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|54k||James Richard Ward was born to Howard Joseph and Nancy Ward in Springfield, Ohio on 10 September 1921. After growing up, along with younger sister Marjorie, he
enlisted in the Navy on 25 November 1940, at Cincinnati, Ohio,. After basic training, he reported aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) at Pearl Harbor. When
the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 07 December 1941, Oklahoma took three torpedoes soon after the attack began. She listed dangerously, and it was soon apparent
that she would capsize. The order was given to abandon ship. As the ship was capsizing, and had been ordered abandoned, S1c Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight, thus
sacrificing his own life to permit other members of the crew to escape. For his heroism at that time, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Seaman Ward's body was never
recovered. He is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing Wall at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. A cenotaph was also placed for him in Ferncliff
Cemetery in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio.
USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 92309 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|202k||06 January 1943: Houston, Tex. - Miss Marjorie Ward, ship's sponsor, at the launching ceremony for the future USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) scheduled for 10AM this
Wednesday morning at the Brown Shipbuilding Co.
(U.S. Navy National Archives photo #19-N-47818 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
Navsource Archive Manager
DE / FF / LCS Archive
|243k||06 January 1943: Houston, Tex. - USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) launching at the Brown Shipbuilding Co. in Houston, Texas.|
(U.S. Navy Photo #19-N-47821 from the United States National Archives)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|373k||14 May 1944: Brooklyn, N.Y. - Three views of the USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) anchored off the New York Navy Yard on a sunny Sunday afternoon.|
(U.S. Navy National Archives photo #19-N-70847, #19-N-70846, and #19-N-70848 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|373k||12 June 1944: Argentia, Newfoundland - USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) entering Argentia Harbor. After leaving Norfolk, Va. on Wednesday, 24 May 1944, as a unit of Task
Group 22.4 comprised of Tripoli (CVE 64) and Escort Division Seven, with Moore (DE 240), Keith (DE 241), J. Richard Ward,
Otterstetter (DE 244), and Sloat (DE 245), they headed east and rendevoused with Convoy UC-24 (Liverpool to New York) in mid-Atlantic on 31 May. It's not known where
they were detached from UC-24, but they arrived at Placencia Bay, Newfoundland on the 12th and departed for Norfolk on the 15th.|
(U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-364889 from the United States National Archives)
|J. Richard Ward History|
|View the USS J. Richard Ward (DE 243) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS J. Richard Ward as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|J. Richard Ward's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 05 Jul. 1943 – 14 Sep. 1943||Lcdr. Thomas Stephen Dunstan, USNR (Comm. CO)|
|2.) 14 Sep. 1943 – 26 Feb. 1944||Lt./Lcdr. David A. Smith, USNR|
|3.) 26 Feb. 1944 – 22 Jun. 1944||Cmdr. John Madison Cox Jr., USNR (USNA ‘22) (Waycross, Ga.)|
|4.) 22 Jun. 1944 – 06 Nov. 1945||Lt./Lcdr. Earle Buckingham Seeley Jr., USNR (New Haven, Conn.)|
|5.) 06 Nov. 1945 - .. Dec. 1945||Lt. Richard Charles Morrall, USNR (Youngstown, Oh.)|
|6.) .. Dec. 1945 - .. Mar. 1946||Lt. James M. Kirkpatrick, USNR|
|7.) .. Mar. 1946 – 13 Jun. 1946||Lt.(jg) David V. Collins, USNR|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 05 January 2021