USCGC Chambers (WDE-491)
Edsall Class Destroyer Escort
Displacement: 1,253 tons standard; 1,102 tons full load
Length: 306’ oa
Draft: 10' 5' full load
Machinery: 2-shaft Fairbanks Morse diesels, 6,000 bhp
Range: 10,800 nm at 12 knots
Top Speed: 21 knots
Armament: 3-3”/50; 2-40mm; 8-20mm; 3-21" torpedo tubes; 2 depth charge tracks; 8 depth charge projectors; 1 hedge hog.
Born in La Habra, Calif., 10 June 1914, Russell Franklyn Chambers was
appointed aviation cadet, USNR, 5 December 1938 and commissioned Ensign 4
November 1939. On duty in the Philippines when the United States entered
World War II, Ensign Chambers was reported missing in action 27
December 1941 after an engagement with the enemy over Jolo. He was
officially declared dead 28 December 1942.
USS Chambers (DE-391) was launched 17 August 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. R. F. Chambers ; commissioned 22 November 1943, Commander H. A. Loughlin, USCG, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
After a period as training ship for prospective escort vessel crews, Chambers cleared Norfolk 13 February 1944 on the first of eight convoy escort crossings to North African ports from Norfolk and New York. Steadfast to her important duty of guarding the men and materiel vital to the success of operations in the European theater, Chambers defied the hazards of the sea and the enemy to bring her charges safely to port.
On 8 July 1945 Chambers sailed from New York for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 16 August to transport homeward bound servicemen to San Pedro, Calif. She put out to sea from San Pedro for the east coast 11 September, and on 22 April 1946, was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Green Cove Springs, Fl.
Loaned to the Treasury Department, Chambers was commissioned as a Coast Guard ship 11 June 1952, and redesignated WDE-491. 11 June 1952 through 30 July 1954 she was stationed at New Bedford, MA. 5-25 December 1952 she served on OS ECHO; 6-27 March 1953 she served on OS DELTA; 11 March 1953 assisted the tanker Angy; 23 May-12 June 1953 she served on OS COCA; 7-29 August 1953 she served on OS ALFA; 12-13 August 1953 left station due to medical emergency; 2 September 1953 she assisted the FV Eugene H at 43' 20"N x 64' 40"W; 29 September-17 October 1953 she served on OS ECHO; 11 October 1953 evacuated medical emergency from MV Neva West at 36' 10"N x 48' 00"W and transported to Cook Inlet on 12 October; 4-25 December 1953 she served on OS DELTA; 9-30 April 1954 she served on OS DELTA. She was decommissioned and returned to the Navy 30 July 1954. Returned to reserve status, Chambers was reclassified DER-391 on 28 October 1954, and began conversion to a radar picket escort vessel.
Chambers was recommissioned 1 June 1955, for radar picket duty out of Newport, R.I. She was assigned to the Atlantic Barrier Patrol in June 1956, with which she operated until placed out of commission in reserve 20 June 1960, at Philadelphia.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: USGPO.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.