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Destroyer Escorts Named to Honor Military Heroes Who Received the
Medal of Honor For Outstanding Service During US Conflicts

Compiled by Pat Perrella
December 2004

Forty-seven Destroyer Escorts were named for Medal of Honor recipients.  This includes 22 World War II hulls with 2 of those cancelled with the names eventually going to Destroyers.  The remaining 25 ships were Destroyer Escorts of the 1000+ hull designation that served into the 1990's.  Medal of Honor DE's continued a proud tradition for their esteemed namesakes through many US military conflicts.

These individuals earned the US NAVY or US MARINE CORPS Medal of Honor during the period specified. Their names are followed by their rank and rate, if known, the date of the action and the vessel or unit in which they served.  Information about the Destroyer Escort that was named in their honor follows each recipient.

US Navy Medal of Honor

ALBERT LEROY DAVID, (posthumous), Lieutenant (jg), USN, USS PILLSBURY (DE-133), Off French West Africa, 4 June 1944 (Capture & Boarding of U-505).
USS ALBERT DAVID DE/FF-1050- Launched 19 December 1964, by Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging, Seattle, WA, sponsored by Mrs. Lynda Mae David; commissioned 19 October 1968, Comdr. Roy S. Reynolds, in command.

OSCAR CHARLES BADGER, Ensign, USN, Veracruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914, Ens. Badger was in both days' fighting at the head of his company, and was eminent and conspicuous in his conduct, leading his men with skill and courage.
USS BADGER DE/FF-1071
- Launched 7 December 1968, by Todd Shipbuilding, San Pedro, CA; commissioned 1 December 1970.

HAROLD WILLIAM BAUER, Lt. Col. USMC, Squadron Commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 212 in the South Pacific Area,10 May to 14 November 1942 .
USS BAUER DE-1025
-Launched 7 June 1957, by Bethlehem Steel, Alameda, CA; commissioned 21 November 1957.

GEORGE BREEMAN, Seaman, USN, Awarded for extraordinary heroism during the turret explosion on USS KEARSARGE (BB-5) on 13 April 1908.
USS BREEMAN DE-104
- Launched 4 September 1943, by Dravo Corp., Wilmington, DE, sponsored by his niece Mrs. Marie Breeman Schellgell; commissioned 12 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. N. W. Hunter, USNR, in command.

GEORGE HAM CANNON, (posthumous) First Lieut. USMC - KIA 7 December 1941 at Sand Island on Midway.
USS CANNON DE-99 -
Launched 25 May 1943, by Dravo Corp., Wilmington, DE, sponsored by Mrs. E. H. Cannon; commissioned 26 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. G. Morris, in command.

VINCENT ROBERT CAPODANNO, (posthumous) Lt., Chaplain Corps, USN, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Div.(Rein), FMF, Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 September 1967.
USS CAPODANNO DE/FF-1093
- Launched 21 October 1972, by Avondale Marine, Avondale, LA; commissioned 17 November 1973, Cdr. G. W. Horsley, USN, in command.

CHARLES JOSEPH BERRY, (posthumous) Corp. USMC, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945.
USS CHARLES BERRY DE-1035 -
Launched 17 March 1959, by Avondale Marine, Avondale, LA, sponsored by his mother, Mrs. Carl Berry; commissioned 25 November 1960(?), Lt. Comdr. R. C. Robinson, in command.

HENRY ALEXIUS COURTNEY JR., (posthumous) Major, USMCR - Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Div., Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 14 and 15 May 1945.
USS COURTNEY DE-1021
- Launched 2 November 1955, by Defoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, MI, sponsored by Mrs. H. A. Courtney; commissioned 24 September 1956, Lt. Comdr. C. W. Coe, in command.

