George W. DeLong, born 22 August 1844 in New York City, was appointed Midshipman in the Navy 1 October 1861. Selected to command the Arctic Expedition fitted out by James Gordon Bennett for the attempt to reach the North Pole, Lieutenant Commander DeLong sailed from San Francisco in Jeanette 8 July 1879. Jeanette became embedded in an ice pack from which she never escaped and on 23 March 1882 a rescue expedition discovered the bodies of DeLong's party and brought them back to the United States. TB-28 and DD-129 were named in his honor.
Weldon Fader DeLong, born 18 September 1916 in Baras Corner, Nova Scotia, Canada, enlisted in the Marine Corps 20 September 1940, and served continuously until the time of his death at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, 3 November 1942. Corporal DeLong was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his valor and aggressive leadership in the action during which he lost his life. DE-684 was named in his honor.
(DE-684: 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)
The third DeLong (DE-684) was launched 23 November 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. L. C. DeLong, mother of the late Corporal DeLong, USMCR; and commissioned 31 December 1943, Lieuteuant Commander R. C. Houston in command.
DeLong arrived at Miami 10 March 1944 for training duty off Florida until the end of the war. On 15 August 1945 she was reclassified APD-137 and sailed to Charleston, S.C., for conversion to a high speed transport. Her conversion was cancelled and she resumed the designation DE684. She arrived at St. John's River, Fla., 5 November, and was placed out of commission 25 April 1947.
With the outbreak of the Korean War, DeLong was recommissioned 7 February 1951 and joined in hunter-killer exercises in the North Atlantic, visiting Nova Scotia. She served as training ship at the Fleet Sonar School at Key West from 4 April to 11 July 1952.
DeLong sailed from Norfolk 26 August 1952 to participate in Operation "Mainbrace," the first NATO exercise to consolidate the operations of the navies of seven countries. After visiting Edinburgh, Scotland, and Arendal, Norway, and escorting transports to an amphibious exercise on the Danish coast, she returned to Norfolk 11 October. She reported to Key West again 5 January 1953, for service with the Sonar School. In summer 1953 she made a midshipman cruise to Santos, Brazil, and Willemstadt, Curacao and the next summer she took part in a midshipman cruise to Dublin, Ireland, and Portsmouth, England. DeLong continued to alternate periods of service at the Sonar School at Key West with local operations at Norfolk and overhauls at Charleston. She also joined in large scale exercises in the Caribbean.
On 2 January 1958 DeLong cleared Norfolk for New York, arriving the next day. Through 1962 she served as reserve training ship for the 3d Naval District, cruising Long Island Sound, and occasionally to Puerto Rico.