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DD-483 U.S.S. AARON WARD


Destroyer Class: Bristol
Commissioned 03/04/1942
Length Overall 348' 4"
Extreme Beam: 36' 1"
Mean Draft: 13' 6"
Standard Displacement tons: 1,840
Normal tons: 2,060
Designed Complement: Off.: 20;  Enl.: 309
Armament: Primary: (4) 5"/38 caliber DP
Armament: Secondary:  5 40mm twin
4 20mm; 4 1.1"
Torpedo Tubes: 2x5 21"
Designed Speed: 35.2 knots
Designed Shaft Horse Power: 50,000
Screws: 2
Engine Manufacturer: Four Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Type: geared turbines.
Fuel (oil) tons 450 - 500


WAR DIARY of the U.S.S. AARON WARD Nov.1 to 30, 1942


Action Report on the Night of Nov. 12-13, 1942" of USS AARON WARD



War Diary
U.S.S. AARON WARD DD-483
NOVEMBER 1, 1942.
(a) Task Group 64.2. Task Force 64. (b) CTF 65 dispatch 291300, of Oct. 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that dispatch. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Anchored in Segond Channel. 1200 - Anchored in Segond Channel. 2000 - Lat. 14°29'00" S., Long. 166°53'00" E. (e) At 0522 finished obtaining ammunition replacements, cleared port side off S.S. Hinton Helper, and proceeded to anchorage in Segond Channel. Anchored at 0536. At 1500 got underway with other ships of Task Group 64.2 and proceeded to sea.
NOVEMBER 2, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.3. Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 dispatch 291300 of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that dispatch. (c) Comgem Cactus dispatch 020621 of October 1942 reported large enemy force approaching Cactus. Comsopac dispatch 020759 of October ordered all transports to retire toward Button at best speed. Comsopac dispatches 021220 and 020825 directed task force 65, less the transports and screening destroyers, to join forces at the earliest possible time and proceed to destroy enemy force reported in the vicinity of Cactus. (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 11°41'00" S., Long. 164°11'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 10°37'00" S., Long. 162°58'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 09°15'00" S., Long. 160°27'00" E. Course - Speed - (e) Proceeding to Guadalcanal to intercept enemy force. Operated in vicinity of Guadalcanal during the night and no contact with the enemy was made. At 2000 U.S.S. FULLER and CONYNGHAM in collision close to our formation.
NOVEMBER 3, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.3. Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 despatch 291300 of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that despatch. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 10°52'00" S., Long. 161°25'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 11°15'00" E., Long. 162°26'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 09°57'00" E., Long. 161°53'00" E. Course and speed made good since previous noon: Course 219° Speed 2.4 knots. (e) All general quarters stations manned as ship still in Cactus area. Task Force steaming in company retiring toward Espiritu Santo until 0500 when course was reversed and the force proceeded back toward Guadalcanal in accordance with Comsopac despatch 021232 of Nov., 1942.
NOVEMBER 4, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.3. Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 despatch 291300, of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that despatch. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 09°21'00" S., Long. 160°05'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 09°30'00" S., Long. 160°05'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 09°18'00" S., Long. 160°34'00" E. Course and speed made good since previous noon: Course 307° Speed 7.5 knots. (e) All general quarters stations manned proceeding in to immediate vicinity of Cactus. At 0500 arrived off Beach Purple and transports commenced unloading troops and supplies, this ship operating as one of screening units for transports throughout day. At 1055 all task force got underway due to air raid alarm. No planes come over and transports anchored again at 1300 and continued unloading. At 1800 all ships cleared Cactus area and retired for night through Sealark Channel.
N0VEMBER 5, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.3. Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 despatch 291300, of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that despatch. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 09°23'00" S., Long. 160°03'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 09°14'00" S., Long. 160°13'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 10°05'05" S., Long. 161°57'00" E. Course and speed made good noon to noon: Course various Speed - (e) All general quarters stations manned, proceeding into immediate vicinity of Cactus. At 0530 entered Sealark Channel. At 0700 transports arrived off Beach Purple and commenced unloading. At 1000 received word from Radio Guadalcanal of approach of enemy bombers. Transports got underway and joined screening ships in formation. Ships maneuvered on signal from CTF 65. At 1140 enemy planes came over bombing Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, but did no damage to ships. At 1210 received all clear signal from Radio Guadalcanal. Task Force proceeded to eastward out of Cactus area enroute Button.
NOVEMBER 6, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.8. (ATLANTA, HUNTER, LIGGETT, PRESIDENT HAYES, BARNETT, AARON WARD, FLETCHER, LARDNER, and McCALLA). Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 despatch 291300 of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that despatch. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 11°50'00" S., Long. 164°07'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 12°24'00" S., Long. 164°45'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 13°36'00" S., Long. 165°56'00" E. Course and speed made good noon to noon: Course 122° Speed 15.4 knots. (e) Exercised at general quarters from one hour before sunrise until sunrise, simulating gun, engineering, and damage control casualty drill while at general quarters stations. Maintained station in screen with other ships of Task Group 65.8 throughout day and night.
NOVEMBER 7, 1942.
(a) Task Group 65.8. Task Force 65. (b) CTF 65 despatch 291300 of Oct., 1942, and annexes A, B, and C to that despatch. (c) (d) Positions: (e) Exercised at general quarters stations from one hour prior sunrise until sunrise, simulating gun, engineering, and damage control drill while at general quarters. At 0900 arrived Button and proceeded alongside tanker. At 0907 moored alongside Lackawanna and commenced fueling. Completed fueling and got underway at 1135 and proceeded to anchorage. At 1159 anchored in Berth D2. Provisioned ship from Aldebaran. Comsopac 061212 of November, 1942, assigned ATLANTA, AARON WARD, LARDNER, McCALLA, and FLETCHER to operational control of CTF 62, these ships to comprise Task Group 62.4.
NOVEMBER 8, 1942
(a) Task Group 62.4 (ATLANTA, AARON WARD, McCALLA, FLETCHER, LARDNER, LIBRA, BETELGEUSE, and ZEILIN). (b) CTF 62 despatch 070430 of Nov., 1942; CTF 67 Operation Plan A23-42 and CTF 67 despatch 100400 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: Anchored in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, throughout the day. (e) At anchor all day. Continued to provision ship and replenished general stores supplies.
NOVEMBER 9, 1942.
(a) Task Group 62.4. Task Force 67. (b) CTF 62 despatch 070430 of Nov., 1942; CTF 67 Operation Plan A23-42, and CTF 67 despatch 100400 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 1200 - Lat. 15°17'00" S., Long. 167°20'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 13°51'00" S., Long. 166°03'00" E. Course - Speed - (e) Underway at 0910 with other ships of Task Group 62.4 and proceeded out of harbor. Screened ATLANTA and cargo ships throughout day and night, screening on 4,000 yard circle during day and moving out to 5,000 yards at night.
