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"The History of the U.S.S. Brough (DE 148)"

Provided By John Adriani, USS Brough historian


The keel for USS Brough (DE 148) was laid on the 22nd day of January 1943 at the Consolidated Steel Corporation in Orange TX. She was constructed as an Edsall Class Destroyer Escort. On 10 April l943, Brough was launched. By 18 September 1943 she was commissioned, and Mrs. Jack Bell, sister of the late LTjg David A. Brough, served as her sponsor.

On 27 September 1943 Brough departed Orange TX and entered the Gulf of Mexico enroute to Galveston TX for ship degaussing. The next port of call was New Orleans LA early in October 1943. From New Orleans, Brough sailed for Bermuda for a shakedown cruise. On 12 November in high seas, Captain Hartley was killed while inspecting a problem with the number one gun mount.

Brough arrived in Charleston SC on 16 November and proceeded from there to Norfolk VA. She departed Norfolk sailing for Bermuda where she rendezvoused with her first convoy to North Africa. Brough escorted UGS-25 to North Africa by way of Gibraltar. During the month of December 1943, Brough was active in Anti Submarine warfare. Her next assignment was to escort convoy GUS-24 from Casablanca to the States and then to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During 1944, Brough remained stationed in the Atlantic Ocean escorting convoys back and forth between the United States and Europe for a total of fourteen convoys. On 14 February 1944 Brough was steaming in the Straights of Gibraltar when an air patrol dropped two smoke flares. Sonar contact was made and at 1036 hrs Brough commenced firing 24 hedge hogs on the possible ASW contact. Brough secured from Battle stations at 1109 hrs., and moored starboard side in Gibraltar Harbor. On 28 May Brough was in the Atlantic Ocean escorting UC-24 when another ASW contact was made. Brough made three ASW runs firing hedgehogs and dropping depth charges on all three runs. She did not directly participate in the D Day invasion of France (6 June 1944); however, Brough protected the convoys moving across the Atlantic ensuring the movement of war supplies to the east. On August 9, Brough investigated a radar contact, which was identified as the Swedish tanker Malmahus.

In the first half of 1945, Brough made eight more escort crossings. On 14 January 1945 Brough came alongside the HMS Reaper for a transfer of mail by high line, which almost resulted with a collision at sea. By 29 May 1945, Brough would take her last convoy back to the states, and began to prepare for her duty on the Pacific Front. It should be noted that from the start of her service in September of 1943, until the end of May of 1945, (27 months) that a total of 24 escort trips were completed without the loss of a single vessel. Five attacks were made on enemy submarines, although Brough was never credited with a kill. Her toughest battles were the constant war against the wind, sea, fog and ice, with the Atlantic Ocean, Brough had to remain battle ready at all times.

Brough was at sea for 373 days during the first 25 months of active duty. Most of this time she was on war patrols with her guns manned and at full battle watch alertness. During the anti-submarine actions, she dropped 200 depth charges and fired 372 hedgehog projectiles.

Leaving the Brooklyn Naval Ship Yard in June of l945, Brough made her way into the Caribbean for a training period at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From Cuba she proceeded through the Caribbean Sea, through the Panama Canal and entered the Pacific Ocean bound for San Diego, CA for supplies and ammunition. She sailed for Pearl Harbor arriving on 11 August 1945. Brough participated in various war training exercises, and on 22 August, she rendezvoused with the escort aircraft carrier USS Petrof Bay (CVE 80), Task Group 19.2. Equipment failure followed by sonar gear problems led to the detachment of Brough from TG #19.2. The formal surrender of Japan occurred on 2 September 1945. On 4 September, Brough departed Pearl Harbor to arrive on 10 September, at San Pedro Bay, CA. Some time later she set a course through the Panama Canal arriving in Charleston, SC on 25 September 1945. She left Charleston on 24 October arriving on 26 October at Green Cove Springs FL on the St. Johns River to be prepped for inactive service. The official decommissioning date for Brough was 22 March 1946 and placed into the US Atlantic Fleet Reserve, Florida Group.

With the outbreak of the Korean Emergency in 1951, Brough was taken out of the mothball fleet and completely overhauled at the Merrill Stevens Shipyard in Jacksonville FL. Brough, recommissioned on 7 September 1951, was attached to the US Atlantic Fleet, going through an intensive shakedown cruise. In early 1952 Brough was in Key West FL when she had an encounter with the pier at the Naval Annex Base, trying to either modify the pier or her bow. On the morning of 16 February 1952, President Harry Truman was on his morning walk, and stopped by to survey the damage on the Brough’s bow. By late spring of 1952 Brough was operating out of Goose Bay, Labrador delivering materials and mail to various remote Distant Early Warning Radar (DEW) Stations that were under construction. The DEW Line Project started at the beginning of the Cold War Era, and the main purpose was to provide early detection of ICBM missiles and/or air attacks from the Soviet Union. In September of 1952 Brough participated in a joint NATO exercise known as Mainbrace. Brough crossed the Arctic Circle on 18 September at longitude 03°20’E, and during this deployment made port calls in Norway, Scotland, France and a few Caribbean ports.

