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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY & HERITAGE COMMAND

Stanton

 

Oscar F. Stanton, born in Long Island, N.Y., on 18 July 1834, was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1849 and graduated in 1855. He was detached from the Academy on 31 December 1850 and assigned to the steam frigate Susquehanna, for a three-year cruise in Chinese, Japanese, and East Indian waters. Susquehanna was a unit of Commodore Perry's fleet during the expedition to Japan. From 1855 to 1858, he served in the frigate Constellation in the Mediterranean Squadron. During this assignment, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1856.

 

Stanton was transferred to Memphis in October 1858 for the Paraguay Expedition. He next served off the coast of Africa in Supply which helped suppress the slave trade from 1859 to 1860. He was in the sloop St. Mary's of the Pacific Squadron from December 1860 to April 1862. Stanton was commissioned lieutenant commander in July 1862. He served in Tioga in the West Indies and in the James River and Potomac flotillas. Stanton commanded Panola, under Admiral Farragut, in the Battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. In 1865 he was on ordnance duty at New York and next served at the Naval Academy. He was promoted to commander in 1867 and commanded Tahoma of the North Atlantic Squadron and later, the supply ship Purveyor.

 

After duty at the receiving ship, Portsmouth, N.H., he commanded Monocacy, Yantic, and-after his promotion to captain in 1879-Constitution for two years.

 

In 1884, he commanded Tennessee before assuming command of Naval Station, New London. As rear admiral in 1893, Stanton commanded the South Atlantic Squadron and, the next year, the North Atlantic Squadron until his retirement on 1 August 1894.

 

During the Spanish-American War, he was recalled to active duty and commanded the New London Naval Station. Stanton died at New London in July 1924.

 

(DE-247: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21.2 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 3 21' tt.; cl. Edsall)

 

Stanton (DE-247) was laid down on 7 December 1942 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched on 21 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. William S. Burrell; and commissioned on 7 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. C. S. Barker in command.

 

Stanton got underway on 29 August for San Juan, Puerto Rico, to join the destroyer escort shakedown group and, a month later, arrived at the Charleston Navy Yard. She then moved up the coast to New York and departed there on 18 October for Trinidad and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The escort returned to Norfolk, Va., and was attached to Escort Division (CortDiv) 3. Stanton sailed on 25 November with Task Force (TP) 64 as an escort for convoy UGS-25 bound for the Mediterranean. The convoy arrived at Casablanca on 13 December. The escorts picked up convoy GUS-24 there and headed for the United States on 15 December 1943 and arrived safely at New York on 3 January 1944.

 

Stanton escorted other convoys to North Africa and back, as a unit in TF 64 or TF 65. These included UGS-31, GUS-30, and UGS-37. She was the flagship of TF 65, escort for UGS-37 which consisted of over 60 ships, steaming from Norfolk to Bizerte, when it was attacked by the Luftwaffe. The convoy was off Algeria on the evening of 11 April when an enemy aircraft was reported in the area. Just before midnight, approximately two dozen Dornier 217's and Ju. 88's attacked. Stanton opened fire on a plane which crossed her bow and later had a stick of bombs fall close aboard. Holder (DE-401) was torpedoed in the port side by one of the low flying planes, but no merchant ships or LST's were hit. The convoy reached Bizerte the next day, and Stanton returned to New York with convoy GUS-37.

 

She was in drydock until early May, and then participated in maneuvers off Cape May before sailing to Hampton Roads, Va. She arrived on 30 May and was attached to CortDiv 13, Atlantic Fleet. Stanton joined convoy UGS-44, escorted it to Bizerte, and remained there from 22 to 30 June when she began the return voyage with convoy GUS-44 bound for New York.

 

Stanton was attached to the 6th Atlantic Fleet and held training exercises in Casco Bay from 30 July until she returned to New York to escort a section of convoy UGS-51 to Norfolk. The convoy sortied from there but, on the 19th, Stanton was ordered to proceed to the Boston Navy Yard for alterations and improvements. These lasted until mid-October after which she held sea trials and tested her new equipment and proceeded to Bermuda.

 

Stanton arrived at Port Royal Bay on 5 November, joined the screen of Croatan (CVE-25) and returned to New York on 13 November 1944. The task group then proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, via Norfolk, to hold joint exercises, and returned to Norfolk in late December. On 10 January 1945, Stanton and CortDiv 13, with Croatan, steamed to Bermuda to continue antisubmarine warfare exercises in conjunction with flight operations. Upon completion of the training period, the task group called at New York on 4 February; shifted to the Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, N.J., to load ammunition; and then sailed to Casco Bay for carrier qualification exercises. During the last week in March, the submarine hunter-killer group took its assigned position in the north central Atlantic, midway between Newfoundland and England.

 

On 15 April, Stanton made surface radar contact, range 3,500 yards, and headed for the target. The U-boat disappeared from the radar screen, but sonar contact was made. Stanton fired a pattern of hedgehogs, and a deep rumble followed their explosions. Contact was regained, and another pattern was fired. This was followed by a heavy underwater explosion. Sonar contact was made again, and Stanton attacked. After this, there was a tremendous explosion that shook the task group. Frost (DE-144) joined in the attack with her hedgehogs shortly after midnight. The two DE's kept pounding the contact until there was an explosion of such magnitude that it shook some of the group 10 miles away. Then, contact was lost, and so was U-1235. Just before 0200 on the 16th, Frost made a surface contact at 500 yards, fired star shells to no avail, and finally illuminated a U-boat with her searchlight. Frost opened fire with her deck guns as the submarine submerged and made several hits on the conning tower. Contact was lost so Stanton and Huse (DE-145) joined the search. At 0406, Stanton fired a hedgehog pattern over a contact that produced an explosion so violent that she thought she had been torpedoed and rocked Croatan 15 miles away. Frost fired one more pattern which produced three deep explosions. Diesel fuel already covered the surface of the sea, and sonar contact slowly faded. This was the end of U-880. The task group returned to Argentina, Newfoundland, from 22 to 28 April, to refuel and rearm before resuming antisubmarine patrols.

 

War with Germany ended in May, and Stanton put into New York for fuel. She then was routed to Charleston for yard availability. On 1 July, CortDiv 13 was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, and Stanton, with Swasey (DE-248) sailed for Hawaii, via Panama and San Diego. They arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 August, a week before hostilities with Japan ended. Stan-ton participated in antisubmarine warfare practice until 22 August when she was detached from the Pacific Fleet and ordered to return to the Atlantic seaboard.

 

She arrived at .Norfolk on 28 September and the following month was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Fla. Stanton moved there, moored, and provided steam and electrical services to units of CortDiv 36 from 1 January 1946 to 2 June 1947. On the latter date, Stanton was placed in reserve, out of commission, and the skeleton crew of 64 was transferred. She was struck from the Navy list onI December 1970 and sunk as a target.

 

Stanton received three battle stars for World WarII service.