John C. Butler-class destroyer escort

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USS John C. Butler (DE-339) underway in the Pacific Ocean on 1 March 1945 (80-G-264041).jpg
USS John C. Butler
Class overview
NameJohn C. Butler class
Builders
Operators
Preceded by Rudderow class
Succeeded by Dealey class
Planned293
Completed83
Cancelled210
Lost3
Retired80
General characteristics
TypeDestroyer escort
Displacement
  • 1,350 long tons (1,372 t) (standard)
  • 1,745 long tons (1,773 t) (full load)
Length306 ft (93.3 m)
Beam37 ft (11.3 m)
Draft
  • Light: 9 ft 4 in (2.8 m)
  • Deep: 13 ft 4 in (4.1 m)
PropulsionPropulsion: 2 boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp (8,900 kW); 2 propellers
Speed
  • 24.3 kn (28.0 mph; 45.0 km/h) (trial)
  • 24 kn (28 mph; 44 km/h) (service)
Complement
  • Officers: 15
  • Enlisted: 183
Sensors and
processing systems
Radar
Armament

The John C. Butler class were destroyer escorts that originated during World War II. The lead ship was USS John C. Butler, commissioned on 31 March 1944. The class was also known as the WGT type from their Westinghouse geared turbine drive.[1] Of the 293 ships originally planned, 206 were canceled in 1944 and a further four after being laid down; three were not completed until after the end of World War II.

History[edit]

The standard armament for the class was two 5 in (127 mm) dual purpose guns, four 40 mm and ten 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, and three 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. It also carried two depth charge racks, eight K-gun depth charge projectors and one hedgehog projector as secondary weapons. The ships had a maximum speed of 24 kn (28 mph; 44 km/h).

Diagram of US Navy WWII destroyer escort.png

The most notable ship of this class was Samuel B. Roberts, which gained fame during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where she, along with several other ships, engaged a number of cruisers and battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in a torpedo attack, where she was sunk after taking several hits.[2] During this action, Samuel B. Roberts achieved a speed of 28.7 kn (33.0 mph; 53.2 km/h) for over an hour by running her engines at 660 psi (46 bar).[3] She is known in naval lore as "the destroyer escort that fought like a battleship". The other two ships of this class lost were USS Shelton and USS Eversole.

Also notable was Tabberer for which Captain Henry Lee Plage earned the Legion of Merit, while the entire crew earned the Navy's Unit Commendation Ribbon for taking the initiative to rescue other ships after a disastrous storm. In December 1944, the ship lost her mast and radio antennas riding out Typhoon Cobra, which killed 790 sailors (more than were lost at the battles of Midway and Coral Sea combined). Though damaged and unable to radio for help, she was first on the scene to recover 55 of only 93 total rescued from three destroyers which capsized in the heavy seas.

A floating history museum of the destroyer escorts resides in Albany, New York.[4] USS Slater (a related Cannon-class destroyer escort) is docked during temperate months on the Hudson River in Albany, New York. An Edsall-class destroyer escort, USS Stewart, is also on display as a museum ship in Galveston, Texas.

Ships in Class[edit]

