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|8k||Joseph Williams Vance Jr. was born on 04 December 1918 in Memphis, Tenn. He attended Southwestern University (The College of the Mississippi Valley) in Memphis from 1936
to 1938 and later the University of Florida at Gainesville before he enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 26 July 1940 as an apprentice seaman. After serving at sea in Arkansas
(BB 33) during the late summer and early fall, he was appointed midshipman on 22 November and reported to Prairie State (IX 15) for further training. Commissioned ensign on
28 February 1941, Vance joined USS Parrott (DD 218) in the Philippine Islands on 16 April. His ship conducted exercises in the Philippine Archipelago through the summer of 1941;
and, as the international situation worsened, was dispatched on 24 November with Destroyer Division 58 to Tarakan, Borneo. Soon after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941
(08 December west of the date line), Parrott and her sisters joined the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) effort to stem the Japanese tide sweeping down from the north.
She operated in the Netherlands East Indies archipelago until the fall of Java, participating in the Battle of Makassar Strait (24 January 1942) and the Battle of Badoeng Strait (20 February 1942).
For his gallantry during the first action, Ens. Vance was awarded the Bronze Star. As the ship's torpedo officer, Vance had charge of the destroyer's 12-tube battery of 21-inch torpedo tubesin
effect the ship's "main battery." On 23 January, DesDiv 58 began a final approach to the town of Balikpapan, Borneo, captured only that day by the Japanese. Dutch "scorched earth" policies and a
Dutch air raid had set fire to most of the vital petroleum storage areas, starting blazes which clearly silhouetted the Japanese transports lying to offshore. On 24 January, in the initial phase
of the Battle of Makassar Strait, Vance and his torpedo crews had bad luck. All eight torpedoes missed on the first run-in. The division turned and tried again, this time with success, sinking
3,500-ton transport Sumanoura Maru. Within minutes, Parrott teamed up with Pope (DD 225) and Paul Jones (DD 230) in delivering a torpedo
attack on Tatsukami Marut, holing her and sending her to the bottom shortly thereafter. Soon the American force retired in the confusion of the melee while the Japanese area commander
sent his escorts on a wild goose chase after American submarines!
Parrott then continued her operations in defense of the Malay barrier, taking part in the Battle of Badoeng Strait on 20 February, in which she was damaged. She ended up in Fremantle with the remnants of the Asiatic Fleet. Vance remained in Parrott through the spring, when he was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on 15 June 1942. As Allied forces gathered for the assault on Japanese-held Guadalcanal, Vance received orders to HMAS Canberra, as liaison officer with the Australian Navy. Canberra departed Wellington, New Zealand, on 22 July, bound for Guadalcanal and what was to be her final action. On 08 August, the Australian cruiser helped to screen American transports off the landing beaches and then in the evening retired, in company with Chicago (CA 29), to a night screening position south of Savo Island. Unbeknownst to the Allied force, a Japanese cruiser formation steamed undetected down "the Slot" between Guadalcanal and Savo Islands. They soon opened fire with guns (8- and 5.5-inch) and the dreaded "long lance" torpedoes. Chicago took a torpedo forward, but Canberra took the worst punishment in the form of a veritable hail of shells which soon reduced her to a blazing wreck. During the engagement, Lt. (jg.) Vance was killed in action.
USS Vance (DE 387) (1943-1969) was the first ship to be named in his honor. (Photo from the USS Vance Web Site thanks to Joe Betters)
|93k||1944: at Palermo, Sicily - USS Vance (DE 387) in her second camouflage paint scheme.||Joseph Betters|
(supplied photo caption)
|93k||From Destroyer Escorts In The Atlantic: "This trim craft is a Coast Guard-manned DE (Destroyer Escort) USS Vance (DE 387) on convoy duty in the
Atlantic Ocean during WW2. The guns of the DEs have given protection to the streams of merchant ships and transports carrying troops and supplies for the Allied lines in Europe."
(no date; Photo No. 4450; photographer unknown.)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|37k||Vance's re-commissioning ceremony as a Coast Guard Cutter in the Philadelphia Navy Yard spring/early summer 1952. Note that Vance is still sporting a "gray" hull but is showing her new Coast Guard hull number - (W-487). In the background the stack and bridge of another WDE is visible -- I believe it's the Coast Guard Cutter Durant (WDE-489) which was also in the Philadelphia Navy Yard for overhaul and recommissioning as a Coast Guard Cutter.||James R. Kelly|
Capt., USCG (ret.)
|95k||USCGC Vance (WDE-487) underway date and location uknown. Note the hanger aft of the funnel. This, and the deck space nearby, were too small for
helicopters, and the hanger is thought to have been used for meterological balloons.
