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USS Bunch (DE 694 / APD 79)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - A - L
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon
Second Row: China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation 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
Bunch (DE 694) Building and Operational Data:
  • 23 February 1943: Keel laid by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 29 May 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Leila Mae (Byers) Bunch, widow of ARM1c Bunch
  • 21 August 1943: Commissioned at New Orleans, La., Lcdr. Alfred A. Campbell, USNR, in command
  • 28 July 1944: Commenced APD flagship conversion at the Naval Frontier Base, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y.
  • 31 July 1944: Reclassified APD 79
  • 12 October 1944: Conversion completed
  • 31 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 9⅓ months of service
  • 01 April 1964: Struck from the NVR
  • June 1965: Sold for scrapping
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    148k Kenneth Cecil Bunch was born on 21 January 1919 in Norman County, Minn. and enlisted in the Navy at Des Moines, Iowa, on 09 March 1937. He received his "boot camp" training at San Diego, Calif. Rated as seaman 2d class on 09 July 1937, Bunch was transferred to Scouting Squadron (VS) 42 ten days later. He remained with that unit in the years that followed, attaining the rate of radioman 2d class on 16 November 1940. With the extension of his enlistment on 09 March 1941, Bunch was transferred to the Naval Air Station at Norfolk, Va., on 29 August 1941 where he joined VS-8, of the then-forming USS Hornet (CV 8) Air Group, soon thereafter. While in that squadron, he attained the rate of aviation radioman 1st class on 01 March 1942.

    On 06 June 1942, the last day of the Battle of Midway, Bunch flew as radioman-gunner in the Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive bomber piloted by Ens. Donald T. Griswold, USNR, as the Hornet air group joined in the attacks on the fleeing Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma. Antiaircraft fire claimed Griswold's SBD-3, the only airplane lost by VS-8 that day, and it crashed, killing both the pilot and his radioman. For his contribution to victory at Midway, ARM1c Bunch was posthumously awarded the Air Medal.

    USS Bunch (DE 694) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from the web site:Find A Grave, Memorial #80335300)
    Click on photo acknowledgement link (above) for an expanded "Find A Grave" biography of ARM1c Bunch by Gerry Lawton, Commander, USN (ret.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Bunch 440k 25 July 1943: The future USS Bunch underway a month before her commissioning.

    (U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-694 19-N-91200 from the National Archives and Records Administration, courtesy of  Chris Wright)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Bunch 348k 25 July 1943: Lake Huron, off Michigan - The future USS Bunch running builders' trials on Lake Huron. She had been built by Defoe, at Bay City, Michigan.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #19-N-91201 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Bunch  1.) 343k   Bunch  2.) 255k   Bunch  3.) 294k

    04 April 1944: Brooklyn, N. Y. - Three views of USS Bunch (DE 694) taken at the New York Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photos #1.) 19-N-65670, #2.) 19-N-65669, and #3.) 19-N-65668 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE / FF / LCS
    Archive Manager

    Bunch History
    View the USS Bunch (DE 694 / APD 79) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Bunch's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Aug. 1943 - 29 Jun. 1944Lcdr. Albert Alexander Campbell, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 29 Jun. 1944 - 15 Aug. 1945Lt. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, USNR
    3.) 15 Aug. 1945 - 26 Aug. 1945Lcdr. John Reginald DeSibour, USNR
    4.) 26 Aug. 1945 - 31 May 1946Lcdr. Edward Wood Donnally, USNR (Decomm. CO) (Indian River, Fla.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: David L Hibbs Sr.
    Phone: 717-637-7723
    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 Bunch (APD 79)
    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 Bunch
    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: 03 September 2022