Kenneth W. Durant, born 2 March 1919 in Algona Iowa, enlisted in the Navy 19 June 1940. He was killed in action on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 3 November 1942 serving with the Marines. Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Durant was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for his devotion to duty in caring for the wounded and courage in facing machinegun and sniper fire in an attempt to rescue a wounded man.
(DE-389: dp. 1,200, 1. 306'; b. 36'7",dr. 8'7" s. 21 k.;
cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.) 2 dct.;
Durant (DE-389) was launched 3 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. S. R. Durant, mother of Pharmacist's Mate Durant, and commissioned 16 November 1943, Lieutenant Commander C. C. Knapp, USCR in command.
From 21 January to 7 February 1944 Durant served as schoolship at Norfolk for the training of prospective crews for escort vessels. She made eight voyages as a convoy escort to north African ports between 10 February 1944 and 12 June 1945, guarding men and supplies essential to victory in the European theater of war. On her last crossing the German submarine U-878 surrendered to the escorts.
Durant sailed from Boston 9 July 1945 and conducted refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on her way to San Diego where she arrived 7 August. Four days later she got underway for Pearl Harbor but with the end of the war in the Pacific, her stay there was brief and she returned to the east coast, arriving at New York 26 September. On 22 October she reported to Jacksanville, Fla., to undergo inactivation. Durant was placed out of commission in reserve 27 February 1946.
Loaned to the Coast Guard 15 May 1952 Durant was commissioned as WDE-489, 9 May 1952 and served on various Pacific weather stations until placed out of commission in reserve at San Diego 10 April 1954. She was returned to the Navy 16 June 1954, and reclassified DER-389, 7 December 1955. After conversion to a radar picket escort Durant was recommissioned 8 December 1956 and reported to San Diego for shakedown training. Sailing from San Francisco 27 May 1957, she arrived at Pearl Harbor 2 June to begin picket duty on the Pacific barrier line. Through 1962, she has alternated periods of service on early warning duty with participation in exercises, air-sea rescue operations, and necessary maintenance periods.