From the “Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,” 
(1968) Vol. 3, p.676.


Displacement:  1,200 t.
Length:  306’
Beam:  36’7”
Draft:  8’7”
Speed:  21 k.
Complement:  186
Armament:  3 3”; 6 40mm; 10 20mm;
	2 depth charge tracks;
	9 hedge charge projectors;
Class:  EDSALL

	KRETCHMER (DE-329) was laid down 28 June 1943, by 
Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 31 August 
1943; sponsored by Miss Betty Kretchmer, sister of Ens. 
Kretchmer; and commissioned 13 December 1943, Lt. R. C. 
Wing, in command.

	After a Bermuda shakedown, KRETCHMER departed 
Charleston, S.C., 15 February 1944, for operations in the 
Caribbean.  Based at Port-au-Spain, Trinidad, she escorted 
convoys to Cuba and Bermuda until sailing for Key West 2 
May.  Assigned to an air wing training detachment, KRETCHMER 
operated with torpedo bombers for 3 weeks, before departing 
Charleston 8 June escorting a convoy to Europe.  Sailing via 
Curacao, D.W.I., KRETCHMER screened shipping bound for 
Naples in preparation for the assaults on southern France.  
After returning to the United States 16 July, the escort 
ship made one more cruise to Naples during the summer. 

	Between 20 September 1944 and 27 April 1945, KRETCHMER 
sailed as escort to five convoys from New York to United 
Kingdom ports.  After victory in Europe, she prepared for 
Pacific Fleet duty, arriving Pearl Harbor 5 July.  Clearing 
Pearl Harbor 1 August, KRETCHMER was en route to the 
Philippines when hostilities stopped-14 August.  

	Serving in the Far East until 1 April 1946, the 
destroyer escort engaged in occupation and repatriation 
operations, including the evacuation of Allied prisoners of 
war from Formosa during September 1945.  KRETCHMER also 
served on escort duty, mine patrol, and mail runs between 
Chinese ports.  Departing Hong Kong 1 April 1946, she 
returned home by way of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean 
Sea, arriving Charleston, S.C., 29 May.  KRETCHMER 
decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 20 September 

	After extensive conversion, KRETCHMER was 
recommissioned as DER-329 on 22 September 1956, Lt. Comdr. 
C. P. Fadeley in command.  After shakedown in the Caribbean, 
the radar picket arrived at Boston 18 December to commence 
operations in the Northern Radar Barrier.  Based at Newport, 
R.I., from 1957 to 1962, she remained on picket duty, making 
regular patrols to provide early warning to the continental 
air defense systems.  KRETCHMER also made cruises to 
northern Europe in 1958, 1961, and 1962, and in August 1961 
rescued six men from foundered Icelandic fishing vessel 

	In the aftermath of the Cuban missile crises, KRETCHMER 
departed Newport 23 November 1962 for picket duty off the 
southern coast of the United States.  While operating as 
plane guard and antisubmarine carrier ESSEX (CVS-9) in Key 
West waters, KRETCHMER rescued two shrimp fishermen from 
disabled fishing vessel ALA, after they had been fired upon 
by Cuban “Mig” aircraft.  0n 21 February 1963, while 
KRETCHMER was guarding ALA, a Mig-17 made four passes at the 
disabled fishing craft before turning tail ahead of U.S. 
Marine aircraft.

	KRETCHMER continued picket and training operations in 
the Atlantic until 21 May 1965, when she entered Boston 
Naval Shipyard for overhaul prior to deployment in the 
western Pacific.  The ship departed Newport, R.I., for Guam, 
arriving 2 August after a stopover at Pearl Harbor.  One 
month later, KRETCHMER joined other vessels off the South 
Vietnam coast in Operation "Market Time," keeping coastal 
traffic under surveillance to prevent the shipment of 
Communist arms and supply to South Vietnam by sea.  Her 
motor whaleboat came under heavy small arms fire during a 
roundup operation in November.  No American casualties 
resulted and KRETCHMER’s search party seized a large number 
of suspected guerrilla infiltrators.

	By the end of a year of patrol, the ship had 
investigated some 17,000 contacts, and boarded over 1,000 
small craft.  On 10 December, KRETCHMER steamed into Apra 
Harbor, Guam, where she remained until her departure 22 
February 1966 for a 7 1/2 month deployment with the 7th 
Fleet.  She continued "Market Time" patrol off the northwest 
coast of Vietnam and provided gunfire support for the 
Marines and Army ashore.  She left Subic Bay 29 September 
for her homeport, Guam, where she remained through part of 
October.  KRETCHMER then departed for further radar picket 
escort duties off Vietnam through 1966 into 1967.  Her 
continued presence on the South China seacoasts delineates 
the commitment of the United States to the preservation of 
the independence of South Vietnam.

	[Stricken from the Navy Register on 30 September 1973, 
KRETCHMER was sold on 14 May 1974.

K. Jack Bauer and Stephen S. Roberts, “Register of Ships of 
the U. S. Navy, 1775-1990,” p.225.]

Transcribed by Michael Hansen