Kamikaze Onslaught on

Radar Picket Station 10 off Okinawa

May 3, 1945


Personal records of W. H. Sanders, Jr., Commander USN, Capt. USS Aaron Ward DM 34

DlJ34/L9-3 Serial: 005

13 Huy 1945


Action Rcpo r't for 3 May 1945.

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Two of the planes shot down were apparently Kamika zo BET'IYS. See our action report, serial 023 of 10 May 1945.

On 30 April 1945, U. s. S. A.OON WARD relieved U. S. 5, BROWN (DD546)

as radar picket vessel on Radar Picket Station Ten. That night the patrolling vessels were subjected to several air attacks, all of wr.ich were repulsed. At 1600, 3 May 1945, supporting vessels patrolling on Radar

Picket Station Ten were U.S.S. IJTTLE (DD80J), U.S,S. LSr~(R) 195, U.S.S. LCS(L) 83, U,S,S, (L) 25, and U,S,S, LCS(L) 14.


Chronological Account of Action.

On the afternoon of 3 1'1ay 1945, the weather, which had been bad for flying since U.S.S. AARON ~flJill reported on Radar Picket Station Ten, gradually cleared until visibility was excellent, wind had died to 10 knots or less, sea was moderately calm, and ceiling was practically unlimited, The small craft were patrolling in the vicinity of Radar Picket station 10 at

9 knots, and U.S.S. AARON WARD and U.S,S. UTTLE were patrolling on station approximately five miles to the northward at 12 knots, in order to permit fre~dom of movement in the event of air attack. Enemy air attack was more or less expected due to the decided improvement in the weather.

At 1822, approximately forty-five minutes before sunset, general quarters was sounded, enemy aircraft having been picked up on the eirsearch radar bearing 2400 true, distant 27 miles. At this time~ U.S.S. AAroN WARD was controlling a combat air patrol consisting of four F6F


planes orbiting overhead at an altitude of 1500 feet. Throughout the ac-

tion considerable difficulty nas encountered by the F. D. 0. due to the crowded radio circuit, making it difficult to control the movements of our own C.A.P. Enemy aircraft were tracked on a course of 0600 true, speed 180 knots, clOSing rapidly. U.S.S. AARON WARD and U.S.S. LITTLE were on

a course' of 1600 true. C. A.P. was vectored to intercept, but was unable

to make a successful interception, and at 22,000 yards ·control was on targets visually. This consisted of a group of six aircraft, and Combat Information Center ed that four 'of the approaching planes \7ere apparently our friendly fighters ani the other t,.'o were enemy. The Fighter Direc tor ° fricer then vectored our C. A. P. away fro m th,e enemy plane s so that the ships could open fire, At 14,000 yards the four friendly planes were seen to bank tc the left in response to vector orders. The tIm other ai rcraft J no \11 visually i dentifi ed as enemy, also banke d'i1i th our p La nes , thus prev control from opening fire. At approximately 12,000" yards, while planes u€;re still turning, th(; t"mJ enemy aircraft \7c;re SOGn to break a,my from the formation, one starting a suicide run on this veasc l ,

By this time, or 1829, U.S.S. AAroN. WARD .... ras at flank speed, maneuvering to.keep the battery unmasked. The Kamikaze, which ~as non identified as a V~, flying a steady course a.t approximately 3,000 feet, was taken under fire by U.S.S. AARON WARD at about 7,000 yards. Anti-aircraft fire was accurate and intense. At aboub 4,000 yards the VAL dipped over into his suicide dive, smoking h~avily from cotor and fuselage. He finally


DM34/L9-3 S~ria1: 005

13 :Jay 1945


Action Repor-t for 3 :',~8.y 1945.

creshcd into the watur about leO ysrds on the starboard qunrterabunm of number- J fivE-inch mount. Upon impact '.7ith t.he ,,'.:Iter, this V.ti. disintegr-a ted , Due to his speed and terrific momentum, thL: c ng i ne , propellor and section of the ',ving \it;re thrown on co.ird , striking mount J and the bulkhead of the after d eckhouso , where th0 prope Ll e r- Lodgcd , scaling the

water tight door to th6 aft~r fan spnCG and passcg~way. Th~re TI€re no

per so nnel or mnt",riel casua.L ties.

ImmOOiat"ly thcreaf'te r-, cro ther- VAL was sight",d at about 8,000 yards his suicide run on th0 port be am, FirE,; rras opened at approximately 6,000 yards uith th~ main battery nnd port sido 40nm battery, falloned - shortly thereafte:r by all po r-t s.i de 20,,'ID guns. 'I"nis Kami.kase "as under int.::nse firE:: throughout :,is run, end :725 destroyed by cany d i.r-ec ty hits at

1,200 yards from th;,; ship. .

As th~ second K~~ikuze hit tho water, the att~ntion of control end

th~ bridge vms at t.r-ac tcd by tho gunfiN of nount 42, to G third suicide

p Iane , This '\7as a e~ car-ryang a l2.rg.a tomb, diving dir<:;ctly for the

af tel' p crt 0 f tho;: ship from 11 po i nt 6, GOO yard s c. me.y, at an c.l ti t ud e of about 2,000 f~ct. The main battery N~S imm~diD.t~ly shift~d to this plano and opened fire at approximc.t~ly 5,000 yards. The ZEKE wns ropeat~dly hit by the par t side: automatd,c weapons and by sever-c L fiv,:::-inch bursts, but clinging tcn~ciously to his course, smoking h~~vily, nnd appearing to incrcas~ speed rGpidly, the Kamik~ze roleased his bomb prior to crashing the ship. The bomb pcnot.rn tcd be Icw the I'Tntwr line at frame 144, exploding in the after engine room. Th0 p Lane its<.;lf crashed into the; superst.ruc tur-e be Iow mount 44, cxp Loded on impact, compldely cov<.:ring the ",0- tire area with fla.ming gcso line. This hit put mount 44 out of ro n, killing and wourrling sove rn.L of thG gun! s cx-sn , s",t firu to all reedy ammurri tioD around the aount , and caused firo.::;s and .... xp lo s i.o ns in th;:) clipping room directly bs Iow mount 44. Numerous personnel on the af tc r deckhouse \7,,1;G injured by the exp.Iosdons end fires. Uninj ured dopth charge p~Tsonnel and men from ~ount 44, in c. display of spontc.neous heroism, rushod to the aid of their fGllon comr~dcs. Th8Y braved 12rg0 fires end explosions to r ep Lace fell en men on guns th.:. t VlGre still able to fire. Others pas sed <lUlmunition from the burning area to the remaanfng after 40mm

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Number 3 fi vo- inch 00 un t 10 st all pc"er and coramurrica tic n from the rest of thG buttvry, nnd froill then on firud in locnl control in ~onunl, ramming by hand, At this time, the crrtd.r-e fiv(;-inch be.ttery lost pressure to thG ges ejection system, ~r~ch ~ade it n~cossary for them to

work in senko-filled mounts. The FD \lCS put out of commission, and al.I ctt(;Opts to TGpair it were unsucces sf'u L, The after eng inc room end fire room, r.::ceiving th0 full f'cr-co of th(,; bomb's exp los io n, wer-e immc-diQtdy flooded, end a Lc.rgc fire 'i-l'CS tcd by the oil from the ruptured fual tanks. Steering co n tro 1 "ns lost to t.ho br i.dg., , and rudder nas jamTIod herd left, forcing thv ship to n~ncuver in c tight circlE. The ship d8c~lcrc.tcd repidly ~nd sloNed to about 20 knots.


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D!.i34/L9- J Serial: 005

13 Jay 1945


Action Report for 3 ;:lay 1945.

This action was f'o Ll cwed by a period of about brenty m.nutes during which a number of enemy aircraft were taken under fire, but no attacks were pressed r~me. This enabled the repair parties to isolate the damaged portions of the ship, attend the wounded and dying, and fight fires. Attempts were made to return steering control to the bridge, but because of damage to the cables and controls and lack of power, little [JOre could be done than to get some rudder off the shi? manually. It was never pcssible to properly maneuver the ship during the entire remaining action.

During this" period, CIe contacted the ELDORADO, reporting the condi-

tion of the ship and r-eques't i ng assistance. U" 3" S. SH • .::.lU-!Ot: (D;,j25) "as -.' ,-

dispatched to our aid, and -::as expected to arrive at 2100. The small

ships of our group ... re re ordered to close the LITTLE and AARON EAHD.

At the end of this lull, when our repair par td es had about gained control of the fires and damage had 'been fairly well isolated, at 1859, the entire farnation rras subj ected to another vicious, co-ordina ted suicide air attack. In the mea~time, the small craft had closed to si~ toousand yards. The CAP had been instructed by the FDO to orbit overhead at l,500 feet and await further deve lopments.. Enemy aircraft first

" appeared off our board quarter at an altitude of about 10,000 feet, 8 to 10 toousand yards distant. In succ e ssive co-o rd ina ted at ta cks , the LITTLE was oortaUy damaged by three Kamikazes, LSl-,'i{R) 195 V1as sunk , and LCS(L) 25 was dismasted.

At the same time, one VAL from this group commenced a suicide dive on the AARON WARD from aCout""S j 000. yards, and was taken und er fire at 6,000 yards by the main battery and the starboard automatic weapons. Early hits were made, the plane began to smoke heavily, and was destroyed

~ by direct five-inch hits at about, 2,000 yards.

After this last plane had been destroyed, ship's speed was further reduced in an attempt to control our radical maneuvering. and steady on a. course, it having been determined that the water pressure on the rudders at high speed was too great to steer ef'I'ec t ive Iy by manual control.

At 1904, ano ther enemy aircraft rra s detected 0 n the air- search radar, and control was put on the target by CIG. This target "as picked up visually by control at about 14,000 yards and identified as a B3TI'!. The ship was still not steady on a course, wa s smoking heavily, -ana.- the BETTY appeared to be maneuvering for a position to make the run-in from astern; but due to the circling of the ship, this plane uas unable to gain an advantageous po si tion for the final run, BETTY was taken under fire at about 10,000 yards, and considerable difficulty was encountered due to

the radical maneuvering of the ship and the hvavy smoke from the fires aft. The f'orward mounts were continually thrown into the stops, forcing the entire battery to be slewed )60 d egr-eea each time th::: bat.t.ez-y hit the stops. NeVertheless, the BETTY was under heavy five-inch fire, and was


DI,i34/L9- 3 Serial: 005

13 i~ay 1945

Subj ect:

Action Repoz-t, for :3 :.1ay 1945.

destroyed at about 5,000 yards, by what is believed to co a Jk 53, :bd 1 VT proj ect.i Ie,

A few moments after the BETrY was splashed, bo Vill at atout 10,000 yards wer-e sighted off oUT port 00;'1, pursued by our CAP. The friendlies engaged one of these VAIS and shot, him down, but TIhilG our I attention ~as thus occupied, the other VAL broke away and started a suicide run on U. S. S. A..ARON ;)].ARD. This plane nas taken under fire by the t':':o forw-ard five-incb mounts, still in full automatic uith the main bat tery dirE:ctor, and tb;,; port side f'o rrrard automatic weapon group. Th8 VAIo. came in at a very steep dive, and was tracked by the- coID;::,uter at 260 knots. Throughout his run, he ~as under continuous fire, TIas seen to be smoking heavily, having been hit repeatedly by th~ automatic weapons as nell as being rocked by the five-inch fire. It appeared that this pilotts point of aim ~as either the bridgu or the main battery director, or both. At a distance of sevc ra L hundred yards from the ship, thE: plane was forced by th", heavy

fire to bank toward the stern of the ship. He seemed to be seeking a

cl~ar spot in the fire, end passed dir8ctly over thz signal bridge, carry- ,/

ing away some of the halyards. His left ?'ing clipped the port forcstay, \ ; ,

carried away most of the radio antennae, smashed the top of number I stack, ruptured the steam line to the whistl,;; and siren, and the plane crashed

into the water on Lhe starboard side of tha ship. ·Very little damage re-

.sultud, although th", escaping steam fTOm the ruptured st0am lines added to our difficulties. The noise hampored coamunfca tdo ns on the bridge and in control and made comaumcatdon by the 2lHC impossible. Smoke am. vapor incr8ascd the blind spot of control to a markod degree aft.

