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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Otter (DE 210)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - X - U - Z
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
Otter (DE 210) Building and Operational Data:
  • 26 July 1943: Laid down by Charleston Naval Shipyard
  • 23 October 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. William M. Otter, mother of Lt. Otter
  • 21 February 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. D. M. Kerr, USNR, in command
  • 27 October 1945: Celebrated Navy Day at Bridgeport, Ct. in company with Hugh Purvis (DD 709), Skipjack (SS 184), Marlin (SS 205), and Intrigue (AM 253)
  • 05 May 1947: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 3 years and 2 months of service
  • 01 November 1969: Struck from the NVR
  • 10 July 1970: Sunk as target off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Otter 64k Bethel Veech Otter was born 12 September 1914 at Louisville, Ky. He reported to the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., as a midshipman from Kentucky, 12 June 1933. He received his commission as an Ensign on 03 June 1937 and served in connection with the fitting out of Yorktown and at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., before reporting to Canopus, a submarine tender, on 06 February 1940. He was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) on 03 June 1940 and to Lieutenant 02 January 1942. He received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action and distinguished service as Fire Control Officer of Canopus during an attack by Japanese heavy bombers, Mariveles Harbor, Bataan, Philippine Islands, on 05 January 1942. He was killed in action on Corregidor, 06 May 1942. His Navy citation reads: "The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Bethel V. Otter, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession, in action against enemy Japanese forces on 05 and 06 May 1942, at Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, Philippine Islands. Lieutenant Otter's conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States". He also was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

    USS Otter (DE 210) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook; The Lucky Bag, Class of 1937.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Otter 145k 28 May 1944: Brooklyn, N.Y. - Otter shown lying to off the New York Navy Yard. She had been in the yard since 16 May. During the yard availability she lost her torpedo tubes and loading accessories. Four 40mm guns with their directors were added amidships. SA radar was installed and a stub mast mounting a DAQ antenna was mounted forward of the 1.1" gun director. John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    Otter 169k July 1944 (This is the same photo as above, in a different size, and submitted by another contributor.) Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.

    Otter History
    View the USS Otter (DE 210) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Otter as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Otter's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Feb. 1944 - 10 Oct. 1944Lcdr. Donald M. Kerr, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 10 Oct. 1944 - 26 Nov. 1945Lcdr. James McCabe Irvine, USNR
    3.) 26 Nov. 1945 - 11 Jan. 1946Ccmdr. William Alva McMahan, USNR
    4.) 11 Jan. 1946 - 24 Apr. 1946Lcdr. Harry Ellsworth Davey Jr., USN
    5.) 24 Apr. 1946 - 29 Jul. 1946Lt. John R. Berning, USNR (Cincinatti, Oh.)
    6.) 29 Jul. 1946 - 07 Oct. 1946Lt. Raymond Edward Bock, USN (USNA '44) (Wadpole, Mass.)
    7.) 07 Oct. 1946 - 14 Oct. 1946Lt.(jg) J.W. Dillion, USNR
    8.) 14 Oct. 1946 - 27 Nov. 1946Lt.(jg) Thomas F. Erwin, USNR
    9.) 27 Nov. 1946 - 05 May 1947Lcdr. Oscar Jerome Beavers, USN (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Bill Nielson, SOM 2/c
    Address: 15943 E. Lantana Lane
    City/State: Fountain Hills AZ 85268
    Phone: (602) 816-9553
    E-mail: wsnlan at
    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

    USS Otter Website
    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 Otter
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 22 March 2019