< Rall DE-304

Rall DE-304



(DE-304: dp. 1,140, 1. 289'5", b. 35'1", d. 8'3", s. 22 k.
cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)

Rall (DE-304), a destroyer escort, was laid down 24 May 1943, launched 23 September by Mare Island Naval Shipyard Vallejo, Calif., sponsored by Mrs. R. R. Rall, widow of Lieutenant (junior grade) Rall; and commissioned 8 April 1944; Lt. Comdr. C. B. Taylor in command.

Following shakedown and training exercises off the California coast in April and May, Rall departed San Francisco 9 June, escorting City of Dalhart (IX-156), and arrived at Pearl Harbor 18 June. For the next 3 months, she supported the Pacific Submarine Training Command.

On 23 September 1944, the destroyer sortied from Pearl Harbor to escort troop ships carrying the occupation force for Ulithi Atoll. The task group arrived at Ulithi on 8 October and spent the remainder of the month on patrol and escort missions there and in the Palaus.

In the early weeks of November, the DE served in an escort group protecting the oilers of Task Group 30.8, which supported the assault ships at the Leyte Guff landings. During this duty she rode out heavy weather from a typhoon with no serious damage.

On 20 November a Japanese midget submarine torpedoed and sank oiler Mississinewa (AO-59) in Ulithi Lagoon. Laying depth charge patterns at the site of swirls in the ealm water of the lagoon, Rail was credited with sinking the submarine when debris and bodies surfaced.

Following patrol duties in early December, Rall and Halloran (DE-305) escorted two escort carriers to the Admiralty Islands then returned to Ulithi. On 14 December Rail with other ships sortied from that atoll and arrived in Hawaii in time for Christmas.

After invasion rehearsals at Maui and Kahoolawe preparatory to the Iwo Jima assault, Rail got underway 26 February 1945 as a unit of the escort group convoying the garrison troops for the ocoupation of that island. The transports and their escorts arrived on 21 March and landed the Army occupation units. Rail then escorted the transport group carrying assault troops back to Saipan. From there she proceeded to Espiritu Santo, .'N'ew Hebrides, arriving 19 March.

Assigned as a screening ship for the transports carrying the Floating Reserve, the 27th Army Division, for the Okinawa invasion, DE-304 sortied from Espiritu Santo on 25 March for Ulithi and the Ryukus. En route, the convoy made an unidentified submarine contact, and Rall's lookout spotted a floating mine in the convoy path and detonated it by gunfire. The task group arrived off Okinawa 9 April, and Rall took a screening station about 10 miles southeast of Ie Shima. The next few days vvere quiet except for air raid alerts. At 1925 on 12 April, the ship went to General Quarters. During the next 3 hours, 14 separate air attacks were tracked into the area, as the "Divine Wind" brought death and damage to the Ameriean invasion fleet off Okinawa. A raid of five Japanese planes approached Rall's sector. The DE's gunners commencefl firing, splashing three of the kamikazes. A fourth was destroyed bv 3 cruiser, but the fifth broke through the nery screeri and the plane, damaged and aflame hit the escort on the starboard side aft. A 500-pound bomb slung beneath the plane tore through the ship, exploding in the air about 15 feet from the port side. The explosion and fire from the suicide plane, combined with strafing attacks from another wave of fighters, resulted in heavy damage, 21 dead and 38 wounded. I'rompt damage control action extinguished the fires and temporary repairs were commenced. Rail entered the Hagushi Beach anchorapc and moored alongside Pinkney (APH-2), where most of the wourlded were transferred. The dead were removed the next morning for burial on Okinawa.

After initial repairs, ComCortDiv 61 shifted his pennant to Finnegan (DE-307) and the Rail departed for the Kerama Retto anchorage 15 ipril. She was ordered on to Ulithi arriving there 23 April. Following additional structual repairs she left Ulithi for the last time and arrived at Seattle 18 May.

Following repairs and overhaul, the ship headed for San Diego 12 July. Upon completion of underway refresher training, Rall left San Diego 28 July, arriving Pearl Harbor 5 August. Training occupied the time until 3 September, when Rail sailed for the east coast proceeding via San Pedro, Calif., and the Panama Canal. Arriving Charleston Navy Yard 24 September, she was decommissioned 11 December 1945, and struck from the Naval Register 3 January 1946. Her hulk was sold for scrap 18 March 1947.

Rall earned three battle stars for World War II service.