N0VEMBER 10, 1942.
(a) Task Group 62.4. Task Force 67. (b) CTF 62 despatch 070430 of Nov., 1942; CTF 67 Operation Plan A23-42, and CTF 67 despatch 100400 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 Lat. 11°39'00" S., Long. 163°39'00" E. 1200 Lat. 11°03'00" S., Long. 163°16'00" E. 2000 Lat. 09°57'00" S., Long. 161°47'00" E. Course and speed made good since previous noon: Course 315° Speed 14.8 knots. (e) Exercised crew at general quarters stations from one hour prior sunrise until sunrise, simulating gun, engineering, and damage control casualty drills while at general quarters stations. Screening ATLANTA and cargo ships enroute Cactus. At 1145 sighted an unidentified aircraft, apparently enemy, shadowing this task group. At 1815 manned all general quarters stations and maintained this status throughout the night.
NOVEMBER 11, 1942.
(a) Task Group 62.4. Task Force 67. (b) CTF 62 despatch 070430 of Nov., l942; CTF 67 Operation Plan A23-42, and CTF 67 despatch 100400 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 Lat. 09°24'00" S., Long. 160°03'00" E. 1200 Lat. 09°25'00" S., Long. 160°04'00" E. 2000 Lat. 09°18'00" S., Long. 160°28'00" E. Course and speed made good since noon preceding day: Course 298° Speed 10 knots. (e) Units of task group proceeding in company into Cactus area, all general quarters stations manned. Units of Task Group 62.4 proceeding in company. At 0340 entered Sealark Channel, proceeding to Lunga Point to unload transports, FLETCHER proceeding ahead to make radar search of area. At 0540 transports commenced unloading and disembarkation of troops. Destroyers formed screen on 5,000 yard circle, patrolling sectors. At 0930 enemy planes in sight. At 0938 enemy planes made 45° glide bombing attack on transports. Approximately two close misses made on ZEILIN. At 1125 sighted large flight of enemy planes (27). At 1128 commenced firing on planes. Enemy delivered high level (25,000 feet) horizontal bombing attack on Henderson Field. At 1155 Transports stood in towards beach and continued unloading. At 1230 McCALLA left screen and proceeded to investigate submarine contact 12 miles East of Lunga Point. At 1535 McCALLA returned, having picked four (4) enemy aviators up out of the water. At 1540 McCALLA transferred prisoners to ZEILIN. At 1605 ZEILIN having completed unloading, departed for Espiritu Santo, escorted by LARDNER in accordance CTG 62.4 110330 of November, 1942. At 1800 ATLANTA, FLETCHER, McCALLA, Libra and Betelgeuse got underway and retired through Sealark Channel in accordance CTF 67 100400 of Nov. 1942. At 2045 ATLANTA, FLETCHER, AARON WARD, and McCALLA departed to Join Task Group 67.4 in accordance CTF 67 100400 of November, 1942. Proceeding to cover Task Group 67.4 from enemy approach from Eastward of Florida Island. At 2048 ATLANTA, AARON WARD, FLETCHER, and McCALLA changed course to the right, Betelgeuse and Libra proceeding independently in accordance instructions issued in CTF 67 100400 of November, 1942. At 2200 Joined units of TG 67.4 units in column in following order: BUCHANAN, LAFFEY, STERRETT, CUSHING, SAN FRANCISCO, PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU ATLANTA, AARON WARD, McCALLA, FLETCHER, this task group proceeding through Sealark Channel and patrolling area bounded by Guadalcanal, Savo, and Florida Islands until daybreak. ANTI-AIRCRAFT ACTION BY SURFACE SHIPS LOCATION OF SHIP: LUNGA ROADS (Guadalcanal Area) USS AARON WARD DATE November 11, 1942 NOTES: (a) REPEL ATTACK FIRST - Then collect data for this report. (b) Do not "Gun Deck" this report - if data cannot be estimated with reasonable accuracy enter dash in space for which no data is available. (c) These sheets are to be filled out immediately after action is completed with available data from ship's log, memory, and consultation with ship's officers. Information is essential in order that the effectiveness of our equipment can be determined. Where data is of doubtful accuracy fill in with general terms. The obtaining or this information must not be allowed in any way to adversely affect the handling of equipment during action. 1. SURPRISE ATTACK (Yes or No): No 2. METHOD PICKING PLANE UP (Radar, binoculars, naked eye): Binoculars. (if by radar state type of set) - - - 3. RANGE PLANE WAS PICKED UP (50 miles, 30 miles, 10 miles, less 5 miles): 10 MILES 4. Number of planes: 9 5. Type of plane (fighter, Scout, dive-bomber): Dive Bombers. Type of attack: Dive Bombing 6. Speed & Altitude (High and fast, intermediate and fast, low and fast, high and slow, intermediate and slow, low and slow): Low and Fast 7. Guns Firing: All Size: 5", 1.1", 20mm Number: 4-5", 4-1.1", 5-20mm Method of control: - - - Method spotting: - - - 8. Ammunition expended: 20 rounds - 5" 9. Percent service allowance expended: 1% 10. Approximate time tracking to first shot: - - - 11. Approximate time of first hits: - - - 12. Approximate time first shot to last shot: - - - 13. Approximate position angle open fire: 40° 14. Approximate position cease fire: 15. Approximate bearing first shot: 135° 16. Approximate bearing last shot: 90° 17. Approximate range first shot: 2,000 yards 18. Approximate range last shot: 2,000 yards 19. Approximate altitude of bomb release: 200 feet Type of bomb: 500 pound 20. Approximate Range Torpedo Release: - - - Size: - - - 21. Hits on ship: None Was ship strafed: No 22. Number near bomb misses: None Casualties from near misses: - - 23. Planes shot down: (Sure) 1 (Possible) - - (Damaged) 2 24. Details of damage to target by gunfire if available: 20mm shells observed going through wings. 25. Performance of ammunition (excellent, good, bad, poor): Excellent 26. Pattern sizes (large, small excessive): Large SKETCH (a) Indicate direction of attack relative to ship's bearing. (b) Show relative position of sun. (c.) Indicate own maneuvers..
