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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Finch (DE 328)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - M - D
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Dayton"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon
Second Row: China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row: Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal
Fourth Row: National Defense Service Medal w/ star - Korean Service Medal (USCG Service) - Vietnam Service Medal w/ 6 stars
Fifth Row: Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - United Nations Korean Service Medal (USCG Service) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 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: 8 / 201
Finch (DE 328) Building and Operational Data:
  • 29 June 1943: Keel laid at the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 28 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Grace Cushing, fiancee of Lieutenant (junior grade) Finch
  • 13 December 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr. Albert H. Nienau, USNR, in command
  • 04 October 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years and 10 months of service
  • 21 August 1951: Loaned to USCG and Recommissioned WDE 428 at Pier 4, U.S. Naval Station Green Cove Springs, Fla., Cdr G. R. Boyce, Jr., USCG, in command
  • 23 April 1954: Decommissioned and returned to U.S. Navy custody at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. after 2 years and 8 months of service
  • 01 October 1955: Conversion to DER commenced at Mare Island Naval Shipyard
  • 17 August 1956: Reclassified as DER 328, Recommissioned, Lcdr. James K. Athow in command, assigned to Escort Squadron 5 at Seattle, Wash.
  • 16 September 1958: Homeport reassigned to Pearl Harbor, Hi.
  • 22 May 1960: Homeport reassigned to Treasure Island, San Francisco, Cal.
  • 29 June 1965: Homeport reassigned to Guam, as a unit of Escort Squadron 7
  • 15 January 1969: Homeport reassigned to Pearl Harbor, Hi.
  • 07 March 1969: Played the role of USS Ward in the filmimg of the movie "Tora, Tora, Tora"
  • 03 October 1969: Decommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash.; placed in reserve after 13 years and 2 months of service
  • 01 February 1974: Struck from the NVR with a total of 18 years and 8 months of service
  • 27 September 1974: Sold for scrapping to the Levin Metals Corp., San Jose, Cal.
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Finch 34k Joseph Warren Finch, Jr. was born in Chicago, Ill. on 08 March 1920. He graduated from University City Senior High School in suburban St. Louis. During his senior year, he was the Missouri state champion in the 120-yard high hurdles. His winning time of 15.1 seconds set a new Missouri state record. He graduated from Northwestern University in June 1941. He placed third in the Big Ten high-hurdles race, and was elected by his teammates captain of the Northwestern track team. He was also selected as the outstanding Naval ROTC cadet, and accepted a commission in the U.S. Navy in May 1941, 6 months before Pearl Harbor. He was killed in action in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942, when his ship, USS Laffey (DD 459) was sunk. Lieutenant (junior grade) Finch shared posthumously in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded his ship for its outstanding performance in action against the Japanese in the southwest Pacific from 15 September until its loss.

    USS Finch (DE 328) (1943-1969) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the USS Finch History by Robert L. Stevens, RdM1c, USS Finch)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    Finch 206k 14 July 1944: Boston, Mass. - USS Finch (DE 328) off the Boston Navy Yard. (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 91574 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Finch 80k undated wartime image David Buell
    Finch 110k 05 March 1954: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - USCG Finch (WDE 428) at Mare Island. She was in overhaul at the yard from 07 January to 16 April 1954.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE 328 20362-3-54)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Finch 83k undated image as WDE 428 Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Finch 105k 17 August 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Commissioning ceremonies for USS Finch (DER 328) at Mare Island. She was converted to her DER configuration at the yard from 01 October 1955, to 12 October 1956.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30746-8-56)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Finch 119k 17 August 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Radm. John R. Redman (Commandant 12th Naval District) is seen at the microphone as the main speaker at the commissioning of Finch.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30749-8-56)
    Finch 111k 17 August 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Lcdr. James Keith Athow reads his orders at the commissioning of Finch.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30751-8-56)
    Finch 281k 17 August 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Colors raised aboard Finch during her re-commissioning ceremonies.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30754-8-56)
    Finch 135k 17 August 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - View of the fantail of Finch during her commissioning ceremonies. USS Durant (DER 389) is seen in the background.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30748-8-56)
    Finch 108k 28 August 1956: San Francisco Bay off Vallejo, Cal. - Port bow photo of Finch off Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30889-8-56)
    Finch 155k 28 August 1956: San Francisco Bay off Vallejo, Cal. - Port beam photo of Finch off Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DER 328 30890-8-56)
    Finch 171k Undated Post-Conversion Photo Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Finch 88k 1960: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - Two scenes from the movie "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" showing Finch moored outboard of Durant. The movie was a 1960 CinemaScope comedy-drama war film starring Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, and Chips Rafferty. It was filmed at Pearl Harbor and the island Kauai. Tommy Trampp
    Benton City, Wash.
    Finch 109k
    Finch 171k March 1966: Finch alongside USS Dixie (AD 14) at Kaoshiung, Taiwan. USS Piedmont (AD 17) is in the background.

