USS BROUGH DE 148
National Archives photo
The History of USS
BROUGH was commissioned 18 September at Orange, TX, LCDR Kenneth J. Hartley, USN, in command. DE-148 departed Orange, TX 27 September and entered the Gulf of Mexico enroute to Galveston for ship degaussing. The next port of call was New Orleans, LA early in October 1943.
From 9 October through 11 November,
Brough was involved with her shakedown cruise off Bermuda.
She departed Bermuda 11 November enroute to Charleston, SC.
During this return trip, on 12 November, very high seas were
encountered which caused the death of Captain
Hartley. He was inspecting a problem with the number one
gun mount and a large wave threw him against the gun's splinter
shield causing fatal head injuries. BROUGH returned to
Bermuda the same day where Capt. Hartley's body was delivered for
She departed Norfolk 24 November and sailed for Bermuda, arriving 27 November. On 28 Nov she was underway to rendezvous with her first convoy, UGS-25, bound for North Africa.
BROUGH escorted UGS-25 through the Straights of Gibraltar 11 December and was relieved of the convoy that day. BROUGH continued on to Casablanca, arriving at 2000 hrs. On 17 December she was underway from Casablanca escorting GUS-24 to the US and into the Brooklyn Navy Yard (New York Navy Yard).
During her Atlantic convoy duty for December 1943, BROUGH investigated 2 possible submarine contacts - one sonar and one radar contact and assisted in one contact by USS Swasey DE 248. The U-boats were unverified in each case.
During 1944, BROUGH remained stationed in the Atlantic Ocean escorting convoys between the US and Europe for a total of fourteen convoys. On 14 February BROUGH was steaming in the Straights of Gibraltar when an air patrol dropped two smoke flares indicating a possible submarine sighting. BROUGH made a sonar contact at 1036 hrs and commenced firing 24 hedge hogs on the possible sub contact. No debris or oil surfaced. BROUGH secured from battle stations at 1109 hrs and continued to Gibraltar Harbor.
On 28 May BROUGH was in the Atlantic Ocean escorting UC-24 when another possible submarine contact was made. BROUGH made three attacks, firing hedgehogs and dropping depth charges on all three runs. There was no evidence of sub contact.
BROUGH did not directly participate in the D-Day invasion of France, 6 June 1944. However, she protected the convoys moving across the Atlantic ensuring the movement of war supplies to the east.
On August 9, BROUGH investigated a radar
contact, which was identified as the Swedish tanker Malmahus.
It should be noted that from the start of her
service in September 1943 until the end of May of 1945, (21
months) a total of 24 escort trips were completed without the
loss of a single vessel. Although five attacks were made on
toughest battles were the constant war against the wind, sea, fog
and ice with the Atlantic Ocean, BROUGH had to remain battle ready
at all times.
She sailed for Pearl Harbor arriving 11 August 1945. BROUGH participated in various war training exercises and on 22 August she rendezvoused with the escort aircraft carrier USS Petrof Bay (CVE 80), Task Group 19.2. Equipment failure followed by sonar gear problems led to the detachment of BROUGH from TG 19.2.
The formal surrender of Japan occurred on 2 September 1945. On 4 September, BROUGH departed Pearl Harbor and arrived 10 September at San Pedro Bay, CA. The following day, her command changed to LCDR Eugene Emerson.
later she set a course through the Panama Canal arriving in
Charleston 25 September 1945. She left Charleston 24
October and arrived 26 October at Green Cove Springs, FL, on the St.
Johns River, to be prepped for inactive service. The official
decommissioning date for BROUGH was 22 March 1946 and she was placed into
the US Atlantic Fleet Reserve, Florida Group.
In early 1952, BROUGH was in Key West, FL when she had an encounter with the pier at the Naval Annex Base, trying to either modify the pier or her bow. On the morning of 16 February President Harry Truman was on his morning walk and stopped to survey the damage on the BROUGH’s bow.
By late spring BROUGH was operating out of Goose Bay,
Labrador delivering materials and mail to various remote Distant
Early Warning Radar (DEW) Stations that were under construction.
The DEW Line Project started at the beginning of the Cold War Era
and the main purpose was to provide early detection of ICBM
missiles and/or air attacks from the Soviet Union. In September, BROUGH participated in a joint NATO exercise known as
Mainbrace. BROUGH crossed the Arctic Circle on 18 September at
longitude 03°20’E and during this deployment made port calls in
Norway, Scotland, France and a few Caribbean ports.
BROUGH spent some time in Newport, RI and by
early June sailed for Key West to provide training services for
the Fleet Sonar School. In August, she berthed along side
the USS Yosemite (AD 19) for tender overhaul during which it was
discovered that the ship’s generators also warranted an overhaul.
