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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NELX

Displacement 1,154 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 2 x 1pdr AA (1 x 3"/23AA In Some Ships), 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 24,200 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 103.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath Me. on August 1 1918.
Launched April 10 1919 and commissioned April 21 1919.
Decommissioned at San Diego on June 17 1922.
Recommissioning on May 24 1930.
Decommissioned again on April 1937.
Recommissioned for the final time on September 30 1939.
Decommissioned and transferred to Britain September 9 1940, renamed HMS Castleton (I23).
Stricken January 8 1941.
Fate Broken up for scrap in 1947.

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Ward 87kAaron Ward was born on 10 October 1851 in Philadelphia, Pa. Following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1871, he was ordered to California on the Pacific station. He next served in Brooklyn in the West Indies from 1873 to 1874, before reporting to Franklin on the European station. Ward served a tour of duty at the Naval Academy from 1876 to 1879. Next he served with the Constitution training squadron in 1879 through 1882. Ward was occupied with various professional duties at the torpedo station in Newport, R.I., and the New York Navy Yard through 1885. From 1885 to 1888 he was stationed in Hartford and Monongehela on the Pacific station. Between 1889 and 1894, Ward served as naval attaché in Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg. He sailed with New York in the West Indies and Brazil until 1894, and in San Francisco in the Mediterranean through 1896. During the Spanish-American War, Ward commanded Wasp. Commended for gallantry, he was advanced to lieutenant commander for conspicuous service at the Battle of Santiago. He then commanded Panther for a year in the West Indies, followed by service as chief of staff to the Asiatic station commander. From 1901 to 1908, Ward commanded Yorktown, Don Juan de Austria, and Pennsylvania successively. He served for one year as supervisor of the harbor at New York before becoming an aide to the Secretary of the Navy in 1909. In 1910 Ward was promoted to rear admiral. In 1911 he became second in command of the Atlantic Fleet. Rear Admiral Ward retired on 10 October 1913. He died on 5 July 1918, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.Tony Cowart/Robert M. Cieri/Bill Gonyo
Ward 97kUndated, location unknown.Robert Hurst
Ward 105kUndated, location unknown. USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) and USS Abel P.Upshur (DD-193).Gerd Matthes
Philip   Philip
Undated, maneuvers by the USS Philip (DD-76), USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) and USS Greer (DD-145).
Frank Hoak III, Captain US Navy retired
Ward 56kPhoto #: NH 57701, USS Aaron Ward (Destroyer # 132) off the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, 10 April 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Ward 51kPhoto #: NH 98488, USS Aaron Ward (Destroyer # 132) at Boston, Massachusetts, 23 April 1919. Panoramic photograph by J. Crosby, Naval Photographer, 11 Portland St., Boston, Mass. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Crosby Collection. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Ward 112kUSS Aaron Ward (Destroyer # 132) an officer and two sailors stand watch over the flag-draped caskets of Army Lieutenants Cecil H. Connolly and Waterhouse Weiser, on board the destroyer in November 1919. The two Army fliers were killed when their plane crashed while searching for other lost aviators in Mexico. Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 69018.Robert Hurst
Ward 108kThirteenth Destroyer Division Officers & Crews on board their ships in San Diego Harbor, California, 6 December 1919. Signalmen are sending semaphore messages from atop the ships' bridges. Panoramic photograph by O.A. Tunnell, Masonic Temple Building, San Diego. Ships present are (from left to right): Upshur (Destroyer # 144), Greer (Destroyer # 145), Elliot (Destroyer # 146), Aaron Ward (Destroyer # 132), Buchanan (Destroyer # 131) and Philip (Destroyer # 76). Donation of Captain W.D. Puleston, USN (Retired), 1965. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Ward 64kPhoto #: NH 100414, USS Anthony (DD-172) (center) and USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) (left) photographed circa the early 1920s, probably in San Diego harbor, California. An oiler is visible behind Aaron Ward. Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1985. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Tony Cowart
