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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS DeLong (DE 684)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - T - Z - T
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Bannister"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Expeditionary Medal
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/star

Class: Rudderow
Type: TEV (turbo-electric drive, long hull, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1,450 tons (light), 1,810 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 13' 9" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 CE boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 5,050 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 Mk30, 4 - 40mm Mk1 AA (2x2), 10 x 20mm/70 Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (230 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors (40), 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks (60)
Complement: 12 / 192
DeLong (DE 684) Building and Operational Data:
  • 19 October 1943: Keel laid by the Fore River Yard, Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.
  • 23 November 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. L. C. (Jetta) DeLong, mother of the late Corporal W. F. DeLong, USMCR
  • 31 December 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr R. C. Houston, USN, in command; assigned to Destroyer Escort Division 2
  • 15 August 1945: Reclassified as APD 137, reported to Charleston Navy Yard for conversion, conversion cancelled
  • .. January 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years of service
  • 07 February 1951: Recommissioned
  • 16 July 1958: Decommissioned, placed "in service" at the New York Naval Shipyard, assigned to NRT as a unit of the Select Reserve ASW Force, 3rd ND at New York City, N.Y.; Lt. G.H. Weeks, USN in command as OinC
  • October 1961: Recommissioned for the Berlin Crisis at Ft. Schuyler, N. Y., Cmdr. Bryan McCrave, USNR, in command, assigned to Escort Squadron 18 at Newport, R.I.
  • 01 August 1962: Decommissioned, placed back "in service" at Ft. Schuyler, returned to Third Naval District NRT duties as a unit of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 30
  • 08 August 1969: Placed "out of service" at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, struck from the NVR with a total of 20 years and 6 months of service; custody transferred to the Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia
  • 19 February 1970: Sunk as target off Puerto Rico
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    Weldon Fader DeLong, the son of Lowell Clifford and Jetta Louise (Smeltzer) DeLong, was born on 18 September 1916 in Barss Corner, Nova Scotia, Canada. The family later moved to Dover, Mass. where Weldon grew up and graduated from Dover High School in 1935. After working at jobs locally, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on 20 September 1940 at Boston, Mass. He trained at Parris Island, New River, and Cuba. In November 1942 he was a corporal, serving with King Company, Third Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal.

    The third day of November 1942 marked the third day of a combined Marine-Army push to the west along Guadalcanal’s northern coast. Ambitious planners hoped to seize the Japanese base at Kokumbona, but an unexpectedly fierce defense by the Imperial Army’s 4th and 124 Infantry Regiments inflicted heavy casualties and stunted progress. The 5th Marines faced an especially tough challenge from Colonel Nomasu Nakaguma’s 4th Infantry entrenched around the base of Point Cruz. Two days of fierce fighting, including an unusual American bayonet charge, finally trapped the surviving Japanese infantry in a constricted pocket west of the Point. Corporal DeLong helped inspire this charge, shouting “Let’s hit ’em!” and attacking a Japanese cannon, killing the crew, and putting the weapon out of action.
    The task of eliminating the final resistance fell to the Second Battalion, 5th Marines, with support from the Third Battalion. Item and King Companies weathered a Japanese bayonet charge at 0630 hours. Between 0800 and noon, the Americans inexorably advanced, compressing the defenders in an ever-shrinking perimeter. The fighting grew desperate and personal at close quarters, with both sides using bayonets as well as bullets. Second Lieutenant Paul Moore (F/2/5) recalled that “The skirmishers went on down to the beach and wound up in a bayonet fight with the Japanese, whom they finally pushed back into the sea. Others were killed. There was a terrible slaughter of Japanese and the battle was finally concluded”.

    from Jim McEnery K/3/5, Hell In The Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Journey from Guadalcanal to Peleliu.
    Weldon DeLong started running back and forth with nothing but a pistol and firing whenever he saw a downed Jap make a move. I guess he'd dropped his rifle in the heat of the charge instead of trying to reload. DeLong had put several enemy wounded out of their misery when Slim Somerville spotted three or four Japs hiding in some water behind a log. They thought we couldn't see them, but Somerville noticed their reflections.... "Get down! Get down!" Slim yelled. ...[DeLong] was too intent on looking for Japs to hear Somerville's warning. One of the Japs in the water fired, and the bulled slammed into Delong's chest. He went down without a sound and never moved again. After some other Marines took care of the Japs behind the log, I ran over to DeLong. He was lying in a puddle of blood with his eyes wide open and his pistol still in his hand. The bullet had gone straight through his heart. He was as dead as a man could get.... I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. DeLong's death left me shaken as bad as I'd ever been. I considered him the best Marine in my former squad and maybe the best in the whole platoon.... One moment of carelessness had cost him his life. He was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross for outstanding valor that day in leading the charge against one of those Jap field pieces and then wrecking the gun. He also had a ship named in his honor. But even more important than that, he was my friend.

    DeLong’s body was reportedly buried near where he fell, “in area” or, less helpfully, “Lunga area North Coast Guadalcanal.” He is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart Medal.

