
Thomas E. Gurski S 2/C
Melvin H. Hitchner RdM 2/C
Clarence W. LaFollette CX(AA)
Morris Smead Lowman RdM 2/C
Thomas E. McAlpine, Jr. LT
Edward A. Matyas RdM 2/C
James A. Murphy, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Donald R. Neff FC 3/C
Kenneth L. Olson F 1/C
Joseph A. Paradis, Jr. SM 1/C
Joseph M. Perez Y 2/C
Nathan F. Piccirilli ENS
Donald A. Russell RM 3/C
Thomas A. Simcox SoM 2/C
Angelo A. Solano SM 2/C
Robert Clair Teague RdM 3/C
Sidney F. Thompson SK 1/C
John A. Vasquez S 1/C
Raymond H. Zeck EM 2/C

8 December 1944
Stewart C. MacLean S 1/C

10 December 1944
Gerald J. Leshok Lt.(jg)

14 December 1944
Philip E. Walker S 1/C

9 December 1944
Norman L. Kanda SM 3/C

USS LOVERING (DE-39)

November 1943
J. R. Fielder BM 2/C

USS LOWE (DE/DER-325)

5 February 1944
Franklin H. Jackman GM 1/C
William C. Witt S 1/C

27 May 1945
Thomas A. Kelley S 1/C
William R. Logan BM 2/C

28 May 1945
Barney M. Graves Cox

20 February 1945
William M. Smith CBM

17 August 1945
Edward P. LaFlamme Y 2/C

30 October 1945
Louis J. Cassazza S 1/C
Michael C. Heil SC 1/C
Thomas A. Morphew S 1/C
William O. Ruthledge S 2/C
David L. Washburn EM 1/C

11 April 1945
Bruce H. Weigel CEM

7 September 1945
Milo Robert Kendall BM 1/C

USS MELVIN R. NAWMAN (DE-416)

21 February 1945
Ralph Pyatt CM 2/C

3 May 1944
Laveme C. Brugger CMoMM
Leonard J. Cataldo GM 1/C
Angelo Cataloni S 1/C
Joseph A. De Young BM 1/C
Woodrow Elaman AS
Homer N. Etchison TM 3/C
Raymond J. Galary S 1/C
Jonathan D. Grout LT
Carl L. Hall S 1/C
Elmer C. Hoffman TM 2/C
Joseph L. Hoodock, Jr. F 1/C
Delmar H. Koch S 1/C
Robert J. La Vonier F 1/C
Wilbur J. McSorley ENS
Walter B. Minor QM 3/C
Richard H. Missbach F 1/C
Joseph S. Misukonis BM 2/C
Boyce R. Nichols S 1/C
Buel B. Oglesby TM 3/C
Angelo Petrolini S 2/C
Joseph Pirri S 1/C
Alphonse F. Raymond S 2/C
Paul R. Risner S 2/C
Carver G. Sanders BM 2/C
George T. Sanders S 2/C
Joseph Seppi S 1/C
David R. Schuck S 1/C
Stanley S. Stewartz S 2/C
Robert E. Thompson S 2/C
Howard J. Woods F 1/C
Edmund F. Zemroz MoMM 3/C

8 May 1944
Joseph Meehan S 1/C

8 April 1945
Ralph V. Barrick EM 1/C
Asa Trahan S 2/C

21 August 1944
Francisco Portas RM 2/C

20 February 1945
Maurice Lee Plant RM 1/C

26 May 1945
Lawrence Robert Costello GM 1/C
Donald Lee Domer Cox

9 May 1945
Fred L. Brown WT 2/C
Erwin M. Cash S 1/C
Thomas H. Edwards WT 3/C
James P. Franklin S 1/C
Elmer Hagemeier WT 2/C
David M. Hill F 1/C
Millard T. Jenkins F 1/C
Solon K. Lineberry EM 3/C
William J. MacElderry WT 3/C

15 May 1945
Ovid M. Boswell MM 1/C

30 June 1944
George Leo Hoshall GM 3/C

USS OTTERSTETTER (DE - 244)

