From the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Volume 1 (1959; reprinted with corrections 1964).

Bering Strait

Bering Strait, between Siberia and Alaska, connects the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea.

(AVP-34: dp. 1766; l. 310'9"; b. 41'2"; dr. 13'6"; s. 18.2 k.; cpl. 215; a. 1 5"; cl. Barnegat)

Bering Strait was launched 15 January 1944 by Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. George F. Cornwall, and commissioned 19 July 1944 Commander W. D. Innis in command.

Following shakedown off the west coast and a training period in Hawaiian waters, Bering Strait proceeded to the Marianas where she served as a tender to a squadron of air-sea rescue planes (4-15 March). She then moved with


her squadron to Okinawa where she remained until 30 December. Between 15 March and 30 December Bering Strait's planes rescued 193 airmen and sailors. Bering Strait went out of commission in reserve at Alameda, Calif., 21 June 1946 and was loaned to the Coast Guard 14 September 1948.

Bering Strait received three battle stars for her World War II service.

Berkeley County (LST-279) see LST-279


Berkshire is a county in Massachusetts.


(AP: dp. 2300; l. 250'; b. 36'6"; dr. 20'; s. 12 k.; cpl. 86)

Berkshire (No. 1578), a passenger vessel, was built in 1881 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; chartered by the Shipping Board and delivered to the Navy 1 April 1918; and commissioned 24 April 1918, Lieute nant C. C. Jones, USNR, in command.

Assigned to the 3rd Naval District, Berkshire operated in Long Island Sound instructing personnel of the Emergency Fleet Corporation and the Navy in mine sweeping techniques and operations, until decommissioned and returned to her former owner 2 2 March 1919 at New York.

Berkshire (APR-2) was canceled 12 March 1943 before construction.

Berkshire County (LST-288) see LST-288

Bermingham, John M. (DE-530) see John M. Bermingham (DE-530)


Bermuda is a group of islands in the North Atlantic.

(ScStr: T. 1238; l. 211'; b. 21'7"; dr. 16'8"; s. 11 k.; a. 1 9" S. B., 2 30-pdr. R.)

Bermuda, an iron-hulled supply steamer, was built in 1861 by Pearse and Lockwood, Stockton-on-Tees, England; captured by Mercedita near Grand Abaco Island, 27 April 1862; purchased from the Philadelphia Prize Court 14 October 1862; and commissioned 13 May 1863, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant J. W. Smith in command.

Bermuda served as a supply and dispatch vessel with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron from 1863 to 1865. She took five prizes and recaptured one. Following her return to Philadelphia, she was sold 21 September 1865.

Berndon, Lake see Lake Berndon



Born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1858, John Baptiste Bernadou graduated from the Academy in 1880. He was promoted ten numbers for gallantry in action while commanding Winslow at Cardenas, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Commander Bernadou died in New York in 19 08.

(DD-153: dp. 1154; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'; s. 35 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Wickes)

Bernadou was launched 7 November 1918 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Cora Winslow Bernadou, Commander Bernadou's sister; and commissioned 19 May 1919, Lieutenant Commander L. G. Farle y in command.

Following a cruise to Europe during the summer of 1919, Bernadou joined Division 19, Atlantic Fleet, and cruised along the east coast until placed out of commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard 1 July 1922. She joined Squadron 7, Scouting Force, af ter recommissioning 1 May 1930. Out of service September 1936-October 1939, she then rejoined the fleet for service with Destroyer Division 6, Atlantic Squadron, on Neutrality Patrol.

She helped convoy the Marines to Iceland (1-7 July 1941) and, except for one crossing to Britain, remained on the Newfoundland-Iceland convoy run until the fall of 1942. On 25 October 1942 she departed Norfolk, Va. to take part in the invasion of North Africa (8-11 November). She won a Presidential Unit Citation for landing assault troops inside the harbor of Safi, French Morocco.

Returning to Boston 26 November she remained on east coast convoy duty until February 1943. Bernadou made a convoy run to Gibraltar during March and April and on 10 May departed Norfolk for Oran, Algeria. She operated from Oran until December 19 43 during which time she took part in the occupation of Sicily (9-12 July); Salerno landings (9-10 and 21-23 September), and escorted Mediterranean convoys.

She returned to the United States in December 1943 and escorted two convoys to North Africa (22 February-9 June 1944) before retiring to the less rigorous east coast-Caribbean runs. From October 1944 to May 1945 she served as plane guard and escort ves sel during carrier exercises off the east coast. She arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard 8 June 1945; was decommissioned 17 July; and sold 30 November 1945.

In addition to her Presidential Unit Citation, Bernadou received five battle stars for her World War II service.

Bernalillo County (LST-306) see LST-306


Berrien is a county in Georgia and Michigan.

(APA-62: dp. 4247; l. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 17 k.; cpl. 370; a. 1 5"; cl. Gilliam)

Berrien (APA-62) was launched 20 May 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. Jack Love; transferred to the Navy 7 October 1944, and commissioned the following day, Lieut enant Commander J. M. Gallagher, USNR, in command.

Berrien joined the Pacific Fleet, arriving at Pearl Harbor 30 November 1944. Departing Pearl Harbor 27 January 1945 she steamed westward to take part in the occupation of Iwo Jima (16 February-4 March) and Okinawa (11-16 April). After making a v oyage from Saipan to the Solomons, New Caledonia, and Guam (4 June-2 July), Berrien returned to San Francisco, arriving 23 July. She made two trans-Pacific voyages out of San Francisco (17 August 1945-1 January 1946 and 16 January-6 March 1946). De commissioned at Pearl Harbor 17 May 1946 she was returned to the Maritime Commission 12 August 1947.

Berrien received two battle stars for her service during World War II.

Berry, Charles (DE-1035) see Charles Berry (DE-1035)

Berry, Fred T. (DD-858) see Fred T. Berry (DD-858)


Berwyn is a town in Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma.

(AK: dp. 10,570; l. 391'10"; b. 52'; dr. 24'; s. 11 k.; cpl. 51; a. 1 5", 1 3")

Berwyn, a cargo vessel, was built in 1918 by Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Md.; transferred from the Shipping Board 28 September 1918; and commissioned the


same day, Lieutenant Commander C. Etzweiler, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Berwyn carried Army supplies to France. Decommissioned at Brooklyn, N. Y., 10 May 1919, she was returned to the Shipping Board the same day.


Beryl, a gem, is a very hard silicate of beryllium and aluminum.

(PY-23: dp. 1029; l. 225'; b. 34'; dr. 13'5"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 66; a. 2 3"; cl. Beryl)

Beryl (PY-23) was launched in 1929 by Pusey and Jones Co., Wilmington, Del., as the yacht Rene; acquired from the Maritime Commission 13 December 1941; fitted out by Brewer Dry Dock Co. Staten Island, N. Y.; commissioned 17 March 1942, Li eutenant Commander C. A. Thorwald, USNR, in command; and assigned to the Pacific Fleet.

Beryl transited the Panama Canal 26 April and, after repairs at San Diego, Calif., arrived at Pearl Harbor 28 June 1942. She patrolled and escorted local convoys in the Hawaiian Islands until assigned weather duty in October 1943. On this duty t he yacht initially operated out of Pearl Harbor but in July 1944 shifted her base to Mid-way Island. She returned to Pearl Harbor 10 July 1945 for repairs and remained there until returning to the west coast. Arriving at San Francisco 20 November 1945, sh e was decommissioned there 25 January 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission 14 October 1946.


Besboro is an island in Norton Sound, Alaska.