In November 1952, Brough went to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for an overhaul. She left the Philadelphia yards in late February 1953, for a shakedown cruise and proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training. Brough spent some time in Newport RI and by early June sailed for Key West FL to provide training services for the Fleet Sonar School. In August of 1953, she berthed along side the USS Yosemite (AD 19) for tender overhaul during which it was discovered that the ship’s generators also warranted overhaul. Brough was sent to the Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth NH for further repairs. By November, she was operating with CortRon Fourteen out of Newport RI and was the flagship for Commander Escort Squadron Fourteen and participated in Operation Springboard in the Caribbean. She returned to Newport RI in December 1954.

Through the first months of 1954, Brough operated on a daily basis from Newport RI. In March she returned to Key West FL resuming ASW training duties with the Fleet Sonar School until July 1954. Brough, accompanied by Huse, Blair, and Maurice J. Manual, journeyed to Newfoundland for a three week fleet exercise with some submarines. In September she started preparations for Joint Atlantic Fleet Exercises for Operation Springboard (NATO exercise) off the coast of Labrador with LantFlex 1-55.

On 9 July 1955, Brough departed Norfolk VA on the first leg of the Midshipman Cruise BAKER. By 3 September 1955 she had received DE tender service in Newport RI and had left for Key West FL to provide training for the Fleet Sonar School. In November, Brough returned to Newport RI for a two-week tender availability alongside the USS Yosemite (AD 19). This was followed by two weeks of operational training out of Newport RI.

In January of l956 Brough moored along side Yosemite for another ten days of tender availability. On 13 February 1956 she sailed for Key West FL and provided training services for the ASW School. In the spring of 1956 Brough participated in two phases of the Atlantic Fleet Convoy Exercises. Brough won the Battle Efficiency "E" Plaque for CortRon Fourteen.

On 4 September 1956, Brough departed for Newport RI to join Task Force 43 for the start of Operation Deepfreeze II. Steaming independently via the Panama Canal, Brough reached Dunedin, New Zealand one month later. From October 1956 until March 1957, Brough operated off the coast of Dunedin on her assigned picket station #57, southeast. Her assignment was to report weather conditions and communications on SAAR ship traffic in the area. Sea conditions with high winds and forty foot waves were not uncommon. The pattern of operations was five to six days in port and nineteen to twenty one days at sea. Brough occasionally made calls at isolated Campbell Island NZ.

During the spring of 1957 Brough would undergo an overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard, and then make preparation for the next Deepfreeze deployment. On 26 August 1957, Brough left Newport RI for Deepfreeze III sailing through the Panama Canal and arriving in Dunedin, NZ on 25 September 1957. As a part of that exercise, Brough made five trips to station. On 5 February 1958, she took a trip across the Antarctic Circle, a first for a Destroyer Escort. In April of 1958, Brough returned to Newport RI and later that month was reassigned to the homeport of Key West FL. In June of 1958 Brough prepared for her third cruise south for Operation Deepfreeze IV. On 23 August Brough sailed from Key West FL via the Panama Canal and arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand on 22 September 1958. Brough was on duty stationed between New Zealand and Antarctica. Leaving Dunedin NZ on 7 February 1959, Brough took the long way home to become the first DE to circumnavigate the world alone via the Suez Canal visiting many ports on the way to the states. On 14 April 11959 Brough returned to Key West FL. Shortly after returning home, Brough spent ten days off the Puerto Rican coast for the famous Jupiter Rocket Flight, which carried the two monkeys Alfa and Bravo into space. USS Brough was in command of the recovery group.

In the late spring of 1959 Brough’s home port was Key West FL where she provided services to the Fleet Sonar School for the training of reservists and enlisted personnel on anti-submarine warfare tactics. Brough underwent a regular shipyard overhaul in Key West from 1 July through the end of September 1959. She continued ASW training services for the Sonar Training Center. In October Brough went to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training and returned to Key West for the remainder of 1959.

In 1960, Brough still served as a training platform for the sonar students at the sonar school at Key West, FL. On 29 February she arrived at Charleston SC and tied up to the destroyer tender USS Everglades (AD 24). On 10 March she left for Key West FL to resume her duties with the Fleet Sonar School. On 14 May 1960 she arrived in Norfolk VA for tender availability along side USS Sierra (AD 18), returning to Key West on 31 May, and remaining until August. During the Fourth of July weekend, Brough visited Tampa FL before returning to Key West to resume ASW training duties until August 1960.

