Class Destroyer Escort:
3 3"/50, 1x2 40mm or 1 1.1", 9 20mm, 1 hedgehog, 2 depth
charge tracks, 8 "K" gun projectors
15 officers, 183 enlisted
drive with tandem-motor drive; 6,000 h.p.
at Boston Navy Yard
Laid 27 NOV 42
9 JAN 43
15 MAY 43
1 NOV 45
as scrap 8 JAN 47
Born in Chicago, Ill., 24 February 1914, Gus George Bebas was appointed an
Ensign, USNR, 26 May 1938 and a Naval Aviator 5 September 1941. He won the
Distinguished Flying Cross during the Battle of Midway while attached to
Bombing Squadron 8 based on board Hornet (CV-8). Ensign Bebas was killed
in an airplane crash 19 July 1942.
USS Bebas (BDE-10/DE-10) was an Evarts-class short-hull destroyer escort
in the service of the United States Navy. She was named for Ensign Gus
Originally allocated to the Royal Navy under lend lease, BDE-10 was laid
down on 27 November 1942 at the Boston Navy Yard; launched on 9 January
1943; reallocated to the United States Navy on 25 January 1943; named
Bebas (DE-10) on 19 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Angeline M. Bebas,
Ens. Bebas's mother, in a special christening ceremony just before
commissioning; and commissioned at Boston, Massachusetts on 15 May 1943,
Lieutenant Commander George B. Gilbertson, USNR, in command.
After arriving off Bermuda on 17 June for shakedown, the destroyer escort
steamed back to the New York Navy Yard for repairs between 24 and 29 June.
After returning to Bermudan waters to resume her interrupted shakedown
training, Bebas completed that evolution during July and then spent the
next few weeks in coastal escort and patrol operations out of Casco Bay in
Maine, Boston, New York, and Norfolk, Virginia.
Upon departing Hampton Roads on 24 August in company with three of her
sister ships, Bebas sailed for the Pacific. After transiting the Panama
Canal on 1 September, she proceeded via the Galapagos and Society Islands
to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. The warship operated out of that
port during October and November, conducting patrol and escort missions to
Noumea, New Caledonia, and to Guadalcanal in the Solomons. Highlighting
this service was her attempt to salvage the Liberty ship John H. Couch
that had been set ablaze by a Japanese aerial torpedo during a raid on the
night of 11 October.
Bebas, patrolling an antisubmarine sector off Lunga and Koli Points,
Guadalcanal, went to general quarters at 0149 to investigate a "fire
explosion at sea." The destroyer escort then determined the fire to be on
board a beached ship, and reduced speed to draw closer. Going alongside at
0600, Bebas sent over her fire and rescue party to fight gasoline fires
raging in John H. Couch's holds two and three, but the flames had gained
the upper hand. After recovering her men, the warship backed away and
shelled the merchahtman's number two hold, in an attempt to stop the fire
or to sink the ship.
Bebas was subsequently assigned "killer operations and local escort" duty
under the auspices of the Commanding General, Fiji Island garrison, and
carried out those tasks through January 1944. She then resumed convoy
escort and patrol work in the Solomons, New Hebrides, and New Caledonia
areas. In April 1944, the destroyer escort returned to the United States
for an overhaul at Hunters Point.
Clearing the west coast on 30 May, Bebas proceeded via Pearl Harbor to the
Marshall Islands and reached Eniwetok on 27 June for convoy escort duty
between Pearl Harbor and the Marshalls through the end of July. She then
joined a "hunter-killer" task group formed around the escort carrier USS
Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) and provided support for the occupation of the
Western Carolines and for the invasion of the Philippines at Leyte.
Next, after performing screening and escort duties out of the Palaus and
Ulithi late in October, Bebas underwent repairs at Espiritu Santo and then
escorted shipping between the Palaus, Ulithi, and Eniwetok during the
first three months of 1945.
On 2 February 1945, Bebas cleared Eniwetok in company with the tankers USS
Cossatot (AO-77) and SS Egg Harbor, bound for Ulithi. On the second night
out, Bebas and her two charges identified another convoy as friendly and
then picked up a surface radar contact which a quick exchange of
information showed to be "definitely suspicious." Radar plot indicated
that the contact was crossing the track of both convoys.
Bebas obtained permission from the convoy commodore to pursue the target
and went to general quarters. The quarry soon disappeared, only to be
picked up on sonar--a definite submarine. Reducing speed to carry out a
deliberate attack, Bebas stalked the submarine. Soon after her first
"hedgehog" attack failed, she followed up with a second and heard one
sharp and two muffled detonations soon thereafter. A third "hedgehog"
pattern yielded negative results.
An hour later, wood fragments, varying in length from two to ten feet,
found on the water near the attack location prompted Bebas to carry out a
box search through the night; and, the following morning, four other
destroyer escorts and an Eniwetok-based PBM Martin Mariner patrol bomber
joined the search. Between 0800 and 1525, they searched over 600 square
miles of ocean. Late in the search, the PBM sent them to a concentrated
oil slick about four miles from the site of the "hedgehog" attack on the
previous night. Bebas took samples of the slick--heavy sludge or a mixture
of lubricating oil and fuel oil--as well as a piece of wood. That
afternoon, the four destroyer escorts parted company with Bebas, but USS
Bond (AM-152) joined her to continue the hunt. Further investigations
yielded no additional evidence, and the search was terminated at noon on 6
February. Postwar accounting indicated no Japanese submarine losses that
day, so the identity of Bebas' target remains a mystery.
participated in the invasion of Okinawa, escorting transports and patrolling in
the antisubmarine screen off the beachhead. While so engaged on 12 May, she
rescued Lt. Robert R. Klingman, USMC, of VMF-312, after his Corsair had suffered
hydraulic system failure. Later that same morning, while Bebas witnessed the
kamikaze attack on USS New Mexico (BB-40), one of her 20-millimeter guns scored
hits on the "Oscar" before it crashed into the nearby battleship. The destroyer
escort then screened refueling groups supporting carrier strikes on the Japanese
homeland in July before proceeding to Hawaii for repairs and alterations.
She entered Pearl Harbor on 3 August and was still there on 15 August when Japan
agreed to capitulate, ending the war. On 4 September, Bebas departed Oahu for
the west coast of the United States. Reaching San Francisco, California on 9
September, Bebas shifted to San Pedro and was decommissioned there on 18 October
1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1945, and she was
sold to the Pacific Bridge Co., San Francisco, in January 1947 for scrapping.
Bebas (DE-10) was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service.