USS Roy O. Hale (DE-336)

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United States
Namesake: Roy Orestus Hale, Jr.
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Laid down: 13 September 1943
Launched: 20 November 1943
Commissioned: 3 February 1944
Decommissioned: 15 July 1963
Reclassified: DER-336, 21 October 1955
Struck: 1 August 1974
Fate: Sold for scrapping 12 March 1975
General characteristics
Class and type: Edsall-class destroyer escort
  • 1,253 tons standard
  • 1,590 tons full load
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)
  • 9,100 nmi. at 12 knots
  • (17,000 km at 22 km/h)
Complement: 8 officers, 201 enlisted

USS Roy O. Hale (DE-336) 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 provided radar picket duty services as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.

She was named in honor of lieutenant (junior grade) Roy Orestus Hale, Jr. who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valiant actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7–8 May 1942. She was laid down on 13 September 1943 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas; launched 20 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Roy O. Hale, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Hale; and commissioned on 3 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. William W. Bowie, USNR, in command.

World War II North Atlantic operations[edit]

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Roy O. Hale served as a training ship for pre-commissioning details of escort crews in Chesapeake Bay and provided escort services between New York and Norfolk, Virginia. On 1 July 1944 she departed Norfolk, Virginia, on the first of seven transatlantic convoys. Engaged in that duty until the surrender of Germany, her first convoy consisted of 24 ships bound for Taranto, Italy. On 20 July 4 days after reaching her destination, she was at sea with the return convoy which she left at New York on 3 August. From 24 August to 27 September, she made another escort run to Italy, then shifted to the North Atlantic sealanes. Between 30 October 1944 and 3 June 1945, she escorted five transatlantic convoys from the United States to ports in the United Kingdom and France.

Transfer to the Pacific Fleet[edit]

After an overhaul, the destroyer escort departed Norfolk for the Pacific on 13 July. She underwent refresher training off Cuba, then continued on to San Diego, and was engaged in further training when hostilities ceased. On 26 August, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 2 September for a month of escort and plane guard duty. On 17 October she returned to San Diego with veterans awaiting discharge, then proceeded to Panama and the east coast. Back in the Norfolk area by 3 November, Roy O. Hale shifted to Green Cove Springs, Florida, in early December and began inactivation. She was decommissioned on 11 July 1946 and was berthed there, with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, until ordered activated to participate in the continental air defense program established in the 1950s.

Converted to radar picket ship[edit]

In December 1955, Roy O. Hale entered the Boston Navy Yard for conversion to a radar picket escort. Redesignated DER-336 on 7 December 1955, she was recommissioned on 29 January 1957 and assigned to Atlantic Barrier Patrol duty. Based at Newport, Rhode Island, as of 2 July, she continued that duty, steaming on alternate radar picket stations from Newfoundland to the Azores into the 1960s.

Although primarily employed in the early warning program, she was called on to enforce an 1884 treaty for the protection of international submarine cables in February 1959. On the 26th, she sent a party aboard the Russian trawler MV Novorossisk to investigate reports from the American Telephone & Telegraph and Western Union companies that breaks had occurred in five transatlantic cables along the track of the trawler. There were no indications of intentions "other than fishing."

Final Decommissioning[edit]

In late 1962, Roy O. Hale again prepared for inactivation. Decommissioned in April 1963, she was berthed with the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until struck from the Navy list 1 August 1974 and sold for scrap to Union Minerals & Alloys Corp. on 1 April 1975.

   At the end of the Cuban Crisis we escorted the missile laden Russian trawler to the North Atlantic.

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