Henry A. Courtney, born 6 January 1916 in Duluth, Minn., was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in February 1940. As a company commander on Guadalcanal in 1942, he shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the First Marine Division. While serving as executive officer of a battalion of the Sixth Marine Division on Okinawa, he was killed in action after exhibiting great courage and self-sacrifice leading a successful night attack against enemy positions on Sugar Loaf Hill 15 May 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and a second Presidential Unit Citation that was earned by the Sixth Marine Division.
(DE-1021: dp. 1,280; l. 314'6"; b. 36'9"; dr. 9'3"; s. 25 k.; cpl. 170; a. Classified; cl. Dealey)
Courtney (DE-1021) \vas launched 2 November 1955 by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; sponsored by Mrs. H. A. Courtney; commissioned 24 September 1956, Lieutenant Commander C. W. Coe in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
Joining Escort Squadron 10 at Newport, R.I., 26 April 1957, Courtney operated from that port exercising in antisubmarine warfare and convoy escort techniques in the British West Indies until 3 September. She arrived at Milford Haven, Wales, 14 September for maneuvers with ships of other NATO navies in the Irish Sea, visiting Plymouth, England, and Brest, France, before returning to Newport 21 October 1957 to resume local operations. She took part in hunter-killer exercises off North Carolina and in convoy exercises extending into the waters off Florida.
Courtney sailed from Newport 1 April 1958 and called at Reykjavik, Iceland, on the way to Bodo, Norway, to conduct exercises with ships of the Norwegian Navy. She put in to Antwerp, Belgium, and Argentia, Newfoundland, and returned to Newport 14 May. From 7 August to 30 September she cruised in the Atlantic with her squadron on convoy escort and screening duties, visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 15 to 19 September. Again cruising to South American waters from February through March 1959, she called at ports in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, and exercised with ships of the Colombian and Peruvian navies. NATO exercises in August and September 1959 found her calling in Newfoundland, Northern Ireland, England, and Portugal. Through the first half of I960, she cruised along the east coast on a variety of exercises, including an amphibious operation with Marines on the coast of North Carolina.
From August through December Courtney participated in Operation "Unitas," the combined antisubmarine training cruise of the American nations.