Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Fieberling (DE-640)

(DE-640: dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3"; cl. Buckley)

Langdon Kellogg Fieberling, born 3 January 1910 in Oakland, Calif., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 7 October 1935, and after training and service as an aviation cadet, was commissioned ensign 1 March 1937. From 26 July 1941, he aided in establishing Torpedo Squadron Eight, and when this unit was activated, served with it in Hornet (CV-8). In the Battle of Midway, 4 to 6 June 1942, the turning point of the Pacific War, Lieutenant Fieberling led a flight of his squadron in its heroic defiance of massive Japanese fighter and antiaircraft fire opposition to attack the enemy carriers 4 June. Only one pilot of the squadron came back from that gallant sortie, and Lieutenant Fieberling was one of the dead. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his brave devotion to duty in this action.

Fieberling (DE-640) was launched 2 April 1944 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. C. A. Fieberling, mother of Lieutenant Fieberling; and commissioned 11 April 1944, Lieutenant Commander E. E. Lull, USNR, in command.

Fieberling arrived at Pearl Harbor 27 June 1944 for escort duty to Eniwetok, making three such voyages to the staging ground for the Marianas operation until 3 September. Five days later she sailed for Manus and Purvis Bay, arriving 27 September. Until 15 December, she sailed out of Port Purvis on escort and air-sea rescue duty, then served as station ship at Funafuti until 17 February 1945.

After amphibious landing rehearsals at Guadalcanal, Fieberling arrived at Ulithi 21 March 1945 to load stores and ammunition for the assault on Okinawa. She arrived off the island 31 March, covered the landings the next day, and then served on antisubmarine patrol off the island receiving damage from a near miss in the massive kamikaze raids of 6 April. After escorting a convoy of unloaded assault ships to Saipan between 9 and 29 April, Fieberling returned to Okinawa for patrol, escort, and radar picket duty until 28 June.

Fieberling operated on escort duty between Okinawa and Guam and Saipan until 22 October 1945, when she sailed to escort a transport from Saipan to Japan. She returned to Portland, Oreg., 22 November, and after overhaul, sailed from San Diego 15 March 1946 for occupation duty off the Chinese coast. Back in San Diego 13 August, she operated along the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands, testing experimental equipment, until decommissioned 13 March 1948 and placed in reserve at San Diego.

Fieberling received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 20 04:09:58 EDT 2016