Joseph Lee Richey -- born 8 June 1920 in Barnard, Mo. -- enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 28 October 1940 and was commissioned ensign on 26 August 1941. Following training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., that led to his designation as a naval aviator, he was assigned to Observation Squadron (VO) 2 on board the battleship California (BB-41). He was killed on 7 December 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
(DE-385: displacement 1,490 (full load); length 306'; beam 36'7"; draft 12'3"; speed 21 knots; complement 216; armament 3 3-inch, 10 40 millimeter, 24 20 millimeter, 2 depth charge tracks, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (Hedgehog), 9 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Edsall)
Richey (DE-385) was laid down 19 April 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; launched 30 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph Lee Richey; and commissioned 30 October 1943, Cmdr. Petros D. Miller, USCG, in command.
Following shakedown off Bermuda Richey commenced convoy escort duty in the Atlantic. From January to July 1944, she escorted convoys from New York and Norfolk to Casablanca, Morocco; Oran, Algeria; and Bizerte, Tunisia. From September to October, she guarded convoys from New York to Belfast and Londonderry, Ireland. From January 1945 to late May she escorted convoys between the United States, France, and Britain. That April, Richey rescued 32 men from two tankers that had collided and caught fire, SS Nasbulk and SS St. Mihiel.
Following arrival in New York in May and overhaul, she proceeded via Cuba and the Panama Canal to the Pacific where she reported in July to the North Pacific Fleet at Adak, Alaska. In September she occupied the Japanese naval base at Ominato, northern Honshu, Japan. After a return to Adak, she sailed via Okinawa to Taku, China, to assist the occupation forces.
In March 1950 she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Loaned to the Coast Guard 1 April 1952, she was subsequently returned and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet in June 1954, where she remained until struck from the Navy list 30 June 1968, and sunk as a target.
29 September 2005