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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's name tab courtesy
of Al Grazevich

USS Gilligan (DE 508)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - N - N
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II 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
Gilligan (DE 508) Building and Operational Data:
  • 26 April 1943: Contract awarded to Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., to be named Donaldson
  • 23 June 1943: Renamed Gilligan, the name Donaldson was reassigned to DE 44
  • 18 November 1943: Keel laid at the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, N.J.
  • 22 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. John J. Gilligan, mother of Pvt. John Joseph Gilligan, Jr., USMCR
  • 12 May 1944: Commissioned at Brooklyn, N.Y. by Commandant of the New York Navy Yard, Adm. Monroe Kelley, Lcdr. Carl E. Bull, USNR, commanding
  • 02 July 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 1 month of service
  • 15 July 1950: Recommissioned at Seattle, Wa.
  • August 1950: Assigned to NRT, 13th Naval District at Portland, Ore.
  • 31 March 1959: Decommissioned at Port Astoria, Ore. after 8 years and 8 months of service
  • 01 March 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 10 years and 9 months of service
  • 20 November 1973: Sold for scrapping
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Gilligan 141k 22 February 1944: Newark, N.J. - Two views of the future USS Gilligan being christened and launched. In the top view, Mrs. John J. Gilligan, mother of the ship's namesake breaks the ceremonial champaigne bottle on the bow. In the lower view the ship is entering Newark Bay, her first time afloat. S. Dale Hargrave
    Newport News, Va.
    Gilligan 136k
    Gilligan 34k undated wartime image DESA Archives
    Gilligan 36k July 1950: the Pacific Ocean - Returning to Seattle, Wash. from a 4 week Reserve training cruise to Acapulco, Mexico. During this cruise the Korean war started. Gilligan was assigned to the Portland Oregon Naval Reserve Center.

    (Both Photos © Dick Willard)
    Dick Willard
    RD3, USS Brannon (DE 446)
    Gilligan 56k
    Gilligan 530k 14 April 1951: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS Gilligan (DE 508) underway off Vancouver.

    (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4085.1 from the City of Vancouver Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Gilligan 433k 08 July 1951: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS Gilligan (DE 508) docked at Vancouver.

    (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-4085 from the City of Vancouver Archives)
    Gilligan 218k undated ship portrait Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Gilligan 527k undated ship portrait - this appears to be a George Barber ship portrait from Marine Photos and Publishing Co. in San Diego, Cal. Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.
    Gilligan 498k circa early 1958: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - Gilligan (DE 508), Marsh (DE 699), and Goss (DE 444) moored together at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station. USS George Clymer (APA 27) is moored in the background.

    (My grandfather, RMC Harold Jacobson, took this picture. He served in WWII on active duty then stayed with the reserves until his retirement. He passed away last year and I found a box of his old slide photos and had them put to a CD. I believe it was taken in Pearl Harbor and I suspect the year was 1958 but I don't know for sure. I don't know what ship he was standing on when he took this picture. I would love to find out what ship or class it is.)
    John Jacobson
    EWC(SW), USN

    Gilligan Memorabilia
    Launch Button
    Courtesy of
    Tom Kermen
    Ship's Lighter
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Gilligan History
    View the USS Gilligan (DE 508) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Gilligan as submitted by the ship at war's end.
    View the official After Action Report of the 12 January 1945 Kamikaze attack on USS Gilligan.

    Gilligan's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 12 May 1944 14 Jul. 1946Lcdr. Carl Edward Bull, USNR (Baltimore, Md.) (ret. as Radm.)
    2.) 14 Jul. 1946 - .. Apr. 1946Lcdr. Gustave Albert Wolf, USN (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    3.) .. Apr. 1946 02 Jul. 1946Lt.(jg) Claude Gregory, USN (San Francisco, Cal.)
    7.) ~1958Cmdr. Garnet Milton Smithson (Mount Hope, W.V.)

    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 Gilligan
    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: 08 May 2021