USS Forster (DE-334)

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USS Forster (DE-334)
USS Forster (DE-334).jpg
History
United States
Namesake: Edward William Forster
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Laid down: 31 August 1943
Launched: 13 November 1943
Commissioned: 25 January 1944
Decommissioned: 25 September 1971
Reclassified: DER-334, 21 October 1955
Struck: 25 September 1971
Fate: Loaned to South Vietnam, 25 September 1971
United States
Name: USCGC Forster WDE-434
Commissioned: 29 June 1951
Decommissioned: 25 May 1954
Fate: Returned to USN, 25 May 1954
South Vietnam
Name: RVNS Trần Khánh Dư (HQ-04)
Acquired: 25 September 1971
Fate: Captured by North Vietnam, 29 April 1975
Flag of the People's Army of Vietnam.svgVietnam
Name: VPNS Dai Ky (HQ-03)
Acquired: 29 April 1975
Status: In service c. 1997, status unknown
General characteristics
Class and type: Edsall-class destroyer escort
Displacement:
  • 1,253 tons standard
  • 1,590 tons full load
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 36.58 ft (11.15 m)
Draft: 10.42 ft (3.18 m) full load
Propulsion:
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 9,100 nmi (16,900 km; 10,500 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 8 officers, 201 enlisted
Armament:

USS Forster (DE-334) was launched 13 November 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas; sponsored by Mrs. E. W. Forster, widow of Machinist Edward W. Forster, who was killed in action during the Battle of Savo Island, 9 August 1942 with the sinking of USS Vincennes. Forster was commissioned 25 January 1944 and served as an escort in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during World War II. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Green Cove Springs, Florida on 15 June 1946.

Coast Guard service[edit]

She was turned over to the United States Coast Guard on 20 June 1951. Forster (given the Coast Guard hull number WDE-434) served on ocean station duty out of Honolulu. This included duty on Ocean Stations VICTOR, QUEEN, and SUGAR and voyages to Japan. She also conducted search and rescue duties, including finding and assisting the following vessels in distress: the M/V Katori Maru on 17 August 1952, assisting the M/V Chuk Maru on 29 August 1953, the M/V Tongshui on 1 – 3 October 1953, and the M/V Steel Fabricator on 26 October 1953. She was returned to the Navy on 25 May 1954.

Return to US Navy service

USS Forster was converted from DE to DER 334 in the late 1950s to early 1960s and served as a part of the DEW (Defense Early Warning) Line in the North Pacific. She was stationed out of Pearl Harbor in the 1960s and served in the Western Pacific on "Operation Market Time" in 1968-69 patrolling the Vietnam coast for contraband shipping and providing sea to shore fire when called upon. She served on patrol In the Formosa Straits in 1969. She was transferred to the Atlantic fleet in late 1969.

Source: LT Harry Powell, USN served as Chief Engineer, Officer of the Deck and Command Duty Officer on Forster from February 1969 to December 1969,

Republic of Vietnam service[edit]

She returned to reserve in naval custody until recommissioned at Long Beach, California, 23 October 1956. In February 1966, Forster escorted the nine cutters comprising Division 13 of Coast Guard Squadron One from Naval Base Subic Bay to Vung Tau in South Vietnam.[1] She served in the Navy until she was transferred on 25 September 1971 to South Vietnam. The Vietnamese reclassified her as a frigate and renamed her RVNS Trần Khánh Dư (HQ-04). In 1974, she participated in the Battle of the Paracel Islands.

Socialist Republic of Vietnam service[edit]

She was in a shipyard, in overhaul, when Saigon fell on 30 April 1975, and was captured by North Vietnamese forces. The U.S. Navy wrote her off as “Transferred to Vietnam, 30 April 1975.” The communists renamed her VPNS Dai Ky (HQ-03), she apparently was still seaworthy in 1997 and was used as a training ship. By 1999, she was reduced to a training hulk.

Military awards and honors[edit]

Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with one bronze service star)
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg Navy Occupation Service Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with one bronze service star)
AnArcRib.svg Antarctica Service Medal
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with one bronze service star)
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal (with one silver and two bronze service stars)
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm (with four bronze service stars)
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Larzelere, p 76
Sources

External links[edit]