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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Whitman (DE 24)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - P - D - J
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/ 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
Whitman (DE 24) Building and Operational Data:
  • 07 September 1942: Keel laid by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 19 January 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Josephine P. Whitman, the widow of the late Lt. (jg.) Whitman
  • 03 July 1943: Commissioned, Lt. Carl E. Bull in command
  • 01 November 1945: Decommissioned at San Pedro, Cal. after 2 years and 4 months of service
  • 16 November 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 31 January 1947: Sold for scrapping to the National Metal & Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Los Angeles, Cal.
  • 20 March 1948: Scrapping completed
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    9k Robert Scott Whitman, Jr. was born on 01 January 1916 at Johnson City, N.Y. and was appointed a midshipman on 24 August 1935. He graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1939. After sea duty in the heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA 39) from 26 June 1939 to 01 February 1941, Whitman underwent heavier-than-air instruction at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Fla. He won his wings there and then received further instruction at the Transition Training Squadron, Pacific Fleet, before he reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 44 on 04 November 1941. He remained with VP-44 into the spring and early summer of 1942. With the reinforcement of Midway Atoll in the face of an impending Japanese thrust, VP-44 was dispatched to that key island base. During the first few days of June 1942, the PBY's based at Midway flew long patrols over the trackless ocean, searching for signs of enemy shipping. Then, on 03 June, came the first surface contact.

    One of the searchers on patrol that morning. Whitman's plane was the third to spot the enemy ships and at 0925 radioed a report calling attention to the "main body." After sending back a second message amplifying the data contained in his report of the initial sighting, Whitman brought his plane back to Midway in accordance with instructions. The following day, 04 June 1942, at 0715, his PBY-5A Catalina was again airborne; he reported that the aircraft was being "opposed by two enemy observation planes." That proved to be the last word heard from Whitman's aircraft, as the enemy planes shot it down in flames. Records of what happened later are sketchy, but it appears that about half of the plane's crew was lost on 04 June; six survivors, including the badly wounded Ensign Jack H. Camp, USNR, were picked up by a search PBY on 06 June. Camp later died at 0203 on the 7th. After the battle of Midway Patrol Squadron 44 returned to Pearl Harbor on 09 Jun 1942. Lt.(jg) Whitman was awarded the Purple Heart. His remains were unrecoverable.

    The family of Robert Scott Whitman received a commemoration from President Roosevelt. It reads:
    “In grateful memory of Robert Scott Whitman, Jr., United States Navy, who died in the service of his country at Midway Islands, 5 June 1943 (Presumed). He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives – in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men. (signed), Franklin D Roosevelt, President of the United States of America”

    USS Whitman (DE 24) (1943-1945) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo courtesy of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Whitman 105k 19 January 1943: Mrs. Robert S. Whitman (Sponsor) and Mrs. J. M. Andregg (Matron of Honor) are pictured prior to the launching of USS Whitman (DE 24) at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-619-43)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Whitman 115k 19 January 1943: Broadside view of Whitman after her launching at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-626-43)
    Whitman 134k 07 July 1943: The new commissioned Whitman is completing her outfitting at Mare Island Navy Yard. Shipyard logs indicated that the two destroyer escort in the background are Doherty (DE 14) and Harold C. Thomas (DE 21).

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-4941-43)
    Whitman 125k 21 April 1944: bow on view of Whitman in the Mare Island channel. She would finally depart Mare Island on 25 April 1944.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-2433-44)
    Whitman 125k 21 April 1944: broadside view of Whitman in the Mare Island channel.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-2435-44)
    Whitman 121k 21 April 1944: stern view of Whitman in the Mare Island channel.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-24-2436-44)
    Whitman 27k undated wartime image Bob Corbin

    Whitman History
    View the USS Whitman (DE 24) 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.

    Whitman's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 03 Jul. 1943 - 14 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Carl Edward Bull, USNR (Comm. CO) (Baltimore, Md.) (ret. as Radm.)
    2.) 14 Jan. 1944 - 23 Jan. 1945Lcdr. Ralph George Coan, USNR
    3.) 23 Jan. 1945 - 01 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Edward Albert Sandor, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    We meet with the National Destroyer Escort Sailors Association DESA, every year. See also DESA web site:

    Contact Name: Tony Polozzolo
    Address: 6328 Alberta St.
    City/State: Springfield VA 22152
    Phone: (703) 451-1874
    E-mail: desatonyp@usa
    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
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 27 April 2022