USS BULMER DD-222 Ship History
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)
Bulmer (DD-222) was launched 22 January 1920 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co. Philadelphia, PA; sponsored by Miss Anita Poor Bulmer, daughter of Captain Bulmer; and commissioned 16 August 1920, Lieutenant Commander J. C. Jennings in command.
In 1920 Bulmer joined the Pacific Fleet, based at San Diego. In 1923 she joined the US Naval Forces, Europe, and later the US Naval Detachment in Turkish waters. Early in 1925 she was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet. She operated as a unit o f Destroyer Division 14, Squadron 5, alternately based in the winter at Manila and Cavite, Philippine Islands, and in the summer at Chefoo, China. Early in 1939 Bulmer was assigned to the South China Patrol and was later reassigned to Destroyer Division 58, Squadron 29; on Neutrality Patrol under the Commandant, 16th Naval District. In January 1941 she participated in the Asiatic Fleet problem and then continued patrolling in the Philippines.
When the United States entered World War II, Bulmer was still assigned to the Asiatic Fleet and stationed in the Philippines. During the early months of the war she engaged in patrol, escort, and antisubmarine duties throughout the southwest Pacific.
As a unit of TF 5, Destroyer Squadron 29, Bulmer took part in the action off Madoera Strait 4 February 1942. She also took part in the Allied attempt to intercept Japanese invasion convoys off Palembang, Sumatra. On 19 February 1942, along with Barker (DD-213) and Black Hawk (AD-9), she departed Tjilatjap, Java, for Exmouth Gulf, Australia, and an overhaul.
Bulmer served on patrol duty at various Australian ports until May 1942. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 16 June 1942 and reported to Commander, Service Force, Pacific Fleet, for duty. Between June 1842 and May 1943 she operated as an escort vessel for convoys sailing between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco and return.
Bulmer was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet in May 1943 and arrived at New York 14 June. Her first Atlantic assignment was as a unit of the hunter-killer TG 21.12 (14 June 22 September). During this sweep of the North Atlantic, aircraft from the group’s flagship Core (CVE-13) sank the German submarine U-187 on 13 July 1943.
Bulmer next made a trans-Atlantic voyage to Swansea, Wales, and then commenced convoy escort duty between northeastern Atlantic ports and North Africa (4 October 1943-31 July 1944). On 13-14 January 1944 during one of these voyages, Bulmer and other escorts made several attacks against a German wolf pack of submarines in the eastern Atlantic. Bulmer conducted her attacks very aggressively and although not officially credited she probably sank or severely damaged the German submarine U-377. On the morning of 14 January she rescued 17 German survivors, including the captain, of a sunken German submarine believed to have been U-231 which was sunk 13 January by a British flying boat.
From 1 August until 4 October 1944 she conducted operations in Narragansett Bay. Bulmer’s designation was changed to AG-86, 1 December 1944. She reported to the Canal Zone 27 December 1944 for training duty with newly commissioned submarines. In July 1945 she returned to the United States and was assigned to the operational control of Commander, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, and operated out of Port Everglades, FL. Bulmer was decommissioned 16 August 1946 and sold 19 February 1947.
She received two battle stars for her World War II service.