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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Sands (APD-13)
USS Sands (DD-243) (1920 - 1942)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Lima - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive 30 January 1943) - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - American Defense Service Medal (with bronze star in lieu of Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (9)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (2)

Personnel Awards

Purple Hearts (9-WIA, 30 January 1943, 2-KIA 2-WIA, 1 March 1944)

Clemson Class Destroyer:
  • Laid down, 22 March 1919, at New York Shipbuilding Corp. Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 28 October 1919
  • Commissioned USS Sands (DD-243), 10 November 1920, ENS. William D. Leahy USN in temporary command
  • Decommissioned, 13 February 1931 at Philadelphia
  • Laid up at League Island
  • Recommissioned, 21 July 1932
  • Assigned to the Rotating Reserve in May 1933 at San Diego, CA.
  • Recommissioned in full in April 1934
  • Decommissioned, 15 September 1938, at San Diego CA.
  • Recommissioned, 26 September 1939
  • Converted to a High-speed Transport at San Francisco CA.
  • Redesignated (APD-13), 5 November 1942
  • During World War II USS Sands (APD-13) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Rennell Island
    Sinking of Chicago (CA-29), 29 to 30 January 1943
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 12 to 20 October and 18 November 1944
    Eastern New Guinea operation
    Lae occupation, 4 to 12 September 1943
    Finschhafen occupation, 22, and 29 to 30 September 1943
    Saidor occupation, 2 January 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 4 to 18 January 1945
    Bismarck Archipelago operation
    Arawe, New Britain, 15 December 1943
    Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 26 and 28 to 29 December 1943
    Admiralty Island landings, Los Negros, 29 February to 5 March 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 3 to 6 March 1945
    Hollandia operation
    Aitape Humboldt Bay-Tanahmerah Bay, 21 to 24 April 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 10 April to 14 June 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operations
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Anguar, 6 September to 14 October 1944

  • While assigned to Commander South Pacific Force and South Pacific Area USS Sands came under the command of TransDiv Sixteen
  • While assigned to Commander Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet USS Sands came under the command of TransDiv One Hundred-One, CDR. J. S. Horner USNR
  • Decommissioned, 10 October 1945, at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1945
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Boston Metals Co., Baltimore MD.
  • USS Sands earned nine battle stars for World War II service
    Displacement 1,215 t.(lt) 1,780 t.(fl)
    Length 314' 4"
    Beam 30' 8"
    Draft 9' 10"
    Speed 27.6 kts.
    Officers 8
    Enlisted 96
    Boats 4 LCP(L) landing craft
    one single 3"/50 cal. dual purpose gun mount
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    five single 20mm AA gun mounts
    one depth charge rack
    four depth charge projectors
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 3,025 Bbls
    Diesel 50 Bbls
    two Westinghouse geared turbines
    two White-Forester boilers, 250psi Sat°
    single Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    two propellers, 26,500shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed


    [A] Benjamin F. Sands, born in Baltimore on 11 February 1811, was appointed Midshipman in the United States Navy on 1 April 1828. By 1834, he had served on the Brazil Station and in the West Indies and Mediterranean squadrons. From 1834 to 1841, he was engaged in coastal survey work and during the mid-40's was attached to the Bureau of Charts and Instruments at the Naval Observatory. During hostilities between the United States and Mexico, he was attached to the Home Squadron and served off Tabasco and Tuxpan. In the 1850's, he commanded the steamer Walker in the Gulf of Mexico on coast survey duty and invented a deep sea sounding apparatus and other hydrographic instruments. Commissioned Captain in 1862, he served off the west coast on survey duty until 1863, then joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron as commander of Dacotah. In February of that year, he participated in the engagement at Fort Caswell. He remained off the Carolinas for another two years, commanding the steamer Fort Jackson during the attacks on Fort Fisher. In February 1865, he was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and assigned to duty off the Texas coast. Through the end of the Civil War, he commanded a division off that coast; and, on 2 June 1865, took formal possession of Galveston for the Union. After the war, Sands, appointed Commodore in July 1866, served at the Boston Navy Yard until returning to Washington as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory. Commissioned Rear Admiral on 27 April 1871, he remained at the Observatory until he retired in 1874. Rear Admiral Sands died in Washington, D.C.,on 30 June 1883.
    [B] James H. Sands, son of Rear Admiral Benjamin F. Sands,was born in Washington, D.C., on 12 July 1845 and was appointed Acting Midshipman in the United States Navy on 25 November 1859. During the Civil War, he served in Tuscarora, Juniata, and Shenandoah and, in the years which followed, in Hartford and Richmond. Ordered to the Naval Observatory in 1869, he returned to sea duty, on the Asiatic Station, a year and a half later. From October 1873 to April 1875, he served in the Hydrographic Office. Duty in Minnesota and Iroquois followed; and, in 1884, he returned to Washington, D.C., for duty at the Navy Yard. During the 1890's, he commanded Monongahela; served as equipment officer at the Boston Navy Yard; commanded Columbia and Minneapolis; and served as Governor of the Naval Home at Philadelphia. Detached from the latter in 1901, he became a member of the Retirement Board and assumed its presidency in 1902. Commissioned Rear Admiral the same year, he served as Commandant of the Navy Yard, League Island, Philadelphia,from May 1902 to April 1903; commanded the Coast Squadron until 1905; then assumed duty as Superintendent of the Naval Academy. Further duty on the Retirement Board and as President, Naval Examining Board, followed; and, in July 1907, he transferred to the Retired List. Rear Admiral Sands died in Washington, D.C.,on 27 October 1911.
    Bill Gonyo
    Sands 95k Broadside view of USS Sands (APD-13) off Navy Yard Mare Island, 14 December 1942. Sands was at Mare Island undergoing conversion to a High-speed Transport from 5 November to 17 December 1942.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 7753-12-42, 12/14/42.
    Darryl Baker
    Sands 162k During the Russell Islands Occupation, February 1943, Marine Raiders head ashore from USS Sands (APD-13) 23 February 23, 1943. They landed without opposition on Pavuvu Island. US National Archives, Photo No. USMC 54768 by Corporal Allan Mott. Mike Green
    Humphreys 190k USS Humphreys (APD-12) and USS Sands (APD-13) moored together at Townsville, QLD, Australia, 21 May 1943. As part of the 7th Amphibious Force, they have just completed escorting an LST convoy, leaving New Hebrides on May 14th and arriving at Townsville May 20th.
    Australian War Memorial, Photo No. 302629
    Mike Green
    Sands 36k Sands (APD-13) under way, location unknown, circa 1944. The ship is painted in the green tones of Camouflage Measure 31, Design 12T.
    US Navy photo
    CWO3 Curt Clark, USN Ret.
    Secretary/Treasurer American APD Corporation
    Sands 105k Sands (APD-13) under way, location unknown, circa 1943-334
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 50191
    Mike Green

    USS Sands (DD-243 / APD-13)
    Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    APD-13 Commanding Officers
    LCDR. Brogger, Lloyd Christian May 1943 - June 1944
    LCDR. Branson, John JosephJune 1944 - 1945
    LCDR. Samuels, Jerome M.1945 - ?
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    American APD Corporation
    Four Stack APD Veterans

    Contact: CWO3 Curtis G. Clark USN Ret.
    Address: 3080 Monarch St.,San Diego CA. 92123
    Phone:: 858 427-6696

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    "The Green Dragons" Four-stack APD destroyer-transports in World War Two
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Amphibious Ship Type Index Back To The USS Sands (DD-243) Page Back To The High-speed Transport (APD) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 May 2018