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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS William C. Cole (DE 641)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - K - X - R
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon - China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 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: 15 / 198
William C. Cole (DE 641) Building and Operational Data:
  • 5 September 1943: Keel laid by the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Corp., San Francisco, Cal.
  • 29 December 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. William C. Cole, the widow of Admiral Cole
  • 12 May 1944: Commissioned, Lt. Clay Harrold in command
  • 24 May 1945: The Japanese attack U.S. positions and ships at Okinawa, kamikazes strike William C. Cole, Sims (APD 50), and LCS (L) 121
  • 28 April 1948: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 3 years and 11 months of service
  • 1 March 1972: Struck from the NVR
  • 20 November 1972: Sold for scrapping to Zidell Exploration Inc., Portland, Ore.
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Wm C. Cole 19k undated wartime image Jerry Church
    Wm C. Cole 124 18 May 1944: San Francisco Bay - port beam view of William C. Cole.

    (Photo by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Div.)
    Robert M. Cieri
    Wm C. Cole 410k 18 May 1944: San Francisco Bay.

    (These two photos courtesy of  Chris Wright)
    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Wm C. Cole 422k
    Wm C. Cole 275k 23 May 1944: San Francisco Bay - USS William C. Cole, showing her in a aerial starboard bow view, while on a speed run.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by NAS Alameda)
    Robert M. Cieri
    Wm C. Cole 235k 23 May 1944: San Francisco Bay - USS William C. Cole, showing her in a aerial port bow view.

    (Official U.S. Navy Photograph by NAS Alameda)


    William C. Cole
    Courtesy of
    Robert M. Cieri

    William C. Cole History
    View the USS William C. Cole (DE 641) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS William C. Cole as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    William C. Cole's Commanding Officers
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 12 May 1944 14 Jul. 1945Lt./Lcdr. Clay Harrold, USNR (Comm. CO)
    2.) 14 Jul. 1945 - .. Nov. 1945Lt./Lcdr. T. B. M. Porter Jr., USNR
    3.) .. Nov. 1945 - .. Jun. 1946Lcdr. W. F. V. Bennett, USNR
    4.) .. Jun. 1946 - .. Jun. 1947Lcdr. Jacob Vincent Heimark, USN (USNA 40) (Clarkfield, Minn.)
    5.) .. Jun. 1947 - 28 Apr. 1948Lcdr. John Graham Drew II, USN (USNA 42) (Webster Groves, Mo.)

    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
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS William C. Cole
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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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: 03 April 2020