From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Born in Philadelphia 19 September 1919, Edward M. Bates was commissioned an Ensign 14 November 1940. Ensign Bates was killed in action on board Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.

(DE-68: dp. 1400; l. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 13'6"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Buckley)

Bates (DE-68) was launched 6 June 1943 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Mason Bates, mother of Ensign Bates; and commissioned 12 September 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. H. Maher, USNR in command.

Bates reported to the Atlantic Fleet and escorted convoys to and from the British Isles until May 1944. On 31 May 1944 she arrived at Plymouth, England, and reported to TF 129 in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. Between 6 and 12 June she carried out fire support duties off the Normandy coast. On 8 June she rescued 163 survivors of Meredith (DD-726) who sustained severe damage when she struck a mine.

Returning to New York 21 June Bates underwent a brief yard availability and then escorted another convoy to England. Upon her return she was converted to a high speed transport by Marine Basin Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. On 31 July her classification was changed to APD-47. Her conversion was completed 23 October and she departed the east coast 5 days later for the Pacific.

Between December 1944 and February 1945, Bates carried out training operations, with various underwater demolition teams embarked, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian and western Caroline Islands. On 10 February she departed Ulithi enroute to the invasion of Iwo Jima. She arrived off Iwo Jima 16 February and remained in the vicinity until 4 March, during which time she conducted high-speed observation runs around the island and acted as the parent ship for UDT-12.

After a brief period of availability at Ulithi she departed for the invasion of Okinawa. Between 25 March and 25 May Bates assisted in UDT operations, conducted patrols, and escorted two convoys between Ulithi and Okinawa. On 6 April she rescued 23 survivors of Morris (DD-417) who had been hit by a Japanese suicide plane.

At 1115, 25 May, while patrolling 2 miles south of Ie Shima, Okinawa, Bates fought back at three Japanese planes. The first plane dropped a bomb, scoring a near miss which ruptured the starboard hull of the ship, and then crashed into the starboard side of the fantail. The second plane, almost simultaneously, made a suicide hit on the pilothouse. Shortly thereafter the third plane made a bombing run scoring a near miss amidships, portside, rupturing the hull. At 1145 the commanding officer ordered Bates abandoned. Twenty-one of her crew were either dead or missing from the attacks. During the afternoon Cree (ATF-84) was able to get a line aboard and towed Bates to Ie Shima anchorage. At 1923, 25 May 1945 the still burning Bates capsized and sank in 20 fathoms of water.

Bates received three battle stars for her World War II service in the Atlantic and Pacific.