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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Left Ship's Patch Courtesy of Nick Tiberio, Right Patch from Mike Smolinski
Ship's Name Tab Courtesy of Al Grazevich

USS Whitehurst (DE 634)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - T - V - D
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Clover Hill"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 7 stars - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row: National Defense Service Medal w/star - Korean Service Medal w/ 3 stars - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Fourth Row: Philippine Liberation Medal - United Nations Korean Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Whitehurst (DE 634) Building and Operational Data:
  • 21 March 1943: Keel laid by the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Corp., San Francisco, Cal.
  • 05 September 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Robie S. Whitehurst, the mother of Ensign Whitehurst
  • 19 November 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr James R. Grey in command
  • 27 November 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 3 years of service
  • 01 September 1950: Recommissioned, Cmdr. Malcolm G. Evans in command
  • June-July 1957: Whitehurst and her crew starred in the 20th Century-Fox movie "The Enemy Below"
  • September 1957: Assigned to NRT, 13th Naval District at Seattle, Wash.
  • 06 December 1958: Decommissioned, placed "in service" as a unit of the Select Reserve ASW Force
  • 02 October 1961: Recommissioned for the Berlin Crisis at Seattle, Wash., Lcdr. Donald L. MacLane, USNR, in command, assigned to the Pacific Fleet Destroyer Force at Pearl Harbor, Hi.
  • 01 August 1962: Decommissioned at Seattle, Wash., placed "in service" as a Group II Naval Reserve training ship
  • late 1967: Homeport assignment changed to Portland, Ore. to replace McGinty (DE 365) as resident NRT ship
  • 12 July 1969: Placed "out of service", struck from the NVR with a total of 21.9 years of service
  • 28 April 1971: Sunk as target, torpedoed by USS Trigger (SS 564)
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Whitehurst 23.9k Henry Purefoy Whitehurst, Jr. was born on 16 February 1920 at New Bern, N.C. He was appointed a midshipman on 14 July 1938 and, because of the exigencies of war, graduated with the Naval Academy's Class of 1942 on 19 December 1941. He reported to the heavy cruiser Astoria (CA 34) on the morning of 18 January 1942 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Whitehurst served as a junior watch and division officer in Astoria as the ship took part in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, and was in the cruiser when she participated in the landings on Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. The next day, Astoria screened the vital transports as they unloaded supplies and equipment for the marines ashore, and that evening stood out to a night retirement station off Savo Island.

    A little after 0152 on the morning of 9 August, a Japanese force under Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, which had slipped undetected into the waters south of Savo Island, unleashed a devastating night attack on the Southern and Northern Forces. In the former, Chicago (CA 29) was damaged and the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra crippled so badly that she later sank. The Northern Force, unaware of the enemy's presence until too late, soon took staggering punishment. Vincennes (CA 44) and Quincy (CA 39) sank before daylight, but Astoria lingered on while her surviving officers and men labored to save their ship. However, the damage proved too great; and Astoria, like her two sister ships, eventually succumbed shortly after noon on 9 August. Among the dead suffered in the Battle of Savo Island was Ensign Whitehurst.

