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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's Patches
Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Durant (DE 389)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - G - J
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Magic Song"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal
Row: European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - WWII Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star
Second Row: Korean Service Medal (USCG Service) - Antarctica Service Ribbon - United Nations Korean Service Medal (USCG Service)

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
Durant (DE 389) Building and Operational Data:
  • 15 May 1943: Keel laid at the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 03 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. S. R. Durant, mother of Pharmacist's Mate Durant
  • 16 November 1943: Commissioned at the Tennessee Iron and Coal Co. dock at Houston, Tex., Lcdr C. C. Knapp, USCG, in command
  • 27 February 1946: Decommissioned at Jacksonville, Fla. after 2 years and 3⅓ months of service
  • 09 May 1952: Loaned to USCG and Recommissioned as WDE 489
  • 10 April 1954: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1 years 11 and months of service
  • 16 June 1954: Returned to USN at San Diego, Cal.
  • 07 December 1955: Reclassified DER 389 and conversion scheduled
  • 07 December 1956: Recommissioned at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal., Lcdr. Harry C. Carter, USN, in command
  • September 1962 - March 1963: Served as a unit of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica
  • .. June 1964: Decommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. after 7 years 6 and months of servicee
  • 01 April 1974: Struck from the NVR with a total of 11 years and 8⅓ months of service
  • 16 August 1974: Sold for scrapping
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    71k Kenneth William Durant, the son of Solomon Raymond and Ida Minnie (Redemske) Durant, was born on 02 March 1919 in Algona, Kossuth County, Iowa. He enlisted in the Navy on 19 June 1940. After recruit training he was sent to Hospital Corpsman School, and was then assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Marine Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. In the November 1942 Matanikau Offensive, three Marine battalions trapped several hundred Japanese in a shrinking pocket west of Point Cruz. The final phase began on 03 November with an attack by 2/5th Marines that drove north to the beach. In the desperate fight, several Marines were killed and the Japanese were annihilated. Pharmacist’s Mate Durant, a corpsman attached to 2/5, was killed in action while going to the rescue of a badly wounded Marine. His body was buried along the beach trail west of the Matanikau River, along with four Marines from F/2/5. Subsequent campaigning may have destroyed the grave site, as none of the remains have been accounted for.

    CITATION: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Kenneth William Durant (NSN: 2661147), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Medical Corpsman attached to the FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy forces during an offensive in the Matanikau River area, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 03 November 1942. Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Durant worked his way forward with the assault elements despite tremendous hostile fire. After he had administered aid to numerous injured personnel, he halted at the command post in utter exhaustion until a Marine, fatally wounded about 15 yards to the front, called for a corpsman. Unhesitatingly, Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Durant rushed forward in the face of machine-gun and sniper fire and was killed before reaching the stricken man. His gallant actions and selfless devotion to duty, without regard for his own safety, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

    USS Durant (DE 389) (1943-1946, 1952-1954, 1956-1964) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the Find a Grave web site.)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE / FF / LCS
    Archive Manager
    50k undated wartime image Russ Padden
    197k undated wartime image David Buell
    97k USS Durant (serving as WDE 489), 1952-1954 (USCG photo) -
    115k 24 April 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Forward plan view of Durant, with Coast Guard hull paint job and most of her topside being modified. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 29052-4-56) Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    66k USCGC Durant (WDE 489) underway date and location unknown. She is shown painted in Coast Guard colors, white hull, and buff funnel with black top. The heavy DE close-range armament was retained during her period of Coast Guard service. (Photos and text taken from "American Destroyer Escorts of World War 2" by Peter Elliott) Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    82k date and location unknown: USCGC Durant (WDE 489) underway. Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    30k 16 November 1956: The Vallejo Times Herald - A photo of Lcdr Harry E. Carter, new commanding officer of USS Durant (DER 389) which appeared in today’s issue of the paper. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32278-11-56) Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    836k November 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - A view of Durant taken during her conversion to a DER. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32277-11-56)
    131k 22 November 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Forward plan view of Durant shortly before her recomissioning. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32278-11-56)
    117k 07 December 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Commissioning ceremonies aboard USS Durant (DER 389). The speaker is Capt. George L. Shame; Commander, Mare Island Submarine Administration. The officer behind Capt. Shame are from left to right: Lt. R. D. Provost, Executive Officer; Lcdr. Harry E. Carter, Commanding Officer and Radm. Martin J. Lawrence, Shipyard Commander. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32463-12-56)
    150k 07 December 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Commissioning ceremonies aboard USS Durant (DER 389). (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32465-12-56)
    191k 27 December 1956: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Cal. - Broadside view of Durant off Mare Island. She was converted at the Naval Shipyard from 01 December 1955 to 31 January 1957. (U.S. Navy photo #DER 389 32616-12-)
    192k date and location unknown: USS Durant (DER 389) underway. Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    408k 20 March 1963: Pearl Harbor, Hi. - A lei is presented to USS Durant (DER 389), returning to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from Operation Deep Freeze.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center Naval Subjects Catalog #L45-80.03.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager

    Durant Memorabilia
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Durant History
    View the USS Durant (DE 389) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Durant as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Durant's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 16 Nov. 1943– .. Mar. 1945Cmdr. Christopher Copeland Knapp, USCG (USCGA '31) (Albany, N. Y.) (ret. As Radm.)
    2.) .. Mar. 1945 – Lcdr. Riborg G. Mann, USCGR
    3.) 07 Dec.1956 – 05 Jul. 1958Lcdr. Harry Eugene Carter (Los Angeles, Cal.)
    4.) 05 Jul. 1958 – 19 Oct. 1959Lcdr. Frank Orlan Spencer (Carlisle, Ia.)
    5.) 19 Oct. 1959 – 15 Apr. 1961Lcdr. John Eugene Dutra III (Niles, Cal.)
    6) 15 Apr. 1961 – 14 Jul. 1962Lcdr. George Trowbridge Strong (Portland, Ore.)
    7.) 14 Jul. 1962 – .. .... 1964Lcdr. / Cmdr. Robert Anthony Kanak (Chicago, Ill.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Next Reunion:
    26, 27 September 2017 at Branson, Mo.
    Contact Name: Dave May
    Phone: Home; (972) 596-4778 / Cell; (214) 334-0040
    E-mail: Dave May
    Contact Name: Carl Galloway
    E-mail: Carl Galloway
    Association: USS Durant (DE-389) Assn.
    Address: 1720 SE 5th. St.
    City/State: Ocala, FL. 34471
    Association Web Site: USS Durant (DE-389) Assn.

    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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on Navsource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    USS Durant Website
    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 Durant

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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: 13 October 2022