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Our proud ship Was launched 5 May l945 and commissioned 28 October l945 in the Bethlehem Steel
Shipyards, San Pedro, California. One of the latest 2200 ton destroyers, converted into a light minelayer,
she bears the name of the late Bear Admiral Aaron Ward, USN, who commanded the USS Wasp during
the Spanish-American War, a ship that distinguished herself and her captain. Two other ships have also
borne this celebrated name: DD l32, a l2UU ton ship transferred to the British early in the War, and the
DD483, a valiant l6'5O tonner that participated in the Battle of Savo lsland and invasion of Guadalcanal before
she was sunk on 7 April l943. The Aaron Ward, lll, helped blaze the way for the invasion of Okinawa, and
later served as Radar Picket Vessel in that campaign during "The Kamikaze Blitz". With her performance
on 3 May, our ship joined the ranks of Navy irnmortals, and Won for herself undying fame as "the ship
that can't be licked."
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.Humbly do we dedicate these sheets of paper to our beloved shipmates who gave their lives in the
performance of their duty. Theirs was a sacrifice that will rank high in the annals of naval history. Only
we, and other sea-farers like us, who fought the Kamikaze scourge at Okinawa can know the true story
behind their gallant devotion to the end. We shall never forget them, even long after this war's finis. We
shall always remember them as shipmates who joined us in the battle against the Iapanese-courageous
defiant, -and steadfast in their noble purpose. To these men goes our eternal gratitude.
Long, Luther James GM3fc
Maculcas, Anthony Peter Flfc
Lt. Robert Neil McKay
Anderson, Jack Beecher Flfc
Armand, Medric Joseph MNIX
Beattie, Vernon Edward S2fc
Bruna, Franlcfnl SC2fc
Cain, John Richard SZXC
Carpenter, Charles Lloyd Sflc
Carrick, Junior Roby S2fc
Coltra, Paul MM2fc
Connell, Charles Monard S2fc
Couie, Robert Louis, Cox.
Dalton, John Shields Slfc .
Dart, George Leonard SSML3fc
Dial, Billy Rae SoM3fc
Dulin, Frank l-lenson Slfc
Fletcher, Farrell Ronald l-lA2fc
Follett, Robert Raymond MN2fc
Good, Rae Gervis FC3fclTl
Harris, Richard Joseph Slfc
l-lendriclcson, Jerald Melvin Slfc
Lepon, Russell Allen Flfc
Mann, Stuart Benjamin CMMlTl
Marshall, J. J. Slfc
McCoy, Billielnl S2fc
McLaughlin, Marvin Joseph Slfc
Morgan, JohniJoseph Flfc
Niwinslci, l-lenry Walter Slfc
iOlmeda, Augustinelnl Slfc
'Pepoon, Rudolt Stanley Flfc
Rawlins, John Brantley MN3fc
Schroeder, Laverne l-larry S2fc
Schroeter, Carl, Jr. WT2fc
Smith, Jerry Edwin, Jr., EM3fc
Spradling, Paul Clitford S2fc
Steinhilber, Clyde William S2fc
Stole, Gerald James Flfc
Symes, Robert Stenvad Slfc
Turner, Jack Stokes GM3fc
Wagner, Edward Lawrence S2fc
Zaloga, Joseph Edward MN2fc
Picture: Where our fallen shipmates rest in the U. S. Military cemetery at Zamami Shima in Kerama Retto Ryukyu Islands Japan
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, W. H. SANDERS, JR.
Commander, U. S. Navy
l find it very difficult to express adequately how l feel towards this gallant ship, her officers, and
men. Thruout the period, from the day of commissioning to the present, you have made my job compara-
tively 'easy thru your fine cooperation, industry, and brave conduct under fire. Our country has always
been proud of the American boy's ability to come thru in any emergency, and you, a s-hip's company,
hand-picked by fate, knowing and believing in that for which you were fighting, have by y-our magnificent
fighting spirit confirmed that belief in the minds of your countrymen.
F or those of you who will remain in the Naval Service, l say l am happy in the thought that we may
again be shipmates. To the "potential civilians" among us, l wish health and happiness, and in your chosen
career may you each meet with that full measure of success so characteristic of your short tour on the
"Gallant Ward". To the relatives of those boys who gave their lives that we may henceforth live in peace,
l say in behalf of all officers and men that we offer you, humlbly, our sympathy for the heartaches you have
May l repeat what l have said elsewhere, "That the ship was saved to fight again, after such punish-
ment in the face of overwhelming odds, bears witness to the wonderful work and the high calibre of fighting
officers and men l have had the good fortune of having assigned my command. l cannot say enough to
express my complete admiration of you." -
W. H. SANDERS, Ir.,
Commander, U. S. Navy,
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-DAVID M. RUBEL
Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy
Between the covers of this book is Written the story of our proud ship and her heroic crew. As
Gunnery Officer and Executive Officer I have had the pleasure of Working with you from the day of the
ship's commissioning. Since that day, it has been a long, hard trip. Your splendid attitude and coopera-
tive spirit durin-g our training period paid tremendous dividends in loattle. By your actions "the mighty
Aaron" has taken her place in the heroic annals of our Navy. l feel honored to have served with you.
Wor'ds cannot express my ad-miration for you and your shipmates who made the supreme sacrifice. Your
deeds speak for themselves. y r
DAVID M. RUBEL,
Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy,
, f--l 4 l-
BIOGRAPHY 0F A LADY
lt was only yesterday that we received orders assigning us to the Aaron Ward, DD 773, building in
the S-an 'Pedro Sfhipyard of Bethlehern.Steel. Yet yesterday and today are significant dates in our lives
spanned only by the many months that have witnessed "the evolution" of our proud man-of-war. Now
that the story of World War ll has been written on the pages of his-tory, we can feel that our job, though
tragic and costly, was well done. Time erases many wiounds, leaving only the physical scars of battle, but
w-ho of the Aaron Ward crew will ever forget the ship's memorable experiences in the Pacific where the
old gal survived the most severe tests that war with lapan hadto offer. She brought us back, for that we
are forever grateful.
'And now to turn the pages backward and reminisce awhile.
How many of us recall our precommissioning work, when we labored, studied, drilled, and prepared
ourselves in our separate fields for our shipboard duties. First at Norfolk, where we attended school, learned
about the intricacies of our ship's machinery, her damage control, and gunnery equipment. Here we were
content to apply ourselves diligently, seldom distracted by thoughts of liberty and recreation. No offense
directed at this town's Chamber of Commerce, but Norfolk and its 'lgay white way" tempted us slightly.
And so we chose to restrict our theatre of operations to the "reservation" where we could indulge in a
softball game, swim, or take in a movie.
While some of us enjoyed the cool breezes of the East Coast, others had already migrated to that
"isle of paradise", Treasure lsland, where Mr. Neupert had set up his headquarters. Here the future sailors
of the Ward found a rigorous routine, a daily grind that served to train and prepare them for work ahead.
Yet the reward was worth the effort, for only minutes away beckoned the town of 'Frisco-a ci-ty re-plete
with that good stuff that liberties are made of. Yes, life here was truly Utopian, and before long we who
had been East, went West to complete the "Aaron Ward round-up", and by the middle of September all
300 of us AW stalwarts were cozily berthed in Barracks N, under the friendly though austere supervision
of our executive officer.
An advanced guard, in the meanwhile, had reported to San Pedro to assist in the ship's construction.
They, too, joined us in our disappointment and disillusionment when the Navy Department informed us,
rather abruptly, that the Aaron Ward originally destined to ride the seas as a DD, had been converted to
a DM. A period of mourning followed, when old DD sailors cursed their lot, and the "youngsters" reflected
the mood of sullen resignation. But men of the sea, like their civilian counterparts, soon adjust themselves to
their environment, and before l-ong the future loomed as bright as ever. .
Then, and inevitable it was, the day of reckoning arrived. Drawing some odd 300 AW "veterans"
under his protective wing, Lt. "Tom" Wallace, with a few flourishes and one or two skirmishes with the
Red Cross, Shore Patrol and local Elks Club, departed from the nostalgic environs of "Tl" and arrived in
San Pedro the next day. How many of us will ever forget that trainride. That interminable wait, the "cor-
fortable and luxurious" troop trains that had their own private supply of anthracite for the cold night's ride.
The intrigue practiced on us by a small clique of train "belly-robbers", whose evil intentions were
thwarted by Lt. Wallace and Ens. Dillon, the latter's sacrifice comprising some 'leven sandwiches and an
empty stomach. There were no medals for this detective work, but the gratitude of a well--fed group of
transients still wells in their breasts.
And so we arrived in Pedro. ln several days we all donned our suits, gave our shoes that old "spit
and polish", and stood at attention, while our beloved skipper accepted the Aaron Ward as his own. That
day will live long in our memory. Then it was when we assembled, all of us, from the skipper on down,
to pledge ourselves to the holy task of serving a beautiful and proud lady. How willingly we escorted our
parents and friends thruout the ship, showing off our 'ivast" knowledge and basking in the limeligfht of
our new home. We discovered too that our doctor possessed an excellent taste in women, and had
already embarked on a career that witnessed joy replacing gloom in so many of the fairer sex's lives.
After a month or so Cin the Navy Yardl of "last minute" work, we sounded one long blast on the
whistle, set condition Baker, and backed out of our slip, bound for San Diego and six wee-ks of shaking
down. Here again life was pleasant, for seldom were we at sea more than several days at a time. Only
when the mighty New York arrived on the scene, did we relinquish our hold on dry land for an appre-ciablef
length of time. For the first time in our young life we felt useful, offering our protecting arm to an ancien
relative of the sea. Yet after ten days of salt water, we returned to our gravey routine that included so many
"invigorating" liberties in the town of San Diego.
For that shakedown we are forever grateful. E or weeks we sailed our ship, participating in numerOuS
exercises that bettered and hardened us for the tasks ahead. Under the skillful leadership of Lt. Eubel, our
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Gunnery Officer, we proceeded to establish a gunnery record that still stands as an all-time high in shake-
down training. Our 5" 40, 20 gun crews proved outstand-ing and ready for that tussle with the laps that
was drawing closer. ln the engineering department, under the guidance of Lt. Young, and his capable
assistants, Lt. Cj.g.J Clark and Ens. Paine, the "black gang" showed their shipmates that they too had
mastered their jobs and were prepared to give the ship steam in her throbbing veins and arteries.
Mr. Beismeyer and Mr. Cathcart, in the meanwhile, strove to teach the fundamentals of Damage
Control and t-he art of seamanship t-o men, the majority of whom, were experiencing their first tour of
sea duty. Under these two officers, Shelley, CBM, Oden and jones, BM's lfc, applying many years' naval
experience, sought to mold the green seamen into useful sailors. And thruout this entire period, our patron
saint 'of f-ood, Chief Bagan, kept the ship amply sup-plied with nourishing victuals that had been planted in
the early 30's and harvested in the middle 40's. Nonetheless, the milk we drank was "the laotile fluid of
the bovine species" and for this latter treat we were thankful. We missed Ma's cooking, but proceeded to
add to our waistline. 1
0 With the shakedown under our belt, we set our course for San Pedro, and back to the Navy Yard for
10, 20, 30, 40 days. The local pawnbrokers were enjoying a thriving business, for liberty in this area was
an expensive pastime. Yet our sojourn here was highlighted with many great events. Many romances
flourished and several of our more eager set plunged recklessly into marriage. While the majority of us
took advantage of the recreational facilities in Southern California, the yard f-orce converted ClC into "a
ohamber of horrors", installing innumerable radio gear and loudspeakers. Mr. Woodside, our Comm. Officer,
bore the brunt of this upheaval. 1 i
Finally, on February 9, 1945, the Aaron Ward stood out of San Pedro 1-larbor and pointed her trim
nose towards Pearl Harbor. For six long days she steamed independently, ever alert for her first enemy,
the submarine. That lonely cruise is very vivid in our minds, for it marked the ship's graduation to a
position of responsi'bili'ty as well as the "first trip" for almost seventy-five pe-r cent of our crew. Other than
the us-ual submarine scare that sent us to General Ouarters several times, our 2100-mile journey was
uneventful. And as we arrived in Pearl Harbor, all of us doffed our heavy clothing and settled down to a
two week stay in the tropics.
At Pearl we hungrily jumped at the opportunity to try our luck at some competitive softball. Lt. Halsted,
our genial athletic officer, operated a very successful and popular "league competition" that comprised
representatives from every division aboard ship. Each day we praye-d for clear skies so 'that yesterdays
defeat might be "avenged". Hot, fiery games resulted and at the end of our stay, the 2nd Division emerged
champions. Their undefeated record was tops in the field, and due greatly to the outstanding hitting and
pitching prowess of Fisher who revealed "big-league" ability. We all had fun, and were willing to concede
the pennant to this gang "aft of Frame ll0". -
'On March 3, we received our orders and proceeded to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Maryland, an old
but very potent battlewagon. With her and several other escorts we steamed endlessly, and on March 19
arrived at one of our Cthenl most advance bases, Ulithi. Here we saw the staggering sight of the U. S.
