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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Calcaterra (DE 390)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - V - B
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Hazel Creek"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row: National Defense Service Medal - Antarctica Service Ribbon - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

"Vigilante - Victoria"
(Vigilance - Victory)
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
Calcaterra (DE 390) Building and Operational Data:
  • 28 May 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 16 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. G. M. Stites
  • 17 November 1943: Commissioned, Cmdr H. J. Wuensch, USCG, in command
  • 01 May 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.
  • 28 October 1954: Reclassified DER 390, conversion to DER commenced at Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  • 12 September 1955: Recommissioned at Norfolk, Va., assigned to Newport, R.I. as a radar picket of the North American Continental Air Defense System
  • 26 August 1965 - 28 April 1966: Operated out of Dunedin, New Zealand as part of Operation Deep Freeze 1965-1966 (Around the World)
  • June 1966: homeport changed to Key West, Fla. as a unit of Destroyer Division 601, operating as a Sonar School Ship
  • 21 August 1967 - 03 May 1968: Operated out of Dunedin, New Zealand as part of Operation Deep Freeze 1967-1968 (Around the World)
  • 02 July 1973: Decommissioned and struck from the NVR
  • 14 May 1974: Sold for scrapping
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Calcaterra 48k Herbert Andrew Calcaterra, son of Jack T. and Gladys (nee Condon), was born on 07 April 1920 at Escalon, San Joaquin County, California. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy on 14 December 1939, he rose through the enlisted ranks attaining the rate of Motor Machinist Mate First Class. Assigned to the crew of submarine USS Pompano (SS 181), he was aboard while she was on a patrol en route to Midway. When an enemy patrol ship was sighted on 04 September 1942, Pompano surfaced and engaged with deck guns, sinking the enemy vessel within an hour. Unfortunately, Calcaterra lost his life during the fierce gun fight. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.

    USS Calcaterra (DE 398) (1944 - 1970) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo from the On Eternal Patrol Web Site)
    Calcaterra 69k 1943: location unknown Joe Doyle
    Nov. 1943 to Jul. 1945
    ***Alger / Calcaterra*** 56k early 1944: USS Hamul (AD 20) with (from left to right) DEs USS Calcaterra (DE 390); USS Pride (DE 323); USS Falgout (DE 324); USS Alger (DE 101) and USS Eichenberger (DE 202), alongside at Bermuda. Note HF/DF antenna visible on three of the five DEs, and the two-tone Measure 22 camouflage on four of the five DEs.
    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 86271, courtesy of the Captain D.L. Madeira Collection)
    Robert Hurst
    Calcaterra 73k undated: Calcaterra as DER 390 -
    Calcaterra 275k date / location unknown: A photo of the radar picket escort ship USS Calcaterra (DER 390) tied up pierside.
    (U.S. Navy Photo; from "The World Encyclopedia of Destroyers and Frigates" by Bernard Ireland)
    Robert Hurst
    Calcaterra 85k Calcaterra underway at Otego Harbor, Dunedin, New Zealand. Taken between 11/65 and 2/66. Gene Spinelli
    ETR2, USNR
    From collection of
    Joe Thorne IC2, USN
    Calcaterra 446k circa 1970: Key West, Fla. - USS Calcaterra moored at Naval Station, Key West.
    (Photo #MM00007221 from the Ida Woodward Barron Collection, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    Calcaterra 57k 1970: Calcaterra at Esbjerg, Denmark. Karsten Petersen,
    Middelfart, Denmark

    All Photos in this Series
    © Karsten Petersen
    Calcaterra 51k
    Calcaterra 54k
    Calcaterra 46k
    Calcaterra 74k
    Calcaterra 45k
    Calcaterra 88k
    Calcaterra 66k
    Calcaterra 60k 1970: Calcaterra departing Esbjerg, Denmark.
    Calcaterra 51k
    Calcaterra 60k
    Calcaterra 55k
    Calcaterra 133k Summer 1970: the Atlantic Ocean - The crew of the destroyer escort USS Calcaterra (DE 390) watch as Soviet retrieval teams from the surveillance trawler Khariton Laptev (SSV-503) raced to pick up Poseidon launch debris and telemetry buoys from the first test launch from USS James Madison (SSBN 627) off Cape Canaveral in the late summer of 1970.
    (Photo courtesy of   Rear Admiral Gleb P. Kondratiev from the book "Rising Tide" by Gary E. Weit and Walter J. Boyne)
    Robert Hurst
    Calcaterra 594k circa 1970: off Key West, Fla. - USS Calcaterra underway.
    (Photo #MM00046524 from the Wright Langley Collection, courtesy of the Florida Keys Public Libraries)
    Calcaterra 58k July 1971: Calcaterra on the River Weser, departing Bremen, Germany Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Frankfurt a.M., Germany
    Calcaterra 61k 1973 in Key West, shortly before decommissioning (Photo © Randy Mays) Randy Mays

    Calcaterra Memorabilia
    Ship's Plaque
    Courtesy of
    Gene Spinelli
    Ship's Plaque
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Ship's Plaque
    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski
    Deepfreeze Patch

    Courtesy of
    Mike Smolinski

    Calcaterra History
    View the USS Calcaterra (DE 390) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    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.

    Additional Resources

    Operation Deep Freeze DERs by Gene Spinelli
    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 Calcaterra
    To The DE Photo Index Page Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Created And Maintained by Mike Smolinski
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    Page Last Updated: 27 November 2017