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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Dufilho (DE 423)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - WWII 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
Dufilho (DE 423) Building and Operational Data:
  • 31 January 1944: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 09 March 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. M. W. Dufilho, widow of Lieutenant Dufilho
  • 21 July 1944: Commissioned, Cmdr. A. H. Nienau, USNR, in command
  • 14 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1 year and 10 months of service having steamed 85,745 miles
  • 30 September 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 for scrapping
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    Marion William Dufilho, the son of John Marie and Anna Catherine (Hinckley) Dufilho, was born 22 May 1916 in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. After graduating high school, young Dufilho was appointed the the U.S. Naval Academy in June of 1934. Graduating from the Academy on 02 June 1938, he was assigned to the battleship USS Mississippi (BB 41), in which he served until November 1940. After being detached from Mississippi, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida as "ensign, under instruction" for flight training. Graduating on 15 February 1941 as Naval Aviator #7153, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron Three (VF-3) aboard USS Lexington (CV 2). He was promoted to Lt.(jg) on 01 July 1941, and then Lieutenant on 01 July 1942.

    On 20 February 1942, the Japanese at Rabaul were determined to locate and sink the U.S. carrier Lexington and Japanese G4M1 Betty bombers set out with that end in sight. Alerted to the coming fight, six F4F Wildcats landed on the Lexington to refuel and rearm and six others took to the skies to rid the carrier deck of fully fueled and armed aircraft, and to engage the attacking bombers. The fight was bitter. When a second wave of enemy bombers appeared, only two aircraft, F4F-3s flown by Lieutenant Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Marion Dufilho, were between the attackers and the carrier they protected. Dufilho's machine guns froze but O'Hare dove on the eight bombers and downed four; then he aimed at taking out the master bombardier and interrupting the bomb run. On 08 May 1942, Lexington was torpedoed and lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea and Lt. Dufilho transferred to Fighting Squadron Five (VF-5) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 3), Lexington's sister ship.

    As flagship of Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher, Saratoga opened the Guadalcanal assault early on 07 August 1942 when she turned into the wind to launch aircraft. She provided air cover for the landings for the next two days. At about 1500 on the 07th, Lt. Richard Gray, leading, with Ens. M. K. Bright, Lt. Hayden M. Jensen, Lt.(jg) C. B. Starkes, Lieut. Marion W. Dufilho, Lt.(jg) F. O. Breen, Lt. David C. Richardson, and Ens. C. D. Davy sighted 11 enemy type Aichi 99 dive bombers, which were flying unescorted. No warning of this enemy attack had been received. Lt. Jensen, the first to sight the enemy and to give the alarm by radio, attacked and followed the enemy down through the antiaircraft fire from the ships, destroying 2 of the raiders. Lt. Dufilho followed him, and also nailed 2 of the enemy planes while damaging a third. Lt.(jg) Starkes and Ens. Bright each accounted for 3 more, or a total of 10 shot down. Another flight of from 7 to 12 enemy dive bombers, however, attacked our ships unobserved by our own fighters or radar. They were reported by one of our scout bombers as they approached from another direction. Two of these planes were destroyed during their retirement. None of the dive bombers of the group intercepted succeeded in getting a hit on their targets, according to Lcdr. Simpler. The hits were made by the unopposed attack. Lt. Marion Dufilho was awarded the Navy Cross for this engagement.

    On 24 August 1942, while serving as a section leader in Fighting Squadron 5 in Saratoga (CV 3), Lieutenant Dufilho was killed in action in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism and achievement in this battle, which turned back a major effort of the Japanese to reinforce Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Other medals awarded posthumously were the Purple Heart; American Defense Service Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. Lieutenant Dufilho's remains were never located, he is memorialized with a headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.

    USS Dufilho (DE 423) (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 1938.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    40k 24 July 1944: Houston, Tex. - Port bow view of USS Dufilho (DE 423) near Houston three days after being commissioned. The ship carries Measure 32/3d camouflage scheme.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #BS 98961 from the Bureau of Ships, United States National Archives)
    Jerry Church

      caption from
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    69k 02 November 1944: Casablanca, French Morocco - As seen from the USS Kasaan Bay (CVE 69), the USS Dufilho (DE 423), wearing 32/3d camouflage scheme.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-298905 from the United States National Archives)
    David Buell

      caption from
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    71k 07 December 1944: The Gulf of Mexico - Overhead starboard side view of the USS Dufilho (DE 423) underway in the Gulf of Mexico, as seen by an aircraft from squadron ZP-24. Dufilho is enroute to the Panama Canal after departing Norfolk, Va. on her way to the Pacific. She and USS Douglas A. Munro (DE 422) are escorting USS Fomalhaut (AK 22)

    (U.S. Navy Photo # 80-G-294554 from the United States National Archives, courtesy of C. Lee Johnson at USN Dazzle)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    133k circa 1944: Port broadside view of USS Dufilho (DE 423).

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 79838, courtesy of D. M. McPherson, 1974, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    135k 29 December 1945: Hong Kong, China - A group photo of Dufilho's engineering department. The photo belonged to Lisa's father-in-law Russell E. Snyder, who recently passed away. Lisa Flowers Snyder

    Dufilho History
    View the USS Dufilho (DE 423) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Dufilho as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Dufilho's Commanding Officers
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Jul. 1944 - 16 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Albert Henry Nienau, USNR (NROTC 37) (Seattle, Wash.) (Comm. CO)
    2.) 16 Dec. 1945 - 17 Dec. 1945Lt. Oliver K. Brooks, USNR (New York City, N.Y.)
    3.) 17 Dec. 1945 - 25 Jan. 1946Lcdr. Percy Anthony Lilly Jr., USN (USNA '41) (Morganfield, Ky.)
    4.) 25 Jan. 1946 - 14 May 1946Lcdr. Lloyd George Benson, USNR (USNA '36) (Ellsworth, Kan.)
    5.) 14 May 1946 - .. .... 1946Lcdr. Julian Ole Olsen Jr., USNR (Pensacola, Fla.)
    6.) .. .... 1946 - 14 May 1946Lt.(jg) Glynn T. Price, 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
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 15 November 2023