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DE-697 USS George

GEORGE DE-697 Displacement: 1,400 t. Length: 306’ Beam: 37’ Draft: 13’6” Speed: 23.6 k. Complement: 213 Armament: 3 3”; 4 1.1”; 8 20mm; 3 21” torpedo tubes; 2 depth charge tracks; 8 depth charge projectors; 1 hedge hog Class: BUCKLEY

GEORGE (DE-697) was laid down 22 May 1943 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; launched 14 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Harlow F. George, the mother of Seaman Second Class George, and commissioned at New Orleans, La., 20 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Page in command.

After shakedown off Bermuda, GEORGE sailed from Boston 11 January 1944 to escort a merchantman from Norfolk to Noumea, New Caledonia, where she arrived 19 February. Until the spring of 1944, GEORGE escorted transports to the Admiralties, the New Hebrides, and the Solomons during consolidation operations in the Solomons. On 16 May, she sailed from Florida Island, Solomons, in a hunter-killer group with sister ships ENGLAND (DE-635) and RABY (DE-698), on what was to become one of the most successful antisubmarine actions in the Pacific war.

During this patrol, from 19 to 31 May, the three-ship team sank six Japanese submarines (I-16, RO-106, RO-104, RO-116, RO-108, and RO-105) in waters north of the Bismarck Archipelago--a truly remarkable achievement. GEORGE arrived Manus 4 June after this feat, and during the next 3 months, she conducted antisubmarine patrols and escorted merchantmen to the New Hebrides, the Solomons, and the Marshalls.  After serving briefly as stationship at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, she steamed to Australia, arriving Sydney 12 October.

After returning to Purvis Bay, Florida Island, 28 October, GEORGE resumed antisubmarine patrols and escorted convoys to New Guinea, Manus, Guam, and Saipan. During the liberation of the Philippines she escorted convoys out of Ulithi and in February 1945 she escorted ships from Guam to Iwo Jima during the invasion and occupation of that embattled island. In addition, she served as air-sea rescue station, and on 18 April 1945, she rescued three survivors from a B-29 forced to ditch off Iwo Jima. During the summer of 1945, she made two escort voyages to Okinawa, one each from Ulithi and Guam, and, after the Japanese surrender, she delivered surrender terms 12 September to the Japanese garrison stationed on Truk, Carolines. She departed Guam 18 September and sailed for the United States, where she arrived San Pedro, Calif., 5 October.

Between 10 March 1946 and 9 April 1947, GEORGE deployed with the 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific. She operated along the Japanese coast and steamed to Tsingtao and Shanghai, China, where she supported American and Chinese Nationalist troops during occupation operations against the Communists in North China. From 1947 to 1951, she served with Escort Division 31, attached to the Fleet Sonar School at Pearl Harbor. GEORGE moved to San Diego with the Fleet Sonar School in 1951 and served there until undergoing overhaul at Peal Harbor in the spring of 1953. Following return to San Diego in September 1953, she sailed for Sasebo, Japan, 10 November and conducted hunter-killer and screening operations in Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan waters. She returned to San Diego 25 June 1954, and for more than a year she operated out of San Diego along the coast of southern California.

GEORGE sailed on her next WestPac cruise 4 October 1955. She operated out of Guam for more than 2 months and conducted surveillances of the Carolines, Marianas, Bonin, and Volcano Islands before reaching Yokosuka, Japan, 17 January 1956. She participated in convoy, antisubmarine warfare, and gunnery exercises until 10 March when she sailed for the West Coast, arriving San Diego 31 March. Subsequently, she resumed operations out of San Diego, highlighted by an October 1956 cruise to British Columbia. On 3 January 1957, she again sailed to join the 7th Fleet, the force for peace in the Far East. After steaming to New Zealand and Japan, she served as station ship at Hong Kong; participated in SEATO maneuvers off the Philippines, and operated out of Guam on island surveillance patrols in the Marianas. Departing (Guam 10 June she returned to San Diego 7 July. On 18 September 1957, GEORGE was assigned to duty as a reserve training ship out of San Francisco. She decommissioned at San Francisco 8 October 1958 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Stockton, Calif., where she remains.

GEORGE received two battle stars for World War II service. [Stricken from the Navy Register on 1 November 1969,

GEORGE was sold 12 October 1970.

K. Jack Bauer and Stephen S. Roberts, “Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy, 1775-1990,” p.231.]