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USS Kretchmer (DE-329/DER-329)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Kretchmer (DE-329/DER-329)

USS Kretchmer (DE-329) was laid down 28 June 1943, by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 31 August 1943; sponsored by Miss Betty Kretchmer, sister of Ens. Kretchmer; and commissioned 13 December 1943, Lt. R. C. Wing, in command.

After a Bermuda shakedown USS Kretchmer (DE-329) departed Charleston, S.C., 15 February 1944, for operations in the Caribbean. Based at Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, she escorted convoys to Cuba and Bermuda until sailing for Key West 2 May. Assigned to an air wing training detachment, USS Kretchmer (DE-329) operated with torpedo bombers for 3 weeks, before departing Charleston 8 June escorting a convoy to Europe.

Between 20 September 1944 and 27 April 1945, USS Kretchmer (DE-329) sailed as escort to five convoys from New York to United Kingdom ports. After victory in Europe, she prepared for Pacific Fleet duty arriving Pearl Harbor 5 July. Clearing Pearl Harbor 1 August, USS Kretchmer (DE-329) was en route to the Philippines when hostilities stopped, 14 August. Serving in the Far East until 1 April 1946, the destroyer escort engaged in occupation and repatriation operations, including the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Formosa during September 1945. USS Kretchmer (DE-329) also served on escort duty, mine patrol, and mail runs between Chinese ports.

Based at Newport, R.I., from 1957 to 1962, she remained on picket duty, making regular patrols to provide early warning to the continental air defense systems. Kretchmer also made cruises to northern Europe in 1958, 1961, and 1962, and in August 1961 rescued six men from foundered Icelandic fishing vessel Sleipnir. USS Kretchmer (DE-329) continued picket and training operations in the Atlantic until 21 May 1965, when she entered Boston Naval Shipyard for overhaul prior to deployment in the western Pacific. The ship departed Newport, R.I., for Guam, arriving 2 August after a stopover at Pearl Harbor. One month later, USS Kretchmer (DE-329) joined other vessels off the South Vietnam coast in Operation "Market Time," keeping coastal traffic under surveillance to prevent the shipment of Communist arms and supply to South Vietnam by sea.

USS Kretchmer (DE-329) left Subic Bay 29 September for her homeport, Guam, where she remained through part of October. USS Kretchmer (DE-329) then departed for further radar picket escort duties off Vietnam through 1966 into 1967. Her continued presence on the South China seacoasts delineates the commitment of the United States to the preservation of the independence of South Vietnam.

For a complete history of USS Kretchmer (DE-329) please see its DANFS page.