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Robert Brazier

 

Robert Boyd Brazier, born at Tooele, Utah, 13 June 1916 enlisted in the Navy 6 October 1939 and served continuously until killed in action during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942. Gunner of a Torpedo-Squadron-3 airplane during that battle, Aviation Radioman Second Class Brazier "defended his plane by continuous gunfire against overwhelming fighter opposition until mortally wounded. After reporting his condition, he courageously performed essential radio operations which enabled the pilot to return to his own force." For his actions, Aviation Radioman Brazier was awarded, posthumously, the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

(DE - 345: displacement 1,745; length 306; beam 367; draft 134; speed 24 knots; complement 217; armament 2 5; 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog-type), 3 21 torpedo tubes; class John C. Butler)

 

Robert Brazier (DE-345) was laid down 16 November 1943 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Orange, Tex.; launched 22 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Celia Brazier, mother of Aviation Radioman Brazier; and commissioned 18 May 1944; Lt. Comdr. Donald D. Snyder, Jr., USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Robert Brazier arrived at New York, 19 August 1944, and the next day commenced escort work with a convoy run to Norfolk. There for a week, she served as a schoolship for the Destroyer Training School, conducted tests for the Bureau of Ordnance, and assumed duties as flagship, CortDiv 76 which she kept throughout World War II. Between 27 August and 7 September, she participated in a hunt for a German submarine reported off the coast. Later that month, she joined TF 69 to escort a fast convoy of tankers and transports to Italy. Completing that run at New York 23 October, she sailed again 10 November, heading south, then west.

 

Forty-one days later she anchored in Seeadler Harbor, Manus. On 26 December she sailed for Hollandia, whence she escorted tankers to Leyte, arriving 6 January 1945. Continuing escort duty, she plied the sealanes between Leyte, Kossol Roads, and Hollandia until 19 February when she sailed for Mindoro and duty with the local defense force there. For the next 2 weeks she patrolled the approaches to Mangarin Bay and the convoy lanes to Subic Bay. Then, on 6 March, the destroyer resumed duties as an ocean escort.

 

Assigned to the 7th Amphibious Force in late April, Robert Brazier departed Leyte for Panay on the 29th and remained at Iloilo until 4 May. Then ordered back to Leyte, she prepared for the invasion of Mindanao. On the 10th, she screened to the seaward of the landing forces in Macajalar Bay. From the 11th through the 13th, she patrolled in the Bay. On the 14th, she departed Mindanao for Cebu, whence she escorted supply ships back to the beachhead and from then, with few interruptions, she remained anchored in Macajalar Bay until 9 August. Six days later, at Subic Bay, she received news of the Japanese acceptance of surrender terms.

 

For the remainder of August and into September, she escorted ships between Subic Bay and Okinawa. Then, toward the end of the month, the destroyer extended her escort duty to Tokyo Bay. There on the 21st and 22d, she returned to Luzon on the 27th and for the next month operated in Philippine waters. On 28 November she got underway for the United States, arriving at San Pedro, Calif., 17 December. Later shifted to San Diego, she joined the 19th Fleet and commenced inactivation. Decommissioned 16 September 1946, she remained in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, berthed initially at San Diego, then at Bremerton, until struck from the Navy list, 1 January 1968. She was subsequently destroyed as a target.

 

Robert Brazier (DE-345) earned one battle star during World War II.


14 October 2005