Warren Russell Gould

Warren R. Gould was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island in 1921. Motivated by the attack on Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941) and the U. S.'s participation in World War II, Uncle Warren enlisted in early 1942. He entered the Naval Training School located in Newport, RI. as an Apprentice Seaman (AS).

 


 

Shown here at the Newport Naval Training School in 1942. Note the bolt action 1903-A3 Springfield rifle and long, 16 inch bayonet, likely the M1942 or M1905 and 1910 scabbard. 

 

 After eight weeks of basic Navy instruction he was sent on to Chicago for another eight weeks of more in depth training on ship's engines.  From Chicago Uncle Warren would get his first assignment, U.S.S. PC-583. PC, stood for Patrol Craft, but the ships were commonly known as a "sub chasers”.  Uncle Warren referred to it as an overgrown rowboat. The PC-461 Class, was intended for coastal service, but given the shortage of naval vessels covering two oceans the PC-583 would make transatlantic voyages and serve in both oceans.


PC-583

PC-583 Specifications
Displacement: 280 Tons
Length: 173’-8"
Beam: 23’
Draft:10’-10"
Speed: 18-20 knots
Weapons: 1 - 3" 50mm bow gun
1 - 40mm aft gun
Crew: 65 - 80

Defoe Boat and Motor Works of Bay City Michigan built PC-583 in May 1942. The ship sailed down the mighty Mississippi River to New Orleans and the Todd Johnson Shipyard for outfitting. The ship was commissioned on September 2, 1942 and headed for Florida and a shake down cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship sailed to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and other South American Ports. The relatively small ship was easily tossed about in the open ocean as it sailed from South America to North Africa. Uncle Warren recalled being stalked by U-boats. He recalled one night several destroyers and PC’s were in pursuit of a sub and a destroyer nearly rammed the 583!

In the late fall, PC-583 headed through the Panama Canal to the West Coast. First arriving in San Diego, and then on to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in early 1943. The 583 patrolled numerous islands in the Pacific including Midway.

In December, Uncle Warren boarded an aircraft carrier and headed home by way of Pearl Harbor and San Francisco.This would be Warren's last visit with all five of his brothers. Before he would return again, two brothers would be caught up in the war.


USS O’Reilly

He returned to duty in Orange, Texas to serve on the newly commissioned USS O'Reilly - DE 330, a Destroyer Escort. Compared to the 583, this was a ship! As long as a football field with a crew of approximately 200. The O'Reilly was named after Lt. Edward J. O'Reilly of Chicago. Lt. O'Reilly was aboard the Astoria (CA-34) when she went down in the Eastern Solomons on August 9, 1942. The O'Reilly was officially commissioned on December 28, 1943.

       The O'Reilly was an Edsall Class DE based on its 4 Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines. In 1943, a Destroyer Escort cost the taxpayer about $6,000,000 each (although estimates and figures do vary depending on your source). 85, Edsall Class DE's were completed during the war, in comparison to 504 DE’s of all classes constructed, many sent to England.

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Destroyer Escorts

The Destroyer Escort was designed for use by the British to protect shipping in the Atlantic from German submarines. Many of the ships systems reflect the British Navy's design. The DE was an escort ship, but was designed to be a submarine killer, which is reflected in its type of weapons. While the DE had the capacity to fire anti-aircraft rounds it was not well armed for defense from aerial attack. While not as heavily armed as a destroyer, the DE had superb maneuverability.

The Destroyer Escort developed 6 classes by the end of the war. Ship class was largely due to engine type or weapons systems differences.

Destroyer Escort Classes:

Evarts – GMT, General Motors diesel-electric tandem drive
Buckley – TE, Turboelectric drive 
Cannon – DET, Diesel-electric tandem drive
Edsall – FMR, Fairbanks-Morse diesel reduction gear drive
Rudderow – TEV, Turboelectric drive with 5” guns
John C. Butler – WGT, Westinghouse geared turbine drive


       Some notable DE’s: The USS England, DE 635. In May 1944, the England sank 5 submarines in 12 days and the crew was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, a feat not outdone by any other WW-II ship. Sadly, the England was struck by a kamikaze in July ’45, 37 crewmen were killed, 25 injured.  The USS Buckley, DE 51. The Buckley engaged a surfaced U-boat, U-66, and eventually rammed the sub. While entangled, the men of the Kriegsmarine swarmed out of their sub with small arms and attacked the crew of the Buckley. The crew fought back and drove the German sailors off.

