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Maurice J. Manuel

 

Maurice Joseph Manuel, born 29 April 1917 at Mamou, La., enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at New Orleans 16 December 1941. During the early months of World War II he served at San Diego, Calif., where he was promoted to private first class 4 April 1942. He participated in the invasion of the Solomon Islands in August and for more than 3 months took part in the heroic defense of American positions on Guadalcanal. While fighting between the Matanikau and Poha Rivers, he voluntarily left a protected position to rescue wounded comrades. Despite intense enemy machinegun fire, he crossed a grassy knoll and carried one seriously injured companion to safety. While making a second rescue attempt, he was struck by enemy gunfire and died 10 November 1942. For his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity under hostile fire Private First Class Manuel was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

 

(DE‑351: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8" dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 3 21" tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. John C. Butler)

 

Maurice J. Manuel (DE‑351) was laid down by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex., 22 December 1943; launched 19 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Leona Manuel; and commissioned at Orange 30 June 1944, Lt. Comdr. William M. Lowry in command.

 

After shakedown off Bermuda, Maurice J. Manuel served as a training ship out of Norfolk, Va., until steaming to New York for convoy escort duty 3 October. Sailing in convoy the 6th, she battled heavy weather in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and safely escorted the first American convoy to Marseilles, France, 20 October. After returning to the United States 7 November, between 25 November and 24 December, she escorted another convoy to southern France, steamed to the coast of north Africa, and returned to New York.

 

On 16 January 1945 Maurice J. Manuel sailed for duty in the Pacific. She escorted Caswell (AKA‑72) to the Canal Zone; thence, as part of Escort Division 78, she steamed to the Admiralties, arriving Manus 19 February. Assigned to TF 75, she began convoy escort duty to the Philippine Islands 3 March and arrived Leyte Gulf the 8th. She sailed for Melanesia 13 March, reaching Hollandia, New Guinea, the 19th, and between 21 and 28 March again returned to Leyte.

 

Maurice J. Manuel maintained her busy pace. Convoy runs sent her between Leyte and New Guinea, the Palaus, and Ulithi, as well as among the Philippines to Manila Bay, Subic Bay, and Lingayen Gulf. Late in July she made a run to Okinawa out of Subic Bay; and as the war ended 15 August, she patrolled the coast of Luzon out of Lingayen Gulf. On 26 August she departed Manila Bay for Tokyo Bay, Japan, escorting SS Winthrop Victory and General S. D. Sturgis (AP‑137). The latter ship carried high‑ranking military and naval officers from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and the Netherlands East Indies to Japanese surrender ceremonies on board Missouri. The convoy entered Tokyo Bay 31 August; thence, Maurice J. Manuel sailed 1 September via Okinawa to Leyte Gulf where she arrived the 8th.

 

For more than 2 months the escort ship conducted periodic patrols east of the Philippines out of San Pedro Bay. Departing the Philippines 27 November, she steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to the west coast, arriving Long Beach 17 December and sailing to San Diego 15 March 1946. Maurice J. Manuel decommissioned there 20 May 1946 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

 

Maurice J. Manuel recommissioned at San Diego 27 April 1951, Lt. Comdr. G. A. Sullivan in command. After shakedown, she proceeded to the east coast for duty with the Atlantic Fleet, arriving Newport, R.I., 11 August. During the next several months she participated in type-training and squadron exercises along the Atlantic coast, in the Caribbean, and in the Gulf of Mexico. From July to September 1952 she served as training ship for the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Fla. She continued a busy pattern of training and readiness operations between New England waters and the Caribbean during next 9 months; thence, she departed Newport 16 July 1953 for deployment to northern Europe. With midshipmen embarked, she cruised the North Atlantic, the North Sea, and the Baltic, visiting Bergen, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Steaming via Guantanamo Bay, she returned to Norfolk, Va., 3 September.

 

During the next 4 years Maurice J. Manuel continued to take part in vital preparedness exercises, thus helping U.S. seapower keep prepared to meet overt threats to peace while guarding the free world against Communist cold war subversion. Her duties carried her from Argentia, Newfoundland, to Colon, Panama. In addition, she provided continued support to the Fleet Sonar School, and she conducted another midshipman cruise during July and August 1955.

 

After completing convoy training exercises off the east coast in May 1956, Maurice J. Manuel sailed to Philadelphia 24 June for inactivation overhaul, decommissioned there 30 October 1957, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list 1 May 1966, and in August 1966 she was used as a target to destruction.