Named after one of the heroes fallen in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the USS Earl V. Johnson was commissioned on the 18th of March 1944. After shakedown and training, she sets to Casablanca on May 23 for the first of three voyages between Norfolk and North Africa. Towards the end of 1944, she heads to the Pacific, arriving at Manus in the Admiralty Islands on the 22nd of January the following year. For the following months, she will undertake patrol duty in the Philippines as well as a number of escort missions between New Guinea and Leyte Gulf. From the 17th of April onwards, she will be heavily involved in supporting the invasion troops on Okinawa, guarding supply transports, and making runs to the advanced bases at Ulithi and Kossol Roads. Returning from a run to Okinawa on August 4, 1945, the USS Earl V. Johnson had an hour-long confrontation with the submarine I-53, which ended in serious damage to the underwater vessel. Serious damage to the health of her crew might have come from all the asbestos onboard. The mineral was lining water and steel pipes, electrical wiring, boilers, pumps, and all vital and not-so-vital components. Large quantities of it could be found in engine rooms, damage control rooms, radio rooms, etc.