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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Williamson (AVD-2) (1940 - 1943)
USS Williamson (AVP-15) (1938 - 1940)
USS Williamson (DD-244) (1920 - 1938 / 1943 - 1945)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, June 1942, 15 May 1943) - American Defense Service Medal
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal

Clemson Class Destroyer:
  • Laid down, 27 March 1919, as Williamson (Destroyer # 244) at New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 16 October 1919
  • Reclassified DD-244 in the Navy's fleet-wide assignment of alphanumeric hull numbers, 17 July 1920
  • Commissioned USS Williamson (DD-244), 29 October 1920, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, LCDR. J, C. Cunningham in command
  • Converted to a Seaplane Tender, at Navy Yard Philadelphia, circa 1938-39
  • Reclassified Seaplane Tender, Small AVP-15, 1 July 1938
  • Reclassified Seaplane Tender, Destroyer AVD-2, 2 August 1940
  • Redesignated AVD (Escort Type), 3 January 1943
  • Reclassified Destroyer DD-244, 1 December 1943
  • During World War II USS Williamson was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Aleutians operation
    Attu occupation, 11 to 30 May 1943
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 16 to 26 February 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 25 March to 20 April 1945

  • Decommissioned, 8 November 1945, at Navy Yard Philadelphia, PA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 October 1946
  • USS Williamson earned four battle star for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 4 November 1948
    1943 - 1945 Specifications:
    Displacement 1,095t.(lt) 1,730t.(fl)
    Length 314' 5"
    Beam 31' 8"
    Draft 14' 1"
    Speed 30.9 kts. (trial)
    Officers 11
    Enlisted 127
    4 LCP(L) landing craft
    two single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    five single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 1,675 Bbls
    Diesel 711 Bbls
    two Westinghouse geared turbines
    two White Forester boilers, 265psi Sat°
    single Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    2 turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C. Ships Service Generators
    two propellers, 26,000shp

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    USS Williamson (AVD-2) (AVP-15)
    William Price Williamson was born 10 August 1884 in Norfolk, Virginia, the grandson of Confederate Chief Engineer William Price Williamson of North Carolina. Confederate Chief Engineer Williamson has been credited with first suggesting that the hull of the USS Merrimack could be used to build the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. He was appointed midshipman on 29 June 1903 and graduated from the Naval Academy with the class of 1907, in the advanced section of that class, on 12 September 1906. Assigned to Indiana (Battleship No. 1), he landed from that ship at Kingston, Jamaica, in January 1907 and was cited by his commanding officer for his efficient work in a rescue party during fires resulting from an earthquake there. Williamson later joined Kansas (Battleship No. 21) and made the globe-girdling cruise of the "Great White Fleet" (1907-1908) in her before he was ordered to Washington, DC, in March 1909 for "ordnance instruction." From there, he went to Utah (Battleship No. 31) in October of 1911. While in that dreadnought, he commanded the gun battery of Utah's landing force during the landings at Veracruz, Mexico, in April 1914. Williamson inspected ordnance at the E. W. Bliss and Co., Brooklyn, NY, from 1914 to 1916 before he joined Galveston (Cruiser No. 17) on 13 May 1916 for a brief tour of duty. He then journeyed to the Asiatic Station to become the Inspector of Ordnance and Powder at the Naval Magazine and Chemical Laboratory, Olongapo, P.I. (later renamed the Naval Ammunition Depot, Olongapo) on 07 July 1916. Returning to the United States in the spring of 1918, he was assigned duty assisting in the fitting out of Orizaba (Id. No. 1536) and became the ship's first executive officer when that transport was commissioned. Williamson then worked closely with the ship's commanding officer, Capt. R. Drace White, another ordnance expert, in developing a workable depth charge thrower for use on board transports, in the hope of providing them with some measure of protection of their own. Williamson's invention was a modified Lyle gun (one used for line-throwing in rescue operations). In the first test on 16 August 1918, the crude depth charge projector hurled a 50-pound charge approximately 150 feet. However, before using their creation in actual operations against submarines trailing her convoy, the two officers wanted at least one more test with a larger propellant charge. Accordingly, on 17 August 1918, they commenced another experiment, one that proved to be a disaster. Williamson fired the gun, but a defective fuse caused the depth charge to explode prematurely, killing him instantly. The blast knocked Capt. White to the deck with a broken jaw, broken knee, and flesh wounds, and killed three sailors. In addition, four other officers and 22 other enlisted men were wounded in the tragic explosion. For his work, however, Williamson was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously. Photo Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy.
    Bill Gonyo/Robert M. Cieri
    129k USS Williamson (AVD-2) getting underway, 5 February 1942, while assigned to the Aleutians as a tender for the PBY's of PatWing 4.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-20509, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Rick Davis
    137k Aerial view of USS Williamson (AVD-2) moored pierside at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 16 June 1942, serving as tender to Patrol Wings.
    US Navy photo #S NA 80G215414
    Rick Davis and John Chiquoine.

    USS Williamson (DD-244 / AVP-15 / AVD-2)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Cunningham, J. C.29 October 1920 - 1922DD-244
    02CDR. Ellis, Herbert AloysiusDecember 1926 - May 1929DD-244
    03CDR. Merrill, Aaron Stanton (Tip), USN :VADMJune 1929 - ?DD-244
    07LCDR. Wallace, Kenneth Reuben RansonJune 1934DD-244
    09CDR. Perry, John A. :RADM? - 31 October 1939AVP-15
    10LCDR. Regan, Herbert Edward, USN (USNA 1922) :RADM31 October 1939 - January 1941AVP-15 / AVD-2
    11LCDR. Kivette, Frederick Norman, USN (USNA 1925 :VADMJanuary 1941 - 10 August 1942AVD-2
    12LCDR. Fickling, Evan Edwards10 August 1942 - 14 November 1942AVD-2
    13LCDR. Madden, George Bernard14 November 1942 - February 1943AVD-2
    14LCDR. Pridmore, James ArthurFebruary 1943 - November 1944AVD-2
    15LT. Ayer, William HuntingtonNovember 1944 - ?AVD-2
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves. Photos by Bill Gonyo

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    US Navy Patrol Squadrons - USS Williamson - AVP-15)
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To USS Williamson (DD-244) Page Back To The Small Seaplane Tender (AVP) Photo Index Back To The Seaplane Tender, Destroyer (AVD) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 26 January 2024