(AG-66: dp. 1716; l. 300'; b. 44'; dr. 21'2"; s. 9 k.; cpl. 60; a. 2 3"; cl. Camanga)

Besboro (AG-66) was built in 1918 by Albina Engine and Machine Works Inc., Portland, Oreg., as Caddopeak (later renamed Lurline Burns); purchased by the Navy 8 June 1943; and commissioned 22 September 1943, Lieutenant Comman der R. M. Baughman, USNR, in command.

From 14 October 1943 to 12 April 1946 Besboro carried cargo, and occasionally troops, between Seattle and Alaska. She was decommissioned 3 May 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission 1 July 1946.


Besoeki is a town in Java.

(AK: dp. 8414; l. 358'; b. 44'6"; dph. 28'5"; s. 9 k.; cpl. 70; a. 1 5", 1 3")

Besoeki was built in 1901 by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, Germany, for Dutch owners; taken over by the United States under the 20 March 1918 Presidential Proclamation; transferred to the Navy 2 April 1918; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant C ommander T. Hillgrove, USNRF, in command.

Besoeki was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and carried cargo to European ports until decommissioned and returned to her owners at Rotterdam, Holland, 14 June 1919.


Besugo is a fish of the porgie family.

(SS-321: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 16'10"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66, a. 1 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Balao)

Besugo (SS-321) was launched 27 February 1944 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. P. J. Homer; and commissioned 19 June 1944, Commander T. L. Wogan in command.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, Besugo arrived at Pearl Harbor 25 July 1944. She made five war patrols between 26 September 1944 and 25 July 1945 operating in Bungo and Makassar Straits, Java Sea, and South China Sea. During these patrols Besu go sank the German submarine U-183, 23 April 1945 in 0457' S., 11252' E.; one 10,020-ton tanker; one LSV, one frigate, and a minesweeper totaling 2260 tons.

Besugo departed Fremantle 29 August and arrived at San Diego, Calif., 26 September 1945. After an overhaul she returned to the Central Pacific, operating out of Guam until transferred to Pearl Harbor 6 May 1946. She remained based at Pearl Harbo r for the next eight years during which time she made two Far Eastern tours (10 June-21 September 1947 and 31 October 1950-11 April 1951). In August 1954 Besugo shifted her base of operations to San Diego and since that time has operated along the west coast.

Besugo received four battle stars for her World War II service and one for Korea.


Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet.

(AT: T. 50; l. 70'; b. 16'; dr. 7'; s. 10 k.; cpl. 14)

Beta (also known as J. E. Bazely, Bazely, and Tug No. 2) was purchased by the Navy at Philadelphia 3 June 1864.

She was sent south soon after her purchase for service in the James River and at Hampton Roads, Va. On 27 July she left Hampton Roads for New Berne, N. C., where she served as a tug. Bazely participated in the capture of Plymouth, N. C., 31 Octo ber 1864. Her commanding officer Acting Ensign Mark D. Ames, was commended for his intelligent and gallant conduct during this action and recommended for promotion. She later accompanied the expedition against Rainbow Bluff during which she was sunk by a torpedo in the Roanoke River 10 December 1864.


Betelgeuse is a star in the constellation Orion.


(AK-28: dp. 7476; l. 459'1"; b. 63'; dr. 26'5"; s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 267; a. 4 5"; cl. Arcturus)

Betelgeuse (AK-28) was launched 18 July 1939 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Mormaclark; purchased by the Navy 29 May 1941; converted by Brewer Dry Dock Co., Staten Island, N. Y.; and commissioned 14 June 1941, Comm ander H. D. Power in command.

Betelgeuse operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean with the Atlantic Fleet through 1941. During 19 February-25 March 1942 she made one voyage from New York to Great Britain and return, and then departed for Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 9 April. After unloading at Tongatabu (8 May-7 June), she proceeded to San Diego, Calif., and Pearl Harbor to embark Marine equipment for the invasion of Guadalcanal. Unloading her cargo at Guadalcanal and Tulagi (30 August-2 September) Betelgeuse r emained in the South Pacific hauling supplies to Guadalcanal from Espiritu Santo and Efate, New Hebrides; Noumea, New Caledonia; and Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand, until departing for San Pedro, Calif., 25 December 1942.

Between 10 January and 17 February 1943 she underwent overhaul and repairs at San Pedro and Long Beach, Calif. She was reclassified AKA-11, 1 February 1943. Betelgeuse departed San Diego 18 February, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Ch arleston, S. C., 8 March to rejoin the Atlantic Fleet. Following additional training she departed Norfolk 10 May for the Mediterranean. During 6-12 July she took part in the invasion


of Sicily and then returned to the United States for repairs. She arrived at Norfolk 14 August 1943 and remained there under repair until April 1944. Departing for the Mediterranean 4 May, she ferried supplies from North Africa to Italy and France unti l 25 October.

Betelgeuse arrived at Philadelphia 10 November 1944 and departed New Year's Day 1945 for Pearl Harbor where she arrived on the 24th. Proceeding to the Russell Islands, she loaded cargo (19-27 February) and, after training exercises, took part in the invasion of Okinawa (1-9 April). Returning to San Francisco 12 May, she spent the next two months shuttling cargoes between there and Pearl Harbor. Departing San Francisco 22 August she steamed to the Philippines and loaded troops at Batangas, Luzon (20-25 September) for the occupation of Japan. After landing her troops at Otaru, Hokkaido (5-7 October) she returned to Samar, Philippine Islands, to load Seabees for Tientsin, China. Delivering her passengers 10 November, Betelgeuse returned to t he west coast, arriving at San Francisco 20 December. She departed 28 December for New York, was decommissioned there 15 March 1946; and sold 27 June 1946.

Betelgeuse received six battle stars for her participation in World War II.


(AK-260. dp. 4960; l. 455'3"; b. 62'; dr. 28'6"; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 250; a. 4 40 mm.; cl. Greenville Victory)

The second Betelgeuse (AK-260) was launched 10 April 1944 by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington Calif. as Columbia Victory under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Sra. G. Rostreto; transferred to the Navy 3 August 1951; and commissioned 15 April 1952, Commander L. A. Parker in command.

Betelgeuse has since served with the Atlantic Fleet operating out of Norfolk, Va., on coastwise, Caribbean, and Mediterranean supply runs.

Bethang (PC-620) see PC-62O


Beukelsdijk is a town in the Netherlands.

(AK: dp. 13,740; l. 440'2"; b. 62'; dph. 26'1"; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 62; a. 1 3")

Beukeledijk (No. 3135), a collier, was built in 1903 by William Doxford and Sons, Ltd., Sunderland, England, as Grangesberg (later renamed Beukeledijk), taken over from her Dutch owners at San Juan, P. R., 21 March 1918 in accordan ce with the President's proclamation of the previous day, and commissioned the same day, Ensign F. L. Stiles, NNV, in command.

Beukeledijk was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and placed on the South American run carrying coal to Latin America and returning with coffee. Early in 1919 she carried a cargo of cotton and oil from Galveston, Tex., to Le Havre, France. While discharging cargo one of her boilers exploded, killing two men. After repairs to her boilers she sailed to Rotterdam, Holland, where she was returned to her owners 18 May 1919 through the Shipping Board.

Beverly W. Reid

Born in New Orleans, La., 22 April 1917, Beverly W. Reid enlisted in the Navy in 1935. In 1940 upon completion of flight training he was appointed an Ensign. He won a Navy Cross during the Battle of Midway and was reported missing in action 24 August 1 942.

