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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Blessman (DE 69 / APD 48)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - P - D - V
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 - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row- World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippine Liberation Medal w/ 1 star

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Blessman (DE 69) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 March 1943: Keel laid by the Bethlehem Steel Corp. Hingham, Mass.
  • 19 June 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Helen Maloy Blessman, Lt. Blessmanís widow
  • 19 September 1943: Commissioned at Hingham, Lcdr Joseph A. Gillis, USNR, in command
  • 28 July 1944: Converted to a Charles Lawrence Class High-speed Transport by the Sullivan Drydock and Repair Corp., of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • 25 October 1944: Conversion completed
  • 31 July 1944: Redesignated APD 48
  • 15 January 1947: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 3 years and 4 months of service
  • 01 June 1967: Struck from the NVR
  • 03 July 1967: Transferred (MAP sale) to Taiwan, renamed Chung Shan (PF-44) (stricken at Taiwan, May 1995, scrapped)
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Blessman 61k Edward Martin Blessman was born on 29 December 1907 in Nott, North Dakota. He grew up in his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. Appointed midshipman from the 9th District of Wisconsin on 21 June 1927 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy on 04 June 1931. Service at sea in Maryland (BB 46) and Hale (DD 133) preceded flight training at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., after which he served in VS-2B in Lexington (CV 2) and VP-17F, based on Thrush (AVP 3). Following a two-year tour at the NAS Anacostia, Blessman was promoted to lieutenant in January 1939. His next assignment was to the USS Marblehead (CL 12) as she joined the U.S. Asiatic Fleet on 10 December 1939. He was still serving with her when Japan launched its onslaught in the Far East in December 1941.

    On 04 February 1942, Marblehead stood out of Surabaya, Java, as part of a mixed American-Dutch cruiser-destroyer force under Rear Admiral Karel W. F. M. Doorman, RNN. Japanese Kawanishi H6K5 "Mavis" flying boats from the Toko Kokutai, however, spotted the Allied force as it attempted to transit the Madoera Strait to attack the Japanese Borneo invasion fleet. Thus forewarned, Japanese naval land attack planes bombed the allied force. At 1027, a stick of seven bombs from a Mitsubishi G4M1 "Betty" Bomber straddled Marblehead. The first of the two bombs to hit the ship penetrated the main deck and exploded near the wardroom, the blast ripping through the light sheet metal bulkheads that comprised the boundaries of the compartment. Blessman, who, as the shipís senior aviator had no air defense station and was in the wardroom at the time, was killed instantly by the concussion. Lieutenant Blessman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. His wife Mrs. Helen Malloy Blessman accepted the award on his behalf from a grateful nation. His other awards include the American Defense Service Medal; and World War II Victory Medal.

    USS Blessman (DE 69) (1943-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.   (Photo from the U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook; The Lucky Bag, Class of 1931)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.
    Blessman 113k undated wartime image John Klar
    Somerville, N.J.
    Blessman 126k undated wartime image

    Blessman History
    View the USS Blessman (DE 69 / APD 48) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View an official Press Release about USS Blessman, dated 31 August 1945.
    View the official War History of USS Blessman as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Blessman's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 19 Sep. 1943 - .. Sep. 1944Cmdr. Joseph Albert Gillis, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) .. Sep. 1944 - 01 Jul. 1945Lt. Pierre DeBoutillier, USNR
    3.) 01 Jul. 1945 - .. Oct. 1945Lcdr. Clement Ovid Davidson, USNR
    4.) .. Oct. 1945 - .. Feb. 1946Lcdr. Carlton Stanley Livingston
    5.) .. Feb. 1946 - .. Jun. 1946Lcdr. Doyle Evan White, USNR
    6.) .. Jun. 1946 - 15 Jan. 1947Lcdr. Gerald Frederick Case, USNR (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Charles "T" Thifault
    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

    Navsource APD Pages, USS Blessman (APD 48)
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Blessman
    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: 29 July 2019