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DE-66


 


    She was named for Stanton Morgan Amesbury, born in Boston, MA, 17 January 1916. He joined the Naval reserve in 1941 for pilot training and on 1 December 41 was appointed Naval Aviator with rank of Ensign. He served with Fighter Squadron 71 on board the Wasp (CV- 7) during the landings at Guadalcanal. Lt. junior grade Amesbury was killed in action on 9 November 42 while serving in the Atlantic area.

    The Amesbury (DE-66) was launched 6 June 43 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard in Hingham, MA. She was sponsored by Mrs. Janice Kenney Amesbury, widow of Lt. Amesbury and commissioned 31 August 43 with Lt. Comdr. A. B. Adams, Jr., commanding.

    The Amesbury like the Rich and Bates was assign convoy duty crossing the U-boat infested North Atlantic. She was also distinguished to be the flagship for Commander H. W. Howe, commanding the DE group in which there were the Bates, Blessman, Bunch, Bull, and Rich.

    Mr. Lewis M. Andrews, Jr., writing in his book: "Tempest, Fire & foe", (published by Narwhal Press, Charleston, SC) says the Amesbury left Belfast on 3 June 44 screening Bombardment Group "Oboe", Task Force 124, which comprised battleships, cruisers and destroyers of the American, British and Free French Navies. There was little doubt they would make it to the invasion, so much work got underway to train in first aid, fire and rescue, man overboard, general repair, and stowing unnecessary gear and clearing the decks for action. The Amesbury was assigned to picket duty off Omaha Beach, Normandy.

    She took part in several antiaircraft actions. She escorted in a small convoy and was nearly devastated by a radio-controlled glider bomb. When LST-496, loaded with tanks and troops struck a mine, the Amesbury rushed to her aid.

    She returned to Plymouth, England, 12 June and got underway for New York the day after. She resumed her duties with ComCortDiv 19 and made one round-trip voyage between New York and Ireland in July.

    After that, the Amesbury did some temporary duty around Key-West, Florida. Then, she moved to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for conversion to a high speed transport. She left and on 17 June 45 reached San Diego via the Panama Canal. She provided transport for 11 officers and 81 enlisted men of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 12. She served as far west as Korea and Chinese waters.

    She was decommissioned and placed in reserve on 3 July 46 to never again see active service. She was removed from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 60, sold for salvage in '62. She earned one battle star for her service off the Normandy beachhead.

(Thanks to Mr. Robert LaPointe of Mt. Dora, FL, for information about the Amesbury.)

           

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