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USS Bivin (DE 536)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - F - R
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 - 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
Biven (DE 536) Building and Operational Data:
  • 03 November 1943: Keel laid by the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass.
  • 07 December 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Ella Florence Bivin, the mother of Seaman 1st Class Bivin
  • 31 October 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. Monroe Kelly Jr., in command
  • 15 January 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 2˝ months of service
  • 30 June 1968: Struck from the NVR
  • 17 July 1969: Sunk as target off California
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    9k Vernard Eugene Bivin, the son of Elmer Thomas and Ella Florence (Walker) Bivin of Central City, Ken. was born in Greenville, Kentucky, on 23 November 1921. He enlisted in the Navy at Louisville, Kentucky, on 26 March 1940. Seaman 1st Class Bivin served as trainer on one of the heavy cruiser Salt Lake City's (CA 25) 5"/25 guns during the Battle of Cape Esperance on the night of 11-12 October 1942, when Task Group 62.4, under Rear Admiral Norman Scott, engaged a Japanese force of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers bent on shelling Henderson Field. Although Salt Lake City and light cruiser Boise (CL 47) crippled Japanese heavy cruiser Furutaka during that fierce night engagement; both cruisers suffered damage in the fierce night action. S1c Bivin remained at his battle station, executing his duties so well that none of the other members of the gun’s crew knew he had been mortally wounded. Only when he collapsed during a lull in the battle, still trying to keep his pointers matched and the gun firing without cessation, did they learn of the extent of the young Kentuckian’s injuries that ultimately claimed his life. His courageous devotion to duty resulted in his being awarded, posthumously, the Navy Cross.

    USS Bivin (DE 536) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo © USS Salt Lake City Association courtesy of Sandy Eskew)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Bivin 188k 09 November 1944: Boston, Mass. - USS Biven is seen across the fitting out pier from USS Ellyson (DD 454). Biven was commissioned on 31 October 1944, but would not be accepted by the Navy until 11 December 1944. She departed Boston for shakedown at Bermuda on 22 December 1944. She wears one of the few 3d Reverse camouflage patterns carried by a DE.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #NA DD454-19LCM from the United States National Archives)
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    Rick Davis
    Springfield, Oh.
    Bivin 57k 15 December 1944: the Atlantic Ocean - A starboard quarter, and port beam, view of USS Biven (DE 536) off Boston. Biven is wearing a reversed application of camouflage 32/3D. The middle of the ship is reflective and the dull black and ocean gray have been washed out. Lower photo is taken looking toward the sun, and this washes out camouflage MS 32/3d, which is applied in a reversed application. Biven carries a SU radome midway up the mast above the bridge. Biven had been commissioned on 31 October 1944. She was accepted by the Navy on 11 December 1944, and completed at the Boston Navy Yard on 14 December 1944, the day before these photos were taken.

    (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photos #BS 132249 and BS 132248 from the United States National Archives)
    John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Bivin 43k
    Richey 267k circa 1960: San Diego, Cal. - U .S. Navy Reserve Fleet ships berthed at Naval Base San Diego, California. Ships include (l-r): USS Charles J. Kimmel (DE 584), USS Richey (DE 385), USS Bivin (DE 536), USS Gillette (DE 681) and USS Bull (APD 78)

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 72678 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Bivin History
    View the USS Bivin (DE 536) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Bivin as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Bivin's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 31 Oct. 1944 – 09 Feb. 1945Lcdr. Monroe Kelly Jr., USN (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘38) (Navy Jr. / Williamsburg, Va.)
    2.) 09 Feb. 1945 – 20 Apr. 1945Lcdr. William Clinton French Jr., USNR (Evanston, Ill.)
    3.) 20 Apr. 1945 – 04 Nov. 1945Lcdr. / Cmdr. Addisson B. Bradley Jr., USNR (Winetka, Ill.)
    4.) 04 Nov. 1945 - .. Mar. 1946Lcdr. John F. Floberg, USNR (Chicago, Ill.)
    5.) .. Mar. 1946 - .. Jun. 1946Lt.(jg) Samuel H. Sapp, USNR
    6.) .. Jun. 1946 – 10 Oct. 1946Lcdr. Roy Arthur Norelius, USNR
    7.) 10 Oct. 1946 – 15 Jan. 1947Lcdr. Luin Grover Cleveland, USN (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
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    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    Page Last Updated: 24 August 2020