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USS JOHN D. FORD (DD-228 / AG-119)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NUQJ

Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,000 SHP; Parsons Design Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Cramp, Philadelphia on November 11 1919.
Launched September 2 1920 and Commissioned December 30 1920.
Renamed DD-228 John D.Ford on November 17 1921.
Reclassified Auxiliary AG-119 June 30 1945.
Decommissioned November 2 1945.
Stricken November 16 1945.
Fate Sold September 30 1947 to Northern Metals, Philadelphia and broken up for scrap.
One man died in service aboard and remain on duty

StM2c Walter Smith (245 76 66) USNR, Cristobal, Canal Zone, 31 May 1944

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Ford 90kJohn Donaldson Ford was born in Baltimore, Maryland on 19 May 1840 to Thomas C. and Isabella Logie Ford. He was educated in Baltimore public schools and graduated from the Maryland Institute School of Design in 1861 and the Potts School of Mechanical Engineering in 1862. Ford entered the United States Navy as 3rd assistant engineer on 30 July 1862, beginning what was to be a long and distinguished career. He was subsequently promoted to 2nd assistant engineer on 13 February 1864 and to 1st assistant engineer on 6 June 1868, then passed assistant engineer on 24 February 1874, chief engineer on 27 December 1890, commander in 1897, commanded commander on 3 March 1899 (for his "eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle"), captain on 5 March 1902, and rear admiral on 19 May 1902. Ford took part in a number of battles during the U. S. Civil War, including the capture of Baton Rouge in March 1863 and the battle of Mobile Bay in 1864; he was aboard the Arizona when it was destroyed by fire off Poverty Point, Mississippi River on 27 February 1865. On 30 April 1866, he married Laura Jane Darling of Baltimore, Maryland. Ford's service then took him to the East. He was in the Sacramento when it wrecked on the Coramandel coast of India in June 1867, and subsequently he served on many expeditions and at many stations throughout the 1870s. Ford was then detached and ordered to start the Baltimore Manual Training School on 13 March 1884. Soon after visiting Takao aboard the U.S.S. Alert in 1894, Ford was subsequently employed at the Maryland Agricultural and Mechanical College from 1894 till 1896. After serving aboard the U.S.S. Brooklyn from 1896 to 1898 and the flagship U.S.S. Baltimore in 1898, Ford became fleet engineer at Pacific Station and joined the Asiatic fleet. He took part in the destruction of the Spanish fleet off Cavite and the batteries at Cavite and Sangley Point, and participated in the capture of the forts at Corregidor and of Manila. Ford finally retired to Maryland in 1902. However, he did continue on duty as inspector of machinery and ordnance at Baltimore and Sparrow's Point, Maryland until 25 December 1908. Ford lived out his final years in Baltimore and died at the age of 77 on 8 April 1918.Robert M. Cieri/Ed Zajkowski/Bill Gonyo

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the

for service as set forth in the following

"For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces during the Java Campaign in the Southwest Pacific War Area, from January 23 to March 4, 1942. Gallantly operating in defense of the Netherlands East Indies with the limited surface forces of the combined United States, British and Dutch Royal Navies, the JOHN D. FORD led a column of four destroyers in a fierce night counter-invasion action off Balikpapan, confusing and disorganizing the enemy to aid in the sinking or damaging by by torpedo and gunfire of a number of Japanese warships. A highly vulnerable target for hostile cruiser and destroyer gunfire while fighting as a unit of a joint United States-Dutch Striking Force in the Badoeng Strait action, she responded nobly to the heroic efforts of her officers and men and scored several damaging torpedo and gun hits before affecting a masterly withdrawal from the field of combat. Boldly attacking a numerically superior force by day in the Java Sea action, she was one of six vessels in the combined United States-Dutch-British Combined Striking Force to wage a brilliant torpedo attack against the main body of the Japanese Armada and, hurling the full fighting power of her gun batteries at the hostile disposition, exerted every means at her command to inflict damage on the Japanese and aid her companion ships in forcing the enemy to break off the engagement. Relentlessly trailed by cruiser-borne planes and repeatedly bombed by enemy aircraft, she battled with unconquerable spirit and undiminished fury against strong dispositions vastly superior in numbers and armament during this early critical period of the war. The JOHN D. FORDíS illustrious achievements add new luster to the annals of American Naval Warfare and uphold the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.Ē

