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.

Back to the top




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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