BROUGH was sent to the Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, NH for further
repairs. By November, she was operating with CortRon 14 out
of Newport and was the flagship for Commander Escort Squadron 14 and participated in Operation Springboard in the
Caribbean. She returned to Newport in December 1953.
On 5 February 1958, she took a trip across the Antarctic Circle, a first for a Destroyer Escort. In April BROUGH returned to Newport and later that month was reassigned to the homeport of Key West. In June BROUGH prepared for her third cruise south for Operation Deepfreeze IV. On 23 August BROUGH sailed from Key West via the Panama Canal and arrived in Dunedin 22 September. She was on duty stationed between New Zealand and Antarctica.
Leaving Dunedin 7 February 1959, BROUGH took the
long way home to become the first DE to circumnavigate the world
alone. Via the Suez Canal, she visited many ports on her way
home to the US. On 14 April she returned to Key West. Shortly
after returning home, BROUGH spent ten days off Puerto Rico for the famous Jupiter
rocket flight which carried two
monkeys, Alfa and Bravo, into space. BROUGH was in command of the
In the fall of 1961, BROUGH
went to Charleston and berthed along side the tender USS Everglades
(AD 24) for repairs. At this time she had the outer open bridge
re-enclosed. The roof (overhead) was replaced and new windows with
new wipers and new wiper motors were installed. She returned to Key
West to continue ASW training services for the Fleet Sonar
School for the remainder of 1961.
On 6 April, BROUGH was originally sent to Port Au Prince, Haiti to
escort GC-8, a Haitian vessel, back to Miami for yard work to be
done in the United States. The Haitian vessel was to be escorted by
the BROUGH because Cuban patrol craft would most likely seize the
ship if it were encountered alone in transit. Upon BROUGH’s arrival
at Port Au Prince, she docked near a YP (patrol boat) which
had a jeep tied down to her stern. The YP sailed for Jeremie, Haiti
shortly after and sank off Jeremie. Five crewmen from BROUGH (on or
about 20 April) were sent to salvage the YP. BROUGH patrolled some
distance off the coast and the motor whaleboat was dispatched to
the salvage site. The coastal area was very shallow and BROUGH’s
draft kept her a good distance from the salvage site. The YP was
refloated and the jeep was recovered when the natives on the beach
attached lines to the jeep and pulled it ashore. The jeep was
repaired for future use. After the salvage mission was completed,
BROUGH returned to Port Au Prince, escorted the Haitian vessel GC-8
back to Miami and returned to Key West. (Note: The YP vessel was
used to do tuberculosis research and to treat tuberculosis patients
in various Haitian villages. The YP vessel was restored and
equipped with x-ray and other medical equipment and staffed with two
doctors, two interns and nurses, providing services through the
In October 1963, BROUGH was enroute from Key West to Mayport when she encountered a bad storm. During that storm, the ship received a fair amount of damage but continued to operate. In the latter part of 1963, BROUGH’s primary operations were in Key West conducting sonar school operations and tracking Russian ships in and out of the port of Havana, Cuba. She took several short refresher training cruises to Guantanamo and trips to the tender in Mayport and Charleston in addition to port calls in Fort Lauderdale and Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
BROUGH conducted an extended two to three month
shipping survey in the Caribbean in late 1964. During this cruise,
BROUGH was diverted to Colon, Panama during the riots there and
made port calls in Cartagena, Colombia and Curacao, the Netherlands
During the summer
of 1965 she was decommissioned and in November of 1965 she was
stricken from the naval records. The findings from the INSURV
inspection, plus the fact that newer, faster, and more capable
ships were entering the fleet were all factors in the decision to
decommission and ultimately scrap BROUGH. On 13 October 1966,
BROUGH was sold for scrap and dismantled sometime later. This
concluded 23 years of the history of USS BROUGH and those who
served on her from 1943 until 1966.
Origin of the DE 148 Name
The Air Medal was presented posthumously to Mrs. Jack Bell, Brough’s sister, since his parents were deceased. Lt.(jg) Brough is listed in the USN record in the hometown of Butte, MT. This is because his sister lived in Butte at the time she accepted his Air Medal. His hometown at the time of his death and burial location is unknown.
"For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight
as Patrol Plane Commander in action with the enemy Japanese forces
during the Aleutian Island Campaign from June 10-20, 1942. Flying
under extremely hazardous conditions of high winds, snow, rain and
dense fog, LT(jg) Brough engaged in dangerous scouting missions
during the enemy bombing of Dutch Harbor and Uminak, and in
addition participated in all night aerial patrols and bombing
attacks on Japanese ships in Kiska Harbor, facing concentrated air
Named for Lieutenant (jg) David Aitkens Brough, b. 15 June 1914, Pueblo, CO; KIA 30 July 1942 in airplane crash while serving with Patrol Squadron 42, Aleutian Islands
Unit of CortDiv 3
the research of Anne McCarthy,
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