Harold John Mack, born 29 December in LeMars, Iowa, enlisted in the Navy 18 May 1938 and reported to USS Vincennes on 14 September 1938 after completion of training at Great Lakes, Ill. During action against the Japanese forces off Savo Island 9 August 1942, Gunner’s Mate 2/c Mack was incapacitated by severe wounds in both legs. In spite of his injuries he continued to fulfill his duties as gun captain until ordered to abandon ship. After the loss of the ship, Mack was reported missing in action and was declared dead on 10 August 1943. For his “courageous fighting spirit” and heroism Mack was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.
(DF‑358: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; dr. 13'4"; s. 24.3 k.; cpl. 232; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 1 dcp. (hh.), 3 21" tt.; cl. John C. Butler)
Mack (DE‑358) was launched 11 April 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Shipbuilding Division, Orange, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. Gertrude Mack, mother of Harold John Mack, GM2/c; and commissioned 16 August 1944, Lt. Cmdr. J. F. Nelson, USNR, in command.
After initial shakedown exercises off the east coast, Mack assembled with ComCortDiv 82 at Norfolk, Va., 17 to 20 October, and departed on the 21st for the Panama Canal en route to the Pacific. Becoming a unit of the 7th Fleet Mack escorted convoys between Hollandia, New Guinea, Kossol Roads, Palau Islands, and Leyte until March 1945. On the 2d of that month she commenced antisubmarine patrols in the South China Sea off the Philippines. Investigating sonar contact on the 13th, Mack grounded on an uncharted shoal in Mangarin Bay, damaging both screws and tall shafts. Towed to Hollandia for repairs, 14 April to 4 June, she returned to escort duty between Hollandia and Manila on the 14th.
A month later Mack commenced working for the port director, Manila, escorting ships to San Fernando, Luzon, until the 3d of August when she was placed under the authority of the port director, Subic, and escorted a convoy of landing craft from Subic Bay to Okinawa.
Two days after the signing of the surrender terms, Mack began air‑sea rescue patrols between the Philippines and the Palaus, returning to escort duty on the 16th to accompany a slow tow through the “typhoon belt” to Okinawa. Completing that assignment, she commenced air‑sea rescue patrols east of Samar, Philippine Islands.
Relieved of this duty on 6 December, Mack got underway for Okinawa and Shanghai on 8 December, returning to Subic Bay on the 27th.
While standing by for escort duty at San Fernando, 10 January 1946, Mack answering a distress call from FS‑274, proceeded through heavy weather to the disabled ship’s position. In the course of passing much needed food and water to the crew of the FS, the two ships collided, causing damage to Mack’s bow (11 January). Mack returned to San Fernando and escorted the waiting ships to Subic Bay, remaining at Subic for 3 weeks undergoing repairs and holding drills.
Departing Subic Bay 11 February, Mack joined Escort Division 33 and set course for Tsingtao, China, where the 7th Fleet was lending support to the U.S. China policy; standing by to protect, if necessary, American interests during the fighting between the Nationalist forces and the Communists. Arriving on the 20th, Mack took part in training exercises off the China coast and made brief trips to Shanghai and Taku before departing Chinese waters, 15 April, for Okinawa to take on naval passengers en route to the United States.
Arriving San Pedro 11 May 1946 Mack debarked her passengers, unloaded her ammunition and began undergoing a period of inactivation and preservation. Mack was placed out of commission in reserve 11 December 1946 at San Diego. She remains part of the Pacific inactive Fleet, berthed at Mare Island, Calif., into 1969.