Captain Erle V. Dennett was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, 13 June 1908. He was appointed from New Jersey and entered the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1925, graduating in 1929.
He served in battleships, submarines and cruisers until 1936 when he was ordered to the Navy Department, Washington, DC for Communications duty.
In 1938 he returned to sea duty in destroyers, and was Executive Officer of USS McDonough (DD-351) at the start of World War II. In May 1942, he assumed command of the McDonough, which operated with naval forces in the South Pacific and Aleutian campaigns. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat “V,” and citation, in part, as follows:
“For meritorious service…from May 27, 1942 to September 23, 1943. Performing anti-submarine screening duties with a Carrier Task Force in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings and the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, (he) rendered invaluable assistance by escorting troop transports and supply ships, thus aiding in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and, on one occasion, furnishing effective shore bombardment. Subsequently patrolling the waters of the Aleutian Islands, he contributed materially to our success in this area…”
He next had a year of shore duty for which he received a Letter of Commendation with Ribbon from the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, as follows: “For outstanding performance of duty as Gunnery Officer, Fleet Administration Office, New York, from July, 1944 to June, 1945. During this period (he) was successful in supervising the outfitting and overhauling of Atlantic Fleet ships with the latest equipment available. His exceptional administrative talents, his mastery of the problems of gunnery and ordnance, his sound judgment and foresight, contributed materially to the war effort…”
When placed in commission in December 1943, he assumed command of USS Benham (DD-796). As World War II ended, he was Executive Officer of USS San Francisco (CA-38).
After a tour of duty on Guam in 1946-1948, he returned to the States for duty as Inspector-Instructor, Naval Reserves, at Bridgeport, Connecticut. In October 1950, he assumed command of USS Thuban (AKA-19) in Pusan, Korea, and reported to the Atlantic Fleet in January 1951.
After a tour of duty with the Reserve Fleet, Charleston, SC (1952-1954), he reported fro duty at Headquarters, First Naval District, Boston, Massachusetts, as Assistant Chief of Staff, Administration (1954-1957).
In September 1957 he reported to the Fifth Naval District for duty as President General Court-Martial Board. In April 1958 he assumed the additional duties of Special Program Officer (MSTS, Advanced Base and Harbor Defense).
Captain Dennett plans to retire on 30 June 1959 after thirty years of continuous service.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, and Commendation Ribbon, Captain Dennett has the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp: American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Medal: the National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; and United Nations Service Medal.
He died August 18, 1962.