Skip to main content
Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Frigate
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

George (DE-697)

(DE-276; dp. 1,150; l. 289'5"; b. 35'; dr. 10'5"; s. 19.5 k.; cpl. 198; a. 3 3", 4 1.1"; 9 20mm., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)

Eugene Frank George, born in Grand Rapids, Mich., 23 April 1925, enlisted in the Navy 18 May 1942 and reported for duty in San Francisco (CA-38) at Pearl Harbor 17 July. As an antiaircraft gunner, he participated in the bitterly-fought naval engagements against the Japanese off the Solomon Islands following the American invasion of Guadalcanal 7 August. On 12 November San Francisco and other ships of Rear Admiral Richard K. Turner's Task Force 67 formed a protective screen off Lunga Point while troop reinforcements debarked from the transports and landed on Guadalcanal. During early afternoon a force of enemy fighters and bombers attacked the ships, but effective antiaircraft fire and air cover repelled the attack and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy planes. One torpedo-bomber, damaged by antiaircraft fire from the screening ships, crashed San Francisco, destroying the after control station and demolishing three 20mm gunmounts. Seaman George, who courageously refused to abandon his gun in spite of the onrushing plane, blazed away at the attacker until killed by the doomed aircraft. For his grim perserverance and relentless devotion to duty in the face of certain death, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.


DE-276 was laid down as George 20 May 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; assigned to the United Kingdom under the lend-lease 22 June 1943; launched 8 July 1943; transferred to the United Kingdom 9 October 1943; and commissioned in the British Royal Navy as HMS Goodson. During the remainder of World War II, she served on escort and patrol duty in the Atlantic and along the English coast. She supported the Allied Invasion of Europe at Normandy 6 June 1944. Damaged late in August, she was returned to the United States 21 October. On 9 January 1947 she was sold to John Lee of Belfast, N.I.

(DE-697; dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 13'6"; s. 23.6 k.; cpl. 213; a. 3 5", 4 1.1", 8 20mm., 3 21" tt, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 2 dct.; cl. Buckley)

George (DE-697) was laid down 22 May 1943 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; launched 14 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Harlow F. George, the mother of Seaman Second Class George; and commissioned at New Orleans, La., 20 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. B. Page in command.

After shakedown off Bermuda, George sailed from Boston 11 January 1944 to escort a merchantman from Norfolk to Noumea, New Caledonia, where she arrived 19 February. Until the spring of 1944 George escorted transports to the Admiralties, the New Hebrides, and the Solomons during consolidation operations in the Solomons. On 16 May she sailed from Florida Island, Solomons, in a hunter-killer group with England (DE-635) and Raby (DE-698) on what was to become one of the most successful antisubmarine actions in the Pacific war.

During this patrol from 19 to 31 May the three-ship team sank six Japanese submarines (I-16, RO-106, RO-104, RO-116, RO-10S, and RO-105) in waters north of the Bismark Archipelago-a truly remarkable achievement. George arrived Manus 4 June after this feat, and during the next 3 months she conducted antisubmarine patrols and escorted merchantmen to the New Hebrides, the Solomons, and the Marshalls. After serving briefly as station-ship at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, she steamed to Australia, arriving Sydney 12 October.

After returning to Purvis Bay, Florida Island, 28 October, George resumed antisubmarine patrols and escorted convoys to New Guinea, Manus, Guam, and Saipan. During the liberation of the Philippines she escorted convoys out of Ulithi and in February 1945 she escorted ships from Guam to Iwo Jima during the invasion and occupation of that embattled island. In addition she served as air-sea rescue station, and on 18 April 1945 she rescued three survivors from a B-29 forced to ditch off Iwo Jima.

During the summer of 1945, she made two escort voyages to Okinawa, one each from Ulithi and Guam; and, after the Japanese surrender, she delivered surrender terms 12 September to the Japanese garrison stationed on Truk, Carolines. She departed Guam 18 September and sailed for the United States, where she arrived San Pedro, Calif., 5 October.

Between 10 March 1946 and 9 April 1947 George deployed with the 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific. She operated along the Japanese coast and steamed to Tsingtao and Shanghai, China, where she supported American and Chinese Nationalist troops during occupation operations against the Communists in North China. From 1947 to 1951 she served with Escort Division 31, attached to the Fleet Sonar School at Pearl Harbor. George moved to San Diego with the Fleet Sonar School in 1951 and served there until undergoing overhaul at Peal Harbor in the spring of 1953. Following return to San Diego in September 1953, she sailed for Sasebo, Japan, 10 November and conducted hunter-killer and screening operations in Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan waters. She returned to San Diego 25 June 1954, and for more than a year she operated out of San Diego along the coast of southern California.

George sailed on her next WestPac cruise 4 October 1955. She operated out of Guam for more than 2 months and conducted surveillances of the Carolines, Marianas, Bonin, and Volcano Islands before reaching Yokosuka, Japan, January 1956. She participated in convoy, antisubmarine warfare, and gunnery exercises until 10 March when she sailed for the West Coast, arriving San Diego 31 March. Subsequently, she resumed operations out of San Diego, highlighted by an October 1956 cruise to British Columbia. On 3 January 1957 she again sailed to join the 7th Fleet, the force for peace in the Far East. After steaming to New Zealand and Japan, she served as station ship at Hong Kong; participated in SEATO maneuvers off the Philippines; and operated out of Guam on island surveillance patrols in the Marianas. Departing Guam 10 June she returned to San Diego 7 July. On September 1957 George was assigned to duty as a reserve training ship out of San Francisco. She decommissioned at San Francisco 8 October 1958 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Stockton, Calif., where she remains.

George received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 20 21:50:24 EDT 2016