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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Wileman (DE 22)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - F - D - S
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
First Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 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
Wileman (DE 22) Building and Operational Data:
  • 30 April 1942: Keel laid as BDE 22 by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 19 December 1942: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Fred Yam
  • 25 January 1943: Reallocated to the U.S. Navy, redesignated DE 22
  • 19 February 1943: Named Wileman (DE 22)
  • 11 June 1943: Commissioned, Lt. Aaron F. Beyer, in command
  • 16 November 1945: Decommissioned at Terminal Island, San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 5 months of service
  • 28 November 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 08 January 1947: Sold for scrapping to the Pacific Bridge Co., San Francisco, Cal.
  • 23 June 1947: Scrapping completed
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    7k William Wolfe Wileman was born on 04 May 1917 in Ventura County, California. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1940 and enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 12 February 1941 as a seaman second class. After basic training at Oakland, Cal., he transferred to the Pensacola Naval Air Station for aviation training on 03 April and, the following day, received his appointment as an aviation cadet. He finished the basic course at Pensacola in August and moved to the Miami Naval Air Station on the 31st for advanced training. His flight instruction ended on 04 November; and, on the 5th, Wileman was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve. The Navy Directory for 1942 suggests that Ens. Wileman was assigned to Fighting Squadron (VF) 6 on board Enterprise. While he may have served briefly with that unit and on board that ship, he was definitely a member of VF-2 on board Yorktown by the time of the Battle of the Coral Sea early in May 1942. During that action in the evening of 07 May, Ens. Wileman earned the Navy Cross for shooting down at least one, and perhaps two, Japanese fighters. Later, he transferred to VF-5 and saw service at various locations in the southwestern Pacific. At the time of his death on 13 September 1942, Ens. Wileman was based ashore on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands with a portion of VF-5 assigned to the "Cactus Air Force" at Henderson Field. Further details of Ens. Wileman's death are unavailable, but he was presumed dead as a result of enemy action while defending his base from Japanese air raids. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart having been killed in action as a direct result of wounds received in action with the enemy of the United States. His other awards received posthumously included the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Defense Service Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

    USS Wileman (DE 22) (1943-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Image from the University of California Berkeley Blue and Gold yearbook Class of 1940)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Wileman 120k 19 December 1942: Vallejo, Cal. - Mrs. Emme Yam, Sponsor, and Mrs. Lilly Ching, Matron of Honor, are shown with the champagne to be used to christen Wileman (DE 22) at Mare Island. Mrs. Yam was a helper electrician and was elected by her fellow Mare Island Chinese workers to sponsor the ship. Mrs. Lilly Ching a helper machinist was the runner-up in the contest. Dr. Chin Tsing Feng, Consul General of China at San Francisco, was guest speaker at the launching.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-22-7994-42)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Wileman 97k 19 December 1942: Vallejo, Cal. - Christening of Wileman (DE 22 / BDE 22) at Mare Island Navy Yard. Mrs. Lilly Ching, Matron of Honor, left, Captain Frederick Crisp, left behind the sponsor and Capt A. D. Denney, Captain of the Yard, right, look on as Mrs. Emme Yam, center, mashes bottle of champagne against bow of the future USS Wileman.

    (U.S. Navy photo )
    Wileman 100k 12/19/1942: Vallejo, Cal. - Wileman is half way down the building ways during her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard.
    (U.S. Navy photo )
    Wileman 54k 19 December 1942: Vallejo, Cal. - Broadside view of the HMS Foley (BDE-22) after her launching at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-22-7981-42)
    Wileman 82k Invitation to Wileman's Commissioning. (from the Memorabilia of Lt. George Robertson) Ed Williams
    grandson of
    Lt. George Robertson

    Photos taken by
    Lt. Robinson
    Wileman 71k undated, Wileman at anchor
    Wileman 78k undated, depth charge attack
    Wileman 114k 15 Auugust 1945: Surrender of Japan, 1945. Crew members on USS Wileman (DE 22) celebrate upon hearing of Japan's acceptance of surrender terms. The photographer was from Naval Air Station, Ebeye Island, Kwajalein.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-343608 from the United States National Archives)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom

    Wileman History
    View the USS Wileman (DE 22) 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.

    Wileman's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 11 Jun. 1943 - 10 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Aaron Frederick Beyer, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA '33) (Tyrone, Pa.)
    2.) 10 Jan. 1944 - 16 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Ralph Michael Tanner Jr., USNR
    3.) 16 Jul. 1945 - 30 Sep. 1945Lcdr. Gilbert Boyle Valentine, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: M. Edward Arnold
    Address: 3235 Ames Avenue
    City/State: Kingman AZ 86401
    Phone: (928) 692-9190
    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
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    Page Last Updated: 27 April 2022