At 1913, another VAL was sighted f'o rward of th<;- port beam at 2,000 f ce t a1 ti tude, about; 8,000 yard s away, b~ginn ing his run on the ship. HeN again, the pilot appear-ed to b.:l headed for tho bridge and mcin battery director. The ship rras still smoking heavily, and although Lo s mg speed, ~as mane~ering radically. The VAL was taken under fire by the forwar-d fiva-inch mounts and the port fornard automatic ;;i8Cpons. ;,~ount 3, having picked the plane up visually, took it under fire entirely in manual, control. As in all previous attacks, this p Lane was r-epeabed Iy

hit, 6special1y by mount 42, and caught fire about 2,000 yurds out. In ,

spite of this h<:: continued on, 10 sing altitude and changing course slightly, \.

to the right. The plane cz-aahud into the main deck near frame 81, but -r

ir:tmediataly prior to the impact a bo ab '\"1<15 released \It..ich exp'lodcd a

f.;\'1 f~et from the port side of the ship, sho'j1Gring the port side dth shrapnel, and b'Iorri ng a l.::.rg-: he Le through the; sholl plc.ting of the fornard fireroom. The explosion cnused thu flooding of tho fo~crd fir~-

room, and th6 ship to lOSG all pO~Gr, and to become gr~duc11y duad in the water.

Flame from this llt(;st Kamikaze shot up as high :::'5 the d.ircctor, the concussion from the: cxp Io sdon shook up the cr(;w and unseated the pointer and trainer, causing sevur-a L mimr on mount 42.



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DiA34/L9-J ScrinJ.: 005

13 iKay 1945


Action Report for ), i·.by 1945.

Not more than 4 scco nds after the <::.OOv(: hit, cno thc r VAL, unobserved b€c~uso of the smoke and fleme, but ~stimated to b0 ~bout 1,000 yards behind tho first, crashod into th~ deck house bulkh00d at frame 90. It is not bolicved th~t this plcnu c~rricd a bomb, clthough a gr~at deal of damage and a num~r of casualties r0su1t~d from concussion and fl~ming gasoline. Heavy dense smoke poured out of number 1 s t.ack , further blinding control and the; f0moining automatic weapons.


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About 1 minute later, or 1916, a ZEKE approached off our port quarter in a st0Cp glide, trcv81ing at a v~ry high speGd, t~king advantage of the smoke. No fiVE-inch IDT~nts could be brought to bear on him, due to the

fact thc.t the ship could rot be maneuvered quickly crough from nft"r steering to unmask the bnttery. l:lount 42 took this plana uIrler fire for a. short intervc.l with no apparent result, and the pl~na cr~shed into th~ superstructure deck near the base of m::::lUnt 43, spraying burning gaso ovc r the entire remaining suporstructure deck. This p Lcn« 'i1QS observed to be cc rryiog either a light bomb or a bd1y tank. Th0 amount, of d&struction spread lends us to bGliev8 it was tho latter. Tho deCk ~as engulfed in flames,

and the 40mm v.mmunition exploding from the he at, caused heavy casualties nmong the remaining gun crews. This grGat1y binderc~ the administGring

of first aid to per so nnel already wounded. j,1any of the gun crew of l!X)unt 43, guns 25 and 27 were blown over the: side.


u. S. S. AAroN WARD was no.v a.lno st; dead in th<) water, hor weather decks and superstructuro deck aft of number' 1 stack 3. complt:::tc shamb.Io s , fires raging uncontrolled, automatic ueapon ammunition exploding all OV8r the clt""r part of thr.,; ship, all engineering spaces save: the fOT>tard engine room floodc~, dead nnd dying str~wn about her decks, thG r~pcir pnrtics figbting fire and water. The only source of pOTI~r rvmaining uas the forqcrd ~uxiliary diesel gcncr~tor. The ship had olr~ady begun to settlo in tho

rra ter and lis t to port , but sti II a. b1 e to fight.

At 1921, anothor plnne unid6otifiod as to typ~, made a. high-speed,

10\'1' nltitude run 00 the ship from the starboard qucr-tcr-, almost entirely obscured by the smoko from our firos and stack. :~aunts 41 and 42, 'lhich still hcd poncr- from tho forn:lrd diesel, were ordered by control to fira blindly in the general direction of the approaching K2.miknze. The pl~n6 ~ns not hit by the 4Dmm a.nd cr2.shcd into the superstructure deck at the base of number- 2 s tcck, This p Lano carried a. bomb. ThE: forCQ of the explosion blew tbe plene, number 2 st~ck, searchlight, and guns 26 Dnd 28 into thE: air, the mas s f clli ng aero s s tho sup erS t ructure de ck jus t aft of number 1 stnck on the port sido. The bomb apparently exploded at th~ bose of tho stack above tho ~ain deck, as thcr0 ~orc sev~ral large holos bla~n in the main deck over the nftwr fire room.


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This was the Las t, }-.d,t on the AARON WARD. She suff'er-ed fivG dir0ct hits from the Kamiko.zc:s--thre", of 77hom carried bombs--plus the hit on num~r 1 steck ~hich c~used littlo d~mngc. In addition, 4 plane:s hnd boen sbo t down.


DH34/L9-3 Serial; 005

13 i,1ay 1945

Subj ect;

Action Report of 3 :,1ay 1945.

PA..ttT III:

Aftermath of Attacks.

Now began the nightlong fight to save the AAFDf~ :,V.RD and her crew by the damage' contra 1 parties and the Lled i.c a], Department. The ship was dead in the water. Fires raged in the after officers' and chief's quarters, roth 40mm clippi:rg rooms, and the after engine room. The superstructure deck from the mids~~ps passage aft TIas a mass of tTIisted flaming steel. The forward fire rooD, the after fi~e room, the after engine room, living compartment C203-L, after diesel engine room, machine shop, and shaft alleys ~ere flooded. There was no pressure in the fire and flushing mains.

All unda~aged crews' and officers I livir~ spaces, mess call, fantail, sick bay. midships passageuay, ~ere being utilized for the treatment of the wounded,

Complete darkness, except the light of cur fires had set in. Enemy planes uere still in the vicinity, and TIere being constantly reported by Combat. The U. S. S. SHANNON (DM25), accompanied by several other vessels, was reported as on the TIay to our assistance, and to rescue survivors from the U. S.S. LITTLE and the LSM(R) 195. The remaining small craft uere already rescuing survivors and standing by to render aid and assistance to the AARON 'HARD.

At 19351 the U.S.S. LCS(L) 83 came alongside and making fast to our port quarter, began using her roses to put out our fires. Several handy billies and ODe P-500 pump ~ere brought aboard. Seriously pounded casualties TIere transferred to the LCS(L) 83, and the LCS(L) 14, uhich was now alongside the AAroN WARD to starboard. These ships rendered invaluable assistance in saving this vessel, especially the LCS( L) 83, -rho se officers and cr ew exhibited great skill and courage, as ;rell as excellent seamanship.

At 2024, the damage control parties of the AARON n.~qo, assisted by men from other stations, and the small craft alongside, r.ath heroic effort on the par-t, of every man, succeeded in bringing the fires under control except for one or two small isolated spots. During the entire time, men constantly braved exploding ammunition and the blazing inferno to rescue and render first aid to their injured shipmates. Acts of heroism and braver]' above and beyond the call of duty '7'lere common occurrences rather than the exception. ~,1en who uere injured aft had to be carried along the starboard pas sagenay through exploding ammunition and f'Lames , in order to reach the remaining battle dressing stations. ;,leo constantly performed this act as a matter of course and gave it Do further thought.

It was only because of the above acts, and the overall superv~s~on and efficiency of the iltedical Department, that the tremendous number of

DLi34/L9-3 Serial: 005

13 Hay 1945

Subj ect:

Action Report for 3 [,lay 1945.

wounded were saved, and as a r esu l t of such wor-k , no ;;ounded man ';Iho was given treatment on this vessel, died on board;

At 2106, Il, s. S. SHANNON arrived on the scene and proceeded to take us in tow in an sffici't-nt and seamanlike manner, and a~ 2242, U.S.S. AAroN WARD i7as prccee'.iing t.o Ke raroa Retto at appr oxfmat aLy 5 kro t s ,

.. Throughout t~e ba l.anc e of: t.rie naght., a co ns bant, battle '2"as main-

tained by the damage control p ar t,o keep the AARON "JA.'oJl afloat and bring her to Raf:rl:y, Zr:.emy aircraft ;:zera reported as close as seven miles sevez-al ti::t€s} and caused considerable co ncern to the crew

had under-gene aLzo s t unbearable strain. Anti-aircraft fire :-[as frequently sighted in the area.

u. S. s. SHANmN cast off her too line at 0723 J 4 IJay 1945, and U. S. S.

AARON WARD "as taken in to Kerama Retto, towed alongside the U. S. S. ATR 93. At the aDti-su~ari~e net~ sh~ rras met by a flotilla.of ~mall craft.f~om the U.S.S. GOSPb.~ (.APA170) which r-ermved our 1D an expedf.tdous mann~r. At 1510, moored in Berth K-57, Karama Ratto, alongside the U.S.S. ZANIAH (AG70) for temporary repairs and pumping to prevent the ship,

~hich was in a very unstable condition, from sinking.


Performance of Enemy Ordnance, l;jatdria1, and Equipment.

From the attacks undergone by this vessel, it is almost i~poss1ble to give an accurata estimate of the ordnance of the enemy. The large hole on the port side at frAme 81, the hole through the aft~r engine

room, and th'-l damage to the stack and deck plating in the vicinity, resulted from bo inbs of various sizes. Burning gasoline and extra belly tanks appeared to b<. a part of th6 CD8II1Y ordnance, as sovcr-a L of the planes ~er8 not carrying bombs, and depended on tho terrific ~xplosion and flame from ignited gasoline to create damage to the ship. Only one Kamikaze attempted to strafe the ship. The others, altr~ugh thGy ~wrc carryirtg the stande.rd armament for that typo of aircraft, made no att..:;mpt to strafe.


SpGcial Comments and Information.

It appears that at this time a description of tho Japanese KamikazG pilot, his personal equipment, apparont skill and tactics is in order.

(a) Equipment - Three bod Les of pilots were recover-ed on board ship and thoroughly examined. They ";;erc al L found to be vGry your.g, although the mutilated condition of the bodies qas such that an eX3ct 0stimat0 as to age was not possible. All pilots ~~r€ dafinitcly identified as males •

.4.11 pilots ~1erG wearing parachutes. As a mattor of fact, the pilot of t ho first plane shot down off our starboard quarter, bailed out just prior to tho plane's crash, '.1a9 seen to catapult from the cockpit across

DM34/L9-J Serial: 005

13 May 1945


Action Report for 3 May 1945.

the ship i"dth his chute partially opened, and fall into the '::.::ltcr, attc:'mpting to gather th8 shrouds of his chute togct.her as he hit. The three pilots found on board ner-e fully equipped, even to the extent of oxygen masks, still on the faces of two of them.

Pilots were carrying very feel personal effects, except one, who had two Ccoklets; one on suicide tactics ~nd the characteristics of our OTIn fire power, and the other one a personal notebook. These wer-e turned

in to the Office of Nav a L Intelligence and proved to be of value to their representative.

,(b) Tactics - The entire ene~y attack app~ared to be exceptionally TIell co-ordinated by a pilot, or pilots, who understood the limitations

of a destroyer's fire power' and took every advantage of smoke and the crippled condition of the ship. In fact, it appeared that the attacks

ITere directed from a control_plane uhich never took part in the assault. The operation ~as too uell co-ordinated and executed to have been the individual inspiration of each pilot. Not only did plap-es come in from different directions at the same time, but on several occasions the first plane was f'o Tlowed immediately by another approximately 1,000 yards astern of the first. This type of attack was seen to deal the death blow to the U. S. S. LITTLE.

It is not understood why the Kamikaze does not strafe the target ·0'11 the way in, as it appears to be a simple matter to close and lock the firing key to the machine guns. Casualties would have been greater had this been done in the attacks on the AARON WARD.

All planes are believed to have used the bridge and main battery director as a point of aim, but due to the radical maneuvering of the ship and the heavy volume of fire fO~7~rd, this target ~as never reached; all planes crashing into the superstructure amidships.

