Jacob Jones III (DE-130)
The third U.S. Navy ship to honor the late Commodore Jacob Jones (see Jacob Jones I for full biography).
(DE-130: displacement 1,200; length 306'; beam 36'7"; draft 8'7"; speed 21 knots; complement 186; armament 3 3-inch, 6 40-millimeter, 10 20-millimeter, 3 21-inch torpedo tubes, 2 depth charge tracks, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog), 8 depth charge projectors; class Edsall)
The third Jacob Jones (DE-130) was laid down on 26 June 1942 at Orange, Texas, by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd.,; launched on 1 November 1942; sponsored by Mrs. L. W. Hesselman; and commissioned on 29 April 1943, Lt. Cmdr. Walton B. Hinds, in command.
After fitting out, Jacob Jones sailed on 13 May 1943 for shakedown in Bermuda waters and arrived at Charleston, S.C., on 7 July. On the 18th she steamed to Newport to prepare for convoy duty. A week later, she sailed with a convoy of Coast Guard cutters and Navy ships, which steamed to North Africa to support Allied operations in the Mediterranean. While escorting this convoy, Jacob Jones made her first antisubmarine attack on 7 August, firing 13 depth charges in two attacks with no discernable results. She arrived Casablanca, French Morocco, on 13 August; a week later she departed with Task Force 64 escorting a convoy bound back to the United States.
Reaching New York on 5 September 1943, Jacob Jones underwent inspection and on the 16th departed for convoy training with Hammann (DE-131) and Robert E. Peary (DE-132) at Casco Bay, Maine. She sailed for Norfolk on 21 September and on the 25th joined Convoy UGS-19 headed for North African waters off Casablanca. Arriving on 12 October, Jacob Jones conducted anti-submarine patrols before departing for Gibraltar to join a westbound convoy on the 19th. She arrived at Norfolk on 6 November with the southern section of the convoy, then departed for ten days of repairs at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. On the 23rd, she joined a 64-ship Norfolk-to-Casablanca convoy. Upon her arrival on 10 December, she patrolled waters off the coast of Africa for a week before returning to the U.S. with Convoy GUS-24.
Following repairs at New York and refresher training at Casco Bay, Jacob Jones joined Card (CVE-11) off Cape Henry on 24 January 1944. At that time the escort carrier was busy transporting troops and ferrying aircraft to Europe as part of the Allied buildup for the forthcoming invasion of Normandy. Returning to Norfolk on 1 March, she resumed duty escorting convoys to England.
Jacob Jones departed New York on 28 March 1944 and joined five other escort vessels shepherding a convoy bound for Moville, Northern Ireland. Arriving on 7 April, she departed Londonderry, Northern Ireland, six days later as one of several escorts for a 28-ship westbound convoy that reached New York on 23 April. After repairs and training, she made rendezvous on 13 May with 44 merchant ships and 17 escorts for the ten-day passage to Northern Ireland and returned to New York on 8 June with a westbound convoy.
For the next 12 months, Jacob Jones continued her escort duty for North Atlantic Convoys. Departing from either New York or Boston, she sailed as convoy escort to such ports as Londonderry and Moville, North Ireland; Liverpool, Southampton, and Plymouth, England; and Le Havre and Cherbourg, France. When in the United States awaiting her next convoy, she maintained her operational readiness with training exercises in waters off Maine or Long Island. When in Europe, she operated on coastal and harbor anti-submarine patrols. In all, Jacob Jones crossed the Atlantic 20 times, providing protection for merchant and troop convoys in the North Atlantic.
Three weeks and a day after Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945, Jacob Jones departed Southampton and set course in convoy for the United States. She put into New York on 8 June and entered the New York Navy Yard for overdue repairs and overhaul. On the 30th she departed for Guantánamo, Cuba, for two weeks of anti-submarine and shore bombardment exercises. Steaming independently from Guantánamo on 19 July, she transited the Panama Canal three days later, and steamed into San Diego harbor on the 31st.
As the Japanese Empire prepared to surrender, Jacob Jones departed the Destroyer Base, San Diego, on 9 August 1945 for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii. She reached Pearl on 16 August and commenced anti-submarine exercises before embarking 108 passengers on 4 September, then sailed for the West Coast. She arrived at San Pedro, Calif., and discharged her passengers on 10 September. Departing for the Canal Zone two days later, she transited the Canal on the 20th and arrived at Charleston, S.C., on 25 September. She cleared Charleston on 24 October and two days later sailed up the St. John’s River, Fla., to Green Cove Springs. Jacob Jones was decommissioned on 26 July 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was later berthed at Orange, Texas.
Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 2 January 1971, ex-Jacob Jones was disposed of, by Navy sale, on 1 July 1973.
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
18 September 2020