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USS Oberrender (DE-344)
USS Oberrender
An undated wartime image of USS Oberrender (DE-344), exact date and location unknown.
Career (US)
Namesake: Thomas Olin Oberrender, Jr.
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas
Laid down: 8 November 1943
Launched: 18 January 1944
Commissioned: 11 May 1944
Decommissioned: 11 July 1945
Struck: 25 July 1945
Fate: Sunk as a target on 6 November 1945
General characteristics
Class & type: John C. Butler-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,350 tons
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 36 ft 8 in (11 m)
Draft: 9 ft 5 in (3 m)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp; 2 propellers
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nmi. (12,000 km) @ 12 kt
Complement: 14 officers and 201 enlisted men
Armament: 2 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 guns (2×1)
4 × 40 mm AA guns (2×2)
10 × 20 mm AA guns (10×1)
3 × 21 in. torpedo tubes (1×3)
8 × depth charge projectors
1 × depth charge projector (hedgehog)
2 × depth charge tracks

The USS Oberrender (DE-344) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Lieutenant Commander Thomas Olin Oberrender, Jr., the engineering officer aboard the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52) who was killed when the ship was torpedoed and subsequently sunk during action in the Solomon Islands.

Oberrender was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Orange, Texas on 8 November 1943; launched 18 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Olin Oberrender, Jr., widow of Lieutenant Commander Oberrender; and commissioned 11 May 1944 with Lieutenant Commander Samuel Spencer in command. Following commissioning and fitting out, Oberrender sailed 28 May 1944 for Bermuda, where she conducted shakedown until early July. She steamed via Norfolk and Aruba for the Panama Canal, which she transitted on 1 August.


Assigned to protect convoys plying between Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, the new destroyer escort completed two runs to the Marshall Islands by 30 September. After a stop at Manus, Admiralties, Oberrender escorted Rear Admiral Sprague’s jeep carriers to the Philippines for the invasion of Leyte. A brief trip to Morotai, however, caused her to miss the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf. The ship was in Seeadler Harbor, Manus, on 10 November only 1,100 yards (1,000 m) from the USS Mount Hood (AE-11) when that ammunition ship blew up. Damages incurred from flying debris and exploding ammunition forced Oberrender to remain at Manus for the rest of November. The next month found her back in fighting trim, and for three more months she conducted escort and patrol duties in the Dutch East Indies and Philippines areas.

As United States forces pushed closer to the Japanese home islands, Oberrender moved along in the van. Through April and into May, Okinawa was the focus of attention. There, on 9 May, a Japanese suicide plane crashed into the plucky escort on her starboard side. A bomb carried by the plane penetrated the forward fireroom, where it exploded and caused extensive heavy damage. Twenty-four sailors were killed, wounded, or listed as missing as a result of the blast. Towed to Kerama Retto, Oberrender was beyond repair. She decommissioned 11 July 1945 and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 25 July. Stripped of all worthwhile equipment, her hulk was sunk by gunfire on 6 November of that year.


Oberrender earned 3 battle stars for World War II service.

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with three battle stars)
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal

See also


Explosion of the USS Mount Hood (AE-11) in Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 10 November 1944. Small craft gathered around the USS Mindanao (ARG-3) during salvage and rescue efforts shortly after Mount Hood blew up about 350 yards (320 m) away from Mindanao's port side. Mindanao, and seven motor minesweepers (YMS) moored to her starboard side, were damaged by the blast, as were the USS Alhena (AKA-9) (in the photo's top left center) and the Oberrender, (top right). Note the extensive oil slick, with tracks through it made by small craft.

External links

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