For the President,
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
Ford 119kUndated, location unknown.-
Ford 47kStewart (DD-224) moored starboard side to tender with sister destroyers Pope (DD-225), Pillsbury (DD-227), Ford (DD-228), Truxtun (DD-229), and Peary (DD-226) nested outboard. The tender is almost certainly the USS Black Hawk (AD-9). US Navy photo, date unknown.Joe Radigan
Ford 41kUndated, location unknown.Joe Radigan
Ford 168kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Pillsbury 96kUSS Black Hawk with the USS Pillsbury (DD-227), USS Pope (DD-225), USS Ford (DD-228), USS Paul Jones (DD-230), USS Peary (DD-226) and USS Parrott (DD-218) alongside in Chefoo, China.Gerd Matthes
Ford 129kUndated, location unknown. The red arrow points to Jamie's great uncle Carl F. Olson.Jamie Nolan
Ford 93kStarboard quarter view of tanker USS Victoria (AO-46) with four old four stack destroyers alongside. This photo could have been taken at Fremantle, Australia, when the tanker - still George G. Henry - fueled the four surviving American ships that took part in the Battle of the Java Sea, the destroyers USS Alden (DD-211), USS John D. Edwards (DD-216), USS John D. Ford (DD-228), and USS Paul Jones (DD-230), soon after they arrived in Australian waters. On 15 April 1942, while at Yarraville, a suburb of Melbourne, George G. Henry was taken over by the U.S. Navy under a bareboat charter and commissioned as USS Victoria (AO-46) on 20 April. Survivors from the sunken USS Langley (AV-3), USS Peary (DD-226), and USS Pecos (AO-6) made up the ship's new crew. Photo Australian armed forces. From the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: 302766Robert Hurst
Ford 84kUndated, location unknown.Frederick J. Moisson
Ford 70kUSS John D. Ford, circa late 1920 or early 1921. Naval Historical Center photo NH 53933.Fred Weiss/Robert Hurst
Ford 296kAerial photo taken by the U.S. Army Air Corps of USS John D. Ford (DD-228) in Manila Bay during the circa 1924-1925 Asiatic Fleet Destroyer Squadron deployment.Jim Geldert
Ford 51kUSS John D. Ford (DD-228), USS Sicard (DD-346), USS Pruitt (DD-347), USS Decatur (DD-341), USS Preble (DD-345), USS Pope (DD-225), USS Bulmer (DD-222), USS Simpson (DD-221) and USS McCormick (DD-223) in Manila Harbor, November 16 1928.Carl Ross
Ford 75kTaken June 1933 from the breakwater in Chefoo of the USS Black Hawk (AD-9) with the USS Bulmer (DD-222), USS Pillsbury (DD-227), USS Pope (DD-225), USS Ford (DD-228), USS Edsall (DD-219) and USS Peary (DD-226) alongside.John N. Egeland, Jr.
Ford 169kNH 94191. Circa 1938, Shangai. From the collecton of Lt. O W Levy.Ed Zajkowski
Ford 120kAugust 1942 at Mare Island. Photo from the John Dickey collection.Ed Zajkowski
Ford 76kNavy Photo 4678-8-42, broadside view of USS John D. Ford (DD 228) departing Mare Island on 7 August 1942. She was in overhaul at the yard from 20 July to 7 August 1942.Darryl Baker
Ford 93kUSS John D. Edwards (DD-216) at Mare Island, September 9 1942 with the USS John D. Ford (DD-228) alongside.Ed Zajkowski
Ford 115kDecember 24 1943 at Charleston Navy Yard. From the collection of Chris Wright.Ed Zajkowski

USS JOHN D. FORD DD-228 / AG-119 History
View This Vessels DANFS History entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LTJG Lester Thurston Forbes    Dec 30 1920 - Jul 16 1921

LCDR Charles Alan (Baldy) Pownall    Jul 16 1921 - Jun 23 1923 (Later VADM)

LCDR Holloway Halstead Frost    Jun 23 1923 - Jun 24 1924

LCDR Edward Hollis Connor    Jun 24 1924 - Aug 26 1926

LCDR Frank Henry Luckel    Aug 26 1926 - Jun 22 1928

LCDR Alexander William Loder    Jun 22 1928 - Jul 15 1929

LCDR James Chaffin Clark    Jul 15 1929 - Feb 6 1932

LCDR Leverett Shepherd Lewis    Feb 6 1932 - Aug 18 1934

CDR Don Pardee Moon    Aug 18 1934 - Mar 20 1937 (Later RADM)

CDR William Harold Mays    Mar 20 1937 - Apr 14 1939 

LCDR John Drake Shaw    Apr 14 1939 - Feb 4 1940

CDR Robert Lee Dennison    Feb 4 1940 - Apr 14 1941

CDR Jacob Elliott Cooper    Apr 14 1941 - Dec 10 1941 (Later RADM)

LT Davis Wing Olney    Dec 10 1941 - Jul 5 1942

LCDR Norman Ernest Smith    Jul 5 1942 - Oct 26 1943

LCDR John Sim (Jack) Slaughter    Oct 26 1943 - May 21 1944

LT Thomas Alexander Watkins    May 21 1944 - Jun 27 1945

LT Gilbert Ira Patterson    Jun 27 1945 - Nov 2 1945

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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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 06 May 2021