USS Harmon (DE-678)

Harmon in November, 1945, following her refit at Mare Island. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

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Commissioned this day in 1943, USS Harmon (DE-678) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort. She was assigned to the Southwest Pacific, and arrived there in December. Harmon served on escort duty in the area until sent to Pearl harbor for overhaul in September, 1944, which was followed by a training period. Sent into the Philippines in January, 1945, Harmon covered the reinforcement of Luzon, before heading for Iwo Jima in March, as part of the anti-submarine screen. At the end of March, Harmon was reallocated to training duty, and she was having her original 3" guns replaced by 5" guns when the War ended. In early 1946, Harmon conducted training exercises with submarines off the Panama Canal. She was decommissioned 25 March, 1947, and scrapped twenty years later.

Bonus Photos

Harmon was named for Mess Attendant 1st class Leonard Harmon, who was killed in action aboard the USS San Francisco during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Harmon had been assigned to assist the medics, and died using his body as a shield for them. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. This poster commemorates both Harmon, and the commissioning of the ship named for him. Original in the collection of the US National Portrait Gallery.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Harmon was the first warship to be named after an African-American.