Destroyer escort

Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy mid-20th-century classification for a 20-knot (23 mph) warship designed with endurance to escort mid-ocean convoys of merchant marine ships.[1] Kaibōkan were designed for a similar role in the Imperial Japanese Navy.[2] The Royal Navy and Commonwealth forces identified such warships as frigates, and that classification was widely accepted when the United States redesignated destroyer escorts as frigates (FF) in 1975. From circa 1954 until 1975 new-build US Navy ships designated as destroyer escorts (DE) were called ocean escorts. Destroyer escorts, frigates, and kaibōkan were mass-produced for World War II as a less expensive antisubmarine warfare alternative to fleet destroyers.[3] Other similar warships include the 10 Kriegsmarine escort ships of the F-class and the two Amiral Murgescu-class vessels of the Romanian Navy.

Postwar destroyer escorts and frigates were larger than those produced during wartime, with increased antiaircraft capability, but remained smaller and slower than postwar destroyers.[4] As Cold War destroyer escorts became as large as wartime destroyers, the United States Navy converted some of their World War II destroyers to escort destroyers (DDE).[5]

USS Evarts (DE-5) underway on 19 August 1944 (NH 107099)
USS Evarts

General description

Full-sized destroyers must be able to steam as fast or faster than the fast capital ships such as fleet carriers and cruisers. This typically requires a speed of 25–35 knots (46–65 km/h) (dependent upon the era and navy). They must carry torpedoes and a smaller caliber of cannon to use against enemy ships, as well as antisubmarine detection equipment and weapons.

A destroyer escort needed only to be able to maneuver relative to a slow convoy (which in World War II would travel at 10 to 12 knots (19 to 22 km/h)), and be able to defend against aircraft, and detect, pursue, and attack submarines. These lower requirements greatly reduce the size, cost, and crew required for the destroyer escort. Destroyer escorts were optimized for antisubmarine warfare, having a tighter turning radius and more specialized armament (such as the forward-firing Hedgehog mortar) than fleet destroyers. Their much slower speed was not a liability in this context, since sonar was useless at speeds over 20 knots (37 km/h). Destroyer escorts were also considerably more sea-kindly than corvettes.

As an alternative to steam-turbine propulsion found in full-sized destroyers and larger warships, many US destroyer escorts of the World War II period had diesel-electric or turboelectric drive, in which the engine rooms functioned as power stations supplying current to electric motors sited close to the propellers. Electric drive was selected because it does not need gearboxes (which were heavily in demand for the fast fleet destroyers) to adjust engine speed to the much lower optimum speed for the propellers. The current from the engine room can be used equally well for other purposes, and after World War II, many destroyer escorts were recycled as floating power stations for coastal cities in Latin America under programs funded by the World Bank.

Destroyer escorts were also useful for coastal antisubmarine and radar picket ship duty. During World War II, seven destroyer escorts (DEs) were converted to radar picket destroyer escorts (DERs), supplementing radar picket destroyers. Although these were relegated to secondary roles after the war, in the mid-1950s, 12 more DEs were converted to DERs, serving as such until 1960-1965. Their mission was to extend the distant early warning line on both coasts, in conjunction with 16 Guardian-class radar picket ships, which were converted Liberty ships.

In World War II, some 95 destroyer escorts were converted by the US to high-speed transports (APDs). This involved adding an extra deck which allowed space for about 10 officers and 150 men. Two large davits were also installed, one on either side of the ship, from which landing craft (LCVPs) could be launched.

Origins

The Lend-Lease Act was passed into law in the United States in March 1941, enabling the United Kingdom to procure merchant ships, warships, munitions, and other materiel from the US, to help with the war effort. This enabled the UK to commission the US to design, build, and supply an escort vessel that was suitable for antisubmarine warfare in deep open-ocean situations, which they did in June 1941. Captain E.L. Cochrane of the American Bureau of Shipping came up with a design which was known as the British destroyer escort (BDE). The BDE designation was retained by the first six destroyer escorts transferred to the United Kingdom (BDE 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, and 46); of the initial order of 50, these were the only ones the Royal Navy received, the rest being reclassified as destroyer escorts on 25 January 1943 and taken over by the United States Navy.[6]

When the United States entered the war, and found they also required an antisubmarine warfare ship and that the destroyer escort fitted their needs perfectly, a system of rationing was put in place whereby out of every five destroyer escorts completed, four would be allocated to the U.S. Navy and one to the Royal Navy.