(Photos and text taken from "American Destroyer Escorts of World War 2" by Peter Elliott)
England, United Kingdom
|95k||01 November 1956: San Francisco Bay off Vallejo, Cal. - Broadside view of Vance off Mare Island. She was converted to DER configuration at the
yard from 01 November 1955 to 30 November 1956.
(U.S. Navy photo #DER-387-31989-11-56)
PNCM, USNR (ret.)
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
|451k||1964: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - USS Haverfield (DER 393) moored outboard of Vance at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station.
(Photo by Tom Jaras)
|365k||This photo of USS Vance (DER 387) is dated November 1967 but it is likely a PAO stock photo.
(U.S. Navy photo #DER-387-809X1-11-67)
PNCM, USNR (ret.)
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
|95k||March 1966: Manila Bay||Larry Backus|
|141k||December 1968: Pearl Harbor Hawaii - Vance tied up outboard of
Charles Berry (DE 1035) and
Forster (DER 334).
(Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
|87k||January 1969: Pearl Harbor - USS Forster (DER 334) makes her approach to moor alongside USS Charles Berry (DE 1035) and Vance.
(Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
Robert M. Cieri
|View the USS Vance (DE 387) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Vance as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Vance's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|U.S. Navy as DE-387 (Coast Guard Manned)|
|1.) 01 Nov. 1943 - 30 May 1944||Lcdr. Eric A. Anderson, USCG (Brooklyn, N.Y.)|
|2.) 30 May 1944 - 15 Jun. 1945||Lcdr. Frank V. Helmer, USCG (USCGA '35) (South Plainfield, N.J.) (ret. as Radm.)|
|3.) 15 Jun. 1945 - 27 Feb. 1946||Cmdr. Joseph James McClealand, USCG (USCGA '40) (Seattle, Wash.) (ret. as Vadm.)|
|U.S. Coast Guard as WDE-487 / W-487|
|4.) 09 May 1952 - 18 Aug. 1952||Cmdr. James C. Waters, USCG|
|5.) 18 Aug. 1952 18 Sep. 1952||Lt. Norman Lee Scherer, USCG (USCGA 46) (W. Roxbury, Mass.)|
|6.) 18 Sep. 1952 31 Aug. 1953||Cmdr. Gerald T. Applegate, USCG (USCGA 36) (Dinuba, Cal.)|
|7.) 31 Aug. 1953 03 Apr. 1954||Lt. Norman L. Scherer, USCG (USCGA 46) (W. Roxbury, Mass.)|
|U.S. Navy as DER-387|
|8.) 05 Oct. 1956 - 08 Jan. 1958||Cmdr. Albert M. Brouner (USNA 44) (Milwaukee, Wis)|
|9.) 08 Jan. 1958 - .. Feb. 1959||Cmdr. Royal Thomas Daniel Jr. (USNA 45) (Near Oxford, N.C.)|
|10.) .. Feb. 1959 - 16 Apr. 1960||Cmdr. P. D. Johnson|
|11.) 16 Apr. 1960 - 18 Dec. 1961||Cmdr. Harmon Charles Penny (USNA 45) (Ashtabula, Oh.)|
|12.) 18 Dec. 1961 - 07 Aug. 1963||Lcdr. Henry Joseph Beyer (prior enl. '42 / V12 '46) (Portland, Ore.)|
|13.) 07 Aug. 1963 - 22 Dec. 1965||Lcdr. Ross Wallace Wright (Ava, Mo.)|
|14.) 22 Dec. 1965 - 31 Mar. 1966||Lcdr. Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter* (USNA 52) (New York City, N.Y.)|
|15.) 31 Mar. 1966 - 11 Apr. 1966||Cmdr. Donald Fleming Milligan (Detroit, Mich.)|
|16.) 11 Apr. 1966 - 11 Jan. 1968||Cmdr. Robert Sheridan Swan (Hanover, N.H.)|
|17.) 11 Jan. 1968 - 03 Jul. 1969||Cmdr. Melvin Edward Seiler (Madison, Nebr.)|
|18.) 03 Jul. 1969 - 10 Oct. 1969||Lt. William James Fulton (USNA '62) (Ansonia, Conn.)|
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.
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