Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Inch (DE-146)

(DE-146: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 2 dct, 8 dep. 1 dcp. (h.h.), 3 tt.; cl. Edsall)

Richard Inch, born 29 June 1843 at Washington, D.C., was warranted Third Assistant Engineer 13 September 1863. He served in Lancaster and other ships during the Civil War. During his long career Inch served as special assistant at the White House, as Inspector of Coal, and as an officer in many of the ships of the fleet. He was at Mare Island Navy Yard during the Spanish-American war, but was assigned to Naval Station Cavite in March 1899. Inch served with distinction during this tumultuous time in the Philippines, and was later advanced three numbers in grade for his performance. He retired as a Rear Admiral in 1905 and died 21 April 1911 at Washington, D.C.

Inch (DE-146) was laid down 19 January 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp, Orange, Tex.; launched 4 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Philip L. Inch, daughter-in-law of Admiral Inch; and commissioned 8 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. C. W. Frey in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Inch began convoy escort operations from New York to Norfolk. Early in 1945 she joined a special hunter-killer group in the Atlantic, built around escort carrier Croatan. The ships sailed 24 March for the convoy lanes to search for German U-boats. During the months that followed, Inch took part in many attacks on submarines. On the evening of 11 June the ship, in company with Frost and Huse, made a contact and proceeded to attack. After over 40 depth charges, the submarine surfaced, signalling SOS. Suspecting a ruse, Inch and her companions opened fire and destroyed U-490. The entire crew of 60 German sailors was rescued by the escorts.

Soon after the attack on U-490, the escort vessels, operating as usual in concert with aircraft from Croatan, detected another submarine. They attacked 3 July and scored another kill, this time on U-154, Inch remained on this vital duty, so important in stopping the German submarine menace, until reaching New York 14 May 1945. She had had only brief in-port periods the preceding year, and after repairs conducted her second shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With the war in the Atlantic won, Inch sailed to the Pacific, departing the Canal Zone 23 July. She touched at San Diego and Pearl Harbor, and remained in Hawaiian waters for exercises designed to train her for the planned invasion of Japan. Soon after her arrival 12 August, however, the capitulation was announced.

After completing training and readiness exercises, Inch sailed 5 September for Norfolk, via the Panama Canal, and arrived 28 September 1945. She decommissioned 17 May 1946, entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, and is now berthed at Norfolk.

Inch received four battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 06 11:16:02 EDT 2016