Pacific Fleet at anchor. For miles around there was a seemingly inexhaustiblie line of carrie-rs, battleships.
cruisers, destroyers, and numerous auxiliaries. The size of this armada gave us both a feeling of inferiority
and security. Yet we were part of it and destined to play a majior role in the drama coming up. Here, too,
we received our first "air alert". We manned our guns and waited, only to receive the news that the
approaching raid had been repulsed some 10 miles out. Now we knew the thrill of flying to our battle stations
and taking our "ready positions". l I
Several days later-still no mail-we sent Blunk, our white Cthen a little beardedj hope, with orders
to "bring home the bacon, or else". A few hours before getting underway, our mailman, a smile lig-hting
up his youthful face, returned with tho-se never-to-be-forgotten three bags of mail. Now they could bring on
the laps! Needless to mention, Blunk was the man of the hour, and a few minutes later explaining to the
OOD why he had failed to relieve the watch on time. The impermanence of glory!
Underway at last, and when morning dawned grey and d-amp, we saw ourselves in the van, preceding
a swarm of minesweepers. lt was then the realization came to us that we were part of an outfit bound for
some unknown japanese Island, close to the mainland, to engage in sweeping operations prior to an invasion
by our troops. Later, that day, our captain, Commander Sanders, announced our destination-Okinawa,
a powerful island fortress held by thousands of japanese troops, and harboring a score of strong airfie-lds.
The uncertainty that had filled our minds cleared somewhat after this announcement, but the prospect of
encoun'tering heavy opposition left our enthusiasm slightly dampened. We gulped several times, and then
settled dow-n to the job of brushing up on the P's and O's of fighting. 1
On March 23, we arrived with our ,caravan on the shores of Okinawa. Our ETA had been timed so
that we were in our assigned area early in the morning, several hours before sunrise. Condition Able had
been set and each one of us was at his battle -station. The sun made its customary appearance, and we
proceeded to scan the skies, the water, the nearby island for signs of the ene-my. Yet nothing happened.
All was quiet save the roar of our frien-dly planes overhead that swept, wave after wave, onto the Iap
shore installation-s. Our battle wagons had already made their welcome appearance and had begun blazing
away with their large rifles.
Our preinvasion work went "merrily on". We served as a Fire Support Ship for a mine-sweeping
unit of AM's that took us perilously close to enemy beaches in the daytime, and at night we entertained
ourselves by retiring with the main body of the bombardment force. Every day we witnessed explosions
of unfortunate comrade-ships that had failed to avoid a mine or had been victimized by sneak lap suicide
attacks, or heard of sister ships that had fared successfully with the enemy. The Ditter, the Shea, the
Lindsey, and the rest of Minron 3 had already started knocking Iap planes out of the sky. We received
word of the Tolman's epic struggle with 8 suicide boats, and a later mishap that left her stranded on a
reef for days. All our friends it seemed had made some contribution to the 'twar effort", and we, outside
of the few mines that we had destroyed and several 'tprobablesn in night actions, had not as yet connected.
The invasion came. April the lst saw us in the third balcony, viewing the performance from 5Oc seats,
and two days later we were bound for Guam, convoying two old warriors, the Salem and the Keokuk, to
what rightfully should have been their final resting place. Several days out of Okinawa, we discovered that
the Iapanese had started a furious suicide offensive that was claiming two or three ships each day. Ours
was more than an arbitrary interest, for we knew th-at, shortly, we too would be back in the scrap.
Guam was a reprieve that we shall never forget. For ten days we sipped the nectar of beer parties,
softball games, swimming, and riding peacefully at anchor, while up in Okinawa the demon god of war
was having one helluva time. The beginning of one of the greatest and most decisive campaigns in naval
history had broken out in all its fury. But all good things must eventually come to end, and on Ap-ril 20, we
were back on our old Okinawa stomping grounds.
Then it was that we became familiar wit-h all the picket stations, and there we established a camara-
derie with our brother ships, the big and small DD's and the little LOS's that accompanied us on those harrow-
ing 4-5 day t'picnics" far from the noise and confusion of Kerama Retto and l-lagushi anchorages. For
several weeks we kept our decks and superstructure clean, seeing little action during the day and spending
many sleepl-ess hours at night. Each night saw us blazing away at enemy planes that we couldn"t see, but
who appeared intent on causing us trouble. Several times we threw up a deadly curtain of fire that made
us almost cert-ain that we had destroyed the enemy. Finally, on April 27, on a clear, moonlight night, patrol-
ling north of Okinawa, we won our "spurs", For seven long hours our ship p-atrolled her station, and for
seven 'long hours the boys in plot, the director, in the fire and e-ngine rooms, on the deck, and in CIC and
the Radio Shack, kept faith with their ship and country. That was the night we registered our first visual
t'kill", shooting two Betty's and one Val into the ocean. Only after we had fired at 10 separate attacks
and reported some 37 enemy raids to "Point Bolo", and had received the all clear signal from CIC, did we
secure from GO. The following morning we stuck out our chests with pride when we read Admiral Turner's
congratulatory message th-at labeled us "lap exterminators".
Can we ever forget that n-ight in Kerama Retto, when after tying up alongside an ammunition ship,
we witnessed the terrifying spectacle, a drama in one act, tlhe sole player, one Val, intent on hitting the
ammo ship. Can we ever express our heartfelt gratitude to its only challenger, an unknown s-mall craft
that deflected it from its path wit-h a few bursts of machine gun fire. And then to watch it go racing madly,
weaving from side to side, in the midst of hundreds of silent, yet fearful ships, until it plunged headlong into
the Pinckney, exploding with a tremendous crash and a ball of fire that lighted the area for miles around.
lf what we 'had seen had unnerved us, then the subseCI1leI1T events left US 9059319 tot breath- Yet ttttu the
smoke, the thousands of tracers that were fired at what "could have been" a lC1PCff1eSe Dtcmef with Stttctpttet
falling like rain, the burning fires and explosions on the Pinckney, we felt secure in our horror and grim
uncertainty. When the "storm" had subsided, we naturally gave a sigh of relief, but with our sigh, went a
prayer of thanks to l-lim above and to our captain who had maneuvred and conned the ship so adroitly.
exhibiting so inspiring a quality of leadership totpull us thru. And all the time, the "skipper" was disap-
pointed, because the thousand odd craft thvat we had miraculouslY avoided, had prevented him from help-
ing the stricken ship.
Our days were numbered. This we did not know, but the reports concerning our fellow "picketeers"
were far from encouraging. Night after night we heard the tragic news of ships being sunk and damaged
n .....m.-.r.....,.. .4 in F ....,. ..,..,. .M . .. ,gd H , , by our Kamikaze foe. Yet all our spirits were high, our magazines full and guns ever ready. All of us
went about our daily tasks, caring for the girl, providing a loving and gentle tenderness that one finds
only in battle zones. We knew she was pro-bably the most attended ship in the U. S. Fleet. l-fer engineer-
ing plant, her guns, all her vital defensive and offensive equipment was in a hig-h degree of readin.ess. lf
and when the lapshit us, and we knew eventuallythey would, we would be ready.
' Came May the 3rd, four days after our arrival on Radar Picket Station lU, four daysthat had been
reltaxin-g :because of incessant rain. Still alert and ready, we mfanined our GQ stations, when ClC reported
bogies approaching from the west.
The four fighters overhead continued making their circular patterns. With this umbrella of CAP and
our powerful armament, we felt ourselves invincible, almost eager to do battle with the enemy coming in.
Covers were taken off the guns, all boilers were cut in on the main steam line, and we donned our bfattle
raiment, poising ourselves for the approaching attack. There was no unus-ual excitement or ne-rvous
tension. We were executing a routine that had been synonymous with our duty on the picket station.
-Mr. McKay, Sky 3, had already made his reports to Sky Defense and was now exchanging last
minute orders and words of encouragement to his men. Long gave his Quad 40 a quick inspection and a
pat of affection. The men under them observed and nodded confidently. Eve-ry station on the ship had
received the word and made ready for any emergency that might arise.
We saw the first attacking planes miles away, speeding swiftly in our direction. Our fighters went out
to intercept, but their efforts proved unsuccessful. Then the spectacle of a Kamikaze starting his bullet-like
dive unfolded before our eyes. Many times had we fought the enemy planes at night, never witnessing the
awe-inspiring picture that had suddenly been flashed before us. This was it, and our ship swirled majestic-
ally to starboard to bring all her guns to bear.
Our guns blazed, converging their barrage on this first enemy plane. Stubbornly he tried to hold his
course, but riddled badly, and ablaze, he crashed some 50 yards away. Those men in Mo-unt 3 will still tell
you hiow they were fanned by t'he flames of this doomed plane. Here again, we had triumphed and
emerged unscathed. V . y
Yet this plane was only a messenger, a harbinger of the ferocious attacks that were to come. We all
remember the 50 minutes t-hat followed, how we fought to destroy the enemy, to protect our ship, and
later, to-save .a ship that had been horribly mutilated and was in danger of going down any minute. And
when the fight with some 20 suicide planes had ended, and 5 had been sent crashing into the sea, and the
other 'ES had slammed aboard, the Aaron Ward and her. crew, everyone of us, worked as a team to win the
fin-al fight. But in our moment of triumph we did not forget the heavy price we had to pay, and as long as
we live, we-shall honor our shipmates who fought with us to their death.
T Our fight extended far into the night, and ended only after all fires htad been extinguis-hed and the
wounded treated and placed comfortably below. And then came that long, long voyage back to Ke-rama
Retto at 5 knots. One ofour sister ships, the Shannon, did a magnificent job in getting us there safely. For
h-ours we glided along,.thru a calm sea, a little jittery, flinching at tracers nearby, until morning came, and
we reached the "friendly" shores of Kerama Retto.
After 6 we-eks in the Retto where we continued to feel the effects of impending dangers and witnessing
.numerous attempts of suicide planes to penetrate our fighter screen and attack shipping in our area tsmoke
boat, smoke boat, where the h--- is that smoke boatl we were finally repaired, in a jury-rig fashio-n, and 'sent
on our long journey back to the States.
P I T Well, we made it, arriving in New York via Pearl and the Panama Canal, all of l2,0U0 miles on one
engine and one screw. There we-re no brass bands, no reception committees to welcome us on our arrival
at the Navy Yard, but who cared. Our than-ks to God and t'he satisfaction of a job well done were our
only consolation. All of us had our own little 'lprivateu cele'bration and pr-oclaimed our joy in no uncertain
terms. Too, we reverently thought of our shipmates who were not with us to join in the "homecoming",
R The war ended on August l4th, three months and several days after. we had fought our big battle,
and with its end, we received the sad news that all work would stop on our ship. So badly damaged a ship
seemed destined to feel the axe of t'he Navy's campaign to economize. Yet regardless of her fate, the ship,
once our home, sword, and shield, will live forever in our hearts. We shall never forget her, nor shall we
forge't our comrades, living and dead, who joined us in the figtht for the cause of humanity..
And now, let us slip into the pages of history and resume our tasks in a world that we fought to
preserve. i i . T i . . L. LAVRAKAS.
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6,495 0:20 950 X Q00 0 7 'Tho same grouy'
W9 EXXQQQ' I V L, WA OQCL 5366al9g 'flzlf1,carry on in sol
V 5 .ORN ., '1 's ss- A 0 ' 'Irersion probler
' - stil 'O - iz HC- ' . , .
of XTSXKQCVQQQQK. .jx I Q Ezsgamleeting n.
In KVA eqloix Owe acts in thl 0 , , Donafd Nelsor
yt , X equate, V
. X ,S wad and now
Um L 96 t':3oR'Y?'yQrXXeO. Views on S+, 'Q' 6 -ndent Motion
Q10 Mele' The majority opi. 0, fr said he WE
' 9 ers seemed to be tl 0 f 4'Y0IT1 the W
legislative session 4 he 00L1ld '
and O 'i,mwn'A' called as soon as all 4 0 1 City ai
of the Shellws ' are in hand but that it 'il 4 J' One of
sam mat skill mai-ks A good 'flea 19 Fel 3-ll' 0 gf? .T the
, on what Congress has in J' Alb SDIHC an
that the 'andy had been Struck on reconversion legislation w9I'mil'l3li0I1 to fl
and run over by an automobile. . A . Q lhelping to Win t
which erirlcntly went out of
Control and 4DCfl airax'
ross is flue in meet bent. J. -ne
f'.l.O. suggestion was that prob
.. . W Y . ... ..- -Y .W , W...-..'
