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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Stafford (DE 411)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - V - V
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/ 2 stars - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon

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
Stafford (DE 411) Building and Operational Data:
  • 29 November 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 11 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Flora Stafford, sister of Captain Richard Y. Stafford, USMC
  • 19 April 1944: Commissioned at the Tennessee Iron and Coal Co. dock in Houston, Tex. by Cmdr. M. I. Kearns, USNR, representing Com8thND; Lcdr. V. H. Craig, Jr., USNR, in command
  • 16 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 1 month of service having steamed 103,000 miles, she was credited with destroying three Japanese aircraft
  • 25 October 1946: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 15 March 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 13 June 1973: Sold for scrapping to the National Metal and Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Calif.
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    76k Richard Yeater Stafford was born to Fred L. and Minnie G. (Burch) Stafford near Windsor, Mo., on 11 December 1916. He attended the University of Missouri, where he very active socially and athletically as a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Graduating in 1938 with a business and public administration degree, he went to work for the Texas Oil Company in Houston, Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 19 October 1940 and, on 20 February 1941, accepted an appointment as a second lieutenant at Quantico, Va. He remained at Quantico until 29 May, when he was reassigned to San Diego. He saw duty at San Diego from 16 June 1941 to July 1942 and, on 11 April 1942, was promoted to first lieutenant. On 12 September 1942, when he was promoted to captain, Stafford had been serving in the field for about a month as the commanding officer of Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Reinforced, engaged in the attack against enemy Japanese positions on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

    Between 09 and 11 October, Capt. Stafford led his company of Marines on a forced march through the dense jungle and swamps of Guadalcanal and, upon arriving at his objective, immediately deployed his command and initiated an attack against unexpectedly strong enemy positions. After establishment of contact with the enemy, he personally directed the assault, leading his men with courage and determination until he was killed from ambush by a Japanese rifleman. His resolute fighting spirit in the face of hardships and dangers was an inspiration to the men of his command in the fulfillment of an important mission. For his " . . . conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer . . ." which constituted ". . . an inspiration to the men of his command in the fulfillment of an important mission," Capt. Stafford was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal.

    USS Stafford (DE 411) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    In 1954, a dormitory, Stafford Hall, was named after him at the University of Missouri.

    (Photo from the University Archives, University of Missouri)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    433k undated crew portrait, USS Stafford (DE 411)
    219k 29 April 1944: Aft plan view of USS Stafford at Mare Island. She was in overhaul at the yard from 04 March until 30 April 1945.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-411-3078-45)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    208k 29 April 1944: Forward plan view. ARD 11, with USS Dionne (DE 261) docked in her, can be seen in the background.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-411-3079-45)
    178k 23 June 1944: Boston Harbor - USS Stafford (DE 411) had gotten underway from the Boston Navy Yard at 1000 to compensate the radio direction finder and magnetic compasses. She had been in the yard from 13 to 22 June where she received a new CIC, additional officers quarters aft, and a camoflage paint job. At 1800, she passed the Boston Light Ship and set course for Norfolk, Va. Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    74k Stafford, after being hit by a Japanese kamikaze during the raid off Mindoro on 05 January 1945. Although she suffered major damage only two men were killed in this attack.

    (Photo taken from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War 11", by Theodore Roscoe
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    155k circa 1945: at sea - USS Stafford (DE 411) underway. The ship is camouflaged in a weathered Measure 21 scheme.

    (U.S. Navy Photo)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    467k 29 April 1945: Vallejo, Cal. - Stafford moored at the Mare Island Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Navy photo from the National Archives, courtesy of  Chris Wright)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    74k laidup, Mare Island, November 1967

    (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.

    Stafford History
    View the USS Stafford (DE 411) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Stafford's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 19 Apr. 1944 20 Jun. 1945Lcdr. Volney Hamilton Craig Jr., USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 20 Jun. 1945 15 Feb. 1946Lcdr. DeWitt McDougal Patterson, USN (USNA '39) (Savannah, Tenn.)
    3.) 15 Feb. 1946 16 May 1946Lt. Dwight W. Hubbard, 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
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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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: 10 May 2020