Before making his run, each pilot circled. the ship at a distance of five to six miles, apparently seeking the mst advantageous position from which to start his dive. In each suicide run, planes appeared to take their lead angles at a range of from three .to four thousand yards, increasing speed considerably and steadying on the attack course. No attempts at evasion were made on any of the runs after the pilot had finally co~mitted himself.

From the results of the bombing, it can be readily determined that the pilots had very little experience in bombing, and that the release of bombs may haVG been accidental, caused by the shock of hits from gunfire of this ship.

Several self-sealing gdsoline tanks were recovered aboard, all identified as the standard type found on Japanese aircraft.

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DI!i341L9- J Serial: 005

'JesT l! ?aT

13 ;lay 1945


Action Report for 3 r!lay 1945.


Conclusions, Suggestions, and Recommendations.

It is firmly believed that the armament of a destroyer typd vessel is rot adequate to repel.L a co-ordinated, determined suicidal attack. If tracking and openi ng fire is started early, siagle planes are ror-ma'LLy shot down. Experience thus far shows t.ho Japanese does not permit us this advantage. A number of planes will maneuver a1:cut the ship, and multiple at tacks will develop, or, one rri Ll. come in si:1g1y from a bearing ... here it is impossible to get a full broadside to bear quickly.

The main batt8ry cfulnot ~~ split, and retain effective and accurate fire i7ith the five-inch guns even in us the: af't.e r fivc-in'=!h munt or. a ~&'51 director. ,Thus, th~ multiple attack is a dangerous one, for it requires a direct five-inch hit or a 40cm in a vital spot to stop the Kamikaze, as evidenced by the fact that many of the planes t~at crashed the AAroN WARD wer-e seen to be badly riddlc-d and smoking.

The 40mm did prove to be effective in the attack on us, accounting for at least one plane, and that is because'of the high rate of fire which it is capable, creating such a cone that some projectiles found

a vital area. Additional 40mm guns are needed to increase our effectiveness.

Altb~ugh many heroic 20mm gunners obtained repeated hits on the attackers, and were killed at their guns during the action, the range and caliber of this weapon is not sufficient to in any way stop a plane.

Rapid maneuvering of the ship is not considered to be of any value in defeating this form of attack except in ::;0 far as is necessary to bring the maximum number of guns to bear. The relative speed between the ship and plane is so great that dodging is out of the question--one can only shoot.

For destroyer type vessels on picket duty, the following changes in armament is suggested:

(8) Torpedoes should be removed and in their place, quad 40mm JlX)unts installed. It is believed that in this type of duty, torpedoes will l'X:lt be used and are indeed a hazard as illustrated in the 2ttack on U.S.S. LITTLE, when her warheads were exploded by a crashing suf.c.Ide p Iane ,

(b) All 20mm guns should be removed and replaced by as mac.y director-controlled 4Om.'ll nount.s as practicable, cons:'dering proper :lei~ht

di 3 tri but in n,


DM34/19-3 . Serial: 005

13 M:::.y 1945


Action Rcpc r t :or 3 May 1945.


Cocnnnding Officerl s Special Ootriorrts ,

The Coranand.l ng Officer is 6xtrenely proud or all the personnel of the AARON TIArtD for thQir nngnificent display of during the fifty ninutcs of bettIe, and their calo, well coordinated effort in aaving the ship after tho last attack.

Throughout the action officers ~nd Den ected with clock work precision to carry aut their assigned tasks; Den froo daoagc~ guns z-enov ed amunition f'r on fIncing areca, nanned the guns of fallen shipoatcs, cnred for the wounded, and carried out the eoergency censures they know to be necessary in order to ks op fighting. Tho ferocious attacks ~hich left so ouch of the ship flooded or on fire, had daocged her heavily nnd left her in great danger of sinking, but their cool headed deterDination to continue the fight, nnd to bring her back to port was so L~ch in evidence that I consider the whole parforoance by far the finest exhibition of fighting spirit and teaQR work I huve over seen.

Tbat the ship was saved to figbt again nfter such purSshnont

in faco of overwheJning odds bears witness to the wonderful work and

.' high caliber of fighting officers and nen I had the good fortune to have assigned oy cotriand, I cannot so,Y' enough to express ny conp Ie te ndnirntion for then.

Except for a few cooparatively Dinor actions, this was tho first rcal test of the personnel of this vessel, having arr Ived in the Okinnwa area on Mnrch 23rd direct fron shakedown training.

I feel thct tho best tribute to the fine work of these oen is expressed in a dispatch to the AARON WARD fran the advanced headquarters of the Coommder-ir.-Chief, Pacific Fleet 1I'llE ALL ADMIRE


Besides the splendid mrk of D.ll the personnel as D. wholo, the perf'or-nance 0 f certain individuals UD.S so outs tanding thut it is desired at this tine to set forth a brief eurnary of SODe crf their actdons,

Recooocndations for awurds will bQ the subject of a separate latter ccverine this notter •


DM34/L9-J Serial: 005

13 May 1945

Subject :

Action Report of 3 May 1945.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - -

The Executive Officer) Ld eut enant Commander Karl F. Neupert, US~.[El., performed his duties as the Evaluator in Combat I~~ormation Center in an outstanding manner. His leadership and overall supervision in Combat during the action contributed greatly to the fighting efficiency of the ship. The ~ost excellent manner in which Combat designated targets to Control; handled ragio voice communications to shore and other ships, and coordinated the activities of all departments after the battle was

a definite contribution to our success in this action.

The Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant David M. Rubel, U.S. Navy, as

Control Officer, directed the fir e of the 1fain Battery thro ughout the entire engagement. His superb performance in this capacity caused the destruction of at least four suicide planes, any one of ... had it crashed on board, would have been sufficient to deal the mortal blow.

All targets that hit the ship were subjected to a continuous stream. of

fire from the five inch guns, ar.d several attacks were repulsed. His leadership strongly exerted over the main battery and control, was inspirational to the men under him and was highly instrumental in maintaining a high fighting morale throughout. After the close of the action, he rendered invaluable assistance to the repair parties by organizing and directing a bucket brigade t~ flood magazines endangered by the blazing infer:1o, and in leading and directing men the arduous tasks Ylhich by their magnitude, were beyond the capacity of the original r epai.r parties. Lieutenant Rubel also re~dered valuable assiste~ce to the Commanding Officer by making personal reports on the damage, work in progress, end general conditions pr-cva.i Li ng , I conai.der the work of this officer in keeping with the highest traditions of th~ Naval Service, and will recommend him for

the NAVY CROSS for his ma.gnificent performance of duty.

As Assistant Gunnery Officer and Machine Gun Control Officer, Lieutenant Lefteris Lavrakas showed exceptional e.bility in directing the fire .f the automatic wea.pons end assisting the Gunnery Officer in picking up targets. After the action h6 braved the fires to go below in the after five inch magazine to check on their condition and also supervised the transfer of wounded on the Fantail, greatly aiding in this task, accomplished under such difficult conditions. John P. T1",.<>ld, USN J directed the fire of his aut omat.Lc weapons fe?rlessly and without reg~rd to his personal s~fety and by his efforts high 1y cffecti ve and =ccur a te fire We'. s delivered ce using the destruction of at least one suicide plane and severely damaging severa.l others. On at Lea st, two occa sd ons , the st eady stream of fire from his gun group forced K-".;nik?zi p Lane s, for the Bridge and Director, to deflect their course thus saving many lives in t.hat, congested er ee , His guns fired at six diff6rent planes, cxp cndi ng 800 rounds of 40MM and 1,000 rounds of

20M1f zmmuni.t.Lon wit!",out co Inding ce sual.ty, To this offic6r and the men under him goes ~ large shar-e of the credit for keeping the ;.;.RON ~IARD

_.l",_ ..... J. .... _....:1 _~_:Il:_..:;,..,...; ..... " "'~ ......... r-.,...c=,..., ...... ,.,.c1 "'!'\C''':.:l'+;t')~ ~..,t,~"r" t.h~ . .::.r.t.inn_ thjs

j I






Serial: 005 13 ~fay 1945

Subj ect: Action Report of 3 M.ay 1945.

Lieutenant n. J. Bi.e smeyer , USNR, as Fi r st Li.eut enant, wa sin' over-al.L char-ze of fire firhting am darnag e control. His determined efforts in keeping water on the fires he Iped Lmmea sur-ab Ly in keeping, them from spreading and under cont.r o L, With 40MB a f'1l1U ni tion explocin.c: nearby, he courageously assisted in fire fL::;hting on the Superstructure Deck with;::.ut thought to his perscnal safety.

Lieutenant (junior [raoe) Robert N. McKay, (SC) USNn, as Sky Three Officer, he directed the fir e of his automatic weapons and caused then to deliver a deadly barrage 8Bainst the enemy. Althourh injured frem the first suicide crash nearby, he r en . .::;.ined at his station, rallying his men for t.he L':lper'.cil1f'. at t.acks , Hi s hercic perseverence was in keeping with- the hiEhest traditions of the Naval Service. He is new rr~ssing in action.

Ens Charles S. Paine, USN, was injured when the After &.gine Room we: s bombed, and upon recei ring 'Nord to secure his station, gave assistance to other wounded men in this space, Although wounded himself, he nct only assisted the injured through exploding ammunition to the Sick Bay, but returned to the scene of the f Lr'e s aoc assisted the damage control party

to fight fire.

Lieutenant (junior grade) J. K. Barbieri, U.S. Navy, as Medical Doetor: of this ship, he displayed anuntiring and energetic devotion to duty. Throughout the entire a eticn and the long hours that followed, he pursued his task of administering to the wounded am cyine: in a calm a rd efficient manner. At no time die! he falter or pause in his work. Ever yman thC!.t had been wounded aboard Ship received careful medical attention. His record

of t.r eat.i nz all wounded without a single loss of life is pr ocf of his excellent work anc exceptional ability.


RADER, William Herbert, 283 58 89,:Slc, USN, while serving as first leader of mount 42, he per f'ormded courageously and efficiently. Wilh

a suicide plane approaching, he showed cool, mental alertness in treating a misfire, remcvi~~ the defective round anc getting his Bun back

in firing conditi~n. In a subsequent nearby crash, he was ulcwn cor.:.pletely off his mount. Par-t i.a l.Ly st.unned , and with a cut over his ,eye, he returned to his stat ion to continue his job.

TURNER, Jack Stokes, 268 58 59, ,~~3c, USN, served as a gun captain of mount 44 and caused his sun to deliver highly effective fire at attacking suicide planes. After his gun was put out of action, he

.assisted adjacent guns anc helped treat wounded until he was finally killed at his station.





J !


D!i34/ L9-3 Serial: 005

13 Kay 1945


:~cticn Re;:crt of J lvfay 1945.

OFFINS, J.:'ck .irno lrl, 395 28 10, CLm, (P,,)(T), US), e.cccr:t.lishec.

a terrific yb as Sky Officer of the af't ar ;:ort gtL'lS, directin:-r accurat.e 2m.Y t.n,j 40Ei; fire at the enemy until all his runs hac been wi~eG cut. He then . rcc eeced to su.iervt se t.r eat> ment of wcunr'ed and 2yinr.' in the :-:re·;. aft. Alth::;,uICh wounded about hi s head a n,~ arms he r-ernaanec act.L ve cuzhout the 12 ntire act.Lon and the Lori- :~eri0d ti":d followe~, drE-ctin,'" jdtisQninr. cf ':~e)th chn r .. es)· :U;1'JY,Y nurics , a.n·: fi~htinf· fires. Only cfter his :-r8sence ws s nc Lcn ser- n6edeC to:-si(e ::i.e! he re;ocrt t o the Gr6ssin::- st:~.ticn for treatme nt of hi s 'w ~unc.s. St i 11 net iva, he ccnt i nued t .: '"'i ve first aie t-:, t ne injure':' 2.t the ~ressin- st.z.t i on ,

i1.;,VrLINS~ Jehn Br-snt Ley , 661 85 47, ~;~·.jJc, USNRJ acted as first baSer for m~unt 44. ftlthou~h blcwn cff the mcunt, ~n~ w~un~ed, he rushe~ to run 25, 2.nC: 1"6::; laced. the s er-i ou s Ly wouncec .,·unner. He manned this fun ane ke ;::,t it Erin:"' unti 1 he W2. s Clown ever thE,; si'~.e. HE is mi ssin~ in z.c t ,

P;'DGETT, Nat.hsn Ray, 552 16 )0, SIc, USNR., ·..mile :::ctinl3-" as bat tery ca ~tain on runs 26 .::.ncl 28, di, S!J Layed fear Le sse cur: <: f·e throui"hc.ut. He assisted in trcc.tir. .. sever-a L woundt~ frem his ~:un ar-cup , and

e Lt.hcu .. h severely wound e(~'. him se If, ret.' Lac 8::'. the ;:unner sf [·un 26

who was seriously hit. Only when the «uris had run out, ::::f a;".'Jnunition arid fires and exp.Lo sf ons threatened his men a nd run frau;:, did he obey his or-ders to b:y below fer me:ical treatment.

