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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NTSM

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 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro. December 12 1943.
Launched May 5 1944 and commissioned October 28 1944.
Completed as Minelayer DM-34.
Heavily damaged by Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft May 3 1945 off Okinawa.
Decommissioned September 28 1945.
Stricken October 11 1945.
Fate scrapped in 1946.
27 of her crew were lost and remain on duty.

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Ward 68kAaron Ward was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 10 October 1851. Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1867, he graduated in June 1871 and was assigned to USS California on the Pacific Station for the next two years. He then had duty with the Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., punctuated by brief service in USS Brooklyn from late 1873 to February 1874. During 1875-1876 Ward, now in the rank of Master, served on the European Station in USS Franklin. His next assignment, at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1876-1879, was followed by service in the training ships New Hampshire, Portsmouth, and Saratoga that lasted until mid-1883. Lieutenant Ward was ashore at the New York Navy Yard and at the Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, for two years. He went to the Pacific Station in 1885 in USS Hartford and remained there in USS Iroquois and USS Monongahela until mid-1889. Lieutenant Ward had Naval Attaché duty in Europe during the first three years of the 1890s, was an officer in the cruisers New York and San Francisco into the middle of the decade and then was assigned to the New York Navy Yard. During the Spanish-American War in 1898 he commanded the gunboat Wasp and was Executive Officer of USS Panther for the next year. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during this time. From the end of 1899 until September 1900 he served in the Far East, mainly as Assistant Chief of Staff and Aide to the Asiatic Station's commander. Ordnance duty followed at the New York Navy Yard, accompanied in September 1901, by promotion to Commander. Early in 1902 Ward returned to Asiatic waters, where he commanded the gunboats Yorktown and Don Juan de Austria. After further work at the New York Navy Yard, Captain Ward was Chief of Staff to Commander Asiatic Fleet and, from March 1907 until May 1908 was Commanding Officer of the armored cruiser Pennsylvania. Serving ashore at New York and Washington, D.C., for the next three years, he attained the rank of Rear Admiral in January 1910. From April 1911 until August 1912 he commanded divisions of the Atlantic Fleet, flying his flag in the battleships Minnesota and Florida. His final year of active service was spent at New York. Retired in October 1913, upon attaining the age of 62 years, Rear Admiral Aaron Ward died on 5 July 1918 and was buried at Brooklyn, NY. Digital ID: ggbain 16873, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.Bill Gonyo
Ward 130kFebruary 9, 1945 photo of the ship in a typical Sumner class light-minelayer conversion. Torpedo tubes and depth charge throwers have been removed to compensate for mines and mine handling equipment. Mines were stored on two sets of tracks running along the main deck. The starboard track is visible here, empty of mines at this time.-
Ward 382k Photo #: NH 62572. USS Aaron Ward (DM-34) in the Kerama Retto anchorage, 5 May 1945, showing damage received when she was hit by several Kamikazes off Okinawa on 3 May. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Tony Bush
Click here to see our Special Feature - Interior Views of Sumner Class Destroyers as Built

USS AARON WARD DD-773 / DM-34 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 William Henry Sanders Jr.    Oct 28 1944 - May 3 1945 (Later RADM)

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
NavSource Minesweeper Pages, USS Aaron Ward (DM-34)
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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