JOHN PHILIP CROMWELL, (posthumous), Captain, USN, Submarine Coordinated Attack Group, USS SCULPIN (SS-191) off Truk Island, 19 November 1943. Remained aboard when SCULPIN was scuttled to protect security of sensitive documents and personal knowledge in case of Japanese capture.
USS CROMWELL DE-1014
- Launched 4 June 1954, by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, ME, sponsored by Miss A. Cromwell; commissioned 24 November 1954, Lt. Comdr. E. J. Cummings, Jr., in command.

CORNELIUS CRONIN, USN, Chief Gunner in USS RICHMOND, 5 August 1864 service at Mobile Bay, AL; served USN until 3 February 1908.
USS CRONIN DE/DEC-704
-
Launched 5 January 1944 by Defoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, MI, sponsored by daughter-in-law Mrs. E. B. Cronin; commissioned 5 May 1944, Lt. Comdr. A. G. Cooke, USNR, in command.

SAMUEL DAVID DEALEY, (posthumous), Commander, USN, KIA when USS HARDER (SS-257) sunk 24 August 1944, by a depth charge attack off Luzon.
USS DEALEY DE-1006
- Launched 8 November 1953, by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, ME, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Samuel D. Dealey; commissioned 3 June 1954, Lt. Comdr. R. H. Rossell, in command.

DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, (posthumous), Signalman First Class, U.S. Coast Guard, Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, 27 September 1942.
USS DOUGLAS A. MUNRO DE-422
- Launched 8 March 1944, by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX, sponsored by his mother Lt. (jg) E. Munro, USCGR; commissioned 11 July 1944, Lt. Cdr. G. Morris, in command.

ERNEST EDWIN EVANS, (posthumous), Commander, USS JOHNSTON (DD-557). Went down with ship and 184 crewmembers during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 25, 1944. He was the first full-blooded Cherokee Indian to command a US naval vessel.
USS EVANS DE-1023
- Launched 14 September 1955, by Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Co., Seattle, WA, sponsored by Mrs. H. Hendrickson; commissioned 14 June 1957, Lt. Comdr. H. F. Wiley, in command.

FRANCIS CHARLES FLAHERTY, (posthumous), Ensign, USNR, USS OKLAHOMA (BB-37), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS FLAHERTY DE-135
- Launched 17 January 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX; sponsored by sister-in-law Mrs. J. J. Flaherty; commissioned 26 June 1943, Lt. Comdr. M. W. Firth, in command.

RICHARD EUGENE FLEMING, (posthumous) Capt. USMCR , Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 241, KIA during Battle of Midway , 4 and 5 June 1942.
USS FLEMING DE-32
- Launched 16 June 1943, by Mare Island Navy Yard, CA, sponsored by Mrs. W. E. Rutherford; commissioned 18 September 1943 Lt. Comdr. R. J. Toner, USNR, in command.

FRANCIS COLTON HAMMOND, (posthumous) Hospital Corpsman, USN, attached as a medical corpsman to 1st USMC Div., Korea, 26-27 March 1953.
USS FRANCIS HAMMOND DE/FF-1067
- Launched 11 May 1968, by Todd shipbuilding, San Pedro, CA, sponsored by Mrs. Phyllis Hammond; commissioned 25 July 1970.

FERNANDO LUIS GARCIA, (posthumous) PFC, USMC Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st USMC Div. (Rein), Korea, 5 September 1952.
USS GARCIA DE/FF-1040
- Launched 3 October 1963, by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco, CA, sponsored by his sister Mrs. Daisy Garcia del Alvarez; commissioned 21 December 1964, Comdr. Donald A. Smith, in command.

ROSS FRANKLIN GRAY, (posthumous), Sergeant, USMCR, 4th Div., invasion of Iwo Jima, 19 February 1945. Fatally wounded by an enemy shell 27 February 1945.
USS GRAY DE/FF-1054
- Launched 3 November 1967, by Todd Shipyards Corp., Seattle, WA; commissioned 4 April 1970.

