Richard John Dempsey, born 8 February 1919 in New York City, N.Y., was commissioned ensign 14 November 1940. Lieutenant (junior grade) Dempsey was killed in the Battle of Savo Island 9 August 1942 when his ship Vincennes (CA-44) was sunk.
Dempsey (DE-267) was launched 22 April 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. A. Dempsey, mother of the late Lieutenant (junior grade) Dempsey, USNR; transferred to Great Britain under Lend-Lease 23 August 1943 and renamed Cooke; returned to the United States and sold 3 June 1947.
(DE-26: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3"; cl. Evarts)
Originally intended for transfer to Great Britain, Dempsey was launched as BDE-S6 on 19 February 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard; retained for use by the United States Navy and assigned the name Dempsey 14 June 1943; and commissioned 24 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander H. A. Barnard, Jr., in command.
From 23 September to 25 October 1943 Dempsey escorted convoys between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor. On 27 October she departed Pearl Harbor screening Tangier (AV-8) to Espiritu Santo, and on 8 November she arrived at Viti Levu, Fiji Islands off which she rescued 45 survivors of the torpedoed merchantman San Juan 13 November. She screened oilers fueling various task units at sea during the invasion of the Gilberts, then arrived at Pearl Harbor 2 December for repairs and training.
Dempsey sailed from Pearl Harbor 25 January 1944 escorting a convoy of transports and cargo ships to newly captured Majuro, arriving 3 February. She escorted White Plains (CVE-66) to Kwajalein, then returned to Pearl Harbor 24 February. The next day she got underway for Noumea, arriving 8 March, and from 14 March to 22 September served in the Solomons and adjacent islands on local escort and patrol.
Transferred to the 3d Fleet Dempsey arrived at Manus 27 September 1944 and sailed 2 October to screen transports to the Palaus. She patrolled and served as harbor entrance control vessel off Peleliu, on 28 October sinking a Japanese patrol craft and capturing one prisoner.
From 20 November 1944 Dempsey sailed on convoy duty from Guam to Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Leyte. On 15 April 1945 her base became Eniwetok, and she continued her convoy duty to Ulithi and Kwajalein, serving also on air-sea rescue patrols until 5 July when she departed for the west coast. Arriving at San Francisco 18 July, Dempsey was decommissioned 22 November 1945 and sold 18 April 1947.
Dempsey received three battle stars for World War II service.