Post–World War II U.S. ship reclassification

After World War II, new-build United States Navy destroyer escorts were referred to as ocean escorts, but retained the hull classification symbol DE. However, other navies, most notably those of NATO countries and the USSR, followed different naming conventions for this type of ship, which resulted in some confusion. To remedy this problem, the 1975 ship reclassification declared ocean escorts (and by extension, destroyer escorts) as frigates (FF). This brought the USN's nomenclature more in line with NATO, and made comparing ship types with the Soviet Union easier. As of 2006, no plans existed for future frigates for the US Navy. USS Zumwalt and the littoral combat ship (LCS) were the main ship types planned in this area. However, by 2017 the Navy had reversed course, and put out a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a new frigate class, temporarily designated FFG(X). One major problem with ship classification is whether to base it on a ship's role (such as escort or air defense), or on its size (such as displacement). One example of this ambiguity is the Ticonderoga-class air-defense ship class, which is classified as cruiser, though it uses the same hull as the Spruance-class destroyers.

Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War, the Republic of Vietnam Navy received two Edsall-class destroyer escorts from the United States.

US Navy destroyer escort class overview

Class name Lead ship Commissioned Ships built
Evarts (GMT) class[7] USS Evarts (DE-5) 15 April 1943 97
Buckley (TE) class[8] USS Buckley (DE-51) 30 April 1943 148
Cannon (DET) class[9] USS Cannon (DE-99) 26 September 1943 72
Edsall (FMR) class[10] USS Edsall (DE-129) 10 April 1943   85
Rudderow (TEV) class[11] USS Rudderow (DE-224) 15 May 1944 22
John C. Butler (WGT) class[12] USS John C. Butler (DE-339)   31 March 1944 83
Dealey class[13] USS Dealey (DE-1006) 3 June 1954 13
Claud Jones class[14] USS Claud Jones (DE-1033) 10 February 1959 4
Bronstein class[15] USS Bronstein (DE-1037) 15 June 1963 2
Garcia class[16] USS Garcia (DE-1040) 21 December 1964 10
Brooke class[17] USS Brooke (DEG-1) 12 March 1966 6
Knox class[18] USS Knox (DE-1052) 12 April 1969 46

Captain-class frigates of the Royal Navy

HMS Dacres
HMS Dacres, converted to act as a headquarters ship during Operation Neptune

The Captain class was a designation given to 78 frigates of the Royal Navy, constructed in the United States, launched in 1942–1943 and delivered to the United Kingdom under the provisions of the Lend-Lease agreement (under which the United States supplied the United Kingdom and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945),[19][20] they were drawn from two subclasses of the destroyer escort (originally British destroyer escort) classification: 32 from the Evarts subclass and 46 from the Buckley subclass.[6][19] Upon reaching the UK, the ships were substantially modified by the Royal Navy, including removal of torpedo tubes, making them distinct from the US Navy destroyer escort ships.[21]

Captain-class frigates acted in the roles of convoy escorts, antisubmarine warfare vessels,[22] coastal forces control frigates and headquarters ships for the Normandy landings. During the course of World War II, this class participated in the sinking of at least 34 German submarines and a number of other hostile craft with 15 of the 78 Captain-class frigates being either sunk or written off as a constructive total loss.

In the postwar period, all of the surviving Captain-class frigates except one (HMS Hotham) were returned to the US Navy before the end of 1947 to reduce the amount payable under the provisions of the Lend-Lease agreement; the last such frigate was returned to United States custody in March 1956.[23][24]

Free French

Six Cannon-class destroyer escorts were built for the Free French Navy. Although initially transferred under the Lend-Lease Act, these ships were permanently transferred under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP).

