USS Laub (DD-613)

USS Laub (DD-613) was a Benson class destroyer that served on convoy escort duty, supported the invasion of Sicily, the campaign in Italy, the fighting at Anzio and the invasion of the South of France.

The Laub was named after Henry Laub, who served in the US Navy during the War of 1812 and was killed during the battle of Lake Erie.

The Laub was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Co at San Pedro, California on 1 May 1941, launched on 28 April 1942 when she was sponsored by Miss Barbara Mohun Handley, a relative of Laub, and commissioned on 24 October 1942.


After a shakedown cruise on the US West Coast the Laub passed through the Panama Canal, reaching Norfolk on 1 February 1943. On 5 February she departed from New York to escort a convoy to Casablanca. After her arrival she was used to patrol the North African coast, before departing for the United States on 14 March escorting a return convoy.

In April she escorted another convoy east across the Atlantic. The return voyage came in May, and on 26 May she joined other escorts to attack a U-boat, which was forced to retreat.

On 11 June she left New York to join the forces assembling for the invasion of Sicily. On 5 July she left Oran with the transports and escorted them to Sicily, where they landed on 9 July. She helped fight off air attacks on the invasion fleet, and on 11 July claimed one aircraft shot down. She also knocked out four tanks and damaged several bridges before returning to Mers-el-Kebir on 15 July.

She spent the next two weeks operating in the Mediterranean before departed for the US as part of a convoy escort on 28 July. She then spent August, September and October escorting convoys across the Atlantic.

From November she added escort missions within the Mediterranean to the mix, while also continuing to carry out some trans-Atlantic escort missions. On 6 November the convoy she was escorting was attacked by German torpedo aircraft. The Laub rescued 341 survivors from the destroyer USS Beatty (DD-640) which was sunk in the attack and the damaged merchant ships Maraix and Ruys.


On 2 May 1944 the Laub arrived at Oran, where she joined the forces supporting the fighting at Anzio. On 12 May she left Oran with the Philadelphia to provide fire support at Anzio.

 from November 1943 until April 1944, the destroyer continued escort operations in the Mediterranean, and made several cross-Atlantic cruises from New York to the British Isles.
Returning to Oran 2 May, Laub sailed 10 days later with Philadelphiato provide fire support off the Anzio beachhead on the west coast of Italy.

On 22 or 23 May (depending on which entry in the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships you use) the Laub collided with the Philadelphia, forcing both to withdraw for repairs. The Laub needed temporary repairs at Naples and permanent repairs at Boston, and wasn’t back at Oran until 2 December. From then until the end of the war in Europe she performed a mix of escort duties and fire support for the troops fighting in Italy and the south of France.


On 30 January she joined the fleet escorting President Roosevelt as he travelled to Malta on the Quincy just before the fleet passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. As the fleet approached Malta on 2 February the Laub formed part of the anti-submarine screen, then detached from the force as they passed Pantelleria. She rejoined the force on 15 February and once again formed part of the anti-submarine screen, this time as the fleet left Alexandria heading west at the start of the President’s voyage home. She left the convoy just after it passed the Rock of Gibraltar on 19 February to return to Oran.   

The Laub left Oran on 15 May 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. She reached Boston on 23 May and then moved to the Caribbean to train for a move to the Caribbean. However the Japanese surrendered before she made the move, and instead she returned to Casco Bay, Maine, then moved to Charleston. She was decommissioned at Charleston on 2 February 1946 and remained in the reserve until she was struck off on 1 July 1971. She was sold for scrap on 14 January 1975.

Laub received four battle stars for World War II service, for North Africa, Sicily, Anzio and Convoy KMF-25A.

Displacement (standard)

1,620 design
1,911t as built

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

37.89kt at 51,390shp at 2,065t on trial (Mayo)


2-shaft Westinghouse turbines
4 boilers
50,000shp design


6,500nm at 12kt design
5,520nm at 12kt at 2,400t wartime
3,880nm at 20kt at 2,400t wartime


348ft 1in


36ft 2in


Five 5in/38 guns
Five 21in torpedoes
Ten 0.5in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement


Laid Down

1 May 1941


28 April 1942


24 October 1942

Struck off

1 July 1971

Sold for scrap

14 January 1975

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 August 2023), USS Laub (DD-613) ,

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