From the "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,"
(1969) Vol. 2, pp.10-11.
Displacement: 1,200 t. Length: 306' Beam: 36'7" Draft: 8'7" Speed: 21 k.
3 21" torpedo
2 depth charge tracks;
8 depth charge projectors;
1 hedge hog
CALCATERRA (DE-390) was launched 16 August 1943 by Brown
Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. G. M. Stites; commissioned 17 November 1943, Commander H. J. Wuensch, USCG, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
Assigned to the vital duty of escorting convoys between the United
States and the Mediterranean, CALCATERRA made eight round trips between 13 February 1944 and 10 June 1945. The ships she guarded provided the men and equipment which insured the success of
the invasions of Italy and southern France. Twice the escort vessel met the challenge of enemy opposition when she depth charged a suspected submarine contact and fired on two aircraft. Her alert
action helped prevent damage or loss to the ships under convoy.
On 9 July 1945, CALCATERRA headed for the Pacific to tackle a new
job, but the war ended shortly before her arrival at Pearl Harbor. She lifted passengers back to the west coast, then sailed on to the Atlantic. CALCATERRA was placed out of commission, in
reserve, at Green Cove Springs, Fla., 1 May 1946.
Reclassified DER-390, 28 October 1954, CALCATERRA was
converted to a radar picket ship at Norfolk and commissioned 12 September 1955. Based at Newport, the radar picket ship has almost continuously served in the violent weather of the North Atlantic to
maintain her link in the extension of the Distant Early Warning system. Except for exercises with the fleet in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and a cruise to Europe (August-October 1958).
From 1956 to 1965 the Calcaterra has been on regular picket
duty in the Atlantic, first on the GIUK Barrier and later on the "Southern Tip". In 1965 she participated in The Atlantic Fleet training exercise Spring Board in the Caribbean. Then followed
the multi-force amphibious exercise Quick Kick VII.
On 16 August 1965 the Calcaterra got underway from Newport,
Rhode Island and completed a nine month deployment as a remote weather and air rescue station as part Operation Deep Freeze 1965-1966. The Calcaterra operated out of Dunedin, New Zealand for the 1965-1966
Deep Freeze season. During this cruise the Calcaterra was commanded by Lieutenant Commander William C. Earle, USN. This schedule allowed Calcaterra to circumnavigate the world and to visit many ports from
New Zealand through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean.
PORTS OF CALL
Panama City, Panama
Dunedin, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
Invercargill, New Zealand
Aden, British Protectorate
The ship arrived back at Newport, Rhode Island on 28 April 1966. In June 1966 it was transferred to Key West, Florida as
a unit of Destroyer Division 601, operating as a Sonar School Ship.
Calcaterra got underway again from Key West, Florida on 21 August 1967 for its second and final deployment as
part of Operation Deep Freeze 1967-1968. Once again the the ship operated out of Dunedin New Zealand while on Deep Freeze. Again this schedule allowed the ship to circumnavigate the globe.
PORTS OF CALL
Pago-Pago, American Samoa
Dunedin, New Zealand
Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Lauren Marquees, Mozambique
Rio de Janeiro,
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Calcaterra arrived back at Key West,
Florida on 3 May 1968. Stricken 2 July 1973. Sold 14 May 1974 and broken up. Stricken from the Navy Register on 2 July 1973, K. Jack Boer and Stephen S. Robbers, "Register of Ships of the
U. S. Navy, 1775-1990," p.226.]
Transcribed by Michael Harness