USS Conklin DE439

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Oil, Fire, and Fate
by Mike Mair

Read about the Sinking of the
USS Mississinewa (AO-59) in WWII by Japanís Secret Weapon

George Emerson Conklin
by Mary Eileen Oseas McNamara 
daughter of Robert Louis McNamara RM3c

These are the men who saved the world.

USS Conklin, painting format

"Drenched from head to foot with salt water.  Sleep with a leg crooked around my rack so I won't fall out.  Put wet bread under my dinner tray to keep it from sliding.        

A DE, my friend, is a Destroyer Escort.  It's a ship long and narrow and sleek, something like a destroyer but much smaller.

They are rough and tumble little ships. Their decks are laden with depth charges. They can turn in half the space of a destroyer.

They roll and they plunge.  They buck and they twist.  They shudder and they fall through space.  They are in the air half the time, under water half the time,  their sailors say they should have flight pay and submarine pay both."      

-Ernie Pyle
Friend of the crew of the Conklin
War Correspondent
Ulithi, 1945

Pacific Battle Line, December 1943:
 (by Foster Hailey, war correspondent,
 New York Times)
"The United States has been waging in the Pacific the most difficult war in history. And the least understood. The battleground is the work's greatest ocean, with its tens of thousands of islands. The battle line is a great arc extending 7,000 miles from the tropical regions of northern Australia to the bleak, fog-covered Aleutians Islands on the rim of the Bering Sea..."  (click here to read more)

The USS Conklin was commissioned as a Destroyer Escort, Butler Class, at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York. She was named for a Marine killed at Guadalcanal, George Emerson Conklin, (see photo) who had enlisted only eight months before. He had remained at his gun although mortally wounded until he could no longer man it.  Before he died, he disassembled the gun and scattered its parts to make it useless to the Japanese.  He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic devotion to duty.

USFA.jpg (32884 bytes) On April 22, 2001, the story of the USS Conklin DE-439 in the typhoon of June, 1945, was told to the FEMA Training Center as an example of heroism in everyday life. This award is really for them!
(Note from Eileen: "When I gave that talk at FEMA it was to the very same firefighters who 4 months later would do the Pentagon rescue. When I gave the talk, which was about Heroes in everyday life, how ordinary men can be called to be extraordinary heroes in extraordinary circumstance, nobody was expecting we would be in our own crisis in just 3 months.")
See the Newest Photos!
Postcards Added June 2001


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