Holder DE-401 - History


(DE-401: dp 1,200, 1 80fi': b. 36'7"; dr, 8'7" i s. 21 k.;
cpl. 186, a. 3 3" 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 2 act, 8 dcp, 1 dcp
(hh), 3 21" tt.; cf. Edsall)

The first Holder (DE 401) was launched by Brown Ship building Co., Houston, Tex., 27 November 1943; sponsorefl by Mrs. Annette Holder, mother of Lieutenant ( junior grade) Holder, and commissioned 18 January 1944, Lt. Comdr. G. Cook in command.

After completion of her shakedown cruise, nolder departed 24 March escorting a convoy bound for Mediterranean ports. Proceeding along the coast of Algeria the convoy was followed 10 and 11 April by German planes and Just before midnight 11 April it was attacked by torpedo bombers. Holder and the other escorts immediately opened flre and began making smoke, but a torpedo struck the escort vessel amidships on the port side, causing two heavy explosions. Though fires spread and flooding was serious. Holder's crew remained at their guns to drive off the attackers without damage to the convoy. Alert damage control kept the ship seaworthy and she arrived in tow at Oran for repairs. There it was decided to tow her to New York, where she arrived safely 9 June 1944. She decommissioned at New York Navy Yard 13 September 1944, and the forward part of her hull was used to repair Menges ( DE~20) . The remainder was sold for scrap to John A. Witte, Station Island, N.Y., 19 June 1947.

Holder received one battle star for World War II service.

Holder DE-401 - History

James Dennis - N4RKR - NAQCC # 3186

I received my first call letters, WB3EOT while living in Chambersburg, PA. While living in Hartford, CT I changed my call to N1BRA, not a good call for a man (BRA.) Upon moving to Florida I changed to N4RKR while living in Dunedin, FL. I liked calling it "Running Kilowatt Radio." I spent three years in the USNR having served on the USS Holder DE 401 that took a torpedo off the coast of Algiers in 1944. It was towed back to the U.S. and welded together with the USS Grange to one unit. My second ship, USS Williams DE 372, was caught in a typhoon off Okinawa and towed back to the United States. We took the biggest roll in history and still survived. We capsized but God pushed us back up to an even keel.

I have been a letter pressman for 40 years and after computers took over the trade I went into security from which I retired at the end of January.

Holder DE-401 - History

History of

The second Stockdale (DE-399) was laid down on 15 July 1942 launched on 22 November 1942 sponsored by Mrs. L.C. Stockdale and commissioned on 31 December 1943 Lieutenant Commander R.W. Luther USNR, in command.

Stockdale held her shakedown cruise off Bermuda during February and underwent a short yard period at Charleston, South Carolina in March before proceeding to Norfolk, Virginia. The escort was assigned to escort Division 58. The division sailed from Norfolk on 24 March with convoy UGS 37 bound for North Africa. The convoy consisted of 60 merchant ships and six LST's. On 17 April, the convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe as it neared Algeria. A mixed force of Donniers and Junkers made bombing runs on the convoy and the escorts. No merchant ships of the convoy were damaged, but Holder (DE-401) was torpedoed and badly damaged. Stockdale escorted two more convoys to the Mediterranean and returned with GUS 51 in early October.

On 22 October 1944, Stockdale began escorting convoys to the United Kingdom and the continent. Between that date and May 1945 she made five round-trip voyages. Her last convoy duty ended at Brooklyn, New York, and she entered the navy yard there for a major overhaul in preparation for duty in the Pacific. Stockdale held gunnery exercises at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while en route to Hawaii. The Panama Canal was transited on 8 July, and Stockdale arrived at Pearl Harbor on 25 July. Additional
training exercises were conducted until the end of August.

Stockdale sailed for Honshu, Japan on 1 September as escort for the carrier Matanikua (CVE-101). After a brief stay in Japanese home waters, the ship sailed for Guam and operated as a weather station ship. She then researched the Admiralty Islands for missing service personnel, and made strategic bombing surveys at Rabaul, New Britain, before being ordered back to the east coast in January 1946.

Stockdale arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 11 February for yard availability prior to inactivation. She arrived at Green Cove Springs, Florida, on 21 March and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Stockdale was decommissioned on 15 June 1946 and was placed out of commission in reserve until struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1972.

Stockdale received one battle star for World War II service.

Submitted by:
Robert M. Eaton, RT/ET 1/c, Plankowner
Aboard DE 399 from commissioning in December of 1943 until September 1945.

Holder DE-401 - History

The following DEs were destroyed or damaged beyond repair and were removed from US Navy service, thus "Lost". DEs that were damaged but returned to service are not listed here.

