Albert Lerpy David, born on 18 July 1902 in Marysville, Missouri, enlisted in the Navy at Kansas City, Missouri, on 30 September 1919. After undergoing his training at the Naval Training Station, San Francisco, he served in the battleship Arkansas (BB-33) for the rest of his first enlistment. Reenlisting at Omaha, Neb., on 19 July 1921, David served his second enlistment in a succession of ships: Rochester (CA-4), Preston (DD-327), Delaware (BB-28), Utah (BB-31), and Texas (BB-35), reenlisting on board Texas on 12 May 1925. He then served in Trenton (CL-11), Cintinnati (CL-6),and Salt Lake City (CA-25), reenlisting at Philadelphia on 15 June 1931. He reported on board Dobbin (AD-3) on 3 July 1931, and served in that destroyer tender until his transfer to the Fleet Reserve on 10 August 1939. He was recalled to active duty, though, on 27 September 1939, less than a month after World War II broke out in Europe with the German invasion of Poland.
Appointed machinist on 13 May 1942, David was assigned to the Submarine Repair Unit, San Diego, on 28 May, and served in that unit for five months. While there, he received his promotion to ensign on 15 June. Reporting thence to the Naval Training School for diesel engineers at the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin, for instruction, David ultimately reported for duty at the Naval Training Station, Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, before he traveled to Orange, Texas to assist in fitting out the destroyer escort Pillsbury (DE-133), which was commissioned at the Consolidated Steel Corp., yard on 7 June 1943.
Promoted to lieutenant (jg.) while Pillsbury was fitting out, David served in that ship as she operated in the Atlantic, escorting convoys into Casablanca and Gibraltar, and serving with a "hunter-killer" unit formed around Guadalcanal (CVE-60). He was serving as Pillsbury's assistant engineering and electrical officer when Guadalcanal's task group located a German submarine off Cape Blanco, French West Africa, on 4 June 1944 and forced it to the surface.
Pillsbury lowered a boat and sent a party of nine men, led by Lt.(jg.) David, to board the U-boat, soon identified as U-505, which was still underway and running in the circle on the surface. Although he "had every reason to believe" that Germans were still below decks setting demolition charges and scuttling the ship, David led Pillsbury's men on board and plunged bravely down the conning tower hatch, ready to fight it out with any enemy he encountered, and took possession of the ship. Although he found the sea flooding into the U-boat, David remained below directing the initial salvage operations, aware that at any moment the enemy submersible could blow up or sink. Men from Guadalcanal arrived soon thereafter to aid in the battle to keep U-505 afloat, and David remained on board directing the salvage operations. As a result of his vigorous and heroic efforts, the valuable prize was eventually taken to Bermuda.
Promoted to lieutenant soon thereafter, David was awarded the Medal of Honor for his part in the "first successful boarding and capture of an enemy man-of-war on the high seas by the United States Navy since 1815." He died at Norfolk, however, on 17 September 1945, before it could be given to him; it was presented by President Harry S. Truman to David's widow, Lynda Mae David, on 5 October 1945, in a ceremony at the White House.
Albert David (DE-1050) was laid down on 28 April 1964 at Seattle, Wash., by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Co.; launched on 19 December 1964; sponsored by Mrs. Lynda Mae David; and commissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 19 October 1968, Comdr. Roy S. Reynolds in command.
For the remainder of 1968, Albert, David completed outfitting at Bremerton, Wash., and conducted post-commissioning trials and tests. Those examinations continued into 1969. A voyage to Hawaii followed in March. Early in April, the ocean escort began five weeks of refresher training out of San Diego. On 1 May 1969, she was assigned to Long Beach, Calif., as her home port. She concluded refresher training eight days later and arrived in Long Beach on the 10th. On the 12th, however, Albert David headed back to Bremerton for an eight-week, post-shakedown availability at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The warship returned to sea on 7 July, bound for the coast of southern California and several days of operations out of San Diego. She returned to Long Beach on the 18th.
Albert David carried out normal operations from the base at Long Beach until the beginning of the second week in October. On 8 October, she stood out of Long Beach on her first deployment to the western Pacific. After steaming via Pearl Harbor and Midway Island, the warship arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, on 31 October. Albert David then served two weeks on the Taiwan Strait patrol and visited Subic Bay in the Philippines before reporting at Danang, South Vietnam, on 24 November to begin gunfire support duty. That assignment lasted until 10 December when, after a brief stop at Danang, the ocean escort headed for the Gulf of Tonkin. From the llth to the 18th, she operated on the south SAR (sea-air rescue) station in the gulf. On 16 December, Albert David joined company with Hancock (CVA-19) for two days of plane guard duty. The warship left station in the Gulf of Tonkin on 18 December and headed for Bangkok, Thailand, where her crew enjoyed a five-day port visit. On 30 December, she rendezvoused with Coral Sea (CVA-43) and began five weeks of plane guard duty with the carriers of Task Force (TF) 77.
