Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Damon M. Cummings (DE-643)

(DE-643: dp. 1,400; 1. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.) 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)

Damon M. Cummings, born 30 January 1910 in Belvidere, Ill., graduated from the Naval Academy 4 June 1931. He served in Northampton (CA-26) and Monaghan (DD-354) and had staff duty at Submarine Base, New London, and with Destroyer Squadron 3. Serving on the staff of Commander, South Pacific Force, Lieutenant Commander Cummings was killed in action while on board San Francisco (CA-38) on the night of 12-13 November 1942. For his heroism and determination during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

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Damon Cummings (DE-756) was canceled during construction 2 October 1943.

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Damon M. Cummings (DE-643) was launched 18 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. D. M. Cummings; and commissioned 29 June 1944, Lieutenant Commander C. R. Millett, USNR, in command.

Clearing San Francisco 8 September 1944 Damon M. Cummings escorted a convoy to Eniwetok and then sailed on to Port Purvis, Florida Island, arriving 15 October. She served in the Solomons until 6 November, and on 19 November she arrived at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, from which she patrolled shipping lanes until 2 January 1945.

Returning to Port Purvis 18 January 1945 Damon M. Cummings continued escort and patrol duty in the Solomons until 9 March. After repairs to her sound gear at Manus, she arrived at Leyte 19 March to rendezvous with an LST group which she screened to the invasion of Okinawa on 1 April. She remained on patrol off Okinawa until 1 May, then escorted convoys from Ulithi, Saipan, and San Pedro Bay. Leyte, to Okinawa until the end of the war.

Damon M. Cummings remained in the Far East serving on air-sea rescue stations in the Marianas and visiting Tokyo from 3 to 12 October until 1 November when she cleared Saipan for an overhaul at Bermerton, Wash. She returned to the Western Pacific to provide services to the fleet at Tsingtao and Shanghai, China, and off Haiphong and Saigon, Indo-China, between 15 February and 16 September 1946. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Long Beach 3 February 1947.

Damon M. Cummings received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 20 04:19:26 EDT 2016