USS LOWE DE 325

The EDSALL Class Destroyer  LOWE (DE-325) was laid down by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas, 24 May 1943 and launched 28 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Harry J. Lowe, mother of Gunnerís Mate Third Class Harry J. Lowe, Jr. She was commissioned 22 November 1943, Commander Reginald H. French, USCG, in command with a USCG Crew. After a shakedown cruise to Bermuda, the USS LOWE reported for convoy duty 2 February 1944 and departed Charleston, S.C., escorting convoy UGS-32 to Casablanca, French Morocco, and back.

On her second such assignment, the LOWE went into action 20 April when her convoy came under tenacious enemy air attack off the north African coast. Simultaneously, two high-speed wakes made directly for the starboard side of the ship. She evaded the torpedoes by a hard right turn which enabled her to escape between the oncoming warheads.

The LOWE continued convoy escort service, making a total of 12 Atlantic crossings until 5 March 1945 when she joined TG 22.14, an exclusively Coast Guard "killer" group, with the specific mission of finding and destroying an enemy submarine operating due east of Newfoundland. While steaming in search of the enemy 18 March, 100 miles east of Halifax, LOWE made sonar contact and attacked with two patterns of hedgehogs. The depth charge attacks with those of other ships of the group brought an oil slick and large amounts of debris to the surface. The submarine was still on the bottom the following day when LOWE reestablished sound contact. Postwar investigation verified the destruction of U-866 by this group; LOWE received credit for the kill, and her commanding officer LCDR Herbert Feldman USCGR; he received the Legion of Merit (Combat Citation) and four other crew members received awards for their part in the action. The other Coast Guard manned vessels that assisted the Lowe in sinking the U-866, were the USS Menges DE 320, the USS Mosley DE 321 and the USS Pride DE 323 (Flagship). Commander Reginald H. French USCG, was the CO of Escort Division 46,  which was the first Coast Guard hunter-killer group. In all, the Coast Guard sank or captured 13 submarines during 1942 through 1945.

While serving with TG 22.14 3 May, LOWE rescued the crew of the foundered Newfoundland schooner MARY DUFFITT and her guns sank the hulk, which was a menace to navigation.

Commencing 6 July, the ship assumed duties as a training vessel at Norfolk, Va., departing only to participate in the Navy Day observance at Washington, D.C., 24 October. Departing the Capital 1 November, she offloaded ammunition at Yorktown, and 30 December arrived at St. John's River, Fla., headquarters of the Florida Group, 16th Fleet, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, where she decommissioned 1 May 1946 and entered the Reserve Fleet.

 

 

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