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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Lester (DE 1022)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - D - S - K
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Annette"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

"Pride - Efficiency - Loyalty"
Class: Courtney
Type: SCB No. 72 / 1954 - 55
Number in Class: 10
Displacement: 1,314 tons (light), 1,877 tons (full)
Length: 308' (wl), 314' 6" (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 19' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 1 De Laval geared turbine; 20,000 shp; 1 shaft
Speed: 26 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Complement: 12 / 161
Guns: 4 - 3"/50 (76mm) Mk33 Guns (2x2)
ASW Weapons: 1 Mk 108 ASW rocket launcher, 6 - 12.75" (324mm) Mk 32 torpedo tubes (2x3) / Mk 46 torpedos
Radars: AN/SPS-5 (surface), AN/SPS-6C (air)
Sonars: AN/SQS-4
Fire Control Systems: Mk63 Gun FCS, Mk105 Underwater Battery FCS
Lester (DE 1022) Building and Operational Data:
  • 02 September 1954: Keel laid at the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 05 January 1956: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Fred W. Lester, mother of Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred F. Lester
  • 14 June 1957: Commissioned at Charleston, S.C., Lcdr Allan P. Slaff in command
  • December 1957: Assigned to CortRon 14 at Newport, R.I.
  • September 1964: Assigned to the newly formed CortRon 8 at Newport, R.I.
  • 02 July 1968: Placed in "reduced operating status" at Newport, R.I. to provide trained personnel to other ships
  • October 1970: Homeport assignment changed to Naples, Italy
  • October 1973: Homeport assignment changed to Norfolk, Va.
  • 14 December 1973: Decommissioned at Naval Station Norfolk (D&S Pier 20, with two other units of CortRon 8) after 16 years and 6 months of service; Struck from the NVR
  • 18 June 1974: Sold for scrapping to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corp., New York, N.Y. for $75,141.00
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    83k Fred Faulkner Lester was born 29 April 1926 in Downers Grove, Illinois. Dedicated to serving his country during the early days of World War II, Fred attempted to enlist at the young age of 16 years in 1942, but was denied. He patiently waited a year and with his parents approval enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves as Apprentice Seaman at Chicago, Illinois on 01 November 1943. He received training at the Naval Training Station, Farragut, Idaho, and was promoted to Seaman Second Class in January 1944. On 03 March 1944 his rating was changed to Hospital Apprentice Second Class after additional training at Hospital Corps School, U.S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California. Later that month he reported to the Fleet Marine Force, Camp Elliott, San Diego, California. Transferring to the Pacific war zone, he was promoted to Hospital Apprentice First Class and was assigned as a Medical Corpsman to the First Battalion, Twenty-Second Marines, Sixth Marine Division.

    On 08 June 1945, Lester served with an assault rifle platoon against the Japanese on Okinawa Shima. Spotting a wounded Marine beyond front lines, he crawled to him, despite being hit twice by enemy gun fire, and pulled him to safety. Refusing medical treatment for his fatal injuries, Lester guided squad members in providing medical treatment on the rescued Marine, and to others, before dying shortly thereafter. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Fred F. Lester is buried at Clarendon Hills Cemetery, Westmont, Illinois.

    USS Lester (DE 1022) (1957-1973) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo & Text courtesy of the 22nd Marines)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    115k 1956: Bay City, Mich. - Three views of USS Lester under construction at DeFoe Shipbuilding. Marc Arsenault
    Charlton, Mass.
    280k 09 April 1957: the Atlantic Ocean - A poor quality shot of USS Lester (DE 1022) at sea.

    (U.S. Navy National Archive photo #USN 1019405 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    345k late 1950's: the Atlantic Ocean - USS Lester (DE 1022) at sea.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 107514 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    115k USS Lester at sea.

    (U.S. Navy Photo)
    ***Lester / Great Sitkin***
    69k USS Great Sitkin (AE 17) is left behind as Lester pulls away after an underway replenishment of ammunition, date and place unknown.