(APD-119: dp. 1390; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 12'7"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 204; a. 1 5"; cl. Crosley)

Originally designated DE-722, Beverly W. Reid was reclassified APD-119, 17 July 1944 and converted to a high speed transport during construction. She was launched 4 March 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd. Orange, Tex.; sponsor ed by Mrs. Eloise Ziegler, mother of Ensign Reid; and commissioned 25 June 1945, Lieutenant Commander G. D. Kissam in command.

Beverly W. Reid underwent shakedown and training with the Atlantic Fleet until arriving at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 27 November 1945. She was placed in commission in reserve there 1 September 1946 and went out of commission in res erve 5 May 1947.


Bexar is a county in Texas.

(APA-237: dp. 6720; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 18 k., cpl. 546; a. 1 5"; cl. Haskell)

Bexar (APA-237) was launched 25 July 1945 by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., under a Maritime Commission contract, sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Gunderson, acquired by the Navy 9 October 1945, and commissioned the same day, Captain A. M. K owalzyk, Jr., in command.

Upon completion of shakedown training, Bexar joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet. She returned troops from the Pacific until February 1946. After a brief tour of duty around San Diego during the early part of 1946, she was ordered to Pearl Harbor to prepare for Operation Cross-roads. In June Bexar proceeded to Bikini Atoll where she served as an equipment supply center.

In August she returned to the west coast and underwent radioactivity tests. In January 1947 she joined the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, based at Norfolk. Bexar operated along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until July 1950, making a Mediterranean cruise (January-February 1948) with Marines embarked.

Between March 1948 and July 1950 she participated in several amphibious exercises and Naval Reserve cruises along the east coast. In September 1949 she proceeded to the Hawaiian Islands for a large scale amphibious exercise. Returning to Norfolk in Dec ember, she resumed her role in the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet.

On 31 July 1950 Bexar departed Norfolk for the Mediterranean. In August she was ordered to embark Marines and proceed via the Suez Canal to Japan. Upon arrival, she proceeded to Korea where she participated in the Inchon (15 September) and Wonsa n (25 October) landings and the evacuation of Chinnampo and Inchon. Departing the Far East 6 January 1951 she proceeded to San Diego, arriving later in the month.

Between August 1951 and December 1953 Bexar made two more Far Eastern tours in support of Korean operations (August 1951-May 1952 and July-December 1953). During the latter she served as flagship for Operation Big Switch, the movement of prisone rs from Koje Do to Inchon, Korea.

Since that time Bexar has continued to operate with Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet. She made another tour of the Far East (23 October 1954-22 April 1955) during which she participated in the Tachen Islands evacuation.

Besar received three battle stars for her Korean service.


Born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1750, Nicholas Biddle was appointed a Captain in the Continental Navy in 1775. He had a brilliant career in command of Andrew Doria and Randolph and was killed when the latter blew up while engaging th e far larger HMS Yarmouth, 7 March 1778.


(TB-26: dp. 175; l. 157'; b. 17'8"; dr. 4'11"; s. 28.6 k.; cpl. 28; a. 3 1-pdr., 3 18" TT.; cl. Bagley)

Biddle (Torpedo Boat No. 26) was launched 18 May 1901 by Bath Iron Works, Ltd., Bath, Maine; sponsored by


Miss Emile B. Biddle, great-great-grandniece of Captain Biddle, and commissioned 26 October 1901, Lieutenant S. S. Robison is command.

Biddle departed Newport, R. I., 1 November 1901 for Port Royal; S. C., where she went into reserve. Following recommissioning 28 May 1902 she cruised with the Torpedo Boat Flotilla along the Atlantic coast and in the West Indies until January 19 03. She went into reserve again 16 February 1903 at Norfolk Navy Yard and remained there until recommissioned 14 May 1909. Biddle spent the summer cruising with the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet and then went into reserve at Charleston Navy Yard 18 Novemb er 1909. In October 1911 she shifted to the Reserve Flotilla Division at Annapolis, Md., and went into ordinary at the Naval Academy 13 March 1914.

After serving with the Pennsylvania Naval Militia (June-September 1915) Biddle reverted to the Annapolis Reserve Torpedo Division. Recommissioned 6 April 1917 she served in the 5th Naval District as a patrol and dispatch vessel at Norfolk. Bi ddle was renamed Coast Torpedo Boat No. 12, 1 August 1918. Ordered to Philadelphia Navy Yard in January 1919, she was decommissioned 12 March 1919 and sold 19 July 1920.


(DD-151: dp. 1154; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'; b. 35 k.; cpl. 159; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Wickes)

The second Biddle (DD-151) was launched 3 October 1918 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Miss Elise B. Robinson, a great-great-grandniece of Captain Biddle; and commissioned 22 April 1919, Co mmander C. T Blackburn in command.

Following her commissioning, Biddle made a cruise to the Mediterranean and returned to New York 1 July 1920. After assignment to Division 48, Atlantic Fleet, she cruised along the east coast until decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 20 June 1922. She remained laid up until recommissioned 16 October 1939. Until November 1940 she served on patrol duty with Destroyer Division 66, Atlantic Squadron, and on training duty with Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. She patrolled in the Caribbean under orders of the Commandant, 15th Naval District (November 1940 May 1941) and then rejoined Destroyer Division 66 patrolling out of Key West, Fla.

Biddle spent March 1942-February 1945 on convoy duty in the Caribbean except for two short periods. She formed part of anti-submarine TG 21.13 (18 January-27 February 1944) and escorted a convoy to North Africa (24 March-11 May 1944). During the latter mission, 11-12 April, while fighting off an air attack, she had seven men wounded by a strafing attack by a German plane. Biddle operated off the east coast, March-July 1945, on training exercises with motor torpedo boats. She was reclassif ied a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG-114) 30 June 1945 and arrived at Boston Navy Yard 15 July for conversion. Her conversion was completed just as the war with Japan ended and she remained at Boston until decommissioned 5 October 1945. She was sold 3 Decemb er 1946.

Biddle received one battle star for her service with Convoy UGS-37.

Biddle, William P. (AP-15) see William P. Biddle (AP-15)


Jean Baptiste de Bienville (1680-1768) was the founder of New Orleans, La., and first French governor of Louisiana.

(SwStr: T. 1558; l. 253'; b. 38'; dr. 16'2"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 185; a. 8 32-pdr. S. B., 1 30-pdr. R.; cl. Bienville)

Bienville, an armed side-wheel steamer, was built in 1860 by Lawrence and Foulkes, Brooklyn, N. Y.; purchased by the Navy 14 August 1861; and commissioned 23 October 1861, Commander C. Steedman in command.

Bienville reported to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and took part in the capture of Port Royal, S. C. (7 November 1861). After carrying the news of the fall of Port Royal to Hampton Roads, Va., she took up her blockading station off St. John's River, Fla. Remaining with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron into 1863, she took part in the blockades of Charleston, S. C.; Fernandina, Fla.; Wilmington, N. C.; and the capture of Fernandina (4 March 1862). Bienville captured 12 block ade runners (sharing one with Mohican) and forced the destruction of two others. During 1863-65 she served with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron taking part in the Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864) and blockading Galveston, Tex. She captured on e blockade runner while off Galveston. The steamer returned to Boston and was laid up until sold 5 October 1867.


Biesbosch was a merchant name retained.

(ARS: dp. 1100; l. 160'; b. 25'5"; dr. 12'6"; s. 8k.; cpl. 45; a. 1 3")

Biesbosch (No. 2499), a salvage steamer, was built in 1916 by J. P. Wilmink and Co., Groninjen, Holland; bare-boat chartered to the Navy by the Shipping Board 12 August 1918; and commissioned 18 November 1918, Lieutenant (Junior grade) E. M. Har ker, USNR, in command.

