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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Mitchell

 

Albert Edward Mitchell was born in Seattle, Wash., 25 December 1914 and attended the University of Washington. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class 20 December 1940 for flight training at Seattle and Corpus Christi, where he was designated a naval aviator 30 September 1941 and commissioned an ensign. While assigned to Patrol Squadron 42, he was killed in action on June 1942.

 

The name Mitchell was originally assigned to DE‑521, which was laid down at Boston Navy Yard 14 August 1943. Transferred to the Royal Navy 3 December 1943, she was renamed HMS Hoste (K‑566) (q.v.)

 

I

 

(DE‑43: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 11'10", s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 9 10mm., 2 dct., dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.); cl. Evarts)

 

Mitchell (DE‑43) was originally laid down as BDF‑43 on 12 January 1943 by the Puget Sound Navy Yard for transfer to Great Britain upon completion. However, she was ordered retained for service in the U.S. Navy. She was reclassified DE‑43 on 16 June; named Mitchell 23 June; launched 1 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Albert E. Mitchell, widow of Ensign Mitchell; and commissioned 17 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. M. S. Erdahl in command.

 

After shakedown and training off San Diego, Mitchell sailed 2 February 1944 as part of the escort of a convoy of eight liberty ships sailing to Hawaii. Arriving Pearl Harbor 10 February, Mitchell spent the next 4 months operating with American submarines in TF 16, Service Force Pacific Fleet. These maneuvers were a valuable training aid to both Mitchell and the submarines.

 

On 3 June Mitchell sailed for the Pacific war zone in TG 16.6. In the following 6 months she sailed out of Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Seeadler Harbor (Admiralties), and Ulithi, screening underway replenishment operations, guarding harbor entrances, and destroying floating enemy mines. On 3 December she struck a whale, seriously damaging her underwater sound equipment and forcing her to retire to Ulithi for repairs in floating drydock ARD‑15.

 

Mitchell was soon back in action; 21 February 1945 her deck log reported: “Steaming toward rendezvous point southeast of Iwo Jima.” As U.S. Marines landed on Okinawa under cover of naval gunfire, Mitchell performed escort and patrol missions. A few weeks later she was a screening vessel in Rear Adm. W. D. Semple’s TG 78.4 which attacked and occupied Balikpapan, Borneo, 6 July 1945.

 

As part of TG 30.8, she then helped to protect convoys supplying the occupation of Japan during the months of August and September 1945. On 5 September Mitchell briefly joined American ships in Tokyo Harbor. She weighed anchor on the 18th for the United States via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, arriving San Francisco 8 October.

 

Her last time underway as a commissioned naval vessel was on 6 November when she moved to Kaiser’s Victory Yard, Richmond, Calif. Mitchell was decommissioned there and struck from the Navy list 29 December 1945. She was sold for scrapping and delivered to the purchaser, Puget Sound Navigation Co., Seattle, Wash., 11 December 1946.

 

Mitchell received nine battle stars for World War II service.