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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Darby (DE 218)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - A - C
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Falling Rock"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Expeditionary Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 stars
Second Row: World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Philippine Liberation Ribbon

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
Darby (DE 218) Building and Operational Data:
  • 22 February 1943: Keel laid by the Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • 29 May 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. M. E. Darby, mother of Ensign Darby
  • 15 November 1943: Commissioned, Cmdr D. D. Humphreys, USNR, in command
  • 28 April 1947: Decommissioned at Charleston, S.C. after 3 years and 5 months of service
  • 24 October 1950: Recommissioned, assigned to CruDesLant at Norfolk, Va.
  • 14 May 1951: Assigned to Escort Squadron 8 as flagship
  • 23 February 1959: Decommissioned, placed "In Service, In Reserve", assigned to NRT, 5th Naval District at Baltimore, Md.
  • 19 March 1960: Collided with SS Soya Atlantic at 1945 while entering Chesapeake Bay enroute Little Creek, 1.9 miles 048°T from Cape Henry Light (2 crewmembers killed, 1 seriously injured)
  • October 1961 to August 1962: Activated for the Berlin Crisis, returned to NRT duties at Baltimore
  • 23 September 1968: Placed "Out of Service" at Baltimore, Md. and struck from the NVR with a total of 21 years and 4 months of service
  • 24 May 1970: Sunk as a target off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Darby 50k Marshall Eugene Darby, Jr. was born 10 November 1918 in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the Naval Academy on 06 June 1940. Ensign Darby served in the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) until he was killed in action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 07 December 1941. His remains were never identified but he is listed as one of the approximately 390 unknowns from the USS Oklahoma that have been buried in mass graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

    USS Darby (DE 218) (1943-1968) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Ens. Darby's Annapolis Graduation Photo courtesy of Joan Darby Norris)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Lovelace 409k 13 March 1944: Espiritu Santo - USS Coolbaugh (DE 217), USS Lovelace, and USS Darby (DE 218) are nested with USS Ingersoll (DE 652) at the fleet anchorage. Photo taken by Milt Volkens aboard USS Langley (CVL 27).

    (From the Langley/Volkens Photo Collection at Eastern Carolina Univ.)
    John Chiquoine
    West Chester, Pa.
    ***Enright / Darby*** 82k 29 May 1943: Philadelphia Navy Yard - The christening of six destroyer escorts in a dry-dock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The three ships in the foreground are (from left): USS Enright (DE 216), USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) and USS Darby (DE 218). Those in the background are (from left), USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE 219), USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) and USS Solar (DE 221).

    (U.S. Navy Photo #NH 75610 from the Naval History and Heritage Command, Courtesy of James Russell, 1972)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Darby 461k 13 November 1945: Vallejo, Cal. - A port quarter view of Darby stopped off the Mare Island Navy Yard.

    (Photo courtesy of  Chris Wright)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Darby 184k 15 November 1945: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Cal. - Aft plan view of USS Darby (DE 218) at Mare Island. Mare Island modified the areas circled. USS Harmon (DE 678) is inboard and USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE 219) and USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) are outboard of Darby. Darby was in overhaul at the yard from 04 September to 17 November 1945.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-218-7185-45)
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Darby 200k 15 November 1945: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Cal. - Amidships plan view of USS Darby (DE 218) at Mare Island. Mare Island modified the areas circled. USS Harmon (DE 678) is inboard and USS J. Douglas Blackwood (DE 219) and USS Coolbaugh (DE 217) are outboard of Darby. Darby was in overhaul at the yard from 04 September to 17 November 1945.

    (U.S. Navy photo #DE-218-7186-45)
    Darby 90k USS Darby (DE 218) is photographed from USS Saginaw Bay (CVE 82) in camouflage 31/22d even though the lightest color is light gray. The transport in the background wearing camouflage 32/8T probably is USS Starlight (AP 175), with the ships heading to the landings at Lingayen Gulf in late 1944.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-335073 from the United States National Archives)
    Sandy Sanphilipo
    BMC, USNR (ret.)

      caption from
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Darby 31k undated wartime image Robert L. Anderson
    Darby 166k undated postwar image
    Darby 57k undated postwar image (Better copy of photo sent in by Sandy Sanphilipo)
    Darby 34k undated postwar image
    Darby 35k undated postwar image
    Darby 47k 1951: at Norfolk, Virginia
    Darby 298k undated postwar image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Darby 97k October 1952: the North Atlantic - Operating during "Operation Mainbrace". (Photos were sent to Col. and Mrs. Marshall E. Darby, Ensign Darby's parents, by Lcdr. Jackson L. Morton, Commanding Officer of USS Darby at the time) Joan Darby Norris,
    the niece of
    Marshall Eugene Darby
    Darby 116k
    Darby 56k date / location unknown Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Darby 33k circa 1955 / location unknown
    Darby 438k 12 May 1965: - USS Darby (DE 218) underway off the coast of Hampton Roads, Virginia.

    (U.S. Navy photo #KN-12893 (National Archives); from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Darby 45k TS Soya-Atlantic, which collided with Darby, 19 March 1960 Collision Photos from Walt Pollin Walt Pollin
    ET2, USS Darby


    Ship's Emblem
    Courtesy of
    Robert L. Anderson
    Plaque, late '50's
    Courtesy of
    Bob Hurst

    Darby History
    View the USS Darby (DE 218) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    A supplemental History of USS Darby (from former crewmembers)

    Darby's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  15 Nov. 1943 - 23 Jul. 1944Cmdr. David Dean Humphreys, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.)  23 Jul. 1944 - 11 Oct. 1945Lcdr. Merritt W. Martin, USNR
    3.)  11 Oct. 1945 - 02 Apr. 1946Cmdr. Robert C. Wing, USNR
    4.)  02 Apr. 1946 - 01 Oct. 1946Lcdr. Charles W. Turner III, USNR 
    5.)  01 Oct. 1946 - .. Jan. 1947Lt. Robert Kent Rosemont (XO)
    6.)  01 Feb. 1947 - 28 Apr. 1947Lt.(jg) William Murray Newell (Decomm. CO)
    7.)  24 Oct. 1950 - .. Oct. 1952Lcdr. Edger Hull Forrest (Recomm. CO)
    8.)  .. Oct. 1952 - .. .... 1954Lcdr. Jackson Leonard Morton
    9.)  .. .... 1954 - .. .... .... Cmdr. Jacob S. Zimmerman
    10.) .. .... .... - .. .... .... Lcdr. Harold Glen Campbell
    11.) .. May 1958 - 23 Feb. 1959Lcdr. Robert Chambliss Light
    12.) 01 Oct. 1961 - 01 Jul. 1962Cmdr. John Crutcher Allen
    13.) 01 Jul. 1962 - .. .... ....Lcdr. Bruce Clifford Barry
    14.) .. Jul. 1967 - 23 Sep. 1968Lcdr. Robert Ian Packman (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: YNC Robert L. Andersen (ret)
    Address: 3610 Benson Avenue
    City/State: Baltimore MD 21227
    Phone: (410) 644-9251
    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
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Darby
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 25 July 2020