EU SCHB.~CHER, R~y~,-: nc (n), 328 B9 17, G;yllc, U SN ~ [: S m :'unt c: I ;;t::! in of run 1, di s;: Layed 6XCe 11 en t Le e. d er sh i ~ in surervi, s inf: the cut i e s of his 0lflcrew in 2. mount filled with smoke ,~urinp the 50 minutes of ;:.,ctica, and causei:!'his '"un to deliver continuous fire whenever celled upon ,

c.'.sr;~NIEN, Lcyd Erne st., 401 49 19, GHlc, as mOW1t ca.; of number- 2 mount , cisF1ayed excellent Lez.der-shi.p in su;-,ervisinc the duties of his "un crew. In ~ ~cunt filled with smoke dutinr the entire enze '-'emsnt, he cause": his Run t I) ::.e liver hea vy fire whenever cz Ll.ed upon.

DI.:J. , &win Le on, 560 23 50, G:2 o , U StTll, mount CCl ;-.;ta in G f r-un ),

sct ed in a Iy efficient ~n:= ~ Le rt manner , Thour-h his gun had sufferen superfi c i.a 1 ::: 2D12 .... e 3 r:::: hr.d 12 t er Lest power he z ea Lou s ly attempted to continue firin;- in .~.2nu(\l at Ql1 enemy t::r.-et.:'!. 'I'hrou-hcut the entire en·-9..F'€.':':€ nt, al, the uth unnb Le to commurri cat,e 'fIith Control he .:'.is~layed exce:·ti.::r..::l Leadcr-sh i.p ar;,:;:'. initiativ5 in t"crL'T.r.1inr:' his c.uti es 3. S mount c~;:t'.l.inJ surervisini"' the r-emova I ':.if live ,;'T.r:mniti:-n and 2i:::io'"' the w-:uncsc .n the f~!".t2il.



Serial: 005 1) bfe.y 1945

Sub je et: Act i on Report of J !.:ay 1945.

OUIMETTE, Joseph Leo, 201 6'1 21, GMle, USN, worked diligently

'.vi th repair aft to help clear wrec kage and rig etnergency pump s , aided in transfer of wounded , and wi.t h no regard for personal safety, went helm'! in after compartments end magazines in an attempt to sprin~lc magazines while fires still raged in adjoining spaces.

BURGESS, Dorus James; 973 08 6;, S2c, USHR, 8S trunio(! operator of gun 21, showed quick pr esence of mind by replacing the gunner

of his gun who had been blown to the.deck by nearby five inch fir0, and proceeded to open fire at approaching suicide p Iane s ,

L.RSC}!, George Oswald, 868 65 34, GlI]c, US~'R, 3.S gun captain and in a most cour-ageous ma n u 1·::;r, led the. gun crew of mount 42 in de.livering a tremendous rat~ of fire at 0:11 suicide plant's a pproaching on the port side. His gun fired 800 rounds in the enge.gemcnt, and W.'3 s an instrument 0.1 factor in 'keeping the bridge and d.i r-e ct or from being hit. Sever-a L times, targets heading directly for the bridge wer e r epea t ed1y hit and deflecte d from their .point of aim.

LOrIG, Luther James, 650 1~ 43, GFJc, US~m., as gun captain of mount l,J, stuck valiantly with his men, delivering a hiSh rate of effecti ve fire to the very end. Hi s gun a sai st ed in sp la shing the fir 5 t V;L. He is missing in action.

HEJ}LLL, Charles Joseph, 961 19 09, S2c, ussa, as 51 Director Opera tor of the f or-war-d port 4012,;, delivered deadly fire .::gainst the

at t.ccki ng snemv airp1:J. nes, shooting down one, and da.Ti.:i.ging sever a I ot her s • His pe r forma nc €: t hr ough out the e nt ir e cngag eme nt we. s rna gni fie ent, His r c lent Le s.s,' unswerving Loya Ity to hi s job stands high in the saga of heroic a nd valorous co n::l uct; by the cr ew of t.h i, s vessel.

mUL:..MS, ;"o11os, (n), 613 38 42, sie , USnF., 8.S blittery"dn of guns 22 and 24, maintained conet.ant communication with his Sky Officer although several pla nes and one bomb hit nearby, spr his area with shrapnel, flying metal, and burning gasoline, he rallied his

men continuously, causi ng heavy J accurat ~ gunfire to be delivered

at suicide planes attacking the !Jortside.

EVES, Gar son Hubert, 927. 66 15 J 82c, US~-IR, :1 s range sat t 81' of tho forward port 51 dire:::tor J assisted his d i r ect.or ope ret or in out cont Inuous Ly n hifhly accur at.e stream of 401,[,: fire.


Dlt;34/L9-) Serial: 005

13 May 1945

Subje ct:

Action Report of 3 !Lay 1945.

OUIMETTE, -Jos eoh Leo, 201 6'1 21, caie , USN, worked diligently with repair aft to help clear wreckage and rig emergency pumps, aided in transfer of wounded , and with no regard for personal safety, went be Low in after ccmpar-trnent s end magazine s in an attempt to sprinkle ma?;"azines while fires still raged in adjoining spaces.

BURGESS, Derus James; 973 08 65, S2c, USiffi, ::IS trunion oper-ator of gun 21, showed quick pr-esence of mind by replacing the gunner

of his gun who had. been blown to the deck by nearby five inch fir", and proceeded to open firs at approaching suicide p Ia ne s ,

L·RSON, George Oswald, 8bB 65 34, GM3c, US~'R, as gun captain and in a most coura?cous r.afu~er, led the. gun crew of mount 42 in delivering a tremendous rate of fire at zll suicide planes appro2ching on the port side. His gun fired 800 rounds in the engagemcnt~ and w~s an instrument~l factor in-keeping the bridge and dirEctor from being hit. Sever a L times, targets heading directly for the bridge were repeatedly hit and deflected from their point of aim.

LONG, Luther James, 650 U 43, GN:3c, USNR, as gun captain of mount 43, stuck valiantly with his men, delivering a high rate of effective fire to the very end. His gun assisted in splashing the first V;.L. He is missing in action.

HEJH"LL, Charles Joseph, 961 19 09,S2c, USNR, as 51 Director Operator of the forward port 40l2,,:, delivered deadly fire .::gainst the at.t enemv a i.rp Ia ne s , shooting down one, and cevera L others. His per rormanc e t hr oughout, the entire engagement w(:.s magnificent. His relentless" unswerving loyalty to his job st.a nd s high in the saga of heroic and valorous corrluc t by the crE:W of this vessel.

WILLL,r/.S, ;'mos, (n), 613 3S 42, SIc, US:IR, as b;-~ttery capt a i.n of guns 22 and 24, mai ntained const.ant communication with his Sky Officer although several planes and one bomb hit nearby, spr::lying his area

wi th shrapnel, flying metal, and burning ga soline J he r'a Ll.i.ed his

men continuously, caus i ng heavy, accurate to be delivered

at suicide planes attacking the port side.

EVES, Carson Hubert, 927, 66 15, S2c, U8:ffi, LlS range setter of the f'cr-war-d port 51 director, assisted his director ope rat or in t.hrowing out continuously ~ hiphly accur at e stream of 40!/,j,: fire.

DM34/L9- J Serial: 005

13 ~"y 1945


Action Report of 3 ~1Y 1945.

KROLL, Clarence Henry, 300 76 33, FClc, USN, as dir0ctor trainer di sp Laycd a' cool J c311l manner in t Y'Q C king p 1£ tt: s t.hat, wcr e designated by t.he control of'f'Lcer , His sp Le ndrd perf:Jrrr.2.nce helped produce the many solutions t.hat were supplied t l.e 1!B in be t.t er-y by plot.

DESPIN, Goorge (n), 201 56 85, FC2c, USN, as director pointer, tracked targr.:ts des.i gnat ed by thE control officer wi th exception-

e L ability, and in 2dditior., a ss.i st.ed the control of'fi cer- Ln rnai ntainip.,g constant cornmunico::tion wi t.h the f orward fiVe inch mounts •.

LO~JGLOIS, Otto "".'11,357 36 34, FC3c, USN, 3S r<..lngeficder oper at.or-, was busily engaged throughout the entire action, All at.tac ks that were tracked successfully WEre the result of his st.oa dy , occur-a te ranging thEt never- f'a.i Le d ,


CD EN, John ''!illiBm, 256 25 52, B~Jlc, USNR,QS a member of Repair 2, contributed greatly to its cf'f'ec t i.vcnc s s , by rigging hoses, procuring equipment, and fighting fires. ODEN pu Ll.ed an injured man from beneath one of the burning planes, badly burning his his hands, but still continued to render invaluable e sai st.anc c ,

CECKO::fSKI, Francis :.nthony, 667 35 17, E1I3c, USNR, :lfter being secured from his sear ch Li zht station, he did an outstanding job in assisting in the handling of fire hoses and helped extinguish fires although 40Min anmuni.t i on was exploding nearby.

MC CURRY, Barry ~'!illis, Jr., 862 94 39, RM2c, USNR, rendered invaluable servic 8S in C d04uge. and in a ss i sting the repair parties at miscellaneous jobs.

LUNETTE'" John »ng e Lo , 412 45 86, MoMEle, USN, greatly assisted in helping control the flooding and wor-ked devot.ed Iy throughout the night with the repair pertie s in keeping th e ship D float.

~L'}'!ESJ "Jillin.m ;'{hiteford, Jr., 263 62 88, of strength for the af't cr r epa ir- parties. of m2nydctails, both during ~rrd after the knowledge of the ship, and the assistance extremely v~luable.

SFlc, USN, proved a t.ower He personally took char~c action. His skillful

that he rencered, proved_

SI-TILEY, C!lrl,\nthony, 20162 la, CBMJ USN, through coolness and excellent jud~ent handled a variety of dama?c control situ3tions, and ,..,C>.S highly ':'r.strwr.ental Ln- extinguishiug fires s nc mini'T.izir..g the amount of damage to tho ship.


I:M34/L9-3 Serial: 005

13 P"-:'1~' 1945

~ction Report of 3 ~av 1945.

R .. G:.N, Robert Hen.r;!) 279 25 29, CCS (P:.), USN,'lidcd gre:-.:tly in fig.htinp the fire f'r-orn t he Superstructure Deck, exposing himself constantly to t he hazar-d of 916::1<::5) m~::181cd debris, and exploding emmunrt i on, He co nt.i.nue d this work relentlessly until he WD,S injured •

.. .NDRJ.DE, i.nthonl (~), 663 73 48, Bkr Zc , USi\'R; r-eceived burns and injuri0s fron th~ initial plane crash, but remained stendfast in the d!ngerous Ore~S topside helping to fieht fires 2nd c~rrying injured personn~l •

. ,DiMS, ''/!illi?Jll HU1ry, 890 75 57, SIc, USNR, performed excellent work in fiEhting fires end helping to control damage dur i ng and ~fter the actio~.

TITUS, Roy Fr anca s , 891 04 28, SIc, USNR, exposed himself c ontinuously to numerous dangers in order to check the condition of· the ship and a sai, st in the control of flooding.

G"INES, Eddie (n)) 846 62 03, StMlc, USNR, RS a member of Repair 1, performed commendr.b Le wor-k in helping control fires and caring for injured personnel.


