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USS Schmitt (DE 676 / APD 76)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - K - Y - 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 w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Medal w/ Asia Clasp

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
Shmitt (DE 676) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 February 1943: Keel laid by the Bethlehem Steel (Fore River Yard) Shipyard, Inc., Quincy, Mass.
  • 19 May 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Buchheit
  • 24 July 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr T. D. Cunningham in command
  • 20 January 1945: Entered the U.S. Naval Frontier Base, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y. for conversion to APD
  • 24 January 1945: Redesignated APD 76
  • 03 April 1945: Conversion completed
  • 28 June 1949: Decommissioned at Charleston, S.C. after 5.9 years of service
  • 01 May 1967: Struck from the NVR
  • 18 February 1969: Transferred to Taiwan, renamed ROCS Lung Shan (PF-44) (stricken, scrapped, 1976)
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    91k Aloysius H. Schmitt was born to Henry and Mary Anna (Kuennen) Schmitt on 04 December 1909 in St. Lucas, Iowa. He studied at Columbia College (now Loras College) in Dubuque, Iowa, graduating in 1932, when he travelled to Rome to study for the priesthood. Ordained on 08 December 1935, Father Schmitt was first assigned as an associate pastor at Saint Mary's Church in Dubuque. He was later assigned to St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received permission to become a military chaplain, joined the United States Navy, and was appointed an Acting Chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade on 28 June 1939.

    On 07 December 1941, Father Schmitt was hearing confessions prior to serving Sunday mass on board the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. When the ship capsized, he became trapped, along with other members of the crew, in a compartment where only a small porthole provided an outlet for escape. He assisted a number of men through the porthole, and then gave up his own chance to escape so that more men might be rescued. Fr. Schmitt died on board Oklahoma, and was the first military chaplain of any faith to have died in World War II. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously for his courage and self-sacrifice. In late 2017, his award was upgraded to the Silver Star which was presented to the Schmitt family in a ceremony at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, "Father Al's" alma mater, on 07 December 2017.

    In 2015 the United States Department of Defense exhumed the remains of 388 unknown military personnel interred in Hawaii. Father Schmitt's remains were identified in 2016 from DNA taken from his skull and matched with that of a relative. They were returned to Iowa where a Memorial Mass was celebrated in his home parish of St. Luke in St. Lucas on 05 October 2016. His remains were transferred to Dubuque where a funeral Mass and burial were held in Christ the King Chapel at Loras College on 08 October 2016.

    USS Schmitt (DE 676) (1943-1949) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #171201-N-NO147-002 courtesy of Loras College, from the Naval History and Heritage Command).
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Assoc. Researcher


    Ron Reeves
    Oaklyn, N.J.
    Schmitt 24k undated wartime image Jerry Church
    Schmitt 71k undated wartime images, from Peter's Father, Lt.(jg) Joseph A. Fernandez, Jr. Peter Fernandez
    Schmitt 147k

    Schmitt History
    View the USS Schmitt (DE 676) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Schmitt as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Schmitt's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 24 Jul. 1943 - 29 Nov. 1943Lcdr. Thomas Donald Cunningham (Comm. CO) (Danville, Va.)
    2.) 29 Nov. 1943 - 14 Dec. 1944Lt. Nicholas Biddle, USNR
    3.) 14 Dec. 1944 - 01 Feb. 1946Lcdr. Thomas Andrew Melusky, USNR (Des Moines, Ia.)
    4.) 01 Feb. 1946 - .. .... 1947Lcdr. James Joseph Seelig, USNR
    5.) .. .... 1947 - 28 Jun. 1949Lt. Robert James Loomis (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Alton R. Blanks
    Address: 6524 Merrill Road
    City/State: Columbia SC 29209
    Phone: (803) 776-5148
    E-mail: Alton Blanks
    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

    Navsource APD Pages, USS Schmitt (APD 76)
    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
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 05 December 2017