|Ship Class||Evarts-class Destroyer Escort|
|Builder||Boston Navy Yard|
|Laid Down||14 Oct 1943|
|Launched||17 Nov 1943|
|Commissioned||20 Mar 1944|
|Decommissioned||12 Oct 1945|
|Displacement||1140 tons standard|
|Armament||3x3in guns, 4x1.1in guns, 9x20mm cannon, two depth charge tracks, eight depth charge projector, one hedgehog-type depth charge projector|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Mason was commissioned to Lieutenant Commander William M. Blackford of the United States Navy Reserve amidst WW2, who took her to Bermuda on her shakedown cruise. She had the distinction of being the first US Navy ship to be manned by a predominantly African-American crew. She was named for Ensign Newton Henry Mason, an US Navy Reserve pilot who was killed in action during the Battle of Coral Sea in May 1942.
On 14 Jun 1944, Mason departed from Charleston, South Carolina, United States to escort a convoy for Horta Harbor, Azores. After a stop in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, she returned to Boston and operated off Boston through Aug 1944. Between 2 and 19 Sep, she escorted convoy NY.119 from New York City, New York, United States to Falmouth, Cornwall, England, United States. In late-Dec 1944, she escorted a convoy for Europe; mid-way, she broke formation for North Africa, where she operated from 5 Jan 1945. On 11 Jan, off Oran, Algeria, Mason made radar contact with a surface target; assuming it was a submarine, she rammed the target at full speed and dropped depth charges all around, only to find out at the end that it was an abandoned wooden vessel. She sailed to St. George's Harbor, Bermuda and then New York Navy Yard in the United States for repairs. On 12 Feb, Mason departed for the Mediterranean Sea, arriving off Gibraltar on 28 Feb. Between 8 and 24 Mar, she escorted a convoy from Oran to Bermuda, Chesapeake Bay, and finally New York. In early Apr, she conducted sonar and fighter-director training off Rhode Island, United States. Between 10 and 28 Apr, she escorted a convoy to Europe. She was en route back to the United States when she received news that Germany had surrendered.
On 23 May, Mason arrived at New York City, where she remained until Jul. Between 28 Jul and 18 Aug, she served at the Naval Training Center in Miami, Florida, United States as a training vessel. On 20 Aug, she arrived at New London, Connecticut, United States to be outfitted for long-range underwater signal testing, which she conducted in Bermuda in late Aug and early Sep 1945. As Japan surrendered and ending WW2, Mason was decommissioned in late 1945. She was sold to Thomas Harris of Barber, New Jersey, United States for scrapping on 18 Mar 1947.
Sources: United States Navy Dictionary of American Fighting Naval Ships, Wikipedia.
Destroyer Escort USS Mason Interactive Map
USS Mason Operational Timeline
|20 Mar 1944||Mason was commissioned into service.|
|12 Oct 1945||Mason was decommissioned from service.|
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939