Various resources offer conflicting data as to the number of men lost on DEs 136 and 682. The numbers presented here are based upon the comparison of resources and additonal information provided by Pat Perrella, USS Slater volunteer.

October 22, 2002 - Pat Perrella provided the following information:
The figures I was able to substantiate while working with the F. C. DAVIS survivors, including
Dr. Lundeberg, are : Total crew 192 - Total listed as dead or missing 115 (including the CO, XO and 9 other officers) 77 survivors including 3 officers.
Don Kruse, an UNDERHILL survivor is one of our USS Slater volunteers and he stands firmly behind the figure of 112 KIA during the 24 July 1945 sinking.

See the Roll of Honor for the names of DE sailors lost in service aboard ship

(1) former credit for the torpedo attack was given to U-765. USS Donnell was returned to USN service, but as IX-182

Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House, NY
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, Washington.
Andrews, Lewis M., Jr. (1999) Tempest, Fire & Foe, Destroyer Escorts in World War II and The Men Who Manned Them. Narwhal Press, Charleston, SC.
Philip K. Lundeberg, Phd. is Curator Emeritus of Naval History at the Smithsonian Instutition. He received his doctorate from Harvard and joined the Institution after teaching at St. Olaf and the US Naval Academy. He first probed "Operation Teardrop" events in May 1945 interviewing fellow survivors of FREDERICK C. DAVIS DE-136 prior to preparation of numerous condolence letters and its final action report.
US Navy official reports

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Lansdale departed Boston 18 January 1941 for neutrality patrol duty in the Caribbean. She cruised off Cuba, the Virgin Islands, Martinique, and the British West Indies before returning to Boston 6 March. After escort training along the Atlantic coast, she screened transports from Charleston, S.C., to Argentia, Newfoundland, in late June, then departed Argentia 30 June on a neutrality-patrol run to Iceland. During the remainder of the year she made three escort runs between Newfoundland and Iceland. En route to Hvalfjordur, Iceland, when the United States entered the war against the Axis, she steamed to Boston 15 to 24 December.

Lansdale escorted seven troopships from New York to Key West. 22 to 27 January 1942 before arriving Casco Bay, Maine, 1 February to serve as plane guard for Wasp (CV 7). For the next 6 months ASW patrols and escort run carried her from the eastern seaboard to Iceland, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, and the Gulf of Mexico. From 8 to 21 May she patrolled the Atlantic between Puerto Rico and Bermuda with Savannah (CL-42) and Juneau (CL-52), after which she resumed convoy screening out of Norfolk.

On 9 August Lansdale joined a convoy out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, bound for northern Ireland. Arriving Lisahally the 18th, she returned as escort from Greenock, Scotland, to New York 27 August to 5 September. After escorting another convoy from New York via Halifax to northern Ireland, she returned to New York 10 to 21 October as screen for Arkansas (BB-33), then departed 2 November with Task Force 38 to escort convoy UGF-2 to north Africa. Arriving Safi, French Morocco, 18 November, she patrolled approaches to Safi and Casablanca until 22 December when she sailed for New York in a convoy of 41 transports and six escorts.

Reaching New York 10 January 1943, she underwent overhaul until 30 January when she departed with a convoy for northern Ireland. She reached Londonderry 9 February, joined with units of the 42d British Escort Group, and departed 15 February to escort tankers from the United Kingdom to the West Indies. As the convoy steamed south of the Azores on the 23d, a German wolf pack of 6 to 10 submarines made early morning and late night attacks that sank three tankers and damaged two others. Lansdale made several ASW counterattacks without known results but two nights later she hit a submerging U-boat with 5-inch gunfire. Although scattered night attacks continued until the 27th, prompt, aggressive counterattacks by American escorts prevented further losses.

Lansdale arrived Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, 6 March as escort for SS Maasyerk before proceeding 8 to 9 March to Curaçao, Netherland West Indies, for more escort duty. From 20 March until 6 October she made eight escort runs between the Caribbean and the United Kingdom, three convoy runs between Curaçao and New York, and periodic escort and patrol runs to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Continuing escort duty out of Norfolk, Lansdale made a run to Casablanca and back between 3 November and 17 December before sailing again for north Africa 13 January 1944. She reached Casablanca 1 February and continued the next day via Oran and Algiers to Tunis where she arrived the 10th. After escorting Brooklyn (CL-40) to Algiers, she arrived Pozzouli, Italy, 14 February for operations off the Anzio beachhead. Until returning to Oran 22 to 26 March, she searched for German submarines and screened Philadelphia (CL-41) during fire support and shore bombardment operations from Naples to Anzio.

