Allied Warships

USS Buckley (DE 51)

Destroyer Escort of the Buckley class

USS Buckley during the Second World War

NavyThe US Navy
TypeDestroyer Escort
PennantDE 51 
Built byBethlehem Shipyard Inc. (Hingham, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered10 Jan 1942 
Laid down29 Jun 1942 
Launched9 Jan 1943 
Commissioned30 Apr 1943 
End service 

Buckley (DE-51) was commissioned on 30 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander Alvin Weems Slayden in command.

Between July 1943 and 22 April 1944 Buckley operated along the eastern seaboard as training ship for prospective officers and nucleus crews of other destroyer escorts.

On 22 April 1944 she joined hunter-killer TG 21.11 for a sweep of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean convoy routes. On the morning of 6 May aircraft from USS Block Island (CVE-21) reported an enemy submarine near Buckley. She steamed toward the surfaced submarine evading her torpedoes and gunfire, and commenced firing. At 0328 Buckley rammed the German submarine U-66 and then backed off. Shortly thereafter, the submarine struck Buckley, opening a hole in the escort vessel's starboard side. The U-66 drew astern of Buckley and sank at 0341 in 17°17' N., 32°24' W. Buckley picked up 36 German survivors and then retired to New York where she underwent repairs until 14 June 1944.

After completing refresher training at Casco Bay, Maine, in July 1944, Buckley escorted two convoys to North Africa (14 July-7 November 1944). She then operated on anti-submarine and convoy escort duty along the eastern seaboard and in the North Atlantic until June 1945. During this period USS Buckley and USS Reuben James (DE-153) sank the German submarine U-548 on 19 April 1945 in 42°19' N., 61°45' W.

Buckley escorted one more convoy to Algeria during June-July 1945 and upon her return to the east coast commenced conversion to a picket ship. In October 1945 she participated in the Navy Day ceremonies at Jacksonville, Fla., and then on the 31st reported to the 16th Fleet at St. John's River, Fla. Buckley was placed out of commission in reserve 3 July 1946. On 26 April 1949 her classification was changed to DER-51 and on 29 September 1954 she was reclassified DE-51.  

Commands listed for USS Buckley (DE 51)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/Cdr. Alvin Weems Slayden, USN30 Apr 194312 Aug 1943
2Lt. Brent Maxwell Abel, USNR12 Aug 19439 Jan 1945
3Lt. Robert Reynolds Crutchfield, USNR9 Jan 19453 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Buckley include:

6 May 1944
German U-boat U-66 was sunk west of the Cape Verde Islands, in position 17°17'N, 32°29'W, by depth charges, ramming and gunfire from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Block Island and by the destroyer escort USS Buckley.

19 Apr 1945
German U-boat U-548 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of Halifax, in position 42°19'N, 61°45'W by depth charges from the American destroyer escorts USS Reuben James and USS Buckley.

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts

Bruce Hampton Franklin

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