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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Torpedoed in the Western Mediterranean - 29 of her crew
were lost with the ship and remain on eternal duty

USS Fechteler (DE 157)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - D - N - 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 w/ 1 star - WWII Victory Medal

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 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: 15 / 198
Fechteler (DE 157) Building and Operational Data:
  • 07 February 1943: Keel laid by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.
  • 22 April 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Joan S. Fechteler, granddaughter of Rear Admiral Fechteler and niece of Lieutenant Fechteler
  • 01 July 1943: Commissioned at Berth 108, St. Helena Annex of the Norfolk Navy Yard, Berkley, Va., Lcdr. C. R. Simmers, USN, in command
  • 05 May 1944: Sunk, torpedoed by U-967 off Oran, Algeria. 29 crewmembers were killed and 26 wounded. Laning (DE 159) and other ships of the convoy rescued 186 survivors.
  • 18 July 1944: Struck from the Navy List with only 10 months of service

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    99k Augustus Francis Fechteler, born in Prussia 01 September 1857, was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1877. His distinguished career of service in important posts included command of the 2d, 6th and 7th Divisions of the Atlantic Fleet, the Norfolk Navy Yard, and the 5th Naval District. He was awarded the Navy Cross for exceptionally meritorious service in duty of great responsibility as Commander of the 6th Division and the Norfolk Navy Yard during World War I. Rear Admiral Fechteler died at the Naval Operating Base, Hampton Roads, Va., 26 May 1921.

    His son, Frank Casper Fechteler, born 8 July 1897 in San Rafael, Calif., was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1918, ordered to duty in 1917. He served in Paducah through World War I, and after the war was trained as an aviator. His last duty was in Langley (CV-1). While preparing to compete in the Pulitzer Trophy Race of 1922, Lieutenant Fechteler was killed in an airplane crash near Detroit 18 September 1922.

    USS Fechteler (DE 157) (1943-1944) was the first ship named in their honor, she was succeeded by DD 870 (1946-1970).

    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    60k Fechteler (DE 157) and Reeves (DE 156) at Norfolk Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Navy photo, date unknown (but obviously prior to commissioning).
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    97k 01 July 1943, Commissioning cermony. Larry Carr
    263k 10 January 1944: Brooklyn, N. Y. - USS Fechteler lies between USS Roe (DD 418) and USS Osmond Ingram (DD 255) at the New York Navy Yard pier J. Fechteler had entered the Yard on 31 December 1943 for scheduled repairs. She remained until 15 January 1944, when she departed for Quonset Point, R. I. to conduct experimental anti-submarine exercises with the Anti-Submarine Development Group, Atlantic.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NA-19-N-61300 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.
    560k 31 March 1944: Brooklyn, N.Y. - Looking aft from the bow, the bridge superstructure details of USS Fechteler (DE 157) can easily be seen here. The Fechteler and two unidentified sisters are moored together at the New York Navy Yard. The ship has just completed a convoy escort deployment from Londonberry, North Ireland. After initially arriving in Londonberry on 06 March 1944, she joined the escort of a New York-bound convoy, reaching the United States 22 March.

    (U.S. Navy, Bureau of Ships Photo #BS 65722 from the United States National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.

    Fechteler History
    View the USS Fechteler (DE 157) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Fechteler's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 01 Jul. 1943 - 01 Nov. 1943Lcdr. Clayton Rogers Simmers, USN (Comm. CO) (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    2.) 01 Nov. 1943 - 05 May 1944Lt. Calvert Burke Gill, USN (CO when sunk) (Baltimore, Md.)

    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.

    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: 08 April 2023