Born in Hartland Township, Ohio, 5 May 1915, Davis Elliott Chaffee enlisted in the Navy 4 January 1941. He was appointed Ensign 6 September 1941, and naval aviator 1 October 1941. While serving with Bomber Squadron 5 based on Yorktown (CV-5), he was killed in action during the Battle of the Coral Sea 8 May 1942. He was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross for his courage in participating in an attack in which an enemy carrier was sunk.
(DE-230: dp. 1,450; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 9'8"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct; cl. Rudderow)
Chaffee (DE-230) was launched 27 November 1943 by Charleston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. L. C. Chaffee; and commissioned 9 May 1944, Lieutenant Commander A. C. Jones, USNR, in command.
After operating on the east coast as a target ship in submarine training, and as a training ship for prospective escort vessel crews, Chaffee cleared Bayonne, N.J., 14 October 1944. She arrived at Hollandia 21 November for operations in the New Guinea area screening LSTs, in gunnery and antitorpedo exercises, and on patrol at the entrance to Aitape.
Chaffee began her role in the liberation of the Philippines when she sailed from Hollandia 17 December 1944 to escort landing craft to Leyte. She cleared Hollandia again 8 January 1945 with reinforcements for the recently landed San Fabian Attack Force at Lingayen, where she arrived 21 January. Assigned to patrol in Lingayen Gulf, Chaffee underwent a unique experience 23 January, when a Japanese aerial torpedo passed through her bow without exploding, or causing any injuries to her crew. By 2 February, temporary repairs had been completed, and Chaffee returned to patrol duties. She continued to escort convoys in the Philippines, as well as conduct patrols, in support of the Mindanao operation until 29 April, when she cleared Parang for Morotai. She returned to the southern Philippines for escort duty 2 May. A week later, she guarded the landing of reinforcements at Davao.
Chaffee arrived at Morotai from the Philippines 19 June 1945 to train for the Borneo operation, and cleared on 28 June to escort reinforcements which landed at Balikpapan 3 July. For the remainder of the war, Chaffee escorted convoys between Morotai and Hollandia and the Philippines. She aided in the establishment of the base in Subic Bay, conducted local patrols and escort missions, and escorted a troop ship to Okinawa in September, then returned to Philippine operations until 10 January 1946, when she cleared Subic Bay for home. She arrived at San Francisco 5 February, where she was decommissioned 15 April 1946. She was sold 29 June 1948.
Chaffee received two battle stars for World War II service.