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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NALG

Displacement 2395 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 348' 4"(oa) x 36' 1" x 13' 2" (Max)
Armament 4 x 5"/38AA, 6 x 0.5" MG, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 50,000 SHP; Bethlehem Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 208.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, Quincy. May 1 1941.
Launched December 31 1941 and commissioned April 30 1942.
Decommissioned February 1 1946.
Stricken June 1 1971.
Fate Sold March 16 1973 and broken up for scrap.

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Bancroft 86kGeorge Bancroft born on 3 October 1800 at Worcester, Mass. and was graduated from Harvard University in 1817 and then studied at the University of Göttingen, Germany, where he received a doctorate in 1820. Upon his return to the United States, Bancroft tutored in Greek at Harvard for one year, but left when his foreign social and educational views clashed with those of the students and the faculty alike. He next attempted to publish a book of verse and then to establish a boy's school on the European model, but both ventures failed. In 1831, he began research for his famous History of the United States. He published the first volume in 1834; the second, along with a second edition of the first, in 1837; and the third in 1840. The first three volumes covered only the period of colonization. The success of the History was immediate, though some critics perceived the presence of a distinct bias in favor of Jacksonian democracy. That predilection for the Democratic Party combined with the paucity of Democrats in staunchly Whig New England explains Bancroft's almost meteoric rise in the party ranks. He was a delegate to the party convention in 1844 and played an important role in the nomination of James K. Polk for the presidency. After Polk won election, he rewarded Bancroft by appointing him Secretary of the Navy. Though his term lasted only 18 months, Bancroft made significant contributions to the foundation upon which the Navy rests. Most notably, he established the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and strongly supported the work of the Naval Observatory. In 1846, Bancroft began his career as a diplomat when he went to London as United States minister to Great Britain. In addition to performing his duties as American minister, Bancroft continued research for his History, consulting European sources by then available to him. He returned to the United States in 1849 and concentrated upon his historical research and writing. Between 1852 and 1866, he issued six more volumes of the History carrying the work through the end of the American Revolution. Though initially skeptical about Abraham Lincoln's ability to handle the national dilemma brought on by secession and the Civil War, Bancroft quickly reversed his opinion and gave Lincoln all his support, both written and oral. He also enjoyed warm ties with Lincoln's vice president and successor, Andrew Johnson. That friendship brought Bancroft another diplomatic post in 1867 as United States minister in Berlin. There he witnessed the consolidation of Bismarck's Germany from the North German Confederation to the German Empire. He remained at that post until 1874. Again, Bancroft did not let his diplomatic duties interrupt his historical research. The 10th and final volume of the History came out in 1874. Two years later, he published a revised edition of the entire work condensed to six volumes. In 1882, he issued the History of the Formulation of the Constitution of the United States. Finally, between 1883 and 1885, Bancroft published a final revision of the History in which he corrected many errors and softened some of the floridity of his prose. George Bancroft, truly the "Father of American History," died at Washington, D.C., on 17 January 1891. He was buried in his hometown, Worcester, Mass. Digital ID: cwpbh 02618, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs.Bill Gonyo
Bancroft 82kArtist's conception of the Bancroft as she appeared in World War II by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Bancroft 74kUSS Harris (APA-2), background. In the foreground is the USS Bancroft (DD-598) underway as part of the screen off Kiska on D-day. Photo taken from "US Destroyer Operations In World War II" by Theodore Roscoe.Robert Hurst
Bancroft 68kUndated, location unknown.Cal Emerson
Bancroft 98kUndated, location unknown.Cal Emerson
Bancroft 56kUndated, location unknown.Cal Emerson
Bancroft 150kCirca 1942, location unknown. Image from the 1943-44 Edition of Jane's Fighting Ships.Robert Hurst
Bancroft 168kRight-to-left are USS Gillespie (DD-609), USS Bancroft (DD-598), USS Grayson (DD-435), and USS Edwards (DD-619) as seen in a 1970 nest at the Orange, Texas Inactive Ship Facility. These are incidental views to a series of photos of USS Hobby's first reunion, with the uncommon chance of all four wearing the larger bow numerals. Photos are by Joe Buya, courtesy Ray and Betty Simons.John Chiquoine
Bancroft 177kAs above.John Chiquoine
Click here to view the DOD Sealed Bid Offering of March 2 1973 for the Bancroft.
Click here to see additional image(s) of this ship on our Orange, Texas Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (ISMF) Special Feature page

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR John Leslie Melgaard    Apr 30 1942 - Jul 12 1943 (Later RADM)
CDR Ray Maurer Pitts    Jul 12 1943 - Sep 30 1944
LT Gordon Haskell Smith    Sep 30 1944 - Oct 1944 (Acting)
LCDR Charles Ellsworth Pond    Oct 1944 - Feb 1 1946

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Cal C. Emerson
Address: 4600 Knoll Drive., Bakersfield, CA 93308-1214
Phone: (661)399-4126

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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