USS Mitchell (DE-43)
|Laid down:||12 January 1943, as BDE-43 for the United Kingdom|
|Launched:||1 August 1943|
|Commissioned:||17 November 1943|
|Decommissioned:||29 December 1945|
|Renamed:||USS Mitchell, 16 June 1943|
|Struck:||19 December 1945|
|9 battle stars (World War II)|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 11 December 1946|
|Type:||Evarts-class destroyer escort|
|Beam:||35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)|
|Draft:||11 ft (3.4 m) (max)|
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)|
|Range:||4,150 nmi (7,690 km)|
|Complement:||15 officers and 183 enlisted|
USS Mitchell (DE-43) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. She was sent off into the Pacific Ocean to protect convoys and other ships from Japanese submarines and fighter aircraft. She performed escort and anti-submarine operations in dangerous battle areas and sailed home proudly displaying nine battle stars, a very high number for a ship of her type.
She was originally laid down as BDE-43 on 12 January 1943 by the Puget Sound Navy Yard for transfer to Great Britain upon completion. However, she was ordered retained for service in the U.S. Navy. She was reclassified DE-43 on 16 June; named Mitchell on 23 June; launched on 1 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Albert E. Mitchell, widow of Ensign Mitchell; and commissioned on 17 November 1943, Lieutenant Commander M. S. Erdahl in command. On 13 May 1944, Lieutenant Commander James Carpenter assumed command; he was captain until decommissioning on 29 December 1945.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
After shakedown and training off San Diego, California, Mitchell sailed on 2 February 1944 as part of the escort of a convoy of eight liberty ships sailing to Hawaii. Arriving Pearl Harbor on 10 February, Mitchell spent the next four months operating with American submarines in Task Force 16, Service Force Pacific Fleet. These maneuvers were a valuable training aid to both Mitchell and the submarines.
Collision With a Whale
On 3 June Mitchell sailed for the Pacific war zone in Task Group 16.6. In the following six months she sailed out of Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Seeadler Harbor (Admiralties), and Ulithi, screening underway replenishment operations, guarding harbor entrances, and destroying floating enemy mines. On 3 December she struck a whale, seriously damaging her underwater sound equipment and forcing her to retire to Ulithi for repairs in floating drydock auxiliary repair dock USS ARD-15.
Supporting Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations
Mitchell was soon back in action; on 21 February 1945 her deck log reported: "Steaming toward rendezvous point southeast of Iwo Jima." As U.S. Marines landed on Okinawa under cover of naval gunfire, Mitchell performed escort and patrol missions. A few weeks later she was a screening vessel in Rear Admiral W. D. Sample's Task Group 78.4 which attacked and occupied Balikpapan, Borneo, on 6 July 1945.
As part of Task Group 30.8, she then helped to protect convoys supplying the occupation of Japan during the months of August and September 1945. On 5 September Mitchell briefly joined American ships in Tokyo Harbor. She weighed anchor on the 18th for the United States via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, arriving San Francisco on 8 October.
Post-War Inactivation and Decommissioning
Her last time underway as a commissioned naval vessel was on 6 November when she moved to Kaiser's Victory Yard, Richmond, California. Mitchell was decommissioned there and struck from the Navy List on 29 December 1945. She was sold for scrapping and delivered to the purchaser, Puget Sound Navigation Co., Seattle, Washington, on 11 December 1946.
Honors and awards
|American Campaign Medal|
|Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with nine service stars)|
|World War II Victory Medal|
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS Mitchell (DE-43) at NavSource Naval History