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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Roche (DE 197)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - 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
Roche (DE 197) Building and Operational Data:
  • 21 October 1943: Keel laid by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp., Port Newark, N.J.
  • 09 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Carrie M. Roche
  • 21 February 1944: Commissioned at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, N. Y., Lt. Robert E. Parker in command
  • 22 September 1945: Departed Eniwetok destined for Japan
  • 29 September 1945: Struck a mine while heading into Tokyo Bay while escorting USS Florence Nightingale (AP 70) (3 killed, 10 wounded)
  • 18 October 1945: An INSURV board conducted while moored to USS Telemon (ARB 8), at Sasebo, Japan, found her to be damaged beyond economical repair
  • 11 March 1946: Scuttled off Yokosuka, Japan
  • 05 June 1946: Struck from the NVR after 1 year and 8 months of service
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    244k David John Roche was born in Hibbing, Minn. on 02 December 1918 and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as seaman second class on 13 November 1939. He was appointed aviation cadet effective 15 February 1940, designated naval aviator (heavier-than-air), 14 October, and became an ensign, USNR, effective 21 October 1940. Following training at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 3 and reported for duty on 01 December. He was officially reported missing in action as of 04 June 1942, when the plane he was piloting was shot down in the Battle of Midway. For pressing home his torpedo attack on Japanese naval units in the face of tremendous antiaircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

    USS Roche (DE 197) (1944-1945) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 95554 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)

    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    101k date / location unknown
    U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archives)
    Eugene Grenier
    NCC, USN
    273k Undated Wartime Image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    103k On 29 September 1945 while escorting USS Florence Nightingale (AP 70) to Tokyo, USS Roche caught a mine that twisted her stern and rudder with casualties. These two shots were viewed from USS Parker (DD 604), which started a tow, but was relieved in a few hours by USS ATR 35. All four ships were in anchorages in a day. John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.

    Roche History
    View the USS Roche (DE 197) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Roche as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Roche's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Feb. 1944 - 06 Jan. 1945Lcdr. Robert E. Parker, USNR (Comm. CO) (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    2.) 06 Jan. 1945 - 16 Nov. 1945Lcdr. William S. Laidley, USNR (Menlo Park, Cal.)
    3.) 16 Nov. 1945 - 10 Mar. 1946Lt.(jg) John E. Jay (Decomm. CO) (New York City, N.Y.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Mike Friel
    Address: 110 North Road
    City/State: Wilmington DE 19809-3019
    Phone: (302) 764-7620
    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
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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: 25 February 2023