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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Bunch (DE 694 / APD 79)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon
Second Row: China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: European-Africa-Middle East 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
Bunch (DE 694) Building and Operational Data:
  • 23 February 1943: Keel laid by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 29 May 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Kenneth C. Bunch
  • 21 August 1943: Commissioned at New Orleans, La., Lcdr Alfred A. Campbell, USNR, in command
  • 28 July 1944: Commenced APD flagship conversion at the Naval Frontier Base, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y.
  • 31 July 1944: Reclassified APD 79
  • 12 October 1944: Conversion completed
  • 31 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2.75 years of service
  • 01 April 1964: Struck from the NVR
  • June 1965: Sold for scrapping
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Bunch 148k Kenneth Cecil Bunch was born on 21 January 1919 in Norman County, Minn. and enlisted in the Navy at Des Moines, Iowa, on 9 March 1937. He received his "boot camp" training at San Diego, Calif. Rated as seaman 2d class on 9 July 1937, Bunch was transferred to Scouting Squadron (VS) 42 ten days later. He remained with that unit in the years that followed, attaining the rate of radioman 2d class on 16 November 1940. With the extension of his enlistment on 9 March 1941, Bunch was transferred to the Naval Air Station at Norfolk, Va., on 29 August 1941 where he joined VS-8, of the then-forming USS Hornet (CV 8) Air Group, soon thereafter. While in that squadron, he attained the rate of aviation radioman 1st class on 1 March 1942.

    On 6 June 1942, the last day of the Battle of Midway, Bunch flew as radioman-gunner in the Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive bomber piloted by Ens. Donald T. Griswold, USNR, as the Hornet air group joined in the attacks on the fleeing Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma. Antiaircraft fire claimed Griswold's SBD-3, the only airplane lost by VS-8 that day, and it crashed, killing both the pilot and his radioman. For his contribution to victory at Midway, ARM1c Bunch was posthumously awarded the Air Medal.

    USS Bunch (DE 694) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.

    (Photo from the Roots Web - Bussey American Legion Post 505 of Marion County, Iowa)

    Bill Gonyo
    Bunch 434k 25 July 1943: at sea - Bunch, at sea one month before her commissioning. Location is unknown. (U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-694 19-N-91200 from the National Archives and Records Administration, courtesy of  Chris Wright) Ed Zajkowski

    View the USS Bunch (DE 694 / APD 79) DANFS history entry
    located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    Bunch's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 21 Aug. 1943 - 29 Jun. 1944Lcdr. Albert Alexander Campbell, USNR (comm.)
    2.) 29 Jun. 1944 - 15 Aug. 1945Lt. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, USNR
    3.) 15 Aug. 1945 - 26 Aug. 1945Lcdr. John Reginald DeSibour, USNR
    4.) 26 Aug. 1945 - 31 May 1946Lcdr. Edward Wood Donnally, USNR (decomm.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: David L Hibbs Sr.
    Phone: 717-637-7723

    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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Navsource APD Pages, USS Bunch (APD 79)
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Bunch
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE 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 26 October 2013