THE FOLLOWING OFFICERS AND MEN '
WERE ON BOARD THE AARON WARD ON MAY 3, 1945:
Sanders, W. H., Ir., Commander, Commanding Officer
Neupert, K. F., Lit. Cmdr., Executive Officer
Rubel, D. M., Lt., Gunnery Officer
Young, D. A., Lt., Engineering Officer
Wallace, T. L., Lt., Navigator'
Lavrakas, 'L., Lt., Assistant Gunnery Officer
Biesmeyer, R. I., Lt., First Lieutenant and Damage Control
Rainey, 'C. H., Lit., Assistant First Lieutenant
Ca'thcart, G. "F"., Lt. 'KjgI,, Assistant First Lieutenant
Clark, D. 'C. Lt. Cjgl, Assistant Engineering Officer
Halsted, H. tC., Lt. Cjgl, C.l.'C. Officer
Rosengren, I. S., Ens., Sound Officer
-Q-W V - sedan .Jr - -
Kelley, P. W., Ens., Assis-tant Gunnery Officer
Paine, C. S., Ens., Assistant Engineering Officer
Dillon, S., Ir., Ens., Fighter Director Officer and Radio Officer
Ferguson, D. P., Ens., Assistant Gunnery Officer
Tiwald, I. P., Ens., Signal Officer
Barbieri, I, K., Lt. Cjgl, Medical Officer
McKay, R. N., Lt. Cjgl, Supply Officer
Danford, D. A., Lt., Fighter Direction
Koehl, F. W., Lt. Cjgl, Fighter Direction
Siler, G. E., Warr. Gun., Mine Control
Woodside, L. A., Lt. fjgl, Communicat-ion and Radar Officer
Abbott, E. S., GM2fc
Abercromwbie,,H. L., EM3fc
Adams, B. C., WTZXC
Adams, W. H., Slfc
Ahrens, C. W., Slfc
Aitchison, P., RDlM3fc
Anastasia, I. G., MfMlfc
Anderson, I. B., Flfc
Andrade, A., BKfR2fc
Andrade, I. W., Sllfc
Ante-ll, R. O., M'M2fc
Armand, M. I., M-Nlfc
Aylworth, A. A., RDM3fc
Bahmiller, L., Stlfc
Bailey, P. l., Slfc
Baker, C. L., S'2fc
Ballard, A. C., WT2fc
Bartlett, Vernon KNI S2fc
Batchelor, Paul UNI Ir., S2fc
Beadel, Allen KNI., RDMSXCCTJ
Beattie, Vernon Edmond, S2fc
Beckner, Ioseph David, MM3fclTJ
Beckmann, Iohn Alouis, FCZXC
Be-ll, Daniel Clyde, RDM3fcCTJ
Berkey, Iames Dale, Slfc
Bernas, Amando Ravara, SZXC
Berry, Loyd "C", MMlfc
Birley, Charles Grant, Ir., Flfc
Bissonnette, Roger Lionel, SlfcCRMJ
Blunck, Ted Iohn, SOM3fc
Boles, "I" Loyd, Ir., GMZXC
Border, Russell Robert, WT3fc
Bosney, Ioseph CND, Ir., FZXC
Brewster, Iohn Harvey, Flfc
Bridgewater, K. B., Slfc
Brown, I. R., MNlfc
Bruna, F., SCZXC
Brusky, I. A., CRM
Burchett, C. W., Stlfc
Burgess, D. I., Slfc
Burns, C. P., EM'3fc
Buschbacher, R., GMl!c
Cain, I. R., S2fc
Caldwell, E. H., Y2fc A
Carpenter C. L., Slfc
Carpenter, R. P., E'Mlfc
Carrick, I. R., S2fc
Carroll, L. W., WTlfc
Carson, R. L., Slfc
Casaro, P. A., Slfc
Castagnola, L., S2fc
Castarrien, L. E., G'Mlfc
Ceckowski, F. A., EM3fc
Cezus, I. G., E'M3fc
Chmiel, C. S , S2fc
Christofferson, T. R., Cox.
Clark, C. E., STl!c
Clark, E., S.lfc
Clingenpeel, L. C., Slfc
Collins, C. M., GM3fc
Coltra, P., MMVZXC
Connell, C. H., S'2fc
Conrad, "L" "B", Slfc
Cooper, E. E., WT2fc
Cornutt, I. H., SOM2fc
Couie, R. L., Cox.
Coward, G. L., MM2fc
Cozby, L. E., RDM3fc
Crider, 'Clair William, PHM2fc
Curr, Allan Ioseph, EMZXCCTD
Curtis, Thomas Marion, Slfc
Dalton, Iohn Shields, Slfc
Dart, George Leonard, SSMLSXCKTI
Day, Iohn Darrell, Sllfc
Deacon, Robert Burton, Slfc
Deckert, Amos Earl, S2fc
Demyen, Ioseph Frank, SMZXCKTJ
De Reimer, Vernon Pennington, MM3fc
Despin, George, FC2fc
Devlin, Ierry Gray, Cox.
Dial, Billy Rae, SOM3fc
Dial, Edwin Leon, GMZXC -
Dolliver, Harvey Richard, S-lfc
Dove, Hollie CND, F2fc
Dow, Ralph Arden, Cox.CTI
Dulin, Frank Benson, Slfc
Duriavig, Robert Iames, F2fc
Dyhrkopp, Einar Victor, F2fc
Elliott, 'Samuel Olvin, Shlfc
Elrick, Wallace Wayne, RM3fctTI
Enderle, 'Richard Miles, FZXC
Erice, Tom CK2fc
Erin, Thomas Frank, Slfc
Eves, Carson Hubert, SZXC
Fields, Iames Fred, Slfc
Fisher, Mark Roger, Slfc
Fitzpatrick, Iohnnie Wesley, Slfc
Fletcher, Clyde Thomas, GM3fc
Fletcher, Farrell Ronald, SZXC
Flinn, Frederick Terence, OMSXCCTJ
Floyd, Harry Arnold, S2fc
Follett, Robert Raymond, MN2fc
Forrey, Page Durbe-tte, WTlfc
Foster, Benjamin Hardin, FClfc
Fowers, Wayne Grow, YSXCCTJ
Frederick, George Ioseph, RM3fcCTJ
Frenchik, Paul Edward, F2fc
Friese, Rose Churchill, F2!c
Gaines, Eddie KNJ, STMlfc
Gaworski, Vernon Carl, SUCCGMD
Gervais, Alphonse Alfred, GMlfc
Giese, William Frederick, Ir., RM2!c
Glenn, Iack Lawrence, SZXCCFCOJ
Good, Rae Gervais, SlfcCFCJ
Gorczyca, Stanley Paul, MMtlfc
Graver, E. H., EMZXC
Greenoe, VV. S., MMZXC
Gross, N. A., MNZXC
Guyer, W. M., MM2fc
Ha-berek, M. C., Flfc
Hall, E. G., GM3!c
Hammock, E. A., GM3fc
Hansell, G. H., CY
Harris, R. I., S-lfc
Haubrich, I. I., WTlfc
Hetjhall, C. I., Slfc
Hendrickson, I. M., Slfc
Hetvick, F. M., Slfc
Higgins, O. K., Flfc
Hitchcock, A. L., MN2fc
Hodge, W. S., Flfc
Hol-te, R. T., QM'lfc
Hosking, L. R., RDtM3!c
Howard, M. S., MM3fc
Huckabee, C. M., SC3fc
Husted, R. O., Stlfc
Iames, W. W., S'P1!c
Iaroszewski, E. H., SOM3fc
Iefferson, T. B., 'Slfc
Iohnfson, K. R., Flfc
Iohnson, T. A., WT3fc
Iohnson, T. B., S'M3fc
Iones, D. F., BMlfc
Ionles, L. I., S2!c
Kellejian, C. P., SMIXC
Kennedy, I. I., PH'M3!c
Kinman, R. E., WT2fc
Ki-nney, W. P., S'C3fc
Kock, B. R., Slfc
Kock, L. E., Slfc
Kohne, A. E., Slfc
Kreyer, R. C., Slfc
Kroll, C. H., FCIXC
La Plure, C. R., Slfc
Larson, G. O., GM3fc
Layrnon, D. I., M'M3fc
Lepon, R. A., Flfc
Little, K., MM3fc
Long, S. S., Flfc
Long, L. I., GlM3fc
Lonlglois, O. W., PC3fc
Lunetta, I. A., MOMIMIXC
MacPherson, E. B., EMZXC
Macukas, A. P., Flfc
Mann, S. B., CMM
Marchello, E. fM., Slfc
Marquoit, W. I., Slfc
Marshall, "I" "I", Slfc
Marston, I. D. L., BKR3!c
Martin, I. W., RM3fc
Martin, O. A., MM3fc
Martinez, I., Slfc
Mattei, X. F., Flfc
McCarthy, D. I., Flfc
McCaughey, C. R., CMM
McClendon, W. M., Slfc
McCoy, B., S2fc
McCoy, W., MMZXC
McCurry, H. W., RMZXC
McGee, W. E., Slfc
McKanna, W. R., SOM3fc
McLaughlin, M. I., Slfc
Mc'Mah-an, E. H., Flfc
Mecca, D. A., WT3fc
Merington, I. L., Cox.
Michael, R. D., QM3fC
Miller, M., WT2fc
Moe, G. V., Plfc
Mogensen, H. R., MN3fc
Morgan, I. I., F2fc
Moxley, R. S., Slfc
Muirhead, B. M., MMZXC
Murphy, O. E., Ylfc
Neuman, R. T., RDM3fc
Newman, G. H., RDM3!c
Niwinski, H. W., Slfc
Norlen, K. C., Slfc
Noss, K. L., S2fC
Oden, I. W., BMIXC
Offins, I. A., CMN
Olmeda, A., Slfc
Quimette, I. L., GMIXC
Padgett, N. R., Slfc
Panaro, I. T., CWT
Parker, I. L., MMZXC
Parker, B. L., SKlfc
Pepoon, R. S., Flfc
Personlius, O. S., MMZXC
Peters, R. N., Flfc
Peterson, D. H., WT3fc
Peterson, R. A., MMIXC
Phillips, I. M., MlM2!c
Phillips, W. I., RTIXC
Piatt, B., WT3fc
Posey, R. A., MMl!c
Potter, R. E., SOM3fc
Preston, H. A., Slfc
Putrzynski, A. V., G'M2fc
Oueior, I. W., FC3fc
Quick, F. D., Slfc
Quinn, E. M., FC3fc
Rader, W. H., Slfc
Ragan, R. H., CCS
Ransom, I. M., BM2!c
Rapalee, P. A., M'M2fc
Raymond, R. E., MM3fc
Rawlins, I. B., MM3fC
Reber, G. T., Cox.
Reed, L. R., Slfc
Reed, W. M., SZXCIRDMI
Reich, I. G., RDM2fc
Reichard, I. L., RT2fc
Richards, B. G., SK2fc
Ritter, W., Slfc
Rogers, D., Flfc
Rogers, I. M., Slfc
Rotter, H., Flfc
Roumfort, R. R., FCZXC
Ruby, T. A., Slfc
Russell, H. E., Slfc
Salisbury, H. B., CMM
Sandow, I. B., CM2fc
Sanford, I. L., Slfc
Sawchuck, L. W., Plfc
Schaefer, W. W., Mlfc
Schmitt, I. C., Slfc
Schofield, R. W., Slfc
Schroeder, L. H., S2fc
Schroeter, C., WTlfc
Schurman, B. P., RDM3fc
Scoggins, R. P., Slfc
Scott, S., STMIXC
Scott, W., STMIXC
Seggerman, C. R., Slfc
Shaw, R. I., SC3fc
Shea, C. B., GM2fc
Shelley, C. A., CBM
Shores, G. P., BIM2fc
Showalter, C. I., S2fC
Simons, G. F., S2fc
Smith, I. E., EfM3fc
Smith, S. B., CWT
Snow, R. D., Slfc
Soli, W. T., S2fc
Spradlin, L. R., S2fc
Spr-adling, P. C., S2fc
St. Clair, W. I., CEM
Stacy, B. E., S2fc
Stamm, R. P., S2!c
Stark, L. A., S2fc
Stefani, S., Flfc
Steinhilber, C. W., S2fc.
Stokke, R. E., Slfc
Stole, G. I., F lfc
Stolz, A., S2fc
Storey, C. E., SOMIXC
Strine, E. S., Flfc
Stucke, M., Slfc
Swedlund, H. D., Slfc
Sweeney, I. P., Slfc
Symes, R. S., Slfc
Tedford, O. F., CPHM
Thibodeau, D. A., RM3fc
Thomas, V., Flfc
Thorp, T. I., QM2fc
Thostenson, A. P., Slfc
Throneberry, I. IR., Slfc
Tippet, P. E., SClfc
Titus, R. F., Slfc
Toye, W., S'SML3fc
Trites, D. E., GM3!c
Trotter, "I". D., Slfc
Turner, I. S., GM3fc -
Vandenberg, G. P., MMIXC
Van Paris, F., Slfc
Veiga, A. E., S2fc
Vermie, M. F., RDMSXC
Voorhees, H. M., Slfc
Vornbrock, I. T., SOMZXC
Vowvalidis, L., SZXC
Wagner, E. L., S2fc
Walsh, I. I., Flfc
Weed, M. F., Slfc
Wenta, I. V., RTZXC
Wefst, W. H., Plfc
Weyrauch, H. P., M'M3!C
Whelan, T. I., GMlfc
Whipple, H. D., SZXC
Widing, A. C., S2fc
Wike, C. A., Flfc
Willand, C. I., Cox.