Biesbosch was assigned to the Southern Salvage Division, 7th Naval District, Key West, Fla., and arrived 21 December 1918. At various times she assisted vessels aground off the coasts of Florida and Georgia. On 27 April 1919 she arrived back in New York where she was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board 13 May 1919.

Big Black River (LSMR-401) see LSMR-401

Big Horn

Big Horn is a river in Montana and Wyoming.

(AO-45: dp. 4150; l. 426'4"; b. 64'2; dr. 27'9"; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 239; a. 2 3")

Big Horn (AO-45) was built in 1936 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Gulf Dawn; purchased by the Navy 31 March 1942, converted into a Q-ship by Boston Navy Yard, and commissioned 16 April 1942, Commander J. A. Gainard in command.

Big Horn operated in the eastern North Atlantic as a Q-ship from July 1942 to January 1944 without success. She was transferred to the Coast Guard 17 January 1944 and operated as a weather patrol vessel out of Newfoundland until returned to the Navy 1 February 1945.

Upon her re-acquisition by the Navy, Big Horn was redesignated IX-207 and assigned to Service Force, Pacific Fleet. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 8 April and proceeded to the Southwest Pacific where she served as a shuttle tanker, mainly between U lithi and the Philippines. She got underway for Japan 28 September 1945 and served as station tanker at Nagoya, Japan (3 October 1945-26 February 1946).

Returning to the United States, she was decommissioned 6 May 1946 in the 8th Naval District and transferred to the Maritime Commission 22 November 1946.

Big Horn River (LSMR-402) see LSMR-402


Born in Hebron, Ill., 12 July 1920, Elmer Charles Bigelow enlisted in the Navy 21 September 1942. On 15


February 1945 while engaged with Japanese forces off Corregidor Island, Philippine Islands, Fletcher (DD-445) was struck by an enemy projectile which penetrated a magazine and set fire to several powder cases. Bigelow, Water Tender, Second Class , entered the burning compartment and extinguished the fire. He died the following day of injuries sustained and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

(DD-942: dp. 2810; l. 418'6"; b. 45'; dr. 20'; cpl. 337; cl. Forrest Sherman)

Bigelow (DD-942) was launched 2 February 1957 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. Verna B. Perry, mother of Elmer C. Bigelow, and commissioned 1 November 1957, Commander A. H. McCain in command.


Bignonia is a genus of woody vines, popularly called the trumpet vine.

(ScTug: T. 321; l. 131'; b. 22'; dr. 10'8"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 50; a. 1 30-pdr. R., 2 12-pdr. S. B.)

Bignonia, a screw tug, was built in 1863 at Cleveland, Ohio, as Mary Crandy; purchased by the Navy 2 August 1864; and commissioned 14 September 1864, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant W. D. Roath in command.

Until April 1865, Bignonia served with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron as a tug. She was reassigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in April 1865. Ordered to return to New York in May 1865, she was decommissioned there and sold 12 Ju ly 1865.


Billfish is any fish, such as gar or spearfish, with bill-shaped jaws.

(SS-286: dp. 1526; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 16'10"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Balao)

Billfish (SS-286) was launched 12 November 1942 by Portsmouth Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. Lewis. Parks wife of Lieutenant Commander Parks; and commissioned 20 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander F. C. Lucas, Jr., in command.

Between 12 August 1943 and 27 August 1945 Billfish made eight war patrols out of Pearl Harbor. During these patrols she sank three freighters totaling 4074 tons and five smaller craft. Part of her seventh and eighth patrols were spent on plane g uard duty off Japan.

Billfish arrived at Pearl Harbor 27 August 1945 from her last war patrol and was ordered to the Atlantic. She arrived at New Orleans, La., 19 September and spent the next nine months in maneuvers and training. Following inactivation at Portsmout h Navy Yard (June-October 1946) she was towed to New London. Conn., by ATR-64 and went out of commission in reserve there 1 November 1946.

Billfish received seven battle stars for her World War II service.


Born in Winona, Miss., 24 April 1887, William Devotie Billingsley graduated from the Academy in 1909. One of the first Naval Aviators, Ensign Billingsley was killed in an airplane crash near Annapolis, Md., 20 June 1913.

(DD-293: dp. 1215; l. 314'4"; b. 31'9"; dr. 9'10"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Clemson)

Billingsley (DD-293) was launched 10 December 1919 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Squantum, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Irene Billingsley, sister of Ensign Billingsley; and commissioned 1 March 1920, Commander H. D. Cooke in command.

Billingsley joined Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, in operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean until the summer of 1920 when she made Naval Reserve training cruises. In reserve until June 1922 she then joined Division 26, Squadron 9, Destroyer Force, at Philadelphia. She cruised along the Atlantic coast until June 1924 when Division 26 joined U. S. Naval Forces, Europe. Billingsley cruised in European and Mediterranean waters for the next year and assisted refugees in the Near East. In the spring of 1925 she acted as plane guard for the North Atlantic crossing of the Army "Around-the-World Flight." Later in the year she returned home and resumed her routine activities along the east coast until the summer of 1929 when s he again made Naval Reserve cruises. Billingsley reported to Philadelphia Navy Yard in September 1929; was decommissioned 1 May 1930; and sold 17 January 1931.


Biloxi is a city in Mississippi.

(CL-80: dp. 10,000; l. 610'1"; b. 66'4"; dr. 26'6"; s. 33 k.: cpl. 992, a. 12 6", 12 5"; cl. Cleveland)

Biloxi (CL-80) was launched 23 February 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Mrs. Louis Braun; commissioned 31 August 1943, Captain D. M. McCurl in command; and reported to Cruiser Division 13, Paci fic Fleet.

From January 1944 until April 1945 Biloxi screened fast carrier task groups, bombarded shore installations and covered amphibious landings during the Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, seizure (31 January 8 February 1944); Truk raid (16-17 February); M arianas raids (21-22 February); Palau-Yap-Ulithi-Woleai raid (30 March-1 April); raids in support of the Hollandia, New Guinea landings (21-24 April); Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid (29 April-1 May); Saipan invasion (11-24 June); Battle of the Philippine Sea (1 9-20 June); 3rd Bonins raid (3-4 July); occupation of Guam (12 July-15 August); Chichi Jima bombardment (4 July); Palau-Yap-Ulithi raids (25-27 July); 4th Bonins raid (4-5 August); Volcanos-Bonins-Yap raid (31 August-8 September); occupation of the southe rn Palaus (6 September-14 October); Okinawa raid (10 October); northern Luzon and Formosa raids (11-14 October); Luzon raids (15 and 17-19 October, 5-6, 13-14, and 19-25 November, and 14-16 December); Battle for Leyte Gulf (24-26 October); Luzon raids (6- 7 January 1945); China coast raids (12 and 16 January); 5th Fleet raids on Honshu and the Nansei Shoto (15-16 and 25 February and 1 March); Iwo Jima invasion (15 February-1 March); and Okinawa operation (25 March-20 April). Biloxi was slightly dama ged by a Japanese suicide plane off Okinawa 27 March 1945 but continued in action delivering accurate anti-aircraft fire.

She departed the fighting area 27 April 1945 enroute to the west coast for overhaul. She headed westward again in July, took part in the attack on Wake Island (18 July), and arrived at Leyte 14 August. Following the surrender of Japan she assisted in t he evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Nagasaki. Remaining on occupation duty until 9 November 1945 she then proceeded to Pearl Harbor and the United States. She moved to Port Angeles, Wash., 15 January 1946 and reported to Commander, 19th Fleet, f or inactivation. On 18 May 1946 she was placed in commission in reserve at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and on 29 October 1946 went out of commission in reserve.

