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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NUVG

Displacement 2924 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 376' 5"(oa) x 39' 7" x 13' 9" (Max)
Armament 5 x 5"/38AA, 10 x 40mm, 7 x 20mm AA, 10 x 21" tt.(2x5).
Machinery, 60,000 SHP; Allis Chalmers Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 38 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 15 Knots, Crew 273.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Boston Navy Yard. July 4 1943.
Launched October 6 1943 and commissioned January 26 1944.
Decommissioned July 1 1946.
Stricken March 18 1974.
To Japan March 10 1959, renamed Ariake,
Stricken 1974.
Fate Broken up for scrap in 1976.

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Size Image Description Contributed
Edwards 33kHeywood Lane Edwards was born in San Saba, Texas, 9 November 1905 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1926. After serving in battleship Florida, cruiser Reno and other ships, he underwent submarine instruction in 1931, served in several submarines, and was assigned to cruiser Detroit in 1935. Lt. Comdr. Edwards assumed command of destroyer Reuben James 6 April 1940. His ship became the first in the U.S. Navy to be sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic when it was torpedoed by the German submarine U-552 commanded by Kapitainleutnant Erich Topp near Iceland while on convoy duty on 30-31 October 1941. Lt. Comdr. Edwards and 99 of his crew perished with the ship. Image from the USS Heywood L. Edwards WWII Cruise Book.Bill Gonyo

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the


for service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Saipan-Tinian operations, June 12 to August 2, 1944; Palau, September 6 to 29, 1944; the Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24–25, 1944; Iwo Jima, February 14 to March 9, 1945; and Okinawa, March 21 to April 18, 1945. Operating in the face of continued and persistent air attacks throughout five major campaigns, the U.S.S. HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS blasted Japanese shore emplacements, screened our attacking transports and effectively laid support barrages for amphibious assaults. On the night of 23–24 September, while on patrol duty, she detected a column of fourteen Japanese barges attempting to reinforce the Palau garrison and aided in destroying the whole group with its 650 enemy troops. During the Historic Battle of Surigao Strait, she gallantly led Section Three of Destroyer Squadron FIFTY-SIX in a coordinated night torpedo attack against the enemy’s Southern Force and rendered invaluable assistance in the utter defeat of these hostile units. In retiring, she made a thorough search of the Battle area and aided in sinking a crippled Japanese destroyer. At Iwo Jima she furnished continuous fire support for eleven days and during the Okinawa assault, spent 128 days on fire support and radar picket stations, conducting 350 bombardment missions. When several enemy aircraft attacked her fire support group, she scored direct hits on three of the planes and assisted in destroying a fourth, all within ninety seconds. Superbly handled by valiant officers and men, the HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS rendered distinctive service, sustaining and enhancing the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
All personnel attached to and serving on board the U.S.S. HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS during one or more of the above-mentioned periods are authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
/s/ John L. Sullivan
Acting Secretary of the Navy
Edwards 102kArtist's conception of the Edwards as she appeared in late World War II by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Edwards 214kUndated, after engine room throttle board.Ed Zajkowski
Edwards 147kUSS Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) underway at sea during operations against enemy forces in the Pacific, circa 1944-1945. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo #: NH 107196.Fred Weiss/Robert Hurst
Edwards 143kUSS Hughes coming alongside USS Heywood L. Edwards during operations off northern Japan just after the war. Taken by Chester Bradley, courtesy Markey Dubose.John Chiquoine and Dave Schroeder
On Japanese Service
Edwards 43kAriake (DD 183, ex-USS Heywood L. Edwards, DD-663) underway at high speed circa 1961, location unknown. Photo Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Official. Photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1961-62 edition.Robert Hurst
Edwards 81kAs the Japanese Ariake, April 7 1961 in Japanese waters.Marc Piché
Edwards 148kAriake running at speed, probably same time as above photo. From a Uraga Dock Co. booklet.Dave Wright
Edwards 81kAs Japanese Ariake, June 23 1961.Marc Piché
Edwards 33kAs Japanese Ariake, circa 1966.Robert Hurst
Edwards 92kAriake (DD-183, ex-USS Heywood L. Edwards) underway in 1970, location unknown. Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, Official.Robert Hurst

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 Joe Wood Boulware    Jan 26 1944 - Dec 25 1944 (Later RADM)

CDR Albert Lee Shepherd    Dec 25 1944 - Jan 1946

CDR Ralph L. R. Johnson    Jan 1946 - Jul 1 1946

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Robert H. Chantler
Address: 7 Quaker Way, Westborough, MA 01581

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
USS Heywood L. Edwards Website
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 08 September 2017