Early in February 1970, she left the Gulf of Tonkin to make port visits at Subic Bay and Hong Kong. On her way back to Vietnamese waters, Albert David visited Okinawa and, during that visit, put to sea to investigate a Soviet trawler loitering in the area. She returned to Vietnam at Danang on 27 February to resume gunfire support missions for the troops fighting ashore. At the beginning of the second week in March, the ocean escort left the gunline to rejoin the carriers of TF 77 in the Gulf of Tonkin. Eight days later, she pulled into Subic Bay to make preparations for the voyage back to the United States. On 21 March, Albert. David stood out of Subic Bay on her way home.
The warship made stops at Guam, Midway, and Pearl Harbor before arriving in Long Beach, Calif., on 9 April. Following post-deployment standdown, Albert David settled into the normal schedule of training operations carried out by warships between overseas deployments. Those evolutions occupied her time until the beginning of November when she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Albert David's first regular overhaul lasted more than eight months. On 1 July 1971, she put to sea for post-overhaul trials and drills, and she remained so occupied for the remainder of the month. August brought refresher training out of San Diego, and September saw her resume normal 1st Fleet operations out of Long Beach.
On 12 November 1971, Albert David departed Long Beach on her second deployment to the Far East. En route, she spent more than a week in the Hawaiian Islands before continuing on to the Philippines. The ocean escort arrived in Subic Bay on 9 December and remained there almost a week. On the 15th, she put to sea bound for the Gulf of Tonkin, arriving on station two days later. Albert David spent the following six weeks on gunfire support station off the coast of Vietnam. At the end of January 1972, she headed back to Subic Bay to rest, rearm, and reprovision. The warship returned to the combat zone, this time in the Gulf of Siam off the shores of South Vietnam's Military Region IV, on 6 February and resumed duty as a seaborne heavy artillery battery supporting ground forces ashore.
Albert David left the Gulf of Siam on 24 February bound for the Gulf of Tonkin. She rendezvoused with Constellation (CVA-64) on 29 February and served as the carrier's escort for two days of operations in the Gulf of Tonkin as well as during the voyage to Subic Bay. After 10 days of upkeep and repairs at Subic Bay, the ocean escort departed the Philippines for Hong Kong on 14 March. The port visit at Hong Kong lasted from 16 to 22 March. On the latter day, the warship laid in a course that took her via Okinawa to the Sea of Japan. She conducted antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises between 26 and 29 March and made a port call at Yokosuka, Japan, from 30 March to 5 April.
After a false start for home on the 5th and a return to Japan to reload necessary equipment, Albert David headed back to Vietnamese waters that same day. Reporting for gunfire support duty off the DMZ between North Vietnam and South Vietnam on 10 April she performed a variety of other tasks as well. After four days of gunfire support missions, the warship joined Long Beach (CGN-9) for 10 clays of escort duty on picket station. From 28 April to 12 May, she again provided gunfire support. Albert David concluded that tour of duty in the combat zone with four days of service with Denver (LPD-9) on the notification line established to warn merchant ships about mines in North Vietnamese harbors.
On 17 May, the ocean escort set out for Subic Bay in company with Constellation. The two warships visited Subic Bay from 19 to 22 May and then got underway for Singapore. After a four-day port call at Singapore, they returned to sea on 30 May on their way back to the waters surrounding Vietnam. Albert David parted company with Constellation on 2 June to render gunfire support to troops in Military Regions I and II in South Vietnam. At the end of 10 days on the gunline, she formed up with Constellation again on the 12th. The two warships stopped at Subic Bay on the 15th and returned to sea almost immediately. On 20 June, they arrived in Yokosuka for a two-day port call before beginning the voyage across the Pacific. Albert David and Constellation cleared Yokosuka on 22 June bound for the United States. Albert David escorted the carrier until 30 June when she received orders to proceed independently. The ocean escort entered Long Beach the following morning.