ANTI-AIRCRAFT ACTION BY SURFACE SHIPS LOCATION OF SHIP: LUNGA ROADS (Guadalcanal Area) USS AARON WARD DATE November 11, 1942 NOTES: (a) REPEL ATTACK FIRST - Then collect data for this report. (b) Do not "Gun Deck" this report - if data cannot be estimated with reasonable accuracy enter dash in space for which no data is available. (c) These sheets are to be filled out immediately after action is completed with available data from ship's log, memory, and consultation with ship's officers. Information is essential in order that the effectiveness of our equipment can be determined. Where data is of doubtful accuracy fill in with general terms. The obtaining or this information must not be allowed in any way to adversely affect the handling of equipment during action. 1. SURPRISE ATTACK (Yes or No): No 2. METHOD PICKING PLANE UP (Radar, binoculars, naked eye): Binoculars. (if by radar state type of set) - - - 3. RANGE PLANE WAS PICKED UP (50 miles, 30 miles, 10 miles, less 5 miles): 15 MILES 4. Number of planes: 27 5. Type of plane (fighter, Scout, dive-bomber): Bomber. Type of attack: High level Bombing 6. Speed & Altitude (High and fast, intermediate and fast, low and fast, high and slow, intermediate and slow, low and slow): High and Fast 7. Guns Firing: Main Batt. Size: 5"/38 Number: 4 Method of control: Director Method spotting: Direct 8. Ammunition expended: 80 rounds 9. Percent service allowance expended: 5% 10. Approximate time tracking to first shot: 5 minutes 11. Approximate time of first hits: - - - 12. Approximate time first shot to last shot: - - - 13. Approximate position angle open fire: 40° 14. Approximate position cease fire: 15. Approximate bearing first shot: 135° 16. Approximate bearing last shot: 90° 17. Approximate range first shot: 2,000 yards 18. Approximate range last shot: 2,000 yards 19. Approximate altitude of bomb release: 25,000 feet Type of bomb: 500 to 1000 pound 20. Approximate Range Torpedo Release: - - - Size: - - - 21. Hits on ship: None Was ship strafed: No 22. Number near bomb misses: None Casualties from near misses: - - 23. Planes shot down: (Sure) - - (Possible) - - (Damaged) - - 24. Details of damage to target by gunfire if available: Target out of range, but shots fired to keep them from coming down. 25. Performance of ammunition (excellent, good, bad, poor): Excellent 26. Pattern sizes (large, small excessive): Unable to observe. All were aimed at shore installations. SKETCH (a) Indicate direction of attack relative to ship's bearing. (b) Show relative position of sun. (c.) Indicate own maneuvers..
November 12, 1942.
(a) Task Group 67.3 (Screening group - ATLANTA, AARON WARD, FLETCHER, McCALLA, O'BANNON, and BARTON). Major task force to which assigned - Task Force 67. (b) Comtaskfor 67 despatch 100400 of November, 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 09°21'00" S., Long. 160°06'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 09°21'00" S., Long. 160°05'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 09°17'00" S., Long. 160°21'00" E. (e) Proceeding with following ships in column in Indispensable Straits and area to Southward of the Straits searching for enemy forces that may approach Guadalcanal area: BUCHANAN, LAFFEY, STERRETT, CUSHING, SAN FRANCISCO (Admiral Callaghan), PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, ATLANTA (Admiral Scott), AARON WARD, McCALLA, and FLETCHER. At 0515 President Jackson, President Adams, McCawley, Crescent City stood in towards Lunga Point, screened by MONSSEN, 0'BANNON, SHAW, and BARTON. Betelgeuse and Libra stood in. FLETCHER and McCALLA detailed to screen. Upon arrival Libra and Betelgeuse anchored East of Lunga Point; President Adams, President Jackson, McCawley, and Crescent City anchoring at Kokum, SAN FRANCISCO, HELENA, and PORTLAND formed on 3,000 yard circle; ATLANTA, JUNEAU, STERRETT, MONSSEN, FLETCHER, O'BANNON, LAFFEY, SHAW, CUSHING, AARON WARD, BUCHANAN, McCALLA, and BARTON forming A/S screen on circle eight. During the forenoon HELENA, SHAW, and BARTON left stations in screen to bombard enemy shore battery at Kokumbona. At 1000 one transport, 6 Avengers, and 3 Wildcats stood in towards Henderson Field. At 1318 received air raid alarm. Transports got underway, and combatant ships formed screen for repelling of aircraft attack. At 1407 enemy planes sighted over Eastern tip of Florida Island. At 1413 opened fire on enemy torpedo planes. Attack delivered, but only damage sustained by own forces was due to plane crashing into secondary conn in SAN FRANCISCO. At 1418 attack completed. Four knocked down by our fighters and 8 by gun fire from surface ships. ANTI-AIRCRAFT ACTION BY SURFACE SHIPS LOCATION OF SHIP: LUNGA ROADS (Guadalcanal Area) USS AARON WARD DATE November 12, 1942 NOTES: (a) REPEL ATTACK FIRST - Then collect data for this report. (b) Do not "Gun Deck" this report - if data cannot be estimated with reasonable accuracy enter dash in space for which no data is available. (c) These sheets are to be filled out immediately after action is completed with available data from ship's log, memory, and consultation with ship's officers. Information is essential in order that the effectiveness of our equipment can be determined. Where data is of doubtful accuracy fill in with general terms. The obtaining or this information must not be allowed in any way to adversely affect the handling of equipment during action. 1. SURPRISE ATTACK (Yes or No): No 2. METHOD PICKING PLANE UP (Radar, binoculars, naked eye): Binoculars. (if by radar state type of set) - - - 3. RANGE PLANE WAS PICKED UP (50 miles, 30 miles, 10 miles, less 5 miles): 15 MILES 4. Number of planes: 21 5. Type of plane (fighter, Scout, dive-bomber): Bombers. Type of attack: Torpedo 6. Speed & Altitude (High and fast, intermediate and fast, low and fast, high and slow, intermediate and slow, low and slow): Low and Fast 7. Guns Firing: All Size: 5", 1.1", 20mm Number: 4, 4, 5 Method of control: Director Method spotting: Direct 8. Ammunition expended: 80 rounds 5" 9. Percent service allowance expended: 5% 10. Approximate time tracking to first shot: 2 minutes 11. Approximate time of first hits: - - - 12. Approximate time first shot to last shot: - - - 13. Approximate position angle open fire: 40° 14. Approximate position cease fire: 15. Approximate bearing first shot: 135° 16. Approximate bearing last shot: 90° 17. Approximate range first shot: 2,000 yards 18. Approximate range last shot: 2,000 yards 19. Approximate altitude of bomb release: 50' Type of bomb: - - - 20. Approximate Range Torpedo Release: 1000 Size: - - - 21. Hits on ship: None Was ship strafed: Yes 22. Number near bomb misses: - - - Casualties from near misses: - - 23. Planes shot down: (Sure) 2 (Possible) - - (Damaged) 2 24. Details of damage to target by gunfire if available: One plane shot down by 5" battery, one with 20mm gun. 25. Performance of ammunition (excellent, good, bad, poor): Excellent 26. Pattern sizes (large, small excessive): No hits obtained on our forces. SKETCH (a) Indicate direction of attack relative to ship's bearing. (b) Show relative position of sun. (c.) Indicate own maneuvers..
NOVEMBER 13, 1942.
