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Levy (DE-162)

(DE-162: dp. 1,240; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 8'9"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp.; cl. Cannon)

Uriah Phillips Levy, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 22 April 1792, went to sea at 14. By 1812 he was a successful ship owner and trader. After losing his ship to the British at the outset of the War of 1812, Levy joined the Navy and was commissioned sailing master 21 October 1812. Serving an harbor duty until the following August, Levy was transferred to a prize vessel, captured, and imprisoned in England for 16 months.

After the war, Levy rose steadily in rank and was appointed captain in 1844. During the next decade, he was instrumental in persuading Congress to abolish flogging in the Navy. He commanded Macedonia in 1858 and became flag officer of the Mediterranean Squadron in 1860. By his purchase and preservation of Jefferson's home Monticello, Levy was responsible for restoring it from neglect to a priceless heritage of the American people. He died in New York City 22 March 1862. The Navy's Jewish Chapel in Norfolk, Va., is named in his honor.

Levy (DE-162) was laid down 19 October 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, N.J.; launched 28 March 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Charles Mathoff, niece of Commodore Levy; and commissioned 13 May 1943, Capt. Frank S. Schmidt in command.

After shakedown off Bermuda, Levy, one of the Navy's first destroyer escorts, steamed for the South Pacific, arriving Society Islands 19 August 1943. For the next 8 months the ship escorted and screened oilers during various fueling operations in the South and Central Pacific theaters. In support of the Hollandia operation and the strikes against Truk, Statwan, and Ponape 13 April to 4 May 1944, Levy escorted a convoy of logistic ships to a point north of Manus, arriving 23 April for a refueling rendezvous with TF 58.

From 12 June to 16 August 1944, Levy screened the oilers which supported the invasion of the Marianas and fueled Admiral Mitscher's mighty carriers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in which American carrier-based planes dealt a fatal blow to Japanese naval airpower. For the next 4 months, she escorted TG 30.8 which refueled and replenished the 3d Fleet during the conquest of the western Carolines and the liberation of Leyte. On 20 November, while escorting a convoy from Ulithi for another rendezvous with Mitscher's flattops, Levy drove off enemy planes which attacked the formation. She sailed from Eniwetok 24 November for the west coast and arrived San Diego 8 December for a month-long overhaul.

Early in March 1945 the ship returned to the Pacific war zones and resumed escort and ASW duty. During the last 2 months of the war, Levy helped blockade and bombard the remaining Japanese-held atolls in the Marshalls and rescued a boatload of natives who had escaped from enemy-held Jaluit.

August and September marked a high point of the ship-s wartime career. Aboard Levy, Capt. H. D. Grow negotiated and accepted the surrender of Mille Atoll 22 August. A few days later Levy witnessed the surrender of Jaluit Atoll. On 4 September, Wake Island surrendered to Brig. Gen. L. H. M. Sanderson, USMC, embarked in Levy.

Departing the Pacific theater 17 September, the ship steamed, via San Francisco, for the east coast. On 15 November she joined the St. John-s River Group, 16th Fleet, at Green Cove Springs, Fla., and was placed in commission, in reserve. She decommissioned 4 April 1947, and is berthed at Norfolk, Va., as part of the Atlantic Inactive Fleet, into 1969.

Levy received five battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Thu Apr 07 08:19:25 EDT 2016