Following a month-long post-deployment leave and upkeep period, the ocean escort began normal 1st Fleet operations on 3 August with plane guard services for Ranger (CVA-61) in the southern California operating area. On 26 August, she put to sea from Long Beach to participate in Operation "RimPac-72," conducted in the Hawaiian Islands with units of the navies of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Albert David returned to Long Beach from that exercise on 19 September and remained in port for three weeks. At that time, she resumed normal operations along the California coast.
The warship performed training duties out of Long Beach until near the end of the first week in January 1973. On the 5th, she stood out to sea on her way back to the Far East. Steaming in company with Constellation, Albert David completed the transit of the Pacific at Subic Bay on 22 January. Four days later, she embarked upon the voyage to the Gulf of Tonkin, again escorting Constellation. For the next three weeks, she provided plane guard services and antisubmarine protection for the carriers of TF 77 during what proved to be her last tour of duty in the gulf before the United States pulled out of the conflict in Vietnam. Albert David returned to Subic Bay on 14 February and spent the next three weeks undergoing minor repairs and conducting training in the Philippines.
On 6 March, Albert David departed Iloilo on the island of Panay to return to Vietnamese waters. This time, however, her mission was a peaceful one. She was part of Operation "End-sweep," the removal of minefields from the waters adjacent to North Vietnam. Her participation in that effort, punctuated by port visits to Sasebo in Japan, Subic Bay in the Philippines, and Hong Kong, lasted until the second week in June. The warship cleared Vietnamese waters on 9 June, visited Keelung on Taiwan on the 12th and 13th, and arrived in Yokosuka on the 17th. Two days later, the ocean escort returned to sea for the voyage back to the United States. She made brief stops for fuel at Midway Island and Pearl Harbor before reaching Long Beach on 3 July.
Post-deployment standdown followed by a lengthy restricted availability at the Todd Shipyard in San Pedro occupied her time until late November. She returned to Long Beach on 21 November but remained there only long enough to make preparations to move to San Diego, the new home port to which she had been assigned on 20 August. Albert David made the home port shift on 1 December and commenced local operations out of San Diego six days later. The warship continued that employment through the end of 1973 and during the first four months of 1974. On 23 April 1974, she left San Diego in company with Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) and Waddell (DDG-24) bound for the western Pacific. Albert David and her travelling companions made fuel stops at Pearl Harbor and Midway Island before arriving in Yokosuka on 14 May. On 25 May, the ocean escort put to sea in a task group built around Midway (CVA-41) to conduct operations off the island of Honshu. Thus she began her first period of service with the 7th Fleet in which combat duty off the Vietnamese coast played no role. The warship alternated between periods of training at sea and port calls at such places as Yokosuka, Hong Kong, Guam, and Subic Bay.
When she returned to San Diego on 22 October 1974, Albert David embarked upon a period of almost 42 months without a deployment to the Far East. She spent most of the remainder of 1974 in port, initially engaged in post-deployment standdown and later in holiday routine. The ocean escort conducted a number of exercises in 1975. Late March and early April brought a voyage to Hawaii for Operation "RIMPAC" 1-75, a multinational exercise conducted in cooperation with the navies of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In mid-April, she returned to the west coast and resumed local operations. On 30 June 1975, Albert David was reclassified a frigate and redesignated FF-1050. In September, she made another cruise to the Hawaiian Islands where she spent four weeks engaged in exercises before returning to San Diego early in November. Local operations again occupied her time until the spring of 1976. Late in April 1976, the frigate sailed to Long Beach where she began an 11-month regular overhaul on the 22d. Albert David concluded her repairs at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on St. Patrick's Day 1977 and returned to San Diego nine days later. She operated on a normal training schedule out of her home port until the beginning of August when she voyaged to Hawaii again for training purposes. Returning to San Diego on 29 August, the frigate settled into a normal west coast training schedule once more.
The hiatus in Far Eastern deployments came to an end in the spring of 1978. Albert David stood out of San Diego on 4 April and set a course for Hawaii. En route there, she participated in "RIMPAC" 1-78. After a stop at Pearl Harbor on the 23d and the 24th, the frigate continued her voyage west on the 25th. She arrived in Subic Bay on 16 May. During the ensuing five months, Albert David conducted exercises with units of the 7th Fleet and participated in the binational Exercise "Sharkhunt XXVII" with elements of the Taiwanese Navy. She also visited ports in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The frigate concluded that tour of duty in the Far East with a readiness exercise and a series of special operations. After a visit to Guam between 11 and 14 October, Albert David embarked upon the voyage back to the United States. She reentered San Diego on 29 October and, except for a two-day period underway locally, spent the remainder of 1978 in port.
