USS Charles E. Brannon DE 446

"Entering San Diego on 24 June 1950 (next day Korean war started) enroute to Acapulco, Mexico for our 4-week Naval Reserve training cruise.  Brannon was assigned to the Tacoma, WA, Naval Reserve Training Center during the late 40's, early 50's, before being reassigned to the Seattle Naval Reserve Training Center.  I made many week-end cruises on Brannon and a two week summer cruise to San Francisco in June 1949.  This was my last cruise on Brannon.

At the time of the cruise I had just graduated from High School and was a Reservist and a Seaman (SN) Radar striker.  We departed Seattle, WA, on 17 June 1950 and returned to Seattle on 14 July 1950.  I was a Reservist from 27 February 1949 thru 24 September 1950 at which time I enlisted in the Regular Navy - then I ended up on Carriers."

Photo and history submitted by Dick Willard, Plankowner
Yeoman, North Pacific Chapter DESA
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Photo 1  |  Photo 2

DANFS History of DE 446

Charles E. Brannon, who was born 2 August 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, enlisted in the Naval Reserve 14 April 1941 for aviation training. Ensign Brannon reported for duty in Torpedo Squadron 8 in carrier USS Hornet (CV-8 ) 3 February 1942, and was killed in action 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway. He was awarded a Navy Cross posthumously for his extraordinary heroism in pressing home an attack against a Japanese carrier.

( DE-446: displacement 1,350; length 306'; beam 36'8"; draft 9'5"; speed 24 knots; complement 186; arms: 2 5" turret guns; 2 twin 40mm guns; 10 20mm guns; 3 21" torpedo tubes; 8 depth charge projectors; 1 depth charge projector-hedgehog; 2 depth charge tracks; class: John C. Butler)

Charles E. Brannon (DE-446) was launched 23 April 1944 by Federal Shipbuilding Company, Newark, New Jersey; sponsored by Second Lt. D. Brannon, WAC; and commissioned 1 November 1944, Comdr. E.W. Todd in command.

Putting out from New York 27 January 1945, Charles E. Brannon escorted cargo ships by way of the Panama Canal, and the Galapagos and Society Islands to Manus, arriving 15 March. Routed on to San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands, she began the important task of guarding inter island convoys. Late in April, she sailed in the screen of the assault forces bound for Tarakan, Borneo, off which she lay from 1 to 8 May, covering the landings and giving call fire support. Her effective gunfire won many compliments from the troops whose advance was thereby expedited. Charles E. Brannon gave similar support during the assault on Brunei Bay which began 10 June.

From beginning of July through mid-September 1945, Charles E. Brannon escorted convoys sailing from the Philippines to Okinawa, then participated in the occupation of China operating between Okinawa and Hong Kong. She returned to San Francisco 1 February 1946, and on 21 May 1946 was placed out of commission in reserve at San Diego.

From August 1946 into 1960, Charles E. Brannon was assigned to the reserve training program. In cruises along the west coast over weekends and in more extended periods, active reservists manned her in refresher training. From 21 November 1950 to 18 June 1960, Charles E. Brannon performed this service in commissioned status, and since the latter date has been in service under an officer-in-charge, with a reserve officer in command when she puts to sea with her reserve training group, until she was decommissioned in 1968. In 1969 she was sold for scrap.

Charles E. Brannon received one battle star for World War II service.


Named for Ensign Charles E. Brannon, b. 2 August 1919, Montgomery, AL; served with Torpedo Squadron 8, HORNET (CV-8); KIA 4 June 1942, Battle of Midway; posthumous Navy Cross

Type: WGT
Builder: FED
Keel laid 01/13/44
Launched 04/23/44
Commissioned 11/01/44
First CO: Cdr E. W. Todd
Decommissioned 05/21/46; one battle star
Recommissioned 11/21/50-06/18/60
Stricken 09/23/68
Sold 10/27/69, scrapped
Unit of CortDiv 77

From the research of Anne McCarthy,
with contributions by Pat Perrella and Pat Stephens, webmaster. March 2006

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