(a) Task Group 67.4 - SAN FRANCISCO (Admiral Callaghan), PORTLAND, ATLANTA (Admiral Scott), HELENA, JUNEAU, GUSHING, LAFFEY, STERRETT, O'BANNON, AARON WARD, BARTON, MONSSEN, and FLETCHER. Major task force to which assigned - Task Force 67. (b) Comtaskfor 67 Operation Plan A23-42; Comtaskfor 67 despatch 100400 of Nov., 1942; Comtaskgroup 67.4. despatch 120615 of November, 1942; and Comsopac despatch 120133 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 09°06'00" S., Long. 160°11'00" E. 1200 2000 Course - Speed (e) Proceeding in company with other ships of Task Group 67.4. through Lunga Channel in search of enemy force reported approaching area. At 0140 joined in battle with enemy force in area north of Guadalcanal and to Eastward of Savo Island. Details of battle are given in action report attached hereto. At 0630 taken in tow by YP boat from Tulagi and assisted to anchorage off Macombo Island, Tulagi Harbor. Doctors and hospital attendants from Tulagi removed seriously wounded to hospital at Tulagi. At 0830 anchored off Macombo Island. At 1330 deceased members of crew taken ashore for burial. At 1500 Chaplain Fitzgerald officiated at burial services for the 14 deceased men of the ship's crew killed in the action with the enemy. Our men were buried in Cemetery No. 1, Old Radio Station, (White Beach), Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
November 14, 1942
(a) No task unit designation. Task Force 67. (b) (c) (d) At anchor. (e) Underway at 0800 being assisted by YP boat in shifting berths. At 0845 anchored astern of MacFARLAND with port side nearest the beach. Secured bow and stern to trees on beach using manila lines. Put out kedge anchors on starboard quarter. Covered over ship with green branches out from trees along beach to camouflage ship and conceal it from easy view of enemy planes. Continued overhaul and repair of boilers and auxiliary machinery, and welding over holes in hull.
November 15, 1942
(a) No task unit designation. Task Force 67. (b) (c) (d) At anchor. (e) Anchored throughout repair and overhaul over holes in hull. day continuing with necessary work on machinery and welding Continued camouflaging ship.
November 16, 1942
(a) No task unit designation. Task Force 67. (b) (c) (d) At anchor. (e) Anchored throughout repair and overhaul over holes in hull. day continuing with necessary work on machinery and welding Continued camouflaging ship.
November 17, 1942
(a) No task unit designation. Task Force 67. (b) (c) (d) At anchor. (e) Anchored throughout repair and overhaul over holes in hull. day continuing with necessary work on machinery and welding Continued camouflaging ship.
NOVEMBER 18, 1942.
(a) Task Unit 62.5.8, (AARON WARD, HOVEY, and Kopara). Task Force 62. (b) Comtaskfor 62 despatches 162030 and 152346, both of November, 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 2000 Lat. 09°20'08" S., Long. 160°31'03" E. (e) Continued repairs to machinery and hull. At 1330 survivors from the WALKE and PRESTON and several ambulatory patients came aboard for further transfer to Button. Underway at 1540 being assisted by tug in unmooring. Tug cast off her lines at 1550 and ship proceeded to anchorage in Tulagi harbor. Anchored at 1600. Underway at 1650 with HOVIT and Kopara proceeding to Button, HOVEY and AARON WARD screening Kopara.
NOVEMBER 19, 1942.
(a) Task Unit 62.5.8 (AARON WARD, HOVEY, and Kopara). Task Force 62. (b) Comtaskfor 62 despatches 162030 and 152346, both of Nov. 1942. (c ) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 10°53'00" S., Long. 16l°40'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 11°12'00" S., Long. l62°23'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 1l°55'00" S., Long. 163°54'00" E. Course Speed (e) Exercised the crew at general quarters stations, gun, engineering casualties, and damage control drills while at general quarters stations. HOVEY and AARON WARD screened Kopara throughout day and night.
NOVEMBER 20, 1942.
(a) Task Unit 62.5.8. Task Force 62. (b) CTF 62 despatches 162030 and 152346, both of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 13°01'00" S., Long. 165°25'00" E. 1200 - Lat. 13°27'00" S., Long. 166°09'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 14°27,00" S., Long. 167°03'00" E. Course and speed since previous noon: Course 121 Speed 11.3. knots. (e) Exercised crew at general quarters stations, gun, engineering and damage control casualty drills from one hour prior sunrise until sunrise. AARON WARD and HOVEY screened Kopara throughout day and night proceeding to Button.
NOVEMBER 21, 1942.
(a) Task Unit 62.5.8. Task Force 62. (b) CTF 62 despatches 162030 and 152346, both of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) (e) Exercised crew at general quarters stations, gun, engineering and damage control casualty drills from one hour prior sunrise until sunrise. At 0520 stood into Bruat Channel, proceeding to anchorage at Button. At 0600 entered Segond Channel and was directed to fuel from Sabine. Went alongside Sabine at 0635 and commenced fueling ship. Completed fueling at 0845. Personnel from repair ship came aboard at 1015 and surveyed the battle damage. At 1125 got underway and proceeded to mooring along Rigel's port side. At 1210 moored starboard side to alongside Rigel. Tender commenced emergency battle damage repairs. Survivors were all transferred to the Rigel.
N0VEMBER 22, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
N0VEMBER 23, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
N0VEMBER 24, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
N0VEMBER 25, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
N0VEMBER 26, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
N0VEMBER 27, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button undergoing emergency battle damage repairs.
NOVEMBER 28, 1942.
(a) No task unit designation. No task force. assignment. (b) (c) (d) (e) Alongside tender at Button. Tender completed emergency battle repairs. Underway from alongside tender at 1008. Proceeded alongside Sabine. Moored to her port side at 1029 and commenced fueling. Completed fueling and cleared tankers side at 1100. Moored to starboard side of Zane at 1120
NOVEMBER 29, 1942.
(a) No Task Unit designation. No major Task Force assignment. (b) Comsopac despatch 272332 of Nov., 1942. (c) Departed with Task Unit 62.4.2, consisting of Betelgeuse and MUSTIN enroute White Poppy. (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 15°33'0l" S., Long. 167°13'03" E. 1200 - Lat. 16°09'00" S., Long. 167°44'01" E. 2000 - Lat. 17°48'08" S., Long. 167°26'04" E. (e) At anchor in Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo. Underway at 0742 in accordance with Comsopac despatch 272332, Nov., 1942 and proceeded out of harbor. At 0905 AARON WARD and MUSTIN formed screen on Betelgeuse and set course for Noumea, New Caledonia. Maintained screening position on Betelgeuse's starboard bow throughout the day and night.
NOVEMBER 30, 1942.
(a) No Task Unit designation. No major Task Force assigned. (b) Comsopac despatch 272332 of Nov., 1942. (c) (d) Positions: 0800 - Lat. 20°35'07" S., Long. 168°12'02" E. 1200 - Lat. 21°23'04" S., Long. 168°32'00" E. 2000 - Lat. 22°59'00" S., Long. 167°58'03" E. Course and speed made good since noon preceding day: Course 165° Speed 13.3 knots. (e) Exercised crew at general quarters stations from one hour prior sunrise until sunrise. Simulated gun and engineering casualties, and damage control drills while at general quarters stations. AARON WARD and MUSTIN screening Betelgeuse enroute Noumea, New Caledonia, and continued in this status throughout the day and night.