List of Free French destroyer escorts

  • FFL Algérien (F-1), ex-Cronin (DE-107)
  • FFL Sénégalais (F-2), ex-Corbestier (DE-106)
  • FFL Somali (F-3), ex-Somali (DE-111)
  • FFL Hova (F-4), ex-Hova (DE-110)
  • FFL Marocain (F-5), ex-Marocain (DE-109)
  • FFL Tunisien (F-6), ex-Crosley (DE-108)

Mutual Defense Assistance Program - Post WWII

Under the MDAP the destroyer escorts leased to the Free French were permanently transferred to the French Navy. In addition, the following navies also acquired DEs:

Republic of China Navy (Taiwan)

DE-47, DE-6

French Navy

DE-1007, DE-1008, DE-1009, DE-1010, DE-1011, DE-1012, DE-1013, DE-1016, DE-1017, DE-1018, DE1019

Hellenic Navy

DE-173, DE-766, DE-768, DE-193

Italian Navy

DE-1020, DE-1031

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force

DE-168, DE-169

Philippine Navy

DE-168, DE-169, DE-170, DE-770, DE-771, DE-251, DE-637

Portuguese Navy

DE-1032, DE-1039, DE-1042, DE-1046

Republic of Korea Navy

DE-770, DE-771

Royal Navy

DE-574[note 1][23]

Royal Netherlands Navy

USS Burrows (DE-105), USS Rinehart (DE-196), USS Gustafson (DE-182), USS O'Neill (DE-188), USS Eisner (DE-192), USS Stern (DE-187)

Royal Thai Navy

DE-746

National Navy of Uruguay

DE-166, DE-189,

Comparison with contemporary frigates

The table below compares destroyer escorts and frigates designed for similar missions.

Name Date Nation Displacement Speed Number built Notes
River-class frigate 1942 UK 1,370 tons 20 knots 151 [25]
Type A kaibōkan 1943 Japan 870 tons 19 knots 18 [2]
FMR class 1943 US 1,200 tons 21 knots 85 [10]
GMT class 1943 US 1,140 tons 21 knots 72 [7]
TE class 1943 US 1,400 tons 23 knots 102 [8]
DET class 1943 US 1,240 tons 21 knots 72 [9]
Tacoma-class frigate 1943 US 1,430 tons 20 knots 96 [26]
Type B kaibōkan 1943 Japan 940 tons 19 knots 37 [2]
Loch-class frigate 1944 UK 1,435 tons 20 knots 30 [27]
WGT class 1944 US 1,350 tons 24 knots 87 [12]
TEV class 1944 US 1,450 tons 24 knots 22 [11]
Bay-class frigate 1945 UK 1,580 tons 20 knots 26 anti-aircraft[27]
Dealey class 1954 US 1,450 tons 25 knots 13 [13]
Type E50 frigate 1955 France 1,290 tons 28 knots 4 fast[28]
Type 14 'Blackwood' frigate 1955 UK 1,180 tons 24 knots 15 "second-rate" anti-submarine warfare frigates. Cheaper to produce than Type 12.[29]
St. Laurent class 1955 Canada 2,263 tons 28 knots 7 anti-submarine[30]
Type B 1956 Japan 1,070 tons 25 knots 2 diesel[31]
Type 12 'Whitby' frigate 1956 UK 2,150 tons 31 knots 6 anti-submarine[32]
Type E52 frigate 1956 France 1,295 tons 28 knots 14 fast[33]
Almirante Clemente-class light destroyer 1956 Venezuela 1,300 tons 32 knots 6 fast[34]
Type 61 'Salisbury' frigate 1957 UK 2,170 tons 24 knots 4 aircraft direction[35]
Canopo-class frigate 1957 Italy 1,807 tons 26 knots 4 [36]
Type 41 'Leopard' frigate 1957 UK 2,300 tons 24 knots 7 anti-aircraft escort for convoys[37]
Azopardo-class frigate 1957 Argentina 1,160 tons 20 knots 2 [38]
Restigouche class 1958 Canada 2,366 tons 28 knots 7 anti-submarine[39]
Claud Jones class 1959 US 1,450 tons 22 knots 4 [14]
Type 12M 'Rothesay' frigate 1960 UK 2,380 tons 30 knots 12 ."Modified" Type 12. Anti-submarine[40]
Köln-class frigate 1961 Germany 2,100 tons 30 knots 6 fast[41]
River-class destroyer escort 1961 Australia 2,100 tons 30 knots 6 Originally designated as anti-submarine frigates, later re-designated as destroyer escorts.[42]
Isuzu-class destroyer escort 1961 Japan 1,490 tons 25 knots 4 [43]
Type 81 'Tribal' frigate 1961 UK 2,300 tons 28 knots 7 general purpose[44]
Bergamini-class frigate 1961 Italy 1,410 tons 26 knots 4 [45]
Commandant Rivière-class frigate 1962 France 1,750 tons 25 knots 13 dual purpose[33]
Mackenzie class 1962 Canada 2,366 tons 28 knots 4 anti-submarine[39]
Hvidbjørnen-class frigate 1962 Denmark 1,345 tons 18 knots 4 fishery protection[46]
Type 12I 'Leander' frigate 1963 UK 2,450 tons 30 knots 26 "Improved" Type 12. General purpose.[47]
Bronstein class 1963 US 2,360 tons 26 knots 2 [15]
Garcia class 1964 US 2,620 tons 27 knots 10 [16]
Oslo-class frigate 1966 Norway 1,450 tons 25 knots 5 [48]
Brooke class 1966 US 2,640 tons 27 knots 6 guided missile[17]
Peder Skram-class frigate 1966 Denmark 2,030 tons 28 knots 2 fast[49]
Van Speijk-class frigate 1967 Netherlands 2,200 tons 28 knots 6 [50]
Alpino-class frigate 1968 Italy 2,000 tons 28 knots 2 [45]
Alvand-class frigate 1968 Iran 1,110 tons 40 knots 4 [51]
Knox class 1969 US 3,011 tons 27 knots 46 [18]
Chikugo-class destroyer escort 1971 Japan 1,470 tons 25 knots 11 [43]