Lansdale departed Oran 10 April and joined convoy UGS-37, composed of 60 merchant ships and six LSTs, bound from Norfolk to Bizerte. At 2330 on 11 April some 16 to 25 German Dornier and Junkers bombers attacked the convoy off Cape Bengut, Algeria. During the next hour the planes lit the night with flares and struck at the tightly formed convoy with torpedoes and radio-controlled bombs. Although Holder (DE-401) took a torpedo hit amidships, warning of an impending attack, an effective smokescreen, and massive, accurate antiaircraft fire repulsed the enemy planes. While losing four planes, the Germans failed to sink a single ship.

Leaving UGC-37 on 12 April, Lansdale escorted three merchant ships from Oran to westbound convoy UGS-36. Then she sailed from Oran 18 April to join UGS-38 the next day. Stationed off the port bow of the Bizerte-bound convoy, she served as a &ldquojam ship&rdquo against radio-controlled bombs, in addition to screening against U-boats. As the ships hugged the Algerian coast during first watch 20 April, they approached approximately the same position off Cape Bengut where the Luftwaffe had attacked UGS-37 on 11 to 12 April. Though warned of possible attack during the afternoon and evening, the ships had little chance to avoid the strike unleashed by the Germans shortly after 2100.

Attacking as twilight faded, the enemy planes, flying close to shore and low over the water, evaded radar detection until they were almost upon the convoy. Some 18 to 24 Junkers and Heinkel bombers struck in three waves, minutes after Joseph E. Campbell (DE-70) of the outer screen reported, &ldquothey are all around me . . . they are enemy, they are enemy.&rdquo

The first wave of about nine JU-88s attacked from dead ahead. Their torpedoes damaged SS Samite and detonated high explosives on board SS Paul Hamilton, blowing her out of the water and killing all 580 men on board. The second wave of about seven Junkers hit the starboard flank of the convoy and damaged two more merchant ships, one fatally. And the third, consisting of about five HE-111s, bore down on the convoy&rsquos port bow, Lansdale&rsquos station.

Silhouetted by the explosion of Paul Hamilton at 2104, Lansdale was attacked from both port and starboard by planes from two and possibly three waves. As Heinkels approached on the port bow and launched two torpedoes that missed, Lansdale turned to starboard to repel five JU-88s which had veered seaward from the convoy. Her guns hit one as it passed down the starboard side but, as it splashed well astern, another launched a torpedo 500 yards on the starboard beam before passing over the forecastle under heavy fire and splashing on the port quarter.

The torpedo struck the starboard side forward about 2106, wrecking the forward fireroom and opening both sides to the sea. Almost split in two, Lansdale immediately took a 12° list to port. Her rudder jammed 22° right, and she steamed at 13 knots in a clockwise circle.

At 2112 she again came under attack. Two bombers launched torpedoes on the beam and broad on the bow to port but both missed the still-turning ship. Despite the increasing list, her guns splashed one of the planes as it turned away from the ship.

At 2120 the course of the ship straightened out, but the list increased steadily. Within 2 minutes it reached 45° despite the valiant efforts of her crew to control the battle damage. Her skipper, Lt. Comdr. D. M. Swift, ordered her abandoned when he feared the stricken ship might roll &ldquocompletely over.&rdquo By 2130 the list had increased to 80° and the destroyer began to break up. Five minutes later she broke in half, and the stern section quickly sank. The forward section sank 20 minutes later as Menges (DE-320) and Newell (DE-322) began rescue operations.

The two destroyer escorts swept the water from 2155 until 0330 the next morning searching for survivors. Menges picked up 115 men, including two German fliers who were shot down either by Lansdale or Newell. Newell rescued 119 survivors, including Lieutenant Commander Swift. Forty-seven officers and men were carried down with Lansdale.


The recession of the late 19th century hit the US. Knight riders went out in the dark, burning the homes of African Americans who bought their own land. They rode up to Washington to demand change as southern white Democrats rolled back many of the albeit limited freedoms from Reconstruction just a couple of decades before.

The Jim Crow era of segregation forbade African Americans from drinking from the same water fountains, eating at the same restaurants or attending the same schools as white Americans – all lasting until, and sometimes well past, the 1960s.


Edward Max Price was born on 20 June 1916 in Richmond, Virginia. He was appointed Midshipman on 16 July 1935, commissioned Ensign on 1 June 1939, and promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) on 1 November 1941. He served on board USS Lexington and was killed in action in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942.

Price was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas, 24 August 1943 launched 30 October 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Ray P. Reynolds and commissioned 12 January 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. W. Higgins, Jr., USNR, in command.

World War II Edit

Battle of the Atlantic Edit

After shakedown off Bermuda, Price departed Norfolk, Virginia, on convoy escort duty 23 March. On the night of 11 April German planes attacked in force, leaving USS Holder (DE-401) dead in the water from a torpedo hit. Price shot down one plane, then escorted Holder, towed by rescue tug HMS Mindful, into Algiers, before continuing on to Bizerte, Tunisia. She then escorted a return convoy to the United States, subsequently escorting two more convoys to Bizerte.

On 28 September, she was detached from task force TF 65, and with the rest of Escort Division 58, was assigned to task group TG 21.7 and duty escorting vital convoys across the stormy North Atlantic. By 29 May 1945 she had escorted five convoys across the Atlantic and back.

Pacific War Edit

With the end of European hostilities she was transferred to the Pacific and arrived Pearl Harbor 27 July. On 31 August she got underway for Eniwetok as plane guard and escort for USS Kula Gulf (CVE-108) . She subsequently put into Ulithi, Guam, and Okinawa. On 6 December she departed Guam for Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima where she established the military occupation of the Bonin and Volcano Islands.

She departed Chichi Jima 9 January 1946 on a "Magic Carpet" run to the United States. Embarking veterans at Iwo Jima, Guam, and Pearl Harbor, she carried them to San Pedro, California, then sailed for the East Coast. She reached Boston, Massachusetts, 21 February, and in late March headed south to Green Cove Springs, Florida. Decommissioned 16 May 1947, she remained there, a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until reactivated in 1955.

Cold War Edit

Converted to a radar picket escort on her reactivation, she was redesignated DER–332, 21 October 1955. Price recommissioned at New York 1 August 1956 and reported for duty with CortRon 18 at Newport, Rhode Island, 11 September. For the next three and a half years she patrolled the Atlantic Barrier from north of Newfoundland, and south from the English Channel to the Azores. This duty was interrupted by a schedule of training cruises to waters off Cuba, Bermuda, and, the Virginia Capes and in December 1959 by SAR duty for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s flight home from Paris.

Decommissioning and fate Edit

She was placed in commission in reserve at Orange, Texas, 1 April 1960 and was decommissioned there 30 June 1960. She remained in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy List on 1 August 1974. She was sold for scrapping 12 March 1975.

USS Breckinridge (DD-148/ AG-112)

USS Breckinridge (DD-148/ AG-112) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on convoy escort and anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic.

The Breckinridge was named after Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, a junior naval officer who was drowned on 11 February 1898 while serving on USS Cushing (Torpedo Boat No.1).

The Breckinridge was launched on 17 August 1918 and commissioned on 27 February 1919. She joined the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, then based at Guantanamo Bay. Her main duty during this period was to help with development of sonar. She was decommissioned on 30 June 1922.

The Breckinridge was recommissioned in May 1930 and joined the Scouting Force on the East Coast. Towards the end of 1932 she accompanied the Scouting Force when it moved to the West Coast, and for the next few years she operated in a vast area that stretched from Alaska to Hawaii.

In May-September 1936 the Breckinridge was allocated to Training Squadron 10, operating off the east coast and in Cuban waters. She was then decommissioned for the second time in September 1936.

The Breckinridge was recommissioned in September 1939, and joined Division 66 of the Atlantic Squadron, part of the Neutrality Patrol. In December 1940 she joined the Inshore Patrol. From May 1941 she was based at Key West, Florida, where she conducted a mix of patrols and underwater experiments.

The Breckinridge served on the Caribbean Sea Frontier until December 1943, carrying out a mix of patrol and escort duties.

In December 1943 she joined the Atlantic Fleet and was allocated to TG 21.13, an hunter-killer anti-submarine group. She only took part in one operation with this group, which lasted from mid January-27 February 1944. The group was then dissolved.

On 22 March she joined TF 65, the escort for a convoy heading for the Atlantic. The trans-Atlantic crossing was peaceful, but on 11-12 April the convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe and USS Holder (DE-401) was damaged.

The Breckinridge returned to Boston on 11 May. From 27 May 1944 until 7 February 1945 she served from Guantanamo Bay, once again serving with the Caribbean Sea Frontier.

At the start of April 1945 the Breckinridge became the flagship of Destroyer Division 54 of the Atlantic Fleet, based at New London, Conn, but this would be a short-lived appointment. On 30 June she became a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG-112), and departed to the Pacific, reaching San Diego on 21 August. She operated with Carrier Division 12 as a plane guard and escort vessel for the rest of her career.

The Breckinridge was decommissioned on 30 November 1945 and sold for scrap on 31 October 1946.

The Breckingridge earned one battle star during the Second World War, for the attack on Convoy UGS-37 on 11-12 April 1944