The destroyer escort was a British design concept for a 300-foot long, 20-knot ship; easy to build and maintain as well as cost effective and able to be mass produced. The actual design and production was done in America. President Roosevelt intiated the program in June 1940; the following month, Congress authorized $50 million for patrol, escort, and miscellaneous craft. BuShips drew up the first Destroyer Escort (DE) design which would become the Evarts (DE-5) class.
Fifty Evarts class destroyer escorts were authorized on 15 August 1941 with fifty-five more to follow on 6 February 1942. The first hulls were laid down in February 1942. The first delivery to the US Navy was Brennan (DE-13) in January 1943. In the following year, thirty-two of this class were transferred to the Royal Navy under the Lend Lease program -- these became known as the "Captain" class. The last delivery to the USN was Finnegan (DE-307) in August 1944. Eight Evarts class DE's under construction at Mare Island Navy Yard were cancelled Mar-Sep 1944. These ships filled the roles previously reserved for destroyers in providing convoy escort across the Atlantic.
Superseded by more successful designs, these ships were decommissioned in 1945-46 and scrapped as were those ships returned by the Royal Navy. Five were sunk during World War II (while in Royal Navy service); four by submarines, one by aircraft. One was sunk in November 1954 by the Communist Chinese while in Taiwanese service; thirty-two of which would be transferred to the Royal Navy to fight the U-boat menace from January 1943 to January 1944.
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