Reeves I DE-156

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This Month in Naval History
Reeves I DE-156

Reeves I

DE-156: dp. 1,740 (f.); 1 306'; b 36'10"; dr. 9'5" (mean); s 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 2 dct, 8 dcp.,1 dcp. (hh.), 3 21" tt.; cl. Buckley)

The first Reeves (DE-156) was laid down by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., 7 February 1943; launched 23 April 1943; sponsored by Miss Mary Anne Reeves, niece of Chief Radioman Thomas J. Reeves; and commissioned on June 1943, Lt. Comdr. Mathias S. Clark in command.

Following shakedown, Reeves returned to Norfolk and on 16 August got underway on her first transatlantic escort run, a slow convoy to Casablanea. Arriving at New York 6 weeks later, she underwent availability and further training, at Caseo 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 coxswain's, 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 Philadelphin Navy Yard for conversion to a high-speed transport.

Redesignated APD-52 on 25 September, Reeves emerged from the shipyard 23 December and after amphibious training, headed for the Panama Canal and duty in the Pacific. Arriving at Ulithi 26 February 1945, she continued on to the Philippines in early March to rehearse for Operation "leeberg", 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 U.D.T. operations, shifted to antisubmarine and antiaircraft 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. Detsehed 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 POW's, then supported the U.S. Strategie Bombing Survey mission assigned to the Nagasaki area.

Reeves sailed for the United Slates 26 November and, after stops in the Voleano, Marshall, and Hawaiian islands, arrived at San Diego 23 Deeemher. 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 30 July at Green Cove Springs where she remained until struck from the Navy list 1 June 1960 and transferred to the Government of Eeuador for use as an electric generator plant.

Reeves earned one battle star during World War II.

 

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