Surviving destroyer escorts

Five destroyer escorts are preserved as museum ships, while others remain in active service.

See also

Notes and references

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Footnotes

  1. ^ DE-574 was originally provided to the United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease (Public Law 77-11) scheme, DE-574 was returned to the US custody under the provisions of the Lend-Lease scheme on the 25 April 1952 and simultaneously transferred back to the United Kingdom under the Mutual Defence Assistance Program.

Source notes

  1. ^ Blackman, pp. 393 & 394
  2. ^ a b c Watts, pp. 225-239
  3. ^ Potter & Nimitz, p. 550
  4. ^ Cooney, pp. 6 & 7
  5. ^ NAVPERS, pp. 32 & 35
  6. ^ a b Franklin 1999, p. 7.
  7. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 153-157
  8. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 157-163
  9. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 164-167
  10. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 167-170
  11. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 163 & 164
  12. ^ a b Silverstone, pp. 170-175
  13. ^ a b Blackman, p. 458
  14. ^ a b Blackman, p. 457
  15. ^ a b Blackman, p. 456
  16. ^ a b Blackman, p. 455
  17. ^ a b Blackman, p. 452
  18. ^ a b Blackman, p. 453
  19. ^ a b Lenton 1998, pp. 198–199.
  20. ^ Morison 1956, p. 34.
  21. ^ Collingwood 1998, pp. 30–31.
  22. ^ Franklin 1999, p. x.
  23. ^ a b DANFS: Hotham.
  24. ^ Lenton 1974, p. 16.
  25. ^ Lenton & Colledge, p. 225
  26. ^ Silverstone, p. 246
  27. ^ a b Lenton & Colledge, p. 232
  28. ^ Blackman, p. 114
  29. ^ Blackman, p. 354
  30. ^ Blackman, p. 44
  31. ^ Blackman, p. 199
  32. ^ Blackman, p. 353
  33. ^ a b Blackman, p. 113
  34. ^ Blackman, p. 624
  35. ^ Blackman, p. 356
  36. ^ Blackman, p. 183
  37. ^ Blackman, p. 355
  38. ^ Blackman, p. 8
  39. ^ a b Blackman, p. 43
  40. ^ Blackman, p. 351
  41. ^ Blackman, p. 127
  42. ^ Blackman, p. 21
  43. ^ a b Blackman, p. 198
  44. ^ Blackman, p. 350
  45. ^ a b Blackman, p. 182
  46. ^ Blackman, p. 79
  47. ^ Blackman, p. 348
  48. ^ Blackman, p. 240
  49. ^ Blackman, p. 78
  50. ^ Blackman, p. 229
  51. ^ Blackman, p. 167

