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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive
Ship's Patches Courtesy of Mike Smolinski
USS Wilhoite (DE 397)
Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - H - U
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Smoky Hill"
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - Presidential Unit Citation
Second Row: Navy Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row: Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal
Fourth Row: Antarctic Service Ribbon - Viet Nam Service Medal w/ 6 stars - Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal
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
Wilhoite (DE 397) Building and Operational Data:
04 August 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
05 October 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Corinne M. Wilhoite, the mother of Ensign Wilhoite
16 December 1943: Commissioned at Houston, Lt. Eli B. Roth in command
19 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2.5 years of service
02 September 1954: Reclassified as DER 397 while undergoing conversion at the Charleston Naval Shipyard
29 January 1955: Recommissioned at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, Lcdr Lambert V. Forde in command, assigned to Seattle, Wash. as a unit of Escort Squadron 5
04 March 1959: Homeport assignment changed to Pearl Harbor, Hi.
08 February 1961: Crossed the Antarctic Circle while operating as a unit of "Deep Freeze '61"
02 July 1969: Decommissioned at Bremerton, Wash. after 14.4 years of service
02 July 1969: Struck from the NVR with a total of 16.9 years of service
19 July 1972: Sold for scrapping to the General Metals Co, Inc. of Tacoma, Wash.
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
By And/Or Copyright
||undated wartime image ("In memory of Robert J. Smith, SK2, USNR" ).
||7 November 1959: Pearl Harbor Naval Station - Lcdr R.D. McCrary (left) is relieved as CO by Lcdr G.B. Willis aboard Wilhoite.
||undated postwar photo (Official U.S. Navy Photo; from "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1958-59")
||January 1961: Sydney, Australia
||Pete Schonenberg, Cdr USN (ret.)
XO - Navigator 1960 - 1961
via Bob Hall
||12 February 1966: Pearl Harbor, Hi. (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
||date / location unknown
|Change of Command
View Paul M. LaFave's
View the USS Wilhoite (DE 397) DANFS history entry
located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website.
|Wilhoite's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command
|1.) 16 Dec. 1944 - 17 Dec. 1944||Lt. Eli Baer Roth (Comm.)
|2.) 17 Dec. 1944 - 06 Dec. 1945||Lcdr. Robert W. Whalen
|3.) 06 Dec. 1945 - 25 Jan. 1946||Lt. Charles Horch
|4.) 25 Jan. 1946 - 19 Jun. 1946||Lcdr. Jack Edward Kennedy (Decomm.)
|5.) 29 Jan. 1955 - .. .... 1956||Cmdr Lambert (Larry) Vernon Forde (Recomm.)
|6.) .. .... 1956 - .. Jan 1958||Lcdr. Daniel I. Reinstra, Jr.
|7.) .. Jan.1958 - 07 Nov. 1959||Lcdr. Robert Davison McCrary
|8.) 07 Nov. 1959 - Jul. 1961||Lcdr. Charles H. Willis
|9.) .. Jul. 1961 - .. Apr. 1962||Lcdr. Robert Leroy Thorsen
|10.) .. Apr. 1962 - .. .... 1964||Lcdr. Frank Comstock Mead
|11.) .. .... 1964 - 02 Dec. 1966||Cmdr. James Edwin Fernandes
|12.) 02 Dec.1966 - 31 Dec. 1967||Lcdr. Estel Will Hayes
|13.) 31 Dec. 1967 - 02 Jul. 1969||Lcdr. David Hamlin Griffin (Decomm.)
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
5 - 8 October 2015 in Mobile, Ala.
at the Holiday Inn at the Airport, Spring Hill Memorial Drive (251) 344-7446
Reunion Contact: Elisabeth Kimball
Address: 236 Linker Mountain Road / Dover AR 72837
Phone: (479) 968-1236 or (479) 280-2776 (c)
E-mail: canerday at centurytel.net
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.
USS Wilhoite Association Web Site
Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Wilhoite
The Destroyer History Foundation
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This Page Created And Maintained by Mike Smolinski
by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
Page Last Updated 02 August 2015