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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Patch Courtesy of Mike Smolinski
Ship's Name Tab Courtesy of Al Grazevich

USS Tabberer (DE 418)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - I - O
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 stars - WWII Victory Medal
Third Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Phillipine Liberation Ribbon

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
Tabberer (DE 419) Building and Operational Data:
  • 12 January 1944: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 18 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Mary M. Tabberer, widow of the late Lt.(jg) Tabberer
  • 23 May 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. Henry Lee Plage, USNR, in command
  • 18 Deccember 1944: Although damaged (unmasted, no communication ability) in Typhoon "Cobra", she rescued 55 men from Hull (DD 360) and Spence (DD 512), both of which sunk in the typhoon
  • 22 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1 year and 11 months of service having steamed 114,593 miles
  • 26 August 1946: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 07 April 1951: Recommissioned at San Diego, Lcdr. Willard J. McNulty in command
  • .. June 1951: Homeport assignment changed to Newport, R.I. as a unit of Escort Squadron 12
  • 02 September 1960: Decommissioned at the Reserve Fleet Basin of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard after 9 years and 4¾ months of service: custody to CO, Philadelphia Group, U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • 01 July 1972: Struck from the NVR with a total of 11 years of service
  • 03 October 1973: Sold for scrapping to Mr. David Hahn, Key West, Fla.
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    27k Charles Arthur Tabberer was born on 18 December 1915 in Kansas City, Kan. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 12 October 1939 and after elimination flight training at Kansas City was appointed an aviation cadet on 11 January 1940. Following flight instruction at Naval Air Station Pensacola and NAS Miami, Florida, Tabberer was designated a naval aviator on 01 November 1940. He was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 12 December 1940, and after further training with the Fleet Air Detachment at NAS San Diego, Calif., he received orders to join Fighting Squadron 5 (VF-5) which then formed part of the USS Yorktown (CV 5) Air Group. He reported to VF-5 on 21 January 1941, and made the cruise with the carrier when she was reassigned to the Atlantic Fleet in the spring of 1941, and transitioned with the squadron from the Grumman F3F to the Grumman F4F Wildcat during 1941. Promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on 29 May 1942, Tabberer and his squadron were ultimately assigned to USS Saratoga (CV 3) for the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

    On 07 August 1942, Lt.(jg) Tabberer was one of the eight VF-5 pilots who engaged a force of land attack planes and their fighter escort (the latter equipped with Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 0 fighters of the crack Tainan Air Group), vastly superior in strength, as it attacked the U.S. invasion force off Guadalcanal. Despite the altitude disadvantage, VF-5's two Wildcat-equipped sections gallantly waded into the fray, suffering grievous losses at the hands of the more experienced enemy. Lt.(jg) Tabberer was last seen dogfighting a Zero. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, posthumously.

    USS Tabberer (DE 418) (1944-1960) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (Photo courtesy of Pierre Lagacé, and his WordPress web site Remembering VF(N)-101)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    42k undated wartime image -
    372k Two undated wartime images of Tabberer (DE 418) underway. Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.
    47k Tabberer, refuelling from an unidentified U.S. warship. During the great typhoon of December 1944, Tabberer, with her radio and radar knocked-out, was thought to have been lost. But she was busy at the unbelievable feat of picking up 55 survivors from the USS Hull.

    (Photo taken from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War 11", by Theodore Roscoe
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    43k undated postwar image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    243k undated: location unknown - Port and starboard bow views of Tabberer (DE 418) underway.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 73660 and #NH 73661 courtesy of Ted DiCecco, Avondale, Pa., from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    136k undated postwar image (These three photos were from Tom's father, Henry Chester Latour, who served in the Navy from 1953 to 1958. Part of that time was spent in Tabberer) Thomas Latour
    91k Shipmates at work,
    80k and now it looks like the work is done.
    70k undated postwar image Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus
    160k An undated view of Tabberer (DE 418) in the Inactive Ship Basin at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

    (Photo from the collection of the late Ted Stone)
    Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.
    ***Coffman / Tabberer***
    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 (DE 416), Tabberer, Coffman (DE 191), Rizzi (DE 537), and Edward H. Allen (DE 531). Jim Cunliffe
    Frederica, Del.
    ***Coffman / Tabberer***
    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 (DE 416), Tabberer, 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.

    Tabberer History
    View the USS Tabberer (DE 418) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Tabberer's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  23 May 1944 - 25 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Henry Lee Plage (Comm. CO) (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
    2.)  25 Jul. 1945 - 18 Jan. 1946Lcdr. Dean A. Decoudres, USNR (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
    3.)  18 Jan. 1946 - 17 Apr. 1946Lcdr. Bruce Gregory Kroger, USNR (Jacksonville, Fla.)
    4.)  17 Apr. 1946 - 24 Apr. 1946Lt.(jg) Dale E. Erwin, USNR (Decomm. CO)
    5.)  07 Apr. 1951 - .. Jul. 1952Cmdr. Willard Jerrold McNulty, USN (Recomm. CO) (Spokane, Wash.)
    6.)  .. Jul. 1952 - .. Nov. 1954Cmdr. John Joseph Skahill, USN (Mid'n Prog. '42) (Wellesley, Mass.)
    7.)  .. Nov. 1954 - 20 Jan. 1956Lcdr. / Cmdr. A. D. Sullivan, USN
    8.)  20 Jan. 1956 - 28 Aug. 1957Lcdr. / Cmdr. John Lawrence Hansen, USN (USNA '42) (Des Moines, Iowa)
    9.)  28 Aug. 1957 - 15 Jul. 1958Lcdr. William Morris Arl Greene, USN (OCS '43) (Linville, N.C.) (ret. as Radm.)
    10.) 15 Jul. 1958 - 18 Jun. 1959Lcdr. James Clinton Wilson, USN (OCS '43) (Rison, Ariz.)
    11.) 18 Jun. 1959 - 28 Apr. 1960Lt. Lloyd Winther Rasmussen, USN (OinC)
    11.) 28 Apr. 1960 - 02 Sep. 1960Lt. Fredric Jonasz, USN (OinC) (Decomm. CO) (OCS '54) (Queens, N. Y.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Andrew Pack
    Address: PO Box 66
    City/State: Battiest OK 74722
    Phone: (580) 241-7740
    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
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 25 February 2023