Ramsden.info - USS Ramsden

USS Ramsden

The USS Ramsden saw three commissions over the period 1943 to 1960, serving as Destroyer Escort DE-382, WDE-482, and DER-382 respectively in the second world war (WWII), Korean war, and the Cold war.

Flag hoist ID/Radio Call Sign N T G Z

Named after the coxswain Marvin Lee Ramsden (service details below) and sponsored by his mother Mrs. James L. Ramsden, USS Ramsden (DE-382) was laid down 26 March 1943 by the Brown Shipbuilding Corp., Houston, Texas, launched 24 May 1943 and commissioned 19 October 1943 with Lt. Cdr. J. E. Madacey, USCG, in command.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) manned the USS Ramsden at all times and so it was also referred to as the Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Ramsden.

DE-382 (Oct 1943–Jun 1946)

USS Ramsden saw first service in the Coast Guard manned Escort Division (CORTDIV 23) Atlantic Fleet escorting and protecting supply convoys across the Atlantic.

Ramsden first came under fire in the Mediterranean before dawn on 1 April 1944 where she is accredited with having shot down one of five Nazi Luftwaffe bombers and torpedo planes lost in that 15 minute attack on the convoy to Tunisia.

From July, Ramsden shifted to the North Atlantic convoy lanes, and during the remainder of the war in Europe, escorted seven convoys from the United States of America to the United Kingdom, France and Europe.

Following the collapse of Germany, Ramsden was transferred with her division to the Pacific Seventh Fleet in June 1945, initially in the Aleutians, then to Japan, Manila and also involved in a show of force in February 1946 in Shanghai China "moored in the center of the Whangpoo River among ships extending in a single line for miles". See http://www.desausa.org/de_photo_library/history_of_uss_tomich_de_242.htm

She was first decommissioned and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in June 1946.



WDE-482 (Apr 1952–Jun 1954)

W-482, mislabelled CGC Ramsden (W382)

Recommissioned to WDE-482 in April 1952 after the outbreak of war in Korea, and clearly fitted with updated radar equipment USS Ramsden transferred to the Pacific Fleet, operated briefly on the west coast, then headed west to Honolulu whence she operated on air-sea rescue patrol duty for the next 2 years.  There she guarded the increased Pacific air traffic along routes between Hawaii and the mainland, Midway, Japan, and the Aleutians.

Following the cessation of hostilities in Korea, and the subsequent decrease in air traffic, Ramsden returned to California, was decommissioned (for the second time), at San Diego in April 1954, and re-entered the Navy's Reserve Fleet in June 1954.

This photo shows how high her radar antenna was on the top of the mast. It could see further over the horizon than lower mounted locations.

DER-382 (Nov 1956–Jun 1960)

In response to a need created by the Cold war and in support of the US naval presence in the Pacific, the USS Ramsden was reactivated in October 1956 and converted to an escort radar picket ship, redesignated Destroyer Escort Radar DER-382 and recommissioned in December 1957. By March 1958, she returned to the Hawaiian Islands and was based at Pearl Harbour.

She operated on barrier patrol duty stations 1500 miles from Midway to the Aleutians as part of the Pacific barrier of the so-called 'Early Warning System', which stretched around the North Americas (US and Canada) including the Atlantic barrier, AWACS, BMEWS, DEW line, NARS, the Pacific barrier, Pine Tree Line, Texas towers, and White Alice. See http://earlywarning.westgeorgia.org/ for 'The Early Warning Connection' details and http://www.willyvictor.com/Pacific_Barrier/PacBar_1.html for Pacific barrier historic details.

As part of CORTDIV 7, this continued for two years on a two week–on, one week–off roster until recalled in early 1960 when the USS Ramsden returned to the west coast for inactivation, and was finally decommissioned in June 1960, to enter the Pacific Reserve Fleet.


Class: Edsall FMR

Type: Destroyer Escort (DE)

Displacement: 1,200 tons (standard); 1590 tons (full)

Fuel: 279 tons

Length: 306’ (open air); 300' (waterline)

Beam:  36'10" (at widest point)

Draft: 8'7" mean; 12'3" full load

Machinery: 4 x FMR (Fairbanks-Morse reverse geared) 1500hp diesel powered DC generators; 2 screws, 6000 shaft hp from DC motors

Range:  Rated 9,100 (trial 10,800) nautical miles at 12 knots

Top Speed: Nominal 21 knots (trial 20.9 knots)

Complement: 6 (8) Officers, 180 (201) Enlisted

Armament: 3x3”; 2x40mm; 8x20mm; 3x21" torpedo tubes; 2xdepth charge tracks; 8xdepth charge projectors; 1xhedge hog projector.

Stricken (from the Navy register): 1 August 1974

Fate: sunk as target on 1/1/75 (or sometime in 1976)

Description: Destroyers are considered the most versatile ships in the navy, capable of performing missions ranging from escorting convoys to screening aircraft carriers from submarine, air and surface attack.

The first American destroyers were commissioned in 1902 to protect the battleline from torpedo boats. During WWII, they were fitted with depth charges to counter the German submarine offensive and anti-aircraft guns to fight kamikaze attacks in the Pacific. Today's destroyers are equipped with guided missiles for long-range targets, antisubmarine capabilities and two Seahawk helicopters.

During World War II a grand total of 563 Destroyer Escorts battled Nazi U-Boats on the North Atlantic protecting convoys of men and material. In the Pacific they stood in line to defend naval task forces from Japanese submarines and Kamikaze air attacks.

Today, only one of these WWII veteran ships remains afloat in the United States, the USS Slater. Moored on the Hudson River in Albany, New York, the USS Slater has undergone an extensive ten-year restoration that has returned the ship to her former glory. The ship is open to the public from April through November with hour-long guided tours, youth group overnight camping, and has become a popular destination for naval reunion groups. See http://www.ussslater.org.

For a listing of ship blueprints and a description of the Edsall FMR design, see http://www.marylandsilver.com/fmr.htm.

For a listing of DE ships numbered 129 to 401, see http://users3.ev1.net/~de238/stewart/edsall_list.html, duplicated on http://users3.ev1.net/~de238/stewart/edsall_list.html.

For a listing of the Atlantic Fleet Coast Guard Escort Division (CORTDIV) ships, see http://www.ussmills.com/mills_htm/mills_hist.asp.

For a description of the Coast Guard Cutters see http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/cutter.htm.

For the U.S. Coast Guard military history site, see http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBCUTTERS/Ramsden.html.

For the Ramsden definition in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting ships, see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/r2/ramsden.htm.

See also http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/382.htm and http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/escorts/de382.htm.


Ramsden: Marvin Lee Ramsden, born on 2 January 1919 at Pleasant Lake, N. Dakota., enlisted in the Navy 21 May 1936 and reported for duty in Lexington (CV-2) on 8 October 1936. During the Battle of the Coral Sea, 8 May 1942, coxswain Ramsden, a member of USS Lexington's crew throughout his career, remained at his exposed station, despite wounds, continuing to operate a range finder in the face of intense enemy strafing and dive-bombing attacks until he died. For his gallant and intrepid conduct, he was posthumously awarded the US Navy Silver Star.

For several accounts of the sinking of the USS Lexington and a detailed description of the events, see http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/logs/CV/CV2-Coral.html.