Biloxi received nine battle stars for her service in the Pacific during World War II.



Bingham is a county in Idaho.

(APA-225; dp. 6873; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 24'; s. 17.5 k.; cpl. 536; a. 1 5"; cl. Haskell)

Bingham (APA-225) was launched 20 November 1944 by Permanente Metals Co., Yard No. 1, Richmond, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. John V. Harrell; transferred to the Navy 23 December 1944; and commissioned the same day, Captain L. F. Brown, USNR, in command.

From 1 March to 22 September 1945 Bingham carried and cargo in the Marianas, with one voyage to Okinawa (20-30 June). She then shifted to "Magic Carpet" runs, returning servicemen from the Philippines to San Francisco (25 September 1945-31 March 1946). Decommissioned 17 June 1946, Bingham was returned to the Maritime Commission the next day.

Bingham received one battle star for her operations off Okinawa.

Birch (YN-3) see Boxwood (YN-3)

Bird, Frigate (AMc-27) see Frigate Bird (AMc-27)


Birgit is a celestial body.

(AKA-24: dp. 4087; l. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 15'6"; s. 17 k.; cpl. 303; a. 1 5"; cl. Artemis)

Birgit (AKA-24) was launched 18 July 1944 by Walsh-Kaiser Co., Inc., Providence, R. I., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. Ella A. Cunard; transferred to the Navy 28 October 1944; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant Co mmander G. J. Burke, USNR, in command.

From 6 December 1944 to 21 August 1945 Birgit carried cargo and passengers in the Marianas and Marshalls and then enlarged her area of operations to include the Philippines and Japan. She returned to San Francisco 1 January 1946 and arrived at N ew Orleans 18 February. Decommissioned there 15 March 1946, she was returned to the Maritime Commission 1 July 1946.


Birmingham is a city in Alabama.


(CL-2: dp. 3750; l. 423'1"; b. 47'1"; dr. 16'9"; s. 24.5 k.; cpl. 359; a. 2 5", 6 3", 2 21" TT.; cl. Chester)

Birmingham (CL-2) was launched 29 May 1907 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. L. Underwood; and commissioned 11 April 1908 Commander B. T. Wallin in command.

Birmingham served with the Atlantic Fleet until 27 June 1911 and went into reserve at Boston three days later. From her deck, 14 November 1910, Eugene Ely made the first airplane take-off from a warship. Recommissioned 15 December 1911 she made a short cruise to the West Indies and then reverted to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia 20 April 1912. During 19 May-11 July 1912 she was in commission for service on the Ice Patrol and then returned to the Philadelphia Reserve Group. Recommissi oned 1 October 1913 Birmingham carried the Panama-Pacific Exposition Commissioners on a South American tour (3 October-26 December 1913) and then was outfitted at Philadelphia Navy Yard as a tender to the Torpedo Flotilla.

She left the yard 2 February 1914 and resumed operations with the Atlantic Fleet as flagship of the Torpedo Flotilla. During 22 April-25 May 1914 she operated with the fleet in Mexican waters. In 1916 she became flagship of Destroyer Force Atlantic Fle et, and Torpedo Flotilla 3.

Following American entrance into World War I, Birmingham patrolled along the northeast coast until 14 June 1917 when she sailed from New York as part of the escort for the first American troop convoy to France. After returning to New York she was fitted for service in Europe and in August reported to Gibraltar as flagship for Rear Admiral A. P. Niblack, Commander, U. S. Forces Gibraltar. She escorted convoys between Gibraltar, the British Isles, and France until the Armistice. After a sho rt cruise in the eastern Mediterranean she returned to the United States in January 1919.

From July 1919 until May 1922 she was based at San Diego, Calif., as flagship of Destroyer Squadrons, Pacific Fleet, and then moved to Balboa, C. Z., as flagship of the Special Service Squadron. After cruising along the Central American and northern So uth American coast she returned to Philadelphia Navy Yard and was decommissioned there 1 December 1923. She was sold for scrapping 13 May 1930.


(CL-62: dp. 10,000; l. 610'1"; b. 66'4"; dr. 25'; s. 33 k.; cpl. 1200; a. 12 6", 12 5"; cl. Cleveland)

The second Birmingham (CL-62) was launched 20 March 1942 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Mrs. C. Green, wife of the President of the Birmingham City Commission; and commissioned 29 January 1943, Cap tain J. Wilkes in command.

Following her shakedown cruise Birmingham was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. Departing Norfolk, Va., 2 June 1943, she steamed to the Mediterranean and gave gunfire support during the invasion of Sicily (10-26 July 1943). Returning to the United States 8 August, she was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet and arrived at Pearl Harbor 6 September 1943.

Joining the fast carrier task force screen, she took part in the raids on Tarawa (18 September 1943) and Wake Island (5-6 October). At the Solomons, she took part in the action off Empress Augusta Bay (8-9 November), during which she destroyed the Japa nese plane which hit her with two bombs and a torpedo. The cruiser retired to Mare Island Navy Yard for repairs which lasted until 18 February 1944 and then rejoined the Pacific Fleet.

Assigned to TF 57, she took part in the invasion of Saipan (14 June-4 August 1944); Battle of the Philippine Sea (19-20 June); invasion of Tinian (20 July-1 August); invasion of Guam (21 July); and Philippine Islands raids (9-24 September). She then se rved with TF 38 during the Okinawa raid (10 October), northern Luzon and Formosa raids (15 and 18-19 October), and the Battle for Leyte Gulf (24 October). During the latter she suffered topside damage from explosions on board Princeton (CVL-23) whi le courageously attempting to aid that stricken vessel. Birmingham retired to Mare Island Navy Yard for repairs which lasted from November 1944 to January 1945.

Rejoining the Pacific Fleet, the cruiser supported the invasions of Iwo Jima (4-5 March 1945) and Okinawa (25 March-5 May). On 4 May, after fighting off three attacks, she was damaged for a third time when a Japanese suicide plane hit her forward. Retu rning to Pearl Harbor, she underwent repairs between 28 May and 1 August 1945.

Birmingham joined the 5th Fleet at Okinawa 26 August 1945 and in November steamed to Brisbane, Australia. She returned to San Francisco 22 March 1946 and went out of commission in reserve there 2 January 1947.

Birmingham received nine battle stars for her World War II service.



Bisbee is a city in Arizona.

(PF-46: dp. 1430; l. 303'11"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'8"; s. 19 k.; cpl. 180; a. 3 3"; cl. Tacoma.)

Bisbee (PF-46) was launched 7 September 1943 by Consolidated Steel Co., Ltd., Los Angeles, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Richard Murphy; and commissioned 15 February 1944, Commander J. P. German, USCG, in command.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, the Coast Guard manned Bisbee joined the 7th Fleet at Noumea, New Caledonia, 27 June 1944. She took part in the landings on Biak Island (12-31 August) and then patrolled off the New Guinea coast until October 1944. During the invasion of Leyte she served as a patrol and harbor control vessel until detached for escort duty 22 November. Bisbee returned to Pearl Harbor 15 December.

After undergoing repairs Bisbee departed Pearl Harbor 6 January 1945 for Dutch Harbor, Alaska, arriving on the 13th. From January to July she escorted merchant vessels and Army transports between Dutch Harbor, Adak, Amchitka, and Attu and acted as guardship for Fleet Air Wing 4 in the North Pacific Ocean.

On 6 July 1945 Bisbee, with Escort Division 43, departed Adak for Seattle, Wash., arriving 12 July. After undergoing repairs and conversion, the ship returned to Alaskan waters, arriving at Cold Bay, Alaska, 13 August. On 26 August 1945 Bisbe e was placed out of commission at Cold Bay and loaned to the U. S. S. R. the next day.

