USS Maurice J. Manuel
DE 351 (John C. Butler Class)

contributed by: Rob Switala

Builder:        Consolidated Shipbuilding, Orange, Texas
Laid Down:      December 22, 1943
Launched:       February 19, 1944
Commissioned:   June 30, 1944
Decommissioned: 
Fate:           Stricken May 1, 1966

We are seeking information on the USS Maurice J. Manuel and her crews. Files and photos may be emailed to us and we will incorporate them into this page. When enough information has been assembled we will then build the ship her own section.


The E-mail:

Subject: USS Maurice J. Manuel 351
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001
From: Linda
My Father's name: Clyde Cain, Jr.
Seaman First Class USN Years Aboard 1945 - '46
Information on the Maurice J. Manuel

Maurice Joseph Manuel, born April 29, 1917, at Mamou, La., enlisted in the U.S, Marine Corps at new Orleans December 16, 1941. During the early months of World War II, he served at San Diego, California, where he was promoted to private first class, April 4, 1942. He participated in the invasion of the Solomon Islands in August and for more than three months, took part in the heroic defense of American positions on Guadalcanal. While fighting between the Mantanikau and Poha Rivers, he voluntarily left a protected position to rescue wounded comrades. Despite intense enemy machine gun fire, he crossed a grassy knoll and carried one seriously injured companion to safety. While making a second rescue attempt, he was struck by enemy gunfire and died November 10,1942. For this his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity under hostile fire, Private First Class Manuel was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

The USS Maurice J Manuel (DE-351) was laid down by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas, December 22, 1943, launched February 19, 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Leona Manuel, and commissioned at Orange June 30, 1944, Lt. Comdr. William M. Lowry in command. After shakedown off Bermuda, Maurice J. Manuel served as a training ship out of Norfolk, Va. until steaming to New York for convoy escort duty October 3, 1944. Sailing in convoy on the 6th, she battled heavy weather in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and safely escorted the first American convoy to Marseilles, France on October 20th. After returning to the United States November 7th, between November 25 and December 24, 1944, she escorted another convoy to southern France, steamed to the coast of north Africa, and returned to New York. On January 16th, 1945, Maurice J. Manuel sailed for duty in the Pacific. She escorted attack cargo ship Caswell (AKA-72) to the Canal Zone, thence, as part of Escort Division 78, she steamed to the Admiralties, arriving Manus February 19, 1945. Assigned to TF 75, she began convoy escort duty to the Philippine Islands on March 3rd and arrived Leyte Gulf on the 8th. She sailed for Melanesia on March 13, reaching Hollandia, New Guinea, the 19th, and between March 21st and 28th returned again to Leyte. Maurice J. Manuel maintained her busy pace. Convoy runs sent her between Leyte and New Guinea, the Palaus, and Ulithi, as well as among the Philippines to Manila Bay, Subic Bay, and Lingayen Gulf. Late in July she made a run to Okinawa out of Subic Bay, and as the war ended, on August 15th, she patrolled the coast of Luzon out of Lingayen Gulf. On August 26th, she departed Manila Bay for Tokyo, Japan, escorting the SS Winthrop Victory and transport General S.D. Sturgis (AP-137). The latter ship carried high-ranking military and naval officers from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Netherlands, and the East Indies, to Japanese surrender ceremonies on board battleship Missouri (BB-63). The convoy entered Tokyo Bay August 31st, thence, Maurice J. Manuel sailed September 1st, 1945, via Okinawa to Leyte Gulf where she arrived on the 8th. For more than two months the escort ship conducted periodic patrols east of the Philippines out of San Pedro Bay. Departing the Philippines November 27th, she steamed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to the west coast, arriving Long Beach on December 17, 1945, and sailing to San Diego March 15, 1946. Maurice J. Manuel decommissioned there May 26, 1946, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Maurice J. Manuel recommissioned at San Diego April 27, 1951, Lt. Comdr. G. A. Sullivan in command. After shakedown, she proceeded to the east coast for duty with the Atlantic Fleet, arriving in Newport R>I> on August 11,1951. During the next several months, she participated in type training and squadron exercises along the Atlantic coast, in the Caribbean, and in the Gulf of Mexico. From July to September 1952, she served as training ship for the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Florida. She continued a busy pattern of training and readiness operations between New England waters and the Caribbean during the next nine months, thence, she departed Newport July 16th for deployment to northern Europe. With midshipman embarked, she cruised the North Atlantic, the North Sea, and the Baltic, visiting Bergen, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Steaming via Guantanamo Bay, she returned to Norfolk, Va. on September 3rd. During the next four months, the Maurice J. Manuel continued to take part in vital preparedness exercises, thus, helping U.S. seapower keep prepared to meet overt threats to peace while guarding the free world against Communist cold war subversion. Her duties carried her from Argentina, Newfoundland, to Colon, Panama. In addition, she provided continued support to the Fleet Sonar School, and she conducted another midshipman cruise during July and August 1955. After completing convoy training exercises off the east coast in May 1956, Maurice J. Manuel sailed to Philadelphia for inactivation overhaul, decommissioned there October 30, 1957, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list May 1, 1966, and in August 1966 she was used as a target to destruction.

TARGET OF DESTRUCTION : The movie FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. Maurice J. Manuel is seen in the newest version of this movie, where she is destroyed.

Because the USS Maurice J. Manuel was struck from the navy list, her name is not included as one of the ships in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender ceremonies. She was a very important part of this event as she escorted the high-ranking military and naval officers to this ceremony.

Linda


From: Sherry Wood
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997
Subject: reunion for dad

Dear Richard:

My father, James R. Wood, is looking for shipmates from U.S.S. Maurice J. Manuel from Sept. '55 to June '56. Especially D'Allesandro and Waldman from the Boston area...any reunions planned for DE-351? He also served on USS Hartley (DE-1029) and the USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853) in the late 1950s, up to 1960.

My question is: Where would be the best place to look for shipmates, or information about these ships? Are the Naval Archives online? I would also like to compliment you on your site (I did catch the photo of the USS Charles H. Roan by Fred Goodstein in your logbook).

Thanks

Sherry Wood


contributed by: Bruce Leonard
These pictures were taken in Getmo,Cuba. I'm the second one from the left in the first one and number one from the left in the second and there is Dan Belcher and his wife Rose. I haven't heard from anyone that I know just yet but a couple guys that knew Dan. I'm trying to get them all together for a reunion. How do I go about getting a list of the names of everyone that was aboard the U.S.S. Maurice J. Manuel (DE 351) from 1955 to 1957. Let me know if you can. My E-Mail address was changed into my wife's name dollyk@zoominternet.net Thank you.

Sincerely,

Bruce Leonard


More Photo's:

Photo 002 The Manuel entering Havana Cuba in 1954 Contributed by: Jack Cross, BM2


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