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Hollis (DE-794)

(DE-794: dp. 1400; l. 306'; b. 36'10" ; dr. 9'5" ; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 8 20mm., 2 dct, 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.) ; 3 21" tt.; cl. Buckley)

Ralph Hollis was born 10 September 1906 in Crawfordsville, Ga., and served in enlisted status 1923-26. He was appointed Ensign in the Naval Reserve 21 November 1934 and was called to active duty in May 1941. Ensign Hollis reported to battleship Arizona in September and was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. Over his gallant ship now stands a monument to men like Ensign Hollis who died on board.

Hollis (DE-794) was launched by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex., 11 September 1943 ; sponsored by Mrs. Hermione C. Hollis, widow of Ensign Hollis; and commissioned 24 January 1944 at Orange, Lt. Comdr. G. D. Kissam in command.

Following shakedown in the Atlantic, Hollis made two escort voyages along the East Coast and then reported to Quonset Point, R.I., to assist in sonic research. The aim was to find countermeasures for the German acoustic torpedo, and the destroyer escort remained on this important duty until 28 May, when she sailed to Casablanca in a carrier screen. Returning to New York 17 June, Hollis was soon at sea again, this time as part of an escort and hunter-killer unit. She operated from July to mid-August escorting convoys in the Mediterranean, and escorted a convoy to the southern France invasion area 15 August as allied troops stormed ashore. In the months that followed, as the offensive gained momentum, Hollis continued to act as an escort in the Mediterranean, ensuring the flow of vital supplies and men. She sailed for the United States 28 December, and arrived 18 January to undergo conversion to a high-speed transport at Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Fitted out to carry amphibious assault troops, Hollis was reclassified APD-86, 24 January 1945, and conducted her shakedown in April and May off the Atlantic coast. Sailing from Miami 10 May, the ship transited the Panama Canal and sailed for Pearl Harbor and the Pacific war. She arrived 30 May and immediately began training with Underwater Demolition Teams, the Navy's famed "frogmen", on Maui island. Converted to a UDT flagship, Hollis sailed to Eniwetok and Guam as the Japanese were accepting surrender terms, arriving Apra Harbor 23 August 1945.

Hollis, now flagship for Pacific UDT forces, sailed to Tokyo Bay to assist in the occupation, arriving 1 September. There she witnessed the formal surrender ceremonies of the Japanese Empire the next day. Following occupation duties the ship sailed for San Diego, where she arrived 23 October, and thence via the Panama Canal to Boston. Arriving 15 February 1946, the transport spent4 months at Charleston, S.C., before arriving Green Cove Springs, Fla., 13 October 1946. Hollis decommissioned 5 May 1947 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. With the increase in fleet strength brought about by the Korean conflict, Hollis recommissioned 6 April 1951 and conducted shakedown training out of Norfolk. The ship sailed from her home port, Little Creek, Va., 8 October to take part in amphibious exercises in the Caribbean and on the coast of North Carolina, returning 20 November.

For the next 5 years Hollis continued to participate in amphibious exercises, antisubmarine training, and maneuvers. In 1954 and 1955 she served briefly as school ship for Fleet Sonar School, Key West. In 1954 she took part in a North Atlantic cold weather exercise off Labrador, and in 1955 her schedule included a month of NROTC midshipman training.

Hollis arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., 17 July 1,956, and decommissioned there 16 October 1956. She remains in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, berthed at present in Orange, Tex.

Hollis received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Thu Apr 21 01:07:54 EDT 2016