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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Gaynier (DE 751)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Z - X - B
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
Gaynier (DE 751) Building and Operational Data:
  • 4 August 1943: Keel laid as DE 751 by the Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Pedro, Cal.
  • 3 September 1943: Named Gaynier (DE 751)
  • 30 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Ireta Gaynier, widow of Ensign Gaynier
  • 6 June 1944: Construction suspended
  • 1 September 1944: Construction cancelled, broken up on the building way
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    8k Ezra William Gaynier and Ada F. Duvall were married on 11 January 1912 in Monroe, Michigan. They were the parents of at least nine children: Edward W., Oswald Joseph, Shirley E., Winifred Ann, Eugene J., Elizabeth Jane, James R., Joan M., and Helen Jane Gaynier. Ozzie graduated from Monroe High School in 1933 and Michigan Normal College in 1940. Oswald "Ozzie" Gaynier married Ireta "Rete" J. MacLeod on 04 July 1941 in Miami, Florida. Oswald J. Gaynier enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve as a Seaman 2/c on 03 October 1940. He was appointed Aviation Cadet on 10 December 1940. He completed his aviation training and was commissioned as an Ensign on 03 June 1941. He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) on 25 August 1941.

    The crew that flew into battle on 04 June 1942 aboard Ens. Gaynier's plane were Ens. Joseph Metcalf Hissem, a navigator temporarily assigned to VT-8 from patrol squadron VP-24, and Seaman Howard William Pitt, turret gunner. Ens. Hissem was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart, and Seaman Pitt was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart medals. Of the six TBF-1 aircraft (later called Avengers) from the Midway detachment of Torpedo Squardron Eight that flew into battle on 04 June only one returned to Midway. Sixteen of the eighteen crewmen on board the six planes were killed in action. Of the remaining 15 torpedo planes from VT-8 on board Hornet all were lost on 04 June. Only one crewman survived; Ens George Gay. On the opening day of the Battle of Midway VT-8 crewman were awarded an incredible 24 Navy Cross Medals (this award is second in precedence only to the Congressional Medal of Honor).

    Navy Cross Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Oswald J. Gaynier, Ensign, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT, embarked from Naval Air Station Midway during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 04 and 05 June 1942. In the first attack against an enemy carrier of the Japanese invasion fleet, Ensign Gaynier pressed home his attack in the face of withering fire from enemy Japanese fighters and anti-aircraft forces. Because of events attendant upon the Battle of Midway, there can be no doubt that he gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. His courage and utter disregard for his own personal safety were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

    USS Gaynier (DE 751) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    Gerry Lawton
    Commander, USN (ret.)
    Saluda, N.C.

    Follow Gerry's Blog
    Missing In Action

    Gaynier History
    View the USS Gaynier (DE 751) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    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
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    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
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    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
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    Page Last Updated: 17 October 2022