Bertram Bruce (my father) in the South Pacific

DE 680My dad served as a a supply officer (Lieutenant JG) on the USS Loesser-DE680 during WWII. Following a shakedown cruise off Bermuda, the new destroyer escort departed from Norfolk on December 11, 1943, for Pearl Harbor.

Over a 21-month period, it sailed to Funafuti, Ellice Islands; Guadalcanal; Efate, New Hebrides; Espirito Santo; Solomon Islands; Sydney; Purvis Bay, Florida Islands; Guam; Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands; Manus, Admiralty Islands; New Guinea; Subic Bay; Leyte; Ulithi, Caroline Islands; Iwo Jima; and finally back to San Francisco on September 3, 1945. During that time it engaged in numerous escort operations and antisubmarine patrols, but fortunately was never hit.

I noticed recently that Dad’s Navy ship was “Sunk as a target, 1969,” the year he died.

Dad and Mother married on Aug 28, 1943. The Loesser was launched just two weeks later, Sep 11. It departed with Dad for the South Pacific on Dec 11, 26 years and one day before he died. It returned to the US (San Francisco) on Sep 3, 1945.

See photo of artifacts at the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum.

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