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Amick

 

Eugene Earle Amick—born on 26 January 1919 at Boonville, Mo.—studied at the University of Kansas City and Rockhurst College before entering William Jewell College in 1937. After graduating from the latter in 1941, Amick enlisted in the Naval Reserve on 19 September 1941. Following preliminary training, he was appointed a midshipman on 13 February 1942 and entered the United States Naval Reserve Midshipman's School at Northwestern University. Upon his successful completion of the officers' candidate course there, he was commissioned ensign on 14 May 1942 and assigned to Astoria (CA-34).

 

Amick served in that cruiser during the early summer of 1942 as she prepared to participate in the first Allied thrust in the Pacific, the invasion of the Solomon Islands at Guadalcanal. He was killed on the second night after the original landings as Allied warships attempted to protect American beachheads in the Battle of Savo Island in the small hours of 9 August.

 

(DE-168: dp. 1,240; 1. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 11'8"; s. 20.9 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct. 8 dcp.; cl. Cannon)

 

Amick (DE-168) was laid down on 30 November 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, N.J.; launched on 27 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Mary R. Amick, widow of Ens. Amick; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 26 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. Francis C. B. McCune in command.

 

Amick left the east coast early in September for shakedown training out of Bermuda. During this cruise, the ship was also engaged in operations testing defensive devices—then under development—which it was hoped would protect American ships against acoustic torpedoes.

 

In early November, Amick became a member of Task Force 62 and began duty as an escort for transatlantic convoys. The ship also acted as flagship for Escort Division (CortDiv) 15. From November 1943 through May 1945, she completed nine round-trip voyages across the Atlantic. These terminated in several different ports: Casablanca, Morocco; Gibraltar; Bizerte, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily; and Oran, Algeria. Only one of her convoys was ever harassed by enemy forces. On 1 August 1944, German planes attacked the convoy while it was sailing in the Mediterranean off Cape Bengut, Algeria, but failed to damage any ship.

 

During her 18 months of wartime operations in the Atlantic, Amick entered either the New York or the Boston Navy Yard for short availabilities at the completion of each westward crossing. As a rule, she then proceeded to Casco Bay, Maine, or Montauk Point, N.Y., for training exercises before joining another convoy.

 

On 28 May 1945, Amick sailed from Boston with CortDiv 15, bound for the Pacific. They paused at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for one week of training and then proceeded to the Canal Zone. The destroyer escorts transited the Panama Canal on 10 June and sailed on to San Diego, Calif. From that port, Amick and her sister ships headed for the Hawaiian Islands and moored at Pearl Harbor on the 29th.

 

After a fortnight of exercises out of Pearl Harbor, CortDiv 15 got underway for Eniwetok. Amick sailed for the Mariana Islands and, at Saipan, reported to Task Unit (TU) 94.7.2 for duty. The destroyer escort completed one voyage to Okinawa and back before sailing for the Western Caroline Islands. On 15 August, while en route to Ulithi, she received word of Japan's capitulation.

 

Amick touched at Ulithi on the 16th; and, three days later, she reached Peleliu in the Palau Islands and joined TU 94.6.1. On 23 August, several Navy and Marine Corps officials embarked in Amick for passage to the northern Palau Islands. There, they held a series of conferences with Japanese officers which culminated on 1 September in the unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces in the northern Palaus, which was received by the Americans in the wardroom on board Amick.

 

On 3 November, Amick departed Peleliu, bound for the United States. She made brief stops at Saipan and Pearl Harbor before arriving back at San Diego on 22 November.

 

The destroyer escort was reassigned to the Atlantic Fleet on 1 December and, shortly thereafter, got underway for the east coast. She reached Jacksonville, Fla., on 3 January 1946 and entered a shipyard there for repairs. After this work was completed, she was assigned to CortDiv 12 and berthed at Green Cove Springs, Fla., to undergo preservation work prior to deactivation.

 

The warship remained semiactive at Green Cove Springs, serving as a receiving ship for sailors from other ships completing the inactivation process, until herself decommissioned on 16 May 1947. After eight years in reserve, Amick was loaned to Japan on 14 June 1955 under the terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. She served in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force as Asahi (DE-262) until returned to the Navy early in 1975. On 6 January 1975, she was reclassified a frigate and redesig-nated FF-168. Not long thereafter, she was determined to be unfit for further service, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 15 June 1975. She was sold to the Republic of the Philippines in September of 1976.