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ACTION REPORT
USS AARON WARD DD-483 SERIAL 003 20 NOVEMBER 1942
REPORT OF ACTION, NIGHT OF 12-13 NOVEMBER 1942.
REPORT OF PARTICIPATION IN CRUISER NIGHT ACTION PHASE OF BATTLE WITH THE ENEMY OFF SAVO ISLAND NIGHT 12-13 NOVEMBER 1942. SHIP HIT NINE TIMES-AND TOWED TO TULAGI FOLLOWING THE ACTION WITH 12 KILLED AND 60 WOUNDED. DD483/A16-3(1) Serial # SD/TS133
Care Postmaster, San Francisco, Calif. November 20, 1942.
From: Commanding Officer. To: Commander SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE. Via: (1) Commander Destroyer Squadron 12. (2) Commander Task Force 67. Subject: U.S.S. AARON WARD (DD483) - Report of Action, Night of November 12-13 1942. Enclosure: (A) Track of U.S.S. AARON WARD, 1. This action report is divided into the following headings: (a) Composition of Force. (b) Chronological order of events, as observed by this vessel. (c) Damage inflicted upon ARRON WARD. (d) Casualties. (e) Comment. (f) Recommendations. A. COMPOSITION OF FORCE. 1. This vessel was assigned to Task Force 67.4, and other vessels in the force were as follows: Group 1 - CUSHING, LAFFEY, STERRETT, O'BANNON, under Commander Stokes; Group 2 - SAN FRANCISCO, (Admiral Callaghan), ATLANTA (Admiral Scott), PORTLAND, HELENA and JUNEAU; Group 3 - AARON WARD, BARTON, MONSSEN, and FLETCHER under Captain Tobin; entire Task Force under Admiral Callaghan 2. Just before the action, vessels were in battle formation in the following order: CUSHING, LAFFEY, STERRETT, O'BANNON, ATLANTA, SAN FRANCISCO, PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, AARON WARD, BARTON, MONSSEN, FLETCHER. B. CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS AS OBSERVED BY THIS VESSEL. 1. The times given below are in some oases approximated, but it is believed that they are close to times at which events were observed 0125 - Vessels of Task Force 67.4 were in one single column, on course 280° T., speed 18, in order shown above 0129 - Changed course to 310° T. Numerous radar contacts ahead were reported by other vessels of our formation. 0145 - Changed course to 000° T. Enemy ships reported on each bow ahead. This ship obtained radar range bearing 315° relative, distant 12,000 yards, by use of FD Radar. 0149 - Commenced firing on enemy vessel believed to be a battleship, bearing 310° relative, distant 7,000 yards. Observed many small fires and explosions, but it is not certain whether they were started by this vessel. 0153 - Checked fire as sky was illuminated and it appeared that our cruisers had changed course to the left. The area was fairly well illuminated for a short while. Ship had fired approximately ten salvoes at this time 0155 - Stopped and backed both engines. Immediately after checking fire, the director was trained ahead in order to get ranges so as to avoid collisions. This ship was closing in first upon a vessel, and when the radar range became 1200 yards, the engines were stopped and backed. 0156 - Two torpedoes were observed by the men on the torpedo tubes to pass under this ship, from port to starboard. 0157 - A destroyer, apparently the BARTON, blew up and sunk immediately. She was close on our starboard side, distance about 1000 yards, bearing 130° relative. 0158 - Another ship, forward of the starboard beam, apparently a cruiser, rolled over on her side and sank, distance about 1,500 yards. 0159 - Prepared to fire torpedo battery on a battleship or heavy cruiser to port, bearing about 265° relative, target angle 180° T., but did not fire due to sighting cruiser believed to be SAN FRANCISCO, bearing 280° relative, target angle 270° distance about 1500 yards. 0204 - Destroyer, believed to be STERRETT, was observed heading directly toward our port side. Went ahead flank and applied hard left rudder to avoid being hit. When clear, resumed course 000° T., speed 18. 0206 - Commenced firing on a large destroyer or light cruiser, distance 3,000 yards. This ship is believed to have been a cruiser of the "KATORI" class. Ship was showing fighting lights of a single cluster, white over red over green. On "commence firing", the relative bearing was 010°. Course was changed to left to approximately 315° in order for battery to bear. Fired about 25 salvoes before "checking fire" in order to shift to new target. This ship definitely was seen to blow up and sink. 0209 - Immediately after the above ship was sunk, shifted to a searchlight bearing 340° relative. Course was changed to right in order for guns to bear, and ship opened fire. This searchlight had been trained on us for about two minutes, and it appeared ship was distant about 3,000 yards. Four salvoes were fired from the director control, which was then hit. Guns continued to fire in local control by manual, firing approximately seven salvoes. This target was believed to a destroyer. Fires were started, and small explosions were noted. 0213 - Guns 2 and 4 then opened fire on another searchlight bearing about 120° relative, range about 3,000 yards. This searchlight had been trained on us for about three or four minutes. Small fires were observed to start. Guns 1 and 3 continued fire on search light first observed. 0214 - Searchlights went out and guns ceased firing. 0215 - This vessel was brilliantly illuminated by star shells and a searchlight on the port quarter. More shells started falling close aboard us. We could not identify ships near us as our own, so went ahead flank speed to clear this immediate area as enemy had apparently identified us. 0216 - Observed torpedo crossing about 50 feet ahead, passing from port to starboard. 0225 - Lost steering control and attempted to change course to, steering with engines. 0230 - Battle was over. 0235 - Lost all power; ship dead in the water. 0235 - During this period the ship was dead in the water. The forward to engineroom was flooded with salt water and feed water was gone. 0500 Salt water was pumped into tanks by means of gasoline pump, and boilers were again lighted off. 0500 - Underway at about five knots, headed in the direction of Sea Lark Channel. This speed was maintained for about half an hour, at which time ship was dead in the water again. 0510 - Our PT boats came close and this ship signaled them by blinker tube to ask Tulagi for a tug to stand by us. 0600 - Sighted an enemy battleship between Savo and Florida Island, distant about 26,000 yards. This ship was slowly steaming in circles. Also sighted ATLANTA, PORTLAND, CUSHING and MONSSEN. These ships were still afloat and were in the direction of Guadalcanal. MONSSEN and CUSHING were burning. There was also an enemy destroyer near Cape Esperance which was burning and which was later sunk by PORTLAND. 0618 - Got underway again at about 5 knots. 