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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's Patches Courtesy
of Mike Smolinski

USS Vandivier (DE 540)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - M - W
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
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
Vandivier (DE 540) Building and Operational Data:
  • 08 November 1943: Keel laid by the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass.
  • 27 December 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Mary Hardin Vandivier
  • 17 February 1947: Construction suspended due to postwar cutbacks, towed to the Naval Industrial Reserve Shipyard, Boston and "mothballed"
  • 01 July 1954: Construction resumed at the Boston Naval Shipyard, chosen for completion as a radar picket escort ship
  • 02 September 1954: Redesignated DER 540
  • 11 October 1955: Commissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Charlestown, Mass., Lcdr. Frank B. Correia in command, assigned to Newport, R.I. as a unit of Escort Squadron 18
  • 30 June 1960: Decommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard after 4 years and 8⅔ months of service; custody transferred to CO, Philadelphia Group, U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • 01 November 1974: Struck from the NVR
  • 07 February 1975: Sunk as a target off the Florida coast
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    20k Norman F. Vandivier was descendant from the early Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York City). His fourth great-grandfather, Peter Vandiver (sic) (1769-1823), was a soldier in the American Revolution. He fought with the New Jersey Militia and resided in Somerset county, NJ. He probably moved from New Jersey to Kentucky via the Cumberland Gap trail after the Revolution to claim a land bounty for his war service. In 1826, Peter Vandiver (sic) II (1787-1866), a native of New Jersey, made the trek from Mercer county, Kentucky with his family to Johnson county, Indiana. His son Strother (Norman's second great-grandfather), a native of Johnson County, Ind., carved the inscription "16 Oct 1826" into a Beech tree on their farm to commemorate the day his father, Peter Vandiver (sic), claimed an 80 acre-tract of land in Union Township, Johnson county, Indiana.

    Norman's father, Fred Forsythe Vandivier, a graduate of Franklin high school class of 1908, married Mary Rebecca Hardin, a graduate of Nineveh high school class of 1913, at her parent's home in Nineveh, Johnson, Indiana on 27 Jan 1915. Immediately after their wedding ceremony, Fred and Mary Vandivier departed for Edwards, Mississippi. The newlyweds journeyed south, making brief visits at Chattanooga, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama before arriving in Edwards. Beginning 01 Feb 1915, and for the next two years, Fred was in charge of the agricultural department of a missionary school located in Edwards and run by the Christian Woman's (sic) Board of Missions (C.W.B.M.). The CWBM merged with several other organizations in 1919 to form the United Christian Missionary Society. As part of his duties, Fred also managed a farm of 1300 acres. Mrs. Vandivier served as matron of the girl's dormitory at the Edwards Mission school.

    The following year Mr. and Mrs. Vandivier sent word home announcing the birth of their first child, Norman Frances (sic) Vandivier, on 10 March 1916. The good news was published on 11 March 1916 in Franklin's only newspaper at the time, The Evening Star. A month later, Mrs Fred Vandivier departed Edwards and traveled to Indiana with her infant son, Norman Francis. They arrived there on Saturday, 15 Apr 1916, to a boisterous welcome by the new grandparents and other close family of which there were many. The following year Fred, Mary and Norman left Edwards for the last time and returned to Indiana in March 1917. Upon their arrival in Indiana, Fred's father, Ira Vandivier, gave Fred a large farm to live on and manage. Over the next seven years, Fred and Mary's family grew with the birth of three more children, Rosemary, Robert Dale and Ellamae Vandivier. All born in Franklin, Johnson County, Indiana.   (CONTINUED....)

    USS Vandivier (DER 540) (1955-1960) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Portrait from the Indiana Historical Society)
    Gerry Lawton
    Commander, USN (ret.)
    Saluda, N.C.

    Follow Gerry's Blog
    Missing In Action
    81k undated Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    89k undated -
    61k 12 May 1956

    (U.S. Navy photo)
    531k 19 December 1957: the Atlantic Ocean - An aerial view of the radar picket escort ship USS Vandivier (DER 540) underway.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 1033702 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive

    Vandivier History
    View the USS Vandivier (DER 540) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Vandivier's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 11 Oct. 1955 – 15 May 1957Lcdr. Frank Benevides Correia, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘45) (Bristol, R. I.)
    2.) 15 May 1957 – 25 Jul. 1958Lcdr. William Russell Johnson, USN (NROTC '37) (Long Eddy, N. Y.)
    3.) 25 Jul. 1958 – 10 Feb. 1960Lcdr. John Taylor Stark Kearns, USN (USNA ‘46) (Culpeper, Va.)
    4.) 10 Feb. 1960 – 14 May 1960Lcdr. James Regis Vallely, USN (Decomm. CO) (New Castle, Pa.)

    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
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Vandivier
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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: 05 November 2021