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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patch courtesy of Mike Smolinski

USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - H - V - Z
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars - WWII Victory Medal - National Defense Service 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
Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) Building and Operational Data:
  • 03 January 1944: Keel laid at the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 16 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. R. B. Nawman mother of the late 2d Lt. Melvin R. Nawman
  • 16 May 1944: Commissioned at the Tennessee Iron and Coal Co. dock, Houston, Tex.; Lcdr. F. W. Kinsley in command
  • 23 April 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1 year and 11 months of service having steamed 124,622 miles, Nawman was credited with the destruction of three Japanese aircraft
  • 27 January 1947: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 28 March 1951: Recommissioned at San Diego, Lcdr. P. H. Teeter in command, assigned to Escort Squadron 12 at Newport, R.I.
  • 13 January 1958: Assigned to NRT 1st Naval District at the U. S. Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, R.I. as a unit of Reserve Escort Squadron 2
  • 30 August 1960: Decommissioned at the New York Naval Shipyard Annex, Bayonne, N.J. after 9 years and 5 months of service, custody transferred to Commander, New York Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • 01 July 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 11 years and 4 months of service
  • 03 October 1973: Sold for scrapping
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    Melvin R. Nawman

    Melvin R. Nawman

    Melvin R. Nawman

    48k The son of Rollie Burnette and Pearl Grace (McGowen) Nawman, Melvin Rollie Nawman was born on 10 September 1916 in Aurora, Ill. Sometime prior to 1935 the family moved to Oakland, Cal. He attended the University of Utah prior to his enlistment on 07 July 1941 in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Shortly there after he qualified for flight training and on 27 July 1942 earned his wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Attached to Scout‑Bombing Squadron (VMSB) 32, the squadron arrived at Henderson Field on 30 October 1942, in the midst of the bitterly contested struggle for Guadalcanal Island, and immediately began combat operations in the skies of the Solomon Islands.

    On 22 November 1942, a strike was organized to attack a fleet of Japanese warships, known as the "Tokyo Express", approaching Guadalcanal. 2nd Leutenant Melvin R. Nawman and his gunner Private Vito LaGioia were among the Marines who volunteered for the mission. Three SBD Dauntless bombers departed Henderson Field at 1800 hours – and none returned. Nawman and LaGioia were reported as missing in action. The gallantry of this volunteer mission was recognized through a posthumously awarded Air Medal.

    The wreckage of Lieutenant Nawman’s SBD-3 (Bureau Number 03210) was located in 1943 on Santa Isabel Island and his remains were buried nearby. They were later repatriated to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii. No trace of Pvt. LaGioia was found, and on 03 November 1943, he was declared dead.

    USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) (1944-1947, 1951 - 1960) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo from the website Missing Marines)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    Melvin R. Nawman
    60k 16 February 1944: Houston, Tex. - Melvin R. Nawman is launched. Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Melvin R. Nawman
    75k undated wartime image Dave Caputo
    Melvin R. Nawman
    45k undated wartime image
    Melvin R. Nawman
    39k undated wartime image
    Melvin R. Nawman
    275k 13 May 1952: the Atlantic Ocean - USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) at sea off Newport, R.I.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-444097 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.
    Melvin R. Nawman
    428k 07 August 1952: Key West, Fla. - USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) at sea off Key West, temporarily assigned to the Fleet Sonar School.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-445113 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    Melvin R. Nawman
    186k undated post-war image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    214k Summer 1953: Copenhagen, Denmark - Four destroyer escorts make a Scandinavian port visit during a North Atlantic Midshipman Cruise. From left to right: USS Raymond (DE 341), USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416), and USS Chester T. O'Brien (DE 421), with a fourth unidentified DE aft. This photo is part of the CT-DESA exhibit which is displayed at our CT-DESA chapter events.
    (Photo from the Nick Palermo Collection)
    John N. Adriani
    Shelton, Conn.
    Melvin R. Nawman
    534k 1959: Starboard bow view of the destroyer escort USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) underway, with sailors manning the rails.