Twelve days into 1979, the warship began the usual schedule of training operations, trials and inspections. That employment occupied her time through the first 10 months of the year. On 13 November 1979, she left San Diego to return to the western Pacific. Albert David made a very brief stop at Pearl Harbor on 21 November resuming her voyage west that same day. She arrived at Subic Bay on 9 December and spent the remainder of the year in port. The frigate operated locally out of Luzon ports until the second week in February 1980 when she embarked upon a voyage to Singapore in company with Long Beach (CGN-9), Worden (CG-18), and Brosfera (FF-1037). A main engine casualty, however, forced her return to Subic Bay under tow of Long Beach and, later, of USNS Ute (T-ATF-76). She remained in Subic Bay from 12 February through the end of the month. The warship returned to sea on 1 March for two weeks of exercises followed by a port visit at Buckner Bay, Okinawa.
After an antisubmarine warfare exercise and another stop at Buckner Bay, Albert David set a course for Pusan, Korea, on 23 March. The warship spent the last week of the month indulging in liberty at Pusan. From there, she moved on to Sasebo, Japan, for a repair and upkeep period preparatory to her return to the United States. On 9 April 1980, the frigate departed Sasebo and embarked upon the voyage home by way of Guam, Kwajalein, and Pearl Harbor. She reentered San Diego on 2 May. Post deployment standdown occupied the remainder of May while June and July brought a resumption of local operations. Early in August, she visited Alaskan waters before beginning regular overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at mid-month.
Those repairs occupied the frigate for the rest of 1980 and for the first nine months of 1981. Early in October 1981, Albert David resumed local operations out of San Diego. That duty kept her busy until near the end of May 1982. On the 29th, she got underway for the western Pacific via Pearl Harbor. The frigate arrived in Subic Bay on 2 July. After almost three weeks at that base in the Philippines, Albert David moved north to Sasebo, Japan, where she stayed from 26 July until 12 August. The warship arrived back in Subic Bay on 17 August but set sail again four days later on the 21st in company with John Young (DD-973) and San Jose (AFS-7) bound for the Arabian Sea and a tour of duty with the Middle East Force. She performed surveillance chores in the Arabian Sea from 7 September to 18 October. On 19 October, Albert David started out on the long voyage back to the United States. She entered San Diego on 30 November and spent the remainder of 1982 engaged in post-deployment leave and upkeep.
Standdown carried over well into the third week of 1983. On 20 January, Albert. David took up local operations out of San Diego with a three-day readiness exercise. A variety of training evolutions conducted in the waters off the coast of southern California occupied her time during the nine months between January and October 1983. On 4 October, however, the frigate stood out to sea on her way to the Far East once more. She made a five-day stop at Pearl Harbor and conducted a battle problem in the Mariana Islands before steaming into Subic Bay at the beginning of the second week in November. At mid-month, Albert David put to sea again to participate in a series of bilateral exercises with units of the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Royal Singapore Navy, and the Navy of the Republic of Korea. Interspersed among those exercises were goodwill and liberty calls at Lumut in Malaysia, Singapore, Chinhae in Korea, and at Hong Kong. On 28 December, she returned to the Philippines at Manila where she ushered in the new year.
Albert David's western Pacific deployment continued until early April 1984. January brought a visit to Cebu City in the Philippines, a brief return to Subic Bay, and another bilateral exercise, this time with the Royal Thai Navy. Exercises with other units of the 7th Fleet followed. At the end of January, the frigate sailed north to Japan for upkeep and repairs at Yokosuka. At the beginning of the last week in February, the warship completed repairs and put to sea to conduct antisubmarine warfare exercises with elements of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The end of February and beginning of March brought visits to Sasebo and Fukuoka in Japan. During mid-March, she operated with South Korean Navy units again and then made port visits at Chinhae and Pusan, Korea, and at Sasebo, Japan. Albert David departed Sasebo on 3 April on her way back to the United States. En route, she lingered in the Marianas to participate in another battle problem and stopped at Pearl Harbor on 21 and 22 April. The warship pulled into San Diego on 30 April. Post-deployment standdown took up the month of May, and operations along the California coast occupied the summer and early fall of 1984. At the beginning of November, Albert David began restricted availability at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.
That repair period carried her into 1985. Back in San Diego by 5 January, she resumed local operations by the end of the month. The frigate settled into a schedule of training exercises along the west coast, highlighted by port visits to Canadian and United States cities, that kept her busy throughout 1985 and nearly through 1986. On 29 September 1986, Albert David entered the yard of the National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. at San Diego to begin regular overhaul.
Albert David earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam conflict.