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USS WARD (DD-139 / APD-16)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NAGS

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 Mare Island Navy Yard on May 15 1918.
Launched June 1 1918 and commissioned July 24 1918.
Laid down and launched in a record 15 days.
Decommissioned on July 21 1921 at San Diego and berthed there with the
reserve fleet until recommissioning on January 15 1941.
Reclassified High Speed Transport APD-16 February 6 1943.
Ward was sunk by Japanese Kamikaze Attack off Leyte December 7 1944.
Stricken January 20 1945

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Size Image Description Contributed
Ward 68kJames Harmon Ward was born at Hartford, Connecticut, on 25 September 1806. He became a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy in March 1823 and served during the following years on board ships in the Mediterranean, off Africa and in the West Indies. He also took a leave of absence to pursue scientific studies, was an instructor in ordnance and gunnery at the Naval School at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and authored a book on that important subject. In 1845 Lieutenant Ward became executive officer at the newly opened U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, also teaching gunnery and steam engineering there. His later scholarly endeavors including writing a textbook on naval tactics and a popular work on steam engineering. During the last part of the war with Mexico, Ward commanded the frigate Cumberland, and, in 1848-1850, the steam gunboat Vixen. During the next decade he had shore duty at the Washington and Philadelphia Navy Yards, was promoted to the rank of Commander, and commanded the sailing sloop of war Jamestown off Africa. At the beginning of the Civil War Commander Ward planned an expedition to relieve Fort Sumter and then was placed in charge of a small squadron operating on the Potomac River. With USS Thomas Freeborn as his flagship, Ward's force engaged the Confederates at Aquia Creek, Virginia, in late May and early June 1861. In another engagement, at Mathias Point on 27 June, Commander James H. Ward was mortally wounded while aiming Thomas Freeborn's bow gun. He was the first U.S. Navy officer killed in action during the Civil War. Photo #: NH 66717. Commander James H. Ward, USN (1806-1861) portrait engraved by J.A. O'Neill, published during the 19th Century. The print features a facsimile of Ward's signature. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Bill Gonyo
Ward 154kThe riveting gang assigned to the construction of USS Ward (DD 139) at Mare Island on May 20, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 233kView of the Ward after one day of construction on May 16, 1918. Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection, Photo No. LC-B2-4516-9Mike Green
Ward 165kView of the Ward five days after being laid down, on May 20, 1918. Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection, Photo No. LC-B2-4516-13Mike Green
Ward 184kView of the Ward on her thirteen day of construction at Mare Island on May 28, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 207kView of the Ward on her fourteen day of construction at Mare Island on May 29, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 186kView of the Ward on her fifteenth day of construction at Mare Island on May 30, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 168kShipyard workers gather at the bow of USS Ward (DD 139) on the 17th day of construction at Mare Island on June 1, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 129kUSS Ward (DD 139) at her outfitting berth shortly after her launching at Mare Island on June 1, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 171kOn the building ways at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 1 June 1918, during her 14th day under construction. She was launched later in the day. Many of her hull plates are still held in place with bolts. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.Joe Radigan
Ward 191kUSS Ward (DD 139, later APD-16) construction and launching at Mare Island Navy Yard, California. Shown: Starboard view in drydock, July 6, 1918. Launched on June 1, 1918, she was commissioned on July 24, 1918. Ward was redesignated as APD-16 in February 1943. USS Ward (DD 139) fired the first shots of WWII on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. During the Battle of Ormoc Bay, December 7, 1944, Ward was attacked by Japanese kamikazes and was damaged. USS O’Brien (DD 725) scuttled the ship. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels Collection. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.Mike Mohl
Ward 116kUSS Ward (DD 139) at Mare Island on August 1, 1918.Darryl Baker
Ward 90kAnother 1918 image, underway at high speed.Edward J. Burns
Ward 83kPhoto #: NH 50265. USS Ward (DD-139) off Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa September 1918, shortly after she was commissioned. Note her disruptive camouflage scheme and small hull numbers painted in rather fancy script below her bridge.Curt Clark, The Four Stack APD Veterans/Paul Rebold
