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Photo.  USN Photo Paula & Steve Mitchell


Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)

5 July 1943: Keel laid at the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newark, N.J.

3 October 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Eva Smythe Stevens, widow of Lt. Gustafson

1 November 1943: Commissioned, Cdr Herman Rich in command

26 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.

23 October 1950: Transferred to the Netherlands under terms of the Military Defense Program, renamed HNMS Van Ewijck (F-808)

20 December 1950: Stricken

15 December 1967: Returned to U.S. control

February 1968: Sold for scrapping.

Displacement: 1,240 tons (std) 1,620 tons (full)

Dimensions: 306' (oa), 300' (wl) x 36' 10" x 11' 8" 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 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws.

Speed: 21 knots.

Range: 10,800 nm @ 12 knots.

Crew: 15/201.

On 20 February 1944 she departed New York in the screen of two escort carriers for duty with Admiral Jonas Ingram's 4th Fleet based at Recife, Brazil. This fleet kept down the German U-boat and raider menace in waters running south from Trinidad to the tip of South America, and across to the coast of Africa. On 14 April 1943, the destroyer put to sea in company with escort carrier SOLOMONS to sweep the Atlantic Narrows. 

On the 23d, GUSTAFSON made an unsuccessful hedgehog attack on a target that was probably German submarine U-196. Due south of St. Helena, 15 June 1943 aircraft launched by SOLOMONS sank the German submarine U-860.GUSTAFSON continued antisubmarine patrol and convoy escort in the South Atlantic.

Operating out of Recife and Bahia, Brazil, she helped cover coastal waters from the border of French Guiana down to Rio de Janeiro and across the Atlantic narrows more than halfway to the coast of Africa. On 22 November 1944, while escorting Navy transport GENERAL M. C. MEIGS to a mid-way rendezvous in the Atlantic Narrows, she closed alongside cruiser OMAHA to pass orders and the two ships collided. Both ships suffered damage but were able to complete the mid-ocean rendezvous escort mission After temporary repairs at Bahia, GUSTAFSON proceeded north to the New York Navy Yard, arriving 21 December 1944.

During a swift overhaul she received additional armament and a new Combat Information Center. GUSTAFSON departed New York 22 January 1945 for antisubmarine warfare refresher training out of Key West, Fla. From there she proceeded in the escort of a slow convoy to Trinidad and ports of South America.



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