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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hurst

 

The first Hurst (SP-3196) retained her merchant name, The second Hurst (DE-250) was named for Edwin William .Hurst. Born 16 October 1910 at Falls City, Nebr., he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1932. After serving in Tennessee, he completed flight training in 1935. He was then assigned to several squadrons and aviation shore facilities before reporting on board Lexington 19 May 1941. Hurst earned two Distinguished Flying crosses. During the critical Battle of the Coral Sea 7 to 8 May 1942, he daringly attacked carrier Shoho, scoring hits which contributed to her sinking; and the following day severely damaged carrier Shokaku. While flying over the uncharted Owen Stanley range, he pressed home a successful torpedo attack in the face of heavy antiaircraft fire, severely damaging enemy shipping and installations at Salamaua and Lae, N.G., 10 March 1942. With his gallant carrier Lexington sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea, Lt. Hurst flew from New Zealand until his death 9.June 1942 in a crash near Whemuapai.

 

II

 

(DE-250: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3"; 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.); cl. Edsall)

 

The second Hurst (DE-250), a destroyer escort, was launched by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex., 14 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Jeanette Harris Hurst, widow; and commissioned 30 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. B. H. Brallier commanding.

 

Burst departed Houston 3 September and after a short period of outfitting at Galveston sailed 12 September for shakedown training off Bermuda. After returning briefly to Charleston in November and screening a convoy to the Caribbean, Hurst arrived Norfolk, Va., 29 November 1943 to join Escort Division 20.

 

Assigned to "the vital job of protecting ocean commerce from submarines, Hurst departed Norfolk with her first convoy 14 December 1943, stopped at Casablanca, and returned to New York 24 January 1944. She then conducted gunnery and antisubmarine warfare exercises in Casco Bay, Maine, before sailing with another convoy from New York 23 February. Enemy action was not the only hazard on such voyages as two days out of New York merchant vessels El Coston and Murfreesboro collided and sank during a heavy gale, the survivors being taken on board one of the ever-ready escort ships. Hurst reached Lisahally, Northern Ireland, 5 March 1944, and 1 week later returned to New York with another convoy.

 

Hurst made no less than 10 more escort voyages from Boston or New York to ports in Northern Ireland and Great Britain before returning to New York 11 June 1945. In this way she contributed mightily to winning the "Battle of the Atlantic". After her final voyage, the destroyer escort sailed with her division for training in Chesapeake Bay and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Reassigned to the Pacific Fleet for these last months of the war, she transited the Panama Canal and arrived Pearl Harbor via San Diego 26 July 1945. There the ship took part in exercises with submarines and departed 27 August for the Samoan Islands. Arriving Pago Pago 25 September, Hurst spent the next weeks steaming among the small outlying islands of the Samoan, Fiji, and Society and other island groups, sending parties ashore to search for missing personnel and to investigate possible remaining enemy units. Completing this painstaking duty she departed Pago Pago 3 November 1945 and sailed for San Diego via Pearl Harbor. She arrived San Diego 23 November and sailed 2 days later for New York via the Panama Canal. Hurst entered New York harbor 10 December 1945, sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., and then decommissioned there 1 May 1946. She then entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs. In January 1947 Hurst was transferred to Orange, Tex., where she remains.