Williams, A., Slfc
Williams, V. A., Slfc
Wilson, R. E., Slfc
Wilson, R. M., Flfc
Wimer, H. D., MN2fc
W-indle, D. G., Silfc
Win-grove, A. C., Slfc
Winston, R. D., COM
Wise, I., STMIXC
Wiseman, I. W., EM2fc
Withrow, K. L., SK2fc
Wittenberg, E. M., RDM3fc
Woodford, H. E., Slfc
Woods, D. E., RDM3fc
Woodward, L. O., Slfc
Wright, W. F., RDM3fc
Wrobleski, E., SZXC
Young, I., STMIXC
Zagone, A. I., SMSXC
Zaloga, I. E., MN2fc
Zeug, L. I., S2fC
Zulick, M., Slfc
Atv- ,W , ,, .-..- .-. V -.-... ,,-.-,......-.--v--sf -sf-N-H - - '1-:.,Ann.ai- V -
,V Y -. .-.W-H Y , --M . Y 4 Y -f , , ,.,. .V
THE AARON WARD EPIC
A lustrousfnew chapter in the annals of bravery at sea was revealed today, and another Yankee
ship and crew took their place in the top rank of naval gallantry when the Navy told for the first time the
story of the Aaron Ward, destroyer minelayer No. 34. A F
Many epic chapters have come out of the furious sea battle of Okinawa, when the Iapane-se Kamikaze
tactics reached their greatest ferocity. No story of American boys sticking to the guns under fire-of never
giving up the ship even though it was almost under water-can eclipse that of the Aaron Ward. T
This destroyer type vessel, in her maiden campaign, took six suicide planes aboard in 52 minutes of
hell the late afternoon of May 3.
Three of them dropped bombs that blew holes deep in the hull. Five of them exploded, spreading
flaming death over the main and superstructure decks. The after stack toppled, blazing ammunition exploded
lethally, the steering gear was one of the first casualties, and during' the action the Ward steamed in a
circle like the British Battleship Warsp'ite at Iutland. Both engine rooms were pierced and flooded.
But the Aaron Ward never stopped fighting. lmpenetrable smoke poured from the pierced stack, mask-
ing Iap suicide planes as they made their runs, but A-aron Ward'.s guns kept blazing. Five Kamik-azes were
blasted into the sea before they reached their targets. Five others which crashed the Aaron Ward were hit
hard during their runs. But these five laps-and one more which sneaked in undetected-hit their mark in
one of the most intense and carefully co-ordinated mass suicide attacks on record.
When the attack was over the Aaron Ward lay dead and low in the water, listing eight degrees to
starboard, her main deck only five inches out of the w-ater. Fires were blazing aft and amidship. Engine
spaces were flooded. All 'power was gone. Darkness had set in over the Pacific, but the flames of the Aaron
Wiard lit the fwater for miles, providing a beacon for other enemy planes. "Now," the ship's action report
records, "began the nightlong fight to save the Aaron Ward and her crew by the damage control parties
and the medical department."
Assisted by smaller vessels which came alongside, the Aaron Ward"s officers and men fought the flames.
The powder magazines were sprinkled down by hand by "brave kids who didn't bat an eyelash though they
knew the magazines might go up any minute." Damage control parties manned gasoline pumps. A herculean
task faced the ship's doctor, Lt. I. K. Barbieri CMCD, USN, an.d his small staff of hospital corpsmen. F
V Nineteen members of the crew lay dead. Six were mortally wounded, forty-nine others were seriously
wounded, twenty others, blown overboard, were missing and were never recovered. . '
'The first suicide plane had dest-royed the after battle dressing station. The sick bay was a mass of
debris from another Kamikaze. Corpsmen and sailors' from all divisions picked their way through a gantlet
of flames and exploding ammunition carrying wounded shipmates to the wardroom for t-reatment. Sulfa
drugs, penicillin and blood plasma in whole-sale quanties were administered to shocked, bleeding blue-
jackets, with only flashlights and emergency battle lanterns to give illumination. Some 55 major injuries
and '20 lesser cases were treated during the night. '
' The next morning, when the Aaron Ward, under tow, reached a haven near Okinawa, the wounded
were transferred to another ship. The rest of the men of the' Aaron Ward turned to on the work of 'clearing
out debris and extricating bodies of the dead. A ship, that the flaps must have marked sunk, had been
saved to fight another day, ' ' C I D'
"That the ship was saved to fight again after such punishment in the face of overwhelming odds,"
Captain Sanders' report said, "bears witness to the wonderful work and high calibre off fighting officers and
men I had the good fortune to have assigned to my command. 'l cannot say en-ough to express my complete
admiration for them." n A
Others have echoed the captain's words. From squadron, division and fleet commanders messages
of glowing praise flashed into the battered radio shack of the Aaron Ward. The big boss of the Pacific
Fleet, Admiral -Chester W. Nimitz, spoke for all in his following dispatch from his advance headquarters
a few days after the action: ,
"We all admire a ship that can't be licked. Congratulations on your magnificent performance." '
The high points in the Aaron Ward story were emblaz-oned during Sl minutes of action Ma-y 3, and
the l4 agonizing hours afterwards, when the almost sinking' ship was towed into Kerama Bet-to, with other
attacks expected any minute and the horizon flashing with anti-aircraft fire of other ships.
From there, after repairs by her own engineering department had restored the forward engineering
space and fire room, the ship steamed all theiway .t-o the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, on one propeller
and one engine, for refitting. She is now undergoing repairs in the yard.
But the beginning goes back many months to building, launching and commissioning at the Bethle-
hem Steel Corporation yards at Terminal lsland, San Pedro, California, last year. Orginally Destroyer No.
773, the 2200-ton Aaron Ward is the third "can" to bear the name of ia Spanish-American war hero. The
first Aaron Ward, a World War l ufour-piper", was transferred to the Royal Navy in l94l. The second, a
Federal vessel built at Kearny, N. I., was sunk off Guadalcanal in 'l943.
The third 'Aaron Ward, the unsinkable bearer of that name, was not completed as a destroyer, but
was converted to a destroyer minelayer. ln the late summer of 1944 the crew began gathering, some three-
quarters green hands, mostly youngsters just out of bootcamp, with a leaven of experienced chiefs and petty
Of the score or so of officers, few were battle-wis-e. The skipper was an old destroyer sailor who had
had two commands in the Atlantic earlier in the war. A native of San Diego, where he now resides at 3421
Herbert Street with his wife and young son and daughter, -Commander Sanders entered the Naval Academy
back in 1926 the hard way, from the ranks, when he couldn't clinch an Academy appointment as a civilian.
Fifteen years as a naval officer have given him a sun-bronzed skin and graying hair and in-tensified and
unruffled manner which he probably has had since youth.
"l-le's the best liked skipper in the Navy," his junior officers say. "He's never feazed. He's the coolest
guy you've ever seen. He never gets excited under any circumstances." '
Of his junior officers the gunnery officer, youthful Lt. Comdr. Cthen Lieutenantj David Rubel, U.S.N.,
a l94l Academy graduate, a fellow San Diegan and the assistant gunnery officer, Lt. Lefteris Lavrakas,
U.S.N., Naval Academy, class l943, of Old Sudbury Road, South Lincoln, Mass., were combat veterans. So
was the executive officer, Lt. Comdr. Karl F. Neupert, U.S.N.R., of 6115 Southeast 34th Ave., Portland, Oregon.
Most of the other officers, like the enlisted men, were young and green. But willing and eager.
"From the start we had a fine spirit aboard," said Captain Sanders. "Usually when a ship puts to
sea headed for the combat zone, there's a man or two who goes AWOL. But not on the Aaron Ward. That
morning when we were to leave San Pedro last February to report for action every man was aboard and
The Aaron Ward was like that from the first, its officers say with pride. l-ler marksmanship in training
And as soon as she went int-o action the Aaron Ward was singled out for special commendation.
Almost the first time she was under attack she splashed three lap planes and rated a congratulatory
message from Admiral 'Richmond Kelly Turner.
From the day she reported for the Okinawa operation, her first, the Aaron Ward was in the thick of
things. Bef-ore love day she provided fire support for minesweepers, operating under lap guns which didnt
fire, in accordance with the defense plan of waiting until after the landings. After love day she operated
with bombardment vessels, and almost every night was under plane attack.
Aaron Ward sailors saw some lU s-uicide crashes. They saw an ammunition ship blow up after she
was suicided, they were near witnesses when the Pinckney was hit.
During this time the Aaron Ward had several close calls. One plane dropped a bomb only 50 feet
away. Other bombs dropped nearby. But no suicide planes came in successfully.
"lt is relatively simple with one plane coming at y1ou," said Commander Sanders. "We frequently
took single planes under fire, and drove them away."
"We were plenty cocky," said Lt. Lavrakas, the exuberant young assistant gunnery officer. "We knew
we could shoot and the kids all were lo-oking for more planes to shoot at. We were just hoping we d get
attacks so we could splash some more Nips. A
"We had had plenty of training-that's the Navy policy-We had more shooting in training than ships
used to get in a lifetime. We were achin' for Iaps even after we had seen what Kamikazes had done to
other ships." .
The kids got all the planes they had dreamed of the afternoon of May 3.
The Aaron Ward was on radar picket station that aft-ern-oon some 80 miles westward of Okinawa.. Radar
pickets are vessels stationed on the outskirts of an area of formation to pick up enemy planes in the distance
-..YHA ,,,,.v Wi, .Rev 1. 43 m, f- 4----' -- -N-F. Nf.,.- ,,..k .f - " ' -,L,,,,-,, ,V
as they approach. ln their isolated positions these picket vessels are easy marks for the ene-my, and at
Okinawa hundreds of Kamikazes met death trying to crash the picket vessels. Many attacks were by single
planes or small groups, against the Aaron Ward the dozen or more attacking planes were co-ordinated
and timed with accuracy, and one of the Kamikazes circled out of range acting as a "suicide director". "l-le
was a traffic cop of death with wings," in the words of an Aaron Ward officer. 4
The Ward was steaming on picket station with a destroyer, the U.S.S. Little, and four landing craft
as supporting vessels the late afternoon of May 3.
' The weather, overcast earlier, had cleared. The wind was light. The sea was calm. "Enemy air
attack was more or less expected," the battle report says, "due to the decided improvement in the weather."
At 5522 PM., or l822 ships time, 45 minutes before sunset, the Aaron Ward sounded the general alarm
when planes were detected about 25 miles distant. ln a few minutes the "Bogies" .came within visual
range, and six planes were sighted, four of them "friendlies" of the Wards combat air patrol.
The laps managed to evade attack by the American planes and at l829, seven minutes after GQ
had sounded, the attack began. From then on it went something like this:
l829 Val sho-t down, landing l00 yards from Ward. Engine propellor and wing section hit Wardg no
l830 Second Val shot down, l,200 yards from ship.
l83'l. Third Jap, a Zeke, taken under fire at 5,000 yards, hit repeatedly, but continued Kamikaze attack
from port quarter. Plane released bomb which pen.etrated portside to after engine room, and in
split second plane its-elf crashed ship on superstructure deck amidship, just below after quad gun-
mount. This plane and bomb caused fire topside, put after engines out of commission, and jammed
rudder left, causing ship to circle. A
l83l to Planes circled at distance, were taken under fire but made no attack runs. Three planes attacked
l859 Little, which sank in short time. LSMKRJ l95 attacked and sunk. LCSCLD 2.5 attacked and damaged.
l359 Val made attack, destroyed at 2,000 yards. Ship still circling and speed reduced to give partial
manual contr-ol of rudder. -
l904 Betty circling at l0,000 yards taken under fire and destroyed Cthis believed to be the suicide plane
l908 U Val made steep attacking dive, swerved because of heavy fire and crashed into water after left
wing clipped forward stack and carried away radio antennae. Damage to Ward slight.
l9'l3 Few seconds after above entry Val crashed be-low bridge.
l9l6 Zeke approached through smoke, crashed on superstructure deck amidship. Belly gasoline tank
exploded, spraying burning gasoline over the deck. Ship now dead in water, fires raging, casualties
strewn about the decks. i ,
l9Zl Unidentified plane crashedat base of Numbered 2 stack, bomb exploding. Stack, gunmount and
searchlight blown into air and crashed on deck. This was the las-t attack, but no one aboard the
Aaron Ward knew it. All that the men of the Aaron Ward knew was that their ship was a desperate
case and that their job was to save it. H y
Even with guns blazing and planes crashing the ship, the first lieutenant's men had been fighting fires,
and insuring the watertight integrity of unflooded spaces below. Working amid flames and exploding
ammunition, these men continued their job. A
Gunnery men and sailors from the black gang whose stations were no longer tenable helped out, and
the work of handling the wounded. Only a few of the guns could still shoot, and these were manned. Gas
fumes were so thick insid-e the five-inch mounts that gr.imy sailorsstaggered -out and vomited on the deck.
Then, gulping a little fresh air, they returned to their posts.
"Everybody pitched in," said Captain Sanders, 'Those whose guns had been put out of acti-on were
taking the wounded to the fantail or to the wardroom, or helping the doctor, or helping the damage control
"During the entire time," he reported, men constantly braved exploding ammunition and the blazing
inferno to res-cue and render aid to their injured shipmates. Acts of heroism above and beyond the call of
duty were common occurrences rather than the exception."
Looking down from the bridge on the fires, the captain, by the light of the fires, watched the struggle
against fire and death.
"I knew there was a good chance of sinking and considered the possibility of transferring the crew
to a vessel which was coming to our aid," he said, "but it never became necessary. Thank God the sea
was unusually calm that night. In a heavy seaway we could never have made it."
