Friday, June 11, 2021

Fullbore Friday

Our Navy needs a 4th USS Aaron Ward.

Read all of this and tell me this isn't a name that needs to be active in our fleet.

We also need a ship named after her CO, Adam Sanders.

I'll just stick with the citations:

The Presidential Unit Citation for Aaron Ward reads as follows:

For extraordinary heroism in action as a Picket Ship on Radar Picket Station during a coordinated attack by approximately 25 Japanese aircraft near Okinawa on 3 May 1945. Shooting down two kamikazes which approached in determined suicide dives, the USS AARON WARD was struck by a bomb from a third plane as she fought to destroy this attacker before it crashed into the superstructure and sprayed the entire area with flaming gasoline. Instantly flooded in her after engine room and fireroom, she battled against flames and exploding ammunition on deck, and, maneuvering in tight circles because of damage to her steering gear, countered another suicide attack and destroyed three kamikazes in rapid succession. Still smoking heavily and maneuvering radically, she lost all power when her forward fireroom flooded after a seventh suicide plane which dropped a bomb close aboard and dived in flames into the main deck. Unable to recover from this blow before an eighth bomber crashed into her superstructure bulkhead only seconds later, she attempted to shoot down a ninth kamikaze diving toward her at high speed and, despite the destruction of nearly all her gun mounts aft when this plane struck her, took under fire the tenth bomb-laden plane, which penetrated the dense smoke to crash on board with a devastating explosion. With fires raging uncontrolled, ammunition exploding and all engine spaces except the forward engine room flooded as she settled in the water and listed to port, she began a night-long battle to remain afloat and, with the assistance of a towing vessel, finally reached port the following day. By her superb fighting spirit and the courage and determination of her entire company, the AARON WARD upheld the finest traditions of the Unites States Naval Service.

For the President,

James Forrestal

Secretary of the Navy

The Navy Cross citation for Commander Sanders reads:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander William Henry Sanders, Jr., United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer USS AARON WARD (DM-34), in action against enemy aircraft on 3 May 1945, while deployed off Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands. With his radar picket station the target for a coordinated attack by approximately twenty-five Japanese suicide planes, Captain Sanders gallantly fought his ship against the attackers and, although several bomb-laden planes crashed on board, skillfully directed his vessel in destroying five kamikazes, heavily damaging four others and routing the remainder. Determined to save his ship despite severe damage and the complete loss of power during this action, he then rallied his men and renewed the fight against raging fires, exploding ammunition, and the flooding of all engineering spaces until, after a night-long battle to keep the ship afloat, he succeeded in bringing her into port. By his inspiring leadership and courage in the face of overwhelming odds, Captain Sanders upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Like I said, read it all ... and be humbled at man's ability to persevere.


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