CHARLES HAZELTINE HAMMANN, Ensign, USNR, 21 August 1918; for saving fellow seaplane pilot off coast of Italy; killed on active duty 19 June 1919 at Langley Field, VA.
USS HAMMANN DE-131
- Launched 13 December 1942, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, sponsored by Mrs. Lillian Rohde; commissioned 17 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. B. D. deKay, in command.

OWEN FRANCIS PATRICK HAMMERBERG, (posthumous), Boatswain's Mate Second Class, USN, West Loch, Pearl Harbor, T.H. 17 February 1945.
USS HAMMERBERG DE-1015 - Launched 20 August 1954, by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, ME, sponsored by his mother Mrs. Elizabeth Moss; commissioned 2 March 1955, Lt. Comdr. Murray E. Draper, in command.

HERBERT CHARPIOT JONES, (posthumous), Ensign, USNR, USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the posthumous award for Ensign Herbert C. Jones.
USS HERBERT C. JONES DE-137
- Launched 19 January 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Joanne Ruth Jones; commissioned 21 July 1943, Lt. Cdr. Alfred W. Gardes, Jr., in command.

EDWIN JOSEPH HILL, (posthumous), Chief Boatswain, USN, USS NEVADA (BB-36), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS HILL DE-141
- Launched 28 February 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Edward Hill; commissioned 16 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. G. R. Keating, in command.

HENRY MCLAREN PINCKNEY HUSE, Capt. USN, Veracruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914, “for his skillful direction and outstanding leadership”.
USS HUSE DE-145
- Launched 23 March 1943, by Consolidated Steele Corp, Orange, TX, sponsored by Mrs. L. M. Humrichouse, daughter of Vice Admiral Huse; commissioned 30 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. W. A. Sessions, in command.

JAMES RICHARD WARD, (posthumous), Seaman First Class, USN, USS OKLAHOMA (BB-37), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS J. RICHARD WARD DE-243
- Launched 6 January 1943, by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX, sponsored by his sister Miss Marjorie Ward; commissioned 5 July 1943, Lt. T. S. Dunstan, in command. (She was renamed from James R. Ward on 26 July 1943)

JOHN JAMES POWERS, (posthumous), Lieutenant, USN, Bombing Squadron 5, Battle of Coral Sea, 4 to 8 May 1942.
USS JOHN J. POWERS DE-528
- Launched 2 November 1943, by Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA, sponsored by his mother Mrs. John J. Powers; commissioned 29 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. E. W. Loew, in command.

JOHN HARLAN WILLIS, (posthumous), Pharmacist's Mate First Class, USN, serving with the 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Div., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 28 February 1945.
USS JOHN WILLIS DE-1027
- Launched 4 February 1956, by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Winfrey M. Duke; commissioned at Philadelphia Naval Yard, 21 February 1957, Lt. Cdr. H. O. Anson, Jr., in command.

JOHNNIE DAVID HUTCHINS, (posthumous), Seaman First Class, USNR, USS LST-473, Lae, New Guinea, 4 September 1943.
USS JOHNNIE HUTCHINS DE-360
- Launched 2 May 1944, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, sponsored by his mother Mrs. Johnnie M. Hutchins; commissioned 28 August 1944, Cdr. H. M. Godsey, in command.
View the Hutchins Medal of Honor on the LST 473 website.  Will open in a new window.

KENNETH DILLION BAILEY, Major, USMC, KIA 12 Sept 1942, Guadalcanal.
USS KENNETH D. BAILEY DE-552
- Cancelled 10 June 1944; name went to DD-713; commissioned 31 July 1945.

JOHN KELVIN KOELSCH, (posthumous), Lt. (jg), USN Navy helicopter rescue unit, North Korea, 3 July 1951.
USS KOELSCH DE/FF-1049
-Launched 8 June 1965, by Defoe Shipbuilding, Bay City, MI, sponsored by Miss Virginia L. Koelsch; commissioned 10 June 1967, Comdr. John A. Buck, in command.

