The DE was said to be "Trim but Deadly" and was classified as a major combat vessel. There were few tasks DEs could not perform. They engaged shore batteries, suicide manned torpedoes and suicide speed boats. They guarded minesweepers while they performed their dangerous tasks. They even delivered personal mail to other fleet units, a highly important morale function.
Do not envision a Destroyer and think of a DE. Despite its battle strength, the DE was a small ship. They varied from only 1140 to 1450 tons unloaded displacement, 300 tons more when fully loaded, and only 290 to 308 feet in length. Complements ranged from 180 to 220 officers and men. They were vastly more maneuverable than destroyers and had a much smaller turning circle. Also, they had the latest and best equipment in antisubmarine warfare and some were equiped with air search radar.
The destroyer escort played a major role in breaking the back of the German and Japanese submarine fleets and, together with APDs, contributed heavily to the defense against the Kamikaze corps. Read more about and see more photos on the History of the DE pages.
Ask a DE sailor about his time aboard and he will describe the rough-and-tumble ride, rolling one minute and plunging the next, with waves crashing over the forward guns. These sailors say they should have received both flight and sub pay because they were in the air half the time, under the water the other half.
Come aboard to relive the memories or learn more about life aboard a destroyer escort. These pages attempt to show all areas aboard the DE. More photos will be added in the future.
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