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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Vammen (DE 644)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - A - C
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Brentwood"

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 - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star
Second Row: World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Korean Service Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - United Nations Korean Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

"Paratus, Destruere, Protecere"
(Ready, To Destroy, To Protect)
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
Vammen (DE 644) Building and Operational Data:
  • 01 August 1943: Keel laid at the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Corp., San Francisco, Cal.
  • 21 May 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Earle Morgan, aunt of the late Ens. Vammen
  • 27 July 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. Lyman M. King, Jr., USNR, in command
  • 03 February 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 6 months of service
  • 1951: Underwent SCB-63A, ASW Upgrade
  • 12 February 1952: Recommissioned at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal., assigned to Pacific Destroyer Force at San Diego,Cal.
  • Oct. 1958 - Jan. 1959: Vammen and crew were used in filming the Jerry Lewis comedy Don't Give Up the Ship
  • 21 May 1960: Assigned to NRT, 11th Naval District at Long Beach, Cal.
  • 18 June 1960: Decommissioned, placed "in service" as a unit of the Select Reserve ASW Force
  • 02 October 1961: Recommissioned for the Berlin Crisis at the U.S. Naval Station, Long Beach, Cal., Cmdr. Charlie S. Nelson, USNR, assumed command, assigned to Escort Squadron 7
  • 01 August 1962: Decommissioned and placed "in service" at the U.S. Naval Station, Long Beach, Cal., Cmdr. Michael Cullen, USNR, assumed command as Officer-in-Charge, assigned to Reserve Destroyer Squadron 27
  • 12 July 1969: Relieved as NRT ship by USS Maddox (DD 731), placed "out of service" at the Naval Inactive Ship Facility at San Diego, Cal., struck from the NVR after 19 years and 11 months of service
  • 18 February 1971: Sunk as target during testing of the Condor missile
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    82k 21 May 1944: San Francisco, Cal. - USS Vammen (DE 644) is launched at the Bethlehem Steel Co. shipyard. Paul Rebold
    294k 07 August 1944: Builder's photo taken by the Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco Yard George Wilson
    USS Vammen
    B Div., 1961-1963
    251k undated wartime image
    169k October 1944

    (from the National Archives Collection)
    Dwayne Day
    76k 15 February 1952: Mare Island Naval Shipyard - Photo of the re-commissioning ceremony aboard USS Vammen (DE 644) at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-644-12011-2-52)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    76k 01 March 1952: Mare Island NSY - Forward plan view of Vammen at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-644-12158-2-52)
    76k 01 March 1952: Mare Island NSY - Aft plan view of Vammen at Mare Island. She was under conversion at the yard from 31 May 1951 to 15 March 1952.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-644-12156-2-52)
    722k 21 March 1952: Vallejo, Cal. - USS Vammen (DE 644) heading for Mare Island Navy Yard. The Carquinez Bridge is in the background to the left of Vammen's bow.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NY9-12421-3-52)
    392k undated: Post-war aerial view of the destroyer escort USS Vammen (DE 644) underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo #L45-294.03.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    76k 03 December 1957: off San Francisco -
    43k undated postwar image J. Stacy
    135k 1957: San Francisco Bay

    Allied Photographers, San Francisco, Cal.)
    Robert M. Cieri
    88k undated, looking aft on Vammen (caption on back of photo reads "Looking for the torpedo") J. Stacy
    294k date / location unknown Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    76k circa 1957

    (Ted Stone Photo; from "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1958 - 59")
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    122k circa 1959: USS Vammen (DE644) underway. (U.S. Navy Photo, from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1960-61)
    105k undated: Long Beach, Cal. - Vammen and USS Haven (AH 12) provide the background for a pin-up photo being taken aboard an unidentified ship at Long Beach Naval Station. Richard Miller
    BMCS, USNR (ret.)
    88k 1958 - 1959: Vammen was the ship used for the filming of "Don't Give Up the Ship", a comedy directed by Norman Taurog and starring Jerry Lewis. It was filmed from 21 October 1958 to 30 January 1959, and released on 3 July 1959 by Paramount Pictures. Click on the thumbnail to see a series of movie photos. Tommy Trampp
    Benton City, Wash.
    245k circa 1960: USS Vammen (DE 644) underway.

