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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Richard M. Rowell (DE 403)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - K - K - T
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 Medal w/ 2 stars

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 M. Rowell (DE403) Building and Operational Data:
  • 18 August 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 17 November 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Agnes M. Rowell
  • 09 March 1944: Commissioned while moored port side to the Tennessee Coal and Iron Co. dock in Houston, Tex., Lcdr. Harry A. Barnard, Jr., in command
  • 03 October 1944: After rescuing survivors of USS Shelton (DE 407), torpedoed by Japanese submarine RO-41, Rowell later that day sank USS Seawolf (SS 197) in error (friendly fire)
  • 26 June 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 4 months of service, having steamed 140,000 miles
  • 01 October 1946: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 30 June 1968: Struck from the NVR
  • .. June 1969: Sold for scrapping
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    Rich. M. Rowell

    Rich. M. Rowell

    37k Richard Merrill Rowell was born in Sonoma, Calif. on 06 August 1916, the son of Maurice and Agnes Rowell. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, Cal. in 1933. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 08 August 1939, he was commissioned ensign 20 August 1940. Reporting for duty as a fighter pilot to USS Lexington (CV 2) on 05 November 1940, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for downing a Japanese plane on 20 February 1942. During the Battle of the Coral Sea 07 to 08 May 1942, he won a gold star in lieu of a second Distinguished Flying Cross, before failing to return from his last mission.

    CITATION: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Ensign Richard Merrill Rowell (NSN: 083448), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight, while serving as Pilot of an airplane in Naval Fighting Squadron, attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), when on 20 February 1942, in enemy waters, he made vigorous and determined attacks in the face of combined enemy machine gun and cannon fire against a formation of enemy heavy bombers, and he, with the assistance of his teammate, caused the destruction of one enemy bomber.

    USS Richard M. Rowell (DE 403) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo courtesy of Dayle DeBry to the web site Find A Grave)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    36k coming alongside James V. Nichols
    29k 17 October 1944: after typhoon off Leyte
    40k alongside a CVE during the "Battle of Leyte Gulf"
    R. M. Rowell
    45k September 1945: the Philippines - Richard M. Rowell anchored in San Pedro Bay off Samar Island.

    Richard M. Rowell History
    View the USS Richard M. Rowell (DE 403) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Richard M. Rowell's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 09 Mar. 1944 20 Mar. 1945Lcdr. Harry Allan Barnard Jr., USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '36) (Washington, D.C.)
    2.) 20 Mar. 1945 15 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Norman B. Bullard, USNR
    3.) 15 Nov. 1945 - .. Feb. 1946Lt. Gordon J. Andrew, USNR
    4.) .. Feb. 1946 - 02 Jul. 1946Lt.(jg) F. Frederick Moss, USNR (Decomm. CO) (Childersburg, Ala.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Joe Iannucci
    Address: 250 N. Village Ave. (Apt C2)
    City/State: Rockville Centre NY 11570
    Phone: (516) 764-2477
    E-mail: Joe Iannucci
    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
    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: 05 October 2022