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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Mills (DE 383)

N - J - U - T
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Fever Breaker"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon
Second Row: Navy Expeditionary Medal - China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal
Third Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal
Fourth Row: National Defense Service Medal - Antarctica Service Ribbon - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 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: 8 / 201
Mills (DE 383) Building and Operational Data:
  • 26 March 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 26 May 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. James E. Mills
  • 12 October 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr J. S. Muzzy, USCG, in command
  • 14 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years and 8 months of service
  • 01 November 1956: Reclassified as DER 383, conversion commenced at the Boston Naval Shipyard
  • 03 October 1957: Recommissioned, Lcdr. Joseph E. Feaster in command, assigned to Newport, R.I. as a unit of Escort Squadron 16 (radar picket, North American Continental Air Defense System)
  • 01 September 1968: Shifted administrative control at Key West, Fla. from Commander, Destroyer Division 601 to Commander, Reserve Destroyer Squadron 34
  • 26 September 1968: Decommissioned, placed "in service" at Norfolk, Va. as NRT ship, Washington Naval District at Baltimore, Md.
  • 20 October 1968: Arrived in Baltimore, assumed duties as NRT ship, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md. as a unit of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 34 (ResDesDiv 342)
  • 27 October 1970: Decommissioned at the U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md. after 13 years and ¾ month of service
  • 01 August 1974: Struck from the NVR with a total of 15 years and 8¾ months of service
  • 12 March 1975: Sold for scrapping
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    48k Born 03 July 1917 at Rock Springs, Wyo., Lloyd Jones Mills, was born to James Edley and Mable Alice (Jones) Mills. At some point the family moved to Walla Walla, Wash. where Lloyd was employed by the Baker Boyer Bank. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a seaman second class on 04 December 1940. He was appointed aviation cadet on 06 March 1941, naval aviator on 22 August 1941, and commissioned ensign on 19 September 1941. Ensign Mills was killed 30 July 1942 in an airplane crash during the Aleutian Islands campaign, and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in action from 01 to 15 June 1942.

    USS Mills (DE 383) (1943-1946, 1957-1970) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the Sweetwater News, Sweetwater, Wyo.)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    106k undated wartime image (This photo of the USS Mills, DE383, is from my Dad's photo album. He (John Kingeter) was a plank holder on the Mills and did 9 trips across the Atlantic in WWII.) John Kingeter
    524k undated: location unknown - USS Mills poses for a portrait.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 1146811 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    139k August 1960: Boston Naval Shipyard

    (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    468k 30 March 1964: Boston,Mass. - USS Mills underway in Boston Harbor. Mills is on sea trials after being in the Bromfield Corp. Shipyard in East Boston, Mass. since 24 January. Mills had been drydocked at the James S. Munro Shipyard in Chelsea, Mass. from 09 January to 24 January when she moved to Bromfield for the remainder of her repairs.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 107603, Photographer: N. Metta, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    207k circa mid-1960's: Key West, Fla. - USS Mills returning to Key West from an Antarctica deployment. In 1964, Mills was assigned to operation "Deep Freeze," the U.S. Naval Force supporting scientific research in Antarctica. During the austral summer seasons of 1964‑65, and 1966‑67, and 1967‑68, Mills took station to provide weather information and electronic navigational aid to aircraft ferrying men and equipment between Christchurch, New Zealand, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Each of these seasonal deployments required an 11,000‑mile voyage via the Panama Canal to Dunedin, New Zealand, Mills- base of operations with "Deep Freeze." At the end of each deployment, Mills completed a round‑the‑world cruise by returning to Newport via Suez.

    (Photo #MM00041306x by Don Pinder, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    49k April 1967: Italy (Photo © Richard McNamara) Richard McNamara
    31k late 1960's: in New York Harbor, with the statue of Liberty off the starboard bow. Bob Yellen
    301k Winter 1972 - Spring 1973: Philadelphia, Pa. - Two views of decommissioned Mills at the Inactive Ship Basin of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility. Jim Cunliffe
    Frederica, Del.

    Mills Memorabilia
    Courtesy of Mike Smolinski
    Ship's Plaque
    Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

    Mills History
    View the USS Mills (DE 383) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Mills as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Mills' Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  12 Oct. 1943 04 May 1944Lcdr. James Schoolcraft Muzzy, USCG (USCGA '36)
    2.)  04 May 1944 15 Aug. 1945Lcdr. Victor Pfeiffer, USCG (USCGA '39)
    3.)  15 Aug. 1945 - .. .... 1945Lt. Henry E. Ringling, USCGR
    4.)  .. .... 1945 14 Jun. 1946Lcdr. Douglas Davis Vosler, USCG (USCGA '43)
    5.)  03 Oct. 1957 - 03. Jul. 1958Lcdr. Joseph Eugene Feaster, USN (Bath, S.C.)
    6.)  03 Jul. 1958 - 23 Oct. 1959Lcdr. "L" "B" Loudermilk, USN (Anadarko, Okla.)
    7.)  23 Oct. 1959 - 13 May 1961Lcdr. William Maddox McDonald, USN (NROTC '45) (Arlington, Va.)
    8.)  13 May 1961 - 19 Nov. 1962Lcdr. Deming Waite Smith, USN (USNA 48-A) (Worcester, Mass.)
    9.)  19 Nov. 1962 11 Nov. 1964Lcdr. Robert Dale Hoffman, USN (USNA '50) (Burlington, Wis.)
    10.) 11 Nov. 1964 25 Oct. 1966Lcdr. Henry Clay Morris Jr., USN (McCamey, Tex.)
    11.) 25 Oct. 1966 26 Sep. 1968Cdr. Joseph Albert Felt, USN (Buffalo, N.Y.)
    12.) 26 Sep. 1968 25 Feb. 1970Lt. Thomas Edward Blundell, USN (OinC) (Chadron, Nebr.)
    13.) 25 Feb. 1970 27 Oct. 1970Lt. Fred Dennis Dyches, USN (OinC)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Jack Merkle
    Address: 12403 Madeley Lane / Bowie MD 20715
    Phone: (301) 262-4288
    E-mail: Jack Merkle
    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

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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: 18 March 2023 Mills possibly died at Marshall, Okla.