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Crouter (DE-11)

(DE-11: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl.156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)

Mark Hanna Crouter, born 3 October 1897 in Baker, Oreg., graduated from the Naval Academy 7 June 1919. After extensive service at sea and ashore, he served as first engineering officer in Enterprise (CV-6), and from 11 May 1942 was executive officer in San Francisco (CA-38). In the night Naval Battle of Guadalcanal of 12 and 13 November 1942, when an outnumbered American force turned a Japanese raiding group back from its intended attack on shipping off Guadalcanal, Commander Crouter was severely wounded early in the action, but insisted on remaining at his station to play his part in fighting the ship until killed. His courageous devotion to duty was recognized with a posthumous award of the Navy Cross.

Crouter (DE-11), originally intended for transfer to Great Britain as BDE-11, was launched 26 January 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. M. H. Crouter, widow of Commander Crouter; and commissioned 25 May 1943, Lieutenant J. E. Johansen, USNR, in command.

Sailing from Boston 24 July 1943, Crouter reached Noumea 3 September. After several convoy escort voyages to Efate and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, and Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, she escorted convoys between Noumea and Port Purvis, aiding in the consolidation of the Solomons until 31 March 1944.

After overhaul on the west coast, Crouter escorted a convoy from Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok between 14 June and 3 July 1944. Returning to Pearl Harbor, Crouter conducted submarine training exercises, and rescued nine survivors of a crashed PBY on 15 July. She departed Pearl Harbor 3 August for continued operations with submarines from Majuro between 13 August and 24 October. Arriving at Eniwetok 26 October, Crouter operated out of that port as convoy escort to Ulithi, Kossol Roads, and Saipan until 15 March 1945.

At San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Crouter joined the screen of the transport convoy bound for Okinawa, arriving 1 April 1945 for the invasion landings. She remained on patrol off Okinawa, joining a hunter-killer group from 19 to 28 April. Her service in antiaircraft work included splashing two suicide planes. Crouter reported to Guam 21 May for training with submarines, remaining there until 18 September. She returned to San Pedro, Calif., 5 October, and there was decommissioned 30 November 1945 and sold 25 November 1946.

Crouter was awarded one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Tue Apr 05 09:31:53 EDT 2016