USS Traw

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History
United States
Name: Traw
Namesake: London Lewis Traw
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Laid down: 19 December 1943
Launched: 12 February 1944
Commissioned: 20 June 1944
Decommissioned: 7 June 1946
Struck: 1 August 1967
Fate: sunk as target off California 17 August 1968
General characteristics
Class and type: John C. Butler-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,350 tons
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; 28 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 14 officers, 201 enlisted
Armament:

USS Traw (DE-350) 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.

Traw was named after London Lewis Traw who was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his bravery on Guadalcanal. The destroyer escort's keel was laid down on 19 December 1943 at Orange, Texas, by the Consolidated Steel Corp. The ship was launched on 12 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Jennie Traw, mother of Sgt. Traw. Traw was commissioned on 20 June 1944, Lt. Comdr. James T. Kilbreth, Jr., USNR, in command.

Operational history[edit]

North Atlantic operations[edit]

For a week after her commissioning, Traw conducted preliminary tests and exercises. Then, on 28 June 1944, she departed Orange, Texas, and arrived at Galveston, Texas, for drydocking. On 7 July, the new destroyer escort got underway in company with sister ships Leland E. Thomas and Jesse Rutherford for her shakedown cruise to Bermuda. Exercises out of Great Sound occupied the remainder of the month as Traw's crew drilled and brought the new ship to battle-readiness.

Following repairs and trials at the Boston Navy Yard, the destroyer escort steamed independently to Norfolk, Virginia, arriving on 28 August 1944. On 30 August, the destroyer escort began a period of activity as a training ship. Daylong cruises to the Chesapeake Bay, with a balance crew on board for training, occupied Traw until late in September. On 24 September, she departed Norfolk escorting the escort carrier Solomons and entered the swept channel at New York City early the next day.

North Atlantic convoy operations[edit]

Operating as a unit of Escort Division 78, Traw got underway on 6 October 1944 in Convoy UGF-15 bound for the Mediterranean. The destroyer escort entered the swept channel at Gibraltar on 17 October and, on 20 October, anchored in the harbor at Marseilles. After escorting a small convoy to North Africa, Traw departed Oran on 26 October with a convoy steaming westward for the United States. Late in the day on 16 November, she left the convoy protecting Solomons. As the severe weather of the crossing moderated, Traw delivered her charge safely to Narragansett Bay. She then continued southward, discharged ammunition at the Ammunition Depot, Earle, New Jersey, and reported to the New York Navy Yard for overhaul. Her repairs completed, Traw rendezvoused with the destroyer Cowie and submarine Barracuda on 19 November in Block Island Sound for antisubmarine exercises. In company with other destroyer escorts, she continued exercises until halted by severe weather on 21 November.

She returned to New York and, on 25 November, was again underway escorting Convoy UGF-17 B. On 5 December, Traw left her picket station to pick up official mail at Rosia Bay. Three days later, she acted as navigational guide when the convoy entered the channel at Marseilles. After escorting a seven-ship convoy to Oran, she departed Mers el-Kebir on 13 December as a convoy escort. The voyage was uneventful, and she arrived at New York on 23 December.

Transfer to the Pacific Fleet[edit]

Traw completed overhaul at New York; then set her course for Norfolk, arriving on 10 January to prepare for the long voyage to the Pacific. On 19 January, she got underway for the Panama Canal Zone. She entered the Pacific on 25 January; and, three days later, she moored at Seymour Island in the Galapagos for fueling. Assigned to Escort Division 78, U.S. Pacific Fleet, she steamed independently on 1 February, via Bora Bora, for the Admiralties. On 22 February, she passed through the antisubmarine nets and anchored in Seeadler Harbor.

After fueling and upkeep, she joined other destroyer escorts in exercises. Then, on 27 February, she began the escort duties which she would continue until the end of the war. Throughout March and April, Traw protected convoys moving between New Guinea and the Philippines. In May, she made a single voyage to the Palaus; then returned to Leyte where she conducted patrols. She remained in Philippine waters into June, varying convoy and patrol duties with antisubmarine warfare exercises. In July and August, she escorted convoys to Ulithi and Okinawa and returned to the Philippines where she continued her escort duties into September.

Post-war activity[edit]

Late in November she steamed, via Samar and the Marshalls, to Hawaii, arriving there in early before sailing for the U.S. West Coast and arriving at San Pedro, California, on 16 December. She moved to San Diego in April 1946 before shifting to Long Beach, California, until her decommissioning at San Diego on 7 June 1946.

The warship remained in reserve for the next twenty years before her name was struck from the Navy List on 1 August 1967. Prepared for use in Operation StrikEx 3-68, her hulk was sunk as a target by gunfire from the destroyer Bausell off Baja California, Mexico, on 17 August 1968.

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