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USS AULT (DD-698)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTWR

Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign (circa 1968) - WHITE FANG

CLASS - ALLEN M. SUMNER As Built.
Displacement 3218 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 6"(oa) x 40' 10" x 14' 2" (Max)
Armament 6 x 5"/38AA (3x2), 12 x 40mm AA, 11 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; General Electric Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 36.5 Knots, Range 3300 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 336.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny NJ. November 15 1943.
Launched March 26 1944 and commissioned May 31 1944.
Decommissioned May 31 1950, recommissioned November 15 1950.
Completed FRAM upgrade December 1962.
Decommissioned July 2 1973.
Stricken September 1 1973.
Fate Sold April 30 1974 to Boston Metals, Baltimore and broken up for scrap.

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Ault 32kWilliam Bowen Ault was born in Enterprise, Oregon., on 6 October 1898 and served briefly as an enlisted man in the Navy (19 April 1917-23 April 1918) before entering the Naval Academy as a midshipman. Graduating on 2 June 1922, Ault served at sea in the battleship Arkansas (BB-33) before reporting to the Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola, Fla., on 23 August 1924 for flight instruction. After winning his wings, Ault served with Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet, before commencing a tour in the aviation unit of the light cruiser Cincinnati (CL-6) on 10 September 1925. Detached from that ship a little over a year later, he served at the Naval Academy as an instructor before reporting for duty with Observation Squadron (VO) 3, Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet, on 15 June 1927. Further duty at the Naval Academy, as an instructor in the Department of Ordnance and Gunnery, followed before he flew with Patrol Squadron (VP) 10-S, Scouting Fleet, based in aircraft tender Wright (A V-l). He then served on the staff of Capt. George W. Steele, Commander, Aircraft, Scouting Force, from June of 1931 to June of 1932 and alternated tours of duty afloat and ashore: in Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1-S, based on board Lexington (CV-2); at NAS, Norfolk, Va.; and in the observation unit of the battleship Mississippi (BB-41). Ault—by this time a lieutenant—next assisted in fitting-out Yorktown (CV-5), thus becoming a "plank owner" of that ship when she went into commission in the autumn of 1937. He then served in Yorktown's sister ship, Enterprise (CV-6), commanding VT-6. On 5 August 1939, less than a month before the start of World War II in Poland, Ault assumed command of the Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Kansas City, Kansas, a billet in which he served into 1941. On 22 July 1941, Lt. Comdr. Ault once more reported to Lexington, and, the following day, became her air group commander. He was serving in that capacity when the Japanese air attack on the Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 drew the United States into World War II. Ault helped to plan and execute the attacks on Japanese shipping at Lea and Salamaua, New Guinea, in March 1942. On the day before the strike, 9 March, Ault and a wingman flew to Port Moresby, where the group commander learned of the existence of a key mountain pass through the forbidding Owen Stanley's, information that, in the words of the task force commander, contributed "a great deal toward [the] success" of the attacks that ensued. On the day of the raid, 10 March, Ault, given the authority to carry out or abort the attack on the basis of whatweather he found, flew unaccompanied to the pass and orbited. Finding favorable weather, he transmitted information to that effect and directed the passage of planes from Lexington and Yorktown (CV-5) toward Lae and Salamaua. Those groups sank three transports, put a fourth transport out of action, and caused varying degrees of damage to a light cruiser, a minelayer, three destroyers and a seaplane carrier. The transmontane raid postponed the Japanese projected conquest of Tulagi and Port Moresby for a month, the time necessary to replace the vital amphibious ships lost off New Guinea and marshal carrier air support. Commander, Aircraft Battle Force, later commended Ault for his work. In the subsequent Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, which itself resulted from the successful Lae and Salamaua raid, Ault led Lexington's group into combat, both in the attacks on the Japanese light carrier Shoho on 7 May and in those on the fleet carrier Shokaku on the 8th. During the latter action, both Ault and his radio-gunner, Aviation Radioman 1st Class William T. Butler, apparently suffered wounds when "Zero" fighters attacked the group commander's plane. Ault tried in vain to return to a friendly deck, not knowing that Lexington had taken mortal damage in his absence. Unaware of Lexington's distress he radioed the ship at 1449, to tell her that he had only enough gasoline for 20 minutes. Yorktown, which had taken over communications for "Lady