Hayter DE-212

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This Month in Naval History
Hayter DE-212

Hayter

Hubert Montgomery Hayter was born in Abingdon, VA.. 17 October 1901, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1924. In the following years he served on battleship Arizona, destroyer Yarborough, and other ships, taking command of Ramsay (DM-16) in 1939. Lt. Comdr. Hayter was transferred to New Orleans 5 February 1941, and was killed during an action with Japanese forces off' Savo Island 30 November 1942. Hayter was serving as damage control officer when New Orleans received a torpedo hit, and as Central Station, his battle post, filled with asphyxiating gas, he ordered all men without masks to leave the compartment, giving his own to a partially stricken seaman. After clearing the compartment of all personnel, Lt. Cmdr. Mayter was finally overcome by the fumes. For this extraordinary act of heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

(DE-212: dp. 1400; 1. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 9'5", s. 24 k. cpl 186; a. :] 3", 3 21'' tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.) cl. Buckley)

Hayter ( DE-212) was launched by Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, S.C., 11 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Maurice K. Hayter, widow of the namesake, and commissioned at Charleston 16 March 1944, Lt. Comdr. II. M. Theriault in command.

Hayter departed Charleston 1 April 1944 for shakedown training off Bermuda, and subsequently was assigned to an escort division for Atlantic duty. Between 1 June and 30 November 1944 she made three voyages to Europe, two from Norfolk to Bizerte and one from Casco, Maine, to Bizerte. During the voyages Hayter provided anti-submarine protection and transferred the division doctor to many merchant ships in the convoy needing medical assistance.

Hayter sailed 2 January 1945 on a special duty in the Atlantic, with other units of Escort Division 62. Their assignment to find and sink German submarine U 248, which had been sending vital weather reports to Axis units from the Azores area. The ships conducted several search sweeps before Hayter made contact with the sub 16 January, and after a series of lethal depth charge attacks lasting two hours the submarine was sunk. Hayter patrolled the Azores for a time, then Joined a convoy screen for the voyage back to Norfolk, arriving 5 February 1945.

Departing Casco Bay 17 March, Hayter and her escorts proceeded into the north Atlantic for anti-submarine sweeps in the Iceland area. The ships made a depth charge attack 10 April, but did not score a definite kill. The group returned to Argentia, Newfoundland, 14 April, and departed 4 days later for anti-submarine barrier patrol, cruising between escort carriers Bogue, to the south, and Core, to the north. Contact was made 23 April and all ships searched without avail until the next day, when Frederick C. Davis reported contact on her starboard bow.

As Hayter maneuvered to attack, Davis was struck by a torpedo on her port side amidships, breaking her in two. As the stricken ship settled and sank Hayter began rescue operations, and despite rough seas, sharks, and the threat of further attacks, managed to save 65 survivors and recover 12 of the dead from the sea. Three of the survivors were revived by artificial respiration given by members of Hayter's crew. In the meantime, the other escorts had closed in on the submarine, U 646, and forced it to the surface. Guns quickly sank the U-boat and her captain was later made prisoner.

Hayter arrived Argentia 6 May and sailed two days later for Philadelphia Navy Yard via Boston. She arrived 22 May and began her conversion to high speed

transport, her designation becoming APD~80 on 1 June 1945;.

Emerging as a high speed transport, Hayter departed Philadelphia 13 August 1945 for her refresher training off Guantanamo Bay. She subsequently operated out of Norfolk and Newport in training operations until 30 October, when she departed Norfolk for Jacksonville, Fla. At Jacksonville, Hayter was placed in the Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, decommissioned 19 March 1946 and was later moved to the Texas group, where she remained until struck 1 December 1966

 

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