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Satterlee

 

Charles Satterlee, born on 14 September 1875 in Essex, Conn., was appointed a cadet in the Revenue Cutter Service on 19 November 1895. In 1908, he was assigned as supervisor of anchorages at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. This duty included command of the cutter, Machinate. In 1909, he was ordered to Tahoma, then fitting out at Baltimore, Md., for a cruise to the Pacific. From 1910 to 1913, he was assistant inspector of lifesaving stations; and, on 1 September 1915, he was promoted to Captain in the Coast Guard. Capt. Satterlee was in command of the cutter, Tampa, when that vessel was torpedoed and sunk with all hands on 26 September 1918 in the Bristol Channel while escorting a convoy.

 

II

 

(DD-626: dp. 1,630; l. 348'3"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'5"; s. 37.4 k.; cpl. 276; a. 4 5", 4 40mm., 7 20mm., 5 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp.; el. Gleaves)

 

The second Satterlee (DD-626) was laid down on 10 September 1941 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Seattle, Wash.; launched on 17 July 1942; sponsored by Miss Rebecca E. Satterlee, niece of Capt. Satterlee; and commissioned on 1 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. Joseph F. Witherow, Jr., in command.

 

Satterlee escorted the British aircraft carrier, HMS Victorious, from the Western Seaboard to the Atlantic coast, where the new destroyer joined the U.S. Atlantic Fleet on 26 August 1943. After two convoy escort voyages to Casablanca, and training out of Casco Bay, Maine, she escorted the battleships Texas and Arkansas to Belfast, Northern Ireland, in April 1944.

 

In the first week of May 1944, Satterlee underwent training for a special mission assigned to her for the Normandy landings. She was to support a crack unit of 200 Army rangers in eliminating a German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc which commanded the Omaha landing beaches. After escorting minesweepers to the beach area on the night of 5 and 6 June, she commenced pre-arranged fire on Pointe du Hoc at 0548, 6 June. As the rangers landed, she broke up enemy units attempting to oppose them from the top of the cliff.

 

Although the rangers found that the battery's guns had been removed before the landings, German resistance was stiff, and Satterlee provided gunfire support for the rest of the day. Satterlee remained off the Normandy beaches for the next forty days, and then joined the invasion force which arrived off St. Tropez, southern France, on 15 August 1944. Here she helped repel a night attack of five German motor torpedo boats, sinking one from which she rescued 12 survivors.

 

Satterlee returned to the east coast in October 1944 for training at Casco Bay. In January and February 1945, she escorted Quincy, with President Roosevelt embarked, on the Norfolk-Bermuda portion of his trip to and from the Yalta Conference. She next sailed for the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 16 May 1945 for duty as a gunnery school ship. She also provided escort for Saratoga, Hancock, and Wasp during night and day flight operations off Hawaii.

 

On 4 July, Satterlee left Pearl Harbor and commenced air-sea rescue patrol duty between Saipan and Okinawa and performed this duty for the rest of the war and the initial months of the occupation. On 9 November, she began her trip back to the United States for inactivation. She was decommissioned on 16 March 1946 and placed in reserve at Charleston, S.C. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1970.

 

Satterlee received two battle stars for her World War II service.