Robert L. Paine
(DE-578: dp. 1,720 (f.), 1. 306', b. 35'10", dr. 11', s. 24 k.
cpl. 186, a. .3 3", 4 1.1", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 8 dcp.
1 dcp (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)
Robert I. Paine (DE-578) was laid down at the BethlehemHingham Shipyards Ine., Hingham, Mass., 5 November 1943 launched 30 December 1943, sponsored by Mrs. John Paine mother of Private Paine, and commissioned 26 February 1944 Lt. Comdr. Drayton Cochran in command.
Robert I. Paine completed shakedown off Bermuda in midApril 1944 and joined the Atlantic Fleet on the 24th. She departed Brooklyn the same day to screen Ranger (CV 4) and Card (CVE-11) as they transported Army aircraft and Allied personnel to Casablanca. Arriving 4 May, the destroyer escort patrolled olT Casablanca until the 7th; then put to sea for the return voyage. Detached on the 10th, she joined a hunterkiller group centered on Block Island (CVE-21) on the 15th. On the 18th, the group returned to Casablanca, replenished and sortied again on the 23d for another antisubmarine sweep west of the Canary Islands and south of the Azores. On the 2'3th, Block Island was sunk. Barr (DE-576) was struck in the stern. Both were victims of torpedoes from U-549. The remaining escorts commenced rescue and search operations, with Robert I. Paine taking on 279 survivors from the CVE, then moving in to cover the crippled DE. Another escort, Engene E. Elmore (DE-686), made contact with the U-boat, and assisted by Ahrens (DE-575), sank her. The search for survivors was ealled off the next day and the force retired to Casablanea. On 4 June, Robert I. Paine steamed for Gibraltar. Off Europa Point she rendezvoused with GUF 11 and, as a unit of TF 68, escorted the eonvov to New York arriving on the 14th.
ASW training in Casco Bay followed, and on 12 July she anchored in Hampton Roads to await the sailing of UGS 48, a slow convoy to Bizerte. Underway on the 13th, her radar picked up enemy planes shadowing the convoy on the 31st, and she assisted in beating off a Luftwaffe attack on 1 August. At Boston again at the end of the month, she completed another escort run to Bizerte and back in early November then, after further training, resumed antisubmarine activities, this time ranging between Casco Bay, Halifax, and Argentia In February 1945, she shifted to escort work off the southern New England coast and in early March she headed east to join the 12th Fleet for patrol work under the Royal Navy's Western Approsehes Command. She arrived at Liverpool 3 April, and for the remainder of the European War Rob.rt I. Paine guarded convoys on the first or last section of the transatlantic convoy lanes.
On 14 May, Robert I. Paine represented the United States at surrender ceremonies of eight U-boats at Londonderry; then, after a brief return to Liverpool, got underway for the United States.
On 1 June the destroyer escort arrived at New York, whence she continued on to Houston and conversion to a radar picket ship. In January 1946, she trained in the Caribbean, then sailed north for exercises off Maine. Back at Norfolk in March she sailed on the 10th for the Azores and duty as intermediate air-sea rescue ship based at Ponta Delgada. In May she returned to the United States and was laid up for 4 months beeause of lack of personnel. In the fall she underwent overhaul and in January 1947 resumed operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean. Ordered to join the Reserve Fleet in June 1947, she arrived at Charleston 4 September, Decommissioned 21 November, and was berthed with the Charleston Ctroup, Atlantic Reserve Fleet where she remained until struck from the Navy list 1 June 1968. During that time she was redesignated twice, to DER-578 on 18 March 1949, and to DE-578 on 1 December 1954.
Robert I. Paine earned one battle star during World War II.