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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Eldridge (DE 173)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Y - X - A
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal

Class: Cannon
Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1240 tons (light), 1620 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 10,800 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 / 201
Eldridge (DE 173) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 February 1943: Keel laid by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp., Port Newark, N.J.
  • 25 July 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. John Eldridge, Jr., widow of Lieutenant Commander Eldridge
  • 27 August 1943: Commissioned by Radm. Monroe Kelly, Commandant, at the New York Navy Yard, Lt. C. R. Hamilton, USNR, in command
  • 17 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years and 9⅔ months of service
  • 15 January 1951: Transferred (MDAP) to Greece, renamed Leon (D-54)
  • 26 March 1951: Struck from the NVR
  • 1991: Struck from the Greek Navy, reported to be laid up in Souda Bay Crete in Terminal Reserve as of Jan. 1998
  • NOTE: Eldridge was the subject of the much publicized book and movie "The Philadelphia Experiment"
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    8k John Eldridge, Jr., born 10 October 1903 in Buckingham County, Va., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1927. After flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he served at various stations on aviation duty. From 11 September 1941 he was Commander, Scouting Squadron 71, attached to USS Wasp (CV 7). Lieutenant Commander Eldridge was killed in action in the Solomons on 02 November 1942. For his extraordinary heroism in leading the air attack on Japanese positions in the initial invasion of the Solomons, 07 and 08 August 1942, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

    USS Eldridge (DE 173) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from the Home of Heroes)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Eldridge 31k 25 July 1943: Newark, N.J. - After being christened, the future USS Eldridge (DE 173) slides down the Federal Shipyard building way into Newark Bay. Bob Canchola

    Contacts Research
    Associate, Navsource
    Eldridge 97k Eldridge, of the Bostwick class doing her full speed. These ships retained the long-hull form of the Buckley class, but are distinguished by their funnel form, taller than that of the Evarts type.

    [U.S. Navy photo, from the book "Allied Escort Ships of World War II (A Complete Survey)", by Peter Elliott]
    Edib Krlicbegovic
    Bosnia - Hercegovina
    Eldridge 21k Two undated wartime views of USS Eldridge at sea. Bob Canchola

    Contacts Research
    Associate, Navsource
    Eldridge 320k
    Eldridge 31k undated wartime images Rick McMillian
    Eldridge 82k
    Eldridge 31k 15 January 1951: Boston, Mass. - Ceremony at the Boston Naval Shipyard, transferring the following ships to the Royal Hellenic Navy. USS Eldridge DE-173 along with the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193, USS Slater DE-766, and USS Ebert DE-768. The transfer, which was made under the provisions of the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Program, took place on 15 January 1951. The USS Eldridge DE-173 and the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193 served in the Greek Navy respectively as the HNS Leon (D-54) and HNS Panthir (D-67).

    Photograph source: U.S. Department of State Photo #306-PSG-51-686 (Box 45)- O'Donnell. U.S. Information Agency Photograph in the U.S. National Archives)
    Bob Canchola

    Contacts Research
    Associate, Navsource
    Eldridge 82k Shortly after being transferred to the Greek Navy, the HNS Leon D-54 formerly the USS Eldridge DE-173 is seen underway with the HNS Panthir D-67 formerly the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193.
    Eldridge 46k circa 1952: as HNS Leon (D-54) Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Eldridge 86k 1960's: as HNS Leon (D-54) Tony Vrailas

    Eldridge History
    View the USS Eldridge (DE 173) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Eldridge's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 27 Aug. 1943 - 21 Apr. 1944Lcdr. Charles R. Hamilton, USNR 
    2.) 21 Apr. 1944 - 30 Nov. 1945Lcdr. William Kent Van Allen, USNR (Albion, N.Y.)
    3.) 30 Nov. 1945 - 05 Dec. 1945Lcdr. James M. Manire, USNR (Lubbock, Tex.)
    4.) 03 Jan. 1946 - 02 Apr. 1946Lt.(jg) Rufus K. Guthrie, USNR
    5.) 01 May 1946 - 17 Jun. 1946unsigned muster    Muster Ends

    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.

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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 October 2019