F~~INN~ Frederick Terence, 610 49 27, r:M3c, US~rn:, "tI~,S stationed in steering aft. ,';hen the steering zear was put out of conrnt ssion on the first hit, FLINN took control aft ard worked untiringly in an effort to restore control to the bridge, all the while attempting

to steer the ship by hand. His c a lrn cour-age and perseverence, ;:,ith fires raging nearby, and ad jacent compertl;Ient flooding, · .... a s in keeping with the highest traditions of the N3v:J.l Service. For a period of fourteen hours, he personally super-vi sed the work in after st.ecr-Lnz , (This man is A. survivor of the old .~ • .RON "iLRD (QP) and was c om;;.e nded for bra vE-ij~-'ln ~ eli o-ii-on ·toaC-ve sselr~'----

!'ISRLN, John "rUli.:;m, 616 96 07, EM3c, USNR, we.s Lone d in steering aft. He wor ked untiringly to ef'f c c t electrical repairs in order to restore steering control to the bricge. H~ worked with no regnrd to his personal safety, although fires were rJging nearby, and 1dj:"'.cent compartment s were flooding.

GORCZYC ... , Stanley PauL, 400 58 47, ~fl.ncJ USNR, wa s stationed in steeringdt. He worked diligr.:ntly to save his ship, with no thought of rQs own personGl safety.


m:34!L9-J Serial: 005

,s....3: ° .. 1, iiA'T

13 May 1945


Action Report of J :"iay 1945.

'HINSTO:.J, Robert Dunn, 407 14 94, c~U (T), US:iR, as he lmsman ar.d quartermast0r durin~ General quarters, performed r~s duties in a cool, calm, and cour3geous mDnner, and was an inspiration to all those on the bridge dur Lng and after ttl,: attacks. Several times heiact.ed as messenger for the COlTunanding Officer when corrmunications aft were disrupted, and carried messages to the repair parties, pa ss irig through fire and exploding arrmunition wi thout regard for his persona 1 safety.

KENNEDY, John Jam.:::s, 856 55 00, PhMJc, USNR, treated ca sua Lt.Le s

in the Wardroom while p la ncs were crashing aboard, and Lat er , ran through flames amidships to treat a group of injured trapped on the Fantail. He remained on the Fantail t hr cughout the night, t.r eat.ed about, 25 bur nsj and ' .. rounds, sending the rr.en forward in sma H groups to the wardroom. He also went below to the ~::€dical and brought p La sms and other needed medical supplies to t he ~lardroom when supplies wer6 b~ing exhausted at that station.

SCPURF ... N, Boyd Parker, hal 10 85, Rdi·:3c, USNR, reported to the '}ardroom immediately after the last explosion, 'NbS put in char-ge of a group of men to transport pat i ents whilo.:; the :~edical Department was engaged in treating casualties, ani then spent the next '. 12 hours in the 'iardroom dressing burns and preparing plasma.

CRIDER, Clair William, 827 11 05~PhM2c, USl\lR, although blown 20 feet by a nearby explosion, he never ceased carir.g for th8 wounded a nd performed his duties with the utmost efficiency.

TEDFORD, Orville Franklin, 287 28 94, CPhM, USN, although burned and stunned when a suicide plane cr3shsd ncar his battle station, he brought his patients forward to the Wardroom where he continued to perform his duties with coolness end efficiency.

SOLES, fiJI! Loyd Jr. J 376 24 40, G!.!2c, USN, performed super-b 'MJrk as an aid to the ~ledic31 Department, preparing plasma:nd transporting casualties through burning areas.

SCOTT, ;1illian (n), 878 46 83, St1'~c, USf.j'R, rendered Lnva Luab Ie

aid to the 1:edical Department transporting casualties e nd , helping with the treatment of uhe wounded, diligen~ly nursing the wounded and m,3inte.ining cleanliness .i n the Wardroom.

-- ~ - .......... ~- ~~ ..... - •• - ."............;,.- - - - ~.~ ~- --',---=-, --;-

I:M34/L9-J Serial: 005


A ct i.o n Report of 3 ~/fay 1% 5.

ENCI tESRI!'\G DSP, ,RTr~;'rr


t.:;JIJN, Stuart Benjamin) 887 27 10, Cl~'l; USNR) was killed at his st.a t.i.on while in charge of tb.::; After Engine Room, ct.t empt.Lng to repair damage from a bomb hit.

STOLE, Gerald James, 655 71 32, Fle, USNR, w?"s at his General " s station in the i.fter Engine Room when the bonb exploded. He received burns, but on hi~ way ~o safety, he stopped to assist Chi ef I.L".nn 'flho was marta lly ;'!r,unded. This heroic' rcb i cn ce used him to r-ec edd.i t Lona L ourus , which proved f;"tiJ.l.

;.~,~CUK,~S, ;,othony Peter, 9l~4 ;-1; ~O~ Flc, USNR, esCaped from the Fire Room without injury. however , whi l e assi.:,t:ing the repair per-t i.e 5 to fight fire sand exp Lod.i.r.g ,"r::muni tio n, he W5 s en ught beneath the stack and ki.Ll.ed , His a ct.i ons were in keeping ','lith t.he highest tradition of the Naval Service.

C"RFSNT~, Robert Paul, 600 35 52, Enc~ USNR, vo Iunt.e er-ed to- Leave his post <:5 Ie ?yro electrici::n to help f.ipht firE:s t ha t re.ged

around lI'.2.gazinE.s of mount 44. He manned a hose t.hcr c \l:.'c~ L or der-ed to r-epor-t to ,.fter Steering. ;"fter attempting to remedy the casua Lty to the st~el'ing gear, he returned to the Ie room, wh€:re he pe rf'orme d irrvalucb1e' service in keeping the interior c cnmuni.catd cn s system operative d thi3 cr i.t 1 time.

PEPOON, Rudolf Stanley, 944 19 1.4, F'l.c , U3['ffi, as rnemc cr of a d2n12ge c~ntrol per-t.y , rendered valuable' a sai st.anc o in fighting a n arrmuni t i on fire until he '.'las killed when t. suicide plane Landed on b_:':::.

_,' .. NT ELL , Robert Oliver J 201 65 e9, l'u':2c, US:'!, Vias sever e ly bur nee by an exploding bomb, but :ift':r he had been secured from his station, and still in a badly burned condition, he assisted the damp-ge control parties in ext.Lngui.shi ng numerous fires. The cour-age and initiative shown by this man were of th~ high~st c31ibre.

FORREY, Page Burdette, 328 83 06, rITlc, USN, while at his station

in the forward fireroom, which was dnm::ged by an explosion, secured the boilers in such a manner' t ha t t.her e Ws.s no danger of their exploding. He t.hen a ss i st ed ~-!T2c B .. LL"ED who had broken his ur-m , topside, where he could receive rn: dieal attention. SiEce he was the 1::. st :nan to 18,<), ve the fir er oorn , t U, G C onai.der-a te net tG'N1 r d -3, shi.pma t.e , undoubt ed Iy saved the rnc:n's life" He further sGsisted the d~11=£6 control par-t.i.c s in fighting fires and helping t.he injured.

"'\ l

DM34/L9-3 Serial: 005

13 May 1945


Action Report of 3 May 1945.

RUSSELL, Hcmer Edw2rd, 272 49 66, Flc, USN, as a .7iernber of a repair party, he exhibited exceptional courage. He e.ssisted COLTHA, i,jU2c, through exploding ammunition to a battle dressing station, and promptly returned to join his comrades in fi[.,.I1.ting fires.

BEfl.RY, Loyd !Ie!!., 669 04 47, MMlc, at his st e t Lon in the fOr'Ne:rd engine room employed every method possible to keep the ship underW2Y, and when all ste?Jn was lost acted as a messenger 2nd performed invaluable s~rvice in tr~s cd~a~ity. It was neccss2ry for him to pass through burning fires and exploding ?=~unition.

LITTLE, Kenneth (n), 626 13 69, 1!113c, USNR, together with BERRY, <l.t his station in the Fcrwer-d Engine Room, did all he could to keep the ship underway, dhen all st.earn was lost,. he acted as a messenger making possible with Lso Lat ed st 2tions~ He also a s in the t a sk of removing the body of M.;~CUY,j~S from the pr€c~rious ar~a ~round number 2 stack.

HAUBRICH, Joseph Jeffery, 328 25 91, \ITlc, USN, was at his station

in the hfter Fire Room when the bulkhe~d w~s blown in by 2 t€rrific explosion. Fire and smoke and e.scapd ng st eem filled this spC'.ce •.

Yet, under his direction his men controlled the securing of the boilers so that they would not explode. Coming topside-he 2ssistcd the damage control parties in extinguishing ~ur~tion fires. His - courage and calm manner were as Lnc to the other members of the crew, and W2.S 'in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.

M.-:JtTIN, Odas J~lvin, 955 52 65, M1i3c, USNR, while at his i.on with the forw3rd~ep2ir part;, ably ~5sisted the party in fighting fires, 2nd stringing fire hose to the scene of the v~rious fires. He f~thcr assisted many injured to the battle dressing stations, and letter tock a small par-t.y of Ln jur-ed to ? nearby ship in a liferaft. He managcd successfully to have 311 these czsu~lties trGnsferred abo?rd the other ve s se L in complete darkness. 1{hile enrout e he picked up survivors from the .... w,ter.

I'!'EY2WCH, Norman, 376 95 90, Fie, USNR; per-sonnaLy r".llied 2nd led ~ group of men in fighting ?nd extinguishing fires 2round th~ 40MU clipping room.",SIO, John George, l:.03 96 64, Mb'lc, USNR, without rei!?rd for his per sonna l, saf'et.y, vo Lunt eer-ed to fight fires while expo h.imself to creshing pl<:nes.

D!!34/L9-J Serbl! 005

13 ;'~y 1945'

Subject :

Action Report of' 3 May 1945.

ZALOGA, Joseph Edwar-d , 800,29 11, MN2c(T), U,s;'iR, as depth ch cr ge

man on the Fantail, daringly br-aved the fires ragir.g in the 401;11 clipping rooms and stowage ra c ks to run to t he ·13f~i stane e of hi s wounded coar ades , hs a result, he lost his life, His Ilction 1I'1l.S in keeping with-tho hiE.hest t r-adi.ti.ons of the Naval 8€rvice.

REICrU"RD J James Leon, 820 41 20, HT2c J USNR, as ndio technician, sought to repair ant.ennae t.hz t had been damaged by a er-a shing suicide p13ne., He cli~bed the foremast cnd worked diligently for a lengt~ period, exposing himself to ~he dangcr of ~ttacking suicide planes that were still cr-a shi.r.r; abcat-d ,

BERKEY, James Dale, 313 08 51,·Slc, USNR, as r2ngesetter of gun 26, remained 'it his station to the very end, even refusing to leave until all wounded had been t r-cet.ed a nd taken below •

Fi. P. SANDERS, Jr. Conma nder , USN •

- 21 .... -,

r" 16.
e The below listed structural and equi.pment c.a; and Loss s s were suffered entire1:" as a result 0: e:i.E.Ti!' air attack of 3 Y.ay 19l.5.


------, .. -;------ -~.--.--

Superstructure Deck on starboard side, in "vicinity of Fr-ane 168, wa s caved in.

Door 1,,168 sealed shut due to the impact.

Hydraulic Remote Corrt ro I SprinkJj.!'7 .system, located inside super-s. structure area in t hi.a vi c.irii .. t], was rendered .i noper at.Lve ,

Super-st ruc t.ur-e Dec k "aft 0: ;,·0. 2 .stacl-;;j r..!l:l2SS of debris with two large openings ic. that are~A

Number 2 Dauage Control ::t.e-pair Lcc ke!' and equipment deet royed, Forward Deck Gear Locker- and ec;uipI!ler.t de st.r-oyed ,

B-114M - 20?3~ Clipping Room and. equipment de st.r oyed ,

B-115M - 40M1f Clipping arid Ready Service Ammuni.t.Lon Room and equipment destroyed.

After Officers' ~uarters, Head, and equi.pment, de st.r oved , Passage and Crews I Ber-t and equipment dest royed, Ship's Service Store and equi.pmerrc destroyed.

After C.P.O •. Quarters, Head G-I03L and equipment destroyed. B-1l9A - Gas Mask and Protective Locker and equi.pmerrt destroyed.

C-10ZM - 40W~ R.S. A~~nition Locker and equipment destroyed. Number 3 Damage Control Locker and equipment destroyed.

