USS Thornhill (DE-195)

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Career (United States)
Name: USS Thornhill
Namesake: Leonard W. Thornhill
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newark, New Jersey
Laid down: 7 October 1943
Launched: 30 December 1943
Commissioned: 1 February 1944
Decommissioned: 17 June 1947
Struck: 26 March 1951
Fate: Transferred to Italy, 10 January 1951
Career (Italy)
Name: Aldebaran (F-590)
Acquired: 10 January 1951
Struck: 1976
Fate: Broken up, 1976
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 Thornhill (DE-195) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

She was named after Leonard W. Thornhill, who participated in the Battle of Coral Sea and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Thornhill was laid down on 7 October 1943 at Newark, New Jersey, by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; launched on 30 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Thornhill, the mother of Lt. (jg.) Thornhill; and commissioned on 1 February 1944, Lt. John B. Shumway, USNR, in command.

World War II North Atlantic operations[edit]

The destroyer escort got underway on 18 February, held shakedown training out of Bermuda, and returned to New York exactly one month later. Thornhill served as a training ship at Norfolk, Virginia, during April. In May, she returned to New York to escort a part of Convoy UGS-42 to Norfolk. The 108-ship convoy sortied from Hampton Roads on 13 May, bound for North Africa. Thornhill arrived at Bizerte on 1 June and returned to New York on the 29th with a westbound convoy. Late in July, the destroyer escort screened another convoy to North Africa and returned to New York on 7 September 1944.

Transfer to the Pacific Theatre of Operations[edit]

During the next eight months, Thornhill made four more escort voyages to England and France. On 9 June 1945, she and the other ships of Escort Division (CortDiv) 55 got underway for Guantánamo Bay and proceeded thence through the Panama Canal to the west coast of the United States. The division arrived at San Diego, California, on 9 July. CortDiv 55 stood out to sea five days later and arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 19th to join the Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet.

End-of-War activities[edit]

Thornhill and her division departed with RMS Empress of Australia on 8 August, bound for the Marshalls, and reached Eniwetok the day after hostilities with Japan ceased. She remained in the Marshalls until 7 December when she and Wingfield (DE-194) headed back toward Hawaii. The two ships arrived at Pearl Harbor on 13 December 1945, and Thornhill served as a weather patrol ship there during January 1946. The destroyer escort sailed for home on 2 February and, after calling at San Diego, arrived at the Boston Navy Yard on 7 March.

Post-War decommissioning[edit]

The next week she got underway for Green Cove Springs, Florida, to be inactivated. She was decommissioned on 17 June 1946 and assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Thornhill was transferred to Italy under the Military Assistance Program on 10 January 1951 and was struck from the Navy List on 26 March that same year. She served the Italian Navy as Aldebaran (F-590) until she was stricken and broken up in 1976.

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Thornhill (DE-195) at NavSource Naval History