My pop, Ernest Hilbert Sr., served in the Second World War as a radar operator and repairman on a destroyer escort from Okinawa through the postwar years, when he worked with patrols chasing Chinese pirates on the Yangtze River. Although no one ever named a ship after him, there was, in fact, a ship named the USS Hilbert, after a gentleman named Ernest Hilbert, who was killed during the Battle of Midway. The ship even has its own website. The information below is respectfully taken from the site. Please visit and have a look at the history of this classic ship, which saw action in the Pacific Theater from 1944 to the VJ Day.
SS Hilbert (DE742) Cannon Class Destroyer Escort
Displacement: 1525 tons
Speed: 21 knots
Armament: 3 3″/50, 3×3 21″ torpedo tubes, 1×2 40mm, 8 20mm, 1 hedgehog, 2 depth charge tracks, 8 “K” gun projectors.
Complement: 15 officers, 201 enlisted Diesel-electric engines with tandem-motor drive, 6,000 h.p.
HILBERT successively engaged in the following operations:
(1) MARIANAS OPERATION:
(a) Capture and occupation of Saipan (11 June – 10 August 1944)
(b) Battle of Philippine Sea (19-20 June 1944)
(c) Capture and occupation of Guam (12 July – 15 August 1944)
(d) Capture and occupation of Tinian (12 July – 15 August 1944)
(3) LEYTE OPERATION:
(a) Third Fleet Supporting Operations in Okinawa, Luzon and Formosa attacks
(4) LUZON OPERATION:
(a) Third Fleet Supporting Operations in Luzon, Formosa, China coast and Nansei Shoto attacks
(5) IWO JIMA OPERATION;
(a) Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima (15 February – 16 March 1945)
(b) Fifth Fleet raids against Honshu and Nansei Shoto (15 February – 16 March 1945
(6) OKINAWA GUNTO OPERATION
(7) THIRD FLEET Air Strikes and Shore bombardments against JAPAN (15 July – 15 September 1945).
HILBERT received eight battle stars for her World War II service.
Aviation Ordnanceman Ernest Lenard Hilbert was born 14 June 1920 at Quinn, S.Dak., and enlisted in the Navy 10 April 1940 at Los Angeles, Calif. In November 1940, he was assigned duty with Bombing Squadron 6 and took part in attacks on the Marshall Islands, Wake Island, and Marcus Island. Hilbert was killed during an aerial attack against enemy forces during the Battle of Midway, 4-6 June 1942.
By maintaining skillful and continuous fire from his free machine guns, Hilbert enabled his pilot to escape the devastating enemy fighter attacks. While pursuing the same bold and fearless tactics in the second attack, he was shot down. Hilbert was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.