Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1945

Page 20 of 48

 

Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 20
Page 20



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. 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 to Okinawa. 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 -Ugl-

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