USS Ramsden (DE-382)
|Namesake:||Marvin Lee Ramsden|
|Builder:||Brown Shipbuilding, Houston, Texas|
|Laid down:||26 March 1943|
|Launched:||24 May 1943|
|Commissioned:||19 October 1943|
|Decommissioned:||23 June 1960|
|Reclassified:||DER-382, 1 November 1956|
|Struck:||1 August 1974|
|Fate:||sunk as target (date unknown)|
|Name:||USCGC Ramsden WDE-382|
|Commissioned:||1 April 1952|
|Decommissioned:||28 June 1954|
|Fate:||Returned to USN, 28 June 1954|
|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 Ramsden (DE-382) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and provided destroyer escort protection against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys. Post-war, she performed other tasks with the U.S. Coast Guard and with the U.S. Navy as a radar picket ship.
She was named in honor of Marvin Lee Ramsden who was awarded the Silver Star for his brave actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea. She was laid down 26 March 1943 by the Brown Shipbuilding Corp., Houston, Texas; launched 24 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. James L. Ramsden, mother of Coxswain Ramsden; and commissioned 19 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Madacey, USCG, in command.
World War II North Atlantic operations
Following shakedown off Bermuda, Ramsden, manned by a Coast Guard crew and assigned to CortDiv 23, steamed to New York, whence she sailed, 19 December, with her first convoy, NY-47 to the Panama Canal Zone. Returning to New York 9 January 1944, she commenced transatlantic runs on the 11th with UGS-30 to Casablanca. Returning 23 February, she departed New York for Bizerte with UGS-36, 10 March. Steaming first to Norfolk, Virginia, where 62 more ships joined the 36 vessels from New York, the convoy headed across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean. Before dawn on 1 April, Nazi bombers and torpedo planes led in by flare-dropping scouts attacked the Allied ships.
Attacked by Luftwaffe Aircraft
In 15 minutes, 0405 to 0420, the Luftwaffe damaged one merchantman and lost five aircraft, one to Ramsden's guns. Two days later the convoy reached Tunisia and on the 11th got underway for New York, arriving 2 May.
Availability and exercises at Casco Bay preceded another convoy run to Bizerte where men and supplies were being readied to push further into Axis-controlled Europe. Completing that run at Boston, Massachusetts, 11 July, Ramsden shifted to the North Atlantic convoy lanes and, during the remainder of the war in Europe, escorted seven convoys to the United Kingdom and France.
Transferred to the Pacific Fleet
With the collapse of Germany, Ramsden was transferred, with her division, to the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal 18 June 1945, she called at San Francisco, California, then continued on to Adak, arriving 8 July. On the 15th, she shifted to Attu, whence she operated on plane guard duty for the remainder of World War II.
After Japan capitulated, the ship resumed escort duties, initially in the Aleutians, then, at the end of August, to Japan. On 9 September she brought auxiliary ships into Ominato Ko, Honshū; and, on the 20th, headed back to the U.S. carrying returning veterans. Navy Day celebrations at Ketchikan interrupted her postwar duties, but in November she got underway, with replacement troops and equipment embarked for Okinawa. She arrived at Buckner Bay 25 November, joined the U.S. 7th Fleet, and on 11 December sailed for Tsingtao. Mail runs next took her to Manila and Shanghai whence she returned to Tsingtao 5 January 1946. She remained there supporting occupation troops until 11 February when she sailed for the eastern coast of the United States. Arriving at Charleston, South Carolina, 22 March, Ramsden steamed to Jacksonville, Florida, 24 April, then shifted to Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she decommissioned 13 June 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
On Loan to the U.S. Coast Guard
Ordered activated after the outbreak of war in Korea, Ramsden was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard and recommissioned 28 March 1952 with the Coast Guard hull designation WDE-382. Reporting for duty 1 April, Ramsden operated briefly on the west coast, then headed west to Honolulu, whence she operated on air-sea rescue patrol duty. On that duty for the next 2 years, she guarded the increased Pacific air traffic along routes between Hawaii and the mainland, Midway Island, Japan, and the Aleutians, and in the Aleutian and the Hawaiian Islands. Following the cessation of hostilities in Korea, and the subsequent decrease in air traffic, Ramsden returned to California, decommissioned at San Diego, California, on 10 April 1954 and reentered the Navy's Reserve Fleet 28 June 1954.
Converted to Radar Picket Ship Duty
Ordered activated and converted to an escort radar picket ship in 1956, the escort arrived at Long Beach, California, 19 October for conversion and on 1 November was redesignated DER-382. Recommissioned 10 December 1957, she underwent shakedown and training off the west coast and in March 1958 returned to the Hawaiian Islands, where she was once again homeported. Based at Pearl Harbor, she operated on barrier patrol duty stations from Midway Island to the Aleutians until the spring of 1960 when she returned to the west coast for inactivation.
Decommissioning 23 June 1960, she again entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet and was struck from the Navy List on 1 August 1974. She was later used as a target and sunk; however, date of the sinking is not indicated in Navy records.
Ramsden earned one battle star during World War II.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.