Destroyers

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The destroyers are listed by hull number. The list does not include all of the destroyers that were associated with the two carriers.


DE 51 Buckley (CVE 21)

DE 51 Buckley, a Buckley class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 30 Apr 1943. Between Jul 1943 and 22 Apr 1944 Buckley operated along the eastern seaboard as training ship for prospective officers and nucleus crews of other destroyer escorts.

On 29 Apr 1944 she joined CVE 21 Block Island as part of a hunter-killer task group. On 6 May 1944 CVE 21 ordered DE 51 to intercept German U-boat U-66 which had been spotted by aircraft. DE 51 commenced an attack on the submarine and at 0328 hours Buckley rammed U-66 and after a fight that was often hand to hand sunk the submarine. USS Buckley Captain, LCDR Brent Maxwell Abel USNR received the Navy Cross for his actions in the encounter with U-66.

In Jul 1944, Buckley escorted two convoys to North Africa and then operated on anti-submarine and convoy escort duty along the eastern seaboard. Buckley and DE 153 Reuben James sank the German uboat U-548 on 19 Apr 1945. Buckley was placed in reserve 3 Jul 1946.

DE 102 Thomas (CVE 21)

DE 102 was the second USS Thomas, a Cannon class destroyer escort, she was commissioned on 21 Nov 1943. She sailed with CVE 21 USS Block Island on her third combat cruise departing 16 Feb 1944.

DE 102 Thomas was involved in the sinking of three German submarines: U-709, U-233 which was rammed after being forced to the surface by depth charges, and U-548. After being decommissioned in Mar 1946, Thomas was transferred to the Chinese Navy.


DE 103 Bostwick (CVE 21)

DE 103 USS Bostwick, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 1 Dec 1943. On 15 Feb 1944, Bostwick joined CVE 21 USS Block Island and designated Task Group 21.16 as a hunter-killer group in the U-boat-infested waters of the North Atlantic.

Late on 29 Feb 1944, Bronstein made a radar contact and along with Bostwick and Thomas surrounded the target, German submarine, U-709. The three destroyer escorts dropped depth charges on her estimated position. At 0324 hours, Thomas dropped a pattern of charges that produced a huge underwater explosion, the last sounds heard from U-709.

During late March, April, and early May she served as a convoy escort. On 25 Jun 1944, she joined USS Card on another hunter-killer patrol. Thomas rammed U-233 on 5 Jul 1944. On 29 Apr 1955, Bostwick, Thomas, and Coffman joined Natchez in dropping depth charges until a huge underwater explosion indicated the destruction of U-548. Bostwick was decommissioned on 30 Apr 1946.She was sold to nationalist China on 14 Dec 1948.

DE 104 Breeman (CVE 21)

DE 104 USS Breeman, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 12 Dec 1943. On 16 February, Breeman joined USS Block Island Task Group 21.16 On 19 Mar 1944, planes from CVE 21 Block Island sank U-1059, and Breeman assisted in the rescue of the U-boat's survivors.

Breeman joined several other task groups doing Atlantic hunter-killer searches for the remainder of WWII. Breeman was decommissioned on 26 April 1946 and transferred to the Nationalist Chinese government based on Taiwan.

DE 183 Samuel S. Miles (CVE 106)

DE 183 USS Samuel S. Miles, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 4 Nov 1943. Serving as an escort ship in the Marshall Islands area, she protected fleet oilers during fast carrier air strikes against the Caroline Islands and the Hollandia, New Guinea, area in Apr 1944.

She escorted oilers during the capture of Saipan and Tinian, and splashed two Japanese planes on 18 Jun 1944. She also supported the Leyte and Luzon, Philippine Islands, campaigns in late 1944 and early 1945. Samuel S. Miles sank Japanese submarine I-177 near the Palau Islands on 3 Oct 1944. After guarding the invasion force at Iwo Jima in Feb 1945, she screened the bombardment group that pounded Okinawa, where she splashed one enemy plane on 27 Mar 1945. She sailed with CVE 106 USS Block Island to Okinawa in Apr 1945.

A kamikaze near-miss killed one of her crew members on 11 Apr 1945. She was decommissioned on 28 Mar 1946. DE 186 was transferred to France on 12 Aug 1950.

