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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Steele (DE 8)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - X - G - O
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 stars - WWII Victory Medal

Class: Evarts
Type: GMT (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, short hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1,140 tons (light), 1,430 tons (full)
Length: 283' 6" (wl), 289' 5" (oa)
Beam: 35' 0" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Model 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 19 kts
Range: 4,150 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 - 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 - 1.1"/75 cal. Mk2 quad AA (4x1), 9 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 183
Steele (DE 8) Building and Operational Data:
  • 27 November 1942: Keel laid by the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass.
  • 09 January 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. John Steele, mother of Pvt. John N. Steele, USMC
  • 04 May 1943: Commissioned by Radm. R. A. Theobald, Commandant 1st Naval District, Lcdr. Mark E. Dennett, in command
  • 19 November 1945: Decommissioned at Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island, San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 6 months of service
  • 05 December 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 1947: Sold, scrapped
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    31k John Martin Steele, the son of John Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Snell) Steele, was born at Bruno, Minn., on 24 August 1920. The family moved to Morris, Ill. where Steele graduated from Morris Community High School. After working locally for a period of time, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps at Chicago, Ill. on 29 December 1941. Following recruit training he was assigned as a member of the Marine Detachment aboard USS Lexington (CV 2). Private Steele's battle station was in the port side forward gun gallery, manning a 5″ antiaircraft gun, AA Battery #2 / Gun 6. Steele was at his post on 08 May 1942, during the battle of the Coral Sea. At 1122 hours, an aerial bomb struck Lexingtons flight deck, penetrated the thin armor, and exploded in the ammunition locker of Gun #6. Private Steele was commended by the Commanding Officer of Lexington for remaining at his antiaircraft battery during strafing and the explosion of four torpedoes near the battery, and after a bomb had burst and set fire to a locker of heavy ammunition at the battery. He and other members of the gun crew extinguished the fire and readied the only remaining serviceable gun for further defense of the ship. At about 11:25 a.m., while still under attack from enemy torpedo planes, enemy dive bombers began their attacks and one bomb hit on the flight deck on the port side forward and exploded in the ready ammunition locker for Marine Gun 6, killing all fourteen members of that gun crew. Private Steele's remains were unrecoverable and he is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

    USS Steele (DE 8) (1943-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the Missing Marines Web Site)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE / FF / LCS
    Archive Manager
    126k undated wartime image -
    207k 03 June 1943: Great Sound, Bermuda - Two views of USS Steele (DE 8) taken while she was on her commissioning shakedown cruise. The photos, taken from USS Edsall (DE 129) show Steele at 07:15 departing anchorage C-3, Naval Operating Base at Bermuda for a day of drills, exercises, and battle problems.

    (Photos by Dmitri Kessel for Life Magazine)
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    Steele  233k     Steele  203k     Steele  139k     Steele  193k    

    03 June 1943: Great Sound, Bermuda - These photos show Steele conducting ASW operations in company with
    Edsall. After a full day of exercises Steele returned to her anchorage in the Great Sound at 17:56 that evening.

    (Photos by Dmitri Kessel for Life Magazine)
    91k 08 August 1945: Guam - Steele (DE 8) in foreground, observes Tranquility (AH 14) arriving at Guam, carrying survivors of USS Indianapolis (CA 35). Joe Radigan
    MACM, USN(ret.)
    Covington, Va.

    Navsource Archive Manager
    Patrol & Mine Warfare Archives

    Steele History
    View the USS Steele (DE 8) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View a short article on the design and development of the Evarts Class DE submitted by Bob Sables.

    Steele's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 04 May 1943 - 05 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Mark Edwin Dennett, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '32) (Phoenix, Ariz.)
    2.) 05 Jan. 1944 - 08 Jun. 1945Lcdr. Ralph C. Smith, Jr., USNR (Menerva, Oh.)
    3.) 08 Jun. 1945 - 17 Oct. 1945Lt./Lcdr. Fletcher Seymour, USNR (Elburn, Ill.)
    4.) 17 Oct. 1945 - 21 Nov. 1945Lt. Robinson Murray Jr., USNR (Decomm. CO) (Scarsdale, N. Y.)

    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
    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
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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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: 23 November 2022