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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Roy O. Hale

 

Roy Orestus Hale, Jr., born on 10 May 1916 in Monroe, La., graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned ensign on 2 June 1938. After a year at sea, Hale underwent aviation training at Pensacola, Miami, and San Diego and on 21 June 1941, joined Scouting Squadron 2 on board Lexington (CV-2). Promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) in October, he remained on board that carrier after the United States entered World War II. He participated in the Pacific raids of February and March 1942 and flew his scout plane in the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7-8 May. Failing to return from that mission, Hale was presumed killed in action and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement in aerial combat and his " ... courageous determination and aggressiveness ... attacking enemy aircraft in spite of fierce fighter opposition."

 

(DE - 336: displacement 1,200; length 306; beam 367; draft 123; speed 21 knots; complement 216; armament 3 3, 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog-type), 3 21 torpedo tubes; class Edsall)

 

Roy O. Hale (DE-336) was laid down on 13 September 1943 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 20 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Roy O. Hale, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Hale; and commissioned on 3 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. William W. Bowie, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Roy O. Hale served as a training ship for precommissioning details of escort crews in Chesapeake Bay and provided escort services between New York and Norfolk. On 1 July 1944 she departed Norfolk on the first of seven transatlantic convoys. Engaged in that duty until the surrender of Germany, her first convoy consisted of 24 ships bound for Taranto, Italy. On 20 July, 4 days after reaching her destination, she was at sea with the return convoy which she left at New York on 3 August. From 24 August to 27 September, she made another escort run to Italy, then shifted to the North Atlantic sealanes. Between 30 October 1944 and 3 June 1945, she escorted five transatlantic convoys from the United States to ports in the United Kingdom and France.

 

After an overhaul, the destroyer escort departed Norfolk for the Pacific on 13 July. She underwent refresher training off Cuba, then continued on to San Diego and was engaged in further training when hostilities ceased. On 26 August, she sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 2 September for a month of escort and plane guard duty. On 17 October she returned to San Diego with veterans awaiting discharge, then proceeded to Panama and the east coast. Back in the Norfolk area by 3 November, Roy O. Hale shifted to Green Cove Springs, Fla., in early December and began inactivation. She was decommissioned on 11 July 1946 and was berthed there, with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, until ordered activated to participate in the continental air defense program established in the 1950s.

 

In December 1955, Roy O. Hale entered the Boston Navy Yard for conversion to a radar picket escort. Redesignated DER-336 on 7 December 1955, she was recommissioned on 29 January 1957 and assigned to Atlantic Barrier Patrol duty. Based at Newport, R.I., as of 2 July, she continued that duty, steaming on alternate radar picket stations from Newfoundland to the Azores into the 1960s.

 

Although primarily employed in the early warning program, she was called on to invoke an 1884 treaty for the protection of international submarine cables in February 1959. On the 26th, she sent a party aboard the Russian trawler Novorossisk to investigate reports from the American Telephone & Telegraph and Western Union companies that breaks had occurred in five transatlantic cables along the track of the trawler. There were no indications of intentions "other than fishing."

 

In late 1962, Roy O. Hale again prepared for inactivation. Decommissioned in April 1963, she was berthed with the Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia until struck from the navy list 1 August 1974 and sold for scrap to Union Minerals & Alloys Corp. on 1 April 1975.


21 October 2005