USS Donaldson (DE-44)
|Namesake:||Lt. (jg) Trose Emmett Donaldson|
|Laid down:||12 January 1943|
|Launched:||1 August 1943|
|Commissioned:||1 December 1943|
|Decommissioned:||5 December 1945|
|Struck:||19 December 1945|
|7 battle stars (World War II)|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 2 July 1946|
|Type:||Evarts-class destroyer escort|
|Beam:||35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)|
|Draft:||11 ft (3.4 m) (max)|
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)|
|Range:||4,150 nmi (7,690 km)|
|Complement:||15 officers and 183 enlisted|
USS Donaldson (DE-44) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy during World War II. She was sent off into the Pacific Ocean to protect convoys and other ships from Japanese submarines and fighter aircraft. She performed escort and anti-submarine operations in dangerous battle areas and sailed home proudly displaying seven battle stars, a very high number for a ship of her type.
She was originally intended for transfer to Great Britain as BDE-44, was launched on 1 August 1943 by Puget Sound Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. J. Donaldson, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Donaldson; retained by the Navy; and commissioned on 1 December 1943, Lieutenant H. L. Plage, USNR, in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Donaldson arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 February 1944 and five days later got underway for the invasion of the Marshall Islands. She screened a convoy to Roi Namur and gave local escort service there and at Eniwetok until returning to Pearl Harbor 25 March. From 23 April to 4 June she trained with submarines, most of the period serving as flagship for Commander, Escort Division 49.
Donaldson departed Pearl Harbor on 12 June 1944 to escort a convoy to Kwajalein, then sailed to Eniwetok where she joined a hunter-killer group with Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) and three other escorts for operations between the Marshalls and Marianas from 5 July to 9 August. Donaldson returned to Pearl Harbor on 15 August and five days later got underway to escort the Western Garrison Force for the assault and occupation of the Palaus, patrolling off Peleliu and Angaur from 20 to 22 September. She escorted unladen transports to Hollandia, New Guinea, then arrived at Manus on 26 September. That evening she and Crowley (DE-303) assisted in bringing the fires on the merchantman SS Don Marquis under control. Returning to Palau on 2 October, Donaldson made anti-submarine patrols and two escort voyages to the Russell Islands until 21 November.
Damaged after surviving a typhoon
Arriving at Ulithi on 21 November 1944 Donaldson reported to the 3rd Fleet for duty as escort for the logistics group supporting the fast carrier task force. By able ship handling she survived the typhoon of 18 December, but lost three men overboard and suffered damage which was repaired at Ulithi from 24 December 1944 to 12 January 1945.
Supporting the Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions
She returned to duty with the 3rd Fleet fueling group operating in support of the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the final strikes on the Japanese homeland and on 31 August she was detached to join a logistics unit in the Yellow Sea for the occupation of Jinsen, Korea.
Donaldson sailed from Okinawa on 16 September 1945 for Saipan, Pearl Harbor and San Francisco arriving on 8 October. Donaldson was decommissioned on 5 December 1945, and sold on 2 July 1946.
|American Campaign Medal|
|Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with seven service stars)|
|World War II Victory Medal|
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS Donaldson (DE-44) at NavSource Naval History