USS Howard D. Crow (DE-252)
|Namesake:||Howard Daniel Crow|
|Builder:||Brown Shipbuilding Houston, Texas|
|Laid down:||6 February 1943|
|Launched:||26 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||27 September 1943|
|Decommissioned:||1 August 1962|
|Struck:||23 September 1968|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, October 1970|
|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 Howard D. Crow (DE-252) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean the Pacific Ocean and provided destroyer escort protection against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.
She was named in honor of Howard Daniel Crow who was born in Alvarado, Texas, 2 February 1918, and was commissioned ensign after completing Naval Reserve Midshipman’s School, Northwestern University, 14 March 1941. Ensign Crow reported to battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) 29 March. In the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, Maryland was moored inboard of USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and received two bomb hits, one of which killed Ensign Crow.
DE-252 was laid down on 6 February 1943 at Houston, Texas, by Brown Shipbuilding Co.; named Howard D. Crow (DE-252) on 23 February 1943; launched on 26 April 1943; sponsored by Miss Viola Elaine Warner, the late Ens. Crow's fiancée (who had been recommended by his parents for the honor of christening the ship); and commissioned at Houston, Texas, on 27 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. Donald T. Adams, USCG, in command.
World War II North Atlantic operations
Manned by the U.S. Coast Guard, Howard D. Crow conducted shakedown training out of Bermuda during October and November, reporting to Norfolk, Virginia, for convoy duty 1 December. The destroyer escort sailed with her first convoy 15 December, saw it safely to Casablanca, and returned to New York 24 January 1944. In the months that followed, Howard D. Crow made 10 arduous escort voyages to British ports, protecting the supplies which sustained the great land offensive which was to end the war with Germany. On 11 February 1945 the "Crow" likely helped sink U-869.
Transferred to the Pacific Fleet
The destroyer escort was berthed at New York when Germany surrendered 8 May 1945, and after extensive refresher training in the Caribbean, sailed from Guantánamo Bay for the Pacific War 2 July. Arriving Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal 25 July, Howard D. Crow continued into the western Pacific for a tour of vital weather-reporting duty, so important to the operation of the great fleets. She sailed from Midway Island 13 December 1945, and after stopping at the Panama Canal and New York, arrived Green Cove Springs, Florida, 15 March 1946. She decommissioned 22 May 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Reclassified as Training Ship
With the Korean War came greater demands on the far-flung Navy, and Howard D. Crow recommissioned 6 July 1951 with a Navy crew. After shakedown training she reported to Key West, Florida, as Sonar School training ship, helping develop new equipment and tactics in antisubmarine warfare.
Moving north to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1952, the ship took part in fleet antisubmarine exercises off the coast. For the next 6 years Howard D. Crow followed this pattern of operations—antisubmarine training, exercises in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and periodic overhauls. In 1957, she took part in important NATO exercises with almost 50 ships from a dozen countries and in 1958 the versatile ship acted as communications ship during a successful Jupiter nose-cone recovery off Puerto Rico.
Howard D. Crow was assigned to Galveston, Texas, as reserve training ship in September 1958. In this capacity she conducted 2-week training cruises for reservists, and at the same time maintained the ship in a high state of readiness for any emergency. Her periodic training cruises took the escort vessel to Key West and the Caribbean. In August 1961, however, the Berlin situation worsened, and Howard D. Crow was one of several reserve training ships returned to active service to increase the nation's readiness. She conducted refresher training at Guantanamo Bay and operated with the fleet in the Atlantic and Caribbean until August 1962.
The ship returned to reserve training duty 1 August 1962, again based at Galveston. She continued through 1963 into 1967 to provide at-sea training for naval reservists so vital in keeping America's defenses at the highest possible level of training and skill.
Stricken from the Navy Register on 23 September 1968, Howard D. Crow was sold in October 1970.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.