USS Major (DE-796) was commissioned at Orange, Texas on 12 Feb. 1944 LCDR O.W. Goepner commanding. She was named for Charles Nance Major, a sailor killed in battle during a German submarine torpedo attack during the early days of World War II.
Of the Buckley Class, she displaces 1400 tons, is 306' from bull-nose to stern-chock and 36'-10" on the beam. She draws 9'-5" at the keel and runs 24 knots maximum speed. Her compliment of 186 able men fight the ship with three 3"/50 guns, four 1.1" rocket launchers, eight 20mm guns, eight depth charges on two release tracks, one hedge-hog type depth charge projector and 3 21" torpedoes
Following commissioning, and shakedown, Major served in the European Theater completing six successful escort transits of the Atlantic.
Thence she sailed for duty in the Pacific where she was to earn the title, "The Fighting Major". Operating out of New Guineas, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, and islands in the Southern Philippines, she provided protection for numerous convoys.
Between combat missions , she patrolled for enemy submarines, provided passenger service, and was a welcome sight to men on the islands when she delivered the mail.
One of her most significant actions occurred in late July of 1945. While accompanied by USS Johnson (DE-702), she successfully dueled with a Japanese submarine protecting her convoy of LST's bound for Leyte Gulf.
Following the cessation of hostilities 15 August 1945, she steamed for Tokyo from Manila escorting LST's. During this transit, she survived one of the most devastating hurricanes in history which claimed many lives and several ships. Although some members of Major's crew were seriously injured and the ship was damaged, she nevertheless completed her mission successfully anchoring in Tokyo Bay on 1 September near the mighty Missouri (BB-63). The following day, her crew witnessed the formal Japanese surrender on board the giant battleship.
She again returned to the Philippines and operated out the Leyte Gulf until late 1945 when she returned to the West Coast. During the following two years, she operated in the Eastern Pacific, principally out of San Diego.
The Fighting Major at last trained in her guns and was decommissioned at Long Beach on 13 March 1948, being "Mothballed" into the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She lay moored at San Diego for several years on 30 days notice. She is presently berthed with the Pacific Inactive Fleet at Stockton, California.