Detailed History of the USS Rall

The USS Rall (DE 304) was named in memory of Lieutenant (jg) R. R. Rall, DC, USN, who received special
recognition from the US Navy for his development and implementation of a program which expedited treatement
of shipboard casualties. He was killed 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor.


8 April 1944 The Rall was placed in commission Mare Island Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, by Captain F. W. Scanland, USN, Captain of the Yard, by direction of the Commandant of the Yard, Rear Admiral M. S. Tisdale, USN, who was present for the ceremonies. 

The sponsor was Mrs. R. R. Rall, widow of Lt. Rall.

Lieutenant Commander C. B. Taylor USNR, assumed command with Lieutenant J. B. O’Donnell, USNR, Executive Officer. The ship’s initial complement was 10 officers, 5 chief petty officers, 52 petty officer ratings and 138 non-rated men. 

16 April 1944 The Rall underwent builder’s trials, conducted in San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay. 
24 April 1944 The Rall was ordered by Commander Fleet Operational Training Command at Treasure Island Naval Base to proceed to San Diego, California, for shakedown. 
26 April 1944 The ship arrived at San Diego. Commander Herman Reich, USNR, Commander Escort Division 61, hoisted his pennant on board. 
27 April 1944 Shakedown operations commenced, consisting mainly of anti-submarine warfare and gunnery exercises. 
21 May 1944 The Rall proceeded to San Francisco for post shakedown availability and moved on 2 June to Treasure Island. 
9 June 1944 The Rall departed from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, escorting the USS City of Dalhart (IX 156). 
18 June 1944 After an uneventful trip, she arrived at Pearl Harbor. 
29 June 1944 The Rall was temporarily attached to Commander Submarine Training Command, Pacific, under whose command she operated for the greater part of the next three months. During this period she trained with US submarines in the Oahu area. 

In addition, the Rall made one trip to Midway Island, escorting the USS Fulton (AS 11), and a trip to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, in company with other ships. In both cases the Rall returned directly to Pearl Harbor. 

23 September 1944 The Rall sortied from Pearl Harbor, as part of a task group attached to the Third Fleet, escorting ships carrying the Garrison Force for Ulithi Atoll. At that time, Ulitthi was in Japanese hands and scheduled for occupation as part of the operation against the Southern Palau Islands and Yap. 
8 October 1944 The Task Group arrived at Ulithi Lagoon. By that time the area was in US hands and entry was uneventful. The Rall’s job was routine patrol duty, punctuated by occasional air raid alerts. 
17 October 1944 The Rall sortied from Ulithi escorted the USS Allioth (AK 109) to Kossol Passage, Palau Islands. The trip down and back was uneventful and she returned to Ulithi Lagoon 20 October 1944. 

During the balance of October she was on routine patrol off Ulithi Lagoon or at anchor. 

2 November 1944 The Rall sortied from Ulithi Lagoon as part of the oiler task group (30.8) which was engaged in fueling Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet, conducting supporting operations for the landings at Leyte Gulf. She operated continuously with the fleet oilers until 15 November when she returned to Ulithi Lagoon. During this period, she went through the perimeter of a typhoon off the Philippines and Formosa with no serious mishaps. 
20 November 1944 Early in the morning, the USS Mississinew (AO 59) was torpedoed by a midget submarine in Ulithi Lagoon. The Rall immediately got underway in search of the submarine thought to be in the lagoon. 

The USS Mobile reported a swirl in the water off her port beam between her and the USS Biloxi. The Rall headed for the swirl and dropped one depth charge, the first depth charge dropped by any ship in that action. She turned, headed toward the swirl a second time and two more charges were dropped. 

After the second attack, two men swimming in the vicinity were observed, confirmed by the USS Halloran (DE 305) and after subsequent attacks made in the area a boat picked up debris with Japanese writing. Several days later the bodies of two Japanese were recovered nearby. Evidence indicated the Rall had sunk one midget submarine. 

25 November 1944 The Rall resumed operations with Third Fleet oilers off the Philippines, returning to Ulithi Lagoon 29 November. 
5 December 1944 In company with the USS Halloran (DE 305), the Rall escorted two CVE’s to Manus, Admiralty Islands, returning them to Ulithi 12 December 1944. 

The Rall crossed the equator for the first time. The crossing was marked by the usual ceremonies of the few Shellbacks initiating the many Polliwogs into the domain of Neptunis Rex. 

