USS Herbert C. Jones (DE-137)
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|Namesake:||Herbert C. Jones|
|Builder:||Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas|
|Laid down:||30 November 1942|
|Launched:||19 January 1943|
|Commissioned:||21 July 1943|
|Decommissioned:||2 May 1947|
|Struck:||1 July 1972|
|3 Battle stars for World War II and Navy Unit Commendation|
|Fate:||Sold 19 July 1973, scrapped|
|Class and type:||Edsall-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 feet (93.27 m)|
|Beam:||36.58 feet (11.15 m)|
|Draft:||10.42 full load feet (3.18 m)|
|Speed:||21 knots (39 km/h)|
|Complement:||8 officers, 201 enlisted|
USS Herbert C. Jones (DE-137) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and provided destroyer escort protection against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.
She was named in honor of Herbert Charpoit Jones, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his brave actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She was launched 19 January 1943 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas; sponsored by Mrs. Joanne Ruth Jones, widow; and commissioned 21 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. Alfred W. Gardes, Jr., in command.
North Atlantic operations
After a Caribbean shakedown, Herbert C. Jones reported to the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., to participate in experiments on the method of control used by the Nazis in their glider bombs.
Testing radio-jamming equipment
The new destroyer escort departed Norfolk, Virginia, 7 October for the Mediterranean, arriving Algiers via Gibraltar 16 October to begin a year of escort duty along the North African coast. In a German attack 6 November, Herbert C. Jones destroyed one enemy plane. As she escorted a convoy bound from Algiers to Bizerte, Herbert C. Jones distinguished herself in an intensive 2-hour German attack the afternoon of 26 November. In addition to splashing one fighter, the ship studied the performance characteristics of enemy radio-directed glider bombs. As a result of these under-fire investigations, Herbert C. Jones and her sister ship Frederick C. Davis were fitted with powerful radio-jamming sets in early December to counteract and misdirect the glider bombs. This new electronic warfare capability was to find almost immediate use as Herbert C. Jones patrolled off the Italian coast 22 January 1944 while Allied troops stormed ashore to establish the Anzio beachhead. With her special gear, Herbert C. Jones jammed and decoyed into the sea the great majority of the many glider bombs directed at the naval task force. She also intercepted radio messages which enabled her to give warning of impending German air attacks. Herbert C. Jones received the Navy Unit Commendation for her work off Anzio.
Supporting Operation Dragoon
The destroyer escort saw her next major action as she arrived off the French coast 16 August, D-day plus one, to support Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. After 2 months of antisubmarine patrol, Herbert C. Jones reached New York 17 October for overhaul and coastal convoy duty.
In December 1944 she joined a hunter-killer task force for antisubmarine patrol in the Atlantic out of Norfolk. Remaining on this duty until V-E Day, Herbert C. Jones sailed for the Pacific 24 June 1945 after training exercises in Cuba. She was at Pearl Harbor when news of the Japanese capitulation was received 15 August, and from there sailed to the Marshall Islands for precautionary air-sea patrol duty.
Herbert C. Jones sailed to Green Cove Springs, Florida, via San Diego, California, the Panama Canal, and New York City 15 March 1946. She decommissioned and was placed in reserve 2 May 1947. She was berthed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and struck from the Navy list on July 1972. She was sold on 19 July 1973 and scrapped.
For her participation in World War II, Herbert C. Jones was awarded three battle stars in addition to the Navy Unit Commendation.