In late August, Brough returned to Norfolk VA stopping briefly at Fort Lauderdale FL for recreation. Once arriving in Norfolk, she received repair services from USS Amphion (AR 13). Afterwards Brough returned to Key West FL to perform ASW training. From mid-September through mid-October 1960, she participated in training exercises at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba then returned to Key West to resume Sonar School training services. From mid-November until 1 December 1960, she had another tender availability along side USS Sierra (AD 18), returning to Key West by the first week of December.

From early January 1961, until 5 February, Brough provided training services for the Fleet Sonar School before departing for Nassau, Bermuda and proceeding on to Norfolk VA for tender services along side USS Tutuila (ARG 4) until 24 February. Brough returned to Key West FL for more training operations with the Sonar Fleet School. At the end of April 1961, Brough visited Miami FL to represent the US Navy at the Miami Beach Serviceman’s Center Ninth Anniversary Celebration.

On 14 July 1961 Brough was in Miami FL and received two visitors from the Miss Universe Contest, Ms. USA and Ms. Finland, before returning to Key West, FL. On 15 July the Brough won the Battle Efficiency Award for Competitive Excellence in Destroyer Division 601. For the most part she provided services to the Fleet Sonar School but was involved with the witness of test missile firings with the National Space Agency (NASA) and Polaris Missile testing by the US Navy. In 1961 Brough made an "at sea" rescue picking up five Cubans (ex-Batista regime members) who were adrift sixty miles south of Key West F. There was a second "at sea" rescue involving Cuban men, women, and children. These refugees were transferred to a US Coast Guard cutter for processing. In the fall of 1961, Brough went to Charleston SC berthing along side the tender USS Everglades (AD 24) for repairs. At this time she had the outer open bridge re-enclosed. The roof (overhead) was replaced and new windows with new wipers and new wiper motors were installed. She returned to Key West FL to continue ASW training services for the Fleet Sonar School for the remainder of 1961.

On 9 January 1962 Brough departed Key West FL for Mayport FL for scheduled maintenance, which was completed by 26 January. Returning to Key West, she resumed her duties as part of the training efforts of the fleet ASW School. During this time she made six port visits. On 6 April, Brough was originally sent to Port Au Prince, Haiti to escort GC- 8, a Haitian vessel, back to Miami for yard work to be done in the United States. The Haitian vessel was to be escorted by the Brough because Cuban patrol craft would most likely seize the ship if it were encountered alone in transit. Upon Brough’s arrival at Port Au Prince, Haiti, she docked near a YP (patrol boat) which had a jeep tied down to her stern. The YP sailed for Jeremie, Haiti shortly after and sank off Jeremie. Five crewmen from Brough (on or about 20 April) were sent to salvage the YP. Brough patrolled some distance off the coast, and the motor whaleboat was dispatched to the salvage site. The coastal area was very shallow, and Brough’s draft kept her a good distance from the salvage site. The YP was refloated, and the jeep was recovered when the natives on the beach attached lines to the jeep and pulled it ashore. The jeep was repaired for future use. After the salvage mission was completed, Brough returned to Port Au Prince, escorted the Haitian vessel GC-8 back to Miami, and returned to Key West. (Note: The YP vessel was used to do tuberculosis research and to treat tuberculosis patients in various Haitian villages. The YP vessel was restored and equipped with xray and other medical equipment and staffed with two doctors, two interns, and nurses, providing services through the Care Foundation.

Brough left Key West FL on 7 May 1962 for the Earl Naval Weapons Depot in Leonardo NJ to offload ammunition, visited New York City NY for liberty, and then went to Boston MA for yard work. During the overhaul, Brough received new sonar and radar equipment in addition to a new mast for the new electronic gear. When she left Boston shipyard, she went to Charleston SC to load ammunition. After stopping in Key West, the Brough visited Montego Bay, Jamaica for a liberty weekend. She left the following Monday for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the start of the Cuban missile crisis. Early in the crisis some of the US military dependents living in Guantanamo were boarded onto the seaplane tender USS Duxbury Bay (AVP 38). Brough was the duty escort for the Duxbury Bay while enroute to US waters where the Coast Guard assumed the escort duty to Norfolk, VA.

By the fall of 1962 Brough was aiding with the quarantine of Cuba by patrolling the Windward Passage in the sight of Cuban shores. Her duty was to halt shipping. In late October, Brough did intercept a Norwegian vessel that was identified as the Mylla from Oslo, Norway. Watch conditions were at full condition 1 GQ status and the gun mounts were fully manned and ready for possible action. The purpose of the shipping blockade in November 1962 was to stop the Russian government from shipping ICBM missile weaponry to the Cuban government. These weapons were seen as a major threat to the United States. American and British naval forces participated in this effort. USS Brough returned to Key West FL early in December 1962.