Ward 224kUSS Ward (DD-139) starboard bow view taken on 19 September, 1918, off Mare Island, California Note dazzle camouflage. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 50261.Darryl Baker
Ward86kPhotographed in late 1918 or early 1919, dressed with flags. Note that she still wears her hull number painted under her bridge in small numerals, as well as on her bow in large numerals. Courtesy of Jack L. Howland, 1983. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Ward 108kPhoto #: NH 63240, USS Ward (DD-139) photographed on 26 February 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Paul Rebold
Ward 115kUSS Meade (DD-274) at anchor off San Diego, California, circa 1920. Ship visible in the right distance is USS Ward (DD-139). Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 49833 Mike Green
Ward 115kPanoramic photograph of the Division's ships, taken by O.A.Tunnell in San Diego Harbour, California, probably on 14 August 1920. The ships are, from left to right: USS Kennison (DD-138); USS Claxton (DD-140); USS Ward (DD-139); USS Boggs (DD-136); and USS Hamilton (DD-141). The image is copied from the original print for Photo # NH106144. Donation of Rear Admiral Joe Stanton Thompson, USN (Retired), 2008. US Naval Historical Centre Photo # NH 106144-A.Robert Hurst
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 97kUSS Chew (DD-106) and USS Ward (DD-139) at Hilo Sugar Docks, Territory of Hawaii, 22 July 1941. Courtesy of Mr. Jesse Pond (VP-1) via Mr. Robert Varrill. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Joe Radigan
Ward 113kPhoto #: NH 97446, USS Ward (DD-139) "A Shot for Posterity, the USS Ward's number three gun and its crew-cited for firing the first shot the day of Japan's raid on Hawaii. Operating as part of the inshore patrol early in the morning of December 7, 1941, this destroyer group spotted a submarine outside Pearl Harbor, opened fire and sank her. Crew members are R.H. Knapp - BM2c - Gun Captain, C.W. Fenton - Sea1c - Pointer, R.B. Nolde - Sea1c - Trainer, A.A. Domagall - Sea1c - No. 1 Loader, D.W. Gruening - Sea1c - No. 2 Loader, J.A. Paick - Sea1c - No. 3 Loader, H.P. Flanagan - Sea1c - No. 4 Loader, E.J. Bakret - GM3c - Gunners Mate, K.C.J. Lasch - Cox - Sightsetter." (quoted from the original 1942-vintage caption) This gun is a 4"/50 type, mounted atop the ship's midships deckhouse, starboard side. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Paul Rebold
Ward 110kPainting by Tom Freeman of the destroyer USS Ward opening fire at 6:45 A.M. on a two-man Japanese submarine spotted just outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The four-inch shell, the first shot fired in the Pacific War, just misses the conning tower of the midget sub, one of five launched by the Japanese that morning as part of their surprise attack. At 6:54 A.M., the Ward succeeded in sinking the intruder.Robert Hurst
Ward 136kPainting by Jim Laurier of the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) engaging a Japanese midget submarine attempting to enter Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December 1941. The first shot of the war was fired by Ward's Number 1 mount, which missed from a range of of about 100yds. A second shot from the Number 3 mount at about 50yds was seen to strike the sail and cause the small submarine to heel over. Ward then dropped depth charges as the submarine dove below the surface. The wreck was discovered in 1,200ft of water in August 2002. Photo and text from "Raid: TORA! TORA! TORA! Pearl Harbor 1941. by Mark E. Stille.Robert Hurst
Ward 74kUSS Ward (APD-16) Burning in Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands, after she was hit by a Kamikaze on 7 December 1944. USS O'Brien (DD-725) is fighting fires from alongside, as landing craft circle to rescue survivors. Photographed from USS Crosby (APD-17). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.Fred Weiss
Ward 175k4"/50 Mount No. 3 from the Ward that is now a monument on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul, MN. This is the Mount that sank the Japanese midget sub attempting to enter Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. The next three photos show the various plaques around the gun.Robert Hall
Ward 182kAs above.Robert Hall
Ward 173kAs above.Robert Hall
Ward 125kAs above.Robert Hall

USS WARD DD-139 / APD-16 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 Milton Smith Davis    Jul 24 1918 - Jan 5 1920

LTJG Thomas Paul Kane    Jan 5 1920 - Jul 21 1921

(Decommissioned Jul 21 1921 - Jan 15 1941)

LCDR Hunter Wood Jr.    Jan 15 1941 - Dec 5 1941 (Later RADM)

LCDR William W. Outerbridge    Dec 5 1941 - Jul 1 1942

LCDR Robert Holden Wilkinson    Jul 1 1942 - Nov 10 1942

(As the APD-16)

LCDR Frederick von Windegger Lemly    Nov 10 1942 - Oct 28 1944 (Later RADM)

LT Richard Edward Farwell    Oct 28 1944 - Dec 7 1944

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Contact Name: Curt Clark, Secretary Four Stack APD Veterans
Address: 3384 Grim Ave., San Diego, CA 92104
Phone: 619-282-0971

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
Naval Historical Center Pearl Harbor Action Report
USS Ward APD-16 NavSource page
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 03 September 2017