(DD-613: dp. 1,620; l. 348'4"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'4"; s. 37.5 k.; cpl. 256; a. 5 5", 4 40 mm., 7 20 mm., 6 dcp., 2 dct., 5 21- tt.; cl. Benson)
Henry Laub, born in York, Pa., was appointed midshipman 1 October 1809 under Commodore O. H. Perry. Wounded in the early part of the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813, he was carried below but struck by a round shot that crashed through the cockpit, killing him instantly. Congress expressed deep regret at his loss, commended his gallantry, and ordered that a sword be presented to his nearest male relative.
The second Laub (DD-613) was laid down 1 May 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif.; launched 28 April 1942; sponsored by Miss Barbara Mohun Handley, a collateral descendent of Henry Laub; and commissioned 24 October 1942, Lt. Comdr. J. F. Gallaher in command.
After shakedown along the west coast, Laub steamed through the canal, arriving Norfolk 1 February 1943. She departed New York 5 February, escorting a convoy to North Africa. After reaching Casablanca, the destroyer patrolled the African coast until departing 14 March with a return convoy to the United States.
The following month she sailed with another convoy; on 26 May, while escorting a return convoy, she joined other escorts in chasing off an enemy U-boat set on attacking the vulnerable supply ships in the convoy. The destroyer departed New York on her third extended voyage 11 June to join Allied forces in north Africa preparing for the invasion of Sicily. On 5 July she sailed from Oran to screen the transports an their passage to the strategic Sicilian beaches.
The amphibious force arrived off Sicily 4 days later, made a dramatic night landing, and the next day fought off Nazi fliers who made a futile attempt to stall the assault. On the 11th, while bombarding the shore, Laub assisted in downing an enemy aircraft as it aimed its bombs at the invasion fleet. Continuing fire support operations, Laub knocked out four tanks and did considerable damage to strategic bridges.
The destroyer returned to Mers el Kebir 15 July and continued operations in the Mediterranean until joining a convoy for America on 28 July. Laub made additional convoy runs to north Africa and the United Kingdom before returning to Oran to support the Allied campaigns in the Mediterranean.
Off north Africa 6 November, six enemy planes made a torpedo attack on Laub's convoy, scoring several hits. After the raiders were driven off, Laub proceeded to assist the stricken ships, Beatty, Maraix, and Ruys, and rescued 341 survivors from November 1943 until April 1944, the destroyer continued escort operations in the Mediterranean, and made several cross-Atlantic cruises from New York to the British Isles.
Returning to Oran 2 May, Laub sailed 10 days later with Philadelphia to provide fire support off the Anzio beachhead on the west coast of Italy. On the 23d while bombarding the Italian coast, Laub collided with Philadelphia. Following temporary repairs at Naples and additional ones at Boston, the destroyer was back in Oran 2 December.
For the rest of the European campaign she performed escort and fire support missions off the French-Italian coast. Departing Oran 15 May 1945, she reached Boston on the 23d and began training in the Caribbean in preparation for Pacific duty. Laub returned to Casco Bay, Maine, when the Japanese surrender was announced. The destroyer arrived Charleston, S.C., 2 November and decommissioned there 2 February 1946, joining the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. At present Laub is berthed at Philadelphia.
Laub received four battle stars for World War II service.