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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Left ship's patch courtesy of James M. Strong, remainder from Mike Smolinski

USS Kretchmer (DE 329)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - E - E
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Mystic Isle"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Fourth Row: Vietnam Service Medal w/ 5 stars- Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w/ 1 star - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

"Outpost Of Defense" - "There When Needed"
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
Kretchmer (DE 329) Building and Operational Data:
  • 28 June 1943: Keel laid at the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange Tex.
  • 31 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Betty Kretchmer, sister of the ship's namesake
  • 13 December 1943: Commissioned at Orange, Tex., Lt. Robert C. Wing, USNR, in command
  • 20 September 1946: Decommissioned at Charleston, S.C., towed to Green Cove Springs, Fla. for storage after 2 years and 9 months of service
  • 20 June 1951: Loaned to USCG and Recommissioned WDE 429
  • 12 August 1954: Returned USN and Decommissioned after 3 years and 1 months of service
  • 21 October 1955: Reclassified and converted to DER 329
  • 22 September 1956: Recommissioned, Lcdr. Charles F. Fadeley in command, assigned to Newport, R.I. as a unit of Escort Squadron 16
  • 02 August 1965: Arrived at her new homeport; Apra, Guam as a unit of CortRon 7
  • September 1969: Homeport assignment changed to Pearl Harbor, Hi.
  • November 1969: Homeport assignment changed to Key West, Fla. as a unit of DesDiv 601
  • 01 October 1973: Decommissioned at the Key West Naval Station after 13 years and ⅓ month of service, Struck from the Naval Vessel Register with a total of 18 years and 11 months of service
  • 14 May 1974: Sold for scrapping
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Kretchmer 23k USS Kretchmer (DER 329) in dazzle camouflage, 1944. -
    Kretchmer 60k circa 1946 Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Kretchmer 116k August 1960: Charlestown, Mass. - USS Kretchmer (DER 329) at the Boston Naval Shipyard.

    (Both Photos © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    Kretchmer 93k
    Kretchmer 45k undated, location unknown, soon after DER conversion Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Kretchmer 93k undated, as DER 329 -
    Kretchmer 113k undated, as DER 329 Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    ***Camp / Kretchmer*** 50k 28 July 1965: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - Kretchmer (Lcdr Clarence E. Chinn, CO), USS Camp (DER 251) (Lcdr Frank N. Hannegan, CO), and USS Hissem (DER 400) (Lcdr Ronald I. Dean, CO) mooring at Pearl Harbor Naval Station. All three ships left Newport, R.I. on Wednesday 07 July 1965 headed for Operation Market Time in South Vietnam. Note the Battle "E" on Kretchmer's bridge wing and also on gun mount #31. They were earned in 1964 under the command of previous CO, Lcdr Stephan A. Wise, and denoted Kretchmer as the most "battle ready" of the eight DER's in CortRon 16.

    (U.S. Navy Photo by PH3 Robert L. Ziesler)
    Allan M. Wilson
    USS Kretchmer
    1964 - 1968
    Kretchmer 291k July 1966: Subic Bay Naval Station, The Philippines - Kretchmer in a floating dry dock.

                  WestPac '66 - '67: Additional Cruise Photos from Lcdr Pillow
    George E. Pillow, Jr.
    Captain, USN (ret.)

    Kretchmer's CO as a
    Lieutenant Commander
    April 1966 - July 1968
    Kretchmer 291k
    Kretchmer 228k
    Kretchmer 258k
    Kretchmer 246k
    Kretchmer 227k late 1966 - early 1967: WestPac - Kretchmer at anchor.
    Kretchmer 237k circa 1968: Kretchmer underway (Note that the AN/SPS-8 height finder radar has been removed from the after deckhouse).
    Kretchmer 191k September 1969: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - A picture of Kretchmer entering Pearl Harbor in 1969 with her long Homecoming Pennant streaming from her mainmast past the fantail. The length of the pennant is indicative of the years of continuous forward deployment to the Western Pacific. Mike Morrissey
    Lcdr., USN (ret.)
    Snohomish, Wash.

