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USS Damon M. Cummings (DE-643)
Namesake: Lieutenant Commander Damon M. Cummings (1910-1942), U.S. Navy officer and Navy Cross recipient
Builder: Bethlehem Steel
Laid down: 17 October 1943
Launched: 18 April 1944
Commissioned: 29 June 1944
Decommissioned: 3 February 1947
Struck: 1 March 1972
Fate: Sold for scrap, 18 May 1973
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,740 long ton full
1,400 tons, standard
Length: 306 ft 0 in (93.27 m)
Beam:   36 ft 9 in (11.20 m)
Draft:   13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Propulsion: GE turbo-electric drive,
12,000 shp (8.9 MW)
two propellers
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: 4,940 nautical miles (9,150 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers, 198 enlisted
Armament: 3 × 3 in (76 mm) DP guns,
3 × 21 in (53 cm) torpedo tubes,
1 × 1.1 in (28 mm) quad AA gun,
8 × 20 mm cannon,
1 × hedgehog projector,
2 × depth charge tracks,
8 × K-gun depth charge projectors

USS Damon M. Cummings (DE-643) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Damon M. Cummings (1910–42), who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism on board USS San Francisco (CA-38) during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Damon M. Cummings was launched on 18 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, California; sponsored by Mrs. D. M. Cummings; and commissioned on 29 June 1944, Lt.Cmdr. C. R. Millett, USNR, in command.

Clearing San Francisco on 8 September 1944 Damon M. Cummings escorted a convoy to Eniwetok and then sailed on to Port Purvis, Florida Island, arriving on 15 October. She served in the Solomons until 6 November, and on 19 November she arrived at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, from which she patrolled shipping lanes until 2 January 1945.

Returning to Port Purvis on 18 January 1945, Damon M. Cummings continued escort and patrol duty in the Solomons until 9 March. After repairs to her sound gear at Manus Island, she arrived at Leyte on 19 March to rendezvous with an LST group which she screened to the invasion of Okinawa on 1 April. She remained on patrol off Okinawa until 1 May, then escorted convoys from Ulithi, Saipan, and San Pedro Bay. Leyte, to Okinawa until the end of the war.

Damon M. Cummings remained in the Far East after the war, serving on air-sea rescue stations in the Marianas and visiting Tokyo from 3 to 12 October. On 1 November she cleared Saipan for an overhaul at Bremerton, Washington. She returned to the Western Pacific to provide services to the fleet at Tsingtao and Shanghai, China, and off Haiphong and Saigon, Indo-China, between 15 February and 16 September 1946. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Long Beach, Calif. on 3 February 1947.

Damon M. Cummings received one battle star for World War II service.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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