The captain did decide, however, to transfer some of the more seriously wounded on recornmendae
tion of Doctor Barbieri.. Within I5 minutes of the last attack an LCI came alongside to lend help in fighting
fires, nine casualties were transferred to this ship and -another LCI which soon joined the operation. Earlier
this vessel had picked up half a dozen sailors blown overboard from the Ward.
By 8:30 PSM., an hour after the last plane hit, the fires were out. An hour after that the Aaron Ward
had been taken under tow of a destroyer and was moving toward Kerama Betto at 5 knots.
The captain's report records: "Throughout the balance of the night a constant battle was maintained
by the damage control parties to keep the Aaron Ward afloat and to bring her to safety. Enemy aircraft
were reported as close as seven miles several times and caused considerable concern to the crew which
had undergone almost unbearable strain. Anti-aircraft fire was frequently sighted in the area."
There was no sleeping aboard the Ward that night. A few of the men ate oranges and other fruit.
The captain doesn't remember whether he ate at all. All hands remember, though, that there was no fresh
water, and warm Coca-cola was the only thing anyone had to drink.
On -the bridge the captain watched his listing ship slip slowly through the water and under his
breath he cursed the moon that made the Ward a clear target.
"I wanted to get that ship back, and I was afraid something might happen any minute. The ship was
in a very unstable condition and there were bogies all around. Our chances weren't too good," he said.
"But we made it."
That the Aaron Ward made it, the captain said in his report, was evidence of "the finest exhibition of
fighting spirit 'and team work I have ever seen." "The commanding officer," he wrote, "is extremely proud
ofall the personnel of the Aaron Ward for their magnificent display of courage during the fifty minutes of
battle and their calm, coordinated effort of saving the ship after the last attack."
That's the way the captain sums up the epic of the Aaron Ward. Certain officers and men were
particularly toutstanding, but the success of all, and the careful training that had drilled them all for just
such an emergency. 4
The Captain has been rightly commended by his superiors for his conduct during the action. I-le him-
self singled out as outstanding several officers and men.
Lt. Comdr. Bubel, the gunnery -officer, and his officers and men were particularly deserving of com-
mendation, said the skipper, because of the intrepid manner in which they fought the ship throughout the
action. "lt was only their deadly defensive fire," said the captain, "that enabled the vessel to survive."
The damage control department, under Lt. B. I. Biesmeyer, U.S.N.R., of 629 East Court Avenue, Chare-
ton, Iowa, showed great courage and tenacity by all hands in constantly combatting the 'tremendous
damage in the 'face of seemingly unsurmountable dangers and attacks.
The men of the engineering department did "a magnificent job" under the direction of the engineer-
ing officer, Lt. D. A. Young, U.S.N.B., of 675 East Zlst Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. In the face of heavy casualties
and power failure caused by the crashing plane they fought to provide such auxiliary power as was
available and aided in handling the wounded. The ship's "black gang" also repaired the flooded forward
fire room and machinery s-o that the Ward could return to the States under its own power.
"They all did a great job," said the proud commanding officer. Throughout the action the captain
had 'few orders for his officers.
"They knew their jobs, and I think that one fault that develops in such a circumstance is having too
many orders issued, After the first hit my principal jolb was to try to regain steering control of the ship.
The gunnery officer, who was particularly outstanding, kept the guns firing under extremely advers-e and
hazardous circumstances. Every other department did the job it was supposed to do.
"The Taps were really out to get us that afternoon. When that first plane crashed aboard I knew this
was a new type of co-ordinated attacks on pickets. When I saw the Little get hit. by three of em and sink
within I5 minutes I thought maybe we're in for something like that. But they didnt sm-k the Aaron Ward.
We had a guardian angel holding up the stern that day."
-I 15 1.-
. 2535" v
,is -uri, L ,-j1fff,'TQ:Q'Ef'LI'1llY-VW 1"'- " ' 'N' 'i"""""'-"WEP" 'M V' V A-M
EXCERPTS FROM THE SHIP'S WAR DIARY
fShip's Activities During Okinawa Campaignl
19 March: At 1415, U.'S.S. Aaron Ward underway from Ulithi, destination Okinawa.
23 March: Still underway, en route Okinawa. Two floating mines destroyed by other ships in our unit. At
1414, secured port engine, due to leaky guard valve. Enemy planes circled formation at sunset, but did not
attack. Several ships opened fire.
24 March: ln area, commenced mine-sweeping operations.
25 March: Sighted Kerama Retto, now under attack by carrier planes. Enemy doesn't seem to be putting up
any opposition. Destroyed floating mine with port 40mm. battery., Explosion deafening. Rescued Lt. Dalton,
pilot of crashed carrier plane. ln very good shape.
26 March: Exploded two mines with machine gun fire. Witnessed explosion of U.S.S. 1-lalligan in evening.
Our first campaign casualty.
27 March: At 0918 picked up sound contact and attacked with two depth charges. Results negative.
Investigation revealed nothing further. Later in day, mine sweeping operations drew us several thousand
yards from the Invasion Beach COkinawaD, between the battleships and cruisers that had already started
pounding enemy shore installations. lnvestigated second sub contact, classified doubtful.
28 March: Routine day. Ioined main body of task force at night. First engagement with enemy aircraft at
2000. Unable to see planes be-cause of bad weather, but tracked in to close range. Results of gunfire
do1,tb'tfu'l, although planes later disappeared without causing damage to ships of' formation.
29 March: Accompanied sweeps into areas only 1000 yards' of beach. No trouble from laps. At night ships
in formation accounted for 3 lap planes.
30 March: Assigned to Radar Picket Station 12 during day and screening at night.
31 March: At 0323 fired at plane inside formation and drove it away. No damage reported to ships.
1 April: At 0127, fired main battery and 40mm. at enemy plane. No visual results. At 06113 ships on star-
board quarter splashed two laps. lnvasi-on of Okinawa -has begun. 'Reports from troops already ashore
in-dicate easier time than that anticipated.
2 April: Went to GO again at 0205 and 0'237,..gnd again at 0300. Ene-my planes appear to be out in large
"flocks". Opened fire several times, results very good. Claimed one probable. ,All attacking planes driven
away. Refueled and replenished ammo supply in the Retto.
3 April. Exploded mine in the morning CNo. 45. Engaged in action with dozen Kamikazes trying to work
over a CVE. Several planes shot down by near-by ships, and others driven away. Fired at four separate
attacks. Several probables. One of larger transports badly hit. .
4 April-23 April: Sailed as Convoy Commander of small convoy to Guam. Repair work on ship. Returned
23 April: Arrived Kerama Retto. Refueled and loaded ammo. Back on picket line.
24 April: Destroyed empty lap wooden hulk. Still steaming on Picket Station No. l.
25 April: Steaming as before. Quiet day-for us. - V
26 April: Many planes reported in vicinity. C1C picked up numerous raids. None closed this ship. lnves-
tigated body of Iapanese Pilot floating in water. . ,
27 April: A rugged night. Enemy planes flew overhead continuously. Spent ent-ire nigiht at battle stations,
firing at '10 separate attacks. Final-ly connected, splashing two low-flying Betty's and one Val. ClC on
toes all the time too, reporting some 37 enemy raids to Point Bolo. Received congratulatory message from
Admiral T-urner on performance. ' 1
28 April: Another rugged night. In for tuel and ammo. While tied up
crazy, yet successful run ot suicide Val on U.S.S. Pinckney. Attempted
Night replete with thrills and chills. Thousands ot tracers tired by ships
IOU odd ships underway added to our discomfort.
29 April: Moved from the "Retto" to Hagushi Anchorage tor more ammo.
30 April: Lett tor Picket Station IU. At 23l2, tired at enemy planes. One
May 3: Started out quietly. At l622, attacked by 22-25 planes. Little, several LCS's sunk. Hit by 6 suicide
planes. S'hot 5 and two "highly probables" down. Ship refused to sink.
Type of Plane
Time of Day
alongside ammo ship, witnessed
to approach stricken ship in Vain.
at anchor, smoke screen, and the
One bomber attack during night.
13 Destroyed, 5 Probably Destroyed, 2 Probably Damaged
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Port quarter View of U.S.S, AARON WARD after battle- With Iapanese suicide aircraft on May 3, 1945. -Official Navy Photo.
Lacking at the U.S.S. AARON WA'RD from the starboard quarter after she had suffered direct hits by six Iapanese Kamikaze
arrcraft and three bombs off Okinawa on May 3, 1945. -Official Navy Photo.
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p ese SU1Cl e aircraft off Okinawa
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.A mass of twisted steel and wreckage litter the main deck of the U.S.S, AARON WARD after action with Iapanieise suicide
Glfcfqft OU MCIY 3, 1945. -Official Navy Photo.
-I 23 1-
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SOME OF OUR OFFICERS AND MEN RECOMMENDED FOR AWARDS
Left to right: Lieutenant Leiteris Lavrakas, U. S. Navy, Bronze Star, Lieutenant Commander David M. Rubel,
U. S. Navy, Navy Cross, and Lieutenant Iohn K. Barbieri, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy, Navy Cross. Lt. Cjgl
Iohn Tiwald, Silver Star Knot in picturel. A
Left to right: Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Iohn Iames Kennedy USNR N d M ' C M 7 iiiil qiqi S ilkiill lvll 'Y
Chief-Mineman lack Arnold Offins, USN Silver Stariand Seaman First cCllgisgnChar?e2n?oseOrl'?SH ielilclll
USNR, Bronze sim. ' ' r p- el U '
' -1 24 1-
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A ship is not a solid mass .of metal that has been fashioned into a lifeless hulk-capable of transporting
itself on water. lt is, rather, a breathing, living work of creative man. Graceful, trim, characterized by the
poise of a gracious lady, it serves to inspire and invoke the reverent affection of its crew. To the men who
walk her decks, a ship is home, inhabited as a community, providing for their every want, and shielding
them from the merciless se-a.
Thus it was on the Aaron Ward. The stories below reveal the fate that was inevitable from the very
beginning, a fate that links shipmate to shipmate and gives birth to the brotherhood of the sea.
THE EYES, EARS, AND BRAIN OF OUR SHIP
The N, Y, U Divisions fNavigation Depart-mentj make up t-he eyes, ears, and the brains of the Aaron
Ward. The Quartermasters guide her on her course. The Radarmen protect her from surprise raids by
Tojo's mighty air force. And the Soundmen protect her from attack by the deadly marauders of the deep.
Our first introduction as a team took place on Treasure lsland, where we met our first tri-als and
tribulations of "attack teachers" and ClC training. We left San Francisco by train for San Pedro, everyone
eagerly awaiting his first sight of the Aaron Ward, for the majority their first sight of a real fighting ship.
After commissioning came the sfhip's party ,where Bell showed his abilityas a hasherg it was here
also that Potter sfhowed us how the model shore patrolman should execute his duties. Came shakedown,
and the first touch of sea duty for many. lt was hard to hold thin-gs down at first and it was pretty much
impossi-ble to navigate through ClC for all the buckets and containers that Beadel, Woods, and Vermie
had gathered. This place soon became a "contribution center" for all unseaworthy members of the
department. P . T A E
New Year's Eve, and our return to San Pedro brought the end of shakfedown and a short period of
leave and recreation for the men and a few minor repairs for the ship before our introduction to t-he terrible
conflict ahead-little did we know then. lt was during this period also that Blunck gave his last instruc-
tions on submarine warfare to the Soundmen and officers before our seafaring adventure.
On the way to Pearl Harbor members of our department found it was not safe to sleep for fear of
waking up with a bald top-knotg warm weather brought out the deviltry in some of our more mischeveous
members. At Pearl Harbor George Walraven departed from our camp to join the crew of a minesweeper.
Pearl was also the location where the Navigation Department tried very hard to become baseball champs.
Give us credit for trying, anyway.
Enroute to Okinawag knowing we were heading for the real thing, some of the over-enthusiastic
members tried a little too hard to detect the enemy. The crew will remember the many times that excite-
ment reigned throughout the ship as a submarine alert was sounded, only to be told later that the torpedo
triplets fPotter, Dial and Mcliannal had "sounded" a whale, or that Blunck was pinging on a wake. The
Bureau is still putting in overtime on the records to see if just once the-y couldn't have really hit on some-
thing real. Then l guess no one will ever forget the time General Quarters sounded-the real thing-and
a few minutes later a flock of Toj-o's wandering geese flew overhead. But then Wright can't always get
the code right. Q.
Going just a little sentimental l guess none of the Navigation Department will forget those evenings
we spent on the wing of the gun deck in Guam when Cornutt and Dial provided the accompaniment for
the astounding voices of Aylworth, Aitchison, Iaroszewski, Storey, Newmann, Wittenberg and Niwinski-
can we ever forget- P A
Through all the routine, there were always men that were continually thinking of eating. Such was
Flynn, one of our prominent Quartermasters who ran a short or-der house in the Chart Houseg you could
always smell a pot of "mud" brewing, or maybe you would catch an odor of sandwiches beingqgrilled.
