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Henry R. Kenyon (DE-683)

(DE-683 : dp. 1,400; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 9'5" ; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 33", 41.1", 8 20mm., 2 dct, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 321" tt. ;cl. Buckley)

Henry Russell Kenyon, Jr., was born 4 February 1916 in Bronxville, N.Y., and enlisted in the Navy 5 November 1940. He was discharged in 1941 to accept an appointment as Aviation Cadet and was commissioned Ensign 4 August 1941. After undergoing advanced flight training Kenyon joined Torpedo Squadron 8 for duty in the Pacific. He flew as a member of that squadron from famous carrier Hornet in the Battle of Midway 4 June 1942. The squadron took off to attack the enemy fleet without fighter cover in the face of murderous opposition. Knowing that they had insufficient fuel to return to the carrier. Kenyon and his comrades attacked gallantly until all were shot down. Ens, Kenyon was presumed dead 5 June 1942 and was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroic actions.

Henry R. Kenyon (DE-683) was launched by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., 30 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Verna Markham Kenyon, widow; and commissioned 30 November 1943, Comdr. C. M. Lyons, Jr., in command.

After her shakedown off Bermuda, Henry R. Kenyon returned to Boston. She was underway 26 January 1944 on a tour of convoy escort duty in the Caribbean, a fertile field for German submarines. Returning to Boston again 6 June, the ship underwent training in Casco Bay, Maine, and had her torpedo tubes replaced by additional antiaircraft guns. Assigned to an Atlantic escort group, she made five transatlantic voyages between 4 July 1944 and 30 August 1945, providing antisubmarine and antiaircraft protection in the Atlantic and eastern Mediterranean.

With the Battle of the Atlantic won, the destroyer escort proceeded 15 May from Norfolk through the Panama Canal and into the western Pacific theater. Arriving off Leyte 7 July, she spent the remainder of the war escorting ships in the Philippines and to New Guinea and Okinawa. After the surrender of Japan in August, Henry R. Kenyon continued to operate in the Philippines and off the coast of Japan until departing Manila for the United States 26 November.

Arriving San Diego 17 December, she remained in that port except for periodic training cruises until decommissioning 3 February 1947. She joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet and berthed at Mare Island, Calif., later to be moved to Stockton, Calif., a part of the "Reserve Sea Power" essential to the security of our Nation.

Published: Wed Jul 15 12:54:49 EDT 2015