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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Bangust (DE 739)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Z - V - N
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/ 10 stars - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/ 1 star

Class: Cannon
Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1240 tons (light), 1620 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 10,800 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 / 201
Bangust (DE 739) Building and Operational Data:
  • 11 February 1943: Keel laid by the Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Pedro, Cal.
  • 6 June 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Stephen W. Gerber
  • 30 October 1943: Commissioned at San Pedro, Cal., Lcdr. Charles F. MacNish, USNR, in command
  • 17 November 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 3 years and ˝ month of service
  • 21 February 1952: Transferred (MDAP) to Peru, renamed BAP Castilla (F-61) (stricken and broken up in 1979)
  • 18 April 1952: Struck from the NVR
    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 79818 Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1974, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
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    7k Joseph Bangust was born on 30 May 1915 in Niles, Ohio and enlisted in the Navy on 16 November 1938. Promoted to seaman 2d class, he was transferred to Patrol Wing 2 in June 1939, and, within the wing, to Patrol Squadron 21 the following July. He accompanied the squadron as it deployed to the Philippine Islands with its Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats, and in December 1939 received promotion to seaman 1st class. Within the next year, he was promoted twice: to aviation machinist’s mate 3d class (May 1940) and aviation machinist's mate 2d class (February 1941). When the war began in December 1941, Bangust was assigned to VP-101. Six PBYs departed their base at Ambon, Netherlands East Indies on 26 December 1941 to attack Jolo harbor. Bangust flew as gunner with Ens. Elwyn L. Christman. Antiaircraft fire from shore emplacements greeted the PBYs over the harbor, ceasing when a group of Mitsubishi A6M2 fighters appeared to intercept the attackers. Bangust teamed up with AMMl Andrew K. Waterman in downing the first Zero. The attacker having been dealt with, Christman released his bombs and headed west along the Sulu Archipelago. One fighter followed, attacking the plane’s port side persistently, but Christman sought to foil the attacker by turning into him, forcing him to break off his runs. Unfortunately, a projectile from one of the Zero’s cannon holed the fuel tank, sending gasoline into the mechanic’s compartment. On his next run, the Zero ignited the volatile fuel. Blinded, with third-degree burns on his face, hands and neck, Bangust and RM2 P. H. Landers bailed out of the burning plane. Ens. Christman rode the plane in and landed on the water. Landers, less injured than Bangust, guided him as they struck out for the island of Lugos. At about noon on 27 December, Landers glanced behind to see only an empty life jacket, Bangust had apparently slipped from it and drowned. For his extraordinary heroism during the action, Bangust was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

    USS Bangust (DE 739) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from USS Bangust website)

    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    20k undated wartime image Donald R. Pond
    QM2 USNR
    17k The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Hilbert (DE-742) possibly at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, California, sometime between February and May 1944. She is painted in Camouflage Measure 31, Design 10D. U.S. Navy photo 19-LCM-DE742-1
    297k USS Bangust (DE 739) At anchor, circa 1943. Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    82k circa 1953: as BAP Castilla (F-61)
    233k circa 1954: Overhead view of Peruvian destroyer escort BAP Castilla (F-61) in 1954. The ship, the ex-USS Bangust (DE-739) was acquired by Peru in February, 1952 as part of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 87846, Courtesy of Dr. R.L. Scheina, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    41k circa 1964: as BAP Castilla (F-61) Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Bangust History
    View the USS Bangust (DE 739) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Bangust as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Bangust's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 30 Oct. 1943 – 16 Mar. 1945Lcdr. Charles Fraser (Fox) MacNish, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 16 Mar. 1945 – .. Jan. 1946Lt. / Lcdr. Edward B. Walker Jr., USNR
    3.) .. Jan. 1946 – .. Jun. 1946Lcdr. Frederick Augustus Lind Jr., USNR
    4.) .. Jun. 1946 – 11 Nov. 1946Lt.(jg) Richard R. Maze, USNR (Decomm. CO) (Bartlesville, Okla.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Last Known Reunion:
    USS Bangust 24th Reunion
    2005 at Pittsburgh, Pa.

    E-mail: dpdon at

    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
    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: 04 April 2023