< Kendall C. Campbell DE-443

Kendall C. Campbell DE-443


Kendall C. Campbell

Kendall Carl Campbell, born 25 July 1917 in Garden City, Kans., after enlisting in the Naval Reserve 28 October 1940, reported to the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Kansas City for flight training 15 November. Appointed Aviation Cadet 1 February 1941, he became an Ensign 19 August. Erb was assigned to carrier combat squadrons, courageously engaging the enemy in the early actions.

During the Battle of the Coral Sea, Ens. Campbell "with disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the sinking or damaging of eight enemy vessels in Tulagi Harbor on 4 May and to the sinking of the enemy aircraft carrier Shoho 7 May." He lost his life in this action and was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

He was also awarded the Gold Star in lieu of the Second Navy Cross for service in New Guinea. "On 10 March 1942, in the face of heavy antiaircraft fire Ensign Campbell ... by his superb airmanship and outstanding courage contributed to the destruction of three enemy ships and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

(DE-443: dp. 1,350; 1. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 9 dcp., 3 21" tt.; cl. John C. Butler)

Kendall C. Campbell (DE-443) was launched 19 March 1944 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. Carl B. Campbell; and commissioned 31 July 1944, Lt. Comdr. R. W. Johnson in command.

Kendall C. Campbell departed New York 20 August 1944 for shakedown exercises off Bermuda. Ten days later she departed Norfolk, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived Pearl Harbor 30 October. The destroyer escort was assigned to hunter-killer operations out of Hawaii with Corregidor (CVE-58) and performed this duty until she sailed for Ulithi 24 November. She immediately commenced ASW patrols designed to keep the supply lanes to the Marianas and Western Carolines open.

Anxiously awaiting her first major, encounter, Campbell put to sea 1 January 1945, and sortied with the Luzon Attack Force for the invasion of Lingayen Gulf. She returned to Ulithi 5 February for a short overhaul period, departing 2 weeks later for carrier escort duty during the occupation of Iwo Jima. When the volcano island was secure, Kendall C. Campbell put into Ulithi to prepare for the Okinawa invasion.

The destroyer escort sailed 21 March accompanying escort carriers as they unleashed air raids in the preinvasion strikes against Japanese positions on Okinawa. After the American assualt forces hit the beach I April, Kendall C. Campbell stood by until the island was free of enemy resistance and offered all possible support to the successful campaign.

As the war moved closer to the enemy homeland, on 26 June Campbell joined the Logistics Support Group, which operated northeast of Honshu, during the carrier strikes on Japan's home islands. In early August she searched for Japanese submarines southeast of Okinawa Gunto and was on this mission when the fighting ended. During the first week of September she furnished ASW patrols for the Tokyo Occupation Force en route to Japan. After escorting a group of 54 LST's from Tokyo to Manila, she returned to Yokosuka 16 October. Kendall C. Campbell departed Japan 4 November, arriving San Pedro, Calif., 22 November. The destroyer escort decommissioned at San Diego 31 May 1946 and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet. At present she is berthed at Stockton, Calif.

Kendall C. Campbell received four battle stars for World War II service.