Spaces in the Superstructure aft of Frame 155 razed by fire and all wiring installations and equipcent. damaged.

Bulkhead between B-4 and C-202E 2.00 tr,e door from c..202E to C-20)L blown out.

Between B-4 and 9-3-1, ruptured bulkhead.

Side plating split outward f'r-ora Frame 127 to Fr-ame U8 and the neck plating bulged upward a distance varying from one (1) foot on the starboard side to four (4) feet on the port side in the sane area .. The side plating cracked near the water line Oi. the port side at Frame 90, causing minor dents in the hull.

The bulkhead and suppcrts for Uou~t 42, and bunks and loc~&rs in passageway, adjacent to this area, were carried away"

The Motor Whaleboat destroyed and damaging d:J.ut'i.

The Main Deck dented in, causing sever a.L rips and tears in the inboard strakes in vicinity aft of Frame 1l2.

Hull plating on port bulkhead of Forward Fireroom at Frame 81, about seven (7) feet below ma i.n deck, holed by bomb six (6) by eight (e) feet.

Further hull damage cannot be determined until such t~e as the ship can be drydocked.

) 3.
7. t

One (1) TAJ-IS Trcr.s1:"'er c o::-<plete with motor gener unit and rna. gnetic controller dest.r oyed ,

One (1) RP.K-8-PJ.l,-;'; Rec6i ver Set coap Let.e \":i th power supply systems and r3IT.ote: I uru t.s destroyed.

C\J.e (1) Ra:::io R""c€ivf'r Transfer Panel destroyed. One (1) Radio T:car:srr:itter Transfer Panel destroyed. One (1) Unit of Radar Test Equipment destroyed.'

Antenna syst ems for all above li sted radio equipment plus antenna systems for TS1--7, TBK-12, and two (2) TeS Transmitters destroyed. Ante~~a for ~ora~ and three (3) Radio Recei~~ng Antennas destroyed.


jhe following equipment destroyed or damaged b.eyond repair:

1. Control Cocks for sprinkling of group III a~d IV Magazine.

2. Check Sight in :!.:aunt Ill.

3. Supe rfi cial darna ge to Mo~ot III, lad d er , bo It s , barr el s, et c •

4. Point€~S side shield 00 Mount III.

5. P o>v er an d phone c ire ui ts in lio unt III

6. Blowers in Mount I.

7. 4;' and 44W. Quad guns.

B. Four 40UM spare barrels st.owage ,

9. Two 40UM Automatic Loaders (Spares) and box.

10. Cine (1) box of 40IDJ. Br-eech Mechanic (Spare).

11. Mounts and guns 25, 26, 27, and 2e.

12. Four (4) 20MM Spare Gun Barrels and stowage.

13 • Six (6) 20MM Ready Box € s •

14. Two (2) Gun Di.r-ect.or s Uk 51..

15. Seven (7) Gunsights Mk. 14 Mod. 8, and power units for Mk. 14 sights.

16. One (1) Depth Charge Rack, Mark 9, 1iod. 2.

17. One (1) Depth Charge Arbor Holder.

18. One (1) Pistol Locker.

19. One (1) Impulse Charge LOCker.

20. Five (5) Detonator Lockers.

21. One (1) Depth Charge Marker Locker.

22. One (1) Hydraulic Piping for Depth Charge release system.

23. Six (6) Bogie Cars, Mark III.

24. One (1) Demolition Outfit Locker.

25~ Starboard after positive stop assembly and housing.

26. Six (6) }/ Turntable securi-ng clamps.

27. Mine Tracks and Support s:

Starboard rail inboard from forward tumtabl.€ forward. Port rail inboard from forward turntable forward. Forward crosstrack and supports.

Port track and supports from forward turntable to after turntable. Port track and supports, art of after positiv~ stops.

t \


,. - ~.. ..


1. Tanks: Th8 below listed equipocnt is da3aged.

C-I-F, G-4-F, C-8-F, G-5-F; all ruptured.

A. C-3-E shaft alley. Electric salt water circulating booster p~~ to Diesel Engine.-

ENClOSURE (A) Page 2

2. C-J-:S:. Shaft Allc:

(2) Diesel LG. 'I'ransf'cr Purnp , (b) Diesel Purifisr.


C-201-E Macr~n~ Sh6~.

(a) Lathe ~ld attacr~~nts. (t) Drill Pr e s e ,

( c) Grinder.

(d) &naIl elEctric hand tools.


4. After Diesel Room:

(a) Diesel Engine. (b) LiEsel F.O. Tank.

(c) Emergency Switch Board. (d) Starting P~~el.

(e) Stsrting bat teri e s ,

5. After Engine. Room: B--4 (a) REduction gears.

(b) HP and LP and c r-ui s.i ng t.ur , (c) Air compressor L.P.

(d) Lub Oil Purifier.

(6) Lub Oil Cooler.

(f) Main Condensor.

(g) .kain Gage Board and attachment. (h) No. 3 and 4 Lub Oil Service Pumps. (1) No."3 ano 4 Condensate Pumps.

(j) Aux. Condesor.

(k) Aux. Booster.

(1) Aux. Circulator.

(m) No. 3 and 4 Booster Pumps. (n) Fire ~~d Flushing P~~ps~ (0) Aux. Cond~nsor.

(p) No. 3 a~d 4 ~~in Fe8d PUffipS. (q) No. 4 fire and bilge pump. (r) L.P. Air Tank.

(s) 3080 tub oil Tank. (t) ~~in -Sump Tank.

(u) L.O. storag~ ~ank. (v) Deilati~g F6Cd Tank. (1'1) Gland Exha ust er ,

(x) 1~0. 2 l!L_ir: Generator. (y) YEin Circulating Pump.

(z) No.2 Evaporator and Pumps. (aa) Main .l;,ir Ejector.


Piping throughout ship: (a) Main steam.

(b) Aux. steam.

(c) Aux. Gi~aust. (d) H.P. Drain.

(e) L.P. Drain •

. (f) Fe~d piping.

(g) F.O. section and transf~r. (h) Condensate.

(i) F.W.

.El~CLOSIJRE (A) Page 3


• '

(j) Salt water. (k) Lub Oil. (1) Diesel Oil.

em) Air B.P. and L.r.

7. After Firt Roc~~ C~upartmcnt B-3:

(a) No. 4 Bo~18r c omp Let.c and Aux. fittings. (b) No. ., P:)~lsr .. '

(c) NOj~. 5, 6, 7; and B, Cd) H.P- Pir Condensor.

(s) No·s. 5]b,7J and e F.O. Heeters. (f) l'h, 3 P.ilg<; Pump.

(g) No.3 and 4 SeTvic(. Punps , (h) No , 2 Emergency f=ed pump, (i) No. 2 Boostsr p~~? F.C.

(j) F:-~sh water tanks i":o's. 11 and 12. (k) Feo:.d t.anks No's. 13 end l4.


B. Forward R,gine Room, COGP2rtm~nt B-2:

(a) Lub Oil'Storae;E Ti1r.k.

9. Forward Pi.r-c: Room; Compartm;:.-nt B-1: (a) Fec.d Tanks No. 10.

(b) Fresh" Water No.8.

(c) No.2 Blowers.

(d) No. 1 E'UErgency Feed Pump,

(e) A numbE.r of Thermometers and Gauges. (f) Whistle, Siren and Piping.


. 1. Vent i.Lat i.on Fan Eators and Cont.r-o l.Ler-s ,

(A) After Engine Room: (a) EYI3ust (1-147-2). (b) Exhaust, (1-135-2). (e) Snpp Iy (2-132-1). (d) Sllpply (2-145-1).

(B) 1-..ft ,,~~ Di (; seL;

(a) Extaust (1-148-2). (b) B2ttery Shop.

ee) KV~2uSt (1-113-1).

(e) After Fire Room:

(a) Exhaust (1-118-0). (b) S~pply (2-115-1).

(D) P~ter Deck HOUS6:

(e) Exhaust (1-126-1).


(b) Supply (1-126-1). (c) Exhaust (1-125) •

(d) Supp Ly (1-108-2) Patn2K~gn~fwn as Yf..;t.

- • ENGlDSURE tA Page 4

_ '"- • __ ,:.:.. ~_-. _, __ .... __ -~_l..=~_ .... , .., .... _ • ~ ..... " ....• :a. ~-


2. Dernaged an d Destroyed POWG!, Pc 081:

(a) 2-77-2(F B 423) For-war-d Fire Roam. (b) 2-14S-·2 (F B 436) .~.:t(:r Eng irie Room.

(F B 437)

(c) 2-123-1 (F B 41'2) .:'J'tcr Fire Room.

(d) 2-.,..141-1 (? B4lJ-i) :Stcr :2ngin€ Room. (€-)1-11.1-3 (13 F B 414) h.ftcr Engine Room .. er) 1-127-2 (r E ,/,,18;1 Fort Pasaage Aft.

(g) 2-170-2 (F :3 l.20) C··20;-L.

(h) 2-157-2 (F 3 1,21:,) C-- 203-L.

(1) 2-11)6-). \F' B 41~') Gensr2~ Viforkshop. (j) 1-11.,7-2 ':F 13 132) ;'2ssngG Aft.

3 • Destro ye d .2 d D31";l:.~ g ed El cct.r-i, cal Egui prnont, •

(c,) Aft cr 1>.0' .i n G---:mCTstor 0: nd Distribution Swi t.chboar-d , (b) After Ec:<::rgcncy Diesel Gencre,~,j.r and SNitchboard.

(c) 117 Volt lighting 'I'r ansf'ormor-s N~. 2 Lighting Distribution


(d) Sperry 36 inch Sear-ch Li ght., (e) BEttuy Char gi ng S.vitchboe..rd. (f) Degaussing 3'::i tc hboe rd ,

(g) Ute r Engi. ne Room E1 ect.r-i. cal Auxi li e ri e s , l"..ot or s , and Cor. trollE:.r s: (e ) Staft Turning Gear No.2.

(bY Aux. Cond , Condensat,e Pump No •. 2. (c) Aux. Cond , eire. Pump .No , 2.

(d) Lube on Pur if'Le r No.2.

( c) ;,l'X. F ced Boost 12;T Pump No , 2 ..

(f) Tl:rbine Gl·:; nd Swl Exhcust.e'r No.2. (g) L.P. hir ComprGssors.

(h) DicsdF.O. Purifier.

(i) Di e se L F'. O. Service Pump.

(j) Fire 2rri Flushing Pump No.2, (k) rr c sh "-,':'!t (:1' PU;'1P No.2.

(h) Ait(;r Ev2p. Pl~t huxili2ri~s:

(,,) Di sti lling Cord , C irc. Pump No.2. (b) Dist. Condo Condens8t~ Pwnp Nco 2.

(c) BIT:.?_ Brine Ovcrboo:rc. Dischr.:.rge Pump No.2. (d) Evap , 'rube Nest, (1st effect) Drain No.2. (e) Dist. Condo F. W. Dist. Pumn No.2.

'-- .

(i) Port SMft.h.llcy.

{j) Selt Water Circu1:: t ing Pump. (k) T()5t Switch Board.

(1) Tool Post Grind~r.

(m) Elect. and Hacbo€ Work Shop. en) Sensitive Drill.

(0) Bench L:::.thE; ..

4. Damaged Cab Ics (a) FB-418. (b) F-419. (c) 5F-419. (d) FB--444 «0) FB-445.

(List incompletG):

(r) XFE-444. (k) FB--4.3J.

(g) FB-109. (1) FB-441.

(h) F&-105. (m) FB--429.

(s ) F&-107 (n) FB-l03.

, (j) FB-43?


~--- --':"~- ~~. ' r,~


5. Ie .2:quipr.ent (List incor.:plete):

(a) Approxir..ately 45 sound power-ed telephone headsets and 12 sound

powered telephone handset s ,

(b) Shaft evo lution indicator After Engine Roar:;. (c) Engine Re vo lu tia n Te Ler.r-ipn M.

(d) Engine Order Telegraph r;rn.

(e) Boiler Feed Sjgnal Systeo EB.

(f) Be iler Tenperature Alarm Circuits.

(g) Turbo Gen. 'l'empe r-a ture Alar!:! No. 2 l!:T. (h) Lub Oil La:" Pressure AlarD No. 2 EC.

