USS Hurst (DE-250)
|Name:||USS Hurst (DE-250)|
|Namesake:||Edwin William Hurst|
|Builder:||Brown Shipbuilding Houston, Texas|
|Laid down:||27 January 1943|
|Launched:||14 April 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Jeanette Harris Hurst|
|Commissioned:||30 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||1 May 1946|
|Struck:||1 December 1972|
|Fate:||transferred to Mexican Navy, 1 October 1973.|
|Name:||ARM Commodore Manuel Azueta (A06)|
|Acquired:||1 October 1973|
|Decommissioned:||3 July 2015|
|Fate:||Sunk as an artificial reef, 6 November 2017|
|Class and type:||Edsall-class destroyer escort|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||36.58 ft (11.15 m)|
|Draft:||10.42 ft (3.18 m) full load|
|Speed:||21 knots (39 km/h)|
|Complement:||8 officers, 201 enlisted|
The second USS Hurst (DE-250) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was laid down in January 1943 and launched in August the same year by the widow of namesake Edwin William Hurst, who had been awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross earlier in the war. The ship served in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and was decommissioned in May 1946 and placed in reserve for the next 27 years.
In October 1973, the former Hurst was acquired by the Mexican Navy and renamed ARM Comodoro Manuel Azueta (A06) but was renamed ARM Comodoro Manuel Azueta Perillos in 1994. When she reverted to her original Mexican name in 2001, she was assigned pennant number D111 and reclassified as destroyer. As of 2014[update], Comodoro Manuel Azueta remained in active service as a training vessel for Mexico's Gulf Fleet. She was decommissioned in 2015 and sunk as an artificial reef in November 2017.
Hurst was launched by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Texas, 14 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Jeanette Harris Hurst, widow of the ship's namesake; and commissioned 30 August 1943, LCdr. B. H. Brallier, commanding.
Hurst departed Houston 3 September and after a short period of outfitting at Galveston, Texas, sailed 12 September for shakedown training off Bermuda. After returning briefly to Charleston, South Carolina, in November and screening a convoy to the Caribbean, Hurst arrived Norfolk, Virginia, 29 November 1943 to join Escort Division 20.
Assigned to protect ocean commerce from submarines, Hurst departed Norfolk with her first convoy 14 December 1943, stopped at Casablanca, and returned to New York 24 January 1944. She then conducted gunnery and antisubmarine warfare exercises in Casco Bay, Maine, before sailing with another convoy from New York 23 February. Enemy action was not the only hazard on such voyages as two days out of New York merchant vessels El Coston and Murfreesboro collided and sank during a heavy gale, the survivors being taken on board one of the escort ships. Hurst reached Lisahally, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 5 March 1944, and one week later returned to New York with another convoy.
Hurst made no less than 10 more escort voyages from Boston, Massachusetts, or New York to ports in the United Kingdom before returning to New York on 11 June 1945. After her final Atlantic voyage, the destroyer escort sailed with her division for training in Chesapeake Bay and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Reassigned to the Pacific Fleet for these last months of the war, she transited the Panama Canal and sailed for Pearl Harbor via San Diego, California, arriving at the Hawaiian port on 26 July 1945. There the ship took part in exercises with submarines and departed 27 August for the Samoan Islands on 27 August. Arriving Pago Pago 25 September, Hurst spent the next weeks steaming among the small outlying islands of the Samoan, Fiji, and Society and other island groups, sending parties ashore to search for missing personnel and to investigate possible remaining enemy units. Completing this duty she departed Pago Pago 3 November 1945 and sailed for San Diego via Pearl Harbor. She arrived at San Diego on 23 November and sailed two days later for New York via the Panama Canal.
Hurst entered New York harbor 10 December 1945, sailed to Green Cove Springs, Florida, and was decommissioned there on 1 May 1946. She then entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs. In January 1947 Hurst was transferred to Orange, Texas. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 December 1972. On 1 October 1973, Hurst was transferred to the Mexican Navy.
The former Hurst was acquired by the Mexican Navy on 1 October 1973 and renamed ARM Commodoro Manuel Azueta (A06) after Manuel Azueta Perillos who was Commodore of the Naval Academy during the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz. In 1994, the ship was renamed ARM Commodoro Manuel Azueta Perillos (E30). At this same time, her armament was modernized with Oto Melara 76 mm compact guns replacing a pair of the original U.S. Navy 3-inch (76 mm) Mark 26 guns. In addition, the superfiring 3-inch gun forward was replaced with a quadruple 40 mm AA mount. By 1998, however, the original armament had been restored.
In 2001, the ship reverted to her original Mexican Navy name of Commodoro Manuel Azueta, was reclassed as a destroyer with the new pennant number of D111, and used primarily as a training vessel for Mexico's Gulf Fleet. In that role, all anti-submarine equipment and all of the original U.S. Navy radar-controlled gun directors were removed. On 3 July 2015 she was decommissioned by the Mexican Navy at Veracruz, making her the last of the class to be retired from service worldwide. Commodoro Manuel Azueta was subsequently stripped and all contaminants were removed prior to disposal as an artificial reef. She was scuttled on 6 November 2017 in the Rizo reef zone off Antón Lizardo, Veracruz.
- Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). "Mexico". The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. pp. 472–73. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156.
- Vela, Anabel (5 November 2017). "Así prepararon buque "Manuel Azueta" para hundirlo frente a Antón Lizardo". xeu Noticias (in Spanish). Veracruz, Mexico. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "ARM Commodoro Manuel Azueta SINKEX". Twitter. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive - USS Hurst (DE-250)