USS Jesse Rutherford

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United States
Name: Jesse Rutherford
Namesake: Jesse Rutherford Jr.
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Laid down: 22 November 1943
Launched: 29 January 1944
Commissioned: 31 May 1944
Decommissioned: 21 June 1946
Struck: 1 January 1968
Honours and
1 battle star for World War II
Fate: sunk as target off California 8 December 1968
General characteristics
Class and type: John C. Butler-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,350 tons
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
Draft: 9 ft 5 in (2.87 m)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp (8,900 kW) 2 propellers
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 14 officers, 201 enlisted

USS Jesse Rutherford (DE-347) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the United States Navy during World War II and named in honor of Private Jesse Rutherford Jr., USMC. Her primary purpose was to escort and protect ships in convoys; other tasks assigned included patrol and radar picket. Post-war, she returned home with one battle star to her credit.

The keel for Jesse Rutherford was laid down by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas on 22 November 1943. The destroyer escort was launched on 29 January 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Mary Rutherford, mother of Private Rutherford. Jesse Rutherford was commissioned on 31 May 1944, with Lt. Comdr. B. M. Henry in command.

Service history[edit]

Jesse Rutherford, departed Galveston, Texas on 7 July 1944 for shakedown training in waters off Bermuda. The ship then sailed to Boston, Massachusetts, arriving on 13 August to prepare for Atlantic convoy duty. She engaged in more underway training off the U.S. East Coast before sailing from Norfolk, Virginia on 20 September with her first convoy. The transports arrived at Naples, Italy on 4 October and Jesse Rutherford returned to New York on 24 October.

Pacific War operations[edit]

At New York the destroyer escort received the newest in equipment and armament in preparation for the Pacific War, then about to enter its final stages. She sailed on 10 November 1944 with Escort Division 76, bound for the Panama Canal, the Galápagos Islands, and eventually the Society Islands. Jesse Rutherford arrived at Bora Bora on 5 December and departed the next day for the large American staging base on Manus Island. From there the ship was assigned to escort convoys from Hollandia through the Leyte Gulf in support of the Allied campaign to recapture the Philippines.

In the months that followed Jesse Rutherford made nine voyages to Leyte, and in March 1945 she steamed in the Lingayen Gulf as well. Arriving at Biak after another escort voyage on 30 May, the destroyer escort formed a group of LSTs into a convoy and departed for Manila. Off Mindoro, however, the destroyer escort encountered a merchantman in distress and drifting onto the beach. In response, Jesse Rutherford took the freighter in tow and held her off the beach until a tugboat could relieve her the next day. The destroyer escort arrived at Subic Bay on 8 June.

Additional convoy duty in the Philippines occupied Jesse Rutherford until July. She departed Morotai on 12 July with amphibious craft to reinforce the Allied landing at Balikpapan, Borneo, remaining there until 22 July. The ship then sailed back to Leyte in convoy, and patrolled San Bernardino Strait until war's end. Jesse Rutherford escorted a group of LCTs to Okinawa, arriving 15 September, after which she returned to the Philippines for patrol duty.

Post-war decommissioning[edit]

The veteran destroyer escort embarked returning troops at Samar on 28 November 1945 and sailed that afternoon for San Diego, California, where she decommissioned on 21 June 1946. Jesse Rutherford was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Bremerton, Washington, where she remained until she was struck in January 1968 and sunk as target off California 8 December 1968.


Jesse Rutherford received one battle star for World War II service.

See also[edit]


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