USS Fechteler (DE-157)
|Namesake:||Rear Admiral Augustus Fechteler|
|Laid down:||7 February 1943|
|Launched:||22 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||1 July 1943|
|Decommissioned:||5 May 1944|
|1 battle star (World War II)|
|Fate:||Sunk by enemy action, 5 May 1944|
|Class and type:||Buckley-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||37 ft (11 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)|
|Speed:||23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)|
|Complement:||15 officers, 198 men|
Fechteler was launched on 22 April 1943 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard; sponsored by Miss Joan S. Fechteler, granddaughter of Rear Admiral Fechteler and niece of Lieutenant Frank Casper Fechteler; and commissioned 1 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander C. R. Simmers in command.
Between 8 September 1943 and 31 December, Fechteler made two voyages on the key convoy route New York - Netherlands West Indies - North Africa, escorting vulnerable tankers carrying fuel and other oil products essential to modern warfare. After overhaul at New York City, she took part in experimental antisubmarine exercises in Narragansett Bay, from which she sailed on 28 February 1944 for the Azores and Derry, Northern Ireland. Arriving on 6 March 1944, she joined the escort of a New York-bound convoy, reaching the United States on 22 March.
On 1 April 1944, Fechteler sailed from New York for Hampton Roads, Virginia, where she joined a convoy for Bizerte, arriving on 22 April after coming under heavy enemy air attack two days before. Homeward-bound, Fechteler was torpedoed by U-967 commanded by Albrecht Brandi on 5 May in the Western Mediterranean. As the ship began to break in two and sink, it was abandoned. Twenty-nine of the crew were killed and 26 wounded. USS Laning and other ships of the convoy rescued 186 survivors.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.