USS John L. Williamson
The ship being launched
|Name:||John L. Williamson|
|Namesake:||John Leon Williamson|
|Builder:||Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas|
|Laid down:||22 May 1944|
|Launched:||29 August 1944|
|Commissioned:||31 October 1944|
|Decommissioned:||14 June 1946|
|Struck:||15 September 1970|
|Fate:||sold for scrapping 13 June 1973|
|Class and type:||John C. Butler-class destroyer escort|
|Displacement:||1,350 long tons (1,370 t)|
|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)|
|Range:||6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)|
|Complement:||14 officers, 201 enlisted|
USS John L. Williamson (DE-370) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The primary purpose of the destroyer escort was to escort and protect ships in convoy, in addition to other tasks as assigned, such as patrol or radar picket.
She was named in honor of Seaman First Class John Leon Williamson who was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his actions during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The ship's keel was laid down 22 May 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp. at their yard in Orange, Texas. The ship was launched on 29 August 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Sherman Register, sister of Seaman First Class Williamson and commissioned on 31 October 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Allen in command.
World War II
Following shakedown training in waters off Bermuda, the new escort vessel arrived at Boston, Massachusetts on 21 December 1944. Early in 1945, she received orders to join the U.S. Pacific Fleet and got underway on 3 January to steam via the Panama Canal to San Diego, California. There she arrived on 19 January and moved on to Pearl Harbor on 28 January for training exercises. As Allied amphibious assaults struck ever-closer to Japan, John L. Williamson sailed on 2 March with a convoy for Iwo Jima, arriving on 20 March after a stop at Eniwetok. She took up antisubmarine patrol around the island for four days and anchored again at Eniwetok 28 March 1945.
After serving on a brief antisubmarine patrol off Eniwetok, the ship steamed to Majuro on 5 April and for the next three weeks operated in the Marshall Islands. Air strikes and shore bombardments combined with surrender demands over loudspeakers were used to induce Japanese holdouts to give themselves up. John L. Williamson fired at shore batteries and emplacements at Mill, Alu and other islands, taking off scores of prisoners and natives from these bypassed islands. She sailed from Majuro on 24 April and arrived at Ulithi five days later for picket duty.
John L. Williamson remained on patrol duty around Ulithi with an occasional escort voyage to Eniwetok with troop transports until departing on 15 July with a large convoy for Okinawa. She arrived in Okinawa on 21 July during the final stages of this, the last great island fight of the war, and after two days patrolling off the transport area returned to Ulithi on 27 July. The ship made one more escort voyage to Okinawa in August, and was at anchor at Ulithi when the Japanese accepted surrender terms on 15 August.
The destroyer escort sailed on 22 August for Okinawa and Japan, arriving at Wakayama on 14 September to escort ships through the swept channel and aid in occupation operations. After screening flight operations off Japan, she carried out courier duties between Wakayama and Yokosuka until she sailed for the United States on 2 January 1946.
John L. Williamson arrived in San Francisco, California on 2 January 1946 and was decommissioned on 14 June 1946 at San Diego, California. She entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet there and in January 1947 was transferred to Stockton, California. On 15 September 1970, she was struck from the Navy list, and, on 13 June 1973, she was sold for scrapping.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.