    (Photo courtesy of Mr. W.H. Davis; from "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1966-67")
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    133k 1962: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - Ship's portrait of Vammen, with her crew at quarters for entering port, shot from Hospital Point at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station. George Wilson
    41k 1962: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - Another portrait of Vammen with her crew at quarters for entering port.
    37k August 1963: A photo of Vammen's bow following the "fender bender" with USS Tingey (DD 539) that cut short the August 1963 SelRes cruise to Hawaii. She's tied up inboard of USS Diachenko (APD 123).
    706k 09 August 1968: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - USS Vammen (DE 644) arriving for a port visit to this Canadian city.

    (Photograph by Walter E. Frost) (Photo #AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-8778 from the City of Vancouver Archives)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    206k undated: USS Vammen passing Point Loma on her way to sea from San Diego.

    (Photo © Marine Photos and Publishing Co., Spring Valley, Cal.)

    Vammen Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    George Wilson
    CortDiv 72
    Cruise Patch
    Courtesy of
    George Wilson
    CortRon 7
    Courtesy of
    Tommy Trampp
    Page from Sep. 1962
    All Hands Magazine
    Courtesy of
    George Wilson
    Ship's Plaque at the Nat'l
    Museum of the Pacific
    Courtesy of
    George Wilson

    Vammen History
    View the USS Vammen (DE 644) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Vammen's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  27 Jul 1944 25 Apr. 1945Lcdr. Lyman Maurice King Jr., USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.)  25 Apr. 1945 20 Nov. 1945Lt. George Washburn, USNR
    3.)  20 Nov. 1945 03 Feb. 1947Lcdr. Milton Joseph Silverman, USN (USNA 41) (Denver, Colo.)
    4.)  12 Feb. 1952 Lcdr. Alfred Darragh Garvin, USN (Recomm. CO) (USNA 42) (Chicago, Ill.)
    7.)  no date 07 Aug. 1957Lcdr. / Cmdr. John F. Jansen, USN
    8.)  07 Aug. 1957 .. Dec. 1958Lcdr. Robert Simpson Lewellen, USN (USNA 44) (Indianapolis, Ind.)
    9.)  .. Dec. 1958 18 Jun. 1960Lcdr. Herbert Leakin Ogier Jr., USN (USNA 45) (Baltimore, Md.)
    10.)  18 Jun. 1960 02 Oct. 1961Lt. Thomas Arthur Warren Frye, USN (OinC)
    11.)  02 Oct. 1961 01 Aug. 1962Cmdr. Charlie S. Nelson, USNR (MidSch 43) (Pelzer, S. C.)
    12.)  01 Aug. 1962 01 Oct. 1962Cmdr. Michael Cullen, USNR (OinC)
    13.) 01 Oct. 1962 01 Dec. 1962Lt. Thomas Arthur Warren Frye, USN (OinC)
    14.) 01 Dec. 1962 17 Jul. 1964Lt. Turner Park Wallace Jr., USN (OinC) (enl. '42, OCS '55) (Hancock, Wis.)
    15.) 17 Jul. 1964 30 Apr. 1965Lt. Bob Lane Peterson, USN (OinC)
    16.) 30 Apr. 1965 19 May 1968Lt. / Lcdr. Vernon Randolph Bussard Jr., USN (OinC)
    17.) 19 May 1968 12 Jul. 1969Lt. John Alden Standish, USN (OinC) (Decomm. CO) (OCS '62) (Lancaster, Pa.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Vammen's Last Known Reunion
    October 2008 at Branson MO

    USS Vammen Association
    Contact: Kenneth Bazar, President
    Address: 933 Pigeon Forge Ave.
    City/State: Henderson NV 89015
    Phone: (702) 558-5033 Cell: (702) 526-1006
    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
    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: 16 July 2023