    (U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 444097 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Melvin R. Nawman
    99k August 1960: Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne, N.J.
    (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    ***Coffman / Melvin R. Nawman***
    269k Winter 1972 - Spring 1973: Philadelphia, Pa. - A view of the Inactive Ship Basin at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Looking south from the Langley Ave. side, we see Whitehall (PC-856) and another unidentified PC alongside the the Intrepid Ave. quay. Further to the right, at the Constitution Ave. quay we see Oswald (DE 767), Melvin R. Nawman, Tabberer (DE 418), Coffman (DE 191), Rizzi (DE 537), and Edward H. Allen (DE 531). Jim Cunliffe
    Frederica, Del.
    ***Coffman / Melvin R. Nawman***
    287k Winter 1972 - Spring 1973: Philadelphia, Pa. - A closer view from the corner of Intrepid Ave. and S. 16th St. Again we see Oswald (DE 767), Melvin R. Nawman, Tabberer (DE 418), and Coffman (DE 191). In this view we also see an unidentified decommissioned AGSS and Raymond (DE 341).
    234k 25 May 1973: Philadelphia, Pa. - A mothballed auxiliary submarine and destroyer escorts at the Inactive Ship Facility of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. From left to right; Angler (IXSS 240), Raymond (DE 341), Oswald (DE 767), Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416), Tabberer (DE 418), and Coffman (DE 191).

    Note from Rick Davis: "Back in May 1973, Martin Holbrook (INRO Photo Collection), invited me for a tour of Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Mothball Fleet. Martin had been making trips to Philly and other mothball sites for years and was one of the “old-timers” that had been taking photos of USN ships since before WWII in the New York City area. Anyway, when he picked me up in his van, there were two other gents. One was Ted Stone (I thought the other one was Paul Silverstone, but when I had a chance to ask him a few years ago if it was, he said he didn’t recall a photo trip to PhilNSY). Martin had enough “pull” that we were provided with an Admiral’s Gig! I had my brand-new Nikon F2 35-mm camera. Martin and Ted had larger format cameras. I felt like a rank amateur and a kid in a candy store. I have seen some of the same photos of subjects that we all took photos from the same boat, show-up elsewhere. We were all excited that USS Sigsbee (DD 502) was on the outside of a nest this trip. Martin had been trying to get good views of her for years. Ex-USS Gherardi (DD 637) ... built at PhilNY ... was outside the reserve basin ready to be towed away for scrapping. We got photos of her as well".
    Rick E. Davis
    Springfield, Oh.

    Melvin R. Nawman

    M.R. Nawman
    Courtesy of
    Nick Tiberio

    Melvin R. Nawman
    View the USS Melvin R. Nawman (DE 416) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Melvin R. Nawman's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 16 May 1944 – 16 Mar. 1946Lcdr. Frederick William Kinsley, USN (USNA ‘35) (Marblehead, Mass.)
    2.) 16 Mar. 1946 – 23 Apr. 1946Lt.(jg) Ward L. Patterson (Decomm. CO)
    3.) 28 Mar. 1951 - .. Jul. 1952Lcdr. Philip Hitchcock Teeter (Recomm. CO) (Minneapolis, Minn.)
    4.) .. Jul. 1952 - .. Jun. 1954Lcdr. Steven Nicholas Anastasion (USNA '42) (New Haven, Conn.)
    5.) .. Jun. 1954 – 20 Jul. 1956Cmdr. Thomas Patrick Connell (Jersey City, N. J.)
    6.) 20 Jul. 1956 – 12 Sep. 1958Lcdr. Robert Knapp Minard Jr. (Chester, N. J.)
    7.) 12 Sep. 1958 – 22 Feb. 1959Cmdr. Harold Eckel Baumberger (Asheville, N. C.)
    8.) 22 Feb. 1959 – 09 Nov. 1959Lt./Lcdr. William Raymond Broughton Jr. (OinC) (USNA '49) (Chase City, Va.)
    9.) 09 Nov. 1959 – 21 Aug. 1960Lt. Hugh Thomas Campbell (OinC)

    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

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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: 03 June 2024