William Henry Lansing was born 7 March 1914 in Amsterdam, N.Y., and enlisted in the Naval Reserve 14 February 1933. He joined the Regular Navy 8 May 1934 and was assigned to Lexington (CV-2) in August. In December 1941, Aviation Machinist Mate First Class Lansing joined Patrol Squadron 43, serving at San Diego and Alameda. Following America’s entry into World War II, his squadron was dispatched to the Aleutians for the aviation buildup in the North Pacific. On 11 June 1942 as plane captain, he participated in a divebombing and strafing attack on Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor. While manning his exposed and unprotected station at the engine controls, he was killed by enemy fire. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.
(DE-388): dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 6 40mm., 10 20mm., 9 dcp., 2 dct.; 3 21 tt.; cl. Edsall)
Lansing (DF-388) was laid down 15 May 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched 2 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Alberta L. Lansing, widow of William H. Lansing; and commissioned 10 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. S. R. Sands in command.
After shakedown, Lansing departed Norfolk 13 February 1944 on her first transatlantic cruise escorting convoy UGS 33 bound to Casablanca, the first of eight voyages to north African ports protecting convoys loaded with vital war material. During Lansing’s second cruise, a convoy ship G. S. Walden was damaged by a torpedo fired from a German submarine on 12 May.
Arriving Boston 12 June 1945 from her final transatlantic mission, the destroyer escort prepared for service in the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal 2 August and was en route to Pearl Harbor when she received news of the Japanese surrender. Lansing returned New York 26 September, and decommissioned at Green Cove Springs 25 April 1946, joining the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
She was transferred to the Coast Guard in June 1952. Upon her return to the Navy in 1954 Lansing was converted to a radar picket escort ship and reclassified DER-388 21 October 1955. She was recommissioned 18 December 1956, Lt. Comdr. G. N. DeBuer in command.
Lansing joined the Pacific Barrier 2 June 1957 for operations out of Pearl Harbor as a radar picket. From 1957 until 1965 she made regular patrols, ready to provide early warning in the event of an enemy attack. Lansing participated in the atomic tests at Johnston Island in the summer of 1958 and again in the fall of 1962. She sailed on Far East cruises during 1961 and 1963 and engaged in search operations for a downed Air Force Globemaster in January 1964.
Arriving Bremerton, Wash., 22 February 1965, Lansing decommissioned there 21 May and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet.