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Tinsman (DE-589)

(DE-589: dp. 1,450; 1. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 13'9"; s. 23.5 k.; cpl. 221; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dc'p., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Rudderow)

Carl Welby Tinsman, born on 29 March 1924 in Anne Arundel County, Md., enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on 19 August 1942 and served in the destroyer Eberle (DD-430) as a seaman second class. While patrolling some 650 miles off the coast of Brazil on 10 March 1943, Eberle, Santee (CVE-29), Savannah (CL-42), and Livermore (DD-429) intercepted the German blockrade runner Karin, flying a Dutch flag. Not fooled by the false colors, Eberle and Savannah closed the enemy ship at flank speed and fired warning shots across her bow. Karin's crew promptly set her afire and began to abandon ship.

Tinsman was a member of the 14-man party from Eberle which boarded the blazing ship and attempted to save the prize. Displaying exceptional courage, Tinsman continued his efforts to put out the fire until a sudden explosion of a demolition charge ended his life. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his heroic action.

Tinsman (DE-589) was laid down by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass., on 21 December 1943; launched on 26 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. James Corley, sister of Seaman Tinsman; and commissioned on 26 June 1944, Lt. William G. Grote, USNR, in command.

Following fitting out and trials, the destroyer got underway on 21 July 1944, proceeded to Bermuda on shakedown, and returned to Boston on 19 August. On 11 October, she departed Boston harbor and, the next day, joined a convoy bound, via the Panama Canal, for the South Pacific. She arrived at Seeadler harbor in the Admiralty Islands late in November and, after training exercises, headed for New Guinea. On 2 December, she reached Hollandia, but was soon at sea again escorting a convoy to Leyte.

On 14 December, while Tinsman was in San Pedro Bay, a Japanese suicide plane grazed the bridge of a nearby tanker. A week later, the destroyer escort was back in New Guinea waters, anchoring in Humboldt Bay. The day after Christmas, she was on the move again, this time for waters off the Vogelkop Peninsula of New Guinea for antisubmarine patrol.

In the first days of the new year, she escorted a convoy to San Pedro Bay; then, on 6 January 1945, she departed Leyte to screen a convoy bound for Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. Japan, attempting to stop the mighty American naval force steaming northward, unleashed swarms of kamikaze planes. On 12 January, as Tinsman escorted a slow-moving group consisting of an oiler, tugs, and tows, enemy suicide planes attacked her convoy. During the day, the American ships fought off four Japanese attackers, splashing two enemy planes. On the 13th, Tinsman's guns opened up on yet another Japanese aircraft which soon went out of control and splashed. On the 14th, Tinsman anchored in Lingayen Gulf and retired the next day toward Leyte, arriving in San Pedro Bay on the 18th to prepare for the Bandings at Nasugbu, Luzon.

Tinsman departed Leyte Gulf on 27 January 1945 with Amphibious Group 8 and, on the 31st, arrived at Nasugbu Bay where troops of the llth Airborne Division landed without serious opposition. The real threat came that night as a large number of Japanese "Q-boats" attacked the American ships. Armed with impact bombs, these small, sinister craft swarmed out of the darkness and attempted to ambush Lough (DE-586) as she patrolled not far from Tinsman. Tinsman provided illumination enabling Lough to foil the attack, sinking at least six of the enemy vessels. Tinsman departed Luzon on 2 February in a convoy bound for Mindoro. Throughout February, she shuttled between Mangarin Bay and Nasugbu Bay on escort duty.

Early in March, she left Leyte Gulf, bound for New Guinea. After taking on stores at Hollandia, Tinsman returned to the Philippines and resumed escort duty. In mid-April, she made a voyage to the Palaus; and, in July, she varied her routine of convoy duty with visits to Ulithi and Hollandia before returning to the Philippines.

Although the war ended in August, Tinsman remained in the Far East, operating mainly in the Philippines. She also made voyages to Hollandia and Tientsin before setting course for home on 29 November. Steaming via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, she arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 18 December 1945.

She was later berthed at San Diego, where she was placed out of commission on 11 May 1946. On 15 May 1972, her name was struck from the Navy list; and, on 14 September 1973, her hulk was sold to Levin Metals Corporation, San Jose, Calif., for scrapping.

Tinsman received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Wed Apr 20 01:23:46 EDT 2016