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USS Richard W. Suesens (DE 342)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - S - U
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 5 stars
Second Row: World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/ 1 star

Class: John C. Butler
Type: WGT (geared-turbine drive, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1350 tons (light), 1745 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 cal. DP guns (2x1), 4 - 40mm AA (2x2), 10 - 20mm AA, 3 - 21" TT, 1 Mk10 Hedgehog, 8 Mk6 Depth Charge Projectors, 2 Mk9 Depth Charge Stern Racks
Complement: 14 / 201
Richard W. Suesens (DE 342) Building and Operational Data:
  • 01 November 1943: Keel laid at the Consolidated Steel Co., Orange, Tex.
  • 11 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. R. W. Suesens, widow of Lieutenant (junior grade) Suesens
  • 26 April 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr Milford McQuilkin in command
  • March 1946: Placed "In Commission, In Reserve" at San Diego, Cal.
  • 15 January 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2.6 years of service
  • 15 March 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 13 June 1973: Sold for scrapping to the National Metal & Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Cal.
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    R.W. Suesens 31k Richard Wayne Suesens was born 30 April 1915 at Burlington, Iowa and enlisted in the Naval Reserve 31 May 1938. Appointed Aviation Cadet 4 October 1938 and commissioned ensign 15 October 1939, he reported for duty in Torpedo Squadron 3, on board Saratoga (CV 3) 20 November 1939. Promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) 01 November 1941, he was killed in action during the Battle of Midway, June 1942. For his "extraordinary heroism" in pressing home his attack on Japanese naval units during that battle, despite "tremendous antiaircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition", Lieutenant (junior grade) Suesens was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

    USS Richard W. Suesens (DE 342) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo cut from U.S. Navy photo #NH 95554 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)

    Bill Gonyo
    R.W. Suesens 101k '44-'45 (Photos © William H. Wade) William H. Wade
    SOM2c, 43-46
    R.W. Suesens 51k
    R.W. Suesens 311k 1973: Vallejo, Cal. - 4 DE's (left to right: ex-Gentry DE 349, ex-Kendall C. Campbell DE 443, ex-Hanna DE 449, ex-Richard W. Suesens DE 342), all heading to the scrap yard. Photo from the DOD sealed bid offering dated 14 November 1973. Ed Zajkowski
    Tim Rizzuto

    Richard W. Suesens History
    View the USS Richard W. Suesens (DE 342) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Richard W. Suesens as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Richard W. Suesens' Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 26 Apr. 1944 01 Sep. 1944Lcdr. Milford McQuilkin, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 01 Sep. 1944 03 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Robert Wallace Graham, USNR (USNA 34) (Milton, Mass.) (ret. as Radm.)
    3.) 03 Dec. 1945 - .. .... 1946Lt. John A. Ditz, USNR (Stockton, Cal.)
    4.) .. .... 19466 - 16 Jun. 1946Lt.(jg) Martin Dies III, USNR (Jasper, Tex.)
    5.) 16 Jun. 1946 - .. .... 1946Lcdr. Augustus Knight Jr., USN
    5.) .. .... 1946 - 15 Jan. 1947Lcdr. Gordon Ripley Keating, USN (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    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

    Steve Wades' USS Richard W. Suesens Home Page
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 02 January 2019