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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Doneff (DE 49)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - F - E - A
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific 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
Doneff (DE 49) Building and Operational Data:
  • 01 April 1942: Keel laid as BDE 49 by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 24 July 1942: Launched
  • 04 March 1943: retained by the U.S. Navy, named Doneff
  • 10 June 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr. L. C. Mabley, USNR, in command
  • 22 December 1945: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 6½ months of service
  • 21 January 1946: Struck from the NVR
  • 09 January 1947: Sold for scrapping to the National Metal and Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Los Angeles, Cal.
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    72k John Lincoln Doneff, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Doneff of Newark, Ohio, was born on 12 February 1920. Growing up, he attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary School and was graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School. His preparatory work was done at Randal Naval School in Washington, D.C. and he also attended Denison University. Following appointment by Congressman William A. Ashbrook, 17th Ohio District, Doneff entered the U. S. Naval Academy on 30 June 1939. His summer midshipman cruise (08-15 June 1940) saw him serving in the battleship USS New York (BB 34). Doneff's "industry, sense of humor, and willingness to lend a hand," wrote a classmate, "will admit of only success in the fleet." Nicknamed "Bucket," Doneff graduated with the Class of 1943 on 19 June 1942 due to the United States' entrance into World War II in December 1941. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum. Commissioned ensign upon graduation, Doneff served briefly in the Twelfth Naval District (02-07 July 1942), then joined the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola (CA 24) on 16 July 1942. Ensign Doneff was killed in action when his ship was struck by a torpedo during the Battle of Tassafaronga in the Solomon Islands on 30 November 1942. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal. His body was unrecoverable and he is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    USS Doneff (DE 49) (1943-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy thanks to Nell Horn)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    61k starboard side, undated Curt Lange
    100k April 1944: Finger Bay, Adak, Alaska - The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Doneff (DE 49) at Finger Bay, Adak, in early April 1944.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #80-G-439181 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    100k 26 February 1945: Bow on view of Doneff off Mare Island Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #19-LCM-80086 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    96k 26 February 1945: Bow on view of Doneff off Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-49-1439-45)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    123k 26 February 1945: Broadside view. She was in overhaul at the yard from 19 January until 3 March 1945.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-49-1436-45)
    127k 26 February 1945: Stern view of Doneff departing Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-49-1434-45)
    179k 03 March 1945: Amidships looking aft view of Doneff at Mare Island. Note new quad 40mm gun mount in circled area. USS Shubrick (DD 639) is inboard.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-49-1432-45)
    210k 03 March 1945: Amidships looking forward view of Doneff. USS Shubrick (DD 639) is inboard.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-49-1435-45)
    114k 02 July 1945: in the Pacific Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    91k 04 July 1945: in the Pacific

    180th Meridian
    Courtesy of
    Danny O'Leary

    Doneff History
    View the USS Doneff (DE 49) 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.

    Doneff's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 10 Jun. 1943 - 11 Dec. 1943Lcdr. Louis Charles Mabley, USNR (Comm. CO) (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
    2.) 11 Dec. 1943 - 29 May 1944Lcdr. Robert Percy Baruch, USNR
    3.) 29 May 1944 - 04 Oct. 1945Lcdr. Thomas Albert Graham, USNR
    4.) 04 Oct. 1945 - 22 Dec. 1945Lt. Stewart Bolling Hobbs, USNR (Decomm. CO) (Lynchburg, Va.)

    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
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    Page Last Updated: 14 January 2024