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
John C. Butler DE-339 Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas 5 October 1943 12 November 1943 31 March 1944 18 December 1957 Struck 1 June 1970, sunk as target 1971
O'Flaherty DE-340 4 October 1943 14 December 1943 8 April 1944 January 1947 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 27 November 1973
Raymond DE-341 3 November 1943 8 January 1944 15 April 1944 22 September 1958 Struck 1 July 1972, sunk as target off Florida on 22 January 1974
Richard W. Suesens DE-342 1 November 1943 11 January 1944 26 April 1944 15 January 1947 Struck 15 March 1972, sold for scrap 13 June 1973
Abercrombie DE-343 8 November 1943 14 January 1944 1 May 1944 15 June 1946 Struck 1 May 1967, sunk as target 7 January 1968
Oberrender DE-344 8 November 1943 18 January 1944 11 May 1944 11 July 1945 Struck 25 July 1945, sunk as a target 6 November 1945
Robert Brazier DE-345 16 November 1943 22 January 1944 18 May 1944 16 September 1946 Struck 1 January 1968, sunk as target off California 9 January 1969
Edwin A. Howard DE-346 15 November 1943 25 January 1944 25 May 1944 25 September 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 12 September 1973
Jesse Rutherford DE-347 22 November 1943 29 January 1944 31 May 1944 21 June 1946 Struck 1 January 1968, sunk as target off California 8 December 1968
Key DE-348 14 December 1943 12 February 1944 5 June 1944 9 July 1946 Struck 1 March 1972, sold for scrap 19 December 1972
Gentry DE-349 13 December 1943 15 February 1944 14 June 1944 2 July 1946 Struck 15 January 1972, sold for scrap 15 January 1973
Traw DE-350 19 December 1943 12 February 1944 20 June 1944 7 June 1946 Struck 1 August 1967, sunk as target off California 17 August 1968
Maurice J. Manuel DE-351 22 December 1943 19 February 1944 30 June 1944 30 October 1957 Struck 1 May 1966, sunk as target August 1966
Naifeh DE-352 29 December 1943 29 February 1944 4 July 1944 17 June 1960 Struck 1 January 1966, sunk as a target 11 July 1966
Doyle C. Barnes DE-353 11 January 1944 4 March 1944 13 July 1944 15 January 1947 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 12 September 1973
Kenneth M. Willett DE-354 10 January 1944 7 March 1944 19 July 1944 26 February 1959 Struck 1 July 1972, sunk as target off Puerto Rico 6 March 1974
Jaccard DE-355 25 January 1944 18 March 1944 26 July 1944 30 September 1946 Struck 1 November 1967, sunk as target 4 October 1968
Lloyd E. Acree DE-356 24 January 1944 21 March 1944 1 August 1944 10 October 1946 Struck 15 January 1972, sold for scrap 13 June 1973
George E. Davis DE-357 15 February 1944 8 April 1944 11 August 1944 11 November 1954 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 2 January 1974
Mack DE-358 14 February 1944 11 April 1944 16 August 1944 11 December 1946 Struck 15 March 1972, sold for scrap 13 June 1973
Woodson DE-359 7 March 1944 29 April 1944 24 August 1944 11 August 1962 Struck 1 July 1965, sold for scrap 16 August 1966
Johnnie Hutchins DE-360 6 March 1944 2 May 1944 28 August 1944 25 February 1958 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 5 February 1974
Walton DE-361 21 March 1944 20 May 1944 4 September 1944 20 September 1968 Struck 23 September 1968, sunk as target 7 August 1969
Rolf DE-362 20 March 1944 23 May 1944 7 September 1944 3 June 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 11 September 1973
Pratt DE-363 11 April 1944 1 June 1944 18 September 1944 14 May 1946 Struck 15 March 1972, sold for scrap 15 January 1973
Rombach DE-364 10 April 1944 6 June 1944 20 September 1944 9 January 1958 Struck 1 March 1972, sold for scrap 19 December 1972
McGinty DE-365 3 May 1944 5 August 1944 25 September 1944 23 September 1968 Struck 23 September 1968, sold for scrap 27 October 1969
Alvin C. Cockrell DE-366 1 May 1944 8 August 1944 7 October 1944 17 January 1959 Struck 23 September 1968, sunk as target off California 19 September 1969
French DE-367 1 May 1944 17 June 1944 9 October 1944 29 May 1946 Struck 15 May 1972, sold for scrap 20 September 1973
