USS Hilbert (DE-742)

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Career
Name: USS Hilbert
Namesake: Ernest Lenard Hilbert
Builder: Western Pipe and Steel Company, Los Angeles, California
Laid down: 23 March 1943
Launched: 18 July 1943
Commissioned: 4 February 1944
Decommissioned: 19 June 1946
Struck: 1 August 1972
Honors and
awards:
8 battle stars (World War II)
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 15 October 1973
General characteristics
Class & type: Cannon-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,240 long tons (1,260 t) standard
1,620 long tons (1,646 t) full
Length: 306 ft (93 m) o/a
300 ft (91 m) w/l
Beam: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
Draft: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Propulsion: 4 × GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6,000 shp (4,474 kW), 2 screws
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 10,800 nmi (20,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers and 201 enlisted
Armament: • 3 × single Mk.22 3"/50 caliber guns
• 1 × twin 40 mm Mk.1 AA gun
• 8 × 20 mm Mk.4 AA guns
• 3 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
• 1 × Hedgehog Mk.10 anti-submarine mortar (144 rounds)
• 8 × Mk.6 depth charge projectors
• 2 × Mk.9 depth charge tracks

USS Hilbert (DE-742) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Pacific Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys. She returned home after the war with eight battle stars, far more than the average for destroyer escorts.

She was named in honor of Ernest Lenard Hilbert who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously after being shot down during the Battle of Midway. The ship was launched on 18 July 1943 by the Western Pipe and Steel Company; sponsored by Mrs. Fern Hilbert Wier, sister of Aviation Ordnanceman Hilbert; and commissioned on 4 February 1944, Commander J. W. Golinkin, USNR, in command.

World War II Pacific Theatre operations[edit]

After shakedown out of California Hilbert departed San Francisco, California, on 13 May 1944 escorting a transport. Arriving Pearl Harbor on 20 May, she proceeded to Kwajalein and joined the U.S. 5th Fleet. From June through August Hilbert screened the fueling group of Admiral R. K. Turner's Northern Attack Force for the capture of Saipan and Tinian. The Marianas were stoutly and bitterly contested, requiring great flexibility and fortitude before our fleet conquered the rugged and well-defended islands.

Supporting Philippine Islands invasion[edit]

Hilbert also played a key role in protecting our oilers which fueled Admiral Marc Mitscher's Fast Carrier Task Force engaged in the Battle of the Philippine Sea — one of the most decisive battles of the war.

In October Hilbert joined Admiral Halsey's U.S. 3rd Fleet and screened the logistics group for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She also participated in supporting actions in the operations against the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese home islands.

End-of-War activity[edit]

Hilbert, with other units of the 3rd Fleet, anchored for the first time in Japanese waters at Sagami Wan on 9 September 1945. Departing Tokyo on 29 September Hilbert sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, via Los Angeles, California, and the Panama Canal Zone, and thence to Green Cove Springs, Florida, arriving on 17 December.

Post-War decommissioning[edit]

She decommissioned on 19 June 1946 and joined the Reserve Fleet. In February 1952 Hilbert joined the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she remained until she was sold for scrapping, on 15 October 1973.

Awards[edit]

Hilbert received eight battle stars for World War II service.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Hilbert (DE-742) at NavSource Naval History