Returned by the Russians 1 November 1949, she lay at Yokosuka Navy Yard, Japan, until recommissioned 18 October 1950. Bisbee got underway for Korea 23 November 1950 and served on patrol, escort, and bombardment duty until 20 October 1951, with o ccasional voyages to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Pescadores. After repairs at Yokosuka, she was transferred to Colombia 13 February 1952 under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Bisbee received two battle stars for her World War II service and three for Korea.


Biscayne is a bay in Florida.

(AVP-11: dp. 1766; l. 310'9"; b. 41'1"; dr. 13'6"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 215; a. 2 5"; cl. Barnegat)

Biscayne (AVP-11) was launched 23 May 1941 by the Puget Sound Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. A. M. Charleton; and commissioned 3 July 1941, Lieutenant Commander C. C. Champion, Jr., in command.

Following her shakedown cruise, Biscayne joined the Atlantic Fleet and operated out of Boston on patrol and plane guard missions 7 December 1941-27 May 1942. For the next four months she served as a seaplane tender and communications ship in New foundland and Greenland waters. The tender departed Norfolk 17 October 1942 and after a short stop at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, moved to Freetown, Sierra Leone, with Patrol Squadron 92, arriving 2 November 1942. She moved to Casablanca, French Morocco, 18 Nov ember and remained there until 25 April 1943 supporting patrol squadrons.

Biscayne arrived at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, 26 April 1943 and became flagship of Rear Admiral R. L. Connolly, Commander, Landing Craft and Bases, Northwest African Waters. While at Mers-el-Kebir she was fitted out as an amphibious force flagship by Delta (AR-9), 2-31 May 1943. She was not reclassified AGC-18 until 10 October 1944. In May she shifted her moorings to Bizerte, Tunisia. Departing 10 July 1943, she served as flagship of the Joss (Licata) Force in the invasion of Sicily. Bis cayne remained off Sicily until 22 July and then returned to Bizerte.

During 9 September-11 October 1943 Biscayne took part in the landings at Salerno, Italy, as flagship for Admiral Connolly and Vice Admiral H. K. Hewitt. While off Salerno, she escaped unscathed from frequent air and gunfire attacks. On 12 Septem ber she sent a fire and rescue team on board the British ammunition ship Lyninge and saved that vessel and her cargo of ammunition from destruction. Biscayne also served as a temporary hospital ship while off Salerno.

Biscayne retired to Bizerte 11 October 1943 and on 7 November 1943 became flagship of Rear Admiral F. J. Lowry, Commander, 8th Amphibious Force. Sailing for Italy once again, she served as flagship during the Anzio landings (22 January-2 Februar y 1944). She became flagship of Rear Admiral B. J. Rodgers, Commander, Amphibious Group 2, 8th Amphibious Force, in May 1944 and during 15 August-16 September 1944 took part in the invasion of southern France.

Biscayne left the Mediterranean 12 October 1944 for Boston and then steamed to the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 9 January 1945 and became flagship of Commodore F. Moosbrugger, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 63. She took part in the invasi on of Iwo Jima (19 February 4 March 1945) as flagship of the transport screen. Biscayne carried out similar duties during the landings on Kerama Retto, Okinawa (26 March-1 April) and on Okinawa itself. She remained off Okinawa until 1 July 1945, du ring which time she served as flagship for the occupation of Iheya and Aguni Islands, Okinawa (3-9 June). After her tour at Okinawa, Biscayne retired to Leyte and remained in the Philippines until departing for the occupation of Korea 8 September. She remained on occupation duty in Korean and Chinese waters until 30 October when she left for the United States.

Biscayne arrived at San Diego 21 December 1945 and Portland, Maine, 7 January 1946. She then moved to the Naval Academy for use as quarters for the aviation instruction staff. Biscayne was decommissioned 29 June 1946 and transferred to th e Coast Guard at Curtis Bay, Md., 19 July 1946.

Biscayne received six battle stars during World War

Bismarck Sea

The Bismarck Sea, northeast of New Guinea, was the scene of attacks by United States and Australian aircraft on a Japanese troop convoy (2-5 March 1943).

(CVE-95: dp. 7020; l. 512'3"; b. 65'2; dr. 22'4"; s. 19.3 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5"; cl. Casablanca)

Bismarck Sea was launched 17 April 1944 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., under a Maritime Commission contract as Alikula Bay; sponsored by Mrs. M. C. Wallgren, wife of Senator Wallgren; renamed Bismarck Sea 16 May 1944; transferred to the Navy 20 May 1944; and commissioned the same day, Captain J. L. Pratt in command.

During July and August 1944 Bismarck Sea escorted convoys between San Diego, Calif., and the Marshall Islands. After repairs and additional training at San Diego, she steamed to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, to join the 7th Fleet. During 14-2 3 November 1944 she operated off Leyte in support of the operations and later took part in the Lingayen Gulf landings (9-18 January 1945). On 16 February she arrived off Iwo Jima to support the invasion. On 21 February 1945 despite damaging gunfire two Ja panese suicide planes hit and started uncontrollable fires and set off ammunition. All efforts to save the ship were halted by the exploding ammunition and she sank in 90 minutes with the loss of 318 men.

Bismarck Sea received three battle stars for her World War II operations.



Bitterbush is a small American tropical tree having red berries.

(YN-58: dp. 1100; l. 194'7"; b. 37'; dr. 13'6"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 56; a. 1 3"; cl. Ailanthus)

Almond (YN-58) was renamed Bitterbush 3 April 1943; launched 30 June 1943 by Everett-Pacific Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Everett, Wash.; sponsored by Miss Beverly Jean Miller; and commissioned 15 January 1944, Lieutenant H. E. Harrocks , USNR, in command.

Reclassified AN-39, 20 January 1944, Bitterbush departed Seattle, Wash., for San Francisco 26 February 1944. She tended the anti-submarine nets there until 29 November 1944. Moving to Iwo Jima, via San Pedro, Calif., Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam, she tended nets until beginning her homeward passage 17 September 1945. Returning to San Francisco, she was decommissioned 4 January 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission 7 May 1947.

Bitterbush received one battle star for her participation in the Iwo Jima operation.


Bittern is a bird of the heron family.


(AM-36; dp. 840; l. 187'10"; b. 35'6"; dr. 9'10"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 72; a. 2 3"; cl. Lapwing)

The first Bittern (AM 36) was launched 15 February 1919 by Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, Ala.; sponsored by Mrs. C. R. Doll; and commissioned 28 May 1919, Lieutenant W. P. Bachmann in command.

Bittern's first duty was as tender to the captured German submarine U-88 while she made an exhibition tour of the Gulf and west coast ports. In January 1920 Bittern sailed for the Far East where she remained for the rest of her act ive service. Throughout most of the next 21 years she wintered at Cavite, Philippine Islands, and summered at Chefoo, China. But the routine was broken occasionally by assignment to scientific expeditions and in September 1923 by relief work following the Yokohama, Japan, earthquake.

The Japanese air raid on Cavite Navy Yard 10 December 1941 found Bittern undergoing repairs. Although not hit, Bittern suffered extensive damage from fire, near misses, and flying debris from Sealion (SS-195) moored alongside. Too badly damaged for repair, the minesweeper was scuttled in Manila Bay after her crew had transferred to Quail (AM-15).

Bittern received one battle star for her short service in World War II.

Bittern (AM-352) was launched by Willamette Iron and Steel Corp., Portland, Oreg., 21 June 1944 but canceled 1 November 1945 prior to completion.


