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Topic: USS WARD's early morning attack< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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JL Johnson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2001,9:28  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The destroyer USS Ward fired our first shots in the Pacific War, sinking a mini sub well before the attack, after which its captain issued a message which could have constituted a warning, had it been taken seriously at the time


http://www.warships1.com/USdd0139_Ward_prt.jpg

I didn't realize until recently that Ward was an old flush-decker.

I also didn't realize what had happened to Ward.

She was sunk by a kamikaze attack, off Leyte.

On December 7, 1944. . . .

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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2001,10:55 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha JL,
Interesting, too, that the next planes to fall from George Welch's guns was on December 7, 1942...

Food for thought, eh?

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JL Johnson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2001,11:59 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Like everything else connected with 12/7/41, it resonates with irony.  The last warning delayed by atmosphere, the radar sighting, the Ward reporting a submarine an hour before the attack coupled with earlier assessments that submarines might be used in conjunction with a naval or air assault.

My father was to have been a foreman on a construction crew at Wake on December 7th, but cancelled when he discovered his wife was pregnant with my older sister.   His best friend, for whom I am named, took his place and spent nearly 4 years in a Japanese prison camp, and was never the same.  Of course, he was more fortunate than the 98 massacred by the Japanese.

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2001,8:38 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My impression from reading the events surrounding the Ward's attack on the midget is that things happened very quickly in response to the report, for a peacetime establishment. An hour to get things up and running, on a peaceful Sunday morning, isn't much time. I doubt that much would have changed inside the harbor if Outerbridge had had Kimmel's cell phone number and beeped him before the Adm. had finished his breakfast.
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JL Johnson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2001,11:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My impression from reading the events surrounding the Ward's attack on the midget is that things happened very quickly in response to the report, for a peacetime establishment.  

I don't disagree, but the "peacetime" level of alertness was the whole problem.  An hour to disperse planes, ready ammunition or get a few fighters aloft might have made a huge difference -- if the commanders had their commands ready to take advantage of it.  But as it was, most ships didn't have the steam to sortie, the planes weren't ready to go aloft, etc., etc.  

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2001,11:44 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I forget who said it during his testimony, but I remember something like, "The last thing we'd do is send the ships out into a known threat in order to avoid an unknown one."  Martin-Bellinger correctly predicted an air attack might follow a submarine attack, but didn't say how much time there would be between the two events.  [i]Ward[\i] started the shooting war (in T. H., anyway,) but nobody ever claimed that they extrapolated the submarine contact into an immediate air threat.  You are right that things might have been different if they did.
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JL Johnson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2002,3:32 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another tid bit on Ward's demise, also ironic.

She had been converted to an APD  (fast transport), which involved IIRC removing some superstructure, and lowering the stacks for a sort of razee effect which created a lower profile.  

She was involved in an amphibious operation lifting the 77th Infantry Division to Ormoc, to cut off Japanese supply lines and hasten the end of the Leyte campaign.  

She and 7 other APDs were escorted by several newer destroyers, including USS O'Brien.  When Ward was hit, O'Brien stood by to assist damage control, then pick up survivors.

O'Brien's captain at the time:  Commander William Outerbridge, who commanded Ward when she fired the first American shots of the Pacific war. . .
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2002,8:03 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Conversion of the old flush deck destroyers involved removing half of the boilers and stacks; the emptied interior space was used to house troops and their gear. The Torpedo tubes were also removed to make way for four LCVP's. You can see some details of her as an APD here.

As far as her sinking, there is a picture here of the Ward on fire after the "Kamikaze." She had been attacked by three twin engine bombers and managed to shake the first two up enough with anti-aircraft fire that their bombs missed. The third came in very low and struck the ward just aft of her bridge above the waterline with enough velocity that one of the engines passed completely through the ship. She was sunk by US gunfire when the fires raged out of control and threatened to set off one of her magazines.

Another interesting note about the Ward: She was launched 14 days after her keel was laid in 1918. Many of the advanced shipbuilding techniques used to pump out liberty ships in WWII got their start with the Ward. Picture of her being built here

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Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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JL Johnson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 06 2002,9:05 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the pics, especially the close up of the APD. very nice.  The razee effect was pretty much as described.  I suppose they removed the aft guns as well.

I just read about Ward's demise in some detail.  Damage from the kamikaze prevented the crew from flooding the magazine.

Interesting 3 years for the ship, to say the least.
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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 05 2002,2:28 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Moved to a more appropriate location in "14th Naval District," with a link located in "Midget A" under the Japanese Ships section.

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