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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Torpedoed in the Central Atlantic - 30 of her crew
were lost with the ship and remain on eternal duty

USS Fiske (DE 143)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - Q - D - A
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 - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - WWII Victory Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 8 / 201
Fiske (DE 143) Building and Operational Data:
  • 04 January 1943: Keel laid by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 14 March 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Frances Chalkley, wife of Cap't Henry G. Chalkley, USNR, supervisor of shipbuilding at Consolidated Steel Corp.
  • 25 August 1943: Commissioned at the City Dock, Orange, Tex., Lcdr R. P. Walker in command
  • 02 August 1944: Sunk, torpedoed by U-804 while attacking in the Central Atlantic. Survivors were rescued by USS Farquhar (DE 139) with the loss of 30 men.
  • 22 August 1944: Struck from the Navy List

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    58k Bradley Allen Fiske was born on 03 June 1854 in Lyons, N.Y. and was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Ohio in 1870, graduating four years later and receiving his commission as a Navy Ensign in July 1875. Fiske's early service years included duty as an officer on board the steam sloops-of-war Pensacola andPlymouth, both on the Pacific Station, and the paddle steamer Powhattan in the Atlantic. He also received instruction in the field of torpedo warfare. Promoted to Master in 1881 and Lieutenant in 1887, he had training ship duty in USS Saratoga and USS Minnesota, served in the South Atlantic Squadron on the steam sloop Brooklyn, and was twice assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington DC. As one of the Navy's most technically astute officers, in 1886-1888 he supervised the installation of ordnance on USS Atlanta, one of the first of the Navy's modern steel warships. In 1888-1890 he was involved in the trials of USS Vesuvius, whose large caliber compressed-air guns were then considered a promising experiment, and was in charge of installing electric lighting in the new cruiser Philadelphia.

    During the rest of the 1890s, Lt. Fiske was employed at BuOrd and at sea, in San Francisco and the gunboats Yorktown and Petrel, in which he took part in the Battle of Manila Bay. Following the Spanish-American War, Fiske continued his service in Philippine waters on board the monitor Monadnock. Promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant Commander in 1899, Commander in 1903 and Captain in 1907, he was an Inspector of Ordnance, Executive Officer of USS Yorktown and battleship Massachusetts, CO of the monitor Arkansas and cruisers Minneapolis and Tennessee, had recruiting duty, served as Captain of the Yard at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, attended the Naval War College and was a member of the Navy's General Board and the Army-Navy Joint Board, among other assignments.

    Bradley Fiske became a Rear Admiral in August 1911, subsequently commandd three divisions of the Atlantic Fleet, and served as the Secretary of the Navy's Aide for Inspections. In February 1913 he was appointed Aide for Operations, a post that later became that of Chief of Naval Operations. In this position he forcefully advocated the creation of a Naval general staff and the elevation of the Nation's preparedness for war. Following a year at the Naval War College, Radm. Fiske was retired upon reaching the age of 62 in June 1916. However, his professionally-related activities continued into the mid-1920s with service as President of the U.S. Naval Institute and several sessions of temporary duty with the Navy Department. During his very creative career, Fiske invented a large number of electrical and mechanical devices, with both Naval and civilian uses, and wrote extensively on technical and professional issues. Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske died at New York City on 06 April 1942.

    USS Fiske (DE 143) (1943-1944) was the first ship named in his honor, she was succeeded by DD 842 (1945-1980).    (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph #NH 49555)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    133k 14 March 1943: Ready for launching at the Consolidated Steel Corporation Shipyard, Orange, Tex.

    (Official U.S. Navy photo #NH102966 from the Naval History and Heritage Command.)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    63k 20 October 1943: Underway in New York Harbor.

    (Official U.S. Navy photo #NH53909 from the Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1967)
    Fiske  1.) 375k       Fiske  2.) 161k       Fiske  3.) 107k       Fiske  4.) 165k

    27 November 1943: Brooklyn, N. Y. - Four detail shots of Fiske at the New York Navy Yard. On 25 November Fiske had returned to New York after escorting USS Orizaba (AP 24) from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She moored at the 35th Street Pier of the Navy Yard Annex in Brooklyn. On the morning of 27 November, she shifted her berth to Pier C at the Navy Yard itself, mooring outboard of Butler (DD 636) and Gherardi (DD 637). In photo #4 you can see the rails for Gherardi's "Mousetrap" ASW weapon. On the morning of Sunday, 28 November, Fiske shifted her berth back to the 35th Street Pier at the Annex. On 02 December she left Brooklyn to pick up the New York Section of Convoy UGS-26 and escort it to Norfolk, Va. There they would pick up the rest of the convoy and escort it to Casablanca, French Morocco.

    (U.S. Navy photos #19N55726, 19N55727, 19N55729, and 19N55728 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)

    1.) 0614310       2.) 0614311       3.) 0614312       4.) 0614313
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.
    79k 02 August 1944: the Atlantic Ocean - Torpedoing of Fiske while on anti-submarine patrol in the North Atlantic. Seen and photographed by an aircraft for USS Wake Island (CVW-65). Fiske is in the foreground after receiving a torpedo hit amidships in her engineroom. The turbulence of the water caused by the explosion can be seen in the lower left corner of the photo. USS Douglas L. Howard (DE-138) is in the background dropping depth charges.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-270255 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    Tracy White
    Seattle, Wash.
    59k 02 August 1944: the Atlantic Ocean - Fiske lies on her side with a broken keel, sinking.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-270256 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    146k 02 August 1944: Keel broken and sinking. Edib Krlicbegovic
    Bosnia - Hercegovina
    125k 02 August 1944: the Atlantic Ocean - The fore and after sections of Fiske are shown sinking.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-270258 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    Tracy White
    Seattle, Wash.
    96k 02 August 1944: Ship's stern floating in the North Atlantic, after she was broken in two by a torpedo from the German submarine U-804. This section had to be sunk by gunfire. Photographed from an airplane based on USS Wake Island (CVE 65).

    (Official U.S. Navy photo #80-G-27260 from the National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    49k 02 August 1944: Ship's bow floating in the North Atlantic, after she was broken in two by a torpedo from the German submarine U-804. This section had to be sunk by gunfire. Photographed from an airplane based on USS Wake Island (CVE 65). Note sonar dome on Fiske's keel.

    (Official U.S. Navy photo #80-G-27259 from the National Archives)

    Fiske History
    View the USS Fiske (DE 143) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Fiske's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 25 Aug 1943 - 20 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Robert Power Walker, USN (Comm. CO)
    2.) 20 Jan. 1944 - 02 Aug. 1944Lt. John Alfred Comly, USNR (Last CO) (Philadelphia, Pa.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Farquhar / Fiske 24th Annual Reunion (and 5th Official LAST Reunion)
    20 - 24 April 2009 at the
    Pocmont Resort (800-762-6668) at Bushkill PA

    Contact Name: Jim Klepper
    Address: 251 Ashville Ave.
    City/State: Mount Carmel TN 37645
    E-mail: Jim Klepper
    Contact Name: Mrs. Kay Miller
    Address: 140 Woodlyn Ave.
    City/State: Willow Grove PA

    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
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Fiske
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    Page Last Updated: 03 February 2023