7 February 1945
James Mourer Smith S 2/C

11 December 1945
Roy Wilton F 1/C

12 April 1945
John A. Barrow RM 3/C
L. C. J. Bone S 2/C
James M. Breithaupt SF 1/C
George W. Brooks S 1/C
Raymond Carter StM 1/C
Louis L. Crombar F 1/C
Raymond Lee Deese S 1/C
John W. Griffitts S 1/C
William O'Toole Johnson GM 2/C
Orvel Jones SC 2/C
Robert B. Lawson S 2/C
Wilbert J. Martin S 1/C
Earle D. Mueller BM 2/C
Anton Frank Njirich SM 3/C
Alexander Gordon Taylor EM 3/C
Charles L. Turpin EM 3/C
Ervin Vance S 1/C
Clarence R. Wallace MoMM 2/C
Jack W. Wynne S 1/C

13 April 1945
David Hinton Edwards, Jr. SC 2/C
Virgil Leon Holladay S 2/C

November 1944
William Jackson ENS

27 May 1945
Frank H. Gerard Lt.(jg)
Clair S. Shurr F 1/C
Carl W. Taylor PhM 2/C

USS REEVES (APD-52)

30 July 1945
Lee Green EM 2/C

30 October 1945
Raymond Lee Carroll, Jr. SC 2/C
Ray Civils St 3/C
Warren Harding Greer Ck 2/C
Henry James McClaflin EM 1/C
William A. Robinson S 1/C

8 June 1944
Marvin R. Adkinson EM 3/C
Lloyd V. Anderson WT 3/C
Raymond Benjamin MM 3/C
Walter Berger CCS
Robert L. Berry CBM
Anthony S. Bilotti CY
Francisco N. F. Blas Ck 2/C
Thomas W. Bowmer S 2/C
John O. Clark MM 3/C
Frank G. Cody EM 2/C
Hubert F. Comer CM 2/C
Clarence N. Copeland StM 2/C
Hassell S. Coward MM 3/C
Benjamin K. Crawford SC 2/C
Peter S. Decimos WT 3/C
Sam J. Deguilmi F 1/C
Warren T. Delaval SoM 3/C
William C. Diefenbach, Jr. Cox
Clifford L. Drake RdM 3/C
Marvin J. Drake MM 3/C
Leonard Ferraro EM 1/C
Frank Felenchak WT 3/C
John B. Ferreira S 1/C
Richard D. Foust MM 3/C
Ernest G. Fox GM 2/C
George A. Gass SK 2/C
Frederick V. Gegen GM 2/C
Richard J. Grisim S 1/C
Barnett M. Head S 2/C
William H. Heyman Lt.(jg)
Roy E. Hickox GM 3/C
Richard E. Hiller EM 3/C
Liston L. Hines S 2/C
James G. Holland S 1/C
Leo T. Holt MoMM 3/C
John C. Johnson F 1/C
James H. Joyner S 2/C
Clifford C. Kalupa SoM 2/C
Stewart F. Hauffman RT 1/C
John J. Kelly EM 3/C
William M. Kelly GM 3/C
Thomas A. Kishel S 1/C
Edward S. Kiopotic EM 1/C
Edmund J. Kozlik MM 1/C
Kenneth J. Kraus S 1/C
Fiorendo F. Lacorte S 1/C
Norbert F. Lankheit S 2/C
Walter Latham GM 3/C
James H. MacLaughlan, Jr. S 1/C
John F. Mahneck S 2/C
Calvin E. Martin F 1/C
Cecil E. May S 1/C
Reid C. McInturff S 1/C
Thomas G. Miller RM 2/C
Thomas C. Moran S 1/C
Robert L. Osborn ENS
Robert Peachey S 1/C
William G. Pearson LCDR
Marion J. Piekarski SoM 3/C
Hardy L. Pilkinton PhM 1/C
Santo Porto GM 3/C
Leo J. Rakecki SoM 2/C
Frank S. Russo BM 2/C
Bertil G. Scott M 2/C
Frank J. Searing Y 1/C
James P. Servidio F 2/C
Wilson F. Skinner S 2/C
William T. Slade S 2/C
Herman E. Smith, Jr. MM 3/C
James C. Smith S 1/C
Leo F. Smith F 1/C
Nicholas V. Solla F 2/C
Travis D. Stephens GM 2/C
John B. Sullivan S 2/C
James Tabor S 2/C
Eugene F. Thomas TM 3/C
Richard Vanderwende F 1/C
Paul L. Virga M 3/C
Bobby R. Ward S 2/C
Douglas E. Ward S 2/C
Milton T. Ward F 1/C
John F. Warne WT 3/C
Harley B. Weatherman WT 3/C
Ralph E. Wolfe EM 3/C
Robert C. Wood SM 3/C
William T. Wright SC 3/C