    USS DeLong (DE 684) (1943-1946, 1951-1969) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo and text from the web site, Missing Marines)

    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    De Long
    85k undated postwar images -
    De Long
    De Long
    105k underway, circa the 1950's or early 1960's

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 98909 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    De Long
    35k date / location unknown Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    De Long
    82k date / location unknown (late '50's, early '60's) Lon Finnerty
    De Long
    De Long
    20k 1957: drydocked
    De Long
    480k 22 June 1958: Brooklyn, N.Y. - At the Brooklyn Navy yard, shortly before they started scrapping Enterprise (CV 6) by first cutting off her tripod mast; she was sold for scrapping 10 days later, on 02 July.  The carrier on the opposite side of the pier is USS Independence (CVA 62) nearing completion. Ships visible in the left foreground include (from front): USS DeLong (DE 684), USS Coates (DE 685) and USS Hoe (SS 258). Ten other destroyers are also present, as is a "Liberty" type ship.  The F. & M. Schaefer brewery is visible in the center background; the longest and last operating brewery in New York City (when it was closed in 1976), and America's oldest lager beer brewing company.

    (U.S. Navy photo #1036995 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Steve Whitby
    256k early 1960's: Two excellent shots of USS DeLong (DE 684) underway. (0668411 appears to be a better copy of 0668406 above) Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.
    245k circa 1966: USS DeLong (DE 684) underway.

    (Official U.S. Navy photo; from "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1966-67")
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    T. Parker
    258k 03 February 1967: Newport, R.I. - Two views of four Third Naval District reserve training DE's alongside USS Yosemite (AD 19) for upkeep and repair. From left to right are: USS Thaddeus Parker (DE 369), stationed at the Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne, N.J.; DeLong, stationed to the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center, Fort Schuyler, Bronx, N.Y.; USS Albert T. Harris (DE 447), stationed at the U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center at Whitestone, Queens, N.Y.; and last but not least USS Coates (DE 685), stationed at the Long Wharf in New Haven, Conn.

    (Both Photos ©Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    T. Parker
    DeLong Memorabilia
    News Article
    October 1960
    A.C. Cockrell
    Courtesy of
    Award Ceremony
    Booklet Cover
    Courtesy of
    Lon Finnerty
    Ship's Lighter
    (ship design)
    Courtesy of
    Nick Tiberio
    Ship's Lighter
    (ship design)
    Courtesy of
    Nick Tiberio
    Ship's Crest
    (design artwork)
    Courtesy of
    Bob Hurst
    Courtesy of
    Bob Hurst
    Courtesy of
    Nick Tiberio

    DeLong History
    View the USS DeLong (DE 684) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    DeLong's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.))  31 Dec. 1943 – 09 Aug. 1944Lcdr. Robert Cecil Houston, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘34) (Wheaton, Ill.)
    2.)  09 Aug. 1944 – 1945Lcdr. Albert Alexander Campbell, USNR
    3.)  1945 – Jan. 1946Lcdr. Joseph (Stormy) Alban Weber Jr., USNR (Chicago, Ill.) (ret. as Radm., USNR)
    4.)  07 Feb. 1951 – 1952Cmdr. Harold Norman Poulsen, USN (Recomm. CO)
    5.)  1952 – 1954Lcdr. Walter Daugherty McCord Jr., USN (USNA ‘43) (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
    6.)  1954 – 06 Jul. 1956Cmdr. Cecil Bradford Collins Jr., USN (USNA ‘43) (White Sulphur Springs, W.V.)
    7.)  06 Jul. 1956 – 28 Jan. 1958Lcdr. Robert D. Rinesmith, USN (Huntington, Ind.)
    8.)  28 Jan. 1958 – 16 Jul. 1958Lcdr. William Fergus Feely, USN (New York City, N.Y.)
    9.)  16 Jul. 1958 – 20 Feb. 1960Lt. G. H. Weeks, USN (OinC)
    10.) 20 Feb. 1960 – 01 Oct. 1961Lt. R. C. Beardslee, USN (OinC)
    11.) 01 Oct. 1961 – 26 Sep. 1962Cmdr. Bryan E. McCrave, USNR (Long Island City, N.Y.)
    12.) 26 Sep. 1962 – 11 Jun. 1965Lt. Anthony Paul Porcaro, USN (OinC)
    13.) 11 Jun. 1965 – Mar. 1968Lt. John W. Bitoff, USN (OinC) (Me. MA ‘58) (Brooklyn, N.Y.) (ret. as Radm.)
    14.) Mar. 1968 – 13 Mar. 1969Lt. W. H. Naumann, USNR (OinC)
    15.) 13 Mar. 1969 – 08 Aug. 1969Lt. R. L. Stover, USN (OinC)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    DeLong Does Hold Reunions

    Contact Name: Juergen N. Peters
    Address: 3206 Romilly Road
    City/State: Wilmington DE 19810-3436
    Phone: (302) 478-4353
    E-mail: Juergen Peters
    Contact Name: Darrel Ruebsamen
    Address:13315 Heights Path
    City/State: San Antonio TX 78230-5866
    Phone: (210) 492-1895
    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
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS DeLong
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail: Webmaster.

    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 04 November 2023