USS Richard S. Bull
|Name:||Richard S. Bull|
|Laid down:||18 August 1943|
|Launched:||16 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||26 February 1944|
|Struck:||30 June 1968|
|5 battle stars for World War II|
|Fate:||Sunk as target off California, 24 June 1969|
|Class and type:|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m), overall|
|Beam:||36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 4 in (4.06 m) (max)|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
|Complement:||14 officers, 201 enlisted|
USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the United States 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 Lieutenant Richard S. Bull (1913–1942) who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The ship's keel was laid down on 18 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co. at their yard in Houston, Texas. The vessel was launched on 16 November 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Richard S. Bull, Sr., and commissioned on 26 February 1944, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Gardes in command.
World War II
Following shakedown off Bermuda, Richard S. Bull departed Boston, Massachusetts on 6 May 1944, and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 30 May. Reaching Eniwetok 27 June, she escorted Long Island and other escort carriers to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 5 July.
Returning to Eniwetok, she joined a task force including Sangamon on 6 August. Arriving at Manus on 13 August, Williams supported the landings on Morotai on 15 September. Departing Manus, she protected carrier forces supporting the landings on Leyte on 20 October. The destroyer escort rescued a fighter pilot from the escort carrier Chenango on 22 October.
During the Battle off Samar on 25 October, she operated in group "Taffy One," about 130 miles (210 km) south of the main Japanese attack upon "Taffy Three." Following a kamikaze attack upon Taffy One, she rescued 24 men from the escort carrier Suwanee. On 29 October Richard S. Bull discovered and rescued 139 survivors of the destroyer escort Eversole, sunk by Japanese submarine I-45 off Dinagat Island, Philippine Islands. Nearby, the destroyer escort Whitehurst sank I-45.
After transferring the Eversole survivors to Bountiful, at Kossol Roads, Palau Island, she proceeded with escort carriers from Manus to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 19 November. After escorting Shamrock Bay to arrival at Manus on 22 December, she departed with Marcus Island, and proceeded via Leyte to the landings 9 January 1945 at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Proceeding via Ulithi and Saipan, she rescued three aviators from Natoma Bay on 17 February, and then protected escort carriers supporting the landings on Iwo Jima on 19 February. Departing the Iwo Jima area 10 March, she proceeded via Guam and Ulithi to the Okinawa Gunto.
From 1 April to 16 May, she protected escort carriers supporting assault forces on Okinawa. Returning 2 June from Saipan, she continued to guard carrier air operations against Okinawa. Voyaging with the escort carrier Sargent Bay to arrival at Leyte on 23 June, she joined the Philippine Sea Frontier, escorting convoys to Morotai, Hollandia, and Ulithi. She provided medical treatment 30 August to casualties aboard SS Peter White, damaged by a mine in the northern Philippines. Following convoy escort duty from Leyte to Ulithi and Okinawa, she departed Leyte on 14 October, and steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to San Diego, California, arriving on 6 November.
Richard S. Bull received five battle stars for her service in the Pacific War.
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships — USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402)
- NavSource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive — USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402)