Marts DE-174



Alvin Lee 'Marts, born 4 August 1923 at Wilsonville, -Nebr., enlisted in the Navy at Denver, Colo., 2 July 1941. He served on Yorktown (CV-5) and survived her loss following the Battle of Midway Transferred to New Orleans (CA-32), Marts served in the heavy cruiser as a firemen, second class. During the protracted struggle for control of southern Solomon Islands, an American cruiser and destroyer force, including New Orleans, fought Japanese destroyers in Ironbottom Sound late 30 November 1942. Early in the Battle of Tassafaronga, New Orleans took a torpedo hit in her port bow which exploded two magazines and blow off the forward part of the ship back to No. 2 turret. Assigned to the forward battle repair party, Marts was gravely injured by the blast and fires. However, in complete disregard for his own safety, he assisted in carrying an injured medical officer to the battle dressing station amidships where he collapsed from loss of blood and exhaustion. He died from his wounds shortly afterward. For extreme gallantry and self-sacrificing devotion to a stricken comrade, Marts was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.

(DE-174: dp. 1,240; 1. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 8'9"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 3 21" tt., 2 dct., 8 dcp., I dcp. (h.h.) ; cl. Cannon)

Marts (DE-174) was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newark, N.J., 26 April 1943; launched 8 August 19,43; sponsored by 'Miss Betty 'Marts: and commissioned. 3 September 1943, Lt. Carl M. Fellows in command.

After shakedown off Bermuda, Marts departed New York 4 November for convoy escort duty off the Atlantic coast of South America. She reached Trinidad, British West Indies, 9 November, and during the next 5 months operated in the 4th Fleet escorting ships between Trinidad and Recife, Brazil. As escort for Omaha (CL-4), she departed Bahia, Brazil, 23 May 1944 and patrolled the nild-Atlantic, south of the Equator, in search of German U-boats, until returning to Bahia, 5 June. She made two more patrols during the next month; and, after escorting 0maha to Gibraltar 13 July, she returned to Recife the 23d.

Between 24 July and 3 August Marts screened the British cable repair ship SS Cambria during repairs on communications cables off the Brazilian coast. Thence, she joined Escort Division 24 on hunter-killer patrols in the Atlantic. Operating with Tripoli (CVE-64), she made four offensive ASW patrols out of Recife between 22 August and 12 Noveniber. After completing sonar repairs at Bahia. Brazil, she sailed to Trinidad. where she arrived 5 December to resume convoy escort duty. From 6 to 18 December she screened a merchant convoy to Recife: thence, she continued escort duty between Brazilian ports and Trinidad until the end of January 1945.

Marts joined Cincinnati (CI-6) at Bahia I February and escorted the cruiser on patrol in the South Atlantic until returning to Recife 10 February. Scheduled for transfer under lend lease to the Brazilian Government, she steamed to the Brazilian Naval Base at Natal, March, and there trained Brazilian sailors. Marts decommissioned 20 March 1945 and recommissioned the -,line day in the Brazilian Navy as Rocaina (D-22). On 30 June 1953 she was returned to the United States in(] simultaneously transferred outright to Brazil under terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. She continues to serve in the Brazilian Navy into 1969.