6. Ventilation:

(a) Supply (1-126-2). (b) zxhaus t (1-125).

(c) Supply (1-108- 2) Danagc unkrcvm as yet.

7. Miscella.rlecus

(a) 14 Sto rage Batteries.

(b) Approxicately 50 Battle Lanterns.

\ c) Approxit'ately 20 Loud Speaker-s (l;~C Announcing}.

8. List of Electrical Apparatus Da~agec or Destroyed. (8) Ventilation Fan lvleters and Controllers

(b) After Engine Roon:

(a) exhaust (1-147-2) (b) Exhaust (1-135- 2) (c) Supply (2- 132-1) (d) Supply (2-145-1)

(c) After Fire Roa~:

(a) Exhaust (1-118- 0) (b) Supply (2-115-1) (d) After Diesel Rcorae

(a) ";xhaust (1-1I+8- 2) (e) Battery Sr.op:

( a) Exhaust (1-113-1) (f) After Deck House:

(a) ahaust (1- 126- 1)



The ship was at .gcner2.1 , condition Able was set t.hrcughcut., At 1830 a plane crashed off the d quar-t er , Only damage noteri was the sealing of door 1-168. Bef'cr e repair part.Le s C ou'ld r.a ke a t nor-ough inspection of the damage, at 1832 a p Ia ne with bcrnb crashed into the ship bel~ mount 44 tearing a gaping hcle in the super-st.rucbur-e between frames 129-139 to Port, making a large opening in -the deck to After Fireroom and After Engineroom. A fire immediately started 3round 40MM ammu~tion in B-ll5M and frem another hole betwe~n frames J46-154. Intense fire we.s building up from explosions of 40MM ~~unition in C-102M and ready r~cks of Mount 44. These two fires rapidly joined and spread, the Officerts and C.p.O~ quarters aft.

At this time the pa ssageway and wentherd€'ck aft en the Port side wa a blceked by debris and the buckled deck under Moun.t 4~, Starboard side was hazardous because of exploding arrIDunition. Therefore, the fire was fought from the top of the superstructure deck •

As previously arranged with the Chief Engineer, the firemain was split at frame 111, and at the time, ·there was no pressure aft cf this point. There was no communicaticn with After Diesel rendering it impossible at that time to have the After Emergency fira pumps started. (Investige.tion several minutes later revealed this Br:ace to be completely flooded.) . The fire was fought using t he fcr~Nard section of the firemain and forward emer-gency fire pump. Great difficult.y was encountered at this time in fighting the fire because of intense heat; mangled debris and exploding ammunition. The fact that we could only fight the fire from the Superstructure deck arid planes were constantly being taken under fire, greatly decreased our pr-c gr-eas in brineing this fire under rapid or complete control.

During this time a large number of casualties were being removed frem these damaged areas, and in this operation the usual hazards were encountered, I.E., smoke, intense heat, debris and expL::dinp ammuni ti en.

Since the After Battle Dressing Station had been destroyed the injured were taken forward to the Wardroom and Aft to the Fantail.

The forward Fire Room was put out of commission by #2 bomb hit and the forward Ehging Room was secured, cuttine off all the power and f!remain pressure until the Forward Diesel could be put en the forward emergency fire pump. During this s hor t lapse, ,attempts were made to steer by hand and two undamaged Handy Billies on board were being put to usav.

Due to subsequent crashes the fire was greatly increased and additional fires were started which were extinguished. Other results of these remaining crashes were to increase the difficulty by many m~re heaps of· jagged and mangled debris, severed hoses and additional casualties.


At this timesnB 11 cr-a I't carne alon?side to r-emove cu sue Ltd ee and traiced hcse s G" t h« :ire vi~~tch was r by t.hen , i'AL'~.X '.'!toll under cont.r-cL but still bur r.i.'1[; in th e l:o:,::,l maga 2;::n88. T hi.s ve sac 1 [; Lso .;:ave us one P-500 pump and t no Handy Bi 11:.. es and q:c ~e l Lne ~ In:' :18 m':'Cl:ltime cr,e of our two avai.Labf,e ;1?ndy Bi Ll.a es had bs:-, exp Lcdcd Ly a pJ.2£lG our sup p ly of fa so Lir-e . st.or e d to P sid e wa 5 l.. n f1 r'~ $

Durinr the :.:Jt.;;r·o:c.l) :::3 sual ty power was rier:€C. fr~~.l:'. ::'he Forward

Die sel to St-A8:c~.:;g Aft. A Jury righ 1lhi'Jh had pl';;;·.;iou:::ly Q'?e!} made for such an €ffito!rS-",(1' ;.;. ~'Ic;S us ed to establish be~-'.'12e!; tte B;~icige and the aftEi' par-t of the ship" About this td me a net her c-,:-aft name done:!ide bo r-emove ca sua.Lt Les and they gave us an add' ona L P-5CO pU!llp and a Handy Billy. Pr-eparatd cns were made to he taken in tow and css'..l.11ty power was being ri~[ed t a the anch 'Jr wind lass.

At this it was completely d ar-k , the fireB were s:lOl~.ering) the wounded were be i ng segr-egat ed and distributee in order that pr-oper- medieal a tt enti on could be £i ven , A t.hor-ouch Lnve sti'Sation of all par t s of the .ship was started.

The s ect.i cn cf' the ship forward of frame 72 WD.S int::!'ct and dry except for a small amount of water in A-J06L y,hich was emptied by <1 bucket ~)ri'3- ade , The 11811 secti on .. ·f the chi p was completely' flocued except f'cr the forward Enfine 11:0am. In t he after pa rt of t h e ship c....203L W? 5 f'cund to

be eompletely f'Lcoded , All apaces aft of frame 170 were f'ourri intact and dry.

Casualty power was rige:ed and two submersible pumps were Lowcr-e.l int 0 C-203L in an attempt to empty the compartment and increase buoyancy i..1S the I'ant.e i.L was nearly awash 2t this tirne , and the dr-af't, i'8rward was 18 feet.

It was eventually found that this compar-tment was in full c

wi t h the sea and attempts to empty it weI' e aband cned • At this t the

ship was listing 6~ degrees to port sn.! ~1f"pe8re(: tc be in v8ry unot.a'xl,e condition due to the free surface eff0ct and lolling a ct Lon, Howevsr-, ,:15 the machinery spaces filled to the water line the ship ~radually carne u.;:;right and settled at 5 de,srees Port due to int-'!ck fresh water t8.nKS on the Staroc-3.rd side. It was judged the .ship had sufficie:1t buoyancy and st3.hility to remain afloat in the calm. sea ~ Watches were posted on all bu.Lkhenda adja:J ent to the flood ed areas. All sue h bulkheads r-emai ned in exce l l.ent, condition and shoring was not immediately necessary.

At 2242 we weI' eta ken under tow by the U. S~ S. SHAl'llNON (0:1--25) wi th - 60 fathcma of cable and 50 fathoms of chain •

Thr-cughcut the night a constant watch was maintained for rmy ch".nges in cond'i.t.i cna and except fer an ccca ai.cna.L .flare-up in the burned areas)



-w!;i ch was ext.Lngu i.s hed with a bucket bri1':ade j no further trouble was encountered.

The personnel Of the three repair parties, although scattered and depleted, displayed excellent effort , judgement and ingenuity in utilizing the various p':roups of volunteers from other departments. Great courage and tenacit,v was not only shown by the repair parties but by all hands inconstantly combat.tang the tremendous darnage in the f'aec of seemingly unsurmcurrt ab Le dangers and attacks.


Lieutenant, U.S. N:tval R6serve


On J ~J\a.y 1945, the U.S.S. ;';,RON T;iUIRD and supporting erna l.L craft of Radar Picket sta ti on #10 were .subject ed to a severe a t.t ack by an e stirna ted number .;Jf 22-25 sui:ide plane So The se <J. ttacks were made by a f2natic.:;1 foe and caused scores 0 f ma'Lal. and personnel cn sua Lt i es , The ship W3:S left in a badly crippled condition, in danger of sinking any minute; yet she had taken each blow and came back for more. 1:..5 Gunnery OfIie er I

would like to e here that I have never- wi.t ncssed SUC~1 heroic, spontaneous bravery, a nd devotion to duty as that di sp.Iayed ~)y the crew of

the ship. The dl sci p Li ne of all personnel under me and that of the t"est of the crew, was fl~wlass.

The account of t he attack s suffered by this vesse L j s included in the chronological sunrnary of the action, but a description of the action as witnessed by me is herewith submit ted. (See Ai,. Action Report s for additional information).

I observed from the Director all planes th::!t WEre shot down, and those that crashed into this ship with the exception of t he Ie. st one that was obscured by smoke pouring out of #1 stack. This rE"port is collaborated by the ... AS. sistant GUlUle1'y. Offie. erj who served in the capac.i ty of Sky Defense Orficer· (Machine Gun Control in the rear of th e Director. Only those plane s t hat pressed home their attac ks ar-e covered in this report. Numercus other enemy pl.ane s were taken under fire and dri v-: n off.


At 1822, shortly after going to G-&nera 1 Quarters; the first contact, which consisted of 4 friendlies a nd 2 Vl'Ils, was sighted off our starbcard beam. Fire could not be opened at once because of the presence of th e friendly fighters. As soon as the friendlies were vectored away J one Val start ed a run on t.hi.s VEl ssel , Fire wa s opened at about 6,000 yards. This one was shot down by the combined efforts of the 511 and starboard automatic weapons. Damage was inflicted on Mount #3, which wa shit by flying part s of this pla ne, however damage wa s minor.

Immedfa tely ther ea ft er , sui c Ide plan e #2 wa s ta ken und er fire on the port beam and wa s eh ot d own by ill re ct hits ;.;.t about 1200 yard s , As thi s plane hit the wa t er , fire wa s shifted to #3 suicide plane , a Zeke carrying a bomb, and heading for the after part of the ffiip. He was repeatedly hit by all weapons, was smoking heavily, but continued on to cr-ash into the super-et.ruct.ur e under Mt 44. This plane r e.Lea sed his bomb prior to hitting the ship, the bomb exploded in the .liter Engine Room and

c aused the fa Hawing casua Lt i,e s to th e gunnery insta lIa ti on aboard sh ip:

1. All power and communication (except 17 W;) were lost to k:t #J. 1{ount and personnel were unharmed, ani the g;o was still capable of firing in manua L,

- .


C.{H;NER.Y . OfFICER I S REPORT (co n' t)

battle. Repeated attempts were made by the ilariar Technician to put it back into com~ission, with n0 success. From this moment cn, all ranging was done with the Stereo Rangefinder.

3. Gas ejection air in all guns was lost. This forced all mounts t o fight the rest of the bat.t.I.e in smoke filled mounts and suffer many flar ebacks ,

4. Mount 44 and it's Director were ccmpletely put out of commission and all ready service ammunition in the racks and in the clipping rooms began to burn and explode.

5. Mount 26 was b~dly damaged, making it unuse~ble the rest of the action.

other than the above casualties, all armament was in good condition and able to fire in the next attack.

At lS59, No.4 suicide plane, a Val, was taken under fire and shot down at about 2000 yards off our port bow. l~unt 3, who was receiving order s ever the 17MC J joined in t he firing with the forward mount s , using manual control firing 17 VT fuzed projectiles. Duri ng this abt.ack, and in all subsequent action, Control W2S hampered by the erratic maneuvering of the shiPI caused by the j~mmed rudders and the loss of the ~ftGr Engine Room. Heavy smoke f~cm the fires aft further complicated matters.

At 1904, an enemy plane, identified as a Betty, w~s designated to Control by Combat. We picked this one up almost dead ahead, but because of the erratic movement of the ship, experienced difficulty staying on the target. This plane appeared. to be closing slowly anq 5~emed to be seeking a favorable spot from which tc make his run. We finally shot him dawn after he had closed to about 5,000 yards.

A short while after the abcve action, a Val, off our pert bew, seen breaking away from our CAP, was taken under fire. This p Lane , t hough hit by ship's gunfire, completed it's run, hitting the top of No , 1 St ack , and crashed into the water 00 the side. The rupturing of the whistle and siren greatly hampered communicaticns in Control, otherwise causing no casualties to gunnery equipment.

