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|136k||Walter Wesley Coolbaugh was born on 01 August 1918 at Ransom, Pa. and enlisted in the Naval Reserve for aviation training 14 November 1940 after graduating from Keystone
Junior College. He was attending American University in Washington, D.C. when he received his appointment as a Naval Aviation Cadet. On 07 December 1941 Walter was a dive bomber pilot
on USS Yorktown (CV 5). While aboard Yorktown he was soon involved in some of the great naval conflicts in the Pacific, including Tulagi Harbor, the Marshall &
Gilbert Islands, and the Coral Sea. It was as a result of his actions during the battle of the Coral Sea that he was awarded the Navy Cross. He was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade)
01 October 1942. Prior to the loss of Yorktown at the battle of Midway, he was transferred to the USS Saratoga (CV 3) and then, after Midway, to the USS
Enterprise (CV 6).
In August 1942 he was in the group of eleven Enterprise aircraft that became known as Flight 300 when they flew to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal while it was cut off by surrounding Japanese forces. The Flight 300 aviators flew and fought from Guadalcanal until 27 September 1942, when their Douglas Dauntlesses expended in one way or another and they were evacuated by DC-3s. After his service on Guadalcanal and a brief leave at his home in Pennsylvania, Walter was reassigned to Bombing Squadron 12. On 19 December 1942, LT(jg) Walter W. Coolbaugh was lost at sea in the Pacific Ocean as a result of a mid-air collision during training operations.
USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) (1943-1960) was the first ship named in his honor. (Photo and paraphrased biography from USS Coolbaugh web site.)
|409k||13 March 1944: Espiritu Santo - USS Coolbaugh (DE 217), USS Lovelace, and USS Darby (DE 218) are nested with USS Ingersoll
(DE 652) at the fleet anchorage. Photo taken by Milt Volkens aboard USS Langley (CVL 27).
(From the Langley/Volkens Photo Collection at Eastern Carolina Univ.)
West Chester, Pa.
|82k||29 May 1943: Philadelphia Navy Yard - The christening of six destroyer escorts in a dry-dock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The three ships in the foreground are
(from left): USS Enright (DE 216), USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) and USS
Darby (DE 218). Those in the background are (from left), USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE 219), USS
Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) and USS Solar (DE 221).
(U.S. Navy Photo #NH 75610 from the Naval History and Heritage Command, Courtesy of James Russell, 1972)
|136k||15 November 1945: Mare Island Navy Yard, San Francisco, Cal - Forward plan view of USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) at Mare Island. USS J. Douglas
Blackwood (DE 219) is inboard of Coolbaugh.
(U.S. Navy photo #DE-217 7192-45)
PNCM, USNR (ret.)
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
|186k||15 November 1945: Mare Island Navy Yard, San Francisco, Cal. - Aft plan view of Coolbaugh at Mare Island. J. Douglas Blackwood is
inboard of Coolbaugh. Coolbaugh was in overhaul at the yard from 4 September to 17 November 1945.|
(U.S. Navy photo #DE-217 7191-45)
|73k||Coolbaugh shown in original configuration with 3"/50 guns prior to conversion in 1945 when 5"/38's replaced the 3"/50's.||Edwin Wheat|
|83k||circa 1945||Robert Lamb|
|132k||undated post war image||Jerry Defoe|
|66k||circa 1954||Edwin Wheat|
|32k||circa 1955||Bob Hurst|
England, United Kingdom
|51k||circa 1957||J. Andrus|
|286k||1959: Port broadside aerial view of the destroyer escort USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) underway.
(U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 1038488 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
of Havana, Cuba
|View the USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Coolbaugh as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Coolbaugh's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 15 Oct. 1943 - 19 Feb. 1944||Lcdr. Leon Samuel Kintberger, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '32) (Baltimore, Md.) (ret. as Radm.)|
|2.) 19 Feb. 1944 - 13 Jun. 1945||Cmdr. Stuart Trowbridge Hotchkiss, USNR (Madison, Conn.)|
|3.) 13 Jun. 1945 - 31 Jan. 1946||Lcdr. Stanley E. Zimmerman, USNR|
|4.) 31 Jan. 1946 - 01 May 1946||Lcdr. Kipling W. Wise, USNR|
|5.) .. May 1946 - .. Jun. 1947||Lcdr. Edward H. Winslow (USNA '42) (Dallas, Tex.)|
|6.) .. Jul. 1947 - .. Jun. 1949||Lcdr. Howard Lyons Stone, Jr. (USNA '41)|
|-.) .. Jun. 1947 - .. Aug. 1947||Lt. Laverne Andrew Bordwell (XO)|
|-.) .. Aug. 1947 - .. Dec. 1948||Lt. George Hand Sharp|
|-.) .. Dec. 1948 - .. .... 1950||Lt. Robert Arnould Wulf|
|9.) .. .... 1950 - .. .... 1951||Lcdr. Albert Andrew Richards|
|10.) .. .... 1951 - .. .... 1953||Cmdr. John Richard Lance Cassidy (Bridgeport, Conn.)|
|11.) .. .... 1953 - .. .... 1955||Lcdr. Thomas Stanley McCarthy (OCS '41) (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)|
|12.) .. .... 1955 - .. .... 1956||Lcdr. Paul Edward Arbo (USNA ‘44) (New Orleans, La.)|
|13.) .. Aug. 1956 - 14 Jan. 1958||Cmdr. William Warner Upshaw (USNA ‘44) (Raleigh, N.C.)|
|14.) 14 Jan. 1958 - 21 Feb. 1959||Lcdr. William Jackson Tipler (Stevenson, Ala.)|
|15.) 21 Feb. 1959 - .. .... ....||Cmdr. William J. Godfrey, Jr. (Bridgeport, Conn.)|
|16.) .. .... .... - 21 Feb. 1960||Cmdr. Frederic William Kinsley (Decomm. CO) (USNA ‘35) (Marblehead, Mass.)|
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.
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