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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Edmonds

 

Bert C. Edmonds born 21 March 1919 in Longmont, Colo., enlisted in the Navy 11 September 1937. He was killed in action in the Solomons 16 October 1942. Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Edmonds was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for his heroism while serving with Torpedo Squadron 8 in the Solomons.

 

(DE-406: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. John C. Butler)

 

Edmonds (DE-406) was launched 17 December 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. F. Campbell, mother of Aviation Ordnanceman Edmonds; and commissioned 3 April 1944, Lieutenant Commander C. S. Barker, Jr., in command.

 

Edmonds reached Pearl Harbor from Boston 27 June 1944. After screening escort carriers to Eniwetok and back, she took part in the reception given  President F. D. Roosevelt 25 July when he arrived at Pearl Harbor to confer with Pacific commanders. Four days later Edmonds sailed to report to the 7th Fleet at Manus. On 31 August she embarked Commander, Escort Division 63, and served as his flagship until 20 November.

 

Between 10 September and 7 October Edmonds screened escort carriers providing air support for the invasion of Morotai. She got underway with the same ships 14 October for the first invasion of the Philippines at Leyte 20 October. When the baby flattops fought their historic battle with the Japanese fleet off Samar on 25 and 26 October, Edmonds was at sea bound for Morotai as screen for Saginaw (CVE-82) and Chenango (CVE-28) who were to pick up replacement aircraft. She escorted veterans of the Battle of Leyte Gulf to Manus, then continued to Pearl Harbor for overhaul.

 

Edmonds left Pearl Harbor 5 December 1944 screening two escort carriers to Manus. With the escort carrier group she returned to the Philippines for invasion landings at Lingayen Gulf 9 January.

 

Joining the 5th Fleet at Ulithi in January 1945, Edmonds screened escort carriers in the Iwo Jima operation in February. On the 21st Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) was sunk after the crash of a Japanese suicide plane detonated her ammunition. Edmonds directed the rescue operations, saving 378 of the carrier's crew including the commanding officer, in spite of darkness, heavy seas, and continuing air attacks. Thirty of her own crew went over the side to bring the wounded and exhausted carrier men to safety.

 

Edmonds returned to Leyte in March 1945 to join Carrier Division 22 for the invasion of Okinawa. This group supplied direct air support for the landings 1 April and later neutralized the airfields on Sakishima. On 19 May Edmonds began dangerous and exacting duties on the radar picket line, patrolling in company with Gainard (DD-706), a fighter-director ship on station north of Okinawa. She also took part in the capture of Iheya Shima and Aguni Shima in June.

 

Edmonds arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, 23 June 1945, and in July escorted convoys from the Philippines to New Guinea, Ulithi, and Okinawa until the end of the war. She returned to San Diego 6 November and was placed out of commission in reserve there 31 May 1946.

 

Recommissioned 28 February 1951 for service in the Korean war, Edmonds arrived at her home port, Pearl Harbor, 14 July. She deployed to the Far East from 29 October 1951 to 1 June 1952, and served on the bombline off Songjin. From March 1953 through mid-1958 Edmonds conducted surveillance patrols in the Marianas and Carolines, United Nations Trust Territories under the Trusteeship of the United States since the end of World War II. During this time she apprehended fishing vessels violating territorial waters off these islands; transferred natives for repopulation; and aided various scientific experiments.

 

When Chinese Communists began intensive shelling of the Nationalist-held offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the summer of 1958, Edmonds was ordered from Pearl Harbor to the Pescadores, and until the end of the year remained off the Chinese coast on patrol, screening Nationalist supply convoys to within three miles of Quemoy. She cleared Yokosuka for Pearl Harbor 13 January 1959.

 

Edmonds arrived at Portland, Ore., in March 1959 for duty in the reserve training program. In September 1961, the warship began preparations for an overseas cruise with her reserve crew, ultimately sailing for the Far East on 22 January 1962. Arriving in Da Nang, South Vietnam on 18 February, the destroyer escort conducted training operations with the South Vietnamese Navy through 10 April, including exercises in the Gulf of Siam. After port visits to Hong Kong and Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, she steamed east to her new home port of Treasure Island, arriving there on 17 July. Edmonds spent the next two years conducting training cruises north to Canada and south to Mexico, with the occassional voyage to Pearl Harbor, until December 1964 when she began inactivation procedures.

Edmonds decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in March 1965 and remained there in reserve until struck from the Navy List on 15 May 1972. She was sold for scrap to General Metals of Tacoma Inc. on 28 September 1973.

 

Edmonds received five battle stars for World War II service and two for Korean war service.


21 October 2005