From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Eugene Blair was born in Tremont, Va., 26 April 1908 and enlisted in the Navy in 1929. Chief Machinist's Mate Blair was killed in action 19 February 1942 on board William B. Preston (AVD-7) during a bombing attack by Japanese aircraft at Darwin, Australia. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal.

(DE-147: dp. 1200; l. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 12'3; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Edsall)

Blair (DE-147) was launched 6 April 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Orange, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. Vestie Foster; and commissioned 13 September 1943, Lieutenant A. J. Laborde, USNR, in command.

Blair was assigned to Escort Division 3 in November 1943 and for the next 20 months carried out several suc-cessful trans-Atlantic escort missions. Her first trip was to Casablanca, French Morocco, where she arrived 11 December. Upon her return she underwent tactical training exercises at Casco Bay, Maine, and then proceeded on another voyage to Casablanca as a part of a hunter-killer group. This was followed by 10 round trips between New York and the United Kingdom as escort for fast troop convoys.

On 10 August 1945 Blair arrived at Pearl Harbor and reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet. With the cessation of hostilities she was ordered back to the east coast and departed Pearl Harbor 4 September. Upon arrival at Charleston, S. C., she reported for inactivation. She later proceeded to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she was placed out of commission in reserve 28 June 1946.

Blair was recommissioned 5 October 1951 and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. Since that time she has alternated between her home port of Newport, where she conducted local operations, and the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Fla., where she participated in training naval personnel in anti-submarine warfare.

On 13 November 1956 she was placed out of commission at Boston and commenced conversion to a radar picket escort vessel. She was reclassified DER-147 and recommissioned 2 December 1957.