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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Otter

 

The first Otter was named after the animal, an aquatic fisheating mammal related to the weasel and mink, with webbed and clawed feet and dark brown fur.

 

The second Otter was named after Lt. B. V. Otter. Born 12 September 1914 at Louisville, Ky., Bethel Veech Otter reported to the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., as Midshipman from Kentucky, 12 June 1933. He received his commission as an Ensign 3 June 1937 and served in connection with the fitting out of Yorktown and at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., before reporting to Canopus, a submarine tender, 6 February 1940. He was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) 3 June 1940 and to Lieutenant 2 January 1942. He received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action and distinguished service as Fire Control Officer of Canopus during an attack by Japanese heavy bombers, Mariveles Harbor, Bataan, Philippine Islands, 5 January 1942. He was killed in action on Corregidor, 6 May 1942.

 

II

 

(DE–210; dp. 1,200; l. 306’; b. 37’; dr. 12’3”; s. 24 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3”; 3 21” tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Edsall)

 

The second Otter was laid down 26 July 1943 by the Charleston Navy Yard; launched 23 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. William M. Otter, the mother of Lt. Otter; commissioned 21 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. D. M. Kerr, USNR, in command.

 

Following a Bermuda shakedown, Otter joined the Atlantic Fleet and escorted two carriers to Casablanca, then, for the remainder of the year, she helped protect convoys shuttling from the United States to various Mediterranean ports. Throughout these operations not a single ship was lost.

 

In December 1944, Otter and three of her sister ships formed a task group to hunt and destroy German U-Boats in the middle and north Atlantic. On 16 January 1945, without assistance from aircraft, the group located and sank German submarine U–248. Otter, after playing a crucial role in the depth charge attack, proudly displayed a sub silhouette on her bridge.

 

In April this task group joined a large task force of DE’s and escort carriers patrolling the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic and searching for subs. During these operations, Davis (DE–136) was torpedoed and sunk; and while other ships of the group engaged and sank U–546, Otter assisted in the rescue of survivors.

 

Upon the end of the European war, Otter was one of the ships assigned to accept the surrender of German subs. She intercepted a U-boat east of Newfoundland, put a boarding party on board, and escorted the sub, the second to surrender, over a thousand miles to the East Coast of the United States.

 

Otter then began to refit for the Pacific War. The end of hostilities changed plans and Otter was assigned to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., to assist in submarine training.

 

By directive dated January 1947 Otter was placed out of commission, in reserve, attached to the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet and berthed in Florida.

 

Otter received one battle star for service in World War II.