0620 - BOBOLINK arrived and signaled to her to stand by to take us in tow. 0630 - Enemy battleship fired a total of four 2-gun salvoes at us. Enemy was using an up-ladder and third salvo straddled the ship. After fourth salvo, friendly planes started working on battleship and she fired no more at this ship. 0635 - Lost power again, and BOBOLINK took us in tow. 0650 - BOBOLINK cast off and YP took us in tow. 0830 - Anchored in Tulagi Harbor near Makambo Island. C. DAMAGE INFLICTED ON AARON WARD. 1. Nine direct hits were received in the following locations, principal damage incurred by each hit being listed below. Amount of damage as listed is not complete, as in all probability, as other equipment is placed in commission and further inspection made, other damage will be discovered: (a) Director. Shall come from port side, hitting director near radar antenna. Shrapnel holes torn through top, back and sides of director, rangefinder, range spot transmitter, FD radar antennas, FD control indicator, FD control unit, receiver unit and coaxial lines. Some cables cut. Fire started. Estimated size of shell - 5". (b) Base of director. Shell entered from port side, pierced cleanly through to starboard side and through lookout shield, exploding after passing through this point. Damaged 24" searchlight and cut some telephone cables. Size of shell estimated to be 5". (c) FRAME61-64, port side, at stateroom 0101. A hole approximately 30" x 30" was scored in the outboard bulkhead. Furnishings in the room were demolished. Fire started. Shrapnel pierced chart stowage, bulkhead of radar room, vent duct at frame 51, port and starboard bulkheads along passage A-0103-CL, transmitter trunks to Radio 1, TBK and TBL transmitters, RSB and crew's broadcast receiver, and caused many shrapnel holes in deck of bridge. This hit cut the major portion of OCL and OCJ power cables, fire control cables to main battery director, torpedo director, telephone circuits, and steering control circuits in trunk line. Estimated size of shell - 14" bombardment. (d) Foremast. Shell came from port side. The foremast was sheered off above stay ring; SG radar antennae demolished, all antennae carried away. Damaged port 24" searchlight. Flag bag riddle with shrapnel. Estimated size of shell - 5". (e) Frames 57-60. outboard of galley. port side. Hole 30" in diameter between frames 57-60. Shrapnel holes in deck and all bulkheads of galley. Water lines were broken, causing plotting room to flood to 10". Shrapnel holes in galley sinks, galley lower half-door, inboard center-line galley bulkhead and through wardroom pantry door. Fire control cables to main battery director, telephone circuits, CCL and QCJ cables in trunks were broken. Damaged galley control and wiring circuits. Estimated size of shell - 14" bombardment. (f) Frame 67, port side, just aft of galley. 33" hole in weather bulwark aft of frame 67. Shrapnel holes in after bulkhead of galley, galley ranges, midships deck house, laundry extractor and drier. Wrecked potato locker. Broke hydraulic line for remote control gear to depth charge racks. Broke fire control cable to torpedo director. Estimated size of shell - 14" bombardment. (g) Stern of Gig. Port side. Stern compartment demolished. Shrapnel holes in #1 stack and midships deck house. Estimated size of shell - 5". (h) Frame 95-100, port side, hitting main weather deck above engineroom and torpedo workshop. This hit cut fire control cables to torpedo tubes, telephone circuits and firing circuits. Shrapnel holes were sustained in two torpedo tube barrels, dents in all barrels. Holes were made in watertight door to torpedo workshop, bulkheads of diesel generator room, and vent set 1-97-2 was demolished. In the engineroom, rivet heads were driven inward against A.C. bus bars on forward distribution board, shorting out the forward boards. Small fires were started in mattresses in diesel generator room. Estimated size of shell - 8" high explosive. (i) 1.1 Gun. All four breech mechanisms and all ready service boxes were destroyers, shell coming from port side. Shrapnel holes were sustained in deck and shield, frames 130-136, starboard. Damaged TBL transmitter and control gear, carried away emergency transmitting and receiving antennae, and cut all cables to gun. Fire started around gun and on main deck. Estimated size of shell - 8" high explosive. 2. In addition, many items of equipment, too numerous to mention, were destroyed. 3. In the engineroom, electric power was lost when the shell hit on top of the compartment. During the firing before this, three pipe plugs were blown out, one on the main condenser injection line, one on the outlet line to generator oil cooler, and one on suction line to evaporator feed pump. Salt water entered the forward engineroom from these and flooded the engineroom 3 feet above the floor plates. At the time of last hit before going dead in the water, the ship was making 30 knots. When steering failed, there was 15° right rudder applied, and ship was steaming in circles. Attempt was made to maneuver ship by engines. During these speed changes it was it was necessary to open atmospheric exhaust, thereby losing the feed water, as the auxiliaries were still running at maximum speed. After this, the ship lost all power and it was necessary to pump salt water into the feed system in order to attempt to move. D. CASUALTIES. 1. Twelve men were killed in action; two died on way to hospital. 2. Seven men were wounded, one of them died after arrival at hospital. 3. Nineteen men were wounded and twenty-four had superficial wounds. 4. Among the officers, two were wounded and six had superficial wounds. 5. Total casualties. Killed in action 12 Died as results of wounds 3 Seriously wounded 6 Wounded 21 Superficial wounded 30 TOTAL 72 6. The men were killed in the following locations: 1.1 - 5 Emergency Radio - 1 Director - 2 Galley - 2 Torp. Tubes - 1 W.R. Pantry - 1 #2 20-mm. - 1 Repair Party - 2 7. Men were wounded as a result of every hit. E. COMMENT. 1. General Situation. Our force had been screening our own transports who had been unloading at Guadalcanal during the previous day. At 1830 on November 12, 1942, our forces retired to eastward through Sea Lark Channel. About 2217 reversed course and stood back through Lengo Channel in order to intercept any Japanese force that might attempt to attack Guadalcanal that night. About 0130 our forces received numerous radar contacts ahead. The Japanese force consisted of one or two battleships, several cruisers and destroyers. 2. It is believed that the enemy was taken completely by surprise. 3. This ship had no previous indication that the large enemy force was in the near vicinity. 4. The enemy force apparently used principally bombardment ammunition. It is believed they expected no opposition that night, and had this ammunition set up for bombardment of the Marine position on Guadalcanal and other shore installations. 5. The enemy used both starshell and searchlights. Searchlights were kept on for comparatively long periods of time, which gave us an opportunity to get accurate ranges and a good point of aim. 6. The enemy firing was not as accurate as our own. Many near misses fell around the ship. 7. FD Radar only was used. The SC Radar was not used as ranges are not considered satisfactory below 2000 yards. 8. The use of the FD Radar, trained dead a head during lulls in firing, was a large factor in avoiding damage by collision. 9. No torpedoes were fired. This vessel was in the after group of destroyers. During the first part of the action, no suitable target could be found. During the latter part of the engagement, the position of all our forces was not definitely known, and it was therefore considered inadvisable to fire. 10. The torpedo officer, due to his location, is frequently blinded by flashes from the forward guns, and it is sometimes very difficult for him to identify targets. 