From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Born in Manchester, N. H., 14 April 1915, Ben Richard Bronstein was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Naval Reserve in 1941. He was killed in action 28 February 1942 when Jacob Jones (DD-130) was sunk by an enemy submarine off Cape May, N J.

(DE-189: dp. 1240; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 11'8"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Cannon)

Bronstein (DE-189) was launched 14 November 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newark, N J.; sponsored by Mrs. Dina Bronstein Kurtz, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Bronstein; and commissioned 13 December 1943, Lieutenant S. H. K inney in command.

Bronstein reported to Norfolk and was assigned to TG 21.16, a hunter-killer group. On 16 February 1944 the Task Group left Norfolk on an anti-submarine sweep of the North Atlantic. On the night of 29 February numerous attacks were made by the gr oup on a pack of German submarines. Early in the morning of 1 March Bronstein attacked U-709 on the surface with gun fire and, after it submerged, with depth charges. Bronstein was assisted by Thomas (DE-102) and Bostwick (DE-103) and the attack resulted in the sinking of U-709 in 4910' N., 2600' W. Later in the day Bronstein sank U-603 in 4855' N., 2610' W.

After this battle the Task Group went to Casablanca to refuel. On 11 March they departed in search of a fueling submarine that was reported operating with several other enemy submarines in the Atlantic off the Cape Verde Islands. On 16 March aircraft f rom Block Island (CVE-21) attacked a surfaced German submarine which promptly submerged. Corry (DD-463) was dispatched to the scene and at daybreak Bronstein was ordered to assist Corry. The two vessels attacked continuo usly for about three hours and when the submarine broke surface she was subjected to heavy gunfire. The U-801 sank quickly in 1642' N., 3026' W., and 39 men including the commanding officer were taken prisoner.

On 22 March Bronstein and Breeman were ordered to Dakar, French West Africa, arriving 25 March. Each ship received 15 tons of gold and delivered it to New York, arriving 3 April. On 13 April Bronstein joined TF 60 and escorted a co nvoy from New York to Bizerte, Tunisia, and return

On 10 June Bronstein and Escort Division 48 departed New York Navy Yard and joined Card (CVE-111) as TG 21.10. The first assignment took them south of Newfoundland to track down a U-boat. The U-233 was sunk on 5 July 1944 by Tho mas (DE-102) and Baker (DE-190) and the Task Group returned to New York.

Between July 1944 and May 1945 Bronstein operated with TG 21.10 searching for enemy submarines in the Caribbean and Casco Bay areas. On 9 May 1945 she reported to Commander, Fleet Air, Quonset Point, R. I., as screen and plane guard ship for car riers during the qualification of pilots in carrier landings. Bronstein was overhauled at Boston in early October 1945 and steamed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she went out of commission in reserve 5 November 1945. She was transferred to Urug uay 3 May 1952 under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Bronstein received four battle stars for her World War II service.