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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Charles J. Kimmel

 

Charles Jack Kimmel, born in Rushsylvania, Ohio, 2 July 1918, enlisted in the Marine Corps 29 October 1941 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant 31 January 1942. He was killed in action near the bloody Matanikau River on Guadalcanal 2 November 1942 while leading his platoon in a bayonet charge. His superb courage in this hand-to-hand combat won recognition in the posthumous award of the Navy Cross.

 

(DE-584: dp. 1,450; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 9'8"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Rudderow)

 

Charles J. Kimmel (DE-584) was launched 15 January 1944 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. C. J. Kimmel; commissioned 20 April 1944, Lieutenant Commander F. G. Storey, Jr., USNR, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

 

Charles J. Kimmel escorted coastwise convoys between Norfolk, Va., and New York City until Augst 1944. On 2 August she sailed to guard the passage of a convoy to Oran, where she was ordered to sail independently escorting a transport to Naples, both of these movements in support of the recent assault on southern France. She rejoined her original escort group at Oran on 26 August, and returned to Boston 18 September. Here she received repairs, and Pacific-type camouflage.

 

The escort vessel arrived at Manus 7 November 1944 and on 20 November sailed for Hollandia to join the group escorting a reinforcement convoy to Leyte, returning to New Guinea to prepare for the assault on Lingayen. On 28 December, she put to sea in the San Fabian Attack Force, coming under air attack with her force on 6, 7, and 8 January 1945 as the huge amphibious fleet sailed north. Her guns joined the antiaircraft barrage shielding the vulnerable transports and landing craft then and during the assault on 9 January. These well-exchanged landings showed the result of careful planning and training.

 

Charles J. Kimmel continued to operate in the Philippines though the remainder of the war, escorting convoys from New Guinea to Leyte and Lingayen as well as within the Philippine Archipelago. Twice she screened shipping to the Palaus. From 2 June, she served with the local naval defense force in Davao Gulf, providing communications for naval forces ashore as well as performing air-sea rescue missions. On the first day of her new assignment, she dashed under the guns of enemy-held Auqui Island to rescue 22 survivors of a downed Air Force transport. Japanese troops in Davao Gulf were typically stubborn about surrender, and Charles J. Kimmel aided Filipino guerillas in their mop-up activities bombarding Piso Point to dislodge about 600 enemy soldiers bottled up there.

 

In September 1945, Charles J. Kimmel escorted a convoy to Okinawa, returning to patrol duties in the Philippines until 29 November, when she hoisted the homeward-bound pennant at Samar. She arrived in San Diego 18 December 1945, and there was placed out of commission in reserve 15 January 1947.

 

Charles J. Kimmel received one battle star for World War II service.