Japanese warships

DE 387 Destroyer Escort
WDE 487 Coast Guard Destroyer Escort
DER 387 Destroyer Escort Radar Picket

DEs Fought Against Japanese Warships  

Found on the back of a photograph with
The Destroyer Escort Sailors Association (DESA) logo on the rear.

Just prior to our entry into World War II, the U.S. Congress established the Lend-Lease Act to bring American industrial strength to the aid of England. As part of the agreement the U.S. placed an order in early 1941 for fifty Destroyer Escorts, a specially designed ship that was third of the cost of fleet destroyers, would take much less time to construct and yet have the same escort and anti-submarine capabilities.

Five U.S. Navy Yards and twelve shipbuilding companies launched 563 DEs between 1942 and 1945, and the average construction time was eleven months. Seventy-eight of the ships were transferred to the Royal Navy, 12 went to Brazil and France and 94 were completed or converted to APDs (high speed transports for Pacific invasions).

The destroyer escorts proved to be extremely effective and highly adaptable for services far beyond their original purpose of anti-submarine warfare/escort duties. This ability and versatility was demonstrated by DEs in their efforts as partners with light carriers in anti-U-boat hunter/killer teams, participants in the Normandy and southern France invasions, accounting for the sinking of 28 Nazi submarines, downing of a number of German aircraft and rescuing of many merchant seamen and combatants at sea.

In the Pacific, DEs fought against Japanese warships at Samar and Leyte Gulf. They served on the Okinawa radar picket line with 22 of the 50 participants being damaged by Kamikaze attacks. Thirty Japanese submarines were sunk, with six of them being destroyed within twelve days by the USS ENGLAND (DE635). In addition, the DEs battled against midget submarines and human torpedoes, and helped save the lives of survivors of the USS INDIANAPOLIS.

Although most of them have been scrapped, sunk or used for targets, it is interesting to note that thirty-four escorts are still in active service in the navies of eleven foreign nations...more than four decades after they were constructed.

Dr. Martin Davis
Director of Historic Projects

Dr. Davis is a professor at Hofstra University,
and Chairman of the Statue of Liberty Chapter (NY) of Desa.

This information is possibably from a 1993 reprinting

This story was sent to me by Jack Jenkins, CCS, Plank Owner

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