Please Report Any Broken Links Or Trouble You Might Come Across To The Webmaster
Please Take A Moment To Let Us Know So That We Can Correct Any Problems And Make Your Visit As Enjoyable And As Informative As Possible.

Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

ex-HMS Essington (BDE-21)

USS Harold C. Thomas (DE 21)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - D - N - Q
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/ 2 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
Harold C. Thomas (DE 21) Building and Operational Data:
  • 30 April 1942: Keel laid as HMS Essington (BDE-21) by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 18 December 1942: Launched, christened by sponsor Mrs. Gladys Goss, wife of Cap't Nelson H. Goss, CO of Mare Island Naval Ammunition Depot, retained for U.S. Navy use, redesignated DE 21
  • 31 May 1943: Commissioned by Cap't F. W. Scanland, USN, Captain of the Mare Island Navy Yard, Cmdr. H. Reich in command, assigned to Commander, Western Sea Frontier
  • 25 October 1945: Decommissioned at San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 5 months of service
  • 28 November 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 25 November 1946: Sold for scrapping to the Pacific Bridge Co., San Francisco, Cal.
  • 26 March 1947: Scrapping commenced
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Harold C. Thomas 114k 18 December 1942: Distinguished guests at the launching of HMS Essington (BDE-21) are from left to right: Capt Nelson H. Goss, USN (Ret), Mrs Hugo W. Osterhaus, Radm Hugo W. Osterhaus, USN (Ret.), Speaker, Mrs. Nelson H. Goss, Sponsor, Radm W. L. Friedell, USN (Shipyard Commandant), Mrs. W. L. Friedell (Matron of Honor), Mr. Luther E. Gibson, and Mrs. Luther E. Gibson.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-21-7944-42)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Harold C. Thomas 112k 18 December 1942: Mrs. Nelson H. Goss, Sponsor is pictured in front of the bow of the HMS Essington (BDE-21) at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-21-7939-42)
    Harold C. Thomas 83k 18 December 1942: Radm. Hugo W. Osterhaus, USN (Ret.) was the guest speaker at the launching of the HMS Essington (BDE-21) at Mare Island. Radm W. L. Friedell, USN (Shipyard Commandant) is to the left of Radm Osterhaus.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-21-7940-42)
    Harold C. Thomas 1188k 18 December 1942: Mrs. Nelson H. Goss the Ship's Sponsor is pictured christening the HMS Essington (BDE-21) at Mare Island. From left to right: Radm W. L. Friedell, USN (Shipyard Commandant), Mrs Goss, unidentified Navy officer, and Mrs. W. L. Friedell (Matron of Honor).

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-21-7941-42)
    Harold C. Thomas  1.) 345k   Harold C. Thomas  2.) 277k   Harold C. Thomas  3.) 403k

    undated: Three late-war views of USS Harold C. Thomas (DE 21) taken at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station.
    David Wright
    Destroyer Archives
    Manager, Navsource
    Harold C. Thomas 421k port bow, undated

    (Photo replaced with better copy from David Wright, DD Archive Manager, 27 July 2020)
    Donald T. Livsey
    via his son Bryan
    Harold C. Thomas 131k the gunnery division
    Harold C. Thomas 310k Photos of two unidentified divisions aboard Harold C. Thomas. David Wright
    Destroyer Archives
    Manager, Navsource
    Harold C. Thomas 290k

    Harold C. Thomas History
    View the USS Harold C. Thomas (DE 21) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Harold C. Thomas as submitted by the ship at war's end.
    View a short article on the design and development of the Evarts Class DE submitted by Bob Sables.

    Harold C. Thomas' Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 31 May 1943 - 07 Sep. 1943Cmdr. Herman Reich, USNR (Comm. CO) (San Bernardino, Cal.) (ret. as Radm.)
    2.) 16 Sep. 1943 - 23 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Volney Hamilton Craig Jr., USNR
    3.) 23 Jan. 1944 - 05 Jan. 1945Lcdr. Edward Joseph Haddon, USNR (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
    4.) 05 Jan. 1945 - 06 Oct. 1945Lcdr. Godfrey Cheshire Jr., USNR (Decomm. CO) (Raleigh, N.C.)

    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, 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
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail: Webmaster.

    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 27 July 2020