Ward 107kUSS Aaron Ward (DD-132) Photographed during the early 1920s, probably off the U.S. West Coast. USS Buchanan (DD-131) is at left. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Ward 108k"Old Hen and Chickens" USS Kanawha (AO-1) with thirteen destroyers alongside, off San Diego, California, during the early 1920s. Photographed by Bunnell, 414 E Street, San Diego. Ships present are (from left to right): USS Meade (DD-274); USS Evans (DD-78); USS Kennedy (DD-306); USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); USS Woolsey (DD-77); USS Wickes (DD-75); USS Buchanan (DD-131); USS Kanawha; USS Farquhar (DD-304); USS Paul Hamilton (DD-307); USS Thompson (DD-305); USS Reno (DD-303); USS Stoddert (DD-302) and USS Philip (DD-76) Collection of Chief Quartermaster John Harold, USN. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Red Lead Row 195kRed Lead Row, San Diego Destroyer Base, California. Photographed at the end of 1922, with at least 65 destroyers tied up there. Ships present are identified as: (left to right, in the right diagonal row): Stansbury (DD-180); MacKenzie (DD-175); Renshaw (DD-176); Howard (DD-179); Gillis (DD-260); Tingey (DD-272); McLanahan (DD-264); Swasey (DD-273); Morris (DD-271); Bailey (DD-269); Tattnall (DD-125); Breese (DD-122); Radford (DD-120); Aaron Ward (DD-132) -- probably; Ramsey (DD-124); Montgomery (DD-121); and Lea (DD-118). (left to right, in the middle diagonal row): Wickes (DD-75); Thornton (DD-270); Meade (DD-274); Crane (DD-109); Evans (DD-78); McCawley (DD-276); Doyen (DD-280); Elliot (DD-146); Henshaw (DD-278); Moody (DD-277); Meyer (DD-279); Sinclair (DD-275); Turner (DD-259); Philip (DD-76); Hamilton (DD-141); Boggs (DD-136); Claxton (DD-140); Ward (DD-139); Hazelwood (DD-107) or Kilty (DD-137); Kennison (DD-138); Jacob Jones (DD-130); Aulick (DD-258); Babbitt (DD-128); Twiggs (DD-127); and Badger (DD-126). (left to right, in the left diagonal row): Shubrick (DD-268); Edwards (DD-265); Palmer (DD-161); Welles (DD-257); Mugford (DD-105); Upshur (DD-144); Greer (DD-145); Wasmuth (DD-338); Hogan (DD-178); O'Bannon (DD-177); and -- possibly -- Decatur (DD-341). (Nested alongside wharf in left center, left to right): Prairie (AD-5); Buffalo (AD-8); Trever (DD-339); and Perry (DD-340). Minesweepers just astern of this group are Partridge (AM-16) and Brant (AM-24). Nearest ship in the group of destroyers at far left is Dent (DD-116). The others with her are unidentified. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. : NH 42539 Robert Hurst
Ward 20kCirca 1930's, location unknown.Marc Piché
Ward 86kPhoto #: NH 67553, USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) underway, probably during the 1930s. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Ward 301kBalboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone. Aerial photograph taken 23 April 1934, with U.S. Fleet cruisers and destroyers moored together. Ships present include (left to right in lower left): USS Elliot (DD-146); USS Roper (DD-147); USS Hale (DD-133); USS Dorsey (DD-117); USS Lea (DD-118); USS Rathburne (DD-113); USS Talbot (DD-114); USS Waters (DD-115); USS Dent (DD-116); USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); USS Buchanan (DD-131); USS Crowninshield (DD-134); USS Preble (DD-345); and USS William B. Preston (DD-344). (left to right in center): USS Yarnall (DD-143); USS Sands (DD-243); USS Lawrence (DD-250); (unidentified destroyer); USS Detroit (CL-8), Flagship, Destroyers Battle Force; USS Fox (DD-234); USS Greer (DD-145); USS Barney (DD-149); USS Tarbell (DD-142); and USS Chicago (CA-29), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. (left to right across the top): USS Southard (DD-207); USS Chandler (DD-206); USS Farenholt (DD-332); USS Perry (DD-340); USS Wasmuth (DD-338); USS Trever (DD-339); USS Melville (AD-2); USS Truxtun (DD-229); USS McCormick (DD-223); USS MacLeish (DD-220); USS Simpson (DD-221); USS Hovey (DD-208); USS Long (DD-209); USS Litchfield (DD-336); USS Tracy (DD-214); USS Dahlgren (DD-187); USS Medusa (AR-1); USS Raleigh (CL-7), Flagship, Destroyers Scouting Force; USS Pruitt (DD-347); and USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156); USS Dallas (DD-199); (four unidentified destroyers); and USS Indianapolis (CA-35), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Fabio Peña
Ward 253kUSS Buchanan (DD-131) with USS Arron Ward (DD-132) at a San Francisco pier circa 1939.Darryl Baker
Ward 133kAs above.Darryl Baker
Ward 162kUSS Arron Ward (DD 132) and USS Hale (DD 133) at the Port of Stockton, California circa 1939.Darryl Baker
Ward 48kMare Island October 27 1939, Navy Day, ships are left to right by row: 1st row USS Humphreys (DD 236) and USS King (DD 242); 2nd row USS Buchanan (DD 131), USS Aaron Ward (DD 132) also the USS Lawrence (DD 250) and USS Sands (DD 243) are inboard and are hidden from view.Darryl Baker