    USS Kretchmer
    ASW / Gunnery Officer (69-70)
    Kretchmer 227k circa 1970: Key West, Fla. - USS Kretchmer at sea off the Naval Station at Key West.

    (Photo #MM00003199 from the Ida Woodward Barron Collection, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Kretchmer 188k circa 1970: Key West, Fla. - USS Kretchmer prepares to moor at Trumbo Point, the Naval Station Key West Annex.

    (Photo #MM00003205 from the Ida Woodward Barron Collection, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Kretchmer 142k 1971: Key West Naval Annex, Fla. - A picture of Kretchmer tied up at the Naval Annex. Along side Kretchmer is USS Forster (DER 334). Behind her is USS Thomas J. Gary (DER 326) and outboard of Gary is USS Calcaterra (DER 390). David Learn ('70 - '72)
    USS Kretchmer
    USS Thomas J. Gary
    Kretchmer 497k March 1972: The Carribean Sea - USS Kretchmer off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during an underway replenishment exercise with USS Elmer Montgomery (DE 1082). Richard Gibson
    Captain, USN (ret.)
    USS Elmer Montgomery
    Kretchmer 216k 16 June 1972: USS Kretchmer near Key West, Fla.

    (U.S. Navy Photo by PH3 Thomas C. Faught)
    Alfred D. Noyes
    EN3, DER329, 1959-60
    Kretchmer 53k September 1972: location unknown Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Kretchmer Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Souvenir Ashtray
    circa 1964
    Courtesy of
    Allan M. Wilson
    Coastal Division 15 patch
    click on patch for explanation
    Courtesy of
    Allen M. Wilson
    Lighter with
    ship's emblem
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Kretchmer History
    View the USS Kretchmer (DE 329) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Kretchmer's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  13 Dec. 1943 - 21 May 1945Lcdr. Robert Claude Wing (Comm. CO) (USNA '35) (Augusta, Me.)
    2.)  21 May 1945 - 23 Jan. 1946Lt. Thomas Bulfinch (Natick, Mass.)
    3.)  23 Dec. 1946 - 20 Sep. 1946Lcdr. Harry James Kelley (Decomm. CO) (Utica, N.Y.)
    4.)  22 Sep. 1956 - Jul. 1958Lcdr. Charles Fenton Fadeley (Recomm. CO) (Beckley, W.V.)
    5.)  .. Jul. 1958 - 06 Nov. 1959Lcdr. Chandler Eastman Swallow Jr. (Pawtucket, R.I.)
    6.)  06 Nov. 1959 - 08 Jun. 1961Lcdr. Jacques Benonie LaPerche (Pawtucket, R.I.)
    7.)  08 Jun. 1961 - 02 Jan. 1963Lcdr. Robert Arie Gideon Jr. (Miami, Fla.)
    8.)  02 Jan. 1963 - 25 Mar. 1964Lcdr. Robert Edward Classen (St. Paul. Minn.)
    9.)  25 Mar. 1964 - 02 Jul. 1965Lcdr. Stephen Ames Wise (USNA '56) (Phillipston, Mass.)
    10.) 02 Jul. 1965 - 03 Apr. 1967Lcdr. Clarence Earl Chinn (Alamosa, Col.)
    11.) 03 Apr. 1967 - 22 Jul. 1968Lcdr. George Ellis Pillow Jr.
    12.) 22 Jul. 1968 - .. Mar. 1970Lcdr. Louis Berchman Mackin Jr.
    13.) .. Mar. 1970 - .. .... 1972Lcdr. Richard Allen Kremin (Marshall, Mich.)
    14.) .. .... 1972 - .. .... 1973Lcdr. John Erich Liebmann (Greene County, N.Y.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    USS Kretchmer's 2019 Reunion
    11 - 15 September 2019 at Dayton, Oh.
    Contact Name: Jim Strong
    Address: 7248 Resinda Drive
    City/State: Dayton OH 45459
    Phone: (937) 436-1245
    E-mail: J. Strong
    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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    USS Kretchmer Reunion Group Website
    USS Kretchmer Unofficial Information Center
    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 Kretchmer
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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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: 10 February 2021