The USS Ward

An Operational History of the Ship That Fired the First American Shot of World War II


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SKU: 9780786464296 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

In 1940, the threat of war in the Pacific forced the United States to expand its fleet quickly. This effort included reconditioning and recommissioning “four stackers” from the navy’s reserve fleet. Built in 1918 to fight German submarines, the USS Ward earned at Pearl Harbor the distinction of firing the first shot in America’s war against Japan. In the three years that followed, it was bombed, shelled, strafed, and finally sunk (on December 7, 1944), yet none of her crew of 125 men ever lost a life in combat. Information is drawn from naval records as well as from interviews with surviving crewmen. Appendices provide Ward technical data, a chronology of major events, listings of citations earned in World War II and of amphibious landings, and a roster of personnel.

About the Author(s)

World War II historian Richard P. Klobuchar is a retired civil engineer in transportation. He frequently lectures on Pearl Harbor and is the author of Pearl Harbor: Awakening a Sleeping Giant. He lives in Rochester, Minnesota.

Bibliographic Details

Richard P. Klobuchar
Forewords by Kenneth C. Swedberg ; and Guy E. Thompson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, tables, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6429-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0543-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Foreword by Kenneth C. Swedberg       1

Foreword by Guy E. Thompson       3

Preface      5

Introduction      7

Poems by Orville S. Ethier      9

1. A Fighting Ship Is Born      11

2. Too Late for War      24

3. A Ship and Crew Prepare for War      37

4. Ward Goes to Sea      51

5. First Shot of the War      66

6. Assault from the Sky      86

7. A Difficult December      97

8. Liberty      107

9. First Year at War      116

10. Ward Becomes an APD      133

11. In the South Pacific at Last      141

12. Amphibious Operations Begin      158

13. New Britain and New Guinea      174

14. Leyte      191

15. Destiny’s Date Repeated      202

16. Epilogue      217

Appendices      235

Roster of Personnel      243

Chapter Notes      255

Bibliography      259

Index      263

Book Reviews & Awards

“Klobuchar narrates this interesting story in precise detail…straightforward…recommended”—Nautical Research Journal; “at long last, an acclaimed author has seen fit to focus his talents on the exciting and emotional saga of one of America’s most interesting warships—the profound hard-fighting destroyer USS Ward (DD-139).”—Sea Classics; “well-written…of considerable value”—The NYMAS Review.