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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Jenks

 

Henry Pease Jenks was born in Chicago, 111., 31 May 1914 and enlisted in the Navy 8 October 1940. After undergoing Reserve Officer training, he was appointed Ensign 6 June 1941 and reported to criuser Atlanta, soon to be commissioned. In June 1942, Jenks served in Atlanta, during the epochal Battle of Midway and later during the landings on Guadalcanal, first American amphibious operation of the war. In the great Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 13 November 1942, in which the Japanese move on the island was frustrated, Atlanta was torpedoed in the early stages of the action and damaged severely by enemy gunfire. She survived the night, but was scuttled next day off Lunga Point. Lieutenant (j.g.) Jenks was killed in the battle, for which his gallant ship received the Presidential Unit Citation.

 

(DE-665: dp. 1,400; l. 306', b. 36'10"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 33", 4 1.1", 3 21" tt, 820mm., 2 dct, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.); cl. Buckley)

 

Jenks (DE-665) was laid down by Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa., 12 May 1943; launched 11 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. M. L. Jenks. mother of Lieutenant (j.g.) Jenks; and commissioned at New Orleans 19 January 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. F. Way in Command.

 

Following shakedown training out of Bermuda in February, the ship moved to the all-important Atlantic convoy lanes to act as an escort ship during the great buildup of men and supplies in Europe. She arrived New York 21 April after one such voyage to the United Kingdom in April. Following training exercises, she steamed to Norfolk 10 May and joined escort carrier Guadalcanal and her hunter-killer group under Captain Daniel V. Gallery. The ships sortied 15 May bound for the Atlantic shipping lanes in quest of German submarines. After 2 weeks of searching, the group was headed toward Casablanca when on 4 June it detected 7-505 and closed for the attack. An accurate depth charge attack by Chatelain brought the submarine to the surface, where her crew abandoned ship. Immediately, a well-planned boarding action commenced; and, despite the danger from damage and German booby traps, intrepid salvage parties succeeded in saving the submarine. Jenks picked up survivors from the U-boat, and her boat went alongside to take off valuable bridge publications. Through skillful damage control work the captured submarine, a major intelligence find, was gotten safely and secretly to Bermuda.

 

Jenks returned from this history-making cruise 16 June and arrived New London 28 June to serve as a training ship. She remained on this duty until late July, and departed Norfolk the 31st with another convoy to the Mediterranean. In the months that followed the ship made four escort voyages to African ports, helping to protect the vital flow of supplies and men. Between assignments she engaged in training out of Casco Bay, Maine.

 

Jenks reached Boston on her final convoy voyage 19 May 1945, the war against the European foe then over. The ship underwent much-needed voyage repairs at Boston Navy Yard and then sailed to Miami, arriving 8 June to serve as school ship for the Naval Training Center. In August she took part in training exercises in the Caribbean. Jenks continued peacetime operations out of Charlestown and Key West until arriving Green Cove Springs, Fla., 2 May 1946. She decommissioned 26 June entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, and was later moved to the Texas Group, where she remained until she was struck from the Navy List 1 February 1966 and scrapped.

 

Jenks received two battle stars for World War II service, in addition to the Presidential Unit Citation for taking part in the capture of V-505.