On British Service
HMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron ward, DD-132), Castleton commissioned at Halifax, NS, on 9 September 1940 and after refit at Devonport was one of the first ships to enter service, on 9 October 1940, joining 17th Flotiilla of Western Approaches Command at Liverpool. Castleton was also early into action, taking survivors from Daydawn and Victoria when they were sunk in convoy OB244. Two collisions, on 1 and 3 December 1940, sent Castleton to Portsmouth for repair and a small refit, Stage 1 alterations being put in hand. The Portsmouth refit was somewhat prolonged, as the ship received air raid damage on 18 January 1941, but repair was completed and she worked up in the Dartmouth area, completing on 7 March 1941 to join 1st Minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalsh. Here she escorted mining sorties and also acted as local A/S escort for special convoys. She suffered some damage in collision with the minelayer HMS Agamemnon on 27 March 1941, and repaired on the Clyde between 2 April and 1 June 1941. Returning to duty with the Squadron, escort work continued, mainly with Icelandic ferry convoys, during one of which she had the misfortune to have one of her onboard scuttling charges explode. While she was able to continue with the convoy, repairs were needed and were carried out at Newport, Mon, from late November 1941 to April 1942. Returning to Kyle of Lochalsh on completion of repairs, the usual routine of escort duty was interrupted when Castleton was despatched to the aid of an Icelandic trawler. On 28 August an American flying boat surprised and attacked U464 south-east of Iceland. Caught on the surface, the U-Boat was damaged and unable to dive and judging that surface ships would soon arrive, scuttled herself close to an Icelandic trawler. 52 crew members of U464 got onboard, but Castleton and Newark arrived before they were able to take over the ship and endeavour to make a break for Norway. In September 1942, Castleton spent some days as escort for the diving tender HMS Tedworth which was engaged in salvage operations on the Barranca. Castleton detached from the Minelaying Squadron for refit at Cardiff in December 1942 and on completion in March 1943 joined Rosyth Command as the Minelaying Squadron had been disbanded. nevertheless, she still escorted five final minelaying sorties by individual ships and then continued to escort Icelandic ferry convoys. Here, again, she was involved in the collection of U-Boat survivors, picking up members of the crew of U489 on 4 August 1943. later in 1943 Castleton was engaged as an Air Target Ship, but in January 1944 she became part of the Rosyth Escort Force and operated with east coast convoys as an escort. In October 1944 she reverted to Air Target duty until 13 March 1945 when she paid off to lay up at Grangemouth and await disposal. Handed over for scrapping 0n 4. March 1947, she remained in her Grangemouth berth until towed to Bo'ness where she arrived on 2 January 1948 to be broken up by P & W MacLellan Ltd. In 1950 the ship's bell was presented to the town of Castleton, Vermont as a gesture of the Royal Navy's appreciation. (History thanks to Robert Hurst.)
Ward 100kHMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron Ward, DD-132) along with HMS Clare (ex-USS Abel P. Upshur, DD-193) secure alongside a jetty after their arrival in Britain, date and location unknown.Robert Hurst
Ward 86kHMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron Ward, DD-132) and HMS Campbeltown (ex-USS Buchanan, DD-131) alongside in Devonport Dockyard after arriving from the USA in September1940. Bob Hibbert
Ward 95kHMS Castleton (ex-USS Aaron Ward, DD-132) taken on 9 September, 1940 upon transfer to the Royal Navy.Robert Hurst
Ward 122kCirca 1942, on the Clyde while taking on stores from auxiliaries alongside.Robert Hurst
Ward 73kHMS Castleton (I.23) tied up alongside a jetty, May 1942, location unknown. Photo # FL 7650 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.Robert Hurst

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

CDR Raymond Ames Spruance    Apr 21 1919 - Jan 1920 (Later ADM)
LT Samuel Burr Ogden    Jun 23 1921 - Jun 17 1922
(Decommissioned June 17 1922 - May 24 1930)

LCDR Leonard Bynner Austin    May 24 1930 - Jun 8 1931
LCDR Karl Rathbun Shears    Jun 8 1931 - May 22 1933
LCDR Lowell Cooper    May 22 1933 - Feb 26 1936
LT John Stuart Keating    Feb 26 1936 - Feb 1 1937
LT Harold Avery Carlisle    Feb 1 1937 - Apr 9 1937 
(Decommissioned April 9 1937 - September 30 1939)
CDR Henry Bryan Broadfoot    Sep 30 1939 - Sep 9 1940

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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