USS Oberrender (DE-344)
The USS Oberrender (DE-344) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Lieutenant Commander Thomas Olin Oberrender, Jr., the engineering officer aboard the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52) who was killed when the ship was torpedoed and subsequently sunk during action in the Solomon Islands.
Oberrender was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Orange, Texas on 8 November 1943; launched 18 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Olin Oberrender, Jr., widow of Lieutenant Commander Oberrender; and commissioned 11 May 1944 with Lieutenant Commander Samuel Spencer in command. Following commissioning and fitting out, Oberrender sailed 28 May 1944 for Bermuda, where she conducted shakedown until early July. She steamed via Norfolk and Aruba for the Panama Canal, which she transitted on 1 August.
Assigned to protect convoys plying between Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, the new destroyer escort completed two runs to the Marshall Islands by 30 September. After a stop at Manus, Admiralties, Oberrender escorted Rear Admiral Sprague’s jeep carriers to the Philippines for the invasion of Leyte. A brief trip to Morotai, however, caused her to miss the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf. The ship was in Seeadler Harbor, Manus, on 10 November only Script error: No such module "convert". from the USS Mount Hood (AE-11) when that ammunition ship blew up. Damages incurred from flying debris and exploding ammunition forced Oberrender to remain at Manus for the rest of November. The next month found her back in fighting trim, and for three more months she conducted escort and patrol duties in the Dutch East Indies and Philippines areas.
As United States forces pushed closer to the Japanese home islands, Oberrender moved along in the van. Through April and into May, Okinawa was the focus of attention. There, on 9 May, a Japanese suicide plane crashed into the plucky escort on her starboard side. A bomb carried by the plane penetrated the forward fireroom, where it exploded and caused extensive heavy damage. Twenty-four sailors were killed, wounded, or listed as missing as a result of the blast. Towed to Kerama Retto, Oberrender was beyond repair. She decommissioned 11 July 1945 and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 25 July. Stripped of all worthwhile equipment, her hulk was sunk by gunfire on 6 November of that year.
Oberrender earned 3 battle stars for World War II service.
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
|60px||Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)|
|60px||American Campaign Medal|
|Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with three battle stars)|
|60px||World War II Victory Medal|
- See List of U.S. Navy losses in World War II for other Navy ships lost in World War II.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- "Oberrender". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
- "USS Oberrender (DE-344)". Destroyer Escort Photo Archive. Retrieved 15 March 2007.