The fighting ship Heermann was commissioned at San Francisco, California 6 July 1943, being sponsored by Mrs. Edmund Briggs, daughter-in-law of fleet surgeon Lewis Heermann, after whom the ship was named. The ship's brilliant record was exemplified by her being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation . . . "For extraordinary heroism in action against powerful units of the Japanese Fleet during the battle off Samar, Philippines, October 25, l944. Silhouetted against the dawn as the Central Japanese Force steamed through San Bernardino Strait toward Leyte Gulf, U.S.S. Heermann was suddenly taken under attack by hostile cruisers on it's port hand, destroyers on the starboard and battleships from the rear. Quickly laying down a heavy smoke screen, the gallant ship waged battle fiercely against the superior speed and fire power of the advancing enemy, violently zigzagging in protection of vessels stricken by hostile armor piercing shells, anti-personnel projectiles and suicide bombers. "With one carrier of the group sunk, others badly damaged and squadron aircraft courageously coordinating in the attacks by making dry runs over the enemy fleet as the Japanese relentlessly closed in for the kill, two of Task Unit 77.4.3's valiant destroyers and one destroyer escort charged the battleships point-blank and, expending their last torpedoes in desperate defense of the entire group, went down under the enemy's heavy shells as a climax to two and one-half hours of sustained and furious combat. The courageous determination and the superb team work of the officers and men who fought the embarked planes and who manned the U.S.S. Heermann were instrumental in effecting the retirement of a hostile force threatening our Leyte invasion operations and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." Decommissioned at San Diego, California 4 July 1947. Recommissioned at San Diego, after the outbreak of the Korean War 12 September 1951.
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