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USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Juliet - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with bronze star in lieu of Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

William Ward Burrows Class Transport:
  • Laid down in May 1929, as MV Santa Rita, at Burmeister and Wain, Copenhagen, Denmark, for Grace Steamship Co., Inc.
  • Purchased, 6 February 1940, by the War Shipping Administration from Grace Lines for $511,513.11, simultaneously transferred to the US Navy
  • Converted for Naval service at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.
  • Commission, USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6), 15 May 1940, CDR. Ross A. Dierdorff in command.
  • During World War II USS William Ward Burrows was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Capture and defense of Guadalcanal, 29 August 1942 Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 11 to 14 October 1944
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 21 to 30 July 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 31 July to 15 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 3 to 30 June 1945

  • Following World War II USS William Ward Burrows was assigned to Occupation service from 2 September 1945 to 26 January 1946
  • Decommissioned, 16 May 1946
  • Transferred, 29 July 1946, to the Maritime Commission the same day for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Olympia, WA. Group
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 August 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 30 April 1957, to National Metal & Steel Corp. (PD-X-533 of 25 April 1957) for $111,887.87, Withdrawn, 18 May 1957
  • USS William Ward Burrows earned four battle stars for her World War II service
    Displacement 8,450 t.
    Length 386'
    Beam 53' 2"
    Draft 20'
    Speed 12kts.
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 177
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 238
    Enlisted 900
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 1,800 dwt
    non-refrigerated 100,070 Cu. ft.
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    five .50 cal. machine guns
    four .30 cal. machine guns
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 5,600 Bbls
    two Burmeister and Wainright Diesel engines
    Three Diesel drive 200Kw 240V D.C. Ship's service generators
    two propellers, 3,465shp

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    Size Image Description Source
    William Ward Burrows 78k

    William Ward Burrows—born in South Carolina on 16 January 1758—was described by a contemporary, Washington Irving, as a "gentlemen of accomplished mind and polished manner." Burrows served with the state troops of South Carolina in the American Revolution, before he moved to Philadelphia. There, on 12 July 1798, he was made Commandant of the Marine Corps—newly established by President John Adams. The first Marine Corps units to be organized by the industrious new commandant were those that served in the ships of the fledgling United States Navy. During the first seven months in which Burrows held the office of commandant, the United States embarked on the Quasi-War with the French Republic. At that time, the headquarters of the Corps was at Philadelphia, then the capital of the country. In addition to organizing his headquarters staff and securing a barracks for transient personnel, Burrows established the Marine Band under the original leadership of Drum Major William Farr. On 4 July 1800, that musical organization first appeared in public at Tun Tavern, in probably the last social function attended by marines while they retained their headquarters at Philadelphia. Burrows reached Washington, D.C., on 15 July, to establish the new Marine Corps headquarters there in the wake of an advance detachment sent down in March to protect the Washington Navy Yard, then under construction. The remainder of the marines in Philadelphia were soon shifted down to Washington, and during that time, Burrows received a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel Commandant. Although the Quasi-War with France continued into the autumn of 1800, Congressional pressure to reduce the cost of a naval establishment frustrated some of Burrows' efforts to establish the Marine Corps on a solid, permanent footing. Nevertheless, the Corps was able to weather the storm because another armed conflict, the Barbary Wars, highlighted the nation's need for marines. Burrows resigned his post as Commandant for health reasons on 6 March 1804, and he died exactly one year later, on 6 March 1805. Under his leadership, the United States Marine Corps gained a firm and enduring foundation upon which succeeding leaders built the Corps of later years.
    Photo: USMC History Division
    Bill Gonyo
    William Ward Burrows 36k USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) date and location unknown. Chuck White
    Chicago 906k USS Houston (CA-30) is forward of USS Chicago (CA-29) on 10 September 1940 at Navy Yard Mare Island, CA. USS Ramapo (AO-12) is berthed alongside USS Houston and USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) and YD-33 (150 ton crane) are alongside USS Chicago. In this picture there is a good view of the AA guns added to the USS Chicago's aft deck house. US Navy Photo. Darryl Baker
    William Ward Burrows
    272k USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) moored pierdide at San Francisco circa 1940. By 1942 all the port holes were blanked off.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 83458
    Darryl Baker
    William Ward Burrows 135k USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) moored pierside at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 25 November 1940.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    William Ward Burrows
    83k USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6) underway in San Francisco Bay near Mare Island Navy Yard, 6 July 1942. Her 3"/23 guns have been replaced with 3"/50 guns, note the two 3"/50 guns at the after end of the main superstructure, and the sponson in the forward well deck for the 50-foot motor launches has been removed.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo #'s 19-N-32040 and 19-N-32041 US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives. courtesy
    Mike Green
    William Ward Burrows

    USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Dierdorff, Ross Ainsworth15 May 1940 - January 1942
    02CDR. Tallman, Donald RexJanuary 1942 - 29 May 1942
    03CDR. McQuiston, Edward Irwin29 May 1942 - 20 September 1943
    04CDR. Farrel, William Howard, USNR Ret.20 September 1943 - 29 July 1944
    05CAPT. Reppy, John David29 July 1944 - 18 January 1945
    06CAPT. Ellis, Herbert Aloysius18 January 1945 - August 1945
    08CAPT. Knachel, Firman FillmoreFebruary 1946 - 16 May 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 May 2023