9 June 1944
Harold J. Obenauer ENS

10 June 1944
Milton A. Albin CGM
Carlie E. Black S 1/C
Robert C. Grantham WT 3/C

16 June 1944
Alex W. Grethe, Jr. EM 3/C

USS RICHARD M. ROWELL (DE-403)

25 October 1944
James Bednar S 1/C
Lewis W. Hughes S 1/C
Alvin L. Stoney BM 2/C

USS RICHARD S. BULL (DE-402)

1944
George Murphy GM 3/C

USS RICKETTS (DE-254)

13 April 1944
Samuel Clemmens SC 1/C

12 April 1945
Obria W. Bailey StM 2/C

USS ROBERT I. PAINE (DE-578)

6 August 1944
Christopher Plummer FC 2/C

29 September 1945
Conley Blease Gibson, Sr. S 1/C
James Howard Stanley S 1/C
William Frank Wise S 1/C

17 November 1944
David N. Skinner GM 3/C

USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE-413)

25 October 1944
Russell Abair, Jr. S 1/C
Albert L. Abramson S 2/C
Wilber E. Anderton RdM 3/C
Francis P. Bard WT 3/C
Harold Barrett S 2/C
Ray E. Bartlett F 1/C
Fred W. Bates S 2/C
Richard A. Bingaman F 1/C
Norbert F. Brady MM 3/C
Lloyd C. Braun MM 2/C
Vernon R. Butler S K 3/C
William F. Butterworth, Jr. F 2/C
Joseph W. Cadarette, Jr. BM 2/C
Paul Henry Carr GM 3/C
Robert P. Cummings MM 3/C
John K. Davis S 2/C
John H. DeBellis F 1/C
Ralph Decubellis F 1/C
Elroy Downs S 2/C
Cecil First StM 1/C
Albert H. Freye MM 3/C
Leonard N. Gallerini S 2/C
J. C. Goggins Cox
Leonard S. Goldstein S 2/C
Martin C. Gonyea PhM 3/C
John R. Gray EM 2/C
Joseph F. Green SK 2/C
James A. Gregory S 1/C
John J. Groller GM 3/C
Frederick A. Grove CWT
Justin C. Haag MM 2/C
Woodrow W. Harris S 1/C
Donald R. Hausman GM 3/C
Hubert B. Hawkins S 2/C
Troy T. Hodges F 1/C
Enoch Hood S 2/C
Jacob D. Kensler F 1/C
Fred Kilburn S 1/C
Charles E. Knisley S 1/C
Chester P. Kupidlowski F 1/C
Lewis C. Kyger F 2/C
John S. Le Clercq, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Joseph Lecci F 1/C
Herman J. Levitan F 1/C
John Locke, Jr. S 1/C
Louis V. Longo F 1/C
Shirley R. Macon CGM
Edward M. Maher RM 3/C
Thomas J. Mazura SM 3/C
George H. Merritt FC 3/C
Herman E. Meyer F 1/C
Mike Miller GM 2/C
John J. Moran MM 1/C
William C. Mort WT 3/C
Steve Mudre S 1/C
Charles W. Natter SM 3/C
John J. Newmiller S 2/C
Dudley B. O'Connor, Jr. WT 2/C
Clarence E. Oliver MM 3/C
Joseph Orlowski S 2/C
Jerry G. Osborne WT 1/C
John J. Paone S 2/C
Hilon R. Pierson CMM
Leopold P. Riebenbauer ENS
Charles A. Ross S 2/C
John T. Rozzelle S 1/C
Arthur E. Saylor, Jr. F 1/C
Darl H. Schafer CM 2/C
Harold K. Scott S 1/C
Russell W. Shaffer S 2/C
Charles N. Smith CMM
Melvin L. Spears S 2/C
Gilbert J. Stansberry S 2/C
Charles Staubach CEM
William E. Stovall S 2/C
Fred A. Strehle SC 1/C
John J. Sullivan, Jr. EM 3/C
Willard A. Thurmond S 1/C
Herbert W. Trowbridge LT
George P. Ulickas MM 2/C
Percy H. Wallace S 1/C
James K. Weaver EM 2/C
Thomas R. Wetherald MM 1/C
Cloy W. Wethington MM 2/C
Charles J. Wilson S 2/C
Frank M. Zaleski S 2/C
John R. Zunac F 1/C

