USS FALGOUT (DE-324)
Falgout (DE-324) was launched 24 July
1943 by Consolidated Steel Corp, Ltd., Orange, Tex.; sponsored
by Mrs. H. J. Guidry, sister of Seaman Second Class Falgout;
and commissioned 15 November 1943, Lieutenant Commander H. A. Meyer, USCG, in command. She was reclassified DER-324 on 28 October 1954.
While bound for shakedown at Bermuda, on 4 December
1943 Falgout rescued from a lifeboat eleven survivors
of the torpedoed tanker SS Touchet. Completing her shakedown,
she began Atlantic convoy escort duty out of Norfolk and New York to North African
ports, making eight such voyages between 3 February 1944 and 2 June 1945.
On 20 April 1944, in the Mediterranean, her convoy came
under heavy attack by German aircraft. Before the concentrated antiaircraft
fire of Falgout and the other escorts could drive them off, they blew up
an ammunition ship, sank a destroyer, and damaged several
of the merchantmen. With the other escorts picking up survivors or
escorting the damaged ships into the nearest port, Algiers, Falgout screened
the convoy on to its original destination, Bizerte. The homeward
bound passage of this same voyage was also a difficult one; on 3 May,
one of the escorts was torpedoed and had to put into Algiers for repairs.
Two of the other escorts sank the submarine which had crippled their sister,
but on 5 May, another of the escort was
torpedoed, and sank. Falgout and the remaining escorts brought the convoy safely home, not a
merchantman lost. On her third convoy voyage, while Gibraltar-bound in
the Mediterranean, Falgout took prisoner from the sea four
downed German aviators.
Falgout arrived at Balboa, C.Z., 25 June
1945, where she remained until 13 December, making good will visits to
Nicaragua and Costa Rica, joining in defense problems, and training
submarines. She returned to Charleston, S.C., 18 December, and on 9 February
1946 arrived at Green Cove Springs, where she was placed in commission in
reserve 9 May 1946, and out of commission in reserve 18 April 1947.
Falgout was on loan to the Coast Guard
between 24 August 1951 and 21 May 1954, in commission for duty as an
ocean station vessel out of Tacoma, Wash. Upon her return to the Navy,
she was converted to a radar picket escort vessel, and was recommissioned 30
June 1955, Lieutenant Commander Walter P. Smiley in command.
After shakedown, she arrived at Seattle 20 November for duty with the
Continental Air Defense Command. Her primary mission was to serve as radar picket in
the Early Warning System, and from Seattle, she served regular cycles of
duty at sea on picket station. This vital mission was interrupted only for
necessary overhauls and refresher training following them. From
19 March 1959 through 1962, Falgout was based at Pearl Harbor,
continuing her protection of the United States through service on the Pacific Barrier.
Falgout received one battle star for
World War II service.
[Note: The above USS FALGOUT (DE-324) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS FALGOUT (DE-324), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]