USS Bray (DE-709)
USS Bray (DE-709) was a Rudderow-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, named after Raymond Leon Bray, who was born in Greenville, Texas on 1 April 1918. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940, and was killed in action at Gavutu, Solomon Islands, on 7 August 1942. Corporal Bray was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism.
|Namesake:||Raymond Leon Bray|
|Builder:||Defoe Shipbuilding Company, Bay City, Michigan|
|Laid down:||January 1944|
|Launched:||15 April 1944|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Mattie M. Bray|
|Commissioned:||4 September 1944|
|Reclassified:||APD-139, 16 July 1945|
|Decommissioned:||10 May 1946|
|Struck:||1 June 1960|
|Fate:||Sunk as target, 27 March 1963|
|Class and type:||Crosley-class high speed transport|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m)|
|Beam:||37 ft (11 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)|
|Propulsion:||Turbo-electric drive, 12,000 hp (8.9 MW)|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
Construction and commissioning
Bray was launched on 15 April 1944 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan, sponsored by Mrs. Mattie M. Bray, mother of Corporal Bray; and commissioned on 4 September 1944, with Commander J. A. Hetherington II, USNR, in command.
Bray was assigned to Escort Division 12, United States Atlantic Fleet, and during late 1944, participated in anti-submarine operations off Long Island, and conducted exercises with American submarines. Following repairs at the Boston Navy Yard as a result of a collision with the submarine Cuttlefish (SS-171) on 8 December, Bray reported to Norfolk, Virginia, early in 1945, and conducted training for prospective destroyer and destroyer escort crews. She later trained with submarine crews off New London, Connecticut, until mid-July 1945. During this period, she also participated in occasional anti-submarine duty along the East coast. On 19 March 1945 she steamed to the aid of the coastal minesweeper Heroic (AMc-84), saving her from sinking.clad only in heavy underclothing and using a face mask breathing apparatus, Thomas John Kushnerick, Boilermaker, 1st class,U.S.N. Of Freeland, Pa. descended 4times in ice-cold water in the darkness to secure a patch over the hole in the minesweepers hull due to a parted flange in the sea chest.
Between 15 July and 18 September 1945, Bray was at Charleston Navy Yard where she underwent conversion to a high speed transport. She was reclassified as a Crosley-class high speed transport, APD-139, on 16 July 1945. Bray later served as a training ship operating out of Miami, Florida. She arrived at Green Cove Springs, Florida, on 7 December 1945, and was assigned to the 16th Fleet. She was placed out of commission in reserve on 10 May 1946 and never returned to active service.
Bray was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1960 and sunk as a target on 27 March 1963.
- Photo gallery of USS Bray at NavSource Naval History