- Buckley Class Destroyer Escort:
- Displacement: 1673 tons
- Length: 306'
- Beam: 36'10"
- Draft: 13'6"
- Speed: 23 knots
- Armament: 3 3"/50, 3 21" torpedo tubes, 1,2 40mm or 1 1.1",
8 20mm, 1 hedgehog, 2 deptch charge tracks, 8 "K" gun projectors
- Complement: 15 officers, 198 enlisted
- Turbo-electric drive, 12,000
- Built at
Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich and commissioned 1943
This Navy escort ship was named after
Donald Hays Spangler. The USS Spangler served during World War II in the
Pacific. She served from 24 December 1943 to 8 October 1958 when she was
decommissioned at Astoria, OR. She was then placed in the reserve fleet and was
finally sold for scrap on 20 November 1972.
shakedown in the vicinity of Bermuda, Spangler joined a convoy on 24 December
1943 and headed tor the Pacific via the Panama Canal. She arrived at Bora Bora,
in the Society Islands, on 20 January 1944 There she received orders to
rendezvous with convoy Task Unit 116.15.3 as the flagship of Commander Escort
Division 39 and to head for Espiritu Santo New Hebrides Islands. In
mid-February, she escorted Shasta (AE-6) to Purvis Bay, Florida Island, in the
Solomons, and then took up patrol station off Guadalcanal two days later. After
escorting Alnitah (AK 127) to Torokina Point on Bougainville, she rounded out
the month patrolling off Blanche Harbor, Treasury Island, and off Purvis Bay.
For the next three months, Spangler escorted convoys on shuttle runs between
various islands in the South Pacific. During that period, she visited
Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, New Caledonia, Florida Island, Majuro, Emirau,
Rendova, and Manus.
In late May, Spangler sailed from Tulagi to the Admiralty Islands with a supply
of hedgehog depth charges for England (DE - 35), Raby (DE - 98), and George (DE
- 97). She rendezvoused with the three ships at Manus on the 27th, delivered her
cargo, and the four ships sortied the next day to join a hunter/killer group
formed around Hoggatt (CVE-75). The task group was steaming north during the
waning hours of 30 May when Hazelwood (DD-531) made a sound contact on the
Japanese submarine, RO-105. While England and Spangler headed toward the
southern end of the scouting line, Raby and George charged to the attack. Both
ships attacked the enemy, but with no apparent success. During the night, they
lost contact with the submerged enemy However, after a few hours, the Japanese
commanding officer obligingly surfaced between Raby and George and switched on
his searchlights. England and S~angler raced toward the shaft of light which
fixed RO-105's position for them perfectly. By 0500 on the 31st, they were in
contact with Raby and George, and with the Officer in tactical command IOTC). At
first light, Raby and George each attacked the Japanese sub in quick succession.
When their efforts failed, Spangler joined the fray. She attacked with 24 depth
charges, but without success. England's full pattern of depth charges at 0735
brought a huge explosion and a watery grave to RO-105.
On 2 June, the ships joined Task Group (TG) 30.4 and returned to Seeadler Harbor
at Manus. Spangler continued to operate with Hoggatt Bay until
the 21st, when
she headed for Purvis Bay and overhaul. From the completion of overhaul in late
July until the end of September, the destroyer escort operated out of Purvis Bay
on escort assignments and antisubmarine warfare training. During that period,
she called at Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Barika Island, Tulagi, Eniwetok,
Tarawa, and Hollandia. In October, Spangler became station ship at Funafuti in
the Ellice Islands. However, she was so employed only briefly and soon returned
to Purvis Bay and escort duty and, for the remainder of 1944, screened ships
shuttling to Kossol Passage, Ulithi, and Guam.
Spangler's base of operations was changed to Guam on New Year's Day 1945. She
was assigned to escort duty on the Guam-Ulithi supply route and the additional
duty of hunter-killer operations. Over the next three months, she escorted and
patrolled as a part of the Marianas-Iwo air-sea rescue unit. From 26 April to 27
May, she served as station ship at Saipan; then she returned to her screening
station off Guam until the end of the war. On 4 September, after returning to
Guam from Okinawa, Spangler got underway, in company with Raby, and headed back
to the United States. The two destroyer escorts stopped at Pearl Harbor on 22
September; then continued on to San Pedro, Calif., for overhaul.
After overhaul, Spangler departed the west coast on 20 February 1946 to return
to the western Pacific, via Pearl Harbor and Guam. She remained in the Far East
for the next five months and, during the deployment, visited the Chinese ports
of Swatow, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tsingtao. Spangler put in at Okinawa on 19
November and remained until 1 February 1947, when she got underway in company
with Osmus (DE-701) and Currier (DE-700) to return to the United States.
Spangler entered San Diego on 2 March 1947 and, for the next eight and one-half
years, operated out of that port along the California coast. During those years,
she often visited Long Beach and San Francisco and made five voyages to Hawaii
and one to Acapulco, Mexico. On 4 October 1955, the destroyer escort departed
San Diego for the western Pacific. She stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor and at
Midway, and made Yokosuka, Japan, on the 22d. Spangler was deployed for six
months, during which time she visited Sasebo, Japan; Hong Kong; and Subic Bay in
the Philippines. She left Yokosuka on 13 March 1956 and after stops at Midway
and Pearl, reached San Diego on 31 March. With the exception of one short trip
to Long Beach and back in mid-September! Spangler spent the remainder of 1956 in
port at San Diego.
On 3 January 1957, the destroyer escort again headed westward from San Diego.
This voyage took Spangler on a tour to many of the places made famous over a
decade before; among her ports of call were Kwajalein Atoll and Auckland, N.Z.,
in January; Manus in the Admiralty Islands in February, Guam in February and
March; and Corregidor, Manila, and Singapore in April. She also visited
Yokosuka, Japan; Sattahip, Thailand; Hong Kong; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Sasebo,
Japan, Chinhae, Korea; and Kobe and Beppu, Japan. On 20 June 1957, Spangler
headed homeward from Yokosuka. She returned to San Diego on 7 July and, for the
next 15 months, operated along the west coast. On 8 October 1958, Spangler was
decommissioned at Astoria, Oreg., and joined the Columbia River Group of the
Pacific Reserve Fleet. She remained in reserve until 1 March 1972, when her name
was struck from the Navy list. Her hulk was sold on 20 November 1972 to Zidell
Explorations Inc., of Portland, Oreg., for scrapping.
Spangler (DE-696) earned two battle stars during World War II.