By early January of 1963 the Cuban crisis was over, but Brough made one more patrol of the Cuban coast during February and March. While on that patrol, the Cuban fire control radars were constantly locked on Brough as she patrolled the coast. During the spring of 1963 Brough participated in a acoustic torpedo test exercise with one of the Key West based submarines. Brough also made several ports of call during this period, including two trips to Mayport FL for routine maintenance. In October 1963, Brough was enroute from Key West FL to Mayport FL when she encountered a bad storm. During that storm, the ship received a fair amount of damage but continued to operate. In the latter part of 1963, Brough’s primary operations were in Key West conducting sonar school operations and tracking Russian ships in and out of the port of Havana, Cuba. She took several short refresher training cruises to Guantanamo, Cuba and trips to the tender in Mayport and Charleston SC in addition to port calls in Fort Lauderdale FL, Kingston, Jamaica, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Brough also conducted an extended two to three month shipping survey in the Caribbean in late 1964. During this cruise, Brough was diverted to Colon, Panama during the riots there, and made port calls in Cartagena, Colombia and Curacao, the Netherlands Antilles.

In early 1965, Brough had an auxiliary boiler failure that the Navy decided not to repair. In early spring of l965, Brough underwent an INSURV inspection in Key West FL. As a result of this INSURV inspection, the Navy decided to decommission the ship. Brough was moved to the Reserve Fleet at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth VA in April 1965. She was being mothballed when the word came down to stop all work. The Navy had decided to scrap the ship based on the findings of the INSURV inspection. During the summer of 1965 she was decommissioned, and in November of 1965 she was stricken from the naval records. The findings from the INSURV inspection, plus the fact that newer, faster, and more capable ships were entering the fleet were all factors in the decision to decommission and ultimately scrap Brough. On 13 October 1966, Brough was sold for scrap and dismantled sometime later. This concluded 23 years of the history of USS Brough and those who served on her from 1943 until 1966.

Origin of the DE 148 Name

The USS Brough was named for LTjg David Atkins Brough, who was born in Pueblo, Colorado on 15 June 1914. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1939 and was appointed a Naval Aviator on 30 July 1940 with the rank of Ensign. He was assigned to Patrol Squadron #42 flying missions along the Alaskan Coast.

In 1942 LTjg Brough participated in regular bombing raids on the Japanese near the islands of Attu and Kiska. The Kiska Harbor raids were targeted against Japanese shipping. For this action he was recommended for the Air Medal, but before this medal could be awarded to LTjg Brough while returning from a scouting mission, he crashed and was killed. (date unknown). The Air Medal was presented posthumously to Mrs. Jack Bell (LTjg Brough’s sister) since both of his parents were predeceased. Note: No photo of LTjg David A. Brough could not be found at the time this printing.

Citation for LTjg David Broughs’ Medal

"For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as Patrol Plane Commander in action with the enemy Japanese forces during the Aleutian Island Campaign from June 10-20, 1943. Flying under extremely hazardous conditions of high winds, snow, rain and dense fog, LTjg Brough engaged in dangerous scouting missions during the enemy bombing of Dutch Harbor and Uminak, and in addition participated in all night aerial patrols and bombing attacks on Japanese ships in Kiska Harbor, facing concentrated air and anti aircraft opposition. His courageous and daring devotion to the accomplishment of important missions was in keeping with traditions of the United States Naval Services".

The complete history was printed in April 2006. (paper back booklet) The physical size of the booklet is 7" by 8.5", consisting of 48 pages with 50+ photos, and information that has never been published before. Copies of the USS Brough History are available for purchase while the supply last ($12.00 per booklet, with mailing included). Send a money order or check to: John N. Adriani Sr. PO Box #2272, Shelton CT 06484-1272. The above events were obtained from personal collections and memories, and there maybe errors, and /or omissions that may surface after the first printing. Thanks to all those that helped with the USS Brough history project, John N. Adriani Sr. (16 July 2006)

Assisting with the USS Brough History were:
John Best
Harry Bissell
Rod Blue
Sid Brown
Douglas Burgess
Richard Carl
Daniel Cooley
Roger DeKoker
John Ertz
Mark Evdemon
Judson Goodrich
Sabina Duke (Hartley)
Robert Kessler
Harold Kicza
Frank Kirkleski, Jr.
Don Knispel
Harvey Latshaw
Ralph Parrott
James Rieder
Hans Peter Schoenberg
Larry Sell
James Shea
Orvill Smith
Tom Sowell
Wilson Walters
Ben Webster
Fred Weiss
Peter White

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