14 December 1944 The Rall sortied from Ulithi in company with other ships, destination Pearl Harbor, to arrive prior to 25 December, a welcome present for all hands. The trip was uneventful, and she arrived Christmas Eve. 
25 December 1944 From Christmas until until 6 February 1944, the ship’s activities were routine. Maintenance and overhaul, training and some escort duty in the vicinity of Oahu occupied the bulk of her time. 
11 January 1945 The Rall was detached from the Third Fleet and attached to the Fifth Fleet. Off the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe, she took part in the rehearsal for the coming operation against Iwo Jima. 
6 February 1945 The Rall got underway as part of the escort group convoying the garrison troops destined to occupy Iwo Islands and Saipan. 
23 February 1945 The Task Group arrived after an uneventful journey at an area approximately 100 miles southeast of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. The group cruised in this area until 1 March 1945, when it was ordered to proceed to Iwo Jima. 
2 March 1945 The Task Group was dissolved, and the Rall was ordered to join a transport group bound for Saipan. Thence she was ordered to proceed to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. 
19 March 1945 The Rall arrived at Espiritu Santo after an uneventful trip. From then until 25 March 1945, she was occupied with logistics preparatory to taking part in the invasion of Okinawa. She would be part of the anti-submarine screen for the transports carrying the Expeditionary Force Floating Reserve (27th Army Division). 
25 March 1945 The Rall sortied to Ulithi Lagoon, arriving without incident. 
4 April 1945 The Task Group set course for the Nansei Shoto Islands. While enroute the Rall made an underwater submarine contact. The group was in a zone used by US submarines moving to and from their operating areas and no charges were dropped. However, simulated attacks were made on the submarine until the convoy was well clear. 

The contact was believed to be an enemy submarine as it failed to reply to the Rall’s challenges and adopted evasive tactics. On the same day the Rall sighted a floating mine in the path of the convoy and exploded it by gunfire. 

The balance of the trip was without incident. 

9 April 1945 The Task Group arrived at Okinawa Shima, one year and a day after the Rall’s commissioning. The Rall proceeded with units of the Task Group to Hagushi Beach Anchorage. The Task Group was dissolved and she reported to the screen commander for duty. 

The Rall was assigned to a screening station about ten miles southwest of Ie Shima, Nansei Shoto. Routine patrol without incident except occasional air raid alerts occupied the ship for the next three days. 

12 April 1945 At 1925, the ship, alerted by "Air Flash Red," went to General Quarters. During the next three hours, fourteen separate air attacks were tracked into the area. 

One of the raids appeared to be headed toward the Rall’s patrol area. It was picked up on the ship’s radar at ten miles. At five miles, the planes, five in number, were sighted and identified as enemy. 

All guns that could bear opened fire as the planes came in range and during the subsequent action, lasting about three minutes, the Rall’s gunners brought down three planes. A fourth plane was shot down by a nearby cruiser, but the fifth plane, a Kamikaze, though hit repeatedly by the ship’s guns, broke through and crashed into the ship on the starboard side aft. 

The Kamikaze’s 500 pound bomb went through the ship below the main deck aft, exited the port side and exploded about fifteen feet from the ship. Numerous casualties and material damage resulted from the suicide hit, explosion, and fire. 

Immediate medical attention saved the lives of some critically wounded men. Damage control parties immediately extinguished the fire and effected temporary repairs. As a result of the action 21 enlisted men were killed, 36 enlisted men wounded and 2 officers wounded. Material damage was severe. 

The ship headed toward the Hagushi Beach Anchorage of Okinawa Shima under her own power. She moored alongside the USS Pinkney (APH 2), where most of the wounded were transferred. The following morning the dead were removed from the ship for burial on Okinawa. During the next few days temporary patches and bracing were effected. 

15 April 1945 Commander Herman Reich transferred his pennant to the USS Finnegan (DE 307). The Rall proceeded to Kerama Retto, where she remained at anchor for the next few days. 
18 April 1945 On this night, the Rall opened fire on a twin-engine enemy bomber that flew overhead, but no hits were observed. 
19 April 1945 The Rall proceeded to Ulithi Lagoon, arriving on 23 April. From there, after further temporary structural repairs, she proceeded to Pearl Harbor and on to Seattle, Washington. 
18 May 1945 She arrived in Seattle, terminating a cruise 22 days short of a year. Permanent repairs, overhaul and alterations started at once at Todd’s Shipyards, Inc. 
25 June 1945 Lieutenant James B. O’Donnell, USNR, assumed command, with Lieutenant E. R. Silvers, Jr., USNR, as Executive Officer. The ship was ready for sea by 12 July 1945. 
12 July 1945 The Rall got underway for San Diego, California, for refresher training. 
28 July 1945 Upon completion of training, the Rall steamed out of San Diego for Pearl Harbor, arriving 5 August 1945. 
7 August 1945 The ship conducted routine training exercises off Oahu. 
1 September 1945 Orders to sail westward on 1 September were expected but not received. Instead the ship was ordered to proceed to Charleston, South Carolina, for decommissioning, via San Diego, California (this destination was later changed to San Pedro) and the Panama Canal. 
3 September 1945 The Rall left Pearl Harbor with other destroyer escorts enroute home, running lights lit at night, smoking lamp lit topside 24 hours of the day, and movies on the fantail while underway. 
9 September 1945 She arrived in San Pedro and departed 11 September 1945. 
19 September 1945 The Rall arrived in Panama, transited the canal and departed on the last leg of her journey home 20 September.
24 September 1945 She arrived in Charleston, South Carolina and proceeded to the Charleston Navy Yard for decommissioning. She was decommissioned 11 December 1945 and struck from the Naval Register 3 January 1946. She was sold for scrap 18 March 1947.


By directive dated March, 1947, the USS Rall (DE 304) was to be disposed of by sale.

Source: Office of Naval Records and History Ships’ Histories Section, Navy Department, augmented by
accounts of the officers and men

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