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|8k||Joseph Metcalf Hissem was born 31 December 1917 in Mt. Carroll, Ill. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve Aviation Cadet (V-5) program as a Seaman 2/c on 09 Jan 1941 in
Chicago, Ill. He reported to Naval Reserve Air Base (NRAB) Glenview, Ill. in late February to begin his Elimination Flight training. After he completed that phase of training, he reported
to Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola on 19 March 1941. He was discharged the same day in order to accept appointment as an aviation cadet. He completed his aviation training and was commissioned
an Ensign, USNR, A-V(N) on 30 August 1941. He received basic training as a navigator and later qualified on board the PBY "Catalina" amphibious patrol aircraft. On 01 October 1941 he was assigned
to Patrol Squadron Twenty Four (VP-24) in Oahu, Hi. On 08 December 1941 Ensign A-V(N) Joseph M. Hissem reported on board USS Harris (AP 8) as a passenger enroute to duty with Patrol
Squadron 24 in Pearl Harbor.
Though he was assigned to a patrol squadron in Hawaii, on 30 May 1942 in Pearl Harbor, Ensign Hissem and his squadron mate, Ens. Jack Winton Wilke, volunteered to provide pathfinder (navigation) services for a 1200 mile open ocean transit for Torpedo Squadron Eight's (VT-8) detachment of six new TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber aircraft being flown to NAS Midway on 01 June 1942 to augment the island's defenses.
In the early morning hours of 04 June, he volunteered again to provide navigational assistance and act as a Radioman/Bombardier/tunnel gunner on one the TBF-1s in the detachment of VT-8 as it flew into battle against the numerically superior Japanese forces. Without fighter CAP support they were overwhelmed by Japanese fighters. However, they pressed forward in the face of withering fire. His aircraft with Ens. Oswald Gaynier as pilot and Seaman First Class (S1c) Howard William Pitt as turret gunner was shot down. Their remains were unrecoverable. They were missing in action on 04 June 1942 and presumed dead on 05 June 1943. He is listed Missing in Action or Buried at Sea on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ens. Hissem was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one battle star, and the World War II Victory Medal.
USS Hissem (DE 400) (1944-1970) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(U.S. Navy photo from Steve Hissem)
Commander, USN (ret.)
|97k||undated wartime image||DESA Archives|
|139k||from "All Hands" magazine, circa 1956||Stanley Svec|
|67k||17 January 1957||-|
|89k||undated, but more than likely prior to her transfer to Pearl Harbor||Carlos Manuel Estrela|
Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
|374k||undated: USS Hissem (DER 400) at sea.
(U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 71284 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
DE / FF / LCS Archive
|165k||July 1964: Charlestown, Mass. - Hissem in drydock at the Boston Naval Shipyard. She's undergoing overhaul prior to departing for her homeport change to Pearl Harbor.||Gary Taibbi|
SK1, USN (ret.)
|50k||28 July 1965: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - USS Kretchmer (DER 329),
USS Camp (DER 251), and Hissem (DER 400) 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.
(U.S. Navy Photo by PH3 Robert L. Ziesler)
|Allan M. Wilson|
1964 - 1968
|330k||19 October 1967: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - USS Hissem (DER 400) at the entrance to Pearl Harbor.
(U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 71285 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
DE / FF / LCS Archive
|79k||1967: Pearl Harbor||Ramon Jackson|
|75k||date / location unknown||Bob Hurst|
England, United Kingdom
|244k||20 September 1981: The former radar picket destroyer escort Hissem (DER 400) at anchor as target ship. At right is the British nuclear-powered
attack submarine HMS Courageous (S50) as the submarine makes assessments of the Harpoon missile damage aboard Hissem during testing.|
(U.S. Navy photo VIRIN #DN-SC-82-09014 by Lewis Mitchell, USN, from U.S. Defense Imagery)
|156k||20 September 1981: The decommissioned radar picket destroyer escort ex-Hissem (DER 400) while in use as a target ship off California. Harpoon
missile damage is being assessed aboard the ship during testing procedures. She was finally sunk on 24 February 1982.|
(U.S. Navy photo VIRIN #DN-SC-82-09015 by Lewis Mitchell, USN, from U.S. Defense Imagery)
|Viet Nam Cruise
|1965-66 Viet Nam
|View the USS Hissem (DE 400) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Hissem as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Hissem's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 13 Jan. 1944 - 23 Nov. 1945||Lcdr. William Whittemore Low, USNR (Comm. CO) (New Haven, Conn.)|
|2.) 23 Nov. 1945 – 09 Apr. 1946||Lt. Ralph Martin Stair (USNA '43) (Knoxville, Tenn.)|
|3.) 09 Apr. 1946 – 01 Jun. 1946||Lt. Robert Kenneth Gess (USNA '44) (Milwaukee, Wis.)|
|4.) 01 Jun. 1946 – 05 Jun. 1946||Ens. Albin Alex Mikolatis (Decomm. CO)|
|5.) 31 Aug. 1958 - 17 Nov. 1958||Lcdr. Jack Lions Wohler (Recomm. CO) (USNA '44) (Portsmouth, Oh.)|
|6.) 17 Nov. 1958 - 04 Jun. 1960||Lcdr. Delbert David Grantham (USNA '47) (Albuquerque, N.M.)|
|7.) 04 Jun. 1960 - 28 Sep. 1961||Lcdr. Daniel Joseph Costello (NROTC '50)|
|8.) 28 Sep. 1961 - 15 Feb. 1963||Lcdr. Richard John Dermody|
|9.) 15 Feb. 1963 - 10 Dec. 1964||Lcdr. Richard Kern Fontaine (USNA '51) (Minneapolis, Minn,) (ret. as Radm.)|
|10.) 10 Dec. 1964 - 15 Dec. 1966||Lt. Ronald Irwin Dean|
|11.) 15 Dec. 1966 - 04 Oct. 1968||Cmdr. James Alden Barber Jr. (Poplar Bluff, Mo.)|
|12.) 04 Oct. 1968 - 15 May 1970||Cmdr. Morton (Jim) Egner Toole (Decomm. CO) (Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.) (ret. as Radm.)|
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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Page Last Updated: 29 February 2020