Bibliography

  • Blackman, Raymond V.B. (1970–71). Jane's Fighting Ships. Jane's Yearbooks.
  • Collingwood, Donald (1998). The Captain class frigates in the second world war: an operational history of the American-built destroyer escorts serving under the White Ensign from 1943–46. Leo Cooper. ISBN 978-0-85052-615-8. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  • Cooney, David M. (1980). Ships, Aircraft and Weapons of the United States Navy. United States Government Printing Office.
  • Franklin, Bruce Hampton (1999). The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-118-X.
  • Lenton, H T. (1998). British and Empire Warships of the Second World War. Greenhill Books/Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-85367-277-7. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  • Lenton, H.T. (1974). British Escort Ships. Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 0-356-08062-5. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1956). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 10: The Atlantic Battle Won, May 1943 – May 1945. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316583107. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  • NAVPERS (1955). Warship Identification Manual. United States Government Printing Office.
  • Potter, E.B.; Nimitz, Chester W. (1960). Sea Power. Prentice-Hall.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1968). U.S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company.
  • Watts, Anthony J. (1966). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company.

Online sources

Further reading

  • On the subject of a particular example of this type of ship in World War II, the USS Abercrombie (DE-343), see Little Ship, Big War: The Saga of DE-343 by Edward Peary Stafford. Naval Institute Press (2000) ISBN 1-55750-890-9
  • On the subject of the Captain-class frigate variant of the destroyer escort in World War II, see The Captain Class Frigates in the Second World War by Donald Collingwood. published by Leo Cooper (1998), ISBN 0-85052-615-9

External links

Boston Navy Yard

The Boston Navy Yard, originally called the Charlestown Navy Yard and later Boston Naval Shipyard, was one of the oldest shipbuilding facilities in the United States Navy. It was established in 1801 as part of the recent establishment of the new U.S. Department of the Navy in 1798. After 175 years of military service, it was decommissioned as a naval installation on 1 July 1974.

The 30-acre (12 ha) property is administered by the National Park Service, becoming part of Boston National Historical Park. Enough of the yard remains in operation to support the moored USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") of 1797, built as one of the original six heavy frigates for the revived American navy, and the oldest warship still commissioned in the United States Navy. USS Cassin Young (DD-793), a 1943 World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer serving as a museum ship, is also berthed here. The museum area includes a dock which is a stop on the MBTA Boat water transport system. Among local people in the area and the National Park Service, it is still known as the Charlestown Navy Yard.The South Boston Naval Annex was located along the waterfront in South Boston.

Buckley-class destroyer escort

The Buckley-class destroyer escorts were 102 destroyer escorts launched in the United States in 1943–44. They served in World War II as convoy escorts and anti-submarine warfare ships. The lead ship was USS Buckley which was launched on 9 January 1943. The ships had General Electric steam turbo-electric transmission. The ships were prefabricated at various factories in the United States, and the units brought together in the shipyards, where they were welded together on the slipways.

The Buckley class was the second class of destroyer escort, succeeding the Evarts-class destroyer escorts. One of the main design differences was that the hull was significantly lengthened on the Buckley class; this long-hull design proved so successful that it was used for all further destroyer escort classes. The class was also known as the TE type, from Turbo Electric drive. The TE was replaced with a diesel-electric plant to yield the design of the successor Cannon class ("DET").A total of 154 were ordered with 6 being completed as high speed transport ("APD"). A further 37 were later converted after completion while 46 of the Buckleys were delivered to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease agreement. They were classed as frigates and named after captains of the Napoleonic Wars, and formed part of the Captain-class frigate along with 32 ships of the Evarts class.

After World War II, most of the surviving units of this class were transferred to Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, Mexico and other countries. The rest were retained by the US Navy's reserve fleet until they were decommissioned.

Cannon-class destroyer escort

The Cannon class was a class of destroyer escorts built by the United States primarily for ocean antisubmarine warfare escort service during World War II. The lead ship, USS Cannon, was commissioned on 26 September 1943 at Wilmington, Delaware. Of the 116 ships ordered, 44 were cancelled and six were commissioned directly into the Free French Forces. Destroyer escorts were regular companions escorting the vulnerable cargo ships.

With the decommissioning of the Philippine Navy's BRP Rajah Humabon (PS-11) in March 2018, HTMS Pin Klao (DE-1) of the Royal Thai Navy, remains the only confirmed commissioned ship of this class as of 2018.

Dealey-class destroyer escort

The Dealey-class destroyer escorts were the first post-World War II escort ships built for the United States Navy.

