Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Chambers (DE-391)

(DE-391: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Edsall)

Born in LaHabra, Calif., 10 June 1914, Russell Franklyn Chambers was appointed aviation cadet, USNR, 5 December 1938 and commissioned ensign 4 November 1939. On duty in the Philippines when the United States entered World War II, Ensign Chambers was reported missing in action 27 December 1941 after an engagement with the enemy over Jolo. He was officially declared dead 28 December 1942.

Chambers (DE-391) was launched 17 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. R. F. Chambers; commissioned 22 November 1943, Commander H. A. Loughlin, USCG, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

After a period as training ship for prospective escort vessel crews, Chambers cleared Norfolk 13 February 1944 on the first of eight convoy escort crossings to North African ports from Norfolk and New York. Steadfast to her important duty of guarding the men and materiel vital to the success of operations in the European theater, Chambers defied the hazards of the sea and the enemy to bring her charges safely to port.

On 8 July 1945 Chambers sailed from New York for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 16 August to transport homeward bound servicemen to San Pedro, Calif. She put out to sea from San Pedro for the east coast 11 September, and on 22 April 1946, was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Green Cove Springs, Fla.

Loaned to the Treasury Department, Chambers was commissioned as a Coast Guard ship 11 June 1952, and redesignated WDE-491. Operating from New Bedford, Mass., she served on Atlantic weather patrols and made several cruises to Newfoundland until 30 July 1954, when the Coast Guard decommissioned her and returned her to the Navy. Returned to reserve status, Chambers was reclassified DER-391 on 28 October 1954, and began conversion to a radar picket escort vessel.

Chambers was recommissioned 1 June 1955 for radar picket duty out of Newport, R.I. She was assigned to the Atlantic Barrier Patrol in June 1956, with which she operated until placed out of commission in reserve 20 June 1960, at Philadelphia.

Published: Mon Apr 18 22:45:22 EDT 2016