USS Coates (DE-685)

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USS Coates (DE-685) underway c1963
United States
Name: USS Coates
Namesake: Charles Coates
Builder: Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard
Laid down: 8 November 1943
Launched: 12 December 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. A. M. Bledsoe, wife of Captain Bledsoe
Commissioned: 24 January 1944
Recommissioned: 7 February 1951
Decommissioned: 30 January 1970
Struck: 30 January 1970
Fate: Sunk as target, 19 September 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: Rudderow
Type: Destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,450 tons
Length: 306 feet
Beam: 36 feet, 10 inches
Draft: 9 feet 8 inches
Speed: 24 knots
Complement: 186

USS Coates (DE-685) was a Rudderow-class destroyer escort in the United States Navy during World War II and later in the 1950s and 1960s. The ship was named for Carpenter's Mate First Class Charles Coates, who lost his life on 13 November 1942 aboard the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52) when it was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-26 during the Battle of Guadalcanal.[1]

Coates was launched 12 December 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, Massachusetts; sponsored by Mrs. A. M. Bledsoe, wife of Captain Albert M. Bledsoe, USN; commissioned 24 January 1944, Lieutenant W. S. Wills, USNR, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

Coates served as a school ship for student officers and nucleus crews at Miami between 8 April 1944 and 15 September 1945, when she reported at Naval Base Charleston[2], South Carolina for inactivation. Coates was then placed out of commission in reserve 16 April 1946 at the Naval Inactive Ship Facility at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Coates was recommissioned 7 February 1951, and reported to her homeport, Naval Station Norfolk, on 18 March. After coastwise operations and training, she sailed 9 July from Norfolk to Liverpool, Nova Scotia, on hunter-killer exercises, returning 27 July. Training in Cuban waters and local operations preceded assignment as training ship for Fleet Sonar School, Naval Station Key West, Florida in the spring of 1952.

Coates sailed 26 August 1952 to join in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation Mainbrace, visiting the Firth of Clyde, the Firth of Forth and Arendal, Norway, before returning home 11 October. Coates resumed local operations, training exercises off the Virginia Capes and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and took part in a midshipman cruise to Brazil in summer 1953. NATO exercises took her to Scotland and France from 12 July to 3 September 1954.

She served as school ship at Key West early in 1957 and on 21 November 1957 was assigned to the 3rd Naval District as a Naval Reserve training vessel, operating from New York City. Through 1963, Coates conducted training cruises of various lengths in Long Island Sound and to ports in the West Indies and along the east coast. Her base was changed from New York to New Haven, Connecticut on 19 September 1960.

She was decommissioned on 30 January 1970 and struck from the Navy list the same day. On 19 September 1971, she was sunk as a target.

See also[edit]