26 October 1944
Robert W. Fickett S 2/C

27 October 1944
Eugene Wagner F 1/C

28 October 1944
Tulilo J. Serafini CRM

USS SAMUEL S. MILES (DE-183)

11 April 1945
Robert Cecil Allen Cox

25 October 1944
Edward C. Moritz S 1/C

USS SCHMITT (DE -676 /APD-7 6 )

17 December 1943
Gerald McCarthy S 1/C

USS SHELTON (DE-407)

3 October 1944
Bert H. Bonnell CM 3/C
Lemont C. Brolliar F 1/C
Terance M. Clark M 2/C
Edward R. Clinton S 1/C
Philip S. Deteresi TM 3/C
Oliver H. Greebon SF 1/C
Abraham Minofsky S 2/C
Joseph J. Pinzini S 2/C
Max F. Schmitt LT
Richard J. Schnell S 2/C
Winson Sloan S 2/C
George B. Tribble, Jr. ENS

5 October 1944
Raethel C. Baize S 2/C

30 April 1946
John Lawrence Berrigan S 2/C
Charles Edward Kline GM 1/C
Elisha Nelson, Jr. S 2/C
Eugene Paul Norman CBM
William Scott Reardon F 1/C
Victor Francis Sousa GM 3/C
Ernest W. Worrell Lt.(jg)

