Our goal is to ask the Navy to make good on Admiral King's promise that there would always be an England in the US Navy. Admiral Henry H. Mauz Jr. USN (ret) has signed on as Advisor on this project the goal of which it to return the England name to the seas. The process for doing so starts with the Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter. What they'll notice is a file full of letters showing an interest in USS England and a commitment to support her into the future. It is asked that you write a letter in which you include the history of USS England, your feelings as to why it is important to name a ship England and your commitment to this cause. Send letters to:
England History in Brief
On December 7, 1941 the battleship USS Oklahoma was tied outboard of USS Maryland at the Fox 5 mooring quay, Pearl Harbor. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the harbor was just coming to life. Ens. John C. England was on duty on USS Oklahoma that morning. He was trading duty with others so that when his wife and new born daughter whom he'd never seen arrived from the mainland, he would have more time with them. During morning colors Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft descended upon Oahu attacking military installations on the island including Pearl Harbor. The battleships at Pearl Harbor were the main targets and all of them suffered damage.
USS Oklahoma was bombed and torpedoed. Within minutes she was rolling over, trapping hundreds in her hull. Men struggled to escape and assist shipmates. One of these was Ens. John Charles England who died while assisting others. His body along with hundreds of others from USS Oklahoma lies in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punch Bowl).
John England's name can be found in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
On September 26, 1943 USS England DE-635 was launched. John England's mother swung the bottle of champagne across her bow as she left the ways. USS England was commissioned on December 10, 1943 and by February of 1944 was off to war.
On May 18, 1944 the USS England DE-635 received orders from Admiral Halsey to pursue a Japanese submarine believed to be enroute to Buin, on the southeast tip of Bougainville. The following day in company with destroyer escorts USS GEORGE and USS RABY the USS England sank her first submarine. She would sink five more, part of a Japanese scouting line, before the end of the month. These six submarines in twelve days set a record that has never been equaled. On May 29, 1944 Admiral Halsey sent a message in which he described the feat as "a matter of great pride to the whole South Pacific Team." He continued to say, "May there all ways be an England. Well done and congratulations to all hands." The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral E. J. King promised "There'll always be an ENGLAND in the United States Navy."
On May 9, 1945 USS England DE-635 was on screening station five miles northwest of Kerama Retto, West of Okinawa. She engaged enemy aircraft. One of these, a Val bomber, dived upon her. She was hit on the starboard side of the superstructure right under the bridge. Twenty-four men and three officers were killed with 10 men missing and twenty-five more wounded. USS England sailed to Philadelphia for conversion to APD but the war ended and she was decommissioned on October 15, 1945 and later scrapped.
15 years later Admiral King's promise was fulfilled in 1960 when the keel of USS England DLG-22 was laid down at Todd Shipyard in San Pedro, California. She went to sea in 1963 and the new USS England served in every major confrontation for the next thirty years. She served in Vietnam and the Gulf War as well as playing a major roll in keeping the Soviet Union in check, preserving American interests and freedom around the world. She served her country while she carried the name of John Charles England and the legacy of DE-635 into the modern age. Each of those who served on her were a part of this and they carry on the tradition of England in their hearts today. All of America reaped the benefits of this fine ship's service as well as the service of DE-635 and Ens. John C. England.
Today there is no USS England in the United States Navy! CG-22 was decommissioned in 1994. Many have asked for a new USS England but so far this has not occurred. Of course that was before the officers and crew of the mighty USS England reunited! With the combined officers and crew from DE-635 and DLG/CG-22 we now have many voices and countless more supporters in families and friends around the globe! This will be hard not to notice!
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