    (U.S.N. photo, "All Hands" magazine October 1962
    Gary Priolo /
    Joe Radigan
    55k November 1962: San Juan, Puerto Rico - USS Mullinix (DD 944) and Lester moored together during the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Per James Curylo ETR3: I don't believe the picture in the USS Mullinix section with the USS Lester (DE 1022) identified as being taken in San Juan, PR by Ron Zimmerman during the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 was taken there. Lester and Mullinix were not in San Juan at the same time in 1962. I believe that the picture was taken in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. That was the only time that Lester's port side was tied up to Mullinix's starboard side. After the transit of the Panama Canal, Lester returned to Newport, RI, Mullinix went to Trinidad to serve as the flagship for TF137 under Radm. John Tyree. I have a bit of unique knowledge of these ships as I served on Lester until 30 October 1962 when I was transferred to Mullinix at Balboa, Panama, to supplement Mullinix's shortage of Electronics Technicians for the pending Cuban Blockade.) Ron Zimmerman
    USS Mullinix (DD944)
    111k An undated postcard view of Lester.    (Postcard © Arnold Art Store, Newport, R.I.; shown at 150% of original size)

    Caption reads: A unit of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet home-ported at Newport, R.I. on Narragansett Bay.

    (Official U.S. Navy photograph)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.
    79k Summer 1967: the North Atlantic - Lester photographed during an underway replenishment with USS Essex (CVS 9) while on a NorLant Cruise. William R. Cooper
    Chula Vista, Cal.
    278k 13 March 1971: Naples, Italy - U.S. Navy ships moored in Naples harbor. Ships present are (from left to right): USS Cascade (AD 16); USS Denebola (AF 56); USS Lester (DE 1022); USS Hammerberg (DE 1015); and USS Courtney (DE 1021).

    (U.S. Navy photo #K-88830 by PHC B.M. Anderson from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    141k 26 August 1972: the Mediterranean Sea on the eastside of Sicily - Lester at sea, photographed from the Soviet Kashin class guided missile destroyer Provorny. Eugene Ivkin
    St. Petersburg, Russia
    79k 18 June 1974: the Dep't of Defense Bid List for the scrapping of ex-DE's 162, 180, 181, 1015, 1021, and 1022 (Levy, Trumpeter, Straub, Hammerberg, Courtney, and Lester). Ed Zajkowski
    Tim Rizzuto

    Lester Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Decommissioning Booklet
    14 December 1973
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Lester History
    View the USS Lester (DE 1022) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Lester's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  14 Jun. 1957 - 1958Lcdr. Allan Paul Slaff (USNA '45) (Kingston, Pa.)
    2.)  1958 - 1959Lcdr. Alfred Richard Olsen Jr. (USNA '45) (Atlantic City, N.J.)
    3.)  1959 - 1961Lcdr. Carson Rex Tallent
    4.)  1961 - 1963Lcdr. Reid Stringfellow (USNA '49) (Ogden, Utah)
    5.)  1963 - 1964Lcdr. William Henry DeMers II (USNA '50) (Troy, N.Y.)
    6.)  1964 - Nov 1965Lcdr. Frank Stevenson Conlon (USNA '51) (Baltimore, Md.)
    7.)  Nov. 1965 - 1967Lcdr. John J. Clarkin
    8.)  1967 - 1969Lcdr. Walter Theodore Piotti Jr. (NROTC '56) (Newton, Mass.) (ret. as Vadm.)
    9.)  1969 - 1971Lcdr. Steven Hamilton Edwards (USNA '58) (Hingham, Mass.)
    10.) 1971 - 1973Lcdr. Robert Louis Freehill (USNA '60) (Malvin, Ill.)
    11.) 1973 - 14 Dec. 1973Lcdr. James Joseph Hanley (OCS '62) (Northampton, Mass.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    2022 Reunion for all Newport Based Dealeys
    Escort Squadrons 8, 10, 14

    15 - 18 September 2022 at Baltimore, Md.
    the Washington-Dulles Airport Hilton
    Chairman: Marc Arsenault
    Address: 98 Oxbow Road
    City/State: Charlton MA 01507
    Phone: (508) 248-5072
    E-mail: marc-a at
    contact through Newport Dealey link below
    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

    Home of the Newport Dealeys
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    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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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: 22 May 2022