Slightly faster and larger than the escort destroyers they succeeded, the Dealey class were fitted with twin-mounted 3-inch guns, ASW rockets, a depth charge rack and 6 depth charge launchers. There were later modernisations that removed the ASW rockets and the depth charges in favor of nuclear-capable anti-submarine rocket launchers and torpedo mounts which fired lighter homing torpedoes. A large SQS 23 sonar was refitted in a bow sonar dome and most of the class were also fitted with a hangar and landing pad for DASH drone helicopters to deliver MK 44 and Mk 46 torpedoes. The drone helicopters proved very unreliable and their failure contributed to the relatively short life of the class.

They were decommissioned in 1972 and 1973 in favor of the Knox-class frigate. Dealey and Hartley were sold at surplus to other countries in 1972, with the remainder of the class being sold for scrap.

Edsall-class destroyer escort

The Edsall-class destroyer escorts were destroyer escorts built primarily for ocean antisubmarine escort service during World War II. The lead ship, USS Edsall, was commissioned on 10 April 1943 at Orange, Texas. The class was also known as the FMR type from their Fairbanks-Morse reduction-geared diesel drive, with a type of engine used in the submarines of the time. The FMR's substitution for a diesel-electric power plant was the essential difference from the predecessor Cannon ("DET") class. This was the only World War II destroyer escort class in which all the ships originally ordered were completed as United States Navy destroyer escorts. Destroyer escorts were regular companions escorting the vulnerable cargo ships. Late in the war, plans were made to replace the 3-inch (76 mm) guns with 5-inch (127 mm) guns, but only Camp was refitted (after a collision). In total, all 85 were completed by two shipbuilding companies: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas (47), and Brown Shipbuilding, Houston, Texas (38). Most were en route to the Pacific Theater when Japan surrendered. One of the ships participated in Operation Dragoon and two were attacked by German guided missiles.

Evarts-class destroyer escort

The Evarts-class destroyer escorts were destroyer escorts launched in the United States in 1942–44. They served in World War II as convoy escorts and anti-submarine warfare ships. They were also known as the GMT or "short hull" DE class, with GMT standing for General Motors Tandem Diesel drive.

The lead ship was USS Evarts, launched on 7 December 1942. The first ship to be completed was commissioned on 20 January 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard; it was delivered to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease provisions and became HMS Bayntun. Evarts-class ships were driven by diesel-electric power with four diesel engines mounted in tandem with electric drives. The ships were prefabricated at various factories in the United States and the units brought together in the shipyards, where they were welded together on the slipways. The original design specified eight engines for 24 knots but other priority programs forced the use of only four with a consequent shortening of the hull.In all, 105 Evarts-class ships were ordered with 8 later being cancelled. The United States Navy commissioned 65 while 32 Evarts-class ships were delivered to the Royal Navy. They were classed as frigates and named after captains of the Napoleonic Wars and formed part of the Captain class along with 46 ships of the Buckley class.

John C. Butler-class destroyer escort

The John C. Butler class were destroyer escorts that originated during World War II. The lead ship was USS John C. Butler, commissioned on 31 March 1944. The class was also known as the WGT type from their Westinghouse geared turbine drive. Of the 293 ships originally planned, 206 were canceled in 1944 and a further four after being laid down; three were not completed until after the end of World War II.

List of destroyer escorts of the United States Navy

This is a list of destroyer escorts of the United States Navy, listed in a table sortable by both name and hull-number. It includes the hull classification symbols DE (both Destroyer Escort and Ocean Escort), DEG, and DER.

The Lend-lease Act was passed into law in the US in March 1941 enabling the United Kingdom to procure merchant ships, warships and munitions etc. from the US, in order to help with the war effort. This enabled the UK to commission the US to design, build and supply an escort vessel that was suitable for anti submarine warfare in deep open ocean situations, which they did in June 1941. Captain E.L. Cochrane of the American Bureau of Shipping came up with a design which was known as the British Destroyer Escort (BDE). The BDE designation was retained by the first six Destroyer Escorts transferred to the United Kingdom (BDE 1, 2, 3, 4, 12 and 46); of the initial order of 50 these were the only ones the Royal Navy received, the rest being reclassified as Destroyer Escort (DE) on 25 January 1943 and taken over by the United States Navy.Ships that were classified DE or DEG were reclassified in 1975 as FF or FFG (frigates). This affected hull numbers DE-1037 and higher as well as all DEGs.

