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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - I - C
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars - World War II Victory 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 S. Bull (DE 402) Building and Operational Data:
  • 18 August 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 16 November 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Richard S. Bull, Sr., mother of Lt. Bull
  • 26 February 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. A. W. Gardes in command
  • 10 January 1947: Decommissioned at the Naval Repair Base, San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 10½ months of service, having steamed 128,417 miles (last ship's muster is dated 01 July 1946)
  • 15 January 1947: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 30 June 1968: Struck from the NVR
  • 24 June 1969: Sunk as target off the California coast
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    Richard S. Bull

    Richard S. Bull

    Richard S. Bull

    38k Richard Salisbury Bull, Jr., was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., on 06 January 1913. In 1930, he graduated from Wilkinsburg High School where he was in the National Honor Society and played left tackle on the varsity football team. Attending the U.S. Naval Academy beginning in 1932, he graduated and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy on 04 June 1936. In July of 1936 Ensign Bull reported aboard USS Indianapolis (CA 35), remaining on board until July 1939 when he reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training. Upon completion of flight training and promotion to Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Bull was assigned to Scouting Squadron (VS) 41 aboard USS Ranger (CV 4). He later served as a naval observer assigned to the American Embassy in London, England.

    Reporting for duty as a fighter pilot on board USS Lexington (CV 2) on 27 December 1941, he joined Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2). He participated in aircraft carrier operations against the Japanese in February and March 1942. In the Battle of the Coral Sea on 07 to 08 May, Richard was lost when his aircraft was shot down on 08 May. He was the 5th Division Leader of Fighting Squadron (VF) 2 and was "escorting the group commander" when he was lost. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, and also was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1943.

    USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook; The Lucky Bag, Class of 1936.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Richard S. Bull 301k 14 February 1944 (Monday): Houston, Tex. - Stern view of USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402) about 135⁰ off centerline. Taken at the Brown Shipbuilding Company in Houston.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 89100 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    Richard S. Bull 65k undated wartime image -
    Richard S. Bull 212k 26 October 1944: Starboard bow view of USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402) as seen from USS Suwannee (CVE 27). Both ships are involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf starting the previous day, as a part of “Taffy One”. Suwannee was hit by Japanese kamikazes on both the 25th and 26th and was severely damaged losing sailors overboard in the action. Richard S. Bull rescued 24 survivors and in this photo is approaching Suwannee to transfer them back. Notice the railings on Bull which once held life-rafts.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-295037 from the United States National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Richard S. Bull 100k 31 October 1944: Kossel Roads, Palau Islands, the South Pacific - USS Richard S. Bull approaches USS Bountiful (AH 9) to transfer 138 survivors of USS Eversole (DE 404), torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on the evening of 26 October. Tim Smith
    Greeneville, Tenn.
    Richard S. Bull 92k 30 May 1945: off Okinawa - Lt. McNinch of VC-83 is returned to USS Sargent Bay (CVE 83) after being rescued from the sea. Jerry Wintermute

    Richard S. Bull History
    View the USS Richard S. Bull (DE 402) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Richard S. Bull as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Richard S. Bull's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 26 Feb. 1944 - 20 Nov. 1944Lcdr. Alfred Wiltz Gardes, USN (Comm. CO) (Dayton, Oh.)
    2.) 20 Nov. 1944 - 07 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Frederick S. Moseley, Jr., USNR
    3.) 07 Nov. 1945 - .. Apr. 1946Lcdr. James Reed Gattmann, USNR
    4.) .. Apr. 1946 - 02 Jul. 1946Lt.(jg) D. A. Forsythe, USNR
    5.) 02 Jul. 1946 - 10 Jan. 1947Lcdr. L. M. Griffen, USNR (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

    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 Richard S. Bull
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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: 26 July 2021