FRED FAULKNER LESTER, (posthumous), Hospital Apprentice First Class, USNR. while serving with the USMC during the battle of Okinawa, 8 June 1945.
USS LESTER DE-1022
- Launched 5 January 1956, by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI, sponsored by his mother Mrs. Fred W. Lester; commissioned 14 June 1957, Lt. Comdr. Allan P. Slaff, in command.

MARVIN GLEN SHIELDS, (posthumous) Construction Mechanic Third Class, USN, Seabee Team 1104, Dong Zoai, Republic of Vietnam, 10 June 1965.
USS MARVIN SHIELDS DE/FF-1066
- Launched 23 October 1969, by Todd Shipyard, Seattle, WA, sponsored by Mrs. Victoria Cassalery and Mrs. Richard A. Bennett; commissioned 10 April 1971, Comdr. William J. Hunter, in command.

BRUCE McCANDLESS, Commander, USN, USS SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) , Battle off Savo Island, 12-13 November 1942. And, his father, BYRON McCANDLESS, Commodore, USN 1905 through 1946.
USS McCANDLESS DE/FF-1084
- Launched 20 March 1971, by Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, LA, sponsored by Ms. Rosemary McCandless, daughter and granddaughter; commissioned 18 March 1972, Comdr. Ralph A. Turner, Jr., in command.

JOHN McCLOY, USN, Lt. Comdr., recipient of two Medals of Honor. The first “for distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battles of the 13th, 20th, 21st, and 22d of June 1900, while with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China.” His second “for distinguished conduct in battle and extraordinary heroism; engagement of Veracruz, April 22, 1914.”
USS McCLOY DE/FF-1038
, Launched 9 June 1962, by Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, LA, sponsored by Mrs. Arthur Winstead; commissioned 21 October 1963, Comdr. Thomas Sherman, in command.

JOSEPH TIMOTHY O'CALLAHAN, Commander, Chaplain Corps, USN, USS FRANKLIN (CV-13), 19 March 1945, Kobe, Japan. For “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty”. Almost one year after the heroic action, President Harry Truman presented the award to Father O'Callahan, the first Navy Chaplain to receive the MOH.
USS O'CALLAHAN DE/FF-1051
- The final ship of the Garcia Class of Destroyer Escorts, launched 20 October 1965, by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI, sponsored by his sister Sister Rose Marie O'Callahan; commissioned 13 July 1968, Capt. Robert L. Brown, in command.

DAVID GEORGE OUELLET, (posthumous), seaman, USN, River Squadron 5, My Tho Detachment 532, Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam, 6 March 1967.
USS OUELLET DE/FF-1077-Launched 17 January 1970, by Avondale Shipyards, Inc., Westwego, LA, sponsored by Mrs. Chester J. Ouellet; commissioned 12 December 1970, Comdr. Albert L. Henry, in command.

JOHN JOSEPH PARLE, (posthumous), Ensign, USNR, USS LST-375, Sicily, 9-10 July 1943.
USS PARLE DE-708
- Launched 25 March 1944, by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI, sponsored by his mother Mrs. Harry V. Parle; commissioned 29 July 1944, Lt. Cdr. James C. Toft, Jr. USNR, in command. 
Read the history of Parle. Link will open in a new window.

JOE C. PAUL, (posthumous), Lance Corporal, USMC, fire team leader with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Operation Starlight near Chu Lai, Vietnam, on 18 August 1965.
USS PAUL DE/FF 1080 - Launched 20 June 1970 by Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, LA., commissioned 14 August 1971 at Boston Naval Shipyard; reclassified Frigate (FF-1080) KNOX-class 30 June 1975.

OSCAR VERNER PETERSON, (posthumous), Chief Watertender, USN, USS NEOSHO (AO-23), sunk 7 May 1942.
USS PETERSON DE-152
- Launched 15 May 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, sponsored by Mrs. Lola B. Peterson; commissioned 29 September 1943, Lt. Cdr. Richard F. Rea, USCG, in command.

