USS Pride (DE-323)
USS Pride was named for Ensign Lewis Bailey Pride, Jr., USN, who was born at Miami, Florida, on 22 April 1919. He was appointed Midshipman from Kentucky on 23 June 1937. He was commissioned an Ensign on 7 February 1941 and reported on board the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) on 13 March 1941. He was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
Edsall Class Destroyer Escort
Displacement: 1,253 tons standard; 1,102 tons full load
Length: 306’ oa
Draft: 10' 5' full load
Machinery: 2-shaft Fairbanks Morse diesels, 6,000 bhp
Range: 10,800 nm at 12 knots
Top Speed: 21 knots
Armament: 3 x 3”/50; 2 x 40mm; 8 x 20mm; 3 x 21" torpedo tubes; 2 x depth charge tracks; 8 x depth charge projectors; 1 x hedge hog.
Official Coast Guard History:
The Coast Guard-manned USS Pride (DE-323) was commissioned at Orange, Texas on November 13, 1943. Under command of CDR Ralph R. Curry, USCG, she proceeded to Bermuda for her shakedown cruise. After six weeks of intensive training there, she was ready for convoy duty.
For the next twelve months the Pride escorted convoys of badly needed men and material s to the fighting fronts in the Mediterranean area. During this period of six convoys, of from 80 to 115 ships, were escorted safely into the area. The first trip was entirely uneventful except for a period of rough weather which lasted 23 days on the return trip.
It was on the second trip that the Pride won her spurs as a fighting ship. Off Algiers, German planes attacked the convoy at dusk and gave the crew their first taste of actual warfare. Five ships were hit and three sank, including the transport Paul Hamilton and the USS Landsdale. On April 20, 1944, the Pride, in position 37° 04' N x 03° 49' E, was stationed in the outer screen of the convoy and expecting an air attack. At 1900 an aircraft was reported approaching dead ahead about 5 miles. This was followed immediately by a report from another source that planes were passing low overhead and were heading for the convoy.
Gunfire was observed but no planes were sighted. By this time much gunfire was sighted in the direction of the convoy and one large explosion was observed. At 1907 it was reported that two torpedo tracks were headed toward the Pride. The vessel went to flank speed and dropped two depth charges set at 100 feet, at intervals of 10 seconds. A man stationed at the depth charge rack reported that one torpedo was passing close astern but this was not observed by bridge lookouts. At 1916 more planes were reported coming in and heading for the convoy. Shortly after this, one plane was seen astern heading 090° true. It passed up the Pride's portside and started to circle ahead of her, turning to the right. The Pride opened fire and continued firing for about 20 seconds, during which time the plane turned away, disappeared and was not seen again. On April 22, the convoy reached Bizerte, and the Pride remained there for the balance of April.
As May, 1944, began Pride was acting as one of the escorts for Convoy GUS-38 en route from North Africa to the United States. Shortly after the Menges reported early on May 3rd [that she was torpedoed in the stern], the Pride received orders to join the Menges, in company with USS J. E. Campbell (DE-70). These two were joined by Senegelese (French DE), Alycon (French Destroyer), Blankley (British Destroyer) and Sustain (U.S. Mine Sweeper). After 26 hours of coordinated depth charge attacks and hold down tactics by these vessels, the submarine was finally scuttled by its crew, but during the attack the enemy put a torpedo into the stern of Senegelese. The crew put the sub in motion to scuttle it heading for water deep enough to prevent salvage. All hands apparently abandoned the sub successfully. Forty six were taken prisoner and probably four escaped by swimming ashore. The young captured commander boasted of being the leading German ace and of having 26 ships to his credit during over a year in the Mediterranean.
Menges was towed to Algiers for repairs and salvage. Here on May 4th, Commander, Escort Division 46 transferred to the Pride and, along with J.E. Campbell, she left Algiers that same day to rejoin the convoy. On May 5th it was concluded from intercepts that Fechteler (DE) of Task Force 66 had been torpedoed and sunk near the Spanish Isla Del Alboran and that the sub was being hunted. Pride and J.E. Campbell altered course, joining the hunt in the shoal water around the island, but the search was negative and they rejoined the convoy before dark.
Pride anchored in New York Harbor on May 22nd. For this action CDR R. R. Curry, USCG, received a gold star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit. LTJG Donald E. Shively, USCGR, Samuel Abbott, SOM 3/c, Morton M. Fink and Daniel J. Hollern received commendations from the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet.
In March, 1945, Pride was assigned killer group work with Menges, Mosely, and Lowe of Escort Division 46. The first assignment for this group resulted in the destruction of the U-866 at 43° 18' N x 61° 08' W on March 18, 1945. This took place off Halifax before she had opportunity to sink any Allied shipping. For his part in this action, the commanding officer, LCDR Winslow H. Buxton, USCG, received a commendation from the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
The killer group was then assigned to the barrier group in the North Atlantic which consisted of four escort carriers and 80 destroyer escorts. The job assigned was to intercept and destroy enemy U-boats before they could reach the vital shipping lanes. Five out of six submarines known to be in that area were destroyed and the sixth one surrendered shortly after VE-day.
The coming of VJ-day found Pride helping to train submarines in the war against Japan, under command of LT L. A. Cheney, USCG, who relieved LCDR Buxton on September 1, 1945. Later she was transferred to the Inactive Fleet. Her Coast Guard crew was removed on May 6, 1946.
United States Coast Guard. Statistical Division/Historical Section. Public Information Division. V: Transports and Escorts. Volume I, Escorts, Mar 1 1949, pp. 127-128.
USS PRIDE (DE-323) was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Co., Orange, Tex., 12 April 1943; launched 3 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Lewis Bailey Pride, mother of Lewis Bailey Pride, Jr.; and commissioned 13 November 1943, Commander Ralph R. Curry, USCG, in command. After shakedown off Bermuda, PRIDE spent the next twelve months escorting six convoys into the Mediterranean. On 20 April 1944, during the second voyage, German planes attacked Convoy UGS-38 at dusk off Algiers, and sank five ships including a transport carrying 500 soldiers, and destroyer LANSDALE (DD-426).
On the return voyage, PRIDE, with destroyer escorts JOSEPH E. CAMPBELL (DE-70), French SENEGALAIS and HMS BLANKNEY, sank U-371, taking 49 prisoners, 4 May 1944. On 1 March 1945, she was assigned hunter killer work with three other ships of her division, the group scoring against U-866 off Halifax 1 March. She then joined a North Atlantic escort carrier group assigned to search out and destroy U-boats before they gained access to the shipping lanes. By the end of European hostilities, 5 of the 6 submarines known to be in the area were destroyed. The 6th surrendered shortly after V-E Day. She then escorted two transports to Liverpool, whence she steamed back across the Atlantic to Panama where she conducted submarine training exercises until late in 1945.
On 29 December, she reported to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Fla. On 26 April 1946, PRIDE decommissioned at Green Cove Springs. In 1961, she was moved to Orange, Tex., where she remains into 1970. PRIDE earned three battle stars for World War II service.
Stricken from the Navy Register on 2 January 1971, PRIDE was sold for scrap on 30 January 1974.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, (1970) Vol. 5, p. 381.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.