DE 189 Bronstein (CVE 21)

DE 189 USS Bronstein, a Cannon class destroyer escort, was commissioned on 13 Dec 1943. The destroyer escort  was assigned to CVE 21 Block Island's Task Group 21.16 along with DD 463 Corry, DE 102 Thomas, DE 104 Breeman , and DE 103 Bostwick. On 16 Feb 1944 the group left Norfolk. On the evening of 29 Apr, Thomas made a surface radar contact, and Bostwick was ordered to assist her in the search for the contact. CVE 21 Block Island had directed Bronstein to search for a second suspected U-boat when one of her star shells revealed U-709 on the surface preparing to attack Thomas and Bostwick. Bronstein opened fire, and her guns registered several hits. The submarine went deep to escape, and the three destroyer escorts attacked her with depth charges. Thomas finally sank U-709 early the next morning.

The second U-boat maneuvered to attack the Block Island, Bronstein immediately began dropping depth charges. A tremendous explosion indicated the end of the Uboat, later identified as U-603.

The Block Island group made radar contact four days later with U-801. The submarine surfaced on the evening of 16 Mar 1944 and was attacked by aircraft from CVE 21. The U-boat dived and managed to evade the hunters until the early hours of 17 Mar, when the German sub sent a radio message. Corry ran down the bearing of the transmission, and she and Bronstein methodically boxed in the U-boat, forcing her to surface. The crew abandoned and scuttled their boat.

Bronstein proceeded to Norfolk to join a hunter-killer group formed around CVE 11 USS Card. Designated task group TG 21.10, DE 190 Baker and Thomas sank U-233 on 5 Jul near Newfoundland. Bronstein was decommissioned on 17 Jun 1946 and sold to Uruguay.

DD 213 Barker (CVE 21)

DD 213 USS Barker, a Clemson class destroyer escort, was commissioned 27 Dec 1913. From 1913 to 1941 DD 213 served the U.S. Navy in several roles visiting ports around the world. On 7 Dec 1941, DD 213 Barker was at Tarakan, Borneo, and immediately commenced patrolling the surrounding area. She participated in the anti-aircraft actions off Bali (4 Feb 1942) and Banka Island (15 Feb 1942). Barker was damaged by near misses during this action. Between Oct 1942 and May 1943, Barker escorted convoys between San Francisco, CA and Pearl Harbor.

On 27 Jun, she joined the USS Core hunter killer task group 21.12. German submarine U-487  was sunk by aircraft from the Core on 13 Jul and Barker rescued 33 survivors. On 24 Aug Core's aircraft found and sank U-534 and U-185. DD 213 Barker rescued 36 survivors of U-185.

On 15 Oct 1943 Barker joined CVE 21 Block Island task group 21.16 to provide convoy escort duty. She arrived at Philadelphia 4 Jun 1945, and was decommissioned 18 July.

DD 218 Parrott (CVE 21)

DD 218 Parrott, a Clemson class destroyer escort, was commissioned 11 May 1920. From 1920 to 1941 DD 218 served the U.S. Navy in several roles visiting ports around the world.

After dark, on 23 Jan 1942, Parrott, with John D. Ford, Pope and Paul Jones, entered Balikpapan Bay where, lying at anchor, were 16 Japanese transports and three 750-ton torpedo boats, guarded by a Japanese Destroyer Squadron. The Allied ships fired several patterns of torpedoes and saw four enemy transports and one torpedo boat sink as the Japanese destroyers searched in the strait for non-existent submarines.

She engaged the enemy in Sumatra and Bali.

On 21 May 1943, she sailed for New York and reported for transatlantic convoy duty. She completed one convoy passage before joining Paul Jones and Belknap in an offensive antisubmarine group with Croatan. She operated with this group until 15 Oct 1943 when she transferred to another antisubmarine group formed around CVE 21 USS Block Island.

Parrott participated in sinking U-220 on 28 Oct 1943 which was credited to the Block Island's planes.

While getting underway for Norfolk on 2 May, Parrott was rammed by John Morton, and was so severely damaged she had to be beached by tugs. Later towed to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, she was decommissioned 14 June 1944.

 

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A carrier task group is only as strong as its supporting destroyers. The following destroyers / destroyer escorts are mentioned in the history of CVE 21 or the history of CVE 106. The table indicates some of the characteristics of the destroyers / destroyer escorts mentioned on this website.