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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Pennewill (DE 175)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Class: Cannon
Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1240 tons (light), 1620 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 10,800 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 / 201
Pennewill (DE 175) Building and Operational Data:
  • 26 April 1943: Keel laid at the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Port Newark, N.J.
  • 08 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Lucie Reilly Pennewill
  • 15 September 1943: Commissioned at the New York Navy Yard by Yard Commandant Radm. Monroe Kelly, Lt. John Edward Allen, USNR, in command
  • 01 August 1944: Decommissioned at Natal, Brazil after 10˝ months of service; recommissioned the same day in the Brazilian Navy as Bertioga (Be-1).
  • 30 June 1953: Returned to U.S. control and simultaneously transferred outright to Brazil under terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program
  • 20 July 1953: Struck from the NVR
  • 1975: Sold, scrapped
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    75k William Ellison "Bill" Pennewill was born in Dover, Del. on 20 February 1907. Following his graduation from Dover High School he was appointed Midshipman on 18 June 1925. He was commissioned Ensign 06 June 1929 and reported for duty under instruction in flying, at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. His next duty was in Salt Lake City, then with Scouting Squadron 10-S, aboard Chicago. On 07 March 1932 he reported for duty with the Aircraft Scouting Force until 02 June 1934, when he was transferred to Bombing Squadron 3-B, aboard Ranger. He returned to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola and on 02 August 1941 joined the 16th Bombardment Wing. After serving at the Savannah Air Base, Savannah, Ga., until 06 March 1942, he was assigned duty involving flying in connection with the fitting out of Escort Scouting Squadron Twelve. On 29 May 1942, as Lieutenant Commander, he was in command of the squadron and while serving in this capacity, was killed, 23 June 1942, as a result of an airplane crash, while on duty at the Naval Air Station, Kodiak, Alaska. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for outstanding achievement in aerial flight in contact with the enemy, for leading his inexperienced squadron in a series of remarkable flights over strange terrain and through most severe weather conditions, and for gallantly giving his life in the service of his country. He was also awarded the Purple Heart by a grateful nation.

    USS Pennewill (DE 175) (1943-1944) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Pennewill 40k October 1943: as seen in her original configuration -
    Pennewill 49k date / location unknown: ex-USS Pennewill as the CTE ("Contratorpedeiro de Escolta" / Destroyer Escort) Bertioga (D-21), in service with the Brazilian Navy.

    (Official Brazilian Navy Photo)
    Luiz Brazil Cotta
    FT3 (Ret. Brazilian Navy)
    Pennewill 49k variation of the above photo Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Courtesy of
    Tom Kermen

    Pennewill History
    View the USS Pennewill (DE 175) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Pennewill's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 15 Sep. 1943 - 01 Aug. 1944Lcdr. John Edward Allen, USNR (Comm. / Decomm. CO) (Oswego, N.Y.)

    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

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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: 24 April 2021