John William Haas was born 14 June 1907 in Sioux City, Iowa. A member of the famed Torpedo Squadron 3, the chief machinist and pilot was lost in action 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway. In the face of tremendous anticraft fire and Japanese fighter opposition, Chief Haas joined his squadron in pressing home the attack on enemy forces until it became relatively certain that in order to accomplish his mission he would sacrifice his life. Undeterred by the grave possibilities of such a hazardous offensive, he carried on with extreme disregard for his personal safety until the gallant planes of Torpedo Squadron 3 had diverted Japanese planes and contributed importantly to the victory. For his self-sacrifice and valiant fighting effort, Chief Machinist Haas was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
(DE-424: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8" ; dr. 9'5" ; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 20mm., 3 21" tt, 2 del, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.) ; cl. John C. Butler)
Haas (DE-424) was launched 20 March 1944 by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. Gladys Winifred Haas, widow of the late Chief Machinist Haas: and commissioned 2 August 1944, Lt. Comdr. A. M. White, TJSNR, in command.
After shakedown in the Caribbean and escort duty along the East Coast, Haas arrived Manus, Admiralty Islands, via the Panama Canal, the Galapagos Islands, and Espiritu Santo 15 January 1945. America's gigantic Pacific war effort had carried her fleet back to the Philippines, and Haas sailed to Leyte 27 January to assume escort and patrol duties in the still-contested islands. In addition, the destroyer escort provided shore bombardment and fire support for initial assault landings at Lubang Island 1 March and Romblon and Simara Islands 10-12 March. Haas escorted a convoy from Okinawa to Leyte in July and another from Ulithi to Manila in early August, just before news of the Japanese capitulation. After war's end she continued to serve as an escort and dispatch ship in the Pacific, with frequent trips along the China coast. On 5 January 1946 Haas streamed her homeward bound pennant and sailed from Hong Kong for San Diego via Guam, Eniwetok, and Pearl Harbor. Reaching her destination 1 February, Haas decommissioned there 31 May 1946 and joined the "mothball fleet." Haas recommissioned at San Diego 19 May 1951 and after shakedown reported to 8th Naval District headquarters at New Orleans 18 September to begin duties as a reserve training ship. Cruising primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, with occasional visits to Central and South America, Haas trained some 900 reservists annually as part of the Navy's never-ending effort to maintain skilled and ready reserve. Entering the Charleston Navy Yard 7 November 1957, Haas decommissioned there 24 January 1958 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet where she remained until scrapped in December 1966.