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DE-339 John C. Butler

The John C. Butler class was an evolved DE design which, like the Rudderow (DE-224) class, was armed with two 5-inch guns rather than the three 3-inch guns on early designs. Originally, 293 ships of this class were ordered in FY1942. 210 ships were cancelled. Construction began in August 1943 and the last unit commissioned in December 1945. Work was actually suspended on two ships and then resumed in 1955 and they were completed with radar picket equipment.

The last two ships decommissioned in 1960; the remainder were out of service by 1957. Three were lost during World War Two, two to Japanese submarines. Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413), the most famous of the class, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its action against a much more powerful Japanese surface force off Samar 25 October 1944 during which she was sunk.

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