USS LOWE (DE-325)
was laid down by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex., 24 May 1943; launched
28 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Harry J. Lowe, mother; and commissioned 22
November 1943, Comdr. Reginald H. French, USCG, in command.
After a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, Lowe reported
for convoy duty 2 February 1944 and departed Charleston, S.C., escorting convoy
UGS‑32 to Casablanca, French Morocco, and back. On her second such
assignment, Lowe went into action 20 April when her convoy came under
tenacious enemy air attack off the north African coast. Simultaneously, two
high‑speed wakes made directly for the starboard side of the ship. She
evaded the torpedoes by a hard right turn which enabled her to escape between
the oncoming warheads.
convoy escort service making a total of 12 Atlantic crossings until 5 March
1945 when she joined TG 22.14, an exclusively Coast Guard killer group, with
the specific mission of finding and destroying an enemy submarine operating due
east of Newfoundland.
While steaming in search of the enemy 18 March
100 miles east of Halifax, Lowe made sonar contact and attacked with two
patterns of hedgehogs. The depth charge attacks with those of other ships of
the group brought an oil slick and large amounts of debris to the surface. The
submarine was still on the bottom the following day when Lowe reestablished
sound contact. Postwar investigation verified the destruction of U‑866
by this group; Lowe received credit for the kill, and her commanding
officer and four other crewmembers received awards for their part in the
action. While serving with TG 22.14 3 May, Lowe rescued the crew of the
foundered Newfoundland schooner Mary Duffitt and her guns sank the hulk,
which was a menace to navigation.
Commencing 6 July, the ship assumed duties as a
training vessel at Norfolk, Va., departing only to participate in the Navy Day
observance at Washington, D.C., 24 October. Departing the Capital 1 November,
she offloaded ammunition at Yorktown, and 30 December arrived at St. John's
River, Fla., headquarters of the Florida Group, 16th Fleet, U.S. Atlantic
Fleet, where she decommissioned 1 May 1946 and entered the Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 20 July 1951 as USCGC Lowe (WDE‑425),
she saw service as a weather ship in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She
decommissioned a second time 1 June 1954 at the Todd Shipyard, Long Beach,
With Lt. Comdr. J. R. Bohlken in command, she
was recommissioned in the Navy at Long Beach Naval Shipyard after being
converted to a radar picket escort vessel. Loire joined Escort Squadron
5 at Seattle, Wash.
She saw extended duty with the North American
Air Defense Command as a unit of the seaward extension of the DEW line,
eventually completing 67 tours as a picket vessel. While on station 20 February
1962, she was an emergency rescue link for Lt. Col. John Glenn's three orbit
At the disestablishment of the Radar Barrier 30 June 1965, Lowe
sailed for the western Pacific and joined the 7th Fleet 5 August. Taking
station off the coast of Vietnam 15 August, she was assigned the task of
preventing seaborne infiltration of enemy elements to the south of that country
as a part of Operation Market Time. In early September 1965, she returned to
her new homeport, Guam, for a period of rest and upkeep. She rejoined TF 115
off Vietnam 22 November and resumed Market Time surveillance. When not a unit
of TF 115, Lowe served as a unit of the Taiwan Patrol Force or as
station ship Hong Kong. This pattern of duty continued until 20 September 1968
when she decommissioned at Guam. Struck 23 September, Lowe began
stripping in preparation for being sold for scrapping.
[Note: The above USS LOWE (DE-325) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS LOWE (DE-325), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]