 While the DE’s were intended to battle with submarines a small group of DE’s and Destroyers, DD’s (Taffy-3) tangled with Japanese battleships and cruisers in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. As the landing beaches and small carriers only defense the small ships traded blows with ships many times their size. 14-inch shells from the battleships would punch holes through the little DE’s and not explode. The DE’s battled back with every five-inch shell they had.  

U.S.S O'Reilly DE-330 Specs: Weapons & Systems Crew Accommodations
  • Crew: 200 +/-
  • Engines: 4 Fairbanks-Morse diesels
  • Beam: 36'-7"
  • Hull Length: 306 feet
  • Displacement: 1,590 tons
  • Draft: 12'-3"
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Fuel Capacity: 279 tons
  • Fuel Type #6 diesel oil
  • Range: 9,000 Nautical Miles
  • Twin screws (propellers) and rudders
  • Range Finder (sonar)
  • Directional Control: Mk51
  • 3: 3"-50 dual purpose guns two fore and one aft
  • Hedgehog: forward throwing depth charge
  • 8 K-guns(Depth Charge Launchers)
  • 1: twin mount 40mm gun
    10: 20mm guns
  • Triple mount 21-inch torpedo tubes
  • Crew cabins with triple bunks
  • Showers
  • Mess hall
  • Laundry
  • On-board films
  • Drinking fountains
      (referred to as scuttle butts)
  • Ice Cream maker


The O'Reilly first escorted a convoy from Venezuela to North Africa and the ports in Oran and Algiers in March 1944. After two more similar voyages and one from New York, the O'Reilly was in for repairs during September. Uncle Warren was sent back to school in Beliot Wisconsin to further train on the operation and maintenance of the O'Reilly's Fairbanks-Morse diesel's. After 5 weeks of schooling Warren headed for New York to await the return of the O'Reilly.

In New York he pulled sentry duty at Pier 92 and 88. Off again on convoy duty September 20th for England (this corresponds with the departure of the 84th Division for Europe). On its second crossing the O'Reilly encountered a German U-boat (submarine). After a brief engagement the men of the Kreigsmarine slipped away with unknown results. As a historical note, the O'Reilly never lost a ship under its protection during convoy duty.

After several months of convoy duty on the O'Reilly, Warren was assigned to the SS Jacona, a power barge. Power barges were used in repair of other facilities by supplying electricity. The Jacona was built in 1919, and converted to a non self-propelled power barge in 1930. The Jacona had a displacement of 4,843 tons, and 379 feet 4 inches long. The generators could produce 20,000 kilowatts of electricity. Coincidentally, many DE’s were converted to power barges as well. The Jacona was towed to Hawaii as the war ended. Warren was reunited with his brother George W. Gould, who was now in the Navy as well. Finally, Warren headed home by way of San Francisco and was discharged on November 25, 1945. Uncle Warren's Navy Service rating was as a Fireman (engine room) and later as a Motor Machinist Mate. Both ratings were held as Second Class (two chevrons) and then First Class (three chevrons). He later served in the Naval Reserve and held the rank of First Class Petty Officer.

The war years had been quite a strain on the family, the whereabouts and health of family members was often unknown. Telegrams notifying family’s of persons missing in action, wounded, or prisoner of war were blunt and to the point and offered little explanation. Thankfully, for the Goulds, all who served returned, and at last would be together again.


Uncle Warren earned campaign ribbons for all three theaters: Europe, American and Pacific. Also shown is the Navy Good Conduct and WW-II Victory Ribbons.

 

Recommended reading for the Destroyer Escort enthusiast:

The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts by Bruce H. Franklin

Little Ship, Big War The Saga of DE 343 by Edward P. Stafford

Related Web Site Links:

Seaweed’s Ship Histories

DESA, Destroyer Escort Sailors Association

USS Slater DE-766

U.S. Medals


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