USS Eldridge (DE-173)
USS Eldridge (DE-173) ca. 1944
|Namesake:||John Eldridge, Jr.|
|Builder:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newark, New Jersey|
|Laid down:||22 February 1943|
|Launched:||25 July 1943|
|Commissioned:||27 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||17 June 1946|
|Struck:||26 March 1951|
|Fate:||Sold to Greece, 15 January 1951 as Leon (D54)|
|Class and type:||Cannon-class destroyer escort|
|Beam:||36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)|
|Draft:||11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)|
|Installed power:||6,000 hp (4,500 kW)|
|Speed:||21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h)|
|Range:||10,800 nmi (12,400 mi; 20,000 km) at 12 kn (14 mph; 22 km/h)|
|Complement:||15 officers and 201 enlisted|
USS Eldridge (DE-173), a Cannon-class destroyer escort, was a ship of the United States Navy named for Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge, Jr., a hero of the invasion of the Solomon Islands. Its keel was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newark, New Jersey. Eldridge was launched on 25 July 1943, sponsored by Eldridge's widow Mrs. John Eldridge Jr., and commissioned on 27 August 1943 with Lieutenant C. R. Hamilton, USNR, in command.
Between 4 January 1944 and 9 May 1945, Eldridge sailed on the vital task of escorting to the Mediterranean Sea men and materials to support Allied operations in North Africa and on into southern Europe. It made nine voyages to deliver convoys safely to Casablanca, Bizerte, and Oran.
Eldridge departed New York City on 28 May 1945 for service in the Pacific. En route to Saipan in July, it made contact with an underwater object and immediately attacked, but no results were observed. It arrived at Okinawa on 7 August for local escort and patrol, and with the end of hostilities a week later, continued to serve as escort on the Saipan–Ulithi–Okinawa routes until November. Eldridge was placed out of commission in reserve 17 June 1946.
On 15 January 1951, it was transferred under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act to Greece where it served as HS Leon (D-54). Leon was decommissioned on 5 November 1992 and on 11 November 1999, was sold as scrap to the Piraeus-based firm V&J Scrapmetal Trading Ltd.[verification needed]
The "Philadelphia Experiment" was an alleged naval military experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sometime around 28 October 1943 in which the Eldridge was to be rendered invisible (i.e. by a cloaking device) to human observers for a brief period. It is also referred to as Project Rainbow.
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal (United States)
- Navy Occupation Service Medal with "ASIA" clasp
- "HELLENIC NAVY – LEON D-54 (1951–1992)". www.hellenicnavy.gr. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Carroll, Robert Todd (3 December 2007). "Philadelphia experiment". The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
- Adams, Cecil (23 October 1987). "Did the U.S. Navy teleport ships in the Philadelphia Experiment?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 2007-02-20.
- "Philadelphia Experiment". Naval Historical Center of the United States Navy. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.
- Photo gallery of USS Eldridge at NavSource Naval History