Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Hopping (DE-155)

(DE-155 : dp. 1,400; 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.) ; cl. Buckley)

Hallsted Lubeck Hopping was born in New York, N.Y., 25 September 1902 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1924. After graduating from flight training, Hopping served with various squadrons, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander in 1939. He reported as Commander of Scouting Squadron 6 10 July 1941, and lost his life in a raid on Rol Island from carrier Enterprise 1 February 1942, the first aircraft squadron commander to lose his life in World War II.

Hopping (DE-155) was launched by Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., 9 March 1943; sponsored by Mrs. H. L. Hopping, widow of Lieutenant Commander Hopping; and commissioned 21 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. F. D. Giambat-tista in command.

The new destroyer escort conducted shakedown training out of Bermuda and after escorting an LST convoy to Norfolk made a voyage to Casablanca, where she arrived 2 September 1943. There Hopping formed with a new convoy and returned to New York 25 September.

In the year that followed Hopping made nine convoy crossings from New York to United Kingdom ports, bringing vital supplies for the war in Europe. While en route to Britain 3 May 1944 a sister ship, Donnell (DE-56), was torpedoed and seriously damaged as the escort vessels stalked a U-boat. Hopping helped to drive off the marauder with numerous depth charge attacks and then took Donnell in tow. Struggling for 2 days in heavy seas, she managed to bring her sister ship within range of British salvage ships off Ireland, which towed her into Londonderry.

Hopping returned to Frontier Base, Staten Island, during October-November 1944, where she was converted to a high-speed transport. Reclassified APD-51, she underwent shakedown training in Chesapeake Bay and departed Norfolk 20 December 1944 to take part in the Pacific War, then entering its climactic stage. The new transport steamed via the Panama Canal and San Diego to Pearl Harbor, anchoring 15 January 1945. There she trained with Underwater Demolition Teams, the Navy's famed "frogmen", until 13 February, when she got underway for the Philippines. Hopping arrived Leyte Gulf 4 March to prepare for what was to be the last great amphibious campaign of the war, Okinawa.

Hopping sailed for Kerama Retto 21 March with UDT team No. 7 embarked, and during the early days of the campaign carried out many reconnaissance and demolition assignments. When not putting frogmen ashore, the ship acted as screening ship for larger units off Kerama Retto, and while on this duty assisted in splashing several planes the night of 28-29 March. As Marines landed on Okinawa itself 1 April Hopping turned to screening and patrol duties, fighting off numerous Japanese air attacks. While in Buekner Bay on a reconnaissance operation 9 April, the ship engaged a concealed enemy shore battery, and while silencing the gun, sustained several damaging hits. As a result she proceeded to Ulithi for repairs, arriving 23 April 1945.

Hopping was soon back in the thick of the fighting at Okinawa, however, returning 17 May to resume screening duties as the air and land battles raged. She remained off Okinawa continuously until the island was secured, fighting off countless mass attacks by the desperate Japanese. The ship sailed 8 August with a convoy bound for Leyte and while in the historic Gulf 15 August learned of the surrender of Japan.

The ship's first occupation duty was to aid in the evacuation of former prisoners of war from Japan. She arrived Japan 11 September and disembarked over 100 former Navy and Marine prisoners at Guam 19 September. Following convoy duty and antimine work in Japanese and Philippine waters, Hopping got underway from Tokyo Bay 24 November 1945 with returnees for the United States. She arrived San Diego 11 December.

Hopping departed San Diego 17 December and after spending short periods at Charleston and Norfolk arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., 27 April 1946. She decommissioned 5 May 1947; entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; and remained berthed with the Texas group until she was struck from the Navy List in September 1964 and sold 15 August 1966 to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md.

Hopping received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 06 13:19:51 EDT 2016