11. This vessel went through the entire enemy formation. Many shells passed overhead, indicating the enemy ships were firing at each other. 12. While the enemy cruiser was being sunk by this ship, it is evident that we were recognized as unfriendly by others of the enemy, as we were brilliantly illuminated after this and then received a major part of the damage. Going ahead 30 knots at this time apparently saved the ship. 13. Another factor instrumental in saving the ship after the night action was the fact that the engineers force got the ship moving ahead slowly just before daylight. This increased the range from the enemy battleship, making her fire less effective. 14. Starshells are considered to be of little use if the range can be obtained by radar or other means. Hitting the other ship first not only creates confusion, puts some of their equipment out of commission, but also starts fires which provide the necessary illumination. 15. The volume of fire of our ship was much greater than that of the enemy. 16. During the action there was so much conversation coming over the TBS, and the noise was so great, that very little of the information reached the commanding officer. However, it is believed most all of the important information was obtained. 17. Communications on this vessel between different ship's stations was considered excellent. 18. The performance of the officers and crew during and following the action was considered excellent. Separate letters of recommendations for awards are being forwarded. 19. Our recognition lights are considered to be superior to the enemy lights. 20. After losing electric power below, the heat in the enginerooms was almost unbearable. 21. Kapok life jackets were some protection against shrapnel, but a few caught fire in spite of having previously been fire-proofed. 22. The need for two or three long telephones leads with handsets already made up was again evident. 23. The auxiliary ladder outside the bridge to the main deck was also found to be necessity, as one of the ladders leading below was severely damaged, and it would have been practically impossible to get below any other way. 24. No major fires were started on this vessel. The few which were started were quickly extinguished by the repair parties before reaching any major proportions. The largest fires were located near the 1.1 gun, where some of the ammunition blew up and two depth charges were blown open. 25. Total rounds fired from 5" guns was 215. F. RECOMMENDATIONS. 1. A radar should be installed for conning use only, capable of taking short ranges. 2. A splinter shield should be placed on torpedo tubes around the trainers seat and controls. 3. A suitable type of director should be mounted on the torpedo tubes for use in night action. 4. Any time night action may even be suspected, the ship should be at general quarters. 5. In the engineroom, the electric motors on the lower level, which were under water, were all made inoperative by the flooding. It is recommended that all these motors be made watertight. Flooded motors were: Evaporator system 4 Auxiliary Circulating Pump 1 Aux. Condensate & Booster 1 Cruising Conens. & Booster 1 6. It is recommended that emergency generators be reinstalled. There should be some method of supplying power to the engineroom blowers; also steering gear, and other essential equipment. 7. It is recommended that the old system of bell-pulls be reinstalled. During the time in which the ship had power and steering by engines, word was passed to the engineroom by forming a chain of men. The power cables were cut, and engine telegraphs were out of commission. 8. Feed water manifolds should be in the engineroom instead of the fireroom. This will give the engineroom control over the tanks. As it is now stands, if a tank becomes dry and communication is lost, it is necessary to send a man to the fireroom to cut in another tank. 9. Nearly all power cables for the bridge and director run up through a single trunk, near the center-line of the ship. Practically all of these cables were severed by hits (c) and (e) above. It is recommended that as many cables as possible be divided, or that trunk be armored.
KILLED IN ACTION
BENEGAR, Ivory H., CCStd 346-48-58, USN BRISSON, Kenneth C., Sea.2c 606-26-51, USNR COFER, John J., Sea.1c 268-98-31, USN HESS, George B., F.2c 614-18-07, USNR LESNESKI, Martin, E., SC 3c 250-71-88, USN MANN, Earl W. H., F.1c 283-54-24, USN MORRIS, Charles E., RM 3c 658-00-71, USNR POYTHRESS, Joseph E. Jr. GM2c 268-22-39, USN RAVIN, Tohn C., TM1c 393-27-30, USN RUDOLPH, Henry F., F. 1c 266-31-12, USN SCHNIEDER, Paul B., Sea.1c 620-03-22, USNR SEALE, J. (n), Sea.2c 622-54-46, USNR WALLNER, Frank L., Sea.2c 610-77-90, USNR
DIED AS RESULT OF WOUNDS
RIVERA, Timoteo (n), OS2c 497-97-01, USN SCHLEHER, Paul A., FC1c 316-52-28, USN
SERIOUSLY WOUNDED
ASERCION, Anselmo (n) OS1c (F4D) l0l-19-50, USN COFFMAN, William T., TM2c 321-30-14, USN GREEN, Marion (n) OC1c 261-88-57, USN GRIFFIN, Melvin R., SM2c 279-60-47, USN HAINES, George E., RM1c 375-85-99, USN MOODY, Theodore J., Sea.1c 202-20-94, USN
WOUNDED
BOWEN, James W., FC2c 266-18-22, USN COWART, John L., SOM3c 636-10-90 USNR COX, Thomas, J. Jr., Sea.2c 283-69-17, USN DRILCOLL, Edward F., F.2c 200-36-03, USN ENGSTER, Alfred H., Sea.2c 283-69-17, USN ESSLINGER, Robert J., Lieut-Comdr., USN EYLAR, Allen A., SC2c 356-05-80, USN FERGUSON, Roy W., MM1c 283-16-41, USN FETZER, Ralph A. Jr., Sea.1c 614-17-35, USNR FISH, Walter G., F.1c 214-77-36, USN FLUHART, Bernard F., Sea.2c 614-16-85, USNR FOSTER, Antonio L., Sea.2c 606-25-04, USNR HAGEN, Robert Chris, Lieut.(Jg), D-V(G), USNR HAINES, George E., RM1c 375-85-99, USN JONES, Junius C., Sea.1c 262-63-54, USN LANDRUM, Otis H. TM3c 265-94-14, USN MacCORMACK, John E., Jr., Sea.2c 600-03-76, USNR MANSFIELD, Richard G., SOM3c 640-11-59, USNR MC GRADY, John S., CTM(AA) 265-60-42, USN NIGLIO, Albert M., SM3c 243-53-78, USN PICHETTE, Paul E., SC3c 666-10-20, USNR QUINN, John Henry, CWT(AA) 261-30-00, USN REYNOLDS, Murry W., CEM(PA) 201-23-59, USN BITTER, Charles, (n) CTM(PA)F-4-D 183-62-23 RET., USN SMITH, Luther L., TM3c 337-44-98, USN WEBER, Nathaniel M., F.3c 620-40-31, USNR WESPETAL, Stephen 0. Sea.2c 610-71-74, USNR WICHMANN, Ernest C., SF1c 375-70-41, USN WINGATE Virgil R., SOM3c 269-11-52, USN WRAY, Alford K., WT1c 346-42-31, USN ZELIFF, Donald F., F.1c 223-33-69, USN
SUPERFICIAL WOUNDS TREATED ON BOARD SHIP
BANE, C.L. CCStd. (PA). BECK, F.E. RM3c DEITZ, W.B. F.2c EWING, G.E. F.3c FARNSWORTH, M.C. GM2c HART, F.T. SM1c HENSEL, A.W. CMsmth. (AA) LASKOWSKI, J.S. BM2c MANGERIAN, H.J. Sea.2c MARSHALL, J. CRM.(AA) MARSHALL, W.L. F.2c MC GINNIS, T.E. Sea.1c MC NULTY, A.J. CMM. (PA) ROY, A.W. CPhM(PA) SEHLER, C.T. CY (PA) CONANT, E.R. Lieut (jg) D-V(G) USNR HILL, F.C. Ensign. USN LE BARON, W.F. Ensign. D-V(G) USNR MOLITOR, C.M. Lieut. D-V(G) USNR TRUESDELL, S.S. Lieut. E-M USNR WEATHERUP, R.A. Lieut. USN WESTPHALL, J.A. Ensign. E-V USNR



U. S. S. AARON WARD
