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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Fleming (DE 32)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - G - D - N
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
Fleming (DE 32) Building and Operational Data:
  • 24 December 1942: Keel laid by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Cal.
  • 16 June 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. W. E. Rutherford
  • 18 September 1943: Commissioned at 1200 by Capt. W. F. Scanland, Captain of the Yard, Lcdr. R. J. Toner, USNR, in command
  • 13 January 1945: Fleming sank a Japanese submarine 320 miles north-northeast of Truk
  • 10 November 1945: Decommissioned at Pier "B", Municipal Terminal #1, Portland, Ore. after 2 years and 2 months of service
  • 28 November 1945: Struck from the NVR
  • 29 January 1948: Sold to the A.G. Schoonmaker Co. Inc., New York City, N.Y.; scrapped by the Zidell Corp., Portland, Ore.
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    54k Richard Eugene Fleming was born 02 November 1917 in St. Paul, Minn. He attended St. Thomas Academy and the University of Minnesota before enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve for aviation training. He went through the AVCAD (Aviation Cadet Training) program at Wold-Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis and trained at Pensacola. He was sent to the Pacific and was at sea with the U.S. carrier task force during the attack on Pearl Harbor 07 December 1941. He went to Midway Island to help defend against the Japanese assault. On 04 June 1942, he led an attack on one of the three Japanese carriers sunk during the initial battle. On 05 June 1942, he led a bombing attack on the Japanese cruiser Mikuma near Midway. He died when his Vindicator aircraft was struck by the ship’s anti-aircraft fire. Both his bomb and the plane struck the Japanese ship, exploding and disabling it. Fleming was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The South St. Paul Airport is named in honor of Captain Richard E. Fleming.

    USS Fleming (DE 32) (1943-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Marine Corps photo from the USMC History Division)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    121k 16 June 1943: Mrs. W. E. Rutherford christens the USS Fleming (DE 32) at Mare Island Navy Yard. Radm. Wilhelm L. Friedell (Shipyard Commandant) is seen to the far right.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-32-4415-43)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    133k 16 June 1943: Fleming is way half down the building ways at her launching at Mare Island.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-32-4426-43)
    88k 16 June 1943: Broadside view of Fleming immediately after her launching.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-32-4429-43)
    118k 02 July 1943: USS Fleming is seen being outfitted at Mare Island. USS Sederstrom (DE 31) is to the left. The ships are berthed at the foot of the building ways used to construct them.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #DE-32-4822-43)
    29k 29 October 1943: USS Fleming (DE 32) underway as seen from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60). Fleming had departed San Diego at 0629 on 27 October to conduct local operations with Guadalcanal and a number of other destroyers. After their exercises the units returned to San Diego, mooring in the Bay on the evening of 29 October.

    (United States Navy No. USN-383803
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    264k 20 January 1944: the South Pacific - Departing Tarawa on 18 January, USS Fleming was serving as ASW screen for USS Pocomoke (AV-9) while escorting her on the first leg of her trip to Pearl Harbor. Pocomoke is trying to lower a gurney to Fleming to bring aboard an enlisted crewmember suffering from acute appendicitis. Heavy swells deterred this effort and Fleming scraped her upperworks trying. Fleming personnel were then coached through the medical procedures by bullhorn.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NA-80-G-222876 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.
    29k 1944: in Hawaiian waters Don Gish

    Fleming History
    View the USS Fleming (DE 32) 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.

    Fleming's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 18 Sep. 1943 - 01 Jan. 1944Lcdr. Raymond John Toner, USNR (Comm. CO) (Chicago, Ill.) (also CO: DE 419)
    2.) 24 Feb. 1944 - 27 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Kenneth Farwell Burgess, Jr., USNR (Chicago, Ill.)
    3.) 27 Jul. 1945 - 17 Sep. 1945Lt. Charles Walter Bartlett, USNR (Worcester, Mass.)
    4.) 17 Sep. 1945 - 24 Sep. 1945Lt. Howard William Campen, USNR (San Jose, Cal.)
    5.) 24 Sep. 1945 - 10 Nov. 1945Lt. John Andre Cranshaw, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    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

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    Page Last Updated: 14 January 2023