James Wallace Haverfield was born 11 April 1917 in Urichsville, Ohio. After receiving his B.A. from Ohio State University in 1939, Haverfield enlisted in the Naval Reserve as an apprentice seaman 11 September 1940. He accepted an appointment as a midshipman 16 March 1941 and after completing his training at Northwestern University, was commissioned Ensign 12 June 1941. Ensign Harverfield reported to the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor 28 June, and remained there. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, Ensign James Haverfield was one of 46 officers and 1,057 men of Arizona lost when the valiant ship was sunk by the enemy.
(DE-393: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7" ; dr. 8'7" ; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 3 21" tt, 2 dct., 8 dcp., Idcp. (h.h.) ; cl. Edsall)
Haverfleld (DE-393) was launched 30 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston; sponsored by Mrs. Tracy Haverfield, mother of Ensign Haverfield; and commissioned 29 November, Lt. Comdr. Jerry A. Matthews in command.
After shakedown in the Caribbean, Haverfield joined escort carrier Hague's hunter-killer group in patrolling Atlantic convoy lanes in search of marauding German U-boats. Departing Norfolk 26 February 1944, the hunter-killer group, aided by a Canadian corvette and British aircraft, sank Z7-575 on the 23rd of March. With some seven survivors of the Nazi submarine aboard, Haverfield continued her patrol to Casablanca, where she reported to Commander Moroccan Sea Frontier and turned over the German prisoners 18 March. After returning to Norfolk, Haverfield sailed on her second offensive combat cruise with the Bogue group 5 May. Operating with another HUK group under Block Island, the Bogue force sank RO-501, exU-1224, at 18°08' N., 33°13' W. 13 May as the former German ship was heading for her new home in Japan.
Reaching Casablanca 29 May, Haverfield was ordered out that same night to render emergency assistance to survivors of carrier Block Island, sunk by a German torpedo off the Canary Islands. Haverfield rescued one of six Block Island fighter pilots who had been aloft when the carrier sank, but a long search failed to locate the remaining five men. After this, Haverfield continued to operate until the European War ended in May 1945 on trans-Atlantic HUK missions as well as on patrol along the icy Great Barrier. When all German U-boats still at sea had been accounted for, the destroyer-escort underwent a Boston overhaul; and, after intensive training in Cuban waters, sailed for the Pacific 19 July to be ready for the invasion of Japan. Reaching Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Diego 1 August, Haverfield was there when the war ended in mid-August and at the end of the month assumed convoy escort duty from Saipan to Okinawa. She patrolled the China coast and then streamed her homeward-bound pennant, reaching Boston 15 February 1946. Haverfield sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., 25 March 1946, decommissioned and went into reserve 30 June 1947.
Reclassified DER-393 in September 1954, Haverfield was converted to a radar picket ship at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and recommissioned there 4 January 1955. Fitted with the latest electronic detection equipment and with 50 tons of ballast in her keel to compensate for the topside weight of the new radar antennae, Haverfield trained off the East Coast and then reported to her new home port, Seattle, via the Panama Canal and San Deigo 23 July. Haverfield served as flagship of the newly created CortRon 5 in addition to regular radar picket patrol off the Pacific coast. After 5 years of this duty, she reported to Pearl Harbor 10 April 1959 for similar employment along the Pacific Barrier. Departing Pearl Harbor 16 May 1960, Haverfleld sailed to a new homeport, Guam, to make surveillance of the Trust Territory Islands and to ensure the safety and welfare of the islanders.
After participating in Operation Cosmos, which provided navigational aids for and was prepared to render emergency assistance to President Dwight Eisenhower's plane as the Chief Executive crossed the Pacific on a good will tour, Haverfleld operated with the famed bathyscaphe Trieste as it descended the Marianas Trench to a near-record dive, of 19,300 feet 30 June 1960.
Following her support of this scientific endeavor, Haverfield conducted antisubmarine and search and rescue patrols among the Bonins, the Marianas, and the Caroline Islands. For almost 5 years she served primarily in the Trust Territory of the Pacific, though twice she deployed to the Far East. Steaming to Japan in October 1960, she became the first radar picket escort ship to operate with the 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific. In mid-October 1961 she returned to the Far East; and, upon relieving John R. Craig (DD-885) on patrol in the Formosa Strait, she became the first of her type to join in this important peace-keeping operation. She continued intermittent patrols off Taiwan until 10 January 1962 when she steamed via Japan to resume patrol duty out of Guam. In November Typhoon Karen left widespread destruction on Guam; and Haverfleld, the first ship to return to the storm-wracked Apra harbor, provided valuable supplies and services.
Haverfleld returned to Pearl Harbor March 1965 and, after joining Escort Squaron 5, sailed 19 June for duty off South Vietnam. There she participated in "Market Time" patrols to guard against infiltration of North Vietnamese troops and supplies by sea. She served "Market Time" for 7 months, then returned Pearl Harbor 2 February 1966. Departing for the Far East 23 May, she resumed "Market Time" operations 9 June. Eleven days later she participated in the most significant action of the operation up to that time.
A 100-foot, steel-hulled North Vietnamese trawler, attempting to infiltrate "Market Time" patrols with a large cargo of arms and ammunition for the Viet Cong, was detected by U.S. Coast Guard cutter Point League near the mouth of the Co Chien River in the Mekong Delta. A chase and fire fight followed, during which the cutter forced the enemy trawler aground. The enemy abandoned the burning ship; after wiping out enemy shore resistance, "Market Time" units, including Haverfleld, sent volunteers on board to fight fires and salvage the captured cargo. While American and South Vietnamese teams extinguished the fires, other volunteers offloaded almost 80 tons of ammunition and arms, including mortars, recoilless rifles, machineguns, and antitank weapons. This represented the largest seizure of the "Market Time" operation and thwarted a determined attempt by the North Vietnamese to supply Viet Cong.
Haverfield continued "Market Time" patrols during the next 5 months. In addition she provided gunfire support 6 September against a enemy on Phu Quoc Island, South Vietnam. She returned to Pearl Harbor 6 December, remained there until late April 1967, and then resumed patrol duty off South Vietnam.
For her participation in World War II, Haverfleld was awarded one battle star as well as the Presidential Unit Citation for her antisubmarine work in the Atlantic.