Rudderow-class destroyer escorts
Rudderow-class were World War II destroyer escorts. They were named after Lieutenant Commander Thomas W. Rudderow, USNR, who was killed on May 2, 1942 while commanding USS Cythera. His patrol yacht was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of North Carolina by German submarine, U-402 during the Battle of the Atlantic. Fifty of the ships originally scheduled to become the class were reassigned and became Crosley-class high-speed transports. For armament, the ships had two 5"/38 guns, along with 40mm and 20mm gun mounts, 21" torpedoes, hedgehogs, and depth charges.
Twenty-two destroyer escorts were commissioned. The first destroyer escort of the class to be commissioned was USS Delong (DE-684) on December 31, 1943. The majority of the Rudderow-class initially served as escorts in the Battle of the Atlantic. During such duty, USS Eugene E. Elmore (DD-686) sank German submarine U-549 on May 29, 1944. Earlier that day, the U-boat sank USS Block Island (CVE-21) while also damaging a few other Buckley-class destroyer escorts. Some of the Pacific campaigns the destroyer escorts took part in were the Lingayen Gulf landings, Iwo Jima and Okinawa Campaigns.
Following World War II, the majority of the destroyer escorts were decommissioned a few years later. The ships did not see service in Korea nor Vietnam. Some of the destroyer escorts were sold and transferred to foreign countries. Rudderow-class ships also remained in the U.S. Navy's Reserve Fleet until the final ones were decommissioned in the early 1970s.
A model of a Rudderow-class destroyer escort was on display "In Harm's Way: Atlantic" exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76, until 2022.
A name board from USS Daniel A. Joy (DE-585) is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76, Bay 8, Right Side, Board I.
Image: 19-N-69259: USS Rudderow (DE-224), off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, July 15, 1944. Port view underway. Official Bureau of Ships photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.