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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's name tab courtesy of Al Grazevich

USS LeRay Wilson (DE 414)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 stars
Third Row: WWII Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Philippine Liberation Medal

Class: John C. Butler
Type: WGT (geared-turbine drive, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1350 tons (light), 1745 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 cal. DP guns (2x1), 4 - 40mm AA (2x2), 10 - 20mm AA, 3 - 21" TT, 1 Mk10 Hedgehog, 8 Mk6 Depth Charge Projectors, 2 Mk9 Depth Charge Stern Racks
Complement: 14 / 201
LeRay Wilson (DE 414) Building and Operational Data:
  • 20 December 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 28 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Julia Wilson, mother of LeRay Wilson
  • 10 May 1944: Commissioned at the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company dock, Houston, Texas; Lcdr. M. V. Carson, USNR, in command
  • 15 January 1947: Decommissioned at San Francisco, Cal. after 2 years and 8 months of service
  • 1947: Received major ASW upgrade
  • 28 March 1951: Recommissioned
  • 30 January 1959: Decommissioned at the U.S. Naval Station, San Diego, Cal. after 7 years and 10 months of service; custody transferred to CO, San Diego Group, U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 15 May 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 10 years and 6 months of service
  • 14 September 1973: Sold for scrapping
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    LeRay Wilson

    LeRay Wilson
    56k LeRay Wilson was born at Cove, Oregon on 04 February 1920, and enlisted in the Navy 08 February 1939. Assigned to USS William B. Preston (AVD 7) on 14 June 1940, Wilson was on the seaplane tender in Malolog Bay in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked American ships there on the morning of 08 December 1941. He remained on her throughout the succeeding months of valiant struggle in which plucky American ships defied overwhelming odds fighting to hold back the enemy advance toward Australia. Japanese bombers finally caught up with William B. Preston at Darwin, Australia, 19 February 1942. Despite the rapidity with which the attack developed and the very obvious danger of being trapped by an explosion, Wilson went immediately below decks and had just completed closing all doors and hatches when a bomb hitting within a few feet of him caused his death. Because of his courage and efficiency, the flooding of the ship was confined to two compartments. Metalsmith 2d Class Wilson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his bravery.

    USS LeRay Wilson (DE 414) (1944-1959) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the USS LeRay Wilson Website.)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    LeRay Wilson
    77k undated wartime image George J. Chairsson
    LeRay Wilson
    62k undated wartime image Dan Culliton
    RM 44-46
    LeRay Wilson
    67k in dry dock, undated wartime image
    LeRay Wilson
    65k undated wartime image
    LeRay Wilson
    72k 10 January 1945: Just prior to being struck by a kamikaze. Aircraft (Japanese Betty) and AA tracer fire are visible.
    (Slightly blurred but excellent image, whoever took this image is a very brave man.)
    LeRay Wilson
    103k 1951: After recommissioning Frank D. Heckart
    GM 2/C
    October 1954 - May 1956.
    LeRay Wilson
    120k undated postwar image David Buell
    LeRay Wilson
    59k mid-1950's: location unknown - Young ladies aboard a yacht wave as LeRay Wilson steams past. Tommy Trampp
    Benton City, Wash.
    LeRay Wilson

    LeRay Wilson History
    View the USS LeRay Wilson (DE 414) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS LeRay Wilson as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    LeRay Wilson's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  10 May 1944 - 23 May 1945Lcdr. Matthew Vaughn Carson Jr., USNR (Yorktown, Tex.)
    2.)  23 May 1945 01 Feb. 1946Lcdr. Felix Leonard Englander, USN (USNA 40) (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    3.)  01 Feb. 1946 17 Apr. 1946Lcdr. Thiel J. Kohne, USNR
    4.)  17 Apr. 1946 - 15 Jan. 1947Lcdr. Bruce Gregory Kroger, USN (Jacksonville, Fla.)
    5.)  28 Mar. 1951 - .. Jul. 1952Lcdr. Robert Malcolm Stuart (USNA 43) (Boston, Mass.)
    6.)  .. Jul. 1952 - .. .... 1954Lcdr. Ralph Glover Spencer
    7.)  .. .... 1954 - 16 Aug. 1956Lcdr. Alvin Taylor Stubel (USNA 44) (Fairview, N.J.)
    8.)  16 Aug. 1956 - 06 Mar.1958Lcdr. Victor Jay Sibert
    9.)  06 Mar. 1958 - 15 Nov. 1958Lcdr. Louis Joseph Collister (Manhattan, Kan.)
    10.) 15 Nov. 1958 - 30 Jan. 1959Lt. Ralph G. Spencer, USN

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Francis (Frank) D. Heckart GM 2/C
    Address: 635 C. R. 785
    City/State: Natalia TX 78059
    Phone: (830) 665-9789
    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

    USS LeRay Wilson Web Site
    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 LeRay Wilson
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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: 02 February 2023