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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Griswold (DE 7)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - W - M - G
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 3 stars - WWII Victory Medal

Class: Evarts
Type: GMT (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, short hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1,140 tons (light), 1,430 tons (full)
Length: 283' 6" (wl), 289' 5" (oa)
Beam: 35' 0" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Model 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 19 kts
Range: 4,150 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 - 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 - 1.1"/75 cal. Mk2 quad AA (4x1), 9 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 183
Griswold (DE 7) Building and Operational Data:
  • 27 November 1942: Keel laid by the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass.
  • 09 January 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Don T. Griswold, mother of Ens. Griswold
  • 28 April 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr. Charles M. Lyons in command
  • 19 November 1945: Decommissioned at San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 6⅔ months of service
  • 05 December 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 27 November 1946: Sold for scrapping to the Dulien Steel Products Co., Seattle, Wash.
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    107k Donald Thomas "Don" Griswold Jr. was born in Bryan, Tex. on 08 July 1917. Donald T. Griswold Sr., and Margaret "Maggie" E. North married on 09 June 1915 in Austin, Tex. Don Junior's siblings were Margaret Griswold Brown, James North, Mac, and Jack Edward Griswold. Mac died at age seven of Influenza and Pneumonia. Don was a graduate of Clarinda High School where he played on the undefeated 1934 football team. After graduation he attended Iowa State College (Later Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa where he won two letters as a member of the Iowa State football squad. He played first string in the offensive backfield as a half back in 1939-1940. In addition to sports Don belonged to Adelante Fraternity. Adelante men were musically and athletically inclined and devoted to the ideals of scholarship, fellowship and leadership. He was also a member of the Varsity "I" Club which was Iowa State's athletic fraternity. In addition to athletics, Don was also a scholar who majored in Agronomy. It isn't known if Don graduated from Iowa State. He was recorded in the 1940 Iowa State yearbook as a senior. However, he was also listed in the 1941 year book. According to the 1940 Clarinda, Iowa federal census Donald Jr. had completed 3 years of college. While a student at Iowa State Don completed advanced pilot training courses under the Civil Aeronautics board supervision.

    Don "T" enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve Flight Training (V-5) program (NSN:411-48-35) on 24 February 1941 at the Naval Reserve Air Base, Kansas City, Kansas as a Seaman 2/c. The same day he began a 30 day temporary active duty period of Elimination Flight Training that required a successful, short solo flight. He completed E-base on 23 March 1941 and transferred that day to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla. to await an aviation cadet class opening at NAS Pensacola. On 03 April, S2c Griswold transferred to NAS Pensacola, Fla. where he was discharged from enlisted status to accept an appointment as an Aviation Cadet. The next day, 04 April 1941 Griswold took the oath of office and accepted the appointment as an AVCAD. His date of rank as an AVCAD was 01 April 1941.

    After four months of flight instruction in Pensacola, Griswold was transferred for temporary duty with the Advanced Training Specialized Carrier Group at NAS Miami on 21 August 1941. He probably earned his designation as a naval aviator (heavier-than-air) #8814 in later September. Several weeks later (probably mid-October) after he finished advanced flight instruction he accepted a commission as an Ensign, AV-(N), USNR. He was placed on active duty status other than training and was assigned to Advanced Carrier Training Group, Atlantic Fleet, for duty involving flying. Griswold continued his training until joining Scout-Bombing Squadron Eight (VS-8) embarked on the USS Hornet (CV 8) probably as early as February 1942.

    On the morning of the third day of the Battle of Midway, 06 June 1942, fourteen planes from the Hornet's VS-8 led by squadron commander Lcdr. Walt Rodee took off with other planes of Hornet's air group to attack the heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma and two escorting Japanese destroyers that were part of the Japanese forces sent to capture the Midway Atoll. During the subsequent attack Ens. Griswold was credited with a bomb hit on the Mogami but was himself hit by anti-aircraft fire. His plane was seen smoking as it descended toward the ocean below. Ens. Griswold and his gunner, ARM1 Kenneth Bunch, were assumed killed in the ensuing crash. According to the USS Hornet's after-action report dated 13 June 1942, Ens. Griswold and ARM1 Kenneth Cecil Bunch were listed as missing in action on 06 June 1942. Their remains were unrecoverable. They were presumed dead on 07 June 1943. Ens. Griswold was awarded (posthumously) the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

    (Photo courtesy of Paul Griswold, nephew of Don Griswold to Maritime Quest)
    Gerry Lawton
    Commander, USN (ret.)
    Saluda, N.C.

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    Missing In Action
    24k (poor image) bow on view, undated EM2 Smith
    99k 23 May 1944: bow on view of USS Griswold in the Mare Island channel. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 26 April until 26 May 1944.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-7 3112-44)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    97k 23 May 1944: broadside view of Griswold in the Mare Island channel.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-7 3110-44)
    105k 23 May 1944: stern view of Griswold in the Mare Island channel.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-7 3107-44)
    135k undated wartime image David Buell

    Griswold History
    View the USS Griswold (DE 7) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View a short article on the design and development of the Evarts Class DE submitted by Bob Sables.

    Griswold's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 28 Apr. 1943 - 01 Sep. 1943Lcdr. Charles Malaher Lyons Jr., USNR (comm. CO) (Philadelphia, Pa.) (ret. as Radm.)
    2.) 01 Sep. 1943 - 06 Oct. 1944Lt. Marion Chambliss Walley, USNR
    3.) 06 Oct. 1944 - 19 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Logan Cresap Jr., USNR (decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Reunion Information Contact: Bruno Mancinelli
    Address: 24 Walnut St.
    City/State: Monongahela PA 15063
    Phone: (724) 528-5379

    Crew Contact Name: William F. Owens
    Address: 329 Kay Lane
    City/State: Parsons KS 67357
    Phone: (316) 421-4808
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
    been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
    only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    Page Last Updated: 18 July 2021