(DE-402: displacement 1,745 (full load); length 306-; beam 36-7-; draft 13-4-; speed 24 knots; complement 222; armament 2 5-, 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks, 9 depth charge projectors, 3 21- torpedo tubes; class John C. Butler)
Richard Salisbury Bull, Jr., was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., 6 January 1913. Graduating from the Naval Academy, he was commissioned ensign 4 June 1936. Trained as a naval aviator in 1938-39 at Pensacola, Fla., he served in the fleet in 1941. He became a naval observer assigned to the American Embassy in London, England. Reporting for duty as a fighter pilot on board Lexington (CV-2) on 27 December 1941, he participated in aircraft carrier operations against the Japanese in February and March 1942. In the Battle of the Coral Sea 7 to 8 May, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, before failing to return from his last mission.
Richard S. Bull (DE-402) was laid down 18 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched 16 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Richard S. Bull, Sr.; and commissioned 26 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. A. W. Gardes in command.
Following shakedown off Bermuda, Richard S. Bull departed Boston 6 May 1944, and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor, arriving on the 30th. Reaching Eniwetok 27 June, she escorted Long Island (CVE-1) and other escort carriers to Pearl Harbor, arriving 5 July.
Returning to Eniwetok, she joined a task force including Sangamon (CVE-26) on 6 August. Arriving at Manus on the 13th, she supported the landings on Morotai 15 September. Departing Manus, she protected carrier forces supporting the landings on Leyte 20 October. She rescued a fighter pilot from Chenango (CVE-28) on the 22d.
During the Battle off Samar on the 25th, she operated in group "Taffy One," about 130 miles south of the main Japanese attack upon "Taffy Three." Following a kamikaze attack upon Taffy One, she rescued 24 men from Suwanee (CVE-27). On the 29th Richard S. Bull discovered and rescued 139 survivors of Eversole (DE-404), sunk by Japanese submarine I-45 off Dinagat Island, Philippine Islands. Nearby, Whitehurst (DE-534) sank I-45.
After transferring the Eversole survivors to Bountiful (AH-9), at Kossol Roads, Palau Island, she proceeded with escort carriers from Manus to Pearl Harbor, arriving 19 November. After escorting Shamrock Bay (CVE-84) to arrival at Manus 22 December, she departed with Marcus Island (CVE-77), and proceeded via Leyte to the landings 9 January 1945 at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Proceeding via Ulithi and Saipan, she rescued three aviators from Natoma Bay (CVE-62) on 17 February, and then protected escort carriers supporting the landings on Iwo Jima on the 19th. Departing the Iwo Jima area 10 March, she proceeded via Guam and Ulithi to the Okinawa Gunto.
From 1 April to 16 May, she protected escort carriers supporting assault forces on Okinawa. Returning 2 June from Saipan, she continued to guard carrier air operations against Okinawa. Voyaging with Sargent Bay (CVE-83) to arrival at Leyte 23 June, she joined the Philippine Sea Frontier, escorting convoys to Morotai, Hollandia, and Ulithi. She provided medical treatment 30 August to casualties aboard S.S. Peter White, damaged by a mine in the northern Philippines. Following convoy escort duty from Leyte to Ulithi and Okinawa, she departed Leyte 14 October, and steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to San Diego, arriving 6 November.
She entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet in March 1946, and remained in the Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy List 30 June 1968, and sunk as a target.
Richard S. Bull received five battle stars for World War II service.
14 October 2005