5 January 1945
Alfred Giroux F 1/C

6 January 1945
Vito Masi WT 3/C

3 November 1944
Paul Allen Gager BM 2/C

28 May 1944
Sturling T. Johnson S 1/C

17 September 1945
Raymond Ala LT
James McDonald GM 2/C
Fay Stafford BM 2/C

16 April 1945
Howard William Marstellar TM 3/C

1944
Herbert G. Williams StM 1/C

24 July 1945
Stanley J. Abcunas S 1/C
John R. Anderson Y 1/C
Kenneth I. Austin S 2/C
Michael Bandurich RM 3/C
Alvin E. Beard WT 1/C
Ralph E. Bledsoe S 1/C
John Raymond Boyd RM 3/C
Jack L. Brazael F 1/C
Ray G. Buchanan Cox
Robert E. Burkett Cox
Harold R. Cain S 1/C
Michael D. Capperelli RdM 2/C
Albert W. Carison RM 3/C
Floyd P. Carrington Lt.(jg)
Lawrence L. Cashin CSK
John T. Caskey LT
Joseph Nolte Christie LT
George H. Compliment S 1/C
Jay H. Conlin RdM 3/C
Dixon P. Connolly Lt.(jg)
Fred A. Cooper, Jr. MM 2/C
Henry C. Cosker RdM 2/C
William C Coyne RdM 2/C
William N. D'Amore QM 3/C
Donald L. Davis SC 1/C
Donald C. Deaton RdM 3/C
Alphonse S. Dinardo CY
Carl W. Dittmar QM 2/C
James A. Doherty SM 1/C
Farrell Joseph Dolan WT 2/C
Bert W. Donaldson S 1/C
John T. Dye LT
Charles H. Fahringer S 1/C
Thomas F. Ferguson S 1/C
William J. Farrell GM 3/C
Arthur L. Fisher S 1/C
Nicholas Fondacaro S 1/C
Lewis J. Frantz S 1/C
Albert T. Friel GM 3/C
Baxter W. Garrett S 1/C
Howard George CQM
Frank F. Grandineetti BM 1/C
Cecil Greene S 1/C
Roscoe E. Hand EM 3/C
Ollie J. Harper St 3/C
Harold H. Hartwell, Jr. Lt.(jg)
John P. Hayward LT
Donald A. Heist S 1/C
Cecil R. Heming SoM 3/C
Edward H. Higgins RdM 3/C
Richard H. Hogus, Jr. EM 1/C
Leonard F. Howard EM 1/C
John M. Howell SM 3/C
Benjamin C . Hubbard, Jr. Lt.(jg)
Lester H. Hughes WT 2/C
John W. Jackson StM 2/C
James W. Jiggetts StM 1/C
Richard Johnson S 1/C
Walter J. Joseph S 1/C
Vincent S. Joss SM 2/C
Richard D. Keller SSML 2/C
Richard Keneipp, Jr. Cox
Willis P. Knight S 1/C
Maurice J. L'Abbe S 2/C
Robert G. Lacey Y 1/C
Henry A. Lord MM 1/C
Donald M. Marks F 1/C
Dudley E. Marquis SF 1/C
Henry J. Masalski EM 2/C
David Paul McBride RM 2/C
Gordon C. McCarty SoM 2/C
William G. Mcllvride SoM 2/C
Edison C. McMurray SoM 2/C
Thermon Miller StM 1/C
Stanley E. Moon SoM 1/C
Richard A. Morrson RT 1/C
John S. Murray RM 3/C
Lawrence C. R. Nadelhoffer EM 1/C
Robert M. Newcomb LCDR
Fred W. Nicklaus CPhM
Norman N. Niederstadt S 2/C
Sigvard E. Odden CRM
Joseph E. Ott Cox
Kenneth C. Page S 2/C
William M. Patrick S 1/C
Herbert W. Patton S 1/C
Alfred A. Pihlaksar GM 3/C
Roger A. Plante RM 3/C
Edward W. Ponas S 1/C
Francis X. Quinn S 1/C
Edward J. Radka SM 3/C
Howard L. Roberts SSM B 3/C
Leroy Rozier S 1/C
Talmage Sanders Ck 2/C
George P. Scanlan, Jr. ENS
Alfred J. Schiavone RM 2/C
Robert L. Shaw WT 2/C
Joseph Shostak BM 1/C
Edwin Smith S 1/C
James E. Smith MM 3/C
Adams J. Sobiech S 1/C
Michael Sudik, Jr. FC 1/C
Stanley J. Szymanski WT 3/C
George F. Toomey RM 3/C
Adam J. Urish B 3/C
Ernest E. Vance Bkr 3/C
John J. Vitullo SC 1/C
John E. Wagner EM 3/C
Edmund L. Wegman S 1/C
Herbert G. Williams
Vincent J. Willis RdM 3/C
John Zak S 1/C

25 July 1945
Harold M. Scott EM 3/C

14 January 1944
Leonard L. Scriver WT

15 November 1944
William Francis Ray MM 1/C

27 March 1946
Tom Fred McLean S 2/C

7 April 1945
Robert J. Butara Y 3/C
Arnold Cohen MoMM 2/C
Lewis A. Guida CM 2/C
Alfred J. McLaughlin, Jr. S 1/C
Harold W. Penny Y 3/C
Joseph S. Schembri GM 3/C

8 Apri1 1945
Henry R. Sherril S 1/C

10 Apri1 1945
G. C. A. Hartwig S 1/C

USS WHITEHURST (DE-634)