    (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    Finch 206k circa 1967 - 68 R.W. Piazza
    Captain, USN (ret.)
    USS Finch MPA/DCA
    Finch 158k 1968: Guam - Finch, moored inboard of USCGC Minnetonka (WHEC67). Larry Roszkowiak
    Finch 127k 1968: Guam - Finch, moored inboard of USCGC Minnetonka (WHEC67).

    (I was the Weapons Officer during the Minnie's deployment to Vietnam in 1968 and, enroute from Long Beach, we re-fueled in Guam. We were moored outboard of Finch. I have attached a picture I took from dockside of both ships.)
    Keith Barker
    Commander, USCG (ret.)

    Finch History
    View the USS Finch (DE 328) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Finch's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, & Russ Moody
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
          U.S. Navy as DE-328
    1.)  13 Dec. 1943 - 28 Apr. 1944Lcdr. Albert Henry Nienau, USNR (NROTC '37) (Seattle, Wash.)
    2.)  28 Apr. 1944 - 18 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Clement D. LeHardy (Hartsfield, S.C.)
    3.)  18 Nov. 1945 - 22 Jul. 1946Lcdr. Eugene Taylor MacDonald (Everett, Wash.)
    4.)  22 Jul. 1946 - 31 Aug. 1946Lcdr. Robert Larue Tully
    5.)  31 Aug. 1946 - 04 Oct. 1946Ens. J. W. Johnstone, Jr.
          U.S. Coast Guard as WDE-428
    1.)  24 Aug. 1951 - 31 Jan. 1952Cmdr. G. R. Boyce, Jr., USCG
    2.)  31 Jan. 1952 - 23 Apr. 1954Lcdr. Bainbridge B. Leland, USCG (USCGA '43) (Clifton Springs, N.Y.)
          U.S. Navy as DER-328
    6.)  17 Aug. 1956 - 03 Jan. 1958Lcdr. James Keith Athow (Tacoma, Wash.)
    7.)  03 Jan. 1958 - 20 Sep. 1959Lcdr. John Albert DíZamba (prior enl. '39; comm. '44)
    8.)  20 Sep. 1959 - 29 Jun. 1960Lcdr. Edwin Joseph Burke
    9.)  29 Jun. 1960 - 20 Jul. 1960Lt. Henry Clay Morris, Jr. (XO, acting CO)
    10.) 20 Jul. 1960 - 15 Jul. 1961Lcdr. Edwin Joseph Burke (Schenectady, N.Y.)
    11.) 15 Jul. 1961 - 22 Mar. 1963Cmdr. Edward Peter Stilwell (San Francisco, Cal.)
    12.) 22 Mar. 1963 - 20 Jul. 1964Lcdr. Leslie Adam Taylor, Jr.
    13.) 20 Jul. 1964 - 07 Jul. 1966Lcdr. George Ira Thompson, USNR (OCS '53) (Chicago, Ill.)
    14.) 07 Jul. 1966 - 22 Apr. 1968Cmdr. Myron Alan Skubinna (OCS '56) (New Salem, N.D.)
    15.) 22 Apr. 1968 - 14 Jul. 1969Lcdr. Robert Lee Grimmell (prior enl. '45 EMC / OCS '56) (Houston, Tex.)
    16.) 14 Jul. 1969 - 03 Oct. 1969Lcdr. Ronald Lloyd Johnson

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    USS Finch DE328 / DER328, USCGC Finch WDE428
    Holds annual reunions, click on ship's web site below
    Contact for ship history, reunions, crew list, both found and deceased

    Contact Name: Robert Bumbulucz
    Address: 1443 Porch Swing Lane
    City/State: Matthews NC 28104
    Phone: (704)882-0570
    E-mail: rbumbulucz 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 Finch 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 Finch
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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: 20 September 2021