Cecil J. Doyle DE-368 12 May 1944 1 July 1944 16 October 1944 2 July 1946 Struck 1 July 1967, sunk as target 2 December 1967
Thaddeus Parker DE-369 23 May 1944 26 August 1944 25 October 1944 1 September 1967 Struck 1 September 1967, sold for scrap 9 July 1968
John L. Williamson DE-370 22 May 1944 29 August 1944 31 October 1944 14 June 1946 Struck 15 September 1970, sold for scrap 13 June 1973
Presley DE-371 6 June 1944 19 August 1944 7 November 1944 20 June 1946 Struck 30 June 1968, sold for scrap 2 April 1970
Williams DE-372 5 June 1944 22 August 1944 11 November 1944 4 June 1946 Struck 1 July 1967, sunk as target off California 29 June 1968
Richard S. Bull DE-402 Brown Shipbuilding, Houston, Texas 18 August 1943 16 November 1943 26 February 1944 March 1946 Struck 30 June 1968, sunk as target off California, 24 June 1969
Richard M. Rowell DE-403 18 August 1943 17 November 1943 9 March 1944 2 July 1946 Struck 30 June 1968, sold for scrap June 1969
Eversole DE-404 15 September 1943 3 December 1943 21 March 1944 N/A Sunk by Japanese Submarine I-45 off Leyte 28 October 1944
Dennis DE-405 15 September 1943 4 December 1943 20 March 1944 31 May 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 12 September 1973
Edmonds DE-406 1 November 1943 17 December 1943 3 April 1944 April 1965 Struck 15 May 1972, sold for scrap 20 September 1973
Shelton DE-407 1 November 1943 18 December 1943 4 April 1944 N/A Sunk by Japanese submarine Ro-41 off Morotai 3 October 1944
Straus DE-408 18 November 1943 30 December 1943 6 April 1944 15 January 1947 Struck 1 May 1966, sunk as target August 1973
La Prade DE-409 18 November 1943 31 December 1943 20 April 1944 11 May 1946 Struck 15 January 1972, sold for scrap 15 January 1973
Jack Miller DE-410 29 November 1943 10 January 1944 13 April 1944 1 June 1946 Struck 30 June 1968, sold for scrap July 1969
Stafford DE-411 29 November 1943 11 January 1944 19 April 1944 16 May 1946 Struck 15 March 1972, sold for scrap 13 June 1973
Walter C. Wann DE-412 6 December 1943 19 January 1944 2 May 1944 31 May 1946 Struck 30 June 1968, sold for scrap June 1969
Samuel B. Roberts DE-413 6 December 1943 20 January 1944 28 April 1944 N/A Sunk during the Battle off Samar 25 October 1944
LeRay Wilson DE-414 20 December 1943 28 January 1944 10 May 1944 30 January 1959 Struck 15 May 1972, sold for scrap 14 September 1973
Lawrence C. Taylor DE-415 20 December 1943 29 January 1944 13 May 1944 23 April 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 12 September 1973
Melvin R. Nawman DE-416 3 January 1944 7 February 1944 16 May 1944 30 August 1960 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 3 October 1973
Oliver Mitchell DE-417 3 January 1944 8 February 1944 14 June 1944 24 April 1946 Struck 15 March 1972, sold for scrap 15 January 1973
Tabberer DE-418 12 January 1944 18 February 1944 23 May 1944 May 1960 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 3 October 1973
Robert F. Keller DE-419 12 January 1944 19 February 1944 17 June 1944 January 1965 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 5 February 1974
Leland E. Thomas DE-420 21 January 1944 28 February 1944 19 June 1944 3 May 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 11 September 1973
Chester T. O'Brien DE-421 21 January 1944 29 February 1944 3 July 1944 25 May 1960 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 4 April 1974
Douglas A. Munro DE-422 31 January 1944 8 March 1944 11 July 1944 24 June 1960 Struck 1 December 1965, sunk as target January 1966
Dufilho DE-423 31 January 1944 9 March 1944 21 July 1944 14 May 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, Sold for scrap 12 September 1973
Haas DE-424 23 February 1944 20 March 1944 2 August 1944 24 January 1958 Struck 1 July 1966, sold for scrap 6 September 1967
Corbesier DE-438 Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newark, New Jersey 4 November 1943 13 February 1944 31 March 1944 2 July 1946 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 3 December 1973
