1944 letter from parent of sailor on USS Dennis


1944 Newspaper - Otis Dennis served on the Enterprise

1944 Newspaper

(Click to enlarge and read clippings below)


















1974 article recently found, from "The Daily Breeze", Mark Capalia salvaging the end of the 5-inch cannon of the USS Dennis.


The plaque from the end of the USS Dennis' gun.
USS St. Lo (CVE 63) Survivors  Go to the link at the left, bottom of the page, for more on the
Mark Capalia story by Holly Crawforth.

Otis Lee Dennis on the memorial at the Punchbowl, Honolulu, Hi.     Sue Fuss Photo

(click to enlarge)

Wilbur Von Holten and
Fiance, Bernice; 1944.
He served on USS Dennis.
- jvh



Wilbur and Bernice Von Holten
1970 - jvh's Parents



Jeff Von Holten's Ohio License, honoring
his father's service on the USS Dennis



dd - Don Dennis with the Alaska DE 405 license and......

Showing Dennis Johnson, Anchorage, the web site.


Don Dennis is a nephew of Otis Lee Dennis, for whom the USS Dennis, DE-405, was named.   He and his wife Ann are honoring Otis Dennis with this website, as well as honoring all the fine men who served on the Dennis.



A story so incredible we still can't  believe it!   Don was driving down the street in Fairbanks (6-14-07) and noticed a man ready to drive off in a 1965 Rambler Ambassador, with Alaska license plate DE 405, the designation for the USS DENNIS.    He and John Denning hurried around the block, pulled  over and met Dennis Johnson, above right, from Anchorage who had just bought the car.    It had been garaged for 17 years,  sold and within the hour was on a flat bed truck headed for Anchorage.  Talk about timing.    The owner of the car was Lt. Vernon Kennedy, one of two sailors who sailed every nautical mile with the USS Dennis during WWII.    He was there when it was commissioned and he was there when it was decommissioned, in fact, asked the Navy for the plans and has build an exact mini replica.      Don called the Kennedy home and his wife Bea was very gracious.  Lt. Kennedy has been ill.   Mrs. Kennedy  said when Ann gets back to Fairbanks in a couple of weeks,  they can come visit him.    His one requirement when he sold his car was that he wanted to keep one of the license plates as he's had that number since 12/24/64.   Dennis Johnson so generously gave Don the other plate.  Stay tuned................................................  DD


We had a great afternoon with the Kennedy's.   They are sharp,  fun,  and so knowledgeable!  He shared papers and pictures which will be put on the website.  We thank them for a wonderful visit.   D/A D


Vernon  Kennedy
(Our day with the Kennedys)








Percell Worley's Pennsylvania DE 405.  He
served on the USS Dennis.


USS Dennis - Otis Lee Dennis


Otis Lee Dennis, born 25 March 1913 in Scottsville, Ky., enlisted in the Navy 25 October 1940. Radioman Third Class Dennis was cited posthumously for his heroic conduct as an aerial gunner in the initial attack on Kwajalein, in which he was killed in action on 1 February 1942.


(DE-405: dp. l,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. John C.Butler)


Dennis (DE-405) was launched 4 December 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. J. L. Dennis, mother of the late Radioman Third Class Dennis; and commissioned 20 March 1944, Lieutenant Commander S. Hansen, USNR, in command.


Dennis arrived at Pearl Harbor 19 June 1944 to escort a convoy to Eniwetok and Kwajalein. She returned to Eniwetok 29 July screening Belleau Wood (CVL-24). Joining the 5th Fleet, she escorted Carrier Division 22 to Manus for exercises, then sortied with TF 77 on 10 September to supply air support for the landings on Morotai Island from 15 to 27 September.


From 12 October Dennis screened the escort carriers supplying the air cover for the invasion of Leyte. On 25 October she joined her carriers in making history as they fought a gallant action with the Japanese counter-attacking force in the Battle off Samar phase of the Battle for Leyte Gulf. Dennis rescued 434 survivors from the bombed St. Lo (CVE-63). For this action she shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to TU 77.4.3. Arriving at Kossol Roads, Palaus, 28 October, she sailed 3 days later for the west coast, arriving at San Francisco 26 November for an overhaul.


Returning to the forward area Dennis departed Guam 16 February 1945 for the invasion of Iwo Jima, patrolling off the island until 8 March when she sailed to escort a convoy to Ulithi. On 21 March she proceeded to join a carrier group launching air strikes in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa. She remained with the carriers as they gave close support to the invasion forces ashore. Again she performed rescue services, on 4 May, saving 88 of the crew of Sangamon (CVE-26), a kamikaze victim. She served on radar picket duty at Ulithi from 9 May to 3 June, then returned to Okinawa to join the 3d Fleet for strikes against the Japanese mainland until 26 June.


From 30 June 1945 until the end of the war Dennis escorted convoys among Ulithi, Okinawa, the Philippines, and New Guinea. After the war she escorted landing craft to Okinawa, then departed Leyte Gulf 14 October for the west coast, arriving at San Diego 6 November. She was placed out of commission in reserve there 31 May 1946.


In addition to her Presidential Unit Citation Dennis received four battle stars for World War II service.



JVH - pictures from Jeff Von Holten
DD - pictures from Don Dennis Family



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USS Dennis


Pearl Harbor

1 February 1942 Final Battle Dennis/Fogg

St. Lo 

Edward Cafferty's  DE405
Scrapbook Photos  

| 1
| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |


 Christening Box/Plaque
Jeff Von Holten


Christening Letters

"Dusty" Kleiss on Fogg/Dennis
 Final Flight

Rescue at sea

Blackburn Photos
Men Who Served
Roster - DE405
Dusty_Kleiss'_book DE 405  Reunions Vernon Kennedy Misc Pictures Crossing The
H.G. Kelly

Otis Dennis Pict  
 Letters Page 1
e 1


Otis Dennis Pictures
and Letters Page 2


Otis' Last
 Letter Home
Legacy Join-Up,
Sea of Thunder
by Evan Thomas

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