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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patch courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - W - G

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row: Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - WWII Victory Medal - National Defense Service 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
Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421) Building and Operational Data:
  • 21 January 1944: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 29 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Jack Edington of Miami, Fla., sister of Platoon Sergeant Chester Thomas O'Brien
  • 03 July 1944: Commissioned while moored to the Tennessee Coal and Iron Co. dock in the Houston River Ship Channel, Lcdr. R. D. White, USNR, in command
  • 02 July 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years of service having steamed 79,747 miles
  • 10 February 1947: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 28 March 1951: Recommissioned at San Diego, Cal.
  • 22 June 1951: Homeport assignment changed to Newport, R.I. as a unit of Escort Squadron 12
  • 05 March 1956: Homeport assignment changed to Key West, Fla. as a unit of Destroyer Division 601
  • 25 April 1958: Unloaded ammunition at Naval Weapons Station, Earle N.J, prior to entering the New York Naval Shipyard the same day
  • 29 April 1958: Shifted berths to the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, 27th Street Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. for a two month yard period
  • 05 September 1958: Assigned to NRT, 3rd Naval District at New York City as a unit of Reserve Escort Squadron 2
  • 21 February 1959: Decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard, status changed to "In Service", NRT assignment continued
  • 25 May 1960: Placed "Out of Service, In Reserve" at the Naval Supply Center, Bayonne, N.J. after 9 years and 2 months of service
  • 01 July 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 11 years and 2 months of service
  • 04 April 1974: Sold for scrapping
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Chester T. O'Brien
    273k undated wartime image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Chester T. O'Brien
    223k early post-war image (note the 20mm AA guns just aft of the stack)
    Chester T. O'Brien
    71k late summer or early fall 1952, entering Havana, Cuba Louis O. Schulte
    Lt.(jg, USN (ret.)
    July 1952 to January 1954.
    CIC Officer, then Chief Engineer
    214k Summer 1953: Copenhagen, Denmark - Four destroyer escorts make a Scandinavian port visit during a North Atlantic Midshipman Cruise. From left to right: USS Raymond (DE 341), USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416), and USS Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421), with a fourth unidentified DE aft. This photo is part of the CT-DESA exhibit which is displayed at our CT-DESA chapter events.
    (Photo from the Nick Palermo Collection)
    John N. Adriani, Sr.
    Shelton, Conn.
    Chester T. O'Brien
    549k 1959: Starboard broadside ship portrait of the destroyer escort USS Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421) underway, with sailors manning the rails.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 445115 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive

    Chester T. O'Brien History
    View the USS Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Chester T. O'Brien as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Chester T. O'Brien's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  03 Jul. 1944 27 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Richard Daniel White, USNR (Comm. CO) (USNA '33) (Alexandria, Va.)
    2.)  27 Jul. 1945 01 Mar. 1946Lcdr. Robert Sherwood Tackaberry, USN (USNA 40) (Evanston, Ill.)
    3.)  01 Mar. 1946 02 Jul. 1946Lt.(jg) Richard Stuart Moore, USN (USNA '46) (San Bernardino, Cal.)
    5.)  ~1952Lcdr. Ralph Frank Monger
    6.)  .. .... 1955 - 23 Jul. 1956Lcdr. Elbert Medford Barton Jr. (Custer, Okla.)
    7.)  23 Jul. 1956 - 23 Jul. 1958Lcdr. Philip Harold Klepak (New York City, N.Y.)
    8.)  23 Jul. 1958 - 21 Feb. 1959Lcdr. William Fergus Feely (New York City, N. Y.)
    9.)  21 Feb. 1959 07 Jan. 1960Lt. Richard Lee Nichols (OinC) (Aurora, Mo.)
    10.) 07 Jan. 1960 25 May 1960Lt. Frederick Harold Elliott, USN (OinC)

    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 Chester T. O'Brien
    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: 20 October 2022