(DE-792: dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 36'10" ; dr. 9'5" ; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 5", 3 21" tt.; cl. Buckley)
Richard Alexander Haines was born in Haines Falls, N.Y., 28 April 1903. He attended Tennessee Military Institute 1921-1923, attended the Naval Academy for a time, and served 3 years in the Coast Guard 1928-1931. Commissioned Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve 23 July 1941, Haines served in Washington, after which he was assigned to New Orleans. When New Orleans suffered a devastating torpedo hit in the Battle of Tassafaronga, 30 November 1942, Lieutenant Haines remained at his station to assist in controlling the damage until overcome by asphyxiating gas generated by the explosion. In the true tradition of the Navy he had given his life to save his shipmates; he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism.
Haines (DE-792), a destroyer escort, was launched by Consolidated Steel Shipbuilding Corp., Orange, Tex., 26 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Mary V. Haines, wife of the namesake; and commissioned 27 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. Elmer C. Powell in command.
Haines conducted shakedown training off Bermuda, and after final acceptance in February 1944 performed various duties until April. These included escorting a Dutch submarine to the United States, from the Netherlands, sailing with a troop convoy to Panama and back, and serving as a training ship for new destroyer escort crews at Norfolk, Virginia. Early in April Haines assumed duty as target towing ship at Quonset Point, R.I., where she helped ready young pilots for duty with American squadrons overseas.
Overseas duty was not long in coming for Haines. She was soon assigned to a Mediterranean convoy, leaving from New York and arriving at Casablanca 7 June 1944.
Returning to New York, Haines again sailed for the Med, this time with a carrier task group, 30 June 1944. The group paused at Malta before proceeding to Alexandria, Egypt, to guard against Axis attack on that port.
Detached from the task group, Haines next took an active part in the vast armada that invaded southern France. Departing Naples 13 August, she escorted troop transports to the assault area, and later acted as a screening ship for the gunfire support group offshore. Haines continued her escort duties into September as the Allied advance gained momentum, acting as escort to an LST group ferrying supplies from Corsica to France.
Haines completed her Mediterranean service 1 November 1944 and sailed for the United States, via Oran. She arrived at New York 11 December and immediately entered Brooklyn Navy Yard for conversion into a high speed transport. Completed 1 March 1945, Haines was redesignated APD-84. She then served for several months at Norfolk and in Chesapeake Bay as a training ship for fast transport and destroyer escort crews.
Receiving orders to return to combat duty, Haines sailed from Norfolk for the Panama Canal 8 August 1945. She received word of the war's end while at Cristobal, Canal Zone, proceeded to San Diego, Calif., and continued to Pearl Harbor in early September. Haines was then designated to transport units of the Strategic Bombing Survey, and after extensive preparations departed Guam for Japan 2 October 1945. For the next 2 months the ship stopped at various Japanese ports while technicians and analysts from the survey gathered data on the effectiveness of the aerial bombardments. Haines was detached from this duty at Guam and departed that island 6 December 1945 filled with returning Marines. She arrived San Diego 24 December 1945.
Scheduled for deactivation, Haines sailed for the East Coast via the Panama Canal, arriving Boston 12 January 1946. She subsequently sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 29 April 1946 and went into reserve. Haines was struck from the Navy List 1 June 1960 and sold for scrap to North American Smelting Co., Wilmington. Del., 19 May 1961.
Haines was awarded one battle star for service in World War II.