U.S.S. "Frederick C. Davis", Last Warship Lost in the European Theater WWII

ID: SIA2007-0163

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1944

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Assession 08-003, Box 1, Philip K. Lundeberg Papers

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  • U.S.S. "Frederick C. Davis" (DE-136), the last warship lost in the European Theater in World War II. It was one of 563 such escort vessels produced in American shipyards. Commissioned at Orange, Texas, in July 1943, she proceeded to Washington, D.C., where she was fitted with radio wave jamming equipment for service in the Mediterranean. During operations off the coast of North Africa and the Anzio beachhead, "Davis" foiled numerous Luftwaffe attacks, jamming radio-controlled bombing runs on Allied shipping and downing eight Axis bombers.
  • Refitted in New York in 1944, "Davis" took part in Operation Teardrop in the spring of 1945, being the only U.S. warship lost in that successful barrier operation against the last wolfpack sortie against the East Coast. (Philip K. B. Lundeberg 10/04/2006). Smithsonian Curator Philip K. B. Lundeberg was aboard the ship when it sank. He first probed "Operation Teardrop" events in May 1945 interviewing fellow survivors of Frederick C. Davis DE-136 prior to preparation of numerous condolence letters and its final action report.


  • Lundeberg, Philip K. 1923-2019
  • United States Navy
  • U.S.S. Frederick C. Davis


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


A naval historian Lundeberg (1923-) came to the Smithsonian in January 1959 as a Consultant in the Department of Armed Forces History in the Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History, and in June of that year was appointed Associate Curator in the Division of Naval History. From 1962 to 1984 Lundeberg was Curator of Naval History and in 1984, when the Divisions of Naval and Military History were merged to form the Division of Armed Forces History, he was named Curator of Armed Forces History. Following his retirement in 1986, he was named Curator Emeritus of Armed Forces History in 1987.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Assession 08-003, Box 1, Philip K. Lundeberg Papers

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


c. 1944

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  • Boats and boating
  • Transportation
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Transportation, Military
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Naval history
  • History
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Military
  • Ships
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Museum curators
  • Museums--Employees
  • Armed Forces--History


Washington (D.C.)


  • Photographic print
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1 Color: Black and white; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Object; Medium: Photographic print

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