USS Ernest G. Small (DD/DDR-838) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Rear Admiral Ernest G. Small (1888–1944).
Ernest G. Small was launched on 14 June 1945 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs E. G. Small; and commissioned on 21 August 1945 with Commander T. D. McGrath, USN, in command.
After completing her shakedown cruise in Guantanamo Bay, she sailed in company with Power (DD-839) on 11 January 1946 en route to Gibraltar whence she proceeded to Naples. She began a series of peacetime Mediterranean patrols in company with Power and Providence (CL-82) until 7 March. She continued in this mission independently until 7 August when she returned to the States.
Following a period of yard availability she reported to Commander, Submarines Atlantic Fleet, and operated out of New London, Connecticut, until 14 December when she was laid up for repairs at Boston, Massachusetts. On 3 April 1947 while anchored off Block Island she grounded in a violent wind and rain storm, but, refloated with aid from two tugs, she returned to Boston where repairs were made.
Ernest G. Small sailed on 12 June for Norfolk, Virginia, and engaged in type exercises in the Virginia Capes Operating Area. On 6 August she stood out for the Caribbean, calling at Guantanamo and Trinidad before rendezvousing with Task Force 84 (TF 84) which proceeded to Rio de Janeiro where on 7 September the flagship Missouri (BB-63) embarked President Harry S. Truman and his family for the trip to the States. Ernest G. Small steamed on escort station during the voyage.
From 9 February to 10 April 1948 she cruised in the Caribbean and on 7 June began a midshipman cruise to the Mediterranean, calling at Lisbon, Genoa, Casablanca, and returning to Norfolk on 21 July. Her third tour in the Mediterranean was made between 30 August 1948 and 23 January 1949. For the remainder of 1949 she operated in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic coast.