(MHC-43: dp. 358; l. 144'; b. 27'; dr. 6')

The second Bittern (MHC-43) was launched 4 March 1957 by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp., City Island, N. Y.; sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Curtze, wife of Captain Curtze; and commissioned 26 August 1957, Lieutenant (junior grade) G. C. Simpkins in comm and.


Born in Greenville, Ky., 23 November 1921, Vernard Eugene Bivin enlisted in the Navy in 1940. Killed in action on board Salt Lake City (CA-25) 12 October 1942 during the Battle of Cape Esperance, Seaman First Class Bivin received a posthumous Navy Cross.

(DE-536: dp. 1350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 13'4"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5"; cl. John C. Butler)

Bivin (DE-536) was launched 7 December 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Ella Florence Bivin, mother of Seaman Bivin; and commissioned 31 October 1944, Lieutenant Commander M. Kelly in command.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, Bivin departed Boston 1 February 1945 and arrived at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 20 March. After escorting a convoy from Kossol Roads, Palau Islands, to Leyte during late March and early April, she p atrolled and escorted convoys in the Philippines. Between late August and early November she escorted convoys from the Philippines to Okinawa, patrolled in the Philippines, and made a trip to Hong Kong. Returning to San Pedro, Calif., 17 December 1945 she reported to the 19th Fleet. On 15 January 1947 she went out of commission in reserve.



Born in Oradell, N. J., 29 June 1903, Hugh David Black graduated from the Academy in 1926. Lieutenant Commander Black was the executive officer of Benson (DD-421) in 1940 and commanding officer of Jacob Jones (DD-130) in 1941. He w as killed in action when Jacob Jones was sunk by the German submarine U-578 off the Delaware Capes 28 February 1942.

(DD-666: dp. 2050; l. 376'5"; b. 39'7; dr. 17'9"; s. 35.2 k.; cpl. 329; a. 5 5', 10 21" TT.; cl. Fletcher)

Black (DD-666) was launched 28 March 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N. J.; sponsored by Mrs. H. D. Black, widow of Lieutenant Commander Black; and commissioned 21 May 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. Maginnis in command.

Black proceeded to Pearl Harbor, via San Diego, and reported for duty 15 November 1943. Shortly thereafter, she steamed to Tarawa and was assigned screening duty off Tarawa Lagoon entrance. She continued this duty until 22 January 1944, with occ asional diversion as escort for transports to the 180th meridian. On 15 January 1944 she rescued 22 survivors of two downed patrol aircraft 50 miles south of Jaluit.

After seeing her first combat during the invasion of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands (29 January-8 February 1944), Black rendered fine service in the Aitape and Hollandia, New Guinea, landings (22 April-7 May); Saipan invasion (11 June-4 July); c apture of Guam (21 July-10 August); and Leyte operation (20-21 October and 13-14 November). The destroyer then returned to San Francisco for repairs which lasted until February 1945.

Repairs completed, she sailed to Ulithi where, upon arrival 13 March, she reported to TF 58 for duty. Between 17 March and 30 May Black participated in the 5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation. After a period of rest and u pkeep at Leyte Gulf, Black took part in the 3rd Fleet operations against Japan (10 July-15 August 1945) which hastened the end of the war.

After the cessation of hostilities Black remained off Japan assisting in the occupation until 1 September when, as a unit of TF 72, she departed with the occupation forces for Inchon, Korea. She served in the Far Fast on occupation duty until 10 November 1945 when she left Tsingtao, China, for the United States. Upon arrival Black reported for inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve 5 August 1946 at Long Beach, Calif.

Black was recommissioned 18 July 1951 and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. She participated in type and fleet operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until 10 January 1953 when she departed Norfolk for the Pacific, via the Pana ma Canal, on a round-the-world cruise. She arrived off the coast of Korea 4 March


and two days later commenced harassing fire on the beach. Black continued her Korean operations until 4 June 1953.

On 9 June Black departed for Norfolk, via the Suez Canal, arriving on the east coast 6 August. Until January 1955 she conducted type training, fleet operations, and plane guard duties along the east coast and in the Caribbean. In January 1955 Black transferred to the Pacific Fleet arriving at Long Beach 26 January. Since that time she has completed two tours of the western Pacific and has conducted local operations and anti-submarine warfare exercises along the west coast.

Black received six battle stars for her World War II service and two battle stars for service off Korea.

Black, General W. M. (AP-135) see General W. M. Black (AP-135)

Black Arrow

(AP: dp. 11,900; l. 409'3"; b. 52'7"; dr. 25'10"; s. 11 k.)

Black Arrow was built in 1904 as Rhaetia by Bremer-Vulcan Werke Vegesack, Germany; seized by Customs officials at Philadelphia on American entrance into World War I; assigned to the Army as Black Hawk; transferred to the Navy; and commissioned as Black Arrow 27 January 1919, Lieutenant Commander W. S. Lynch, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet, Black Arrow made three trips to France, returning 4759 troops. Completing her last voyage 21 July 1919, she was decommissioned 19 August 1919 and returned to the Shipping Board the same day.

Black Hawk

Black Hawk (1767-1838) was the chief of the Sec and Fox Indians who was defeated in the Black Hawk War of 1832.


(SwStr: T. 902; l. 260'; b. 45'6", dph. 8'; a. 4 32-pdr. S. B., 2 30-pdr. R., 1 12-pdr. R., 1 12-pdr. S. B.)

Black Hawk, a side-wheel river steamer, was built in 1848 as Uncle Sam at New Albany, Ind.; purchased by the Navy at Cairo, Ill., 24 November 1862 as New Uncle Sam; commissioned 6 December 1862, Lieutena nt Commander K. R. Breese in command; and renamed Black Hawk 13 December 1862.

During most of her service Black Hawk served as flag-ship for Rear Admirals D. D. Porter and S. P. Lee, successive commanders of the Mississippi Squadron. She participated in the operations around Vicksburg, Miss. (December 1862), capture of Fort Hindman, Ark. (11 January 1863); attack on Haines Bluff, Miss. (29 April-2 May); siege of Vicksburg (19 May-4 July); and the Red River Expedition (12 March-29 May 1864). Thereafter she patrolled in the Mississippi River and its tributaries. On 22 April 1865 she accidentally burned and sank, three miles above Cairo. Her wreck was raised and sold at St. Louis in April 1867.


(AD-9: dp. 5690; l. 420'2"; b. 53'10"; dr. 28'5"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 471; a. 4 5", 1 3")

The second Black Hawk (AD-9) was launched in 1913 as Santa Catalina by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa., purchased by the Navy 3 December 1917; and commissioned 15 May 1918, Commander R. C. Bulmer in command.

Assigned as tender and flagship to the Mine Force, Black Hawk departed Boston in June 1918 to take station at Inverness, Scotland. She remained there until the end of World War I and then shifted her base to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, for the North Sea mine sweep. She returned to New York in November 1919 and served as flagship and tender for the Atlantic Fleet destroyers in reserve at Philadelphia. After the installation of a torpedo workshop and other equipment she was designated a destr oyer tender (AD-9) in November 1920 and reported as flagship of the Operative Squadron, Destroyer Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet. She served mainly in Caribbean and Panamanian waters until June 1922 when she left Newport, via the Suez Canal, for the Asiatic Sq uadron. Black Hawk remained in the Far East for 20 years during which she tended Destroyer Squadrons 5 (1922-40) and 29 (1940-42).

