Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC

USS Harmon (DE-678)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Harmon (DE-678)

USS Harmon (DE-678), the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for an African American, was laid down on 5 May 1943 at Quincy, Mass. by Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 25 July 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Naunita Harmon Carroll, mother of the late Mess Attendant 1st Class Harmon; and commissioned at her builders' yard on 31 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. Kendall E. Read in command.

USS Harmon (DE-678) conducted her shakedown training out of Bermuda and then underwent post-shakedown repairs and alterations at Boston before dropping down the eastern seaboard to Norfolk, whence she sailed on 7 November 1943. USS Harmon (DE-678) transited the Panama Canal on 13 November to proceed to the South Pacific Area via San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, and Samoa. Arriving at on Christmas Day 1943, she reported for duty with Commander, South Pacific Force.

USS Harmon (DE-678) underwent a navy yard availability at Pearl Harbor, trained in Hawaiian waters, and then made for the Admiralty Islands, where, on 24 November 1944, she joined the Seventh Fleet as part of Adm.l Richard L. Conolly's Luzon Reinforcement Group. Harmon sortied from Manus on 2 January 1945 with this large convoy and sailed ultimately arrived in the transport area to the east of Lingayen Gulf on 11 January.

On 5 March 1945, USS Harmon (DE-678) arrived off Iwo Jima to act as escort and antisubmarine screen. This duty lasted until 27 March 1945, when she proceeded to Pearl Harbor and reported to the 1st Fleet for training. She remained there until August when USS Harmon (DE-678) was ordered to Mare Island to increase her firepower by replacing her 3-inch guns with 5-inch mounts.

The war over, USS Harmon (DE-678) departed San Diego on 7 January 1946, bound for the Canal Zone, where she conducted training operations with submarines. Clearing Cristobal on 28 March, USS Harmon (DE-678) reached New London on 3 April 1946. There she again exercised with submarines until December 1946, before she proceeded to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she was decommissioned on 25 March 1947 and joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

USS Harmon (DE-678) was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 August 1965. 

For a complete history of USS Harmon (DE-678) please see its DANFS page.