(DE-450: dp. 1350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 10 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct, 9 dcp.; cl. John C. Butler)
Joseph Edward Connolly was born 1 June 1904 in New York City. He served in the Navy 1927 to 1930 before enlisting in the Marine Corps 9 March 1936. Connolly attained the grade of Corporal by 1942 and took part in the assault on Guadalcanal, first American amphibious operation of the war. During the bitter fight for the island, Connolly and his men bore the brunt of a heavy Japanese assault along the Matanikau River 9 October 1942. For his extraordinary bravery in this action Corporal Connolly received the Navy Cross posthumously. Describing his gallantry, his citation reads in part: "Fighting desperately in hand-to-hand combat against the overwhelming hostile forces, Corporal Connolly refused to be dislodged from his position, and after exacting a tremendous toll of the enemy, heroically died at his post."
Joseph E. Connolly (DE-450) was laid down 6 April 1944 by Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newark, N. J.; launched 6 August 1944; sponsored by Miss Cecilia C. Connolly, sister of Corporal Connolly; and commissioned 28 February 1945, Lt. Comdr. M. C. Walley in command.
Following shakedown training in the Caribbean Joseph E. Connolly departed Norfolk 10 May 1945 for assignment to the Pacific Fleet. She transited the Panama Canal and steamed by way of San Diego to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 6 June for additional intensive training. The ship then steamed to Eniwetok in early July to act as an escort ship during the final days of the Pacific war. Joseph E. Connolly served as screen ship to logistic-support units of the 3d Fleet during the final strikes on the Japanese mainland.
The escort vessel returned to Ulithi after war's end, arriving 31 August, and joined the screening unit for logistic support ships. She arrived Tokyo Bay 13 September and steamed to Jinsen, Korea, 22 September to assist in the occupation of Korea and North China, then the subject of critical contention between Communist and Nationalist factions in China. Joseph E. Connolly spent 27 to 31 October at Shanghai in support of the Marines ashore, after which she joined a service squadron in supplying fuel and supplies to various Pacific island bases.
After patrol off Saipan in December, the ship sailed for the United States 4 January 1946, arriving Boston 17 February via San Diego and the Canal Zone. She later steamed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 20 June 1946 and entered the Reserve Fleet. Joseph E. Connolly is at present berthed with the Texas Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Joseph E. Connolly received one battle star for World War II service.