Conklin DE-439 4 November 1943 13 February 1944 21 April 1944 17 January 1946 Struck 1 October 1970, sold for scrap 12 May 1972
McCoy Reynolds DE-440 18 November 1943 22 February 1944 2 May 1944 7 February 1957 Struck 1 November 1968, sold to Portugal December 1968, scrapped 1970
William Seiverling DE-441 2 December 1943 7 March 1944 1 June 1944 27 September 1957 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 20 September 1973
Ulvert M. Moore DE-442 2 December 1943 7 March 1944 18 July 1944 10 October 1958 Struck 1 December 1965, sunk as target off San Nicholas Isle, California on 13 July 1966
Kendall C. Campbell DE-443 16 December 1943 19 March 1944 31 July 1944 31 May 1946 Struck 15 January 1972, sold for scrap 15 January 1973
Goss DE-444 16 December 1943 19 March 1944 26 August 1944 10 October 1958 Struck 1 March 1972, sold for scrap 20 November 1972
Grady DE-445 3 January 1944 2 April 1944 11 September 1944 18 December 1957 Struck 30 June 1968, sold for scrap June 1969
Charles E. Brannon DE-446 13 January 1944 23 April 1944 1 November 1944 23 September 1968 Struck 23 September 1968, sold for scrap 27 October 1969
Albert T. Harris DE-447 13 January 1944 16 April 1944 29 November 1944 21 September 1968 Struck 23 September 1968, sunk as target off the Virginia Capes, 9 April 1969
Cross DE-448 19 March 1944 4 July 1944 8 January 1945 2 January 1958 Struck 1 July 1966, sold for scrap 5 March 1968
Hanna DE-449 23 March 1944 4 July 1944 27 January 1945 11 December 1959 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 3 December 1973
Joseph E. Connolly DE-450 6 April 1944 6 August 1944 28 February 1945 20 June 1946 Struck 1 June 1970, sunk as target on 24 February 1972
Gilligan DE-508 18 November 1943 22 February 1944 12 May 1944 31 March 1959 Struck 1 March 1972, sold for scrap 20 November 1973
Formoe DE-509 3 January 1944 2 April 1944 5 October 1944 7 February 1957 Loaned to Portugal 7 February 1957, struck 1 October 1968, scrapped 1970
Heyliger DE-510 27 April 1944 6 August 1944 24 March 1945 2 January 1958 Struck 1 May 1966, sunk as target in 1969
Edward H. Allen DE-531 Boston Naval Shipyard 31 August 1943 7 October 1943 16 December 1943 9 January 1958 Struck 1 July 1972, sold for scrap 5 February 1974
Tweedy DE-532 31 August 1943 7 October 1943 12 February 1944 30 June 1969 Struck 30 June 1969, sunk as target off Florida May 1970
Howard F. Clark DE-533 8 October 1943 8 November 1943 25 May 1944 5 July 1946 Struck 15 May 1972, sold for scrap 6 September 1973
Silverstein DE-534 8 October 1943 8 November 1943 14 July 1944 30 January 1959 Struck 1 December 1972, sold for scrap 3 December 1973
Lewis DE-535 3 November 1943 7 December 1943 5 September 1944 27 May 1960 Struck 1 January 1966, sunk as target in 1966
Bivin DE-536 3 November 1943 7 December 1943 31 October 1944 15 January 1947 Struck 30 June 1968, sunk as target off California on 17 July 1969
Rizzi DE-537 3 November 1943 7 December 1943 26 June 1945 28 February 1958 Struck 1 August 1972, sold for scrap 5 February 1974
Osberg DE-538 3 November 1943 7 December 1943 10 December 1945 25 February 1958 Struck 1 August 1972, sold for scrap 5 February 1974
Wagner DE-539 8 November 1943 27 December 1943 22 November 1955 June 1960 Struck 1 November 1974, sunk as target
Vandivier DE-540 8 November 1943 27 December 1943 11 October 1955 30 June 1960 Struck 1 November 1974, sunk as target off Florida 7 February 1975

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Destroyers, an illustrated design history by Norman Friedman. Chapter 7. ISBN 1-55750-442-3.
  2. ^ Drooker, Arthur (Writer / Producer) (2007). Dogfights: Death of the Japanese Navy (TV series). United States: The History Channel.
  3. ^ Hornfischer, James D. (2004). The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. Bantam. ISBN 0-553-80257-7.
  4. ^ Destroyer Escort Historical Museum

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]