JACKSON CHARLES PHARRIS, Lieutenant, USN, USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44) Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS PHARRIS DE/FF-1094
- Launched 16 December 1972, by Avondale Marine, Avondale, LA,; commissioned 26 January 1974.

FRANK STANLEY REASONER, (posthumous) 1st Lt. USMC, Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Div., near Da Nang, Vietnam, 12 July 1965.
USS REASONER DE/FF-1063
- Launched 1 August 1970, by Lockheed Shipbuilding, Seattle, WA, sponsored by Mrs. James C. Curry and Mrs. Robert Svinger; commissioned 31 July 1971, Comdr. Francisco A. Velazquez-Suarez, USN, in command.

THOMAS JAMES REEVES, (posthumous), Radio Electrician (Warrant Officer) USN, USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS REEVES DE-156 /APD-52
- Launched 23 April 1943, by Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA, sponsored by his niece Miss Mary Anne Reeves; commissioned 9 June 1943, Lt. Comdr. Mathias S. Clark, in command.

MILTON ERNEST RICKETTS, (posthumous), Lieutenant, USN, USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), Battle of the Coral Sea, 8 May 1942.
USS RICKETTS DE-254
- Launched 10 May 1943, by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Milton E. Ricketts; commissioned 5 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. Glenn L. Rollins, USCG, in command.

ROBERT R. SCOTT, (posthumous), Machinist's Mate First Class, USN, USS CALIFORNIA BB-44, Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS SCOTT DE-214
- Launched 3 April 1943, by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. George McBride; commissioned 20 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. Claude S. Kirkpatrick, in command.

TONY STEIN, (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Div., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945.
USS STEIN DE/FF-1065
- Launched 19 December 1970, by Lockheed shipbuilding, Seattle, WA, sponsored by Mrs. Rose S. Parks; commissioned 8 January 1972, Comdr. Nepier V. Smith, in command.

CLYDE THOMASON, (posthumous) Sgt. USMCR, Marine Raiders, Makin Island, 17-18 August 1942.
USS THOMASON DE-203
- Launched 23 August 1943, by Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, SC, sponsored by Miss Sara Jeanette Thomason; commissioned 10 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. Charles B. Henriques, USNR, in command.

PETER TOMICH, (posthumous), Chief Watertender, USN, USS UTAH (BB-31/ AG-16), Pearl Harbor, T.H., 7 December 1941.
USS TOMICH DE-242
- Launched 28 December 1942, by Brown Shipbuilding, Houston, TX, sponsored by Mrs. O. L. Hammonds; commissioned 27 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. Hadlai A. Hull, in command.   See photos of Tomich MOH aboard USS TOMICH.

BRUCE AVERY VAN VOORHIS, (posthumous), Lieutenant Commander, USN, Bombing Squadron 102, Battle of the Solomon Islands, 6 July 1943.
USS VAN VOORHIS DE-1028
- Launched 28 July 1956, by New York Shipbuilding, NY, sponsored by his widow Mrs. Kathryn Van Voorhis; commissioned at Philadelphia, PA, 22 April 1957, Lt. Comdr. Joseph J. Doak, Jr., in command.

WILLIAM REES RUSH, USN, Veracruz, Mexico, April 1914.
USS WILLIAM R. RUSH DE-288
(cancelled 12 March 1944; name went to DE-556, cancelled 10 June 1944, name went to DD-714; commissioned 21 September 1945)

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The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation's bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's creation in 1861. For years, the citations highlighting these acts of bravery and heroism resided in dusty archives and only sporadically were printed. In 1973, the U.S. Senate ordered the citations compiled and printed as Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973).
 

Special thanks to Anne E. McCarthy and Webmaster Pat Stephens for their helpful assistance with historical details.

Some information courtesy of the Naval Historical Center and "Hazegray & Underway" web sites.

 

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