Born 27 January 1919 in Richlands, Va., William Porter Liddle, Jr., enlisted in the Navy 2 July 1937. Assigned to Company L, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during the Guadalcanal campaign, Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Liddle was killed 19 August 1942. “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity during the action against enemy Japanese forces...,” he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal. The citation continued: “During vigorous attacks by our force on the Japanese-held village of Matanikao, Liddle, with cool courage and utter disregard for his own personal safety continuously exposed himself to hostile machinegun and rifle fire in order to administer to his wounded comrades. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.”
DF-76 was laid down 10 May 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Hingham, Mass.; named Liddle 27 May; and launched 31 July. Transferred to the United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease Act 22 October 1943, she was commissioned in the Royal Navy as frigate HMS Bligh (K-467). The ship operated in the eastern Atlantic, and supported the Normandy invasion and other operations off the English Channel. Returned to the United States 12 November 1945, she was sold 13 June 1946.
(DE-206: dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'6"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 8 20mm., 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)
Liddle (DE-206) was laid down by Charleston Navy Yard 8 June 1943; launched 9 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. William Porter Liddle, mother of Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class William Porter Liddle, Jr.; and commissioned 6 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. R. M. Hinckley, Jr., in command.
Between 11 February and 29 June 1944 Liddle escorted convoys on three round trips across the North Atlantic from New York to Wales, Gibraltar, and Tunisia. Upon returning to New York she was converted to a high-speed transport and reclassified APD-60 5 July.
Departing New York 22 September, she arrived Hollandia, New Guinea, 4 November for duty with the 7th Fleet. She left New Guinea 17 November to screen a supply convoy bound for Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, and arrived off the beaches 24 November. On the same day she got underway to escort an LST formation to the Palaus, and returned to Leyte 29 November.
Liddle embarked 141 troops 6 December for a flanking operation in the Leyte Gulf area. After landing her troops at Ormoc without casualty 7 December, Liddle came under attack from Japanese aircraft. Though splashing five attackers, she was hit on the bridge by a kamikaze and seriously damaged, necessitating her return to San Francisco 16 January 1945 for repairs. While she was being refitted, a sign on her quarterdeck read: “This Ship Lost 38 Officers and Men. She is Anxious to Get Back Into Action.”
By 22 February the ship was again underway to rejoin her division in liberating the Philippines. From 29 March to 5 June Liddle escorted convoys and trained for future landings. She then transported Australian troops to the Netherlands East Indies, and supported the landings at Brunei Bay 10 June and Balikpapan 1 July.
The ship next trained forces for the assault on the Japanese homeland, but the news of Japan’s surrender ended this task. Liddle transported equipment to Korea through the mine-infested waters of the East China and Yellow Seas in September 1945, evacuated prisoners of war from Dairen, Manchuria, 5 October, and became the Port Director Ship at Taku, China, 25 October.
She got underway from Taku for the United States 23 November, touched New York New Year’s Day 1946, and 2 days later headed for Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 18 June 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Liddle recommissioned 27 October 1950 during the Korean war, Lt. Comdr. Kenneth W. Miller in command. Departing Green Cove Springs 25 November, she arrived Norfolk, Va., 2 days later to join Transport Division 22. From late April 1951 to June, the ship participated in amphibious training which included convoy exercises to the North Atlantic. She departed Norfolk 16 June for service with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean for reconnaissance work and amphibious exercises. She resumed landing training after returning to Little Creek 1 October.
Liddle voyaged to the Panama Canal early in January 1952, and spent the spring and summer operating in the Caribbean. Back at Little Creek 13 November, the fast transport intensified her tight training schedule. The need in Korea for troops with amphibious experience brought the ship to Boston in January 1953, to the Caribbean the next month, and returned her to Little Creek operations for the remainder of the summer. She sailed for the Mediterranean 28 September to take part in Operation “Weldfast” which was a joint United Kingdom, Greek, Italian, Turkish, and United States landing exercise. Departing Oran, Algeria, 23 January 1954, Liddle returned to Little Creek 4 February where she became an ASW schoolship, engaged in more amphibious exercises, and conducted midshipman cruises. The ship departed Little Creek 16 March 1955 and arrived at her new home port, New Orleans, 21 March to take up duties as a reserve training ship. She became a unit of Reserve Escort Squadron 4, 15 January 1958, and decommissioned 2 February 1959.
In August 1961 the Berlin crisis brought Liddle to active duty once again. She recommissioned 29 November, Lt. Comdr. Royal R. Ross in command. As a unit of the Atlantic Amphibious Force, the ship resumed training which included a demonstration landing for President Kennedy off Onslow Beach, N.C., 14 April 1962.
During the Cuban crisis 24 October to 20 November 1962, she patrolled off the Bahama Islands to enforce American demands for the removal of Russian offensive weapons from Cuban soil. She then returned to her training exercises, and February 1963 was underway as a unit of Amphibious Squadron 8, part of the Caribbean Ready Squadron. Operating between Little Creek and the Caribbean, Liddle participated in a mercy mission to Haiti 13 to 19 October 1963 to deliver food, clothing, and medical supplies to the coastal areas struck by hurricane “Flora.” From 1964 through 1966 her continuing service along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean represented the constant effort of the Navy to maintain a high degree of training and efficiency in case of a national emergency.
Liddle decommissioned 18 March 1967 at Norfolk; her name was struck from the Navy list 5 April; and she was put up for disposal. On the day she decommissioned, her former crew immediately manned Beverly W. Reid (ADP-119), which recommended that day. Liddle was sold 25 June 1967 to the North American Smelting Co.