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The USS Ward
An Operational History of the Ship That Fired the First American Shot of World War II
On May 15, 1918, at Mare Island Shipyard in California, Master Shipfitter J.T. Moroney laid the keel of a hull designated simply as DD-139. In a record that still stands, Maroney had the hull ready for launching in only 17 days instead of the four months usually required. One of the last Wickes class destroyers built in the waning days of World War I, the Ward was commissioned too late to participate in the action for which it was ordered. Nevertheless, the Ward was on active duty in the Atlantic and Pacific for three years after her commissioning and participated in several historic naval events.
The work provides a vivid description of the Ward’s service during World War II. Interviews with surviving crewmen and forewords by Kenneth C. Swedberg and Guy E. Thompson, former crewmen, are included. Other sources include information from the National Archives and the Naval Historical Center. 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.