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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Kenneth M. Willett (DE 354)

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

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

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
Kenneth M. Willett (DE 354) Building and Operational Data:
  • 10 January 1944: Keel laid by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.
  • 07 March 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. D. C. Willett, mother of Lt. (j.g.) Willett
  • 19 July 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr J. M. Stuart in command
  • 24 October 1946: Decommissioned at San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 3 months of service
  • 25 May 1951: Recommissioned at San Diego, Lcdr E. N. Weatherly in command, assigned to NRT, 8th Naval District, at New Orleans, La.
  • 26 February 1959: Decommissioned at Orange, Tex. after 7 years and 9 months of service
  • 01 July 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 10 years of service
  • 06 March 1974: Sunk as target off Puerto Rico
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    K. M. Willett 61k undated wartime image Tony Polozzolo
    K. M. Willett 398k 24 September 1944: USS Kenneth M. Willett (DE 354) off Boston Navy Yard. She was in for a yard availability from the 12th to the 27th of September.

    (U.S. Navy photo #L45-155.01.02 from the Naval History and Heritage Command )
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    K. M. Willett 354k 21 September 1953: location unknown - USS Kenneth M. Willett underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo via Naval History and Heritage Command, File UA-282, from the Melvin C. Keehner Collection)
    Chris Cavas
    Bethesda, Md.

    Kenneth M. Willett History
    View the USS Kenneth M. Willett (DE 354) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Kenneth M. Willett as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Kenneth M. Willett's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 19 Jul. 1944 - 27 Jul. 1944Lcdr. J. M. Stuart, USN
    2.) 27 Jul. 1944 - 05 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Walter T. Flynn, USNR
    3.) 05 Dec. 1945 - .. .... 1946Lcdr. H. C. Turner, USNR
    4.) .. .... 1946 - 24 Oct. 1946Ens. G. W. Canning, USNR
    5.) 25 May 1951 - .. .... ....Lcdr. Emmit Neal Weatherly
    7.) ~1955Lcdr. Robert D. Cousins
    9.) .. .... .... - 26 Feb. 1959Lcdr. Robert J. Fay

    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

    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 Kenneth M. Willett
    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: 21 January 2020