Trose Emmett Donaldson born 19 June 1914 in Tacoma, Wash., was appointed a lieutenant (junior grade) in the Naval Reserve from the Merchant Marine 25 November 1940. He served in Sepulga (AO-20) and in Otus (AS-20) from 25 March 1941. Lieutenant Donaldson was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism in December 1941 at Cavite, Philippine Islands, when he worked tirelessly to evacuate ships and wounded and to fight fires during Japanese air raids. He was killed in action while commanding an Army tug 9 April 1942 and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the War Department.
The name Donaldson was assigned to DE-55 on 1 August 1942, canceled and reassigned to DE-508 on 26 April 1943, again canceled and reassigned to DE-44 on 23 June 1943.
(DE-44: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)
Donaldson (DE-44) orginally intended for transfer to Great Britain as BDE-44, was launched 1 August 1943 by Puget Sound Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. J. Donaldson, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Donaldson; retained by the Navy; and commissioned 1 December 1943, Lieutenant H. L. Plage, USNR, in command.
Donaldson arrived at Pearl Harbor 9 February 1944 and 5 days later got underway for the invasion of the Marshall Islands. She screened a convoy to Roi and gave local escort service there and at Eniwetok until returning to Pearl Harbor 25 March. From 23 April to 4 June she trained with submarines, most of the period serving as flagship for Commander, Escort Division 49.
Donaldson departed Pearl Harbor 12 June 1944 to escort a convoy to Kwajalein, then sailed to Eniwetok where she joined a hunter-killer group with Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) and three other escorts for operations between the Marshalls and Marianas from 5 July to 9 August. Donaldson returned to Pearl Harbor 15 August and 5 days later got underway to escort the Western Garrison Force for the assault and occupation of the Palaus, patrolling off Peleliu and Angaur from 20 to 22 September. She escorted unladen transports to Hollandia, New Guinea, then arrived at Manus 26 September. That evening she and Crowley (DE-303) assisted in bringing the fires on the merchantman SS Don Marquis under control. Returning to Palau 2 October, Donaldson made antisubmarine patrols and two escort voyages to the Russell Islands until 21 November.
Arriving at Ulithi 21 November 1944 Donaldson reported to the 3d Fleet for duty as escort for the logistics group supporting the fast carrier task force. By able ship handling she survived the typhoon of 18 December but lost three men overboard and suffered damage which was repaired at Ulithi from 24 December 1944 to 12 January 1945. She returned to duty with the 3d Fleet fueling group operating in support of the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the final strikes on the Japanese homeland and on 31 August she was detached to join a logistics unit in the Yellow Sea for the occupation of Jinsen, Korea.
Donaldson sailed from Okinawa 16 September 1945 for Saipan, Pearl Harbor and San Francisco arriving 8 October. Donaldson was decommissioned 5 December 1945, and sold 2 July 1946.
Donaldson received seven battle stars for World War II service.