Douglas Wiley Gillette, born 10 September 1918 in Wilmington, N.C., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 5 March 1936. After serving at Norfolk, in McDongal, and after studying at the Naval Academy and Northwestern University, he was commissioned Ensign 12 September 1941. Ordered to active duty in carrier Hornet 17 November 1941, he was appointed Lieutenant (j.g.) (temporary). He was killed in enemy action in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands 26 October 1942 while serving in Hornet.
(DE-681: dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 13'6"; s. 23.6 k; cpl. 213; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 4 40 mm., 8 20 mm., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley.)
The second Gillette (DE-681) was launched 25 September 1943 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Pearl M. Gillette, the namesake's mother; and commissioned 27 October 1943, Comdr. T. G. Murrell, USNR, commanding.
After shakedown off Bermuda, Gillette sailed from Boston 2 January 1944 for Balboa, C.Z., where for 4 months she conducted intensive exercises with submarines and escorted a convoy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and returned. She sailed 9 May for Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, on a good will tour and visited Barranquilla, Colombia, as well before returning to Boston 2 June.
From 4 July 1944 to 18 February 1945 Gillette made four round trip transatlantic escort voyages—three out of Hampton Roads and one from New York—to Oran and United Kingdom ports protecting Allied shipping. She subsequently served as a submarine training ship at New London, Conn., until 14 April 1945. That date she sailed for Hollandia via Borabora and Manus, and escorted a convoy thence to Manila, where she put in 17 June. Patrol and escort duties in the Philippines and to Ulithi occupied the busy ship until 6 August, when she sailed for Okinawa and returned as convoy escort to Subic Bay 17 August. Following a round trip escort voyage from Subic Bay to Tokyo and return, Gillette continued patrol and logistics duties in the Philippines until departing Subic Bay 26 November for San Diego, where she moored 17 December 1945.
Gillette remained at San Diego until decommissioned there 3 February 1947 and placed in reserve with the Pacific group at San Diego.