DD483/A16-3 Serial #007 C/c Postmaster, San Francisco Calif., December 30, 1942. From: Commanding Officer. To : Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Subject: USS AARON WARD - Night Action of November 12-13, 1942 - Recommendations regarding. Reference: (a) Verbal conversation with Cincpac. 1. In accordance with reference (a), the following information is submitted: (A) COMMENTS ON EVENTS AS OBSERVED RECOMMENDATIONS. (B) RECOMMENDATIONS. (A) COMMENTS ON EVENTS AS OBSERVED. 1. On the afternoon preceding the action, at about 1800 local time, the orders stating the battle formation, as used during the night, were received. At about 1830 our ships took this formation, and held this formation until the action. No other orders were received prior to this time and none were received later. 2. No reports of the enemy were received on board during the day, except the advance notice that planes were coming down. The first indications of the presence of the enemy were known about 0130. These were broadcast over the TBS by the HELENA. 3. In this particular engagement, it is believed that the surprise element was a large factor in accomplishing the mission. Due to all of our forces in this area having been seen, by the Japanese who were to the westward of Lunga, during the preceding day, it is thought they believed our forces too small to attempt to stop their forces. 4. In night actions among the islands, there is a question whether to keep some destroyers well advanced of the formation or close to the main body. Due to the limited size of this particular area, where the enemy forces were expected, it is not considered that scouts were necessary here. Enemy vessels coming into this area would normally have one of two objectives: Either to land troops or bombard the airfield and would therefore probably head for one of these two positions. If some of the destroyers are well advanced, their area of operation must be known and the remainder of our ships should keep out of this area, due to the danger of firing on our own forces. In this particular place, if advanced destroyers were used, it is believed they should have been kept outside of Savo Island. From here, they could have delivered a torpedo attack and retired in a northerly or southerly direction. Likewise, if PT Boats are , they must have a definite area to operate in and our other ships should keep out of this area. 5. If there is any chance oft success, torpedoes should be used to the fullest extent. The destroyers should go in as close as possible, for the torpedoes to be effective. The ideal condition, if the night were dark, would be for the destroyers to stay outside the visible range and deliver their attack. This distance might be too far on a very clear night. In any case, it is believed that the destroyers should close to about 5000 yards before delivering their attack. After delivering their attack, the destroyers should retire in a direction away from that necessary for the cruisers to deliver their attack. If the situation is such that it is not considered that a destroyer attack would be effective, then the destroyers should follow the heavier ships in after they have completed their attack, bearing it in mind that it is extremely difficult to identify ships after action has begun. 6. The only destroyers present equipped with SG Radar were the FLETCHER and the O'BANNON. The SC and FID radars are not considered to be good search radars in this area due to the proximity of land. 7. During the action there was and is always likely to be very much conversation on the TBS. After commencing firing there is always so much noise, that important messages may be missed. 8. Fire was opened using radar ranges, which was considered to be the proper procedure. If early hits are obtained fires will usually be started and additional illumination may not be necessary. 9. Our fighting lights are not considered to be satisfactory under many conditions. They are very bright and may quickly reveal the identity of the ship to the wrong ships. 10. Although no rendezvous after the battle was given, it was customary for our ships to retire to the eastward through Lengo or Sealark Channels. (B) RECOMMENDATIONS. This attack might have been better accomplished If the following areas had been assigned to different forces: AREA "A" - Destroyers; O'BANNON (Leader) CDD-9 CUSHING STERRETT MONSSEN AREA "B" - PT Boats - 5 were available at the time. AREA "C" - Destroyers and cruisers in the formation as shown below: FLETCHER BARTON AARON LAYFEY HELENA SAN FRAN- PORT- JUNEAU ATLANTA CDS-12 WARD (Adm. CISCO. LAND Callaghan) 1. The advantages of this are as follows: (a) If the destroyers are able to deliver a satisfactory torpedo attack in the Area "A", this will cripple some of their ships and throw them into some confusion. Not as many ships would therefore get through. (b) The PT Boats with 4 torpedoes each should be able to do some effective work as the ships passed on either side of SAVO ISLAND. Even though some of the enemy ships were damaged by the initial torpedo attack, the others would have doubtlessly stood on in to accomplish their mission. (c) The destroyers and cruisers in Area "C" would be in position to attack the remaining forces coming in. It is considered that the ideal situation to be obtained here would be for the destroyers to be in position to deliver a torpedo attack at the same time that the cruisers opened fire. This would create confusion in the enemy ranks, forcing him to cut down his maneuvers to avoid torpedoes. It is realized that this situation is sometimes very difficult to obtain and may not be obtained if there is a heavy screen around the large ships, or if our ships are surprised. (d) All leaders would be on ships with the better radars. This would allow them to get a better picture of the situation without too much conversation over the TBS, and deliver their attacks using this information. 2. If the forces are kept together during the search and it is not desired to use advanced units, it is believed the following formation might be more satisfactory for the following reasons: (a) The formation is more compact, keeping the forces closer together while maneuvering around the islands. (b) Both groups of destroyers are in position to deliver torpedo attacks if this is desired. One group may follow the other group in on the side in which it is desired to deliver the attack or more than one group of enemy ships may be attacked simultaneously by torpedoes. (c) Either group may quickly take position astern by use of turn signals. The principal disadvantage of this formation is that in case of surprise fire by enemy forces on our own forces, half of the destroyer fire would be blanked off. It is not believed that this would happen with the use of SG Radar. 3. If the information is available, all ships should be informed of the possible enemy forces that may be encountered during the night. Also, as far as practicable, our own units should know in general what out other units might expect to do. 4. It is believed that the TBS should be augmented with an additional keyed circuit. All important messages should be sent over this circuit also. It is not considered that a light in any form would be satisfactory for maneuvering. 5. It is considered that fighting lights should be portable and directional. In case of damage around the bridge, the lights probably could not be turned on.



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