Harmon DE-72

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This Month in Naval History
Harmon DE-72

Harmon

Leonard Boy Harmon, born 21 January 1917 at Cuero, Tex, enlisted in ,the U.S. Navy as a Mess Attendant Third Class at Houston 10 June 1939. After training at Norfolk he reported to San Francisco for duty 28 October 1939. Advanced to Mess Attendant First Class, Harmon was killed in action aboard San Francisco during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal 12-13 November 1942. With disregard for his own safety Harmon rendered invaluable assistance to caring for the wounded and evacuating them to a dressing station. Harmon was hit while deliberately exposing himself to gunfire as he tried to protect a shipmate. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

(DE-72: dp. 1,400, 1. 306', b. 37'; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl.

186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.
(h.h), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)

Harmon (DE-72) was laid down by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass.; 12 April 1943; assigned to the United Kingdom 10 June 1043; launched as Aylmer 10 July 1943, fiponsored by Mrs. E. M. Mackay; and transferred under lend-lease to the Royal Navy 30 September 1943. As one of the 78 "Captain" class destroyer escorts, she served as a British frigate during ,the remainder of World War II, patrolling the Atlantic and supporting the Allied invasion of Normandy. Following the war, she was returned to the custody of the U.S. Navy at New York 5 November 1845. She was sold to Mr. John J. Witto, Staten Island, N.Y., 20 June 1847, and scrapped in February 1948.

(DE-678: dp. 1,400- 1. 308'; b. 37'; dr. 18'6"; s. 23 k.;
cpl. 213; a. 3 3", 3 40mm., 3 21" tt.; cl. Buckley)

Harmon (DE-678) was launched 25 July 1943, by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., sponsored by Mrs. Naunita Harmon Carroll, mother of Mess Attendant Harmon; and commissioned 31 August 1943, ht. Comdr. Kendall E. Read in command.

After shakedown out of Bermuda, Harmon departed Norfolk 7 November 1943, and transited the Panama Canal to take up duty with the 3rd Fleet. Arriving Noumea 25 December she remained in that area serving as escort ship until 18 September 1944, when she proceeded to Pearl Harbor for overhaul and training.

Harmon returned to Manus 24 November 1944, and Joined the 7th Fleet as a unit of Admiral R. h. Conolly's Luson Reinforcement Group. Harmon sortied from Manus 2 January 1945, with this large convoy and sailed through dangerous waters arriving at the transport area on the eastern side of Lingaygen Gulf 11 January.

On 5 March Harmon arrived off Iwo Jima to act as escort and antisubmarine screen. This duty lasted until 27 March 1945, when she proceeded to Pearl Harbor and reported to the 1st Fleet for training. She remained there until August when Harmon was ordered to Mare Island to increase her fire power by replacing her 3 inch guns with 5-inch mounts.

The war over, Harmon departed San Diego 7 January 1946, enroute the Canal Zone where she conducted training operations with submarine. Clearing Cristobal 28 March Harmon arrived in New London 3 April 1946. Here she trained with submarines until December, then decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 25 March 1947, and joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Harmon was struck from the Navy List 1 August 1965, and sold to North American Smelting Co., Wilmington, Del., 30 January 1967 to be scrapped.

Harmon received three battle stars for World War II service.

 

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