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Dutton

 

Benjamin Dutton, Jr., born 3 April 1883 in Shippensburg, Pa., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1905. His long and distinguished career included command of Nokomis (PY-6) and Wyoming (BB-32); various staff and school assignments; and attache duty in Germany in 1935. Known for his expert work in navigation, he was the author of Navigation and Nautical Astronomy. Captain Dutton died at Southgate, Calif., 30 November 1937 while in command of Portland (CA-33).

 

I

 

(PCS-1396: dp. 340; l. 136'; b. 23'4"; dr. 8'7"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 74; a. 1 3"; cl. PCS-1376)

 

PCS-1396 was launched 7 August 1943 by South Coast Co., Newport Beach, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Cynthia A. Gaffney: and commissioned 29 March 1944, Lieutenant F. E. Sturmer, USNR, in command. She was reclassified AGS-8, 20 March 1945, and assigned the name Dutton 4 days later. She was redesignated AGSC-8 on 29 July 1946.

 

PCS-1396 sailed from San Pedro, Calif., 4 May 1944, and arrived off newly assaulted Saipan 17 June to screen the transport areas and give escort service in the Marianas operations. On 29 August she rescued four Marines from the waters off Tinian. She returned to base at Pearl Harbor 15 October for overhaul.

 

She got underway 22 January 1945 to escort an LST group on its slow trip across the Pacific for the landings on Iwo Jima 19 February. She continued her service in this operation with surveying and patrol duty. On 1 April she took part in the invasion of Okinawa. Remaining off the bitterly contested island, by day she conducted surveys to determine suitable landing beaches for amphibious craft; by night she guarded against suicide boats and swimmers. On 27 May a Japanese plane crashed the ship, carrying away part of the bridge, blowing one of her crew overboard, and holing her, fortunately above the water line. She underwent temporary repairs at Kerama Retto, then sailed to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, for permanent repairs.

 

Dutton served in the Far East until returning to San Diego 20 January 1946. In the summer of that year she took part in Operation "Crossroads," the atomic weapons tests at Bikini. Between 3 February 1947 and 13 September Dutton conducted surveys of the waters surrounding Truk. She sailed for the east coast 11 July 1948, and after preparation at Norfolk, joined Hydrographic Survey Group I which put out from New York 9 September for the Persian Gulf. Dutton surveyed uncharted or poorly known waters off Kuwait and Bahrein until her return to Norfolk 2 June 1949. She was decommissioned at New York 26 August 1949, and sold 21 February 1950.

 

Dutton received three battle stars for World War II service.