The Philadelphia Experiment Hoax
The USS Eldridge DE-173
Cannon Class Destroyer Escort
History And Specifications

© Researched and Written By Starfire Tor

John Eldridge, Jr., born 10 October 1903 in Buckingham County, Va., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1927. After flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he served at various stations on aviation duty. From 11 September 1941 he was Commander, Scouting Squadron 71, attached to Wasp (CV-7). Lieutenant Commander Eldridge was killed in action in the Solomons 2 November 1942. For his extraordinary heroism in leading the air attack on Japanese positions in the initial invasion of the Solomons, 7 and 8 August 1942, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

The following statistical information was obtained from operational archives, the deck log, and the war diary of the USS Eldridge DE-173.

The USS Eldridge DE-173 was a Cannon class destroyer escort was laid down on February 22, 1943, and launched on July 25, 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Newark, New Jersey. She was commissioned on August 27, 1943 at the New York Navy Shipyard, and was assigned to escort duties in the Atlantic until May 1945, when she was assigned to service in the Pacific

The Cannon class destroyer escorts were built primarily for ocean anti-submarine warfare escort service during World War II, and also served as escorts for cargo ships. Because of their diesel electric tandem drive, they were also known as DET type escorts. The USS Eldridge DE-173 was named after Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge, Jr., who was killed in action in the Solomons, on August 7, 1942, and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

After the USS Eldridge DE-173 was commissioned, she stayed in New York Long Island Sound until September 16, 1943. She sailed to Bermuda on September 18, 1943, and stayed near Bermuda while undergoing sea trials and training. On October 15, 1943, as part of a convoy, she left the Bermuda area for New York. The convoy arrived, in New York harbor, on October 18, 1943. The USS Eldridge DE-173 remained in New York harbor until November1, 1943, when it was part of the escort for Convoy UGS-23 New York Section. On November 2, 1943, the convoy entered the Naval Operating Base at Norfolk, Virginia. On November 3, 1943, the same convoy departed for Casablanca, where it arrived on November 22, 1943. On November 29, 1943, the USS Eldridge DE-173 departed Norfolk as one of the escorts for Convoy GUS-22, headed for New York Harbor. This convoy arrived at New York harbor on December 17, 1943. The USS Eldridge DE-173 remained in New York waters, engaged in training exercises, until December 31, 1943, when it sailed to Norfolk with four other ships. During this time frame, the USS Eldridge DE-173 was never in Philadelphia.

Between January 4, 1944 and May 9, 1945, the USS Eldridge DE-173 was assigned the vital task of escorting vulnerable ships, material, and men in the Mediterranean in support of Allied operations in North Africa, as well as into southern Europe. She made nine voyages, where she safely delivered convoys to Oran, Bizerte, and Casablanca. Afterwards she sailed back to New York.

The USS Eldridge DE-173 departed New York on May 28, 1945 for service in the Pacific. She arrived at Okinawa on August 7, 1945 for local escort and patrol, and continued to serve as escort on the Saipan-Ulithi-Okinawa routes until November 1945.

The USS Eldridge DE-173 was decommissioned on June 17, 1946 at Green Cove Springs, Florida, and was placed in the Reserve Fleet. On January 15, 1951, in a ceremony at the Boston, Massachusetts Naval Shipyard, she was transferred to the Greek Royal Hellenic Navy, along with three other Cannon Class destroyer escorts. They were the USS Slater DE-766, the USS Ebert DE-768, and the USS Garfield Thomas DE-193. These transfers were made under the provisions of the U.S. Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

The HNS Leon D-54 – formerly the USS Eldridge DE-173 - served in the Greek Hellenic Royal Navy from January 15, 1951 until she was decommissioned on November 15, 1992. She was then used as a training hulk, until being laid up in Souda Bay Crete in Terminal Reserve. On November 11, 1999, she was sold for disassembling and scrap to the V&J Scrap Metal Trading Ltd at Peiraia, Greece.


Class: Cannon
Type: DET (diesel-electric tandem motor drive, long hull, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1240 tons (light), 1620 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 GM Mod. 16-278A diesel engines with electric drive, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 10,800 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement #: 15 / 201


USS Eldridge DE-173 became HNS Leon D-54; served 1951-1992
USS Slater DE-766 became HNS Aetos II D-01; served 1951-1991
USS Ebert DE-768 became HNS Ierax II D-31; served 1951-1991
USS Garfield Thomas DE-193 became HNS Panthir II D-67; served 1951-1992


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Here Are All The Links To All The Pages Of Starfire Tor's Report
On The Philadelphia Experiment Hoax


Starfire Tor Report: Exposing The Lies and Repairing The Damage

The Beginning: The Carl Allen - Carlos Allende Letters to MK Jessup

The USS Eldridge DE-173 History and Statistics

The USS Eldridge DE-173 Photos

Biographies and Photo Gallery

The Philadelphia Experiment Hoax Report Main Table of Contents



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