And somewhere alonig the way, one of the Radarmen, Hosking by name, had GCCIUi1'ed SOTHQ Canned
cherries, how--you will have to as-k him-and by giving the Cooks a good line he was able to keep the
Radarmen and Soundmen supplied with cherry pie through some of those long mid-watches. Then, occa-
sionally, an episode came up to break the monotony of watch standing and became the topic of much
conversation-like the time Schurmann overheard Mr. Halsted telling Cozby some of the highlights of his
young manhood-We heard later from some of his friends that this was an everyday occurrence., oruthe
time Mr. Dillon and Mr. Rosengren were overheard telling Chief Shelley sea stories. Then a standing joke
among the boys was the wonderful example of perfect sound watch set by Vornbrock, the only man who
could ping through four hours of day-dreaming. Also when quarters for muster was called and Holte,
Thorpe, and Moxley didn't answer to muster much to the dismay of Mr. Wallace. Chief Winston would
always send Michael down to route them out of their favorite haunt-namely their sack.
'Now for a few lines of seriousness, reverent and humble.
On the night of the action of May 3rd there departed from our midst three truly great men. Henry
W. Niwinski, Marvin I. McLaughlin, and Billy Ray Dial. It is hard to put into words the heartfelt loss of
these great comrades only in their teens. But we of the Navigation Department will never forget the
laughter and gaiefty that was so much a part of them and the radiance that they expressed while they
served with us on this great minelayer. McLaughlin, Niwinski and Dial will leave a deep imprint in our
memories always. And, though we know the greatest tribute on earth will not bring them back-we humbly
pay them this tribute, of vowing never to forget their supreme sa-orifice. , -
y 1 William R. McKanna. SoM3fc
"G" STOOD Fon GUNNERY
This erstwhile literary effort is being made with only one purpose in mind-to provide those whose
names appear herein with a little memento, which, in the years to come, may serve to bring back fond
memories of our year spent together-bot-h in battle and on the beach.
When the crew finally' boarded ship in San Pedro, all hands in the Gunnery Department were pretty
wellfacquainted, having previously met while at Treasure Island in San Francisco. The Department was
made up of Gunner's Mates, Fire Conftrolmen, and Minemen-and it was a good outfit from the beginning.
Our first muster read something like this: GUNNER"S MATES: Chief McClure, Castanien, Busch-
bacher, Ouimette, Iervais, Whelan, Putrzynski, Shea, Boles, Dial, Turner, Long, Hall, Abbott, Collins, Trites,
Larson, McClendon, Padgett, Hammock, Gaworski, Hendrickson, Parrent, and Carson-all under the watch-
ful fand sometimes exasperatedl eyes of Lieutenant Bubel, Lieutenant Lavrakas, and Ensign Ferguson.
The Fire Control Gang had Foster, Kroll, Beckmann, Despin, Quinn, Longlois, Oueior, Roumfort, Good,
Olmeda, 'Chmiel, Schmitt, Andrade, Husted, and Kutch. These men' were kept at the job by Ensign Kelly
-an ex-enlisted man himself.
T-he Minemen were under Lieutenant tjgl Mendelson, consisting of Offins, Armand, Brown, Zaloga,
Hitchcock, Rawlins, Mogensen, Gross, Wimer, and Fields.
Now, let's look back and remember a few things which happened during the year in which we
became brothers in a common undertaking, and with a mutual interest in its successful conclusion.
While in "Frisco", the Shi-p's basketball team Candi its starting lineup held a good many "O" Division
namesl won the DD Pool tournament-this was the AARON WARDAS first victory. When day's work was
done and recreation was in order, many of the boys took the "A" train to "Frisco" or Oakland and could,
shortly after their arrival in either city, be located in such pleasant haunts as El Patio, McCarthy's, The
Dawn Clufb, The Lone Star, and The Breakers. '
' By October 28, 19444, the journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles and San Pedro had been made,
and on this date we commissioned the ship. Immediately we began to ready her for sea and the shake-
down cruise. Of course, while in San Pedro it was necessary to investigate the recreational possibilities of
the neighboring cities of Long Beachand Los Angeles. Said possibilities were found to be entirely adequate
for our needs-'nuff said. It was while we were in San Pedro that our Gunnery Officer met the girl who
was later to become his wife-Lieutenant and tMrs. Lavrakas it is now. Eddie's Pago-Pago, The Clipper Club,
The Gay Inn, Melody Lane, and Park's were favorite spots with the liberty hounds.
- Now, to borrow a phrase, the party was over and our preparation ,and training commenced in grim
earnest. Each piece of gear had been minutely inspected, lubricated, and tested. We were pretty sure that
we were ready for the shakedown, but we wouldn't really know until the first firing run was finished.
We had the most modern gear in the Navy and one of the newest ships. We had plenty of contidence in
the gear, our officers, and ourselves-we wanted to see what we could do. And we 'found out when, at
the end of the shakedown cruise, we were notified that the ship had set a new gunnery record for the San
Diego Command. That bit of news was worth all the work, inspections, and Worry we'd had-and then sorne.
-I 26 I..
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So now it was back to San Pedro again for the final touches, and then we'd be off. This stay saw the
Ship's Dance in Long Beach become a foamy reality, and a party which will always be remembered as a
good one. lt was also in San Pedro that Chief McClure was transferred to shore duty-along with his s-ide-
kick, "Sweetpea" Parrent. We hated to see "Mac" go, and "Sweetpea' had a brand of humor all his own.
From San Pedro we went to Pearl Harbor where we went through mining exercises, giving the
Minemen a chance to do their stuff. lt was also in Pearl Harbor that Gunner Siler and Mineman, Second
Class, Follet came aboard. Pearl didn't seem like such good liberty after the States, although on the way
back it did look a lot better, didn't it?
From Pearl l-larbor we made the long jump over to Ulithi, lt was warm all the way. lt was during
this time that Van Paris, Knoss, and Williams joined the Gunner's gang as strikers. Then, when we left
Ulithi, l guess none will forget that long line of destroyers and small craft, and the way they looked through
the slanting rain and choppy seas-we were told we were on our way to Okinawa for the big show.
Remember the way we started firing as soon as we got to Okinawa in March? We fired nearly every
night from then until May 3rd, and we never had a single major casualty on any piece of ordnance and
fire control gear aboard. That's a little something we can be proud of, too. '
lt was also during these days that we all got to know each other a little better than before, I guess.
The long hours on watch were spent talking future hopes and past events-and about the girl at home, and
most of all, about home itself. A pot of "joe" and a couple of men-this meant a good bull session was on
the way-a good way to pass the time.
lt's no use putting down my impression of the night of May 3rd, and our fight-l guess we all had
pretty much the same idea-lt was terrible. Most of us witnessed acts of courage and bravery and sacrifice
which we shall never forget-nor the men who perpetrated them. lt was at dawn on May 4th when we
realized that we'd have to say so long forever to Long, Turner, Hendrickson, Olmeda, Good, Armand,
Folett, and Zaloga. They'd shoved off on the long cruise.
Although they may destroy this ship, the will never destroy the memories we hold in our minds of
the ship and the men who manned her. So in the years to come-when our thoughts drift backto this year
and the night of May 3rd-let's drink a silent toast to those we left on Zamami Shima in Kerama Retto.
A long time ago another American sailor said, "The price of liberty is paid in brave men's blood!"
lt's still true.
Edmond Hall. GM3fc
THE "C6R" GANG
This little essay is being written with the idea in mind that in all the morrows it may be referred to as
evidence 'for the unity of mankind.
One early morning, at Treasure Island, a group of some 300 men, the crew of the U.S.S. Aaron Ward,
were congregated, Most of these men knew very little about the Navy, but felt sure that eventually they
would be able to do their bit. That same morning these men came into contact with a man that will always
be remembered and respected. lt was soon learned that this man was Lt. Oomdr. Nuepert, the Executive
Officer of the Aaron Ward. l know l couldn't say too much in expressing every man's good feelings towards
Mr. 'Nuepert lwon't say any more on this subject, because l'm sure that there will be space set aside to
inform you of this man.
Time marches on!
So the crew of the Aaron Ward was formed. At present all hands are in a mill, wondering and
attempting to predict the outcome. So far, sfo good.
At this point l'd like to mention Ransom, Oden, and Shores-all good friends of mine, yes-but still
well-liked by every one in the deck force, Take Ransom. l-le's one man that will always be remembered
for his triple personality-a great pointer, a specialist in the art of Hboatswaining , and a terrific man on
the beach. l-le's just one fine example of the type of man that makes up the Deck Force.
Yesterday the Aaron Ward was commissioned. A very proud and memorable day for all of us, l'm
sure. This was a day that will remain in all hands' minds forever. Their feelings can be eXD1'eSSed bY
visualizing an explorer discovering a gold mine. By now every man had contacted his shvrpmates and was
pleased with the results.
-I 27 1-
ln a short time we were organized as a fighrting machine. Then on to San Diego for shakedown cruise.
Every man proved to be capable under fire and in his special duties. And then, underway. No one knew
where. Yes, Pearl l-larbor was a good guess, but our exact destination was not known. Combat with the
enemy we knew would be ours in a short while. With the men venfturing out to "sea" for the first time,
many heads were wondering about the outcome. Some began to think of yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
their loved ones at home, and the thousand odd thoughts that flood a sailor's mind.
Before we knew what had hit us, we had traversed the blue waters of the Pacific, via Pearl and
Ulithi, and were camping on the doorste-p of Okinawa, aplace that changed the shape of our destiny.
To most of the crew, the ports we'd visited were new and fascinating. From time to time we
can-gre-gated after working hours to hold an old-fashioned bull session. There all events, new and old,
were discussed: good times on the beach, and hangouts such as the "Porthole", "Tuxedo Club", and number
of exciting places. The "bunch" that l speak of was made up of PO's and men of the lst and 2nd Divisions,
and the R gang. ln this latter outfit, Iames and Schafer were big cogs. Though not participants in our
sessions, our top men were always popular topics. Mr. Beismeyer, Mr, Cathcart, and their leading PO's,
Slhelley and Oden, paved the way towards making -"CSR" the best outfit aboard ship. To Mr. Beismeyer,
who has done so much for us all, l extend the heartfelt gratitude of his men.
And to our men who. gave their lives fighting the lap, l can only say "We'll never forget". The only
way l know how to express the true, deep feeling to these buddies of ours is to quote a tribute that should
be always revered in every grateful heart-"Never, have so many, owed so much, to so few".
' David Iones, BM1fc
A NOISE FRGM BELOW
Iust t'he Ward itself brings to min-d the men who sweat it out below decks in the hot engine and
fire rooms with the uncertainties of what is happening topside. On the other hand, the heat isn't so bad
when there is ice on t'he deck and waves are coming, over the bow. .
The Engine-ers were brought together for the first time at San Pedro shortly before the commissioning
of t'he ship. During that short period most of us were pretty busy getting acquainted with the ship and each
other, because a. few minutes after the ceremony, we knew that we would be underway for the first time.
Well, we were underway at last, a new crew on a brand new ship. That first short period of steaming ffor
we only shifted berths from the building yard to the outfitting dockl could be considered the last leg of a
long trip and the first part of an even longer one. A
lt started several months ago in the Destroyer Pool in Norfalk when the nucleus crew of the engineers
were first assigned t-o the Aaron Ward. This group consisted of a few rated men with previous en.gineering
experience such as Smith, Ward, MaCaugthy, Mann, Salisfoury, Garcyzca, Anastasio, Antell, Coltra, Carrol,
Haulbridk, Porrey, St. Clair, Carpenter, and other machinist mates, watertenders, and electricians. After a
couple of months in Norfolk, half this group went directly to the ship, while the rest went to Treasure lsland
for more train-ing and to help instruct the large numb er of 'lb'oots". assigned to the ship to fill our engineering
complement. This included such names as Friese, Macukas, Duravig, Pepoon, Stefani, Mecca, Dyhkopp,
Piatt, Cezus, Ceckowski, Mattei, and many others.
After Treasure lsland there was a train ride to San Pedro, 'and whether we were ready or not, the
ship was t-o be commissioned. '
ln the period following the commissioning we found there was plenty of work to do, learning our new
duties, cleaning up, painting, and making minor changes. With the new fellows eager t-o learn and the
experien-ced men as patient teachers, we soon formed what We thought was a pretty good Engineering
Our arrival in San Diego for shakedown was the beginning of several weeks of hard drilling and
training, but by the final inspection we knew we were the best "black gan-g" -on the best ship of the 'Navy,
even iff some of us were a little more salty on the beach than at sea.
After a short period for repairs we set out to sea with our daily routine of drills, watches, etc. At
night we would sometimes sit on the mine tracks and exchange our latest scuttlebutt or maybe sing a little
and listen to Bull Weyrauch with his harmonica the wouldnt hesitate to tell any bystander that he was called
"Bull" because he was so strongl.
