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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063

415-334-0263
415-350-0531
Art Curtis:
awcurtis@comcast.net

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by Chief Johnny

 

CRUISERS

Albert T. Harris (DE-447

Albert T. Harris (DE-447) was laid down on 13 January 1944 at Newark, N.J., by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; launched on 16 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. J. D. Harris, the mother of Lt. (jg.) Harris; and was commissioned on 29 November 1944 at the New York Navy Yard, Lt. Comdr. Sidney King in command.

The destroyer escort spent three weeks at New Your outfitting before embarking on her shakedown cruise to the British West Indies late in December. She returned to the United States briefly at the end of January 145 but soon got underway again, bound for duty in the Pacific. The warship transited the Panama Canal in mid-February and continued, via the Galapagos and Society Islands, to Manus in the Admiralties. There, she became an element of Escort Division (CortDiv 77), and for the next five months, served on convoy escort duty and screened three amphibious operations. Albert T. Harris served as part of a demonstration group making a feint at Morotai during the occupation of the Zamboanga Peninsula of Mindanao between 17 and 23 April and participated in the surface force that covered the landings at Santa Cruz on the Davao Gulf on 3 and 4 May. In June, she provided support for the seizure of Brunei Bay, Borneo.

Reassigned to the Philippine Sea Frontier on July, Albert T. Harris spent the remainder of the war escorting ships between islands of the Philippines, protecting them from Japanese submarines. Though she logged several attacks on suspected enemy submersibles, the destroyer escort scored no successes. Following Japan's capitulation, the warship joined the South China Force to assist in the occupation of territory still held by Japanese forces, a mission that took her to Shanghai and Hong Kong in China, Haiphong, and Hongay in French Indochina, Korea, and the island of Formosa. She returned to the United States at San Diego on 12 February 1946 and was decommissioned ther on 26 July 1946.

The destroyer escort remained in reserve with the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, for almost five years. The North Korean invasion of South Korea late in June 1950 triggered an expansion in the Navy's active fleet. Accordingly, Albert T. Harris was recommissioned at San Diego on 27 April 1951, Lt. Comdr. W. M. Robinson in command. While she saw no combat service, her reactivation released other Atlantic Fleet warships for duty off Korea. She served with the Pacific Fleet along the west coast until September. At that time, the destroyer escort transited the Panama Canal and joined the the Atlantic Fleet as an element of Escort Squadron 12 based at Newport, R.I.

During the ensuing six years, Albert T. Harris operated along the eastern seaboard and in the West Indies. In addition to the normal training evolutions, independent ship's exercises, type training, and the annual Operation "Springboard" fleet problem - she also provided services to the Fleet Sonar School and made midshipman summer training cruises. 

Reassigned to naval reserve training duty in September 1957, under the operational control of the Commandant, 3d Naval District, the ship spent the remaining 11 years of her Navy career, operating out of New York helping reservists to sharpen their skills as sailors. In August 1968, Albert T. Harris was declared excess to the needs of the Navy. On 19 September 1968, she reported to the Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Philadelphia to begin inactivation. Decommissioned at Philadelphia on 21 September 968, Albert T. Harris was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 23 September 1968. The former warship was sunk as a target off the Virginia capes on 9 April 1969. 

Albert T. Harris earned two battle stars during World War II.

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