From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


William Ralph Herzog was born in Troy, N.Y., 29 December 1909 and was commissioned Lieutenant, junior grade, USNR, 8 April 1942. Lieutenant Herzog was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of the Armed Guard detachment on board SS Pan New York. When his ship was torpedoed in the North Atlantic 29 October 1942, Herzog found his gun crew trapped amidships. He attempted to batter the door with his shoulder unsuccessfully, and after aiding the radio operator to escape through a porthole, courageously returned to force the door by breaking the lock with his pistol. Herzog was again unable to free his men, and fell unconscious in the attempt. He was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism.

(DE - 178: dp. 1,240; l. 306'; b. 36'8''; dr. 8'9"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 tt., 2 dct.; 8 dcp; 1 dcp (h.h.); cl. Cannon)

Herzog (DE-178) was launched by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newark, N.J., 5 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Alice A. Herzog, mother of the namesake; and commissioned 6 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. C. Toft, Jr., in command.

After conducting shakedown operations out of Bermuda, Herzog steamed from New York 29 November 1943 on her first escort mission, accompanying Ariel to the West Indies and back to New York. Arriving 18 December, she got underway as part of the escort for a merchant convoy. Protecting the ships through the dangerous Caribbean passages, Herzog arrived at the Canal Zone 27 December. Subsequently she served as escort ship on shorter voyages between Recife, Brazil, and Trinidad.

From 14 April 1944 until 14 July Herzog served with Task Group 41.6 on patrol in the South Atlantic. Working with escort carrier Solomons she searched the seas in the never ending battle against German submarines. On 15 June she was detached to pick up survivors from a German sub sunk by aircraft, and after returning to the group steamed to Recife, arriving 23 June. After another brief cruise with the Task Group, she returned to Recife 16 July. She sailed to the Brazilian Naval Base at Natal 28 July and was placed out of commission and loaned to the Brazilian Navy under lend-lease 1 August 1944. The ship served Brazil as Beberibe (D-23), and 30 June 1953 was transferred outright to that country under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (