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USS Reeves (DE-156)
USS Reeves (DE-156)
Name: USS Reeves
Namesake: Thomas J. Reeves
Ordered: 1942
Builder: Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia
Laid down: 7 February 1943
Launched: 22 April 1943
Commissioned: 9 June 1943
Decommissioned: 30 July 1946
Reclassified: APD-52, 7 September 1944
Struck: 1 June 1960
Honors and
1 battle star (World War II)
Fate: Sold to Ecuador, July 1961
General characteristics
Class & type: Buckley-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,400 long tons (1,422 t) standard
1,740 long tons (1,768 t) full load
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m) standard
11 ft 3 in (3.43 m) full load
Propulsion: 2 × boilers
General Electric turbo-electric drive
12,000 shp (8.9 MW)
2 × solid manganese-bronze 3,600 lb (1,600 kg) 3-bladed propellers, 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) diameter, 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) pitch
2 × rudders
359 tons fuel oil
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Range: 3,700 nmi (6,900 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers, 198 men
Armament: • 3 × 3"/50 caliber guns
• 1 × quad 1.1"/75 caliber gun
• 8 × single 20 mm guns
• 1 × triple 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
• 1 × Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar
• 8 × K-gun depth charge projectors
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Reeves (DE-156/APD-52) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, named in honor of Warrant Officer Thomas J. Reeves (1895–1941), who was killed in action, while serving aboard the battleship California (BB-44) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. For his distinguished conduct to bring ammunition to anti-aircraft guns, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

The first Reeves was laid down by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, on 7 February 1943; launched on 23 April 1943; sponsored by Miss Mary Anne Reeves, niece of Chief Radioman Reeves; and commissioned on 9 June 1943, Lieutenant Commander Mathias S. Clark in command.

Service history

Following shakedown, Reeves returned to Norfolk and on 16 August got underway on her first transatlantic escort run, a slow convoy to Casablanca. Arriving at New York six weeks later, she underwent availability and further training, at Casco Bay, then returned to escort duty and for the next 12 months shepherded fast tanker convoys between New York and the United Kingdom. On 18 March 1944, after SS Seakay had been sunk, Reeves rescued 83 of the merchantman's 84 man crew. For heroism during that rescue, one of the escort's coxswains, E. E. Angus, was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. The following day, Reeves took Donnell (DE-56) in tow after she had been torpedoed, stood by until relieved by tugs, then continued on carrying the damaged escort's more seriously wounded men.

Through D-Day and the summer of 1944, Reeves continued to escort fast convoys. On 23 September she completed her last Atlantic escort mission and entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for conversion to a Charles Lawrence-class high speed transport.

Redesignated APD-52 on 25 September, Reeves emerged from the shipyard on 23 December and after amphibious training, headed for the Panama Canal and duty in the Pacific. Arriving at Ulithi on 26 February 1945, she continued on to the Philippines in early March to rehearse for Operation Iceberg, the invasion of the Ryukyus.

On 26 March Reeves arrived off the Kerama Retto invasion area and, after initial duties as a standby ship for Underwater Demolition Team operations, shifted to anti-submarine and anti-aircraft screening duties. She served on that harrowing duty for 109 days interrupted only for a fast convoy to Ulithi and a brief availability in the Philippines. Detached 18 August, the APD delivered men, mail, and provisions to ships of the fleet, then sailed north to Japan. There, into October, she assisted in the repatriation of former POWs, then supported the United States Strategic Bombing Survey mission assigned to the Nagasaki area.

Reeves sailed for the United States on 26 November and, after stops in the Volcano, Marshall, and Hawaiian islands, arrived at San Diego on 23 December. Three days later she continued on, and, on 10 January 1946, she arrived at Boston to begin inactivation. Assigned to the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, she decommissioned on 30 July at Green Cove Springs, Florida where she remained until struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1960 and transferred to the Government of Ecuador for use as an electric generator plant.


Reeves earned one battle star during World War II.


External links

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