12 April 1945
William H. Anderson S 1/C
Earl Leon Barrett S 1/C
Thomas O. Barts RdM 3/C
James E. Braden, Jr. RdM 2/C
William H. Breeding BM 2/C
Wilbur Yates Bullock LT
Paul T. Carter F 2/C
Delmer R. Clevinger F 1/C
Louis Cohen RT 3/C
James J. Colvin RM 3/C
John T. Cowart EM 3/C
Norman J. Duncan Lt.(jg)
Norman E. Ellsworth GM 1/C
Clarence J. Emanuel GM 3/C
James A. Emfinger S 1/C
Thomas W. Graddick SM 1/C
Landon M. Hazel SM 1/C
Leon O. Hudson FC 3/C
Harold C. Jacobson FC 1/C
Delar D. Johnson S 1/C
Francis B. Jones S 1/C
Alexander J. Kauten QM 3/C
Connie Lambert S 1/C
Emanuel P. Larson RT 1/C
Arthur H. Lawien, Jr. RM 3/C
James P. Lee QM 3/C
James R. Liles RdM 3/C
Alvin E. Livingston S 1/C
True Odell Loftin RdM 3/C
Elbert L. Malpass S 1/C
Manuel Earnest Marquess RdM 3/C
James X. Mochack RM 3/C
Frank A. Mussetter Y 2/C
John A. McCord, Jr. SK 1/C
Irving Paul RdM 2/C
Robert J. Purtell LT
Clarence W . Raith QM 1/C
John A. Slosar Y 1/C
Theodore Payne Ward S 1/C
James R. Winkelhausen SoM 2/C
Ernest M. Yarboro Cox
Arthur L. Yost S 1/C

October 1955
James Fastwolf

USS WILLIAM C. MILLER (DE-259)

12 March 1945
Charles Russell Ashley S 1/C

29 September 1945
Watson D. Lambeth S 1/C

USS WILLIS (DE-395)

28 March 1944
Samuel G. Ratliff, Jr. Cox

6 April 1945
Edward K. Asbeck EM 1/C
Harold R. Fahrenkrug WT 1/C
Leonard F. Keeker F 1/C
Francis J. Ogrodnik WT 3/C
Vincent La Selva WT 3/C
Benjamin Zack F 2/C

BT - Boiler Tender
BTG - Shipboard Boiler Tender
HM - Hospital Medic

Click here for a printable version of the Roll of Honor
This page is updated as information becomes available. The updated date appears at the top of the page.
PLEASE be sure you print the most recent version of the Roll so that you have the most correct copy.

Webmaster Note - These names were copied from a previous issue of DESANews and from a publication by DESA, "Roll of Honor". However, there are errors in these publications. This is apparent from numerous misspellings in the document - "C" printed as "O", "E" printed as "F", "i" printed as "l", "l" printed as the number "1", for example. Initially, Assistant Webmaster Tony Polozzolo and I spent countless hours correcting the spellings on this Roll and the project has continued over the past 8 years and continues indefinitely. During this time, I have contacted former crewmembers and obtained copies of official reports noting those KIA/MIA. This information has been used to make corrections and additions. We have made every effort to present correct information but know errors still exist that we are unaware of. If you find an error or omission, please contact me with the correct information.


Ahoy - Mac's Web Log

My name is Robert Hunt. My Father Silven R. Hunt is a WWII veteran. He was aboard the Ill Fated Block Island Carrier..and the Guadalcanal. I am hoping to find as extensive of reports of Both ships actions. as possible. My Father is still alive and well..Living in Upstate New York. I hope to have the information to show him .

I am also hoping to find out about any upcoming reunions for both WWII ships..

NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive
USS BLOCK ISLAND (ACV-21)
http://www.navsource.org/archives/03/021.htm

May 28, 1944 - At 2013, USS Block Island (CVE 21), while engaged in hunter-killer operations near the Azores, was torpedoed by the German U-549 which had slipped undetected through her screen. The German submarine put one and perhaps two more torpedoes into the stricken carrier before being sunk itself by USS Eugene E. Elmore (DE-686) and USS Ahrens (DE-575). Block Island was the only carrier lost in the Atlantic.
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy_hr.asp?id=17

The Capture of U-505 by USS Guadalcanal. 4th. of June 1944

Robert I hope these notes are of some use for your Father.

Best wihes to you both fior theChristmas season.

This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

List of site sources >>>


Watch the video: Chuck Ahrens - A Man of Mystery (January 2022).