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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

ex-HMS Bentinck (BDE-13)
USS Brennan (DE 13)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - G - C - U

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
American Campaign Medal - 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
Brennan (DE 13) Building and Operational Data:
  • 28 February 1942: Keel laid by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 22 August 1942: Launched as HMS Bentinck (BDE-13)
  • 06 January 1943: Reallocated to U.S. Navy, reclassified as DE 13 and renamed Brennan
  • 20 January 1943: Commissioned, Lt. Harry A. Adams, Jr., USNR, in temporary command until relieved the next day by Lcdr. Mark E. Dennett
  • 09 October 1945: Decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard after 2 years and 8¾ months of service
  • 24 October 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 1946: Sold, scrapped
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    145k John Joseph Brennan was born in Philadelphia on 14 June 1920. He attended West Catholic High School and graduated in 1936. Following his graduation he matriculated at La Salle College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting before enlisting in the Naval Reserve on 06 July 1940. He trained in the former battleship Wyoming (AG17) before he terminated his enlistment to accept an appointment as a midshipman in the Naval Reserve on 10 August 1940. A member of the first class to be educated at the Naval Reserve Midshipman’s School located in Brooklyn, New York, he trained for three months at the floating armory that had been created out of the former battleship, Illinois, and reported for duty on the Neutrality Patrol in USS Quincy (CA39) on 29 November 1940.

    After serving in that heavy cruiser for almost a year, he was detached on 15 December 1941 to join Armed Guard Crew Number 34 at the Armed Guard Center, New York. He reported for duty on 20 December 1941 and, on the last day of 1941, received orders detailing him to command the 24 gunners and three communications men of the armed guard unit assigned to the freighter S.S. Otho. On 03 April 1942, while the ship steamed alone off the eastern seaboard, the German Type VII submarine U-754 torpedoed her and sent her to the bottom. He was one of the first men killed during the encounter with the U-Boat. Ensign John J. Brennan was the first La Salle man to lose his life in the line of duty. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. His other awards include the American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal

    USS Brennan (DE 13) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Both photos from the archives of  La Salle University thanks to Brother Joseph L. Grabenstein, Archivist)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    157k 22 August 1942: A view of the launching cradle of HMS Bentinck (BDE-13) just prior to her launching at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4952-42)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    125k 22 August 1942: This photo, and the one below are of the north building ways at Mare Island taken when HMS Bentinck (BDE-13), later USS Brennan (DE13), was launched. The bows of all DE in the picture are from right to left are HMS Bentinck (BDE-13), HMS Berry (BDE-14), HMS Blackwood (BDE-15) and HMS Byard (BDE-16). Note that Bentinck is flying the Union Jack.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4966-42)
    136k As above, photo taken as the launching party and crowd arrive.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4952-67)
    124k 22 August 1942: Distinguished guests at the launching of HMS Bentinck (BDE-13) at Mare Island. From left to right: Radm J. W. S. Dorling, RN (Senior Officer of the British Supply Council in North America), Mrs. W. L. Friedell, Radm W. L. Friedell, USN (Shipyard Commandant), Miss Cynthia J. Carr (Sponsor), Capt. Frederick Crisp, USN (Yard Manager), Miss Ruth Zimmerman (Maid of Honor) and the Honorable Ralph L. Carr (Governor of Colorado).

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4994-42)
    153k 22 August 1942: The Sponsor and Maid of Honor for the launching of HMS Bentinck (BDE-13) pictured on the day of the launching at Mare Island. Left to right are: Miss Ruth Zimmerman (Maid of Honor) and Miss Cynthia J. Carr (Sponsor).

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4986-42)
    102k 22 August 1942: Miss Cynthia J. Carr (Sponsor) christens HMS Bentinck (BDE-13) at Mare Island Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4990-42)
    86k 22 August 1942: The HMS Bentinck (BDE-13) is waterborne after her launching at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-4995-42)
    222k 1943: Miami, Florida - A sailor guarding the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Brennan (DE 13) in port.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #UA 478.08 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    140k 03 February 1943: USS Brennan (DE 13) is seen off Mare Island shortly after commissioning.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-13-922-43)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    268k mid-March 1943: location unknown - USS Brennan (DE 13) view looking forward from the bridge, showing two of her 3"/50 guns.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 76079 Courtesy of Mr. James Russell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1972, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    158k 18 March 1943: Low starboard bow view of USS Brennan (DE 13) Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    222k 01 June 1943: Miami, Florida - "The destroyer escort USS Brennan (DE-13) sits moored at one of the piers in Miami. The Brennan spent the war employed as a school ship for indoctrinating officers and nucleus crews for assignment with the fleet. The training sessions were completed in the Miami Straits off the Florida coast.

    (Image courtesy of the Associated Press)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    94k circa 1943 Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    365k 02 November 1944: USS Brennan photographed in the Atlantic off the Florida coast.
    (U.S. Navy Photo #2-2994 [vertical view] and 2-2993 [portside view] taken by the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

    (These photos came from Tim's Dad, Lt. Sam McGeachy, Brennan's engineering officer during the war.)

                  Life Aboard Brennan: Additional Shipboard Photos from Lt. Sam McGeachy
    Tim McGeachy
    64k Undated Wartime Image -
    42k Undated Wartime Image
    400k No date or location given, back just says "Picture of Navy's new destroyer escort, the DE 13, as seen from a blimp at sea." Russ Padden
    256k 19 December 1944: Miami, Fla. - Brennan's officers pose for a group photo.

    (Photo labelled: USNTC MIAMI, FLA. Photo Lab)
    George Harper

    Brennan History
    View the USS Brennan (DE 13) 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.

    Brennan's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  20 Jan. 1943 - 21 Jan. 1943Lt. Harry Atherton Adams, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.)  21 Jan. 1943 - 13 Apr. 1943Lcdr. Mark Edwin Dennett, USN (USNA '32) (Phoenix, Ariz.)
    3.)  13 Apr. 1943 - 11 Jul. 1943Lcdr. Noah Adair Jr., USN (USNA '31) (San Bernardino, Cal.)
    4.)  11 Jul. 1943 - 07 Oct. 1943Lcdr. George Harold Miller
    5.)  07 Oct. 1943 - 14 Nov. 1943Lcdr. Richard Gordon Werner, USNR
    6.)  14 Nov. 1943 - 23 Jul.1944Lcdr. Thomas Albert Peacock, USNR (USNA ‘34) (Dallas, Tex.)
    7.)  23 Jul.1944 - 12 Nov. 1944Lcdr. Carroll Walter Brigham, USNR
    8.)  12 Nov. 1944 - 10 Jul. 1945Cmdr. Irving Edward Davis, USNR (prior enl.) (Providence, R.I.)
    9.)  10 Jul. 1945 - 08 Sep. 1945Lt. Arthur David Fell, Jr., USNR
    10.) 08 Sep. 1945 - 09 Oct. 1945Lcdr. John Jacob Geiss, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information./p>

    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: 13 April 2023