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USS Creamer (DE 308)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - J - V
Class: Evarts
Type: GMT (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, short hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1,140 tons (light), 1,430 tons (full)
Length: 283' 6" (wl), 289' 5" (oa)
Beam: 35' 0" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Model 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 19 kts
Range: 4,150 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 - 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 - 1.1"/75 cal. Mk2 quad AA (4x1), 9 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 183
Creamer (DE 308) Building and Operational Data:
  • 05 July 1943: Keel laid by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 23 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. D. E. Creamer, mother of Ensign Creamer
  • 05 September 1944: Construction cancelled while Incomplete
  • 25 September 1944 to 26 April 1945: Stored in ARD-21
  • 09 November 1945 to 16 November 1945: Docked in ARD-32, cut in two in prep for scrapping; scrapped onsite at Mare Island
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    William Wilson Creamer (01 December 1916 - 05 June 1942)

    William Wilson was the son of William Lee Creamer and Dora Elizabeth Weber who married on 26 November 1904 in Railroad, York, Pennsylvania. His siblings were four sisters, Mary Ellen, Arvilla Evelyn, Jennie Lee, and Thelma Dora Creamer. His father worked for the railroad as a fireman. That probably explains why the births of his first four children were in four different states. Wm L. left his job as a railroad employee before 1916 when he was recorded as being a laborer on his son's birth certificate. In the 1920 census, he listed his occupation as farmer. He moved his family in the late 1920s to California from Pennsylvania. According to the San Antonio, Los Angeles, Cal. 1930 federal census he was back working for the railroad as a train engineer. By 1940, he worked sporadically as a laborer for some of the construction companies that his son worked for.

    The Great Depression put a huge strain on this family of seven. To make matters even more difficult tragedy struck William's two oldest sisters, Mary and Arvilla. Arvilla's husband, Claude Louis Boyer, was killed on 02 October 1939 when his car was struck by a train at a railroad crossing. A coroner's jury found the railroad at fault. Several weeks later, Mary's husband, California Highway Patrolman Samuel George Cope, was seriously injured when a car struck his motorcycle. Samuel died from complications from those injuries on 16 January 1940. Mary was the mother of one young daughter and Arvilla was the mother of five children under the age of six.

    Shortly after arriving in California William W. entered Huntington Park High School in 1931 for his freshman and sophomore years. He also became a Boy Scout and then a Patrol Leader in Troop #17 in Huntington Park, Cal. He earned 11 merit badges. In September 1933, he attended Polytechnic High School, Riverside, Cal. completing his junior and senior years. He graduated on 14 June 1935. On 23 September 1935, he entered Riverside Junior College. During the summer of 1936, Bill went to work to provide for tuition expenses and help with family expenses. He worked as a laborer for the Macco Construction Company at Sausalito, Cal. They were building the approaches to the, as yet unfinished, Golden Gate Bridge.   (CONTINUED....)

    USS Creamer (DE 308) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 93595 from the U. S. Naval Historical Center)

    (Note: This photo of Torpedo Squadron Eight pilots was taken in May 1942. The only pilot to survive the Battle of Midway in June of 1942 was Ens. George H. Gay, Jr.)
    Gerry Lawton
    Commander, USN (ret.)
    Saluda, N.C.

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    Missing In Action
    75k 23 February 1944: Mrs. D. E. Creamer (sponsor) christens the USS Creamer (DE 308), as Mrs. Leonard W. Jones (Matron of Honor) watches.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-308-1236-44)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    94k 23 February 1944: Creamer immediately after her launching.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-308-1240-44)
    109k 23 February 1944: Bow view of Creamer.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-308-4149-44)
    144k 03 July 1944: Stern view of Creamer, ship in the middle. Left to right: A MK6 LCT built at Mare Island, USS Creamer (DE 308) and USS Ely (DE 309).

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-308-4172-44)
    144k I believe this is Hunters Point and the DE in background to be DE 308 (Creamer) which was built and launched at Mare Island but never completed. There were 3 Mare Island DE's not completed and two were cut in half and pulled onto the large building ways at the yard and scrapped. It makes sense that the third one could have gone to Hunters Point for its appointment with the cutting torch. Gurnard came to Mare Island on 11/26/45 and was placed into Reserve on 11/27/45.

    Creamer History
    View the USS Creamer (DE 308) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View a short article on the design and development of the Evarts Class DE submitted by Bob Sables.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    Page Last Updated: 15 November 2021