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USS Dennis (DE 405)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - V - R
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: Presidential Unit Citation - American Campaign Medal - Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars
Third Row: WWII Victory Medal - Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation (retroactive) - Philippine Liberation Medal

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
Dennis (DE 405) Building and Operational Data:
  • 15 September 1943: Keel laid at the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston Tex.
  • 04 December 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. J. L. Dennis, mother of the late Radioman Third Class Dennis
  • 20 March 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. S. Hansen, USNR, in command
  • 25 October 1944: Participated in the Battle off Samar, during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, as a unit of Taffy 3 (TU 77.4.3), for which she was later awarded the Presidential Unit Citation
  • 31 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 2⅓ months of service having steamed 118,451 miles
  • 03 August 1946: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 01 December 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 12 September 1973: Sold, scrapped

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    41k Otis Lee Dennis was born in Scottsville, Allen County, Ky., on 25 March 1913 to John L. and Mattie P. (Newman) Dennis. While still a young boy he moved with his family to Fowler, Col., where he attended grade school. His parents described him as a cheerful, happy-go-lucky boy with a passion for sports who eventually acquired the rather colorful nickname of “Toad.” Dennis enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Denver, Col., on 25 October 1940, and on 10 December of that same year, completed basic training at the U.S. Naval Training Station, San Diego, Calif. He subsequently attained the rank of apprentice petty officer first class.

    Assigned to Scouting Squadron (VS) 6, in the air group assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV 6), operating in the Pacific Fleet, Dennis specialized as a radioman or “rear-gunner,” as they were often called. By late 1941, Dennis had attained the rank of radioman third class (RM3c) and worked out of a Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless dive-bomber with Scouting Squadron (VS) 6, one of the four squadrons comprising the Enterprise Air Group.

    On the morning of 07 December 1941, Dennis was the passenger in a Douglas SBD-2 (BuNo 2172), side number 6-S-11, flown by Ens. Carlton T. “Misty” Fogg, in a two-plane section assigned the task of scouting ahead of Enterprise, the flagship for Vice Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr., Commander Aircraft, Battle Force, and her screen, Task Force (TF) 8, returning from a ferry mission to Wake Island. Enterprise’s planes encountered Japanese aircraft in the skies over and near Oahu, and Fogg and Dennis emerged unscathed, landing at Ewa Mooring Mast Field, the Marine Corps air facility on Oahu that took heavy damage in the enemy attack.

    In late January 1942, Vice Adm. Halsey, commanded TF-8, as it, along with TF-17 (Rear Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher) struck the occupied Gilbert and Marshall Islands. The attack began on Sunday, 01 February 1942, with Enterprise comprising the centerpiece of Task Group (TG) 8.5, one of the three task groups participating in the attack. Primarily the strike targeted Japanese positions at Kwajalein, Maleolap, and Wotje. Amid “good weather conditions and low scattered clouds,” aircrews on Enterprise assembled at 0345 and planes from the carrier launched in two successive waves, departing the flight deck at 0445 and 0510 respectively. The Douglas TBD-1 Devastators from Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6, each carrying three 500-pound bombs, bore down on the small island of Roi, located at the northern tip of the Kwajalein Atoll, and inflicted significant damage to the airfield there. The aerial bombardment was heavily resisted by both Japanese fighters and intense anti-aircraft fire with “absolutely no diversion or support.” An after-action report from the attack observed that, the very fact that a, “...majority of these planes were not lost may be regarded as a minor miracle.” While losses were not overwhelming, they were nonetheless, significant, with VS-6 alone losing three planes in the initial attack. RM3c Dennis’ SBD-2 (BuNo 2172) piloted by now-Lt.(jg) Fogg, was among the VS-6 planes lost. “Believed to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire as the airplane did not fully recover from its dive,” Lt.(jg) Fogg and RM3c Dennis’ plane was last observed careening “across the island and eventually crashed into the sea about a half-mile north of Roi.”

    “For heroic conduct in action as an aircraft gunner” which contributed “greatly to the success” of the attack on Kwajalein Atoll, Dennis was posthumously commended by Adm. Halsey. In addition to his letter of commendation, Dennis received a Purple Heart Medal, American Defense Service Medal and Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal.

    USS Dennis (DE 405) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
    Ann Dennis
    308k 20 May 1944: Boston Harbor, Mass. - Two views of USS Dennis (DE 405) deparing the Boston Navy Yard at noon on 20 May. After completing compass and RBF calibration in the harbor she got underway, in company with USS Eversole (DE 404), enroute to Norfolk, Va.

    (U.S. Navy photo #L45-74.08.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    (U.S. Navy BuShips photo #BS-65964-B from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    59k 21 September 1944: USS Dennis transfers S1c Harold J. Scribner, V-6 SV, USNR, to USS Sangamon (CVE 26) for emergency medical treatment. Note the men on Dennis’ main deck handling the required lines, as well as shipmates topside watching from the upper decks, including two men in the forward 5-inch/38 mount (Mt. 51). Also note the weathered condition of the escort vessel’s camouflage after about four months’ of service.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #80-G-283962 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    59k 27 October 1944: Kossel Roads, Palau Islands, the South Pacific - Two views of USS Dennis, heavily damaged herself, as she transfers casualties and survivors of USS St. Lo (CVE 63) to USS Bountiful (AH 9). St. Lo was sunk at the Battle Off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Tim Smith
    Greeneville, Tenn.
    107k 20 December 1944: San Francisco, Cal. Pieter Bakels
    Wehl, The Netherlands
    ***Raymond / Dennis***
    398k June 1950: San Diego, Cal. - A photo of the San Diego Mothball Fleet shows the USS Nicholas, (DDE 449), USS O'Bannon (DDE 450), USS Walker (DDE 517) and USS Sproston (DDE 577), returned to mothballs after being converted to the DDE ASW configuration. All four of these DDE's were armed with of 2-5"/38cal, 5 Torpedo Tubes, Mk-15 ASW Projector, and provisions for 4x2-20mm guns. Also, seen is the USS Killen (DD 593) and several DE's, including USS Raymond (DE 341), USS Dennis (DD 405) and an APD.

    (Cropped from USN Photo #80-G-428265 from the NARA photo files.
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.

    Dennis History
    View the USS Dennis (DE 405) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Dennis as submitted by the ship at war's end.
    View the Adm. Clifton Sprague and Task Unit 77.4.3 Memorial
    This monument is dedicated to the memory of Vice Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague and the 13 ships and 7,300 men of Task Unit 77.4.3,
    also known as "Taffy 3," which were under his command during the Battle off Samar, 25 October 1944 during the Battle for Leyte Gulf.

    Dennis's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 20 Mar. 1944 – 17 Jun. 1945Lcdr. Sigurd T. Hansen, USNR (Comm. CO) (San Francisco, Cal.)
    2.) 17 Jun. 1945 – 15 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Stanley Norman Gleis, USNR
    3.) 15 Nov. 1945 - 02 Feb. 1946Lt. Robert W. Crenshaw, USNR
    4.) 02 Feb. 1946 – 31 May 1946Lt.(jg) Charles W. Baugh, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Percell L. Worley
    Address: 200 West Ave.
    City/State: Hanover PA 17331-1862
    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

    USS Dennis Memorial Page
    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 Dennis
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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