USS Fieberling (DE-640)
|Namesake:||Langdon K. Fieberling|
|Builder:||Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, San Francisco|
|Laid down:||19 March 1944|
|Launched:||2 April 1944|
|Commissioned:||11 April 1944|
|Decommissioned:||13 March 1948|
|Struck:||1 March 1972|
|1 battle star (World War II)|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 20 November 1972|
|Class and type:||Buckley-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 9 in (11.20 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
|Range:||4,940 nmi (9,150 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Complement:||15 officers, 198 men|
Fieberling was launched on 2 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, California; sponsored by Mrs. C. A. Fieberling, mother of Lieutenant Fieberling; and commissioned on 11 April 1944, Lieutenant Commander E. E. Lull, USNR, in command.
Half of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) remained in Norfolk, Virginia, after its aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), left for the Pacific in May 1942, in order to replace their obsolescent Douglas TBD Devastators with Grumman TBF Avengers. The 21 aircraft reached Hawaii on May 29, the day after Hornet had departed the island to fight in the Battle of Midway. Because Midway Island's airfield had some space available, Fieberling took six Avengers there. On June 4, the first day of the battle, he led his detachment in an attack on the Japanese aircraft carriers. Of the 18 men, only Ensign Albert K. Earnest and Radioman 3rd Class Harrier H. Ferrier survived. Fieberling was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Fieberling arrived at Pearl Harbor on 27 June 1944 for escort duty to Eniwetok, making three such voyages to the staging ground for the operation until 3 September. Five days later she sailed for Manus Island and Purvis Bay, arriving 27 September. Until 15 December, she sailed out of Port Purvis on escort and air-sea rescue duty, then served as station ship at Funafuti until 17 February 1945.
After amphibious landing rehearsals at Guadalcanal, Fieberling arrived at Ulithi on 21 March 1945 to load stores and ammunition for the assault on Okinawa. She arrived off the island on 31 March, covered the landings the next day, and then served on anti-submarine patrol off the island, receiving damage from a near miss in the massive kamikaze raids of 6 April. After escorting a convoy of unloaded assault ships to Saipan between 9 and 29 April, Fieberling returned to Okinawa for patrol, escort, and radar picket duty until 28 June.
Fieberling operated on escort duty between Okinawa and Guam and Saipan until 22 October 1945, when she sailed to escort a transport from Saipan to Japan. She returned to Portland, Oregon, on 22 November, and after overhaul, sailed from San Diego, California on 15 March 1946 for occupation duty off the Chinese coast. Back in San Diego on 13 August, she operated along the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands, testing experimental equipment, until decommissioned on 13 March 1948 and placed in reserve at San Diego.
Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 March 1972, Fieberling was sold on 20 November of that same year.
- Drez, Ronald J. (2001). Twenty-Five Yards of War: The Extraordinary Courage of Ordinary Men in World War II (1st ed.). New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6783-3.
- "Fieberling, Langdon Kellogg". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Volume 2. Washington, D.C.: Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division. 1969. pp. 403–404. OCLC 2794587.
- Photo gallery of USS Fieberling at NavSource Naval History