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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's Patches Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Courtney (DE 1021)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - C - R - D
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Utah Lake"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Navy Expeditionary Medal - National Defense Service Medal

"Bold Attack"
Class: Courtney
Type: SCB No. 72 / 1954 - 55
Number in Class: 10
Displacement: 1,314 tons (light), 1,877 tons (full)
Length: 308' (wl), 314' 6" (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 19' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 1 De Laval geared turbine; 20,000 shp; 1 shaft
Speed: 26 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Complement: 12 / 161
Guns: 4 - 3"/50 (76mm) Mk33 Guns (2x2)
ASW Weapons: 1 Mk 108 ASW rocket launcher, 6 - 12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 torpedo tubes (2x3) / Mk 46 torpedos
Radars: AN/SPS-5 (surface), AN/SPS-6C (air)
Sonars: AN/SQS-4
Fire Control Systems: Mk63 Gun FCS, Mk105 Underwater Battery FCS
Courtney (DE 1021) Building and Operational Data:
  • 02 September 1954: Keel laid at the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 02 November 1955: Launched and christened by sponsor Mrs. Henry A. Courtney, mother of Major Courtney
  • 24 September 1956: Commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Lcdr C. W. Coe in command, assigned to Escort Squadron 10 at Newport, R.I.
  • -- September 1964: Assigned to the newly formed CortRon 8 at Newport, R.I.
  • 02 July 1968: Placed in "reduced operating status" at Newport, R.I. to provide trained personnel to other ships
  • -- January 1970: Commenced yard overhaul period after which she was restored to full duty
  • -- October 1970: Homeport assignment changed to Naples, Italy
  • -- October 1973: Homeport assignment changed to Norfolk, Va.
  • 14 December 1973: Decommissioned at Naval Station Norfolk (D&S Pier 20, with two other units of CortRon 8) after 17 years and 2 months of service; Struck from the NVR
  • 18 June 1974: Sold for scrapping to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corp., New York, N.Y. for $75,141.00
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    32k Henry Alexius Courtney Jr. was born on 06 January 1916, the youngest of four siblings, and raised in Duluth, Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he received a law degree from Loyola University. While in school, Courtney had contacted a Marine recruiter and began the process of becoming commissioned in the Marine Corps Reserve. He took the oath of service in February 1940 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in March 1940.

    After a stint in Iceland, he commanded a company of Marines during the Battle of Guadalcanal. As a company commander on Guadalcanal in 1942, he shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the First Marine Division. After a bout of malaria that briefly saw him returned to the United States, Courtney requested combat duty and joined 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines in November 1944.

    While serving as executive officer of a battalion of the Sixth Marine Division on Okinawa, Major Courtney was killed in action after exhibiting great courage and self-sacrifice leading a successful night attack against enemy positions on Sugar Loaf Hill 15 May 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and a second Presidential Unit Citation that was earned by the Sixth Marine Division.

    USS Courtney (DE 1021) (1956-1973) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from the web site, Home of Heroes)

    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    52k 02 November 1955: Bay City, Mich. - An AP Wire Photo, caption reads "Mrs. Henry A. Courtney, wife of Duluth, Minn. attorney cracks traditional bottle of champagne across the bow of USS Courtney as destroyer escort vessel was launched at Defoe Shipbuilding Co. yards here today. Ship was named for her son, Major Henry A. Courtney, Jr., Congressional Medal of Honor winner, a hero of the Okinawa Campaign in World War 2. Mr. Courtney is at left." Ron Reeves
    Oaklyn, N.J.
    75k undated

    (U.S. Navy Photo)
    David Waters
    74k An undated postcard view of Courtney celebrating UNITAS (shown at 150% of original size) from the collection of Raymond Strout) Jonathan Eno
    82k An undated postcard view of Courtney.    (Postcard © Arnold Art Store, Newport, R.I.; shown at 150% of original size)

    Caption reads: A unit of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet home-ported at Newport, R.I. on Narragansett Bay. (Official U.S. Navy photograph)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    281k April 1961: Newport, R.I. - Three views of USS Courtney (DE 1021) underway slowly in Narragansett Bay.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH82290, #NH82291, and #NH82292 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    233k 1961: Panama Canal Zone - The U.S. Navy destroyer escorts USS Cromwell (DE 1014), USS Hammerberg (DE 1015), and USS Courtney (DE 1021) pass through the Pedro Miguel Locks of the Panama Canal.

    (U.S. Navy photo from All Hands Magazine)
    413k 24 May 1967: Newport, R.I. - Two views of USS Courtney (DE 1021) underway in Naragansett Bay.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #K-37771, and #NH107515 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    383k late 1960's: the Atlantic Ocean - USS Courtney (DE 1021) underway.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 82293 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    171k 1967: Antwerp, Belgium - A photo of Courtney, moored inboard of USS John Willis (DE 1027) while on a port visit to Antwerp. Gilbert Gyssels
    539k 25 August 1967: the Mediterranean Sea - USS Courtney (DE 1021) breaking away from USS Sylvania (AFS 2) after replenishing from her starboard side. Brumby had just broken away from her port side. The replenishment took place as the ships were travelling from Valletta, Malta to Castellammare, Sicily.

