USS John C. Butler (DE-339) History

The John C. Butler class was established as a destroyer frigate (DE) during World War II (1939-1945) and was originally numbered 293 ships. However, the planned 210 batches were cancelled and only 83 batches were actually completed, including the lead ship USS John C. Butler (DE-339).

The Steward was laid by Union Steel on October 5, 1943, and launched on November 12 of the same year. She officially enlisted in the United States Navy (USN) on March 31, 1944, and had a decades-long career during World War II and the Korean War (1950-1953).

USS John C. Butler (DE-339) is named after US Navy aviator John Clarence Butler (1921-1942) who was killed in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

Destroyer escorts assume the primary role of escort and fleet control, and are more economical than full-fledged destroyers (where the necessity of war determines numbers rather than capabilities). The Butler class is armed with a range of weapons, including dual-purpose (DP) guns, anti-aircraft (AA) guns, and underwater fighter depth charges.

USS John C. Butler himself was armed with 2 x 5" (127 mm) DP deck guns, 4 x 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns, 10 x 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns and 3 x 21" torpedo tubes. She also carried 8 depth charge launchers, 2 depth charge racks and 1 "Hedgehog" depth charge launcher.

Armed with this weapon, Butler can fight virtually any type of enemy threatwhether from the air, sea, or underwater.

The first notable operation of the USS John C. Butler took place at the Battle of Leyte Gulf as part of the Allied retake of the Philippines in October 1944. This included the Battle of Samar (October 25), in which 6 American escort carriers, several destroyers and escort destroyers fought against 4 Japanese battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and about 11 destroyers.

The kamikaze attack was also part of the Japanese plan.

Not only did Butler put down the smokescreen, she attacked the enemy warship with her torpedoes and then at a shorter range with her deck guns. To the surprise of the Americans, the Japanese fleet did not take greater risks to protect the oncoming Allied transport ships, but began to retreat. Butler then stayed at the station to rescue the crew who had been thrown into the water when the USS San Lo sank, an escort carrier attacked by kamikazes. The troops returned to Pearl Harbor (escorted by Butler), who left for Manus in mid-December. She was then used to cover the Luzon landings, and in January 1945 her determined crew repelled a wave of kamikaze attacks.

The ship then participated in the protection of the aircraft carrier force in Lingayen Bay (South China Sea).

Their next contribution to the war was the Battle of Iwo Jima, part of the final Allied advance towards Tokyo. She continued to support the Okinawa amphibious landing, using the Butler as a control ship to protect the landing ground forces. In addition to this duty, it is used to protect the fleet, as well as when required in Search and Rescue (SAR) and Search and Destruction (SAD) operations.

She was injured by a kamikaze attack on 20 May 1945 when she was attacked by six fighter jets - her crew of gunners managed to take down five attackers - her damage proved to be minimal , so she stayed in the fight.

Her last action in World War II consisted of escorting a convoy and finally back to the West Coast of the United States. After Japan surrendered in August 1945 and World War I officially ended, she retired from active duty on June 26, 1946.

Butler returned to service on December 27, 1950 to fight in the Korean War and train as part of the 11th Naval District, her retirement days did not last long. After the war ended in 1953, she retired for the second and last time on December 18, 1957.

In 1971, her stripped hull was used as a target.

During her storied wartime career, the USS John C. Butler received a total of five Battle Stars, and her various awards include the Presidential Unit Commendation, the Naval Unit Commendation, and the World War II Victory Medal.

USS John C. Butler (DE-339) Specification

Basic

Year:
1944

Roles

- Blue Water Operations

- Fleet Support

- Hunter

- direct attack

- Professional/Practical

Dimensions

Length:

306 feet (93.27 m)

width/width:

36.7 ft (11.19 m)

Elevation/Draft:

2.87m

Weight

Displacement (surface):

1,370 tons

Performance

2 x boilers power 2 x gear steam turbines producing 12,000 shaft horsepower on 2 x shafts.

Performance

Speed ??(surface):

24 kn (28 mph)

Area:

5,996 nautical miles (6,900 miles; 11,104 km)

Armor

2 x 5" (127 mm) /38 deck guns (single)

2 x 4 40mm anti-aircraft guns (dual)

10 x 20mm anti-aircraft gun (separately mounted)

3 x 21" torpedo tubes

8 x Deep Charge Projector

2 x depth charge traces

1 x Hedgehog Deep Charge Projector

Wing

No.

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