H WWW' -'P Y NEWLY L' 'Wi' 'W '-flllllgf. Q. ',j 'l"':a- ' " "' ' D44 Y ,A
, -1 HY,
After a few liberties in Pearl we were on our way again and headed for our real test. We could see
the result of all our training during the days off Okinawa as you can see in our action report on another
page of th' b k.
ls OO Lunetta, Curr, Cooper
THE "Y" OF IT
Whatever the discomforts we may have suffered throughout our Navy career, there is, and always
has been, the consoling thought that We have formed newand permanent friendships. In the entire ship
there was unquestionably no closer group than the "Y" Division. The twelve of us being together long
before the actual commissioning of the ship. Under the leadership of Lt. Cjgl Dillon, the Division was formed
early in the month of September, 1944. t
Our activities from that time on, both Navy training and social, were, more .or less, inclusive for all
of us and inevitably this close relationship was bound to follow. An outsider would probably have mis-
understood some of the friendly, but vehement arguments that often took place between the Tex-ans and
Californians, or the Democrats and the Republicans, yet each of these helped us to have a clearer under-
standing of each other and more thoroughly cemented those friendships that, without a doubt, will last
Our first trip after being assigned was to the Mare Island Radar Sichool. Closely following this we
received our introduction to sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Foote, leaving Treasure Island out through the Golden
Gate to the island of San Clemente. This trip was not without its humorous side, especially to those who
were able to withstand the roll and toss of the ship, which was new to all of us. San Clemente had its inter-
esting side as well as instructive: The Seal Cove trip, the hotly contested ball games, the good shows
and the good food.
The few months that followed, our liberties in Pedro, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego, were
in most instances similar to those of any other Navy man. Throughout, however, we were so consistent in
our training that when that time came when we nee ded it most, that day that we had been trained for, our
actions were more or less automatic. This thoroughness in our training, though often tiresome, is probably
what led the Commander of the Pacific Shakedown Group to compliment us on the excellent work that we
had done. ,
The "Y" Division was representative of any Navy group to a certain extent: Lt. Cjgl Halsted, who
was assigned Division Officer in March, was a former coach from Iefferson City, Mo., 'butche didn't have
to be shown. Peter Aitchison, our red headed leading Petty Officer from Chicago, was "Scotch in, nationality
only" and he too had that feeling that meant "share and share alike" for all of our Division.
The "Y" Division was really a swell bunch, and fellows whose friendship I consider one of the most
important things in my life. Raymond Hoskingl RDMSXC
THE RADIO GANG
The Ra-dio Men of the Aaron Ward, like the rest of the crew, had their fir-st meeting at Treasure Island.
With the 'liberty as it was, muster was about the only time all the Radio Men were together. After muster,
each would seek out his own little corner to get the much needed rest for the night's liberty.
'On arrival at San Pedro, they were met by a radio shack full of mysterious looking equipment, a
Chief Radioman and three technicians. ln less time than it takes to wink your eye, they had the liberty situa-
tion well in hand. At night, to find a RM. from the Ward, all you had to do was drop in at Zendas on Figureo.
iSoon all this had to end, for we pulled stakes for San Diego and our shakedown. It was there the
poor Radio Men set to the busy task of becoming acquainted with their equipment, setting up the freq-
meter, tuning an xmitter, and copying Fox.
Our last night in Diego was spent in the xmitter room with Chief Shane and Striker Rader cutting
the boys' hair for the Admiral's inspection. l might add every man in the Division got called down on hair
cuts the next day. .
Then it was back to Pedro for more radio equipment, of all things. Chief Shane and Patrick Coyne
here left us for the San Pedro Receiving Station. Geise, RM2fc, reported aboard to fill their shoes,
A -I 29 1-
It was a sad day when the Radio Shack took their last look at the breakwater of Los Angeles Harbor.
We were sure half the female population of L. A. was going to be neglected until we got back
A Pearl brought pretty poor liberty and even worse, more radio gear. Also, we were honored with
one more tech, and a R.M. Striker, who were with the fig-hter director team which came aboard.
y On arrival at Ulithi, we find smiling Iack Martin hanging over the port side drooling over a new
UE, and lining the starbroard side we find Frederick, Elrick, Thibodeau, and Bissonnette admiring the mer-
chant ships. Oh, for the days of the Armed Guard, huh fellows? If - A
The pool's open, where dobwe go from here? McCurry cleans up on his pick on the Ryukyus. You
guessed. it, before we know what happened, we were parading up and down in front of Okinawa, like we
owned the place. Q ' V -
Invasion day' -came and even more time passed. Weren't the Iaps going to fight? Who said war was
hell, this isn't bad at all. . I .
Then it came, just like the Skipper said. The honorable special attack corps was doing its best to
make our stay unpleasant. ' y
, About this time Forrester, R'l'lfc, leaves the Radiomen for V-l'2 School in the States. They saythree
R-adi-omen tried to hide in his sea bag, but we all know that's not tru-e. lt's too small-I fo-und out.
The action became more and more intensified, and then on the eventful night of May 3rd, the Mighty
Aaron suffered six hi-ts and many casualties. The only casualty from the Radio Shack was suffered by
Iames Reichard, RT2fc, while putting up an emergency antenna to call forihelp. Frederick and Bissonnette
just missed 'being casualties, when they abandoned emergency radio, due to loss of power and fire, only
a few minutes before it was wiped out by aplane. V A A A
Theutrip 'back to Pearl isn't too bad with only one rece-iver to copy with. Phillips, the only RT aboard,
is still getting all his sleep, which is really more than his share, as they took all the radio and radar gear
along with the other RTS. - k if .
, l -On arrival at Pearl, DesPac threw a big beer party for the ship,Vand the radio gang really held up
their end of the party. A
lt's here that we were informed of a thirty day leave awaiting us in the States, and it's here we are
going to say' goodbye. 'The war is over, soon there will be discharges for some and more sea duty for others,
but what ever you may do or wherever you may be, we of the Radio Shack want to wish you all good luck,
smooth sailing, and thanks for the memories of a good ship and a good crew.
'William Phillips, Rrzfc
I A THE RADIO GANG
KL. to R.l Front Row-Martin, McCurry, Rader, Marquoit,
Elrick, Fredericks, Thostenson. Back Row-Lt. Cjgl Wood-
side, Bissonnette, Phillips, Ahrens, Dolliver, Thibodeau,
Giese, Brusky, Crm.
' 'FVQQLJ ..- 4,1 Q...-.f All ,,L,,, -A -Aff L
Left to Right 'fBack Rowl-Cathcart, Rosengren, Paine, I C- and R- DEPARTMENT If
HCilS'feCl, 'MEXGCH Rllbelf HCCIPTUWH SCI1'1deFSf FSTQUSOT1, Left to Right-Lit. C. H. Rainey, lst Div. Officer, Lt
Tiwald, Cormorlly, Dil1OI'1- fFl'O1'1T ROW?-Kelley, I-CfVfCIkClS, R. I. Biesrneyer, First Lieutenant, Lt. fj.g.D G. F. Cafhcart,
Wallace, Young, Barbieri, Biesmeyer, Woodside, Rainey. 21-ld Div. Qfficer' -
GU-NNERY DEPARTMENT i NAVIGATION DEPARTMENT
' - ', . P. W. K ll , F' C t l Left to Right-Lt. fj.g.D H. C. Halsted, C.l.C. Officer,
Qfficl-SitLFL.Ri?I1:i.dkLggl ggrinel-Y CjffiCei'1?3Hf'1S,l31ieP.FCgIiQF1l.T- Lt. T. L. .Wallace, Navigator, Lt fj.g.D I. S. Rosengren,
son, Mining Officer Sonar Ofhcer'
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT NON-COMBATANTS E E u f
Left to Right-Lt. Cj.g.D Schuyler Dillon, Ir., Radio fl... to RJ-Lt. flgl C. S- gfiiflef -Aqsslslcml f1Qmeef1H-Q,O,-
Officer, Lt. fj.g.J L. A. Woodside, Communication Officerg ficer, Lt. D. A Young, Chief Engineer, Lt. I. K. Bcggieri,
Lt. fi,g.l l. P. Tiwald, Signal Officer. Medical Officer, Lf. flgl R- l- COHUGHY' Supply wer'
1 -ISI 1M
"M" DIVISION "U" DIVISION 1
CL. to RJ Front Row-Fields, Gross, Brown, Mogensen. CL. to 'Rl Front Row-Cornutt, Potter, McKcrnnc1. Bock
Bock' Row-1Ens. Ferguson, Wimer, ,,.Offins, Hitchcock, ,R0w4B1imCk, Vornrbrock, Storey, Iqrozewski, Lt, fjgl
Gunner Siler, Lt. Ldvrcrkczs. Rosengren. I
"R" DIVISION I
' DIVISIQN Q Rear-Lt. Beismeyer, Quick, Sch-defer, Titus, Sweeny
Rectr-Hcrnsell, Murphy, McGee, Lt. fjgl Tiwctld, Kreyer,
Iohnson, Kellejicm., Front-Ccxldiwell, Decicon, Powers,
Zcfgone, Demyen, Botiley, Voorhees. r f
Front-Adams, Ritter, Sdndow, Iotrnes.
V' I "H" DIVISION
CL. to RJ-Kennedy, Crider, Tedford, Lt. Barbieri.
"' ,,an-- , 4"--4-.
'USU , ...,..,....,. .x... er
Reor-Rogan, Tippet, Show, Castotgnolot, Erice, Morchello,
Andrade, Young, Clark, Lt. Cjgj Connolly. Middle-
Schoffield, Richards, Wise, Gaines, Marston, Toye, Scott, S
Fronitfwrorbleski, Pcfrker, Simon, Kinney, Sprodling, Smith,
Scott, W. , , ,
, , ,, . , ,,,,,,.,-n, ,YY Y ,
f ' -g - " "'i . ., A ,AW ,f L
' ENGINEROOM GANG ' FIREROOM GANG
CL- to R-l FYOU1 ROW-RCIYHIOIN1, Greenoe, MCITUI1, Phillips, CL. to RD Front ROW-Forrey, McCarthy, Hodges, Thomas.
Little, Lurlettct. BCtCk Row-Lt. fig? Clflfk, HOWCITCL BGYIY. Back Row-Lt. Young, Smith, SB., Brewster, Moe, Cooper,
Russell, Coward, Higgins, Lt. fig? Paine. Back Center-Lt. Sawchuck, Panaro, Lt. Cjgl Paine.
t I-'IREROOM GANG
ENGINEROOM GANG CL. to RJ Front Plow-Nichols, Frenchik, West, Strine,
L. to RD Front Row-Wike, Laymon, Beckner, Anastasio, Peterson, Border, Lt. Cjgl Paine. Back Row-Lt. Cjgl
BOSUSY- Back ROW-Lt. Young, Vafldenbefgf GUYSFI Clark, Panaro, Mattei, Piatt, Carroll, Dyhrkopp, Birlew,
Salisbury, Haberek, Muirheacl, Gorcyca, Lt. Cjgj Paine. Smith, S.B. . Back Center-Lt. Young.
, i ""'l"" THE ELEc'rmcAL GANG
ENGINEROOM GANG L to RJ Front Row-Carpenter, Wiseman, C15-ITT, GC-EGVGT.
. ' ' - Burns oss ezus,
CL. to RJ Front ROW-FTISSG, Posey, Plotter. Back Row-Lt. Abercrombie. Back How Lt. Young, , , -
Young, McCoy, Peters, MCCaughey, Weyrauch, Deriemer, MacPherson, St. ClOl1f, LT- llgl Clark- Back Center
Personious, Lt, Cjgl Paine. LT' U95 Pame-
l "F" D1v1s1oN C "o" D1v1s1oN SWF
CL. to RJ Front ROW-Quieor, Schmitt, Foster, Arldrdde, CL. to RJ' Front Row-Dial, Collins, Putrzyns-ki, Boles
I. FW. Glenn, Roumfort. Back Row-Lt. 'ligl KSHSY, Hustedl Abbott, Larson, Hammock, Fletcher, Castanian. Back
Kroll: Longlois, Chmiel, Quinn, BeCkI1'1CI1'1I1, LT- I-CfVTUkC1SA Row-Ens. Ferguson, Ouime-tte, Bushbacker, Whelan
CL. to RJ-Flynn, Michael, Winston, Lt. Wallace, Moxley,
CIL. to RJ Front Row-Elliott Vowvalidis, Fisher, Bartlett,
Burgess, Hejhall, Whipple, Windle, Stucke, Dow, Wood-
ward, Burchett. Back Row-Lt. Biesrneyer. Curtiss, Reber.
Merrington, Batchelor, Reed, Shores, Oden, Ruby, Segger-
man, Evers, Kock, L. E., Wingrove, Day, Lt. Cjgl Cathcart
-.,d- -,., - ,-,e-,
Tritess, Hall, McClenclon, Gaworski, Williams, Van Paris
I "Y" DIVISION
CL. to RJ Front Row-Wright, Vernie, Woods, D. Beadle
Shurrnan, Hosking. Back Row-Cozby, Wittenberg, Ayl-
Ah B I. . . . ,
wort , ell, Newman, Aitchison, Lt. Cygl Halsted.
l a.,,..... W.
CL. to Rl Fron-t R-o-W-Zulick, Snow, Fitzpatrick, Laflure
Clingenpeel, Widing, Casaro, M-organ, Clark. Second
Row-Carson, Martinez, Rogers, Kohne, Preston, Deckert
Stacy, Wilson, Br-idgewalter, Hetrick, Scoggins. Third
Row-4Lt. -Rainey, Trotter, Bahrniller, Stolz, Ransom, Iones,
Devl-in, Sanford, Woodford Norlen Lt Biesrne er Fo th
ROW-Soli, Stokke, Thorneberry, Christofferson,YErin, Klouck
B. 'R W'll'
, 1 rams, Weed, Swedlund. Top Center-Shelleyl
v. ' ' .'.g-' ' " ' "'
, v W, ,,.,......t.... . ..., ....,...........,-........ -., ... ,.
RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A RESERVE A
Before too many moons have come and gone, most of us "Pearl Harbor Avengers" will be back in
our prewar "civvies" trying to take up where we left off before we started wearing the Navy blues. At
heart we are not sailors in the true sense of the word. Most, if not all of us, are sort'a-,waiting around
until those elusive 44 points Cas it stands at this writingl are ours. Then our short naval career will be
but a memory. l think, however, we can all truthfully say we will always look back on our Navy experi-
en-ces with a certain amount of pleasure and, most certainly, with a great deal of pride. This is especially
true in connection with the Aaron Ward. You know, in the Navy you meet hundreds of fellows as you
are transferred from station to station, or ship- to ship. We have all made many liberties with fellows we
will prabably never see or .hear of again, and in the majority of cases, we don't give a hang. l, for one,
d-o not believe this attitude is true on our ship. There are a bunch of "darned fine" fellows on the DM34.
Oh, sure, there are a few we like better than others-that condition always exists. l'm speaking of our
crew in general. They're hard to beat, and l for one am not looking forward to the possibility of never
again sharing our joys and sorrows together.
That's -the real "rough" part of separations. We've all known each other less than a year, but during
that period of time, we have become closer than the average group does in ten years. We have been
through too much together to ever forget and, for my part, l never want to. Always, in a small corner of
my he-art, there will be a place for the fighting men of the Aaron Ward, no matter what l do or where l
roam. Especially, will l remember many times-sadly, to be sure, but always with the greatest of pride-
those 42 who gave their lives that tragic night off the coast of Okinawa so that we, and so many others
like us, could live and enjoy life to the fullest. Could there be a greater sacrifice? l am indebted to them
and always shall be, Oh, we will think about them many, many times during the remainder of our lives,
and our thoughts will usually be accompanied with a lump in our throats and a tear inlour eyes. l'm grateful
to them, and l'm sure not at man aboard the Ward today feels any different than l. i r
Yes, we reservists will be gone soon, but we know we are leaving the Navy in mighty good hands.
Wasn't it those "career" men who taught us practically everything we know? They didn't le-t us down
then, and l know they never will. They are the real officers and sailors.
So, in the twilight of our Navy 'lcareer", we reservists say to you fellows who will carry on for us
after we have gone, good luck, Gods speed and the best of everything. We won't forget you. -
To all you men of the Aaron Ward, both regular and reserve, l say, l feel honored to have known
you and proud to have been one of you. l won't forget-ever!
HAROLD HALSTED, Lt. Cjgl, USNR.
PLAN 0 THE D Y
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OCK OFF' WORK
Ll BE RTV
"Less than a year ago we were at the point of wondering . . . wondering how the fate of tihe Aaron
Ward would fit into the destinies of the war. From the start' she established herself a happy ship and
gradually she became an efficient one. But this degree of efficiency came after long and strenuous drill
sessions . . . day after day, perfecting our jobs a little better so that we could be ready when we were
called upon. Our story has been told a hundred times. To this l only want to add that l'm proud and grateful
to have served with such a fine group of officers and men of the Aaron Ward." 1
RAYMOND BEISMEYER, First Lieutenant. .
"l want to join all officers in expressing my feelings to the ship and her crew. The road we have
traveled together as shipmates has been a rough but pleasant one. From the early days of Point Montara,
the U.'S.S. Foote, and Tl to this very day, my work has been relatively simple. Thru your eagerness to
learn and do w-ell in your various gunnery duties, our ship was blessed with gun crews that the Navy can
well be proud of. Victory is ours today, and you have contributed largely to that cherished goal. But let
us not f-orget the 'heritage that our dead have bequeath-ed us, and thru the years strive to make ourselves
worthy of their sacrifice."
LEFTAERTS LAVRAKAS, Gunnery Officer.
"The Medical Department extends a hearty thank-you to the crew of the Aaron Ward for the
courtesies, flavors, and cooperation you have given us. We assure you that we derived sincere pleasure
and ecstacy in administering your typhoid and tetanusshots, and wish we might have more opportunities
to repeat the same in the future. Seriously-the first aid rendered by the cre-w on the evening of May 3
was most admirable. As you know, our medical department was swamped witth work during the first few'
hours, and your help aided tremendously. The wounded were a patient and understanding group of men,
and endured their suffering without complaint. On several occasions, injured men ref-used immediate
treatment on the grounds that other men were more seriously wounded. ln short, it was a grand job, done
by a grand cre-w. lt has been a pleasure working with you."
IOHN BARBTERI, Ship's Doctor.
"On board the AW, the communication department. holds one claim to fame. Namely, the hirsute
facial adornments Cbeards, to you guysl that blossomed during the cruise into tthe Pacific. All in all, within
this de-partment were represented the ugliest, the best looking, the blackest, the reddest, and the curliest
beards on the ship. We regret, however, that the claim to the beard par excellence goes to Kennedy, a
pharm'acist's mate. Too bad we lost out there. But beards or no beards, we've had a dog-gone good bunch
of Communicators. T Not many heroes are made as communicators, but they've all done a top-notch job. T
f 1 ei h T T f '
ee pm fo we been that boss LEoN woonsriDE,cemmue1eeueee Officer.
"As chief engineer it has been my pleasure to chase all the "deck apes" out of the engineering
spaces. We have beennice enough to provide hot and cold water to the rest of the ship, and in our
generous manner, keep you cool in the hot climes, and warm in cold weatfher. These were our secondary
functions. 'Our primary job was serving the ship and driving her thru the water. lfeel the "gang" has done
its job in an excellent manner. To all the men, who will soon scatter far and wide, I wish you smooth sailing
ld ' . f rf .
an Success m Your mme le DoNALD YOUNG, Chief Engineer.
"One of the least known and ye-t most important departments aboard ship is the Commissary
Department. The ship's cooks and bakers are men who work hard to provide for the comfort and nourish-
ment of the crew. ln all our travels, we of the Commissary Gang have tried our utmost to keep up the
spirit. lt makes us very 'happy to know that we have accomplished our purpose."
ROBERT RAGAN, Chief Commissary Steward.
,,,,, mn ,Wm .mi...,-.-.,n . nm. ,..,... , .. . ., ,... - ..F.A-.W-e L-. .... .- e..e V W-l .-,.- ,. .-..-.. ..,,,,., YW, W
,. .ni -... .....-....-. ...... ' '- in e 4 - , f --er' fee-f -1a m.,.-4n?-irffeee
ACTION TO U.S.S. AARON WARD, FROM:
Fleet Admiral CHESTER W. NIMITZ. U. S. Navy, Commander-im Chietf, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
'lCon'gratulations on your magnificent performance. We all admire a ship that can't be licked.
"The combat record of the U.S.S. AARON WARD, and her return from bat-tle in a seriously damaged condition reflect
an unusual measure of courage and skill in her officers and men."
i' ir 'A'
Admiral RICHMOND K. TURNER, U. S. Navy, Commander Amphibious Forces, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
"While on picket station duty throughout the night of 27-'28 April 1945 you and your supporting ships were under
practically constant air attacks splashing two. The performance of your team was superb. Pass alonvg to your lap elim-
"The sav-ing of the U.S.S. AARON WARD by her officers and ship's company is an example of conduct in action for
the entire naval service."
' 'k if ir
General SIMON B. BUCKNER, U. S. Army, Commander Tenth Army:
"With full concurrence and congratulations. on behalf of the Tenth Army I am delighted to express my appreciation
of the splendid services given by the personnel of the picket vessels in contributing to the antiaircraft protection of our
forces at Okinawa. The bulk of ene-my air attacks Were directed at them which have resulted in their suffering serious
casualties. Without their skill in Warning and guiding our aircraft our forces would have suffered heavily in. life and equip-
ment. For their performance of their hazardous duties with cheerful efficiency and display of heroic courage they are deserv-
ing of the highest commendationsf' '
'lr ir ir
Vice Admiral IOHN H. TOWERS, U. S. Navy, Staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
"To the officers and me-n of the U.S.S. AARON W'A'RD, congratulations for your courage and skill in fighting your ship
and in bringing her back to fight again."
-k 'lr 'k
Rear Admiral ALEX SHARP, U. S. Navy, Commander Minecraft, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
'Commander Minecraft, U. S. Pacific Fleet, and Commander Mine Squad-ron Three, U. S. Pacific Fleet, join' in congrat-
ulating the splendid officers and crew of the U.S.S. A'A'RON WARD for a magnificent performance. A high standard has been
set for all under my command.
"The Commander Minecraft notes With pride the excellent performance of the officers and crew of the U.S.S. AARON
WARD. The outstanding efficiency and spirit displayed by both the gunnery and damage con-trol departments will long be
remembered by all Naval fighting men."
ir 'Ir 'k
Commodore FREDERICK MOOSBRUGGER, U. S. Navy, a Task Group Commander, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
"The ability of the U.S.S. AARON WARD to give and take punishment is an in-spiration to our naval forces, and proof
of the combat efficiency an-d fighting spirit of that ship."
i' ir ir
Captain ARTHUR M. TOWNSEND, U. S. Navy, Commander Mine Squadron Three, U. S. Pacific Fleet:
"The Squadron Commander was deePlY impressed with the CUTlOUHf'l Of dCUf1C1Qe SUS'fCIi1'1eCl bY The U-S-S A-AREN WAR?
and still survive. Her re-turn to port was solely due to the magnificent performance in damage control by her o icers an-
crew. The U.S.S. AARON WARD and her damage con-trol organization may well be an example to Others
-I 3Q 1-
TABLE 'OF CONTENTS
Original Picture of U.'S.S. Aaron Ward ..................A....................... .L .....................A...................... .,.......... N ctvy' Ph-Otcgrflph
In Memgfiqm ,,,4A,Aq,,.,.,,,,,4,,.,,,,,,.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.,..,.,.,,,,.,.....,.,.,..,... .............,..,.,........,............................................ Q .................A......A...A. E ditorial
CQqjtQi1'1'5 Message .,,,,,A4,.,,,,,,,.,, ...............,..... C ommander W. H. Sanders, U. S. Navy
Executive Qfficefs Message ,.,,,,,,,. .....A...,.... L ieutenant Commander D. M. Ru'bel, U.S.N.
Biggrqphyvgf a Lady ,,,,A,,,,,,,,,...,,,,4,,,.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.A.....,..,...,,.... ............................ L ieutenant L. Lavrakas, U. S, N-avy
Headline Page .....,............,.,.......................................,.................... .............. Y eoman 3fc W. G. Powers, U.S.N.R.
Officers and 'Men Alooard Night of Action .,............ .............f...............................................................,....................................... S taff
T-he Aiaron Ward Epic ...................,........................................... ............ L ieutenant Commander E. P. Doyle, U.S.N.R.
Excerpts From Our War Diary ...,....,...... ...................... L ieutenant I. K. Barbieri, M.C., U.S.N.
Pictures of Damaged DM34 .................... ...,....... ........................................................................, L ....,,.......... N a vy Photographs
Aaron Wards Cruise CMapD .......................... .....................................................................................,..................,. ' Navy Photographs
Pictures -of Officers and Men Cited .............. ........... Q Mlfc R. T. Holte, U.'S.N.g SoMlfc C. E. Storey, U.S.N.R.
Department Stories .................... : ....,..................... ....................................................................,............................................,,...... C onftributions
Division Pictures .....................................,....... .............. L ieutenant Cjgl S. Dillon, Ir., U.S.N.R.
Random Thoughts of a Reserve .................................... ..........,........ S oundman lfc C. E. Storey, U.S.N.R,
Plan of the Day CCartoonl ...........................,............................... ............. L ieutenant Cjtgl H. C. I-lalsted, U.S.N.R.
Officers and Chief Petty Officers Statements ............. ...........................................v... H eads of Departments
Messages Received ..................,,...... Q ..........,....,.............,.........,.,..... .......,.........,.....,.. 1 Ships Personnel
Autographs ............ ............... P lag Officers
L S T A F F
Editor --------t--------------- A----t--A--------.---A--------------- ..................... L i eutenant L. Lavrakas, U. S. Navy
Assistant Editor ........ ............ L ieutenant tjgj L, A, Wggdgidel U,S,N.
Managing Editor .......... ......................................................,....,,.,....,............,.................................................... L teutenetrrt qjgp 1. P. Tiwaldl U.S.N-
Al'ffSf ...................................... .........................................................................................................................,,..,.,.... S oundman lfc C, E, Stgfey, US-NR'
Contributors ............................................. Soundman 3fc W. R. McKann'a, U.S.N.R., Quartermaster 1 fc R, T, Hgltel U,f5.,N,5
Radarman 3fc L. R. Hosking, U.S.'N.R.g Crunner's Mate 3fc E. G. Hall, U.S.N.'R.g Radio Technician lfc
W. l. Phillips, U.S.N.R., BoatsWain's Mate lfc D. P. Iones, U.S.N.g Radioman Zfc H. W. McCurry, Ir.,
U.S.N.R., Mineman Zfc N. A. Gross, U.S.N.R., Gunners M-ate Sfc E. A. Hammock, U.S.N.R.
-I 40 1-
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