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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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Hammerberg

 

Owen Francis Patrick Hammerberg was born at Dag-gett, Mich., 31 May, 1920. He enlisted in the Navy 16 June 1941 and subsequently served in battleship Idaho and submarine chaser Advent. In 1941 he underwent instruction at the Deep Sea Diving School, Washington, D.C., and was assigned duty with the Salvage Unit under Service Force, Pacific Fleet. He lost his life during rescue operations at Pearl Harbor 17 February 1945. Disregarding all personal danger, he rescued one diver who had been trapped in a cave-in of steel wreckage while tunnelling under a sunken LST. After this rescue, Hammerberg went even farther under the buried hulk and, while rescuing a second diver, was pinned down by another cave-in and perished. Boatswain's Mate Hammerberg was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

(DE-1015: dp. 1,340; l. 315'; b. 37'; dr. 18'; s. 25 k.; cpl. 206 ; a. 3 3", 1 dct., 6 dcp.; cl. Dealey)

 

Hammerberg (DE-1015) was launched 20 August 1954 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Moss, mother; and commissioned 2 March 1955, Lt. Comdr. Murray E. Draper in command.

 

Based at Newport, Hammerberg participated in convoy exercises, trained students at the Fleet Sonar School, Key West, and conducted antisubmarine warfare exercises during her first 2V4 years of service.

 

Hammerberg departed Newport 3 September 1957 to participate in maneuvers with units of NATO. Antisubr marine training in the Irish Sea was followed by visits to Plymouth, England and Brest, France, before the destroyer escort returned to Newport 21 October. Then, after hunter-killer exercises with aircraft carrier Tarawa, Hammerberg sailed from Newport 1 April 1958 to Bodo, Norway, to take part in combined exercises with the Norwegian Navy. She returned to Boston 14 May.

 

Departing Newport 27 January 1959, Hammerberg sailed to Guantanamo Bay for refresher training, then took part in antisubmarine warfare training with the navies of 'Chile and Peru. She returned to Newport 21 April.

 

Between May 1959 and February 1960 Hammerberg was busy with antisubmarine exercises interspersed with cruises to Newfoundland and Puerto Rico. In March and April she participated in amphibious operations at Onslow Beach, N.C., and deployed 23 August 1960 for her second 'South American cruise. Hammerberg returned to Newport 13 December.

 

Hammerberg departed Newport 7 August 1961 on her third South American cruise. In November, at the request of the Organization of American States, Hammerberg and other American ships patrolled offshore the Dominican Republic to help ensure the orderly changeover of that government and check Communist influence. Hammerberg returned to Newport 1 December. During 1962 Hammerberg participated in convoy escort operations and operated with the Fleet Sonar School in Key West. On 7 November Hammerberg was en route south to Mayport, Fla., where <she was diverted to patrol the Florida Coast during the Cuban Crisis. On 29 November after President Kennedy had resolved the Cuban Crisis she sailed for Newport, B.I., for a well-deserved rest and tender availability. 1963 found Hammerberg in the Boston Naval Shipyard. From June to November she devoted time to "Unitas IV"a delployment which was to comprise the circumnavigation of South America in the conduct of ASW operations with seven South American navies. On 30 November Hammerberg proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for participation in "PHIBA-SWBX 1-63", a large-scale amphibious, ASW operation with over 30 other units of the Atlantic Fleet. On 17 December she arrived Newport, R.I. During 1964 Hammer-berg participated in Operations "Springboard," "Canus Silex," and "Steel Pike," all exercises to sharpen the ship and crew not only in her important mission of locating and destroying submarines, but also in patrol, escort, rescue, evacuation, blockade and surveillance assignments.

 

On 8 February 1965 Hammerberg got underway for Northern Europe to join NATO "Match Maker I" Squadron in Exercise "Pilot High." On 3 May the squadron left Lisbon for Operation "Pole Star" off Halifax, Nova Scotia. After return to Newport 20 July, Hammerberg went into repair at Boston Naval Shipyard. She then trained off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in August 1966 rendezvoused with Van Voorhis (DE-1028), Leahy (DLG-16) and Requin (SS-481) off Trinidad to participate in Operation "Unitas VII" through November. She continued her tactical maneuvers into 1967 constantly ready aa a deterrant protecting the free world from aggression.