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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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William J. Pattison

 

William Joseph Pattison—born on 15 January 1921 at Long Island City, N.Y.—enlisted in the Navy on 23 August 1939 at Indianapolis, Ind. A conscientious sailor, Pattison advanced steadily in rating and, at least once, was meritoriously promoted. By the beginning of 1943, he had reached the rank of signalman 3d class and was serving in Eberle (DD-430) in the South Atlantic. On 10 March 1943, his ship encountered the German blockade runner, Karin, which was flying the Dutch flag. The task group commander, Rear Admiral O. M. Read, ordered Eberle to ignore the ship's Allied flag and board her. Pattison was one of the 14 men chosen from Eberle's complement to board the blockade runner before her crew could scuttle her and was the second American to reach the enemy ship's deck. In spite of rising flames and explosions, Pattison performed his salvage duties—primarily maintaining contact with Eberle while his colleagues searched for demolition charges. While executing his duty, Pattison was killed by the explosion of one of the German demolition charges. For his ". . . exemplary conduct and heroic devotion to duty . . .," SM3c Pattison was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.

 

(APD-104: dp. 1,650 (tl.); l. 306'0"; b. 37'0"; dr. 12'7" (lim.); s. 23.6 k. (tl.); cpl. 204; trp. 162; a. 1 5", 6 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 dot.; cl. Crosley)

 

William J. Pattison (DE-594) was laid down on 4 January 1944 at Hingham, Mass., by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 15 February 1944; sponsored by Miss Sally McKillop; reclassified a high-speed transport and redesignated APD-104 on 17 July 1944; and commissioned at Boston on 27 February 1945, Lt. Comdr. Leslie W. Bennett, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and amphibious training at Hampton Roads, Va., she conducted post-shakedown repairs at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard between 20 and 27 April. On the latter day, the high-speed transport departed Portsmouth, bound for New York. There she rendezvoused with General William Weigel (AP-119), and the two ships got underway on 1 May and headed for the West Indies. After a stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 4 to 8 May, the two ships continued on to Panama, where they arrived on the 10th. William J. Pattison transited the canal on 12 May and set course for San Diego, Calif. Diverted en route in order to provide emergency medical treatment to an appendicitis victim on board a Liberty ship, she did not reach San Diego until 22 May. The warship remained there only two days before putting to sea on the 24th in company with Begor (APD-127) and Cavallaro (APD-128). After a six-day voyage filled with gunnery drills and tactical exercises, the three high-speed transports arrived in Pearl Harbor on 30 May. William J, Pattison spent the next two weeks in amphibious and underwater demolition team (UDT) training, mostly at Maui.

 

On 13 June, she embarked 10 officers and 50 enlisted men and got underway for the Marshalls, in company with Cavallaro and SS Cape Meares. The three ships entered the lagoon at Eniwetpk on 21 June; but two days later got underway again with a convoy bound for Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands. She remained at Ulithi from 26 June to 1 July, when she began the two-day voyage to Leyte. After eight days at that island in the Philippines, she headed back to Ulithi on the 12th. In late July and early August, the warship made two voyages from Ulithi to Okinawa. Though both visits were somewhat enlivened by air raid alerts, William J. Pattison saw no action. The end of hostilities found the ship on her way from Okinawa to the Marianas. She arrived at Guam on 17 August and embarked UDT 18. On 20 August, she sailed in company with Begor and a group of LST's to join the 3d Fleet off Japan. The two high-speed transports soon parted company with the slower LST's and made the rendezvous on the night of 24 and 25 August.

 

She arrived in Tokyo Bay late in the afternoon of 27 August to begin her part in the postwar occupation of Japan. On the 30th, she supported the marines who occupied Yokosuka Naval Base, and her UDT unit carried out an inspection of the base's harbor facilities. Later, she participated in the demilitarization of captured Japanese warships. For the next month, William J. Pattison steamed among various Japanese bases located throughout the Home Islands, reconnoitering to prepare for their occupation by Marine Corps, Army, or Navy men. She also helped with further demilitarization projects.

 

On 30 September, the ship got underway on the first leg of her journey home. After stops at Guam, Eni-wetok, and Pearl Harbor, the warship arrived back in San Diego on 22 October 1945.

 

William J. Pattison remained active with the Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, into 1946. Early in that year, she moved to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she was placed out of commission sometime in March. She remained in reserve there until 1 June 1960, when her name was struck from the Navy list. On 18 January 1962, she was sold to the First Steel & Ship Corp., of New York City, for scrapping