River-class destroyer escort

The River class was a class of six destroyer escorts (originally designated anti-submarine frigates) operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Plans to acquire four vessels, based on the British Type 12M (or Rothesay class) frigate, began in the 1950s. The first two vessels had some slight modifications to the design, while the next two underwent further changes. Two more ships were ordered in 1964, following the Melbourne-Voyager collision; these were based on the Type 12I (or Leander class) frigate.

By the 1990s, all six ships had left service. Two were sunk as part of tests, and a third was scuttled as an artificial reef, while the other three ships were scrapped.

Rudderow-class destroyer escort

The Rudderow-class destroyer escorts were destroyer escorts launched in the United States in 1943 to 1945. Of this class, 22 were completed as destroyer escorts, and 50 were completed as Crosley-class high speed transports and were re-classified as high speed transport APDs. One ship was converted to an APD after completion. They served in World War II as convoy escorts and anti-submarine warfare ships.

USS Alger

USS Alger (DE-101) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Battle of the Atlantic and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys. Alger was named for Philip Rounsevile Alger.

She was laid down on 2 January 1943 by the Dravo Corp., Wilmington, Delaware; launched on 8 July 1943; sponsored by Miss Louisa Rodgers Alger; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 12 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. W. F. Porter in command.

USS Cannon

USS Cannon (DE-99) was a destroyer escort launched on 25 May 1943 by the Dravo Corporation in Wilmington, Delaware and was sponsored by Mrs. E. H. Cannon. Cannon was commissioned on 26 September 1943, with Lieutenant Commander G. Morris in command, and reported to the United States Atlantic Fleet. The ship was named in honor of George H. Cannon, a Medal of Honor recipient.

USS Christopher

USS Christopher (DE-100) was a Cannon class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy. She served only a short time in the Atlantic Ocean before being transferred to Brazil, in December 1944. She was renamed NAe Benevente (D-20) and was finally retired and scrapped in 1964.

USS Herzog

USS Herzog (DE-178) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

Herzog was named in honor of William Ralph Herzog who was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in trying to save his shipmates in 1942. The ship was launched by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, New Jersey, on 5 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Alice A. Herzog, mother of the namesake; and commissioned on 6 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. C. Toft, Jr., in command.

USS Marts

USS Marts (DE-174) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy. She served in the Atlantic Ocean in 1943-45 before being transferred to the Brazilian Navy. Renamed Bocaina (D-22), she was in service until 1975, when she was struck and scrapped.

USS McAnn

USS McAnn (DE-179) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

McAnn was named after Donald Roy McAnn who received the Navy Cross for his actions during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands in 1942. The ship was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newark, New Jersey, on 17 May 1943; launched on 5 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Ethel Marie McAnn; and commissioned at New York on 11 October 1943, Comdr. Charles F. Hooper in command.

As Bauru she is preserved by the Brazilian Navy at Rio de Janeiro.

USS Pennewill

USS Pennewill (DE-175) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys. Pennewill was named in honor of William Ellison Pennewill who had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The ship was laid down on 26 April 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newark, New Jersey; launched on 8 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Lucie Reilly Pennewill; and commissioned on 15 September 1943, Lt. John Edward Allen, USNR, in command.

USS Reybold

USS Reybold (DE-177) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Atlantic Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

Reybold was named in honor of John Keane Reybold who was killed by friendly fire during a convoy run. The ship was laid down on 3 May 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Port Newark, New Jersey; launched on 22 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. John K. Reybold, widow of Lt. Comdr. John K. Reybold; and commissioned on 29 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. A. B. Bradley, Jr., in command.

USS Slater

USS Slater (DE-766) is a Cannon-class destroyer escort that served in the United States Navy and later in the Hellenic (Greek) Navy. The ship was named for Frank O. Slater of Alabama, a sailor killed on the cruiser USS San Francisco during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for gallantry in action and the Purple Heart. Following service during World War II, the ship was transferred to Greece and renamed Aetos. Decommissioned in 1991, the destroyer escort was returned to the United States.

USS Slater is now a museum ship on the Hudson River in Albany, New York, the only one of its kind afloat in the United States. (USS Stewart (DE-238) is exhibited at Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas, but located on dry land and USS Atherton (DE-169) is still in service in the Philippine Navy.) Slater was designated a National Historic Landmark on 2 March 2012.

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