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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Ship's patches courtesy of Nick Tiberio, Tab from Mike Smolinski

USS Parle (DE 708)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - T - I - Q
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "Astoria"

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Expeditionary Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row: Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - WWII Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/star

Class: Rudderow
Type: TEV (turbo-electric drive, long hull, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1,450 tons (light), 1,810 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 13' 9" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 CE boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 5,050 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 Mk30, 4 - 40mm Mk1 AA (2x2), 10 x 20mm/70 Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (230 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors (40), 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks (60)
Complement: 12 / 192
Parle (DE 708) Building and Operational Data:
  • 08 January 1944: Keel laid by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.
  • 25 March 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Harry V. Parle, mother of Ens. John Joseph Parle
  • 29 July 1944: Commissioned at New Orleans, La., Lcdr James C. Toft, Jr., USNR in command
  • 10 July 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years of service
  • 02 March 1951: Recommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla., assigned to Escort Squadron 8 at Norfolk, Va.
  • 21 September 1957: Squadron asignment changed to Escort Squadron 12 at Norfolk, Va.
  • 01 January 1959: Assigned to NRT, 5th Naval District as a unit of Reserve Escort Squadron 4 at Little Creek, Va.
  • 14 July 1960: NRT assignment changed to 1st Naval District as a unit of Reserve Escort Squadron 2 at the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Providence, R. I.
  • .. February 1961: Reserve Escort Squadron 2 disestablished, assigned to Reserve Destroyer Squadron 30 (ResDesDiv 303)
  • 01 October 1961: Reserve Destroyer Squadron 30 disestablished, assigned to Escort Squadron 8 at Newport, R.I. for the Berlin Crisis
  • 16 July 1962: Resumed NRT duties as a unit of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 30 at the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Providence, R. I.
  • 05 June 1965: Departed Newport, R. I. bound for Chicago, Ill. by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway (fueled Montreal 09-10 June; Ogdensburg, N.Y. 11-12 June, Sarnia, Ontario 15-16 June)
  • 18 June 1965: Arrived in Chicago, Ill. to assume NRT duties, 9th Naval District at the U.S. Naval Reserve Center, Chicago, Ill. as a unit of Reserve Destroyer Squadron 30 (ResDesDiv 301)
  • 27 April 1970: Departed Chicago in company with USS Havre (PCE 877), USS Ely (PCE 880), USS Portage (PCE 902), USS Whitehall (PCER 856), and USS Hollidaysburg (PCS 1385), all headed toward decommissioning
  • 01 July 1970: Decommissioned at the Inactive Ship Facility, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va., struck from the NVR after 20 years and 4 months of total service
  • (Last commissioned U.S. Navy ship based on the Great Lakes / Last WWII DE in service)
  • 27 October 1970: Sunk as target off Florida
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    83k John Joseph Parle (26 May 1920 - 17 July 1943) was born at Omaha, Neb. and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as Apprentice Seaman 11 January 1942. He began Midshipman training at Notre Dame University 05 October and was commissioned Ensign, USNR on 28 January 1943. Following assignment with the Amphibious Force at Norfolk, Va., he was reassigned to the Northwest African Amphibious Force and attached to LST-375 as officer-in-charge of small boats during the invasion of Sicily, 9-10 July 1943. "For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty," as an accidentally ignited smoke pot was about to touch off a boat laden with high-explosive charges and ammunition, which would disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, he unhesitatingly entered the craft, snuffed out some burning fuses, and after failing to extinguish the smoke pot, took it in his bare hands and tossed it over the side, succumbing a week later as a result of poisonous fumes and smoke inhaled, "he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ensign Parle’s heroic self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

    USS Parle (DE 708) (1944-1970) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #80-G-49910 from the National Archives and Records Administration)
    David Wright
    Geneva, N.Y.

    Manager, Navsource
    Destroyer Archive
    Yard / District Craft Archive
    79k date / location unknown Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    386k date / location unknown Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    193k date / location unknown David Buell
    137k 29 January 1960: the Caribbean Sea - Two views of Parle coming alonside USS Intrepid (CVA 11) for a refueling exercise off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 107584 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    (upper photo)
    Tony Alter
    280k (lower photo)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    401k date / location unknown David Wright
    Geneva, N.Y.

