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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Ramsden

 

Marvin Lee Ramsden, born on 2 January 1919 at Pleasant Lake, N. Dak., enlisted in the Navy 21 May 1936 and reported for duty in Lexington (CV-2) on 8 October 1936. During the Battle of the Coral Sea, 8 May 1942, Coxswain Ramsden, a member of Lexington's crew throughout his career, remained at his exposed station, despite wounds, continuing to operate a range finder in the face of intense enemy strafing and dive-bombing attacks until he died. For his gallant and intrepid conduct, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

 

(DE - 382: displacement 1,490 (full load); length 306; beam 367; draft 127; speed 21 knots; complement 186; armament 3 3, 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 12 21 torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge tracks, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog-type); class Edsall)

 

Ramsden (DE-382) was laid down 26 March 1943 by the Brown Shipbuilding Corp., Houston, Tex.; launched 24 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. James L. Ramsden, mother of Coxswain Ramsden; and commissioned 19 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Madacey, USCG, in command.

 

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Ramsden, manned by a Coast Guard crew and assigned to CortDiv 23, steamed to New York, whence she sailed, 19 December, with her first convoy, NY-47 to the Canal Zone. Returning to New York 9 January 1944, she commenced transatlantic runs on the 11th with UGS-30 to Casablanca. Returning 23 February, she departed New York for Bizerte with UGS-36, 10 March. Steaming first to Norfolk, where 62 more ships joined the 36 vessels from New York, the convoy headed across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean. Before dawn on 1 April, Nazi bombers and torpedo planes led in by flare-dropping scouts attacked the Allied ships.

 

In 15 minutes, 0405 to 0420, the Luftwaffe damaged one merchantman and lost five aircraft, one to Ramsden's guns. Two days later the convoy reached Tunisia and on the 11th got underway for New York, arriving 2 May.

 

Availability and exercises at Casco Bay preceded another convoy run to Bizerte where men and supplies were being readied to push further into Axis-controlled Europe. Completing that run at Boston 11 July, Ramsden shifted to the North Atlantic convoy lanes and, during the remainder of the war in Europe, escorted seven convoys to the United Kingdom and France.

 

With the collapse of Germany, Ramsden was transferred, with her division, to the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal 18 June 1945, she called at San Francisco, then continued on to Adak, arriving 8 July. On the 15th, she shifted to Attu, whence she operated on plane guard duty for the remainder of World War II.

 

After Japan capitulated, the ship resumed escort duties, initially in the Aleutians, then, at the end of August, to Japan. On 9 September she brought auxiliary ships into Ominato Ko, Honshu; and, on the 20th, headed back to the U.S. carrying returning veterans. Navy Day celebrations at Ketchikan interrupted her postwar duties, but in November she got underway, with replacement troops and equipment embarked for Okinawa. She arrived at Buckner Bay 25 November, joined the 7th Fleet, and on 11 December sailed for Tsingtao. Mail runs next took her to Manila and Shanghai whence she returned to Tsingtao 5 January 1946. She remained there supporting occupation troops until 11 February when she sailed for the eastern coast of the United States. Arriving at Charleston 22 March, Ramsden steamed to Jacksonville Fla., 24 April, then shifted to Green Cove Springs where she decommissioned 13 June 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

 

Ordered activated after the outbreak of war in Korea, Ramsden was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard and recommissioned 28 March 1952 with the Coast Guard hull designation WDE-382. Reporting for duty 1 April, Ramsden operated briefly on the west coast, then headed west to Honolulu, whence she operated on air-sea rescue patrol duty. On that duty for the next 2 years, she guarded the increased Pacific air traffic along routes between Hawaii and the mainland, Midway, Japan, and the Aleutians, and in the Aleutian and the Hawaiian Islands. Following the cessation of hostilities in Korea, and the subsequent decrease in air traffic, Ramsden returned to California, decommissioned at San Diego on 10 April 1954 and reentered the Navy's Reserve Fleet 28 June 1954.

 

Ordered activated and converted to an escort radar picket ship in 1956, the escort arrived at Long Beach 19 October for conversion and on 1 November was redesignated DER-382. Recommissioned 10 December 1957, she underwent shakedown and training off the west coast and in March 1958 returned to the Hawaiian Islands, where she was once again homeported. Based at Pearl Harbor, she operated on barrier patrol duty stations from Midway to the Aleutians until the spring of 1960 when she returned to the west coast for inactivation. Decommissioning 23 June 1960, she again entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet and, into 1974, remains with that fleet, berthed at Stockton.

 

Ramsden earned one battle star during World War II.

 


16 September 2005