George Bancroft was born in Worcester, Mass., 3 October 1800. An eminent historian and politician, he wrote The History of the United States. In 1845 he was appointed Secretary of the Navy and founded the Naval Academy. He also fostered the work of the Washington Observatory and raised the standard of professional instruction. He was later minister to Great Britain, Prussia and the North German Federation, and the German Empire. He died in Washington in 1891 and was buried in Worcester, Mass.


(DD-598: dp. 1620; 1. 347'10"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'4"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 276; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Benson)

The third Bancroft (DD-598) was launched 31 December 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Hester Bancroft Barry great-grand-daughter of George Bancroft; commissioned 30 April 1942, Lieutenant Commander J. L. Melgaard in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Bancroft arrived at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 17 September 1942 and remained in the Aleutian Islands until late August 1943, supporting the occupation of Amchitka (12 January 1943), Attu (11 May-2 June), and Kiska (15 August) Islands. Between September 1943 and July 1945 she was a wheelhorse in fire support, screening, and escort duties in the Wake Island raid (5-6 October 1943); Tarawa, Gilbert Islands raid (18 September) and occupation (20 November-6 December), Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, seizure (31 January-16 February 1944), Mille Atoll, Marshall Islands, landings (17-18 March); Palau and Woleai raid (29 March-2 April); Hollandia operation (21-24 April); Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid (28-30 April), Wotje Island, Marshall Islands, raid (23 May); Saipan occupation (25 June-22 July), Maloelap Atoll, Marshall Islands, raid (8 August); Philippine Islands operations (8 March-3 April 1945); and the Borneo operations (1 May-5 July). Between September and November 1945 Bancroft escorted convoys between the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, and Japan.

On 9 December 1945 she arrived at Norfolk and went out of commission in reserve at Charleston, S. C., 1 February 1946.

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