< Holton DE-703

Holton DE-703



(DE-703: dp. 1,400; 1. 306'; b. 36'10"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186, a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 8 20mm., 3 tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.).; cl. Buckley)

Holton (DE-703) was launched 15 December 1943 by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Mich.; sponsored by Mrs. Edith Holton, mother of Ensign Holton, and commissioned 1 May 1944 at New Orleans, Lt. Comdr. J. B. Boy, USNR, in command.

After shakedown, the new destroyer escort sailed 24 July on the Norfolk Bizerte convoy run, returning without incident to Boston 9 September. On her second transatlantic convoy, begun 2 October, Holton went into action 14 October as two ships, a cargo vessel and a tanker loaded with high octane gasoline, collided about 400 miles off the African coast and burst into Hames. After picking up the crew of the Liberty ship, Holton remained close aboard and sent over a repair party to salvage the fiercely burning ship. Although her hull was being crushed fron~ rolling against the other ship, Holton lay alongside through a long night with six hose lines running to the stricken ship and by morning had succeeded in getting the Hre under control. The next day the ship's crew was transferred back on board and with Holton as escort she proceeded to Dakar, two-thirds of the cargo as well as the ship having been saved.

Ordered to the Pacific, Holton departed Norfolk Christmas Day 1944, and arrived at Manus, Admiralty Islands, 5 February 1945 for duty in the Philippines. From then through the end of the war some 6 months later, her principal duty was escorting convoys within the Philippine Sea Frontier boundaries. After escorting two Navy ships to Tokyo Bay 31 August, Holton shepherded a convoy from Okinawa to Korea 11-13 September and then made two similar voyages to the Chinese coast. Departing Okinawa 8 November, the DE streamed her homeward-bound pennant and reached Boston via Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Panama Canal 15 December. Proceeding down the coast, Holton berthed at Green Cove Springs, lPla., 20 January 1946 and remained there until decommissioning and golug into reserve 31 May 1946. Holton was moved in January 1947 to Orange, Tex., where she remains.