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Heyliger (DE-510)

(DE-510: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8" ; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 16 20mm.; cl. John C. Butler)

George Heyliger was born 8 May 1919 in Boston and enlisted in the Marine Corps there 3 February 1942. Private First Class Heyliger was serving with the 1st Marine Division at Guadalcanal 9 October 1942 when his platoon's position was attacked by approximately 150 Japanese. The fighting swiftly changed from automatic weapons to bayonets and then hand-to-hand combat. Heyliger refused to be dislodged from his position by the enemy and, after exacting a tremendous toll on them, heroically died at his post. For his extraordinary heroism and gallantry, PFC Heyliger was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

Heyliger (DE-510) was launched 6 August 1944 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. Augusta Foss, mother of Private First Class Heyliger; and commissioned at New York 24 March 1945, Lt. Comdr. Arthur F. Chase, USNR, in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Heyliger sailed from Norfolk for the Pacific 25 May, reaching Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Diego 19 June. The new destroyer-escort spent 6 weeks at Pearl for various training exercises and then departed for Guam 14 August, the day before Japan agreed to unconditional surrender. Heyliger reached Guam 30 August and then continued on to Rota Island in the Marianas, where. Colonel H. H. Stent, USMC, accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrison 2 September. From 19 September to 21 October Heyliger searched through the Carolines to find Allied survivors and Japanese soldiers, as well as examining conditions in the islands. After a stint of patrol and air-sea rescue operations, Heyliger returned to the States 22 January 1946 and decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 20 June.

Heyliger recommissioned at Green Cove Springs 28 March 1951 and reported to her new home port, Brooklyn. From there she participated in tactical exercises and fleet maneuvers along the American coast and in Caribbean waters. Antisubmarine work, her main mission, took Heyliger to European waters 13 June-10 July 1953 and again 17 June-15 July 1955. She decommissioned and was placed in reserve at Bayonne, N.J., 2 January 1958 and later transferred to Philadelphia. Heyliger was struck from the Navy List 1 May 1966 and sunk as a target by the Atlantic Fleet.

Published: Tue Apr 19 20:48:10 EDT 2016