USS RICH DE 695 Launching

Photo provided by
John Arnold Fryberger
In memory of my father, John Arnold Fryberger, FC3C, USNR
By his son, George M. Fryberger, webmaster - USS Rich Survivors Association
 


USS RICH DE 695

On the morning of 8 June 1944, USS GLENNON DD struck a mine while screening heavy ships off Utah Beach.  Minesweeper STAFF moved in to assist GLENNON and pass a tow line.  Adm Deyo ordered USS RICH DE 695 to the scene and she approached from eastward to offer assistance.  However, GLENNON signaled RICH that her assistance was not needed.  Lt. Cmdr. E. A. Michel, CO of  RICH, without hesitation, had gone to the aid of GLENNON, knowing he faced danger from enemy gunfire and mines.

When RICH was dismissed from the area she was told to be cautious due to mines.  RICH circled astern of GLENNON and headed away at five knots.  RICH's captain was taking every precaution.  But, it was not enough. 

0920:  An explosion burst from the sea about 50 yards off RICH's starboard beam.  Although men were shaken and power and lights lost temporarily, no serious damage occurred from the mine blast.  The ship was not so lucky when a second mine was encountered three minutes later.  A deafening explosion thundered from beneath RICH.  Men were thrown from the bridge to the deck.  A 50-foot section of the ship's stern was torn off and set adrift.  Survivors attempted to cling to debris or swim to safety and the seriously wounded were helpless in the mangled wreckage.  A series of emergency reports reached the bridge - several torpedoes were making hot runs in their tubes; the main deck had sagged, vicinity of No. 2 engine-room; compartments forward of the engineering spaces had suffered only minor damage.  But, there was never time to assess the reports.  Only minutes later, a third mine unleashed its fury on RICH.  She stayed afloat less than thirty minutes before settling into the sea.  RICH and 89 crewmembers were gone.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward A. Michel, Jr. received the Navy Cross for heroism and devotion to duty.  USS RICH DE 695 was the last DesLant ship to go down to Nazi mines off Normandy.

Roscoe, Theodore, "United States Destroyer Operations In World War II", 1953, US Naval Institute.


Gone But Never Forgotten

8 June 1944
Marvin R. Adkinson EM 3/C
Lloyd V. Anderson WT 3/C
Raymond Benjamin MM 3/C
Walter Berger CCS
Robert L. Berry CBM
Anthony S. Bilotti CY
Francisco N. F. Blas Ck 2/C
Thomas W. Bowmer S 2/C
John O. Clark MM 3/C
Frank G. Cody EM 2/C
Hubert F. Comer CM 2/C
Clarence N. Copeland StM 2/C
Hassell S. Coward MM 3/C
Benjamin K. Crawford SC 2/C
Peter S. Decimos WT 3/C
Sam J. Deguilmi F 1/C
Warren T. Delaval SoM 3/C
William C. Diefenbach, Jr. Cox
Clifford L. Drake RdM 3/C
Marvin J. Drake MM 3/C
Leonard Ferraro EM 1/C
Frank Felenchak WT 3/C
John B. Ferreira S 1/C
Richard D. Foust MM 3/C
Ernest G. Fox GM 2/C
George A. Gass SK 2/C
Frederick V. Gegen GM 2/C
Richard J. Grisim S 1/C
Barnett M. Head S 2/C
William H. Heyman Lt.(jg)
Roy E. Hickox GM 3/C
Richard E. Hiller EM 3/C
Liston L. Hines S 2/C
James G. Holland S 1/C
Leo T. Holt MoMM 3/C
John C. Johnson F 1/C
James H. Joyner S 2/C
Clifford C. Kalupa SoM 2/C
Stewart F. Hauffman RT 1/C
John J. Kelly EM 3/C
William M. Kelly GM 3/C
Thomas A. Kishel S 1/C
Edward S. Kiopotic EM 1/C
Edmund J. Kozlik MM 1/C
Kenneth J. Kraus S 1/C
Fiorendo F. Lacorte S 1/C
Norbert F. Lankheit S 2/C
Walter Latham GM 3/C
James H. MacLaughlan, Jr. S 1/C
John F. Mahneck S 2/C
Calvin E. Martin F 1/C
Cecil E. May S 1/C
Reid C. McInturff S 1/C
Thomas G. Miller RM 2/C
Thomas C. Moran S 1/C
Robert L. Osborn ENS
Robert Peachey S 1/C
William G. Pearson LCDR
Marion J. Piekarski SoM 3/C
Hardy L. Pilkinton PhM 1/C
Santo Porto GM 3/C
Leo J. Rakecki SoM 2/C
Frank S. Russo BM 2/C
Bertil G. Scott M 2/C
Frank J. Searing Y 1/C
James P. Servidio F 2/C
Wilson F. Skinner S 2/C
William T. Slade S 2/C
Herman E. Smith, Jr. MM 3/C
James C. Smith S 1/C
Leo F. Smith F 1/C
Nicholas V. Solla F 2/C
Travis D. Stephens GM 2/C
John B. Sullivan S 2/C
James Tabor S 2/C
Eugene F. Thomas TM 3/C
Richard Vanderwende F 1/C
Paul L. Virga M 3/C
Bobby R. Ward S 2/C
Douglas E. Ward S 2/C
Milton T. Ward F 1/C
John F. Warne WT 3/C
Harley B. Weatherman WT 3/C
Ralph E. Wolfe EM 3/C
Robert C. Wood SM 3/C
William T. Wright SC 3/C

9 June 1944
Harold J. Obenauer ENS


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