Edward Joseph O’Reilly, born in Chicago, Illinois, on 16 August 1909, was commissioned regular Assistant Dental Surgeon with rank of Lieutenant (j.g.) on 10 February 1941. He saw training at the Naval Dental School, Washington, D. C., and the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, before reporting for duty in Astoria (CA–34) in October. Appointed Passed Assistant Dental Surgeon and Lieutenant on 15 June 1942, he was lost when Astoria went down in the Battle of Savo Island in the Eastern Solomons on 9 August 1942.
(DE–330: dp. 1,590; l. 306’; b. 36’7”; dr. 12’3”; s. 21.2 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3”, 6 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 3 21” tt.; cl. Edsall)
O’Reilly (DE–330) was laid down 29 July 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 14 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Bride O’Reilly, mother of Lieut. O’Reilly; and commissioned 28 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. William C. F. Robards in command.
After fitting-out and sea trials in the Orange and Galveston areas, O’Reilly left 18 January 1944 for shakedown off Bermuda. This was followed by a 10-day availability in Charleston, S. C., before she sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Aruba, and Curacao.
On 9 March O’Reilly picked up her first convoy, out of Curacao, for Gibraltar and several North African ports, and arrived in Algiers on the 25th. She returned the following month, then made two more Mediterranean voyages from the West Indies and one from New York before undergoing repairs and upkeep at the New York Navy Yard in early September.
O’Reilly then switched convoy routes, and on 20 September began her first of five round trips across the North Atlantic to England. On 18 November, while heading to Plymouth, England, on the second of these, she attacked a submarine with unknown results. During her nine Atlantic crossings not one ship under her protection was lost to submarine or air attack.
In April 1945, with the European War well on the way to its conclusion, O’Reilly was ordered to the Pacific. She left New York on 24 May, transitted the Panama Canal 8 June, and proceeded to Pearl Harbor after a brief stop at San Diego. She conducted five weeks of local training in Hawaiian waters then, on 1 August, sailed for Leyte Gulf with stops at Eniwetok and other islands. At Leyte she spent several weeks in upkeep, then sailed on a good-will tour via Okinawa to Shanghai and Taiwan.
While entering Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on 23 October, O’Reilly struck a reef with one of her propellers and threw a shaft out of alignment. She remained there until 2 December for repairs, then sailed for Los Angeles, arriving the 22nd. On 16 January 1946 she departed for New York and there underwent pre-inactivation availability. She decommissioned 15 June 1946 and joined the Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida. During 1961 she shifted to Orange, Texas, and continues berthed there into 1970.