At 1913, the 7th. suicide plane, a Val, was taken under fire on the port beam. This plane was flying at ab~ut 200 feet, heading directly f~r the Bridge. At about 1500 yards, the plane, that was already damaged by gunfire, started flaming abcut the engine, and losing altitude. He finally crashed into the Y.ain Deck, aft of M,junt 42, af't er having released his

bcmb that hit the port side vI the ship. The c cncuss Lcn f'r-cm the explosion W3S so great it knocked me and the t.ssistant Gunnery Officer to the DirEctcr Deck. All ccmmunicati~ns to the after starbcard ~utcmatic weapons were knocked 'Jut at thi s time.


3 3 '"-,J(


thing I spotted was anot.he r Val, about 1000 yards away making the same type run as the one that had hit us only a revi second sago. No tL1:e

was avai.LabLe to give any ccrnmand s to the guns. So much attenticn had been focuse~ on the leader that this Val made his run unfired upon. He crashed almost immediately, tearing into the Superstructure Bulkhead,

aft of Mount 42. Evidently this second p la ne was fl)llcwing, or attempting to cover himself by the movements of the first, a fact which probably acccunts for his missing lithe t ar-get.", Per scnrie L on Mounts 42 and 24, received miner injuries, but the guns remained operative.

At 1916, a Zeke, approaching off our pert quarter at a very high speed, partially cover-ed by our srncke , wa s repcrted t c me by Sky Defense. No main battery guns cnuld be brought to bear en this tareet. Only M:eunt 42 fired at this (What pr-cved to be) death dea l i ng target. The plane had a belly tank, and crashed i.nt o the base of Mount 43, causing the following 1 and mat erial ca sual ti e s:

1. Mount 43 and it's Directcr completely demolished.

2. Mcur.ts 25 and 27 knocked cut of action.

3. starboard 4m.2J and 20A2i1 Clipping RO':JIDS set afire.

4. Practically all automatic weapons crews in this area were either killed or seriously injured. Several were blewn over the side and still missing in action.

5. This ccmpleted the de st.ruc t of all after aut.crna t i c weapcns with the except of Mount 26.

At 1921, the last suicide plane was reported coming in dead astern thru the snoke. I crdered the forward automatic weapons to train aft and commence firing. Almost instantaneously, they re spcnded to the call

and began blazing away. The smcke was terrific. then,. and it was imposs- ~ ible to see the plane. The plane came on; however, and finally crashed

at the base of Mount 2 stack, t· oppling ever the stack, searchlight, and guns 26 and 28,

This target ties ·the plane. We waited a few minutes, scanning the sky for any new target that might come in. No plane appeared, hewever, and we settled down to the needs of the moment.

Tn order to ensure the supply of power to all operating Damage Control equipment then in use, all mounts were secured. Gun crew's were ordered to sprinklfr ~agazines and ammunition stowage sp~ces, and

to inspect their areas for any impending dangers. Some of the gun crew's were t:urther assigned to assist the Doctor and the Pharmacist I s Y.ate in treating the wcunded and, I sent the assistant gunnery officer aft to supervise the work of tending casualties on the Fantail and

aid to the repair parties as was needed. When darkness had set in, I requested pr.rmi ssd cn from the C~nunarccine Officer to leave the Dire c t cr

to supervi se the sprinkling cf mag az a nd a, in the repair wcr k then beir.g undertaken. 5inc·= there wa s no pressure on: the fire, bucket brigades, using empty brass, were f'orze d to spr-a nkl.e the mag'1zines

... _...I .... __ •• _..:,&..: ................. ~ ........ _ ... .- .,..,. __ nlrr"On(~,~



Vlhile .., ssistirl;!; t h:: rcpafr ~ar ties about the ship, I c :uldn I t help ncticing the caIm and efficient mariner- with which men set about their work. To me it seemed the ecnaurmat.Lcn cf all our many mcnt hs of training. During the act Lcn , naturaEy, I didn1t have the cppcr t.uni.ty to take time cut to marvel at the speed and accuracy with which the men uncer

me carried out their crr'er s , ncr cuul.d T v.i sus Li.z e how severe were ccnditions in the 5" mounts. Lnve st.Lgat i.on 13t er revealed the real drama

of courage and fortitude, that waG "i"!1O'c"',.ed in' these guns.

At no time did I expsrience any difficulty in making men understand tha t something hac! to be dcne , and fe. st. No sign of c haas or ccnf'us en any station. While the f i r e s rased, ammuni t Lon exploded and water continued to pour into t he ship. I saw C oly gr-im det errni ned men , devoted to their task cf keeping the :lA..'tCN WARD f'r-cm perishing.


1. All of our ordnance equipment ~ithJut a d0Ubt proved itself superb

in spite of the tremendcus shock caused by heavy explosions. All equipment not surf ering direct damage, continued t.c cpera t e in a magnific ent manner, with the exception cf the FD Radar. Too much praise cannot be accorded our Fire .Control Lnst rument s , 511 and 40l~{ weapons. I take great pleasure in reporting that there was not a single loading or operational casualty in the 5" Battery.(Our ESR to date wa s 750 rounds). The 511 guns fired approximately 600 rounds of VT I sand /.:.C' the 40MU fired about

1300 rounds a nd the 20MM about 3000 rounds. 'l'he ratio of VT's (Mk53,

Mods 1 and 2) AAC W3.S 2 to 1 guns 1 and :3 firing vi's, Mount 2 firing '. !1c la. This ratio of anmuni t Lcn proved more than satisfactory; a Lt.hcugh it is a strain cn the Gunnery Officer's nerve to only see two bursts on each salvo. Thr oughcut the action 4 second salvo fire was used fe'r l!ount

2 and Mounts 1 and 3 used rapid continuous fire. This proved highly effective as it gave co nt.r-o l opportunity to check solution and mai nt ai.n ccmrnunication with all stations. This t vpe of fire also increased "Jur rate of fire, and yet enabled us to keep battery discipline.

2. 40M1l: ammunition gave an excellent account of itself. Each clip cf 401&1 used consisted Gf 1 HEr, 1.hP, and 2 HEIT. This enabled the gun to open fire somewhat out the effective range of the HUT (self-destructive) No misfires or je.mmed cartricges were suffered by any of the guns. Several Loa+Lng casualties were experienced on the 401·,!M and 20Ui.i; but they were all cleared in an expecitious·manner. At-ne time did I notice the automatic weapons stop firing, Every plane that was seen attem?ting to press home fer the till, was greeted with a steady stream of fire from

the guns of this vessel.

J. This is an appropriate time to mention how Lrrva Luab Ie the 17:·,:C proved itself thrOUght8Ut the engagement. Not only did it make c~~mu~ication

to Mount 3 possible, but it also kept the magaz ine and hanc Li ng roem personnel informed of what· was

p-.- a· • _ ••• ~ .... ~~--~. .. ......-_ ~--"""'r--~ ... - _~ .. -- --- .~ .. --r-;-,......-;--------' __ w __ ...,.. .. _.,.. •• , • - __ , __ • _roy--~~_ .. -._....---.-.._---._ ....


4. ~ffiny casualties were prever.ted on tr~s ship by the rugged containers that housed the 401&1 errmuni t i.on , These boxes, each holding 16 rounds

of high explosive ammo, exploding from the terrific heut, se~med to absorb the gre~ter pnrt of the explosions Bnd hold the amount of fly~ng shrapnel to a mi.numum ,

5. The Navy's policy of allo\'d:1-", ships to participate in many firing practices prior to assigning them tn battle areas is cnth~siastically praised by this sru.p; The P..ARON vi/.Till had taken advantage of every opportunity to enbage in every pra~tice possibl~ subsequent to her shakedown and extensive Lay-ever in the Navy Yard ~ All gun cr ewswer'e able to take par t in .i nnurner-ab Le practice s ,. Their t E:rrific performance in this action wa s due ~.n.·a Lar-ge measure to the se practices. !(E:n who had faced repeated sui c attacks coming directly in on them, subconsiously ignored the frightening aspect of the picture before them and seemed to concentrate on their job of loading and firing the guns.


1. From my experience in this action and in several others, it is my contentbn t hat, with the present Fire Control System, employing e'M Main Battery Director, and, a Lt.hough this vessel is able to fire Mount 3 in 51 Director Control, it is almost irr~ossible to repel coordinated, simultaneous suicide attacks.

On this type vessel, the locations of the 401~ guns are excellent, allowing at least two barrels to fire in each Quadrant. But there are not enough of them. Tne vicious attacks we received, trough hit repeatedly, proved this.

At this stage of the war, with the Japanese with so few surface targets remaining, it appears advi ssb Le to do .. way with torpedoes on vessels to be used as Radar Picket and AA Ships) and substitute in their place, more ·40MM mount s , On this ship, two Quad Forties coul.d be ea sf Iy

located between the two stacks on ca~h side of the Superstructure Deck.

The forward twenties could be removed and replaced with Twin Forties.

2. Because of one single source of gas ejection air supply to the f'Jrward 5" rnount s, all mounts are without Bas e ject i cn air when the auxili~ry system fails. It is z-ecommend ed that each gun be provided with it' s seper at.e system. Gas ejection air is essential fer lenghty periods in . the 5" mounts. At Lea st, 4 men in each mount, succumbed because of the dense smoke t.hat, filled the mcunt s , Dangerous f'Lar-ebacks were aLso prevelent, Early in the 2cti~n the ccmpressor and ajr flasks were made incper-at ive by the ccncuss i.c hits.

3. Enclosed is a ciagrarrmatic sketch of our Quadrant Centrel System usee with the aut cma t.i c weapons which pr-oved to be excellent in battle for quickly designating and r ec e i reports on danger-ous s ,

- - -- - - I _ '" _



Numerous times I received timely reports from the Sky Defense Officer who was in i.on with the M2.chine Gun Lockout s , It is felt that all ships shcul.d adopt scme c t Lon system that links all machine gun stati~ns to Control. Reports from these AA Stations are thus available to the Control Officer.

In closing, I feel it 001y proper at this time to pay tribute to those dead and living, who fought with me to keep the AARON WARD afloat and to make the enemy pay so heavily for their fiendish conduct. To me,

a crew that performed so efficiently and valorously, must he ve been Godinspired. The maj::rity of this team were inexperienced kids and men, who hed spent most of their time in drills and training. This was their first l:ig test, and they passed with honors. I am very pr cud f:; be ne cf them.

D. }~. RUBEL, Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.

r.n't~""","T'!""\'r.I 'I"f\ ,.., L

Below is a d sketcb of tbe autotna td c weapons t<.:lephone circuit used on the A.AroN DARD. The heart of this eonmunf.catdcn sys tem is the double headset which enables the controlling officers to maf.ntain ready communication with their guns and SKY DEFEL~SE. Sky Defense, in turn, employs the double headset for contact "lith the Sky Officers and Coraba t Information Center. In this way all reports from C. 1. C. are made readily av a.i Lab.le to machine gun stations.

This ship has used this system since she has been i~ commission, arrl has found it to work very effectively. There has never been any trouble, once talker and firing dis.cip1ine were established, in maintaining excellent supervision over all quadrants and receiving reports from these stations. The policyof assagnrng officers or chief pettI offiCers to contra 1 these ,'3UD groups proyides an inw,edia te, localized contro !ling party that is able to ensure proper sector coverage at all times. This Quadrant system allows for excellent target designation, quick lookout reports to centro 1, arid is flexible enough to handle the cormunfcatdcn pro blern of al mo s t any size of air attack.

Control; Offiaer!


; Cireui t J':!

,- . - .

---. -·-l '--T+O(~·-'~h1U!.t§..

I Sky 1 I 5lJY

---- .. -.--' from

. Guns 21, 2], & 41

G.i ·t! -.. 49JY r<:l.l~~_ ""'C' ( ,H--,----.---==~

2.1Y & I .' 'J ' r-:-

521Y : Sky 2 i ' ,

from '--.--~

Guns 22,24, & 42

1 • I

a (J

Assistant Control &

Illulil. Off.

C-llr~ t~ 10 O~I~ C_irC]lit!t9JV - -- ---W-c") OlC~j~'1"-

543Y _ Sky 4 _ . I;y 3 ! 5 JJY

from from

Guns 26,28, & 44 Guns 25, 27, & 43

Breast Plate

, -,