Carl Henning

Destroyer Escort

From the modern Hingham Shipyard signage:

Life on board a Destroyer Escort was always active and dangerous, particularly at night when German U-boats were most often known to strike. More than 100/0 of all DEs constructed were sunk or damaged beyond repair during the war. U.S. forces in the Atlantic and Pacific used every piece of armament and protection the ship had to guard allied convoys and engage enemy submarines. Smoke screens, depth charges, torpedo launchers and antiaircraft guns were all part or the DE’s arsenal. British forces using them in the English Channel would protect feeder and supply lines to France from U-boat attacks. Working in tandem with Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), the DES would find and smoke out U-boats using their sophisticated radar and sonar systems, corralling them into firing lines or the MT Bs. IT you sailed on a DE, you were prepared for engagements every night— and usually you got them.

Early on, British crews were wary of how well the DES would be able to handle rough Atlantic waters. On their maiden voyage they got their answer. In seas so high the crew could barely make it out of their bunks due to seasickness, the DES managed their way perfectly. The DE’s maneuverability allowed it to circle and drop depth charges on enemy subs after locating them on radar. Here, one DE practices just such a drill during a training run.