    John McTeague
    North Reading, Mass.
    518k early 1969: Naples, Italy - A photo of Courtney, med-moored in Naples, Harbor. The photo was taken from USS Grand Canyon (AD 28) while the destroyer tender was on her 13th, and final, Mediterranean deployment. David Truby
    SF2, USN
    USS Grand Canyon (AR 28)
    Dec. 1968 - Mar. 1972
    224k 19 August 1970: Narragansett Bay, R.I. - An aerial starboard view of the escort ship USS Courtney (DE 1021) underway. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PHCS Walter H. Long)
    (Note: I served in Courtney from 1970-1972, when she was homeported in Naples. The previous image shows Courtney as-built, with Weapon Alfa and the rear 3-inch mount still installed. When I was aboard, she was in her final (modified) configuration, with only the forward 3-inch mount. The Commodore's cabin was added - modified as squadron flagship during overhaul. The rear mount was removed, replaced by the ITASS shack and spool. This overhaul prepared the squadron for deployment to new homeport at Naples, Italy.)
    John Clingman
    ETR2, USN, 1969-1973
    316k 19 August 1970: Narragansett Bay, R.I. - An aerial port bow view of Courtney underway.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PHCS Walter H. Long)
    263k 19 August 1970: Narragansett Bay, R.I. - A port bow view of Courtney underway.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PHCS Walter H. Long)
    317k 19 August 1970: Narragansett Bay, R.I. - An aerial port quarter view of Courtney underway.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PHCS Walter H. Long)
    164k 19 August 1970: Narragansett Bay, R.I. - A port side view of Courtney underway.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by PHCS Walter H. Long)
    278k 13 March 1971: Naples, Italy - U.S. Navy ships moored in Naples harbor. Ships present are (from left to right): USS Cascade (AD 16); USS Denebola (AF 56); USS Lester (DE 1022); USS Hammerberg (DE 1015); and USS Courtney (DE 1021).

    (U.S. Navy photo #K-88830 by PHC B.M. Anderson from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    79k 18 June 1974: the Dep't of Defense Bid List for the scrapping of ex-DE's 162, 180, 181, 1015, 1021, and 1022 (Levy, Trumpeter, Straub, Hammerberg, Courtney, and Lester). Ed Zajkowski
    Tim Rizzuto
    Courtney Memorabilia
    Early Ship's
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Early Ship's
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Welcome Aboard
    Pamphlet - 1969
    Courtesy of
    William F. Fessenden
    Ship's Lighter
    old style
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Ship's Lighter
    new style
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Crew Dep't
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Decommissioning Booklet
    14 December 1973
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Courtney History
    View the USS Courtney (DE 1021) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Courtney's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  24 Sep. 1956 - .. .... 1958Lcdr. Carl Weston Coe
    2.)  .. .... 1958 - .. .... 1959Lcdr. Levio Edward Zeni (USNA '46) (Storrs, Conn.)
    3.)  .. .... 1959 - .. Feb. 1961Lcdr. John Dryden Exum (USNA '45) (Johnson City, Tenn.)
    4.)  .. Feb. 1961 - .. Jul. 1962Lcdr. Henry Lawrence Stanfield (OCS '47) (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
    5.)  .. Jul. 1962 - .. .... 1964Lcdr. Thomas Henry Nugent Jr. (USNA '48B) (Jersey City, N.J.)
    6.)  .. .... 1964 - .. .... 1965Lcdr. Thomas Richard Kinnebrew (OCS '52) (Decatur, Ga.) (ret. as Vadm.)
    7.)  .. .... 1965 - .. Jan. 1967 Lcdr. Frederick Charles (Fox) Johnson (prior enl. ‘43 / USNA ‘52) (Keewatin, Minn.) (ret. as Radm.)
    8.)  .. Jan. 1967 - .. .... 1968Lcdr. John Louis Townley (NROTC '54)
    9.)  .. .... 1968 - .. .... 1969Lcdr. Albert J. Herberger* (USMMA '55) (Albany, N.Y.) (ret. as Vadm.)
    10.) .. .... 1969 - .. Jul. 1970Lcdr. Bill C. Dean (Charleston, W.V.)
    11.) .. Jul. 1970 - .. Jan. 1972Lcdr. Robert Theodore Reiman (OCS '59) (Cambridge, Mass.) (ret. as Radm.)
    12.) .. Jan. 1972 - .. Nov. 1972Lcdr. Alfred Henry Spruell Jr.
    13.) .. Nov. 1972 - 14 Dec. 1973Lcdr. Wesley Earl Jordan Jr. (USNA '63) (Richmond, Va.) (ret. as Radm.)

    * 1st graduate of the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy to attain the rank of Vice Admiral
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    2022 Reunion for all Newport Based Dealeys
    Escort Squadrons 8, 10, 14

    15 - 18 September 2022 at Baltimore, Md.
    the Washington-Dulles Airport Hilton
    Chairman: Marc Arsenault
    Address: 98 Oxbow Road
    City/State: Charlton MA 01507
    Phone: (508) 248-5072
    E-mail: marc-a at
    contact through Newport Dealey link below
    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

    Home of the Newport Dealeys
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    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 12 August 2023