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Deede (DE-263)

(DE-263: 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)

LeRoy Clifford Deede, born 5 February 1916 in Woodworth, N.D., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 2 July 1937 and was appointed a Naval Aviator 21 September 1938. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his outstanding service while commanding a PBY during a bombing attack on a Japanese naval force in Jolo Harbor, Sulu, Philippine Islands, 27 December 1941. With his plane crippled after splashing an enemy plane which tried to down him Deede crash landed at sea where he and his crew could be rescued. Lieutenant (junior grade) Deede was killed 17 June 1942 in the Asiatic area.

Deede (DE-263) was launched 6 April 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. M. B. Deede, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Deede; and commissioned 29 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. W. Whaley in command.

Deede arrived at Pearl Harbor 17 November 1943. She got underway 26 November for the invasion of the Gilberts, screened a convoy to Tarawa, then patrolled off Makin until 23 December when she returned to Pearl Harbor.

Deede arrived at Majuro 3 February 1944 for service as harbor pilot and patrol vessel during the occupation of that island. She returned to Pearl Harbor for training exercises from 21 February to 26 March, then escorted convoys between Majuro and Pearl Harbor until 26 May. She sailed from Pearl Harbor 4 June for Eniwetok, arriving 10 days later, and from this base escorted an oiler task unit which refueled TF 53 at sea on 20 June at the close of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and TF 58 during the raid on the Bonins on 24 June.

Between 6 July and 1 September 1944 Deede served as screening and patrol ship during the assault and capture of the Marianas. After a brief overhaul at Eniwetok, she escorted Crater (AK-70) to Guadalcanal, then on 2 October joined the escort for a convoy to recently invaded Peleliu. She continued convoy duty, aiding in the occupation of the Palaus until 17 November when she sailed for Pearl Harbor.

Deede served as escort and target in the training of submarines out of Pearl Harbor until 6 February 1945 when she got underway to escort a convoy of cargo and transport ships to reinforce the recent landings on Iwo Jima, arriving 23 February. She remained off Iwo Jima on patrol until 20 March when she screened the transports returning the 4th Marines to Pearl Harbor, arriving 4 April.

After overhaul at San Francisco and training at San Diego and Pearl Harbor, Deede joined the replenishment group for the 3d Fleet at Ulithi 21 July, operating with this group during the final air raids and bombardments on the Japanese mainland. She served as communications linking ship between Benevolence (AH-13) and Tranquillity (AH-14) from 16 to 21 August, then rejoined the logistics group to enter Tokyo Bay 2 October. Four days later she got underway for Pearl Harbor where she served with the Hawaiian Sea Frontier from 17 October to 19 November. Deede arrived at San Francisco 25 November and was decommissioned there 9 January 1946 and sold 12 June 1947.

Deede was awarded six battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Fri Apr 15 08:39:55 EDT 2016