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The Destroyer Escort was the smallest ocean- going escort built for the United States Navy - a downsized destroyer with less speed, fewer guns, and fewer torpedoes than its big brother, the fleet destroyer. Destroyer escorts first went into production because the Royal Navy needed an escort warship which was larger than a corvette, but which could be built faster than a destroyer. Lacking the shipyards to build these types of ships in Britain, they ordered them in the US.