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Photo. By Chris Wright


TYPE: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)

Displacement: 1,200 tons (std) 1,590 tons (full)

Dimensions: 306' (oa), 300' (wl) x 36' 10" x 12' 3" (max)

Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1),1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks.

Machinery: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws.

Speed: 21 knots.

Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots

Crew: 8 / 201.

After a period at Norfolk, Virginia, as training ship for crews for escorts soon to be commissioned, Fessenden carried out an escort mission to the Panama Canal Zone, returning to Norfolk 5 November 1943. Between 23 November and 18 March 1944, she escorted convoys on two voyages to Casablanca, then on 3 April sailed again to guard a convoy to Bizerte. Off Bone 20 April the convoy came under heavy air attack, one guardian destroyer being sunk, and on the homeward bound passage, the convoy screen lost two more destroyers to submarine attack. Fessenden returned safely to New York 21 May.

She sailed from Norfolk next on 12 June 1944, and escorted a convoy as far as Gibraltar, where she was detached to escort two captured Italian submarines to Bermuda. One developed engine trouble 2 July and was ordered back to Gibraltar, but Fessendenreached Bermuda with the other 16 July. Returning to New York 22 July, she was briefly overhauled, then sailed out of New London, Connecticut, training submarines from 3 August to 2 September. Next came special training off Maine, and her return to Norfolk to join the hunter-killer group formed around USS Mission Bay (CVE-59).

Operating with a group south of the Cape Verde Islands on 30 September 1944, FESSENDEN and two other ships investigated a contact, making a depth charge attack late in the afternoon, sinking U-1O62 in 11º 36' N, 34º 44' W. The group continued its antisubmarine patrols in the South Atlantic refueling at Dakar, French West Africa, Bahia and Recife, Brazil, and Capetown, South Africa.


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