Bright DE-747

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This Month in Naval History
Bright DE-747

Bright

Born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., 4 September 1912, Graham Paul Bright graduated from the Academy in 1935. A fiscal specialist, Lieutenant Bright was killed in action on Guam 10 December 1941.

(DE-747: dp. 1240; 1. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 11'8"; s. 21 k.;
cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Cannon)

Bright (DE-747) was launched 26 September 1943 by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Graham Paul Bright, widow of Lieutenant Bright - and commissioned 30 June 1944, Lieutenant Commande; W. A. McMahan in command.

On 19 September Bright sailed from San Diego as escort for SS John B. Floyd to Hilo, T. H., and thence to Pearl Harbor. From 1 October to 20 November Bright operated out of Pearl Harbor on anti-submarine and gunnery exercises. Between 24 November 1944 and 30 April 1945 she operated with TG 12.3 conducting a series of hunter-killer searches near the Hawaiian and Marshall Islands.

On 30 April 1945 Bright sailed from Eniwetok to Saipan where she reported to TF 51 for duty in the Escort Pool. On 5 May she sailed as escort for a convoy enroute to Okinawa, arriving 10 May. The following day she took station as a unit of the transport screen. At 1919 on 13 May she opened fire on a low-flying Japanese fighter, scoring hits on his engine and port wing. The port wing fell off but the plane continued approaching at full speed and crashed immediately astern of the fantail. A 500-pound bomb exploded at the moment of crashing, causing immediate loss of steering with the rudder jammed hard left. The after steering room was completely demolished, both port and starboard depth charge racks were damaged and inoperative, smoke screen generators blown off, the main deck aft buckled and pierced, and three compartments opened to the sea. Two men were wounded and for the following hour it was impossible to keep the ship from circling.

Bright was towed to Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands, for emergency repairs and on 22 May sailed in convoy for Ulithi. On 31 May she was underway from Ulithi to ,Portland, Oreg., via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor. From 23 June until 8 September she remained at Portland under repair and then sailed to Charleston, S. C., arriving 25 September 1945. She proceeded to Green Cove Springs, Fla., 24 October 1945, where she went out of commission in reserve 19 April 1946. Bright was transferred 11 November 1950 to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Bright received one battle star for her World War Il service.

 

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