From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Reuben Chase joined Ranger as a seaman in 1777 and served during John Paul Jones' daring raid into British waters. Chase was appointed a midshipman in Bonhomne Richard 18 March 1779, and took part in the historic victory over HMS Serapis 23 September 1779. Chase (DD-323) was named in his honor.

Jehu Valentine Chase was born in Pattersonville, La., 10 January 1869, and graduated from the Naval Academy 6 June 1890. As commanding officer of Minnesota when she was mined in September 1918, Chase was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his splendid seamanship and leadership in bringing his ship safely to port without loss of life. Admiral Chase was Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, from 17 September 1930 to 15 September 1931, and Chairman of the General Board from April 1932 until his retirement in February 1933. He died at Coronado, Calif., 24 May 1937. Chase (DE-158) was named in his honor.


DE - 158: dp. 1,400 l. 306'1" b. 36'10"

dr. 9'5" s. 24 k. cpl. 186 a. 3 x 3", 3 x 21" tt., 8 dcp.,

1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct. cl. Buckley

Chase (DE-158) was launched 24 April 1943 by Norfolk Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. V. Chase ; and commissioned 18 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander V. B. Staadecker, USNR, in command.

Between 14 September 1943 and 23 November 1944, Chase escorted six transatlantic convoys between New York and Norfolk and North African ports. During her second such crossing, while approaching Bizerte 20 April 1944, Chase fired on attacking enemy torpedo bombers, driving them off, then rescued swimming survivors from three torpedoed merchant ships. During the return passage, Chase joined in the search for the submarine which torpedoed Fechteler (DE-157) 5 May, and rescued 52 survivors of the sinking.

Chase was reclassified APD-54 on 24 November 1944, and with conversion completed, sailed from Boston 4 February 1945 for Pacific action waters. She reached Ulithi 18 March, and next day got underway for the Okinawa operation, sailing with the group scheduled to simulate a landing on the southern coast of the island as a diversion from the main assaults. This diversion received more attention from enemy aircraft than did the main landings as they made their demonstration on 1 April. Chase joined in the blaze of antiaircraft fire which drove the enemy off, then moved north to join the antisubmarine screen protecting the landings. Aside from two brief voyages to Guam and Ulithi, Chase continued on the dangerous duty of patrol off Okinawa until 20 May. On 20 May, Chase fired successfully on a diving kamikaze, but had to maneuver violently to avoid the falling craft. It splashed, a scant 10 yards from the ship, and the explosion of the two bombs it carried ripped Chase 's hull open, flooding the engine and fire rooms. With her steering gear jammed at hard left rudder, Chase drove off another suicide plane. Listing so badly as to be in danger of capsizing, Chase was kept afloat by the skillful work of her crew and towed into Kerama Retto for repairs. She was later towed across the Pacific to San Diego, arriving 11 October. Here she was decommissioned 15 January 1946, and sold 13 November 1946.

Chase received two battle stars for World War II service.

Transcribed by:
HTML conversion by: EPM
Date: 15 Feb 1999