Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Merrill I (DE-392)


(DE‑392: dp. 1,200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Edsall)

Ens. Howard Deel Merrill, born 16 December 1917 at Provo, Utah, was appointed midshipman at the Naval Academy 25 June 1936. Commissioned ensign 6 June 1940, he reported for duty in Arizona 2 July. He was declared dead as of 7 December 1941, as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Merrill (DE‑392) was laid down 1 July 1943 by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched 29 August 1943; sponsored by Miss Dorothy E. Merrill, sister of Ens. H. D. Merrill; and commissioned 27 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. Irvin J. Stephens, USCG, in command.

Following Bermuda shakedown, Merrill reported to the Atlantic Fleet at Norfolk 28 January 1944. Assigned to CortDiv 45, she began transatlantic escort duty with a north Africa‑bound convoy 12 February. The destroyer escort continued this duty between American and Mediterranean ports until war ended, successfully escorting 15 convoys across the Atlantic.

On 6 July 1945, Merrill sailed for Guantanamo Bay for training, thence to Pearl Harbor. En route she received news of the Japanese capitulation on 14 August. On 3 September she sailed for New York, arrived on the 26th, then on 19 October got underway for Jacksonville, Fla., and deactivation. On 1 May 1946 she decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and berthed at Green Cove Springs. Into 1969 she was berthed at the Orange, Tex., branch of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Published:Fri Jan 26 07:26:03 EST 2018