Maynard W. Tollberg—born on 17 February 1904 in North Branch, Minn.—enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on 24 September 1923 and was honorably discharged on 15 September 1927. He reenlisted on 23 June 1942 with the same rating and was assigned duty on board La Vallette (DD-448).
On the afternoon of 30 January 1943, during the second day of the Battle of Rennell Island, La Vallette was screening the damaged cruiser Chicago (CA-29) when 11 enemy torpedo planes attacked. La Vallette received a torpedo hit in her forward engine room which killed 22 members of the crew. Watertender Second Class Tollberg, although fatally scalded by high temperature steam, painfully climbed up the fireroom ladder and emerged on the main deck through a hatch which had been blown open by the detonation. Despite severe pain and partial blindness, he expended his dying strength trying to close the control valve through which oil was pouring into the fireroom below, where a number of his helpless shipmates were trapped. Tollberg then collapsed and soon died of his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
(APD-103: dp. 1,650; 1. 306'0"; b. 37'0"; dr. 12'7"; s. 23.6 k. (tl.); cpl. 204; trp. 162; a. 1 5", 6 40mm.; cl. Crosley)
Tollberg (APD-103) was laid down as DE-593 on 30 December 1943 at Hingham, Mass., by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 12 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Maynard W. Tollberg; converted to a high speed transport; and redesignated APD-103 on 17 July 1944; and commissioned on 31 January 1945, Lt. Comdr. Edward F. Butler, USNR, in command.
The new ship stood out of Boston on 18 February for shakedown training off Bermuda. She left Bermuda on 9 March and arrived at Hampton Roads, Va., on the llth. Two weeks later, she got underway to escort Rankin (AKA-103) to the Canal Zone. Tollberg transited the Panama Canal on the 31st and, the next day, proceeded independently to California. She reached San Diego on 9 April and, six days later, sailed for Hawaii.
The transport arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 22d, but left again on 4 May and proceeded, via Eniwetok, to Ulithi. The ship got underway on 31 May with Cross (DE-448) to escort Poseidon (ARL-12), Minotaur (ARL-15), and Moose (IX-114) to Okinawa. She arrived at the Hagushi beach area on 4 June and was assigned to picket duty in the antiaircraft and antisubmarine screen. The high-speed transport had only one opportunity to fire at a distant Japanese aircraft. On 8 August, she and Abercrombie (DE-343) joined California (BB-44) and Nevada (BB-36) to screen the battleships to the Philippines. The next day, Tollberg rescued a pilot from California whose plane had swamped while taxiing in to be picked up. The warships arrived at Leyte on the 11th, and the transport remained there for nine days.
Tollberg departed the Philippines on the 20th to escort a convoy to Okinawa and returned on the 29th. Between 20 September and 3 October, she escorted Transport Squadron 14 to Wakayama Wan, Japan, and back to Leyte. On 2 November, she left Manila to carry passengers for Okinawa and, after escorting Estes (AGC-12) to Shanghai, disembarked them at Buckner Bay on the 7th. Five days later, she was back at Manila. Between 24 and 26 November, the transport embarked 156 passengers at Samar for passage to the east coast of the United State's.
Sailing the next day, Tollberg called at Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Canal Zone before arriving at Norfolk, Va., on 30 December 1945. She remained at Norfolk until 26 March 1946 when she headed for the West Indies. After two months in the Caribbean, the ship was at the New York Naval Shipyard from 20 May to 24 July; and she then entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for preservation work which continued from 26 July to 12 November.
Tollberg arrived at Green Cove Springs, Fla., on 13 November; was decommissioned there on 20 December 1946; and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. In September 1959, she was towed from Mayport, Fla., to Sabine Pass, Tex., and laid up with the Texas Reserve Group. Tollberg was struck from the Navy list in November 1964 and transferred to the Government of Colombia under the Military Assistance Program on 14 August 1965. She serves the Colombian Navy as Almi-rante Padilla (DT-03).
Tollberg received one battle star for World War II service.