    Manager, Navsource
    Destroyer Archive
    Yard / District Craft Archive
    95k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - USS Parle (DE 708) and USS Keywadin (ATA 213) anchored in Vineyard Sound. On 22 August, while Parle was conducting exercises in the area, she either hit an object in the water or touched bottom, causing her sonar dome to fall off. Parle's crewmembers in the ship's motor whaleboat were able to locate the sonar dome, and Keywadin arrived during the night of 24 August. On the morning of the 25th, Keywadin was able to lift the sonar dome from 40 feet of water and transfer it to the deck of Parle.

    (Photo #19620800S-a20, © Richard Leonhardt)
    Richard Leonhardt
    Captain, USNR (ret.)
    Bethlehem, Pa.
    118k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - Parle and Keywadin, as above.

    (Photo #19620800S-a21, © Richard Leonhardt)
    115k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - Parle and Keywadin, as above.

    (Photo #19620800S-a23, © Richard Leonhardt)
    87k Keywadin and Parle moored at Falmouth, Mass., August 1962.
    136k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - Parle and Keywadin, as above.

    (Photo #19620800S-a24, © Richard Leonhardt)
    111k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - Parle and Keywadin, as above.

    (Photo #19620800S-a25, © Richard Leonhardt)
    127k 25 August 1962: off Falmouth, Mass. - Parle and Keywadin, as above.

    (Photo #19620800S-a28, © Richard Leonhardt)
    389k circa 1962: USS Parle (DE 708) underway, location unknown.

    (Photo courtesy of Mr. W.H. Davis; from "Jane's Fighting Ships, 1964 - 65")
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    212k February 1970: Chicago, Ill. - USS Parle (DE 708) moored at the Naval Armory, just off Lakeshore Drive in Chicago.

    (Photo by Mike Malaychuk)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    235k 27 October 1970: the Atlantic Ocean - The final moments of ex-USS Parle (DE 708), sinking in the Atlantic Ocean after use as a target.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #1146317 from the United States National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.


    Plaque, late '50's
    Courtesy of
    Bob Hurst

    Parle History
    View the USS Parle (DE 708) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Parle as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Parle's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.)  29 Jul. 1944 – Dec. 1945Lcdr. James Cecil Toft Jr., USNR (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘32) (Trenton, N. J.)
    2.)  Dec. 1945 – Jun. 1946Lt.(jg) William M. Siegel, USNR
    3.)  Jun. 1946 – 10 Jul. 1946Ens. R. B. McKinstry, USNR (Decomm. CO)
    4.)  02 Mar. 1951 – Aug. 1952Cmdr. George Ransom Brines, USN (Recomm. CO)
    5.)  Aug. 1952 – 05 Jan. 1954Lcdr. John Clayton Hill, USN (USNA ‘42) (Navy Junior / Washington, D. C.)
    6.)  05 Jan. 1954 – Jul. 1955Lcdr. John Adolph Piatek, USN (Newark, N. J.)
    7.)  Jul. 1955 – 03 Jul. 1957Lcdr. Frederick Saunders Robertson Jr., USN (USNA ‘42) (Finchville, Ky.)
    8.)  03 Jul. 1957 – 30 Dec. 1958Lcdr. James (J. W.) William Perkins Jr., USN (Winnsboro, La.)
    9.)  30 Dec. 1958 – 26 Jun. 1959Lcdr. Vernon William Condon, USN
    10.) 26 Jun. 1959 – 15 Jul. 1960Lcdr. George Matthew Rooney, USN
    11.) 15 Jul. 1960 – 18 Nov. 1961Lcdr. James Moore Hornbrook, USN (Marshall, Ill.)
    12.) 18 Nov. 1961 – 30 Jul. 1962Cmdr. Charles S. Cooper, USNR (Attleboro, Mass.)
    13.) 30 Jul. 1962 – 22 Oct. 1962Cmdr. Robert Stanley Gershkoff, USNR
    14.) 22 Oct. 1962 – 13 Jun. 1963Lcdr. Fred A. Stevenson, USNR (New York City, N. Y.)
    15.) 13 Jun. 1963 – 15 Oct. 1965Lcdr. / Cmdr. Charles William Jones, USNR
    16.) 15 Oct. 1965 – 06 Dec. 1967Lcdr. John Gilbert Connelly, USN
    17.) 06 Dec. 1967 – 07 Oct. 1969Lcdr. Howard Evans Knott Jr., USN
    18.) 07 Oct. 1969 – 01 Jul. 1970Lcdr. Robert F. Schultz, USN (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Chet Hancock, QMCM (ret.)
    E-mail: Chet Hancock

    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

    Parle Family Geneology Website
    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
    Back To The Main Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail: Webmaster.

    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 17 March 2023