    USS Whitehurst (DE 634) (1943-1969) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from the The Citadel, Citadel History)
    Bill Gonyo
    Whitehurst 36k late 1943: San Francico Bay. (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #BuShips200669) Nick Tiberio
    Whitehurst 93k 3 July 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - undergoing Inclining tests (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #19LCM-DE634-1)
    Whitehurst 110k 3 July 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - undergoing Inclining tests (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #19LCM-DE634-2)
    Whitehurst 117k 3 July 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - undergoing Inclining tests, TEG conversion is visable (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #19LCM-DE634-3)
    Whitehurst 70k 3 July 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - undergoing Inclining tests (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #19LCM-DE634-4)
    Whitehurst 72k 3 July 1945: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - undergoing Inclining tests (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives #19LCM-DE634-5)
    Whitehurst 128k 15 March 1952: Mare Island Naval Shipyard - Change of command ceremonies aboard USS Whitehurst (DE 634) at Mare Island. Lcdr Marvin D. Jones relieved Cdr Malcolm G. Evans as commanding officer. (U.S. Navy photo #DE-634 12347-3-52) Darryl Baker
    Whitehurst 65k undated postwar image (appears to be a Marine Photo and Publishing ship portrait taken while departing San Diego) Jerry Church
    Whitehurst 126k circa 1952: Point Loma at the mouth of San Diego Bay (hand colored print of previous photo) Nick Tiberio
    Whitehurst 284k 15 September 1962: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS Whitehurst (DE 634) standing off, preparing to moor while on a port visit to Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #CVA 447-8946 from the City of Vancouver Archives) Navsource
    Whitehurst 311k 31 July 1965: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS Whitehurst appears to be breasting out from the pier as she prepares to get underway after a port visit to Vancouver. (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #CVA 447-8946.1 from the City of Vancouver Archives)
    Whitehurst 195k 28 April 1971: at sea - Final moments of the target vessel ex-USS Whitehurst (DE 634), as seen through the periscope of the USS Trigger (SS 564). (U.S. Navy photo by RM3(SS) Tom Boyer, 1971-1973, courtesy of Scott Koen & Mike Green


    Ship's Plaque
    Courtesy of
    Tommy Trampp

    View the USS Whitehurst (DE 634) DANFS history entry
    located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website.
    Whitehurst's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)   19 Nov. 1943 - 01 Sep. 1944Lcdr. James Robert Gray (Comm.)
    2.)   01 Sep. 1944 - 05 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Jack C. Horton
    3.)   05 Dec. 1945 - 27 Nov. 1946Lt.(jg) Clair Hildreth Gannon, Jr. (Decomm.)
    4.)   01 Sep. 1950 - 15 Jan. 1952Cdr. Malcolm Glenmore Evans (Recomm.)
    5.)   15 Jan. 1952 - 15 Sep. 1954Lcdr. Marvin Dauvard Jones
    6.)   15 Sep. 1954 - .. Jan. 1956Cdr. William Richard Easton
    7.)   .. Jan 1956 - 1957Lcdr. Walter R. Smith
    8.)   1957 - 1958Cdr. George V. Fiflet (ret. as Radm.)
    9.)   1958 - 06 Dec. 1958Lcdr. Leland Eisen Mench
    10.) 02 Oct. 1961 - .. Oct. 1964Lcdr. Donald L. MacLane
    11.) .. Oct. 1964 - 19 Nov. 1966Cdr. Richard P. Rising
    12.) 19 Nov. 1966 - 1968Lcdr. Charles H. Bryant
    13.) 1968 - 12 Jul. 1969Cmdr. Peter Vosper Patterson, USNR (decomm.)
    ) .. Aug. 1964 - .. May 1967Lt. Elmer William Endter, Jr. (OinC)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Annual Reunion of WWII Veterans
    Wed. to Fri. of the last full week in June each year
    at the Clarion Inn, Knoxville TN
    Reunion Contact: Jim Lawrence
    Address: 120 Ryan Drive / Goose Creek SC 29445
    Phone: (843) 533-1908
    E-mail: Jim Lawrence

    25th Reunion of Post-War Crews
    11 - 14 September 2011
    at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, San Diego, Cal.
    Reunion Contact: Max Crow
    E-mail: Max Crow

    USS Whitehurst Association
    Crew Contact: Max Crow - Association Yeoman
    Address: 10817 Jack Fleck Dr. / El Paso TX 79935
    Phone: (915) 598-2606
    E-mail: Max Crow

    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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Max Crow's USS Whitehurst Site
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Whitehurst
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE Photo Index Page Back To The Main Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, or Image Submissions, Please E-mail: DE Info
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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 05 October 2015