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USS Conklin (DE 439)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 3 stars - WWII Victory 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
Conklin (DE 439) Building and Operational Data:
  • 04 November 1943: Keel laid at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newark, N.J.
  • 13 February 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. T. Conklin of Hawley, Pa., mother of Private Conklin
  • 21 April 1944: Commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Cmdr. Donald C. Brown, USNR, in command
  • 14 November 1944: Conklin, in company with McCoy Reynolds (DE 440) sank the Japanese submarine I-37 100 miles west of Palaus
  • 23 January 1945: Conklin, in company with Corbesier (DE 438) and Raby (DE 698) sank the Japanese submarine I-48 off Yap, the Caroline Islands
  • 05 June 1945: During a typhoon off Okinawa three crewmembers were lost or killed, Conklin logged a 78 deg. inclinometer reading
  • 16 September 1945: Outbound to sea after a Mare Island yard period, collided with Liberty Ship SS David Starr Jordan in the seaward side of the Golden Gate Channel
  • 17 January 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 1 year and 9 months of service; having steamed 109,159 miles, she was credited with sinking two Japanese submarines
  • 02 December 1946: Inactivated at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 01 October 1970: Struck from the NVR
  • 12 May 1972: Sold for scrapping
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    188k George Emerson Conklin was born to Reuben Emerson and Theresa (McLain) Conklin in Hamlin, Pa. on 03 January 1921, their only son. The family later moved to Hawley, Pa. where George resided with his parents, older sister Clara, and younger sisters Dorothy, Mary, Ada, and Reno. He traveled to Philadelphia, Pa. and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 13 February 1942.

    Assigned to the Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, Conklin found himself on the Island of Guadalcanal after the landings of 07 August 1942. During a particularly violent encounter with Japanese forces on 05 October 1942, Pvt. Conklin, serving as a machine gunner, was wounded. Despite being mortally wounded, he remained at his gun until he could no longer man it, then disassembled it and scattered its parts so as to make it useless to the enemy before he died. He was buried in the First Marine Division Cemetery on Guadalcanal, but was later moved and reinterred at the Indian Orchard Cemetery in Indian Orchard, Pa. For his heroic devotion to duty, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

    USS Conklin (DE 439) (1944-1946) 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
    Conklin 31k undated wartime image Jerry Church
    Conklin 161k undated wartime image
    Mary Eileen McNamara
    daughter of
    Robert Louis McNamara
    RM3 USS Conklin
    Conklin 92k
    Conklin 278k 14 September 1945: Mare Island NSY, San Francisco, Cal. - Forward plan view of USS Conklin (DE 439) at Mare Island. To the right, The USS Plaice (SS 390) and USS Queenfish (SS 393) have just arrived at Mare Island.
    (U.S. Navy photo #DE 439 9460-45
    Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
    Conklin 227k 14 September 1945: Mare Island NSY, San Francisco, Cal. - Aft plan view of Conklin at Mare Island. She was in overhaul at the yard 09 July to 27 September 1945.
    (U.S. Navy photo #DE 439 4959-45) (Note the color and contrast difference in two prints of the same photo.)
    Conklin 152k 14 September 1945: Mare Island NSY, San Francisco, Cal. - Another aft plan view of Conklin at Mare Island. Pieter Bakels
    Conklin 297k 16 September 1945: San Francisco Bay, Cal. - Conklin leaving the pier at the Mare Island Navy Yard. Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Conklin 277k 16 September 1945: San Francisco Bay, Cal. - Conklin off the Mare Island Navy Yard. Eileen McNamara
    Conklin 349k
    Conklin 393k

    Conklin Memorabilia
    Launch Button
    Courtesy of
    Tom Kermen

    Conklin History
    View the USS Conklin (DE 439) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Conklin as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Conklin's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, & Russ Moody
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Apr. 1944 - 15 Aug. 1944Cmdr. Donald Cairns Brown, USNR (USNA '26) (Rockford, Iowa)
    2.) 15 Aug. 1944 - 23 Oct. 1945Lcdr. Edmund Leavenworth McGibbon, USNR (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
    3.) 23 Oct. 1945 - 01 Dec. 1945Lt. V. J. Pra Sisto, USNR
    4.) 01 Dec. 1945 - 17 Jan. 1946Ens. R. G. Miller, USNR

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact: Eileen McNamara
    E-mail: Eileen McNamara

    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
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
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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: 12 May 2020