USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402)
USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort acquired by the United States Navy during World War II. The primary purpose of the destroyer escort was to escort and protect ships in convoy, in addition to other tasks as assigned, such as patrol or radar picket.
She was named in honor of Ensign Richard S. Bull (1913–1942) who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. She was laid down 18 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Texas; launched 16 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Richard S. Bull, Sr.; and commissioned 26 February 1944, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Gardes in command.
World War II
Following shakedown off Bermuda, Richard S. Bull departed Boston, Massachusetts, 6 May 1944, and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor, arriving on the 30th. Reaching Eniwetok 27 June, she escorted Long Island (CVE-1) and other escort carriers to Pearl Harbor, arriving 5 July.
Returning to Eniwetok, she joined a task force including USS Sangamon (CVE-26) on 6 August. Arriving at Manus on the 13th, she supported the landings on Morotai 15 September. Departing Manus, she protected carrier forces supporting the landings on Leyte 20 October. She rescued a fighter pilot from Chenango (CVE-28) on the 22d.
During the Battle off Samar on the 25th, she operated in group "Taffy One," about Script error: No such module "convert". south of the main Japanese attack upon "Taffy Three." Following a kamikaze attack upon Taffy One, she rescued 24 men from Suwanee (CVE-27). On the 29th Richard S. Bull discovered and rescued 139 survivors of Eversole (DE-404), sunk by Japanese submarine I-45 off Dinagat Island, Philippine Islands. Nearby, Whitehurst (DE-634) sank I-45.
After transferring the Eversole survivors to Bountiful (AH-9), at Kossol Roads, Palau Island, she proceeded with escort carriers from Manus to Pearl Harbor, arriving 19 November. After escorting Shamrock Bay (CVE-84) to arrival at Manus 22 December, she departed with Marcus Island (CVE-77), and proceeded via Leyte to the landings 9 January 1945 at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Proceeding via Ulithi and Saipan, she rescued three aviators from Natoma Bay (CVE-62) on 17 February, and then protected escort carriers supporting the landings on Iwo Jima on the 19th. Departing the Iwo Jima area 10 March, she proceeded via Guam and Ulithi to the Okinawa Gunto.
From 1 April to 16 May, she protected escort carriers supporting assault forces on Okinawa. Returning 2 June from Saipan, she continued to guard carrier air operations against Okinawa. Voyaging with Sargent Bay (CVE-83) to arrival at Leyte 23 June, she joined the Philippine Sea Frontier, escorting convoys to Morotai, Hollandia, and Ulithi. She provided medical treatment 30 August to casualties aboard SS Peter White, damaged by a mine in the northern Philippines. Following convoy escort duty from Leyte to Ulithi and Okinawa, she departed Leyte 14 October, and steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to San Diego, California, arriving 6 November.
Richard S. Bull received five battle stars for her service in the Pacific War.
- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships — USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402)
- NavSource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive — USS Richard S. Bull (DE-402)