On 7 December 1941 Black Hawk was at Balikpapan, Borneo. She operated as a tender and repair ship at Java until 31 December 1941, Darwin, Australia (January-3 February 1942); Java (3-20 February); and in Australian waters (26 February-29 May). L eaving Australia she steamed to Pearl Harbor, arriving 15 June 1942. She was assigned tender duty in Alaskan waters and arrived at Kodiak 29 July 1942. Remaining there until 4 November 1942 she then returned to San Francisco for repairs and overhaul.

Completing her overhaul 16 March 1943, Black Hawk returned to Alaskan waters, arriving 10 April 1943. Except for a short stay at Pearl Harbor (30 September 1943-1 February 1944), she remained at Adak until 21 March 1945. Following repairs at Alameda, Calif., she arrived at Pearl Harbor 30 May 1945; remained there until 11 September, and then proceeded to Okinawa. Black Hawk served in the Far East tending vessels at Okinawa and in China until 20 May 1946 when she headed home for the last time. Decommissioned 15 August 1946 she was transferred to Maritime Commission 4 September 1947.

Black Hawk received one battle star for her service in World War II.

Black Warrior River (LSMR-404) see LSMR-404

Blackbird (AMc(U)-11) see LCI(L)-515


Blackfin is a food fish of the Great Lakes.

(SS-322: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 16'10"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 5", 10 21'' TT.; cl. Balao)

Blackfin (SS-322) was launched 12 March 1944 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Lockwood, wife of Rear Admiral Lockwood; and commissioned 4 July 1944, Lieutenant Commander G. H. Laird, Jr., in command.

Blackfin arrived at Pearl Harbor 11 September 1944. During her war operations (30 September 1944-5 September 1945) she completed five war patrols. Her operating areas included the South China and the Yellow Seas. Blackfin sank the Japanes e destroyer Shigure, 24 January 1945, in 0600' N., 10348' E., and a cargo ship for a total of 4325 toss.

The termination of hostilities occurred while Blackfin was on her fifth war patrol. After occupying a lifeguard station and destroying 61 floating mines, she retired to Guam, arriving in Apra Harbor 5 September 1945. After receiving voyage repai rs and fuel she proceeded to San Diego where she joined Submarine Squadron 1.

Through July 1948 Blackfin continued on active duty in the Pacific. The majority of her operations were conducted near the Hawaiian and Marianas Islands. In June and July 1946 she participated in Operation Iceberg which took her across the Arcti c Circle. She reported to Mare Island for inactivation in July 1948 and was placed out of commission in reserve there 19 November 1948.

In November 1950 Blackfin began conversion to a Guppy submarine and was recommissioned 15 May 1951.


Since that time she has operated with Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, based at San Diego until 8 March 1954 and thereafter at Pearl Harbor. During this time she completed two tours in the Far East (December 1951-June 1952 and January-June 1955); conduc ted local and training operations; and has made several simulated war patrols.

Blackfin received three battle stars for her World War II service.


Blackfish is any one of several small, toothed whales.

(SS-221: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; dr. 17'; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 60; a. 1 3", 10 21" TT.; cl. Gato)

Blackfish (SS-221) was launched 18 April 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Henry deF. Mel, wife of Captain Mel; commissioned 22 July 1942, Commander R. W. Johnson in command.

Blackfish was assigned to Submarine Squadron 50, United States Naval Forces in Europe, and on 15 October departed Montauk Point, N. Y., on her first war patrol. Between October 1942 and July 1943 Blackfish completed five war patrols in wa ters extending from Dakar, West Africa, to the north of Iceland. She is credited with having sunk German Patrol Boat No. 408 off the north coast of Spain 19 February 1943.

She returned to the United States in July 1943 and after refitting proceeded to the Southwest Pacific. From 19 October 1943 to 14 August 1945 she completed seven war patrols in an area including the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, South China Sea, East Ch ina Sea, and the Yellow Sea. Blackfish sank one Japanese cargo vessel of 2087 tons during her Pacific patrols.

She completed her 12th and last war patrol on 14 August 1945. While no targets worthy of torpedo fire were encountered during this patrol, on 5 August she rescued six Army fliers and on 8 August effectively bombarded shore installations on Kusakaki Shi ma.

She departed Guam 27 August 1945 for the east coast of the United States. After visiting New York and Camden, N. J., she proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., where she was placed in an inactive status. On 11 May 1946 Blackfish was placed out of commission in reserve and on 5 May 1949 she reported to the Naval Reserve Training Center, St. Petersburg, Fla., to be used in reserve training. She returned to New London 2 February 1954.

Blackfish received eight battle stars for her World War II service.


Blackford is a county in Indiana.

(APB-45: dp. 2189; l. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'2"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 123; a. 8 40 mm.; cl. Benewah)

LST-1111 was reclassified AKS-16, 8 December 1944 and renamed Blackford. On 6 March 1945 she was again reclassified, becoming APB-45. Blackford (APB-45) was launched 9 April 1945 by Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Co., Evansville, Ind.; sponsored by Mrs. Henry E. Russell, wife of Lieutenant Commander Russell, USNR; fitted out by Naval Supply Depot, New Orleans, La.; and commissioned 9 June 1945, Lieutenant A. E. Lorance, Jr., USNR, in command.

Arriving at Pearl Harbor 19 August 1945 Blackford joined the 3rd Amphibious Force. During the next eight months she served at Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte, and Tokyo Bay as a floating barracks. She departed Yokosuka, Japan, 7 April and arrived at New Orleans 14 May 1946. Moving to Orange, Tex., 10 June, she went out of commission in reserve there 26 April 1947.

Blackstone River (LSMR-403) see LSMR-403

Blackwood, J. Douglas (DE-219) see J. Douglas Blackwood (DE-219)


Bladen is a county in North Carolina.

(APA-63: dp. 4247; l. 426; b. 68'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k. cpl. 320; a. 1 5"; cl. Gilliam)

Bladen (APA-63) was launched 31 May 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. John McNerney; acquired by the Navy 17 October 1944; and commissioned 18 October 1944, Lieute nant Commander W. P. Hartung, USNR, in command.

Bladen departed the west coast for Pearl Harbor 20 November 1944 and upon arrival embarked personnel of the 103rd and 109th Construction Battalions for Guam. Returning to Pearl Harbor 13 January 1945 the ship commenced combat loading and trainin g maneuvers. On 27 January she set sail for Iwo Jima, via Saipan. The attack transport debarked troops and provided logistic support during the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima (19-28 February).

After a brief layover at Saipan, Bladen prepared for the invasion of Okinawa. She performed her logistic services during the initial strikes against, and occupation of, Okinawa (1-10 April). In the middle of April she returned to Saipan where sh e remained at anchor for six weeks. On 4 June she got underway for Tulagi, Solomon Islands, and thence to Noumea, New Caledonia. She returned to San Francisco 21 July for a brief yard period.

With a passenger list of army and naval personnel, Blade sailed S August for Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Ulithi. She then steamed to the Philippines where she remained until 20 September. She next transported army personnel and equipment to Waka yama, Honshu, Japan. On 26 September she departed Wakayama and returned to the Philippines. She made another trip to Japan before getting underway for San Francisco, where she arrived 23 November. In December she made a return voyage to the Philippines. O n 22 January 1946 she proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she remained until 18 May undergoing preparations for Operation Crossroads. She participated in the operation at Bikini between 31 May and 30 August 1946. Bladen departed Kwajalein Atoll 30 Augu st for San Francisco, where she arrived 13 September.

Bladen departed the west coast 1 November and steamed to Norfolk. Upon arrival she reported for inactivation and was decommissioned 26 December 1946. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission 3 August 1953.

Bladen received two battle stars for World War II service.

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These histories are taken from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (US Naval Historical Center, 1959-1991). The histories may not reflect the most recent information concerning the ships' status and operations.

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