Neal A. Scott
Neal Anderson Scott, born 21 May 1919 at Montgomery, Alabama, was appointed Assistant Paymaster with the rank of Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve, 8 April 1942. After instruction at the Navy Supply Corps School, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, Boston, ‘Massachusetts, he was ordered to the 12th Naval District for further assignment. On 10 October 1942, Ensign Scott reported for duty in Smith (DD 378), then operating in the Solomons. On the 26th, as the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands raged, Smith, assigned to screen Enterprise, was crashed by a torpedo plane causing the entire forward topside to erupt in flames. Ensign Scott, mortally wounded, “...exhorted the gun crews to sustain heavy and accurate fire against the enemy...” in defense of Enterprise. Although he died of his wounds before the day was over, “...his gallant fighting spirit and remarkable courage served as an inspiration to the crew of the ship in helping to render ineffective the enemy attacks...” In recognition of his contribution, Ensign Scott was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
(DE–769: dp. 1,240; l. 306’; b. 36’8”; dr. 11’8”; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3”, 6 40mm., 8 20mm., 3 21” tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Cannon.)
Neal A. Scott (DE–769) was laid down 1 June 1943 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida; launched 4 June 1944; co-sponsored by Mrs. Leigh Scott and Miss Margaret Scott, mother and sister, respectively, of Ens. Scott; and commissioned 31 July 1944 with Lt. P. D. Holden in command.
Following shakedown off Bermuda and availability at Boston, Neal A. Scott steamed to Norfolk, thence to Solomons, Md., where she conducted acoustic test runs for the Naval Mine Warfare Test Station during the first two weeks of November, 1944. She then proceeded back to Norfolk whence she operated as a training ship in the lower Chesapeake Bay area until 10 December. The next day she sortied from Lynnhaven Roads in Task Force 63 to escort convoy UGS 63 to Oran, Algeria. The convoy of approximately 100 ships in 15 columns passed through the Straits of Gibraltar 27 December and arrived at Oran the 28th.
On 2 January 1945, DE–769 departed North Africa on her return voyage, escorting convoy GUS 63 to Hampton Roads. On the 3rd, at 1707, a large cloud of smoke was seen and an explosion heard from the center of the first line of the convoy. Neal A. Scott immediately started a submarine search on the starboard bow of the convoy. At 1739 good sonar contact was established and a depth charge attack begun. In the next six minutes 26 charges were dropped. Thirty seconds after the last charge detonated, the rumble of an underwater explosion, followed by the appearance of an oil slick off the escort’s port quarter, was reported and sonar contact was lost. At 1755 contact was regained and a hedgehog attack was made. Two to four explosions were heard within the next half minute, and 8 more were heard over a minute later, but, again, contact was lost. Contact established again at 1806, a second hedgehog run was made. This time, however, no explosions were reported and the contact was lost. Undiscouraged, the ship continued her search until relieved by British escorts at 2345. DE–769 then returned to the convoy and arrived at Norfolk without further incident 19 January.
In February, Neal A. Scott joined the Southern Forces Barrier Patrol in the North Atlantic and for the remainder of the war in Europe conducted submarine searches off the coasts of Maine, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. On 22 April, as she steamed in a scouting line proceeding to Argentia, a submarine contact was made by another escort, Carter (DE–112). Sixteen minutes later, at 0056, DE–769 made a hedgehog attack. Several explosions were reported. At 0108, Carter delivered a similar attack which was followed immediately by 2 or 3 detonations and then by an explosion. At 0118, another, and heavier, explosion was felt and heard by all hands. U–518 had been sent to the bottom of the North Atlantic.
After the surrender of Germany, 7 May, Neal A. Scott was ordered to intercept U–1228 and bring her into port. While proceeding to the surrender point, U–858 was contacted and ordered to the surrender point. On 11 May, U–1228 was intercepted and after sending a boarding party to the submarine and taking on 28 of the U-boat’s crew, including the Captain, the escort headed for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she turned over her prisoners and their boat to Coast Guard officials 17 May.
DE–769 then steamed south to Bayonne for availability, after which she proceeded to Florida. On 13 June she joined the Carrier Qualification Detachment at Jacksonville and for the next two months operated as plane guard for Guadalcanal (CVE–60). Detached from the Carrier Qualification Detachment, Neal A. Scott underwent availability at Charleston and then headed for Corpus Christi for Navy Day celebrations. She returned to Charleston 4 November, only to depart again on the 7th. From Charleston she steamed back to Jacksonville where she decommissioned 30 April 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, berthed at Green Cove Springs. In 1961 the escort was transferred to the Orange, Texas, berthing area where she remained until struck from the Navy Register 1 June 1968.
Neal A. Scott received one battle star for her World War II service.