Lex," heard Ault's broadcast but failed to pick him up on her radar. Sadly informed that he was on his own but wished "Good luck," Lexington's air group commander asked that word be relayed to the ship that We got a 1,000 pound bomb hit on a flat top." Ault changed course to the north, in a last vain attempt to be picked up on radar. Yorktown again wished him good luck. Ault, perhaps grimly aware of the fate that lay ahead, radioed bravely: "O.K. So long, people. We got a 1,000 pound hit on the flat top." No further word was ever received from Lexington's air group commander, and neither he nor Aviation Radioman Butler was ever seen again. Ault's courageous leadership of Lexington's air group in the Battle of the Coral Sea earned him the posthumous award of the Navy Cross. Photo from the Naval Air Station Whidbey IslandBill Gonyo
Ault 154kArtist's conception of the Ault as built in a cutaway view by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Ault 95kArtist's conception of the Ault as she appeared after the early 1950's conversion by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Ault 179kArtist's conception of the Ault as she appeared after FRAM II overhaul by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Ault 52kUndated, location unknown.John Szalay
Ault 40kUndated, location unknown.-
Ault 201kUndated World War II image.Cody Z. Shaffer
Ault 62kThe USS AULT (DD-698) has just been signed over to the U.S. Navy by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., on 30 May 1944 and is transiting New York harbor. The following day she was commissioned. Photo Courtesy of the National Archives Photo #19-N-66338Bill Gonyo
Ault 223kThe USS Dixie (AD 14) with a nest of destroyers alongside at Leyte in April-May 1945 time frame. The destroyers are from left to right: USS Compton (DD 705), USS Ault (DD 698), USS Charles S. Sperry (DD 697), USS English (DD 696), USS John W. Weeks (DD 701) and USS Borie (DD 704).Darryl Baker
Ault 229kFebruary 11 1957, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Ault 195kUSS Ault (DD 698) circa 1959, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
Ault 51kIn the Mediterranean February 1959.Marc Piché
Ault 63kTaken by me at on the Manitowoc river at Manitowoc, Wisconsin (on Lake Michigan) summer of 1959 during operation "Inland Sea". Note USS Henley DD-762 directly behind.Larry Bohn
Ault 246kAboard the USS Ault (DD 698) during Operation Inland Seas 1959 while she was moored in Toledo, Ohio.Bill Gonyo
Ault 272kUSS Ault (DD 698) arrives in Toledo during Operation Inland Seas 1959.Bill Gonyo
Ault 41kUSS Tidewater (AD-31), USS Du Pont (DD-941), USS Weeks (DD-701), USS Willard Keith (DD-775), USS Ault (DD-698), USS Henley (DD-762) and USS Nimble (MSO-459) in Athens, Greece late 1961.Michael J. Mogck
Ault 103kBoston Naval Shipyard, June 1962. CG-10 Albany undergoing overhaul behind.© Richard Leonhardt
Ault 23kUSS Noa (DD-841), USS Huntington (DD-781) and USS Ault (DD-698) in the Mediterranean during 1965, coming alongside the USS Chikaskia for refueling. From the collections of RADM Edward L. Feightner, BM2 Charles Peterman, and LCDR Al Gordon as compiled and edited by BM3 David Zanzinger.LCDR Al Gordon USN (Ret.)
Ault 149kAtlantic Ocean, January 25 1967, just prior to her deployment to Vietnam.Robert M. Cieri
Ault 63kUSS Ault off Pearl Harbor, HI on the morning of March 5, 1967 as part of DesDiv 161 and Task Unit 15.8.6 (USS Bigelow, USS McCaffery, USS Ault and USS Allen M. Sumner) underway for Vietnam via Midway, Yokosuka and Okinawa.Fred Willshaw, USS Allen M. Sumner Reunion Association
Ault 74kThe USS Putman (DD-757) sits inboard of the USS Ault (DD-698) circa 1970’s. Courtesy of the USS Putnam Website and David Seay.Bill Gonyo
Ault 54kShip's patchMike Smolinski
Ault 28kShip's patchMike Smolinski
Ault 100k-120kUniform Ship's name shoulder patch.Al Grazevich
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS AULT DD-698 History
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 Joseph Caldwell Wylie Jr.    May 31 1944 - Jul 8 1945 (Later RADM)
CDR David Sheldon Edwards Jr.    Jul 8 1945 - 1946
CDR Benedict Joseph Semmes Jr.    Jan 1948 - Jul 1949 (Later VADM)
CDR Harry Marvin-Smith    Nov 15 1950 - ?
CDR William Patrick Flanagan    Mar 15 1952 - ?
CDR Edward C. Bishop    ?
CDR Glen Reid Cheek    ? 1952 - ?
CDR Robert Wellington McIntosh    ? - Dec 1955
CDR Harold Woodall Biesemeier    Dec 1955 - 1957
CDR Robert Edward Williams    1957 - ?
CDR Wilfred G. (Bill) Chartier    Aug 5 1959 - ?
CDR Robert Stiles Harward     ? 1961 - 1963
CDR James Amos Moore    ? 1962 - ?
CDR Michael Francis Durkin    1963 - Oct 14 1964
CDR Charles Clifton Hill    Oct 14 1964 - Oct 21 1966
CDR Robert Edward Brady    Oct 21 1966 - Aug 5 1968
CDR Edmund Lewis Turner    1970 - 1972
LCDR John Henry Chenard    May 1973 - Jul 16 1973

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Pam
Address: PO Box 1023, Branson West, MO 65737
Phone: (417)338-4048
E-mail: jwlucy@embarqmail.com
Next Reunion: April 25-29, 2013 at Erlanger, Kentucky

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


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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