Named for Lieutenant Paul Riley, a naval aviator who died during the Battle of Midway, the USS Riley (DE-579) was a Rudderow-classdestroyer built by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard in Hingham, Massachusetts. She was commissioned on 13 March 1944.
Soon after a shakedown cruise off Bermuda, the Riley was assigned to Escort Division 67. The Riley departed for her first transatlantic escort mission on 23 June 1944 with convoy UGS 46. After fighting off a German air attack in the Mediterranean Sea on 12 July, she arrived in Bizerte, North Africa, the following day.
The Riley returned to the United States, where she conducted sonar tests off New London, Connecticut, during August 1944. On 30 August, the Riley escorted another Bizerte-bound convoy and, following the successful completion of the mission, returned to the East Coast on 17 October. Within two weeks, the Riley was at sea again, arriving in Bora-Bora on 25 November and continued, reaching Humboldt Bay on 11 December.