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Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663 - History

Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663 - History


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Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663

Heywood L. Edwards

(DD-663: dp. 2,700, 1. 376'6", b. 39'8", dr. 13', s. 35 k.;
cpl. 319; a. 5 5"; 10 21" tt.; cl. Fletcher)

Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) was launched by Boston Navy Yard 6 October 1943: sponsored by Mrs. Louise S. Edwards, mother of the namesake; and commissioned 26 January 1944, Comdr. J. W. Boulware in command.

Heywood L. Edwards conducted her shakedown beginning 25 February off Bermuda and after gunnery exercises off the Maine coast departed to join the Pacific Fleet. Sailing from Boston 16 April, she transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, and arrived Pearl Harbor 8 May. There Heywood L. Edwards, took part in training maneuvers with Task Force 52 under Vice Admiral R. EL. Turner, helping to weld the coordinated amphibious force which was to sweep across the Pacific. The ships got underway from Pearl Harbor 29 May for the Marianas with Heywood L. Edwards acting as screening unit for the transport group, and during the initial landings on Saipan 15 June the destroyer took up patrol station to seaward of the invasion beaches. From 21 30 June she closed the beaches to deliver vital fire support for the advancing Marines, and continued that highly effective duty until 2 July. Heywood L. Edwards then joined cruiser Montpelier for the bombardment of Tinian, another island objective of the Marianas campaign.

The destroyer returned to her gunfire support role off Saipan 6 July, and the next night, 7 July, she was called upon to rescue a group of soldiers cut off from the American lines and stranded on the beach. Heywood L.Edwards put over her whaleboat and made four shuttle trips over the treacherous reefs to rescue the 44 men, transferring them to a nearby LCI. Between 19 and 21 July she fired more bombardment missions off Tinian in support of the impending landing there, returned to Saipan fire support duties for a few more days, and got underway from the Marianas 30 July for Eniwetok.

With the Marianas secured, the next objective in the push across the Pacific was the capture of advance bases for the invasion of the Philippines. Heywood L.Edwards took part in the Peleliu operation, departing 18 August for training exercises with amphibious forces on Florida Island and sailing for the western Carolines 6 September. Arriving 11 September, the destroyer maintained an antisubmarine patrol around the heavier bombardment units until 13 September, when she was detached to provide close support for underwater demolition teams working on beach obstructions. On 15 September, the day or the assault on this strategic island, Heywood L.Edwards provided fire support to forces ashore, illumination fire at night, and succeeded in knocking out an ammunition dump next day as the struggle continued. She encountered a group of barges loaded with reinforcements shortly after midnight 23 September, and after illuminating them with star shell opened with her main battery. By dawn she had sunk 14 of the barges, aided by landing craft, and had helped prevent the landing of some 650 Japanese troops.

The landing a success, Heywood L. Edwards proceeded to Manus, Admiralty islands, where she arrived 1 October. There she joined with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's fire support and bombardment group for the historic return to the Philippines, departing for Leyte 12 October 1944. She conducted pre-invasion bombardment 18-20 October and provided gunfire support for the landings 20 October. This work continued for 4 days under frequent enemy air attack. Then Heywood L. Edwards joined once more with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's force for the impending Battle of Surigao Strait, as the Japanese made a desperate attempt to destroy the landing force.

As Oldendorf's masterfully deployed forces waited at the end of Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards headed section 3 of Destroyer Squadron 56, screening the left flank of the cruiser line. Torpedo boats and destroyers made the initial attacks, farther down the strait, and just after 0300 26 October H Heywood L. Edwards and her unit were ordered to attack. In company with Leutze and Bennion the destroyer steamed down the port side of the enemy column and ran through a hail of gunfire to launch torpedoes. Two hits were obtained on Japanese battleship Yamashiro, with Albert W. Grant on the American side damaged but afloat. After this intrepid attack, the Japanese steamed into Oldendorf's trap. As the destroyers retired, his heavy units pounded the enemy line, allowing only cruiser Mogami (later sunk by aircraft) and one destroyer to escape. As morning broke over Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards took station on the port bow of the cruisers in search of enemy cripples, patrolled the eastern entrance to the strait for a day, then returned to take up station in Leyte Gulf.

With the American victory complete at sea, Heywood L. Edwards remained in the invasion area until 26 November, patrolling and protecting the shipping building up in the gulf. She arrived Manus for a much-needed rest and repair period 29 November. Soon underway again, however, she sailed 16 December, and after training exercises in the Palau Islands departed 1 January with Oldendorf group for the second important phase of the Philippine invasion, Lingayen Gulf. Fighting off suicide planes as they steamed, the ships arrived Lingayen Gulf 6 January, and Heywood. L. Edwards downed two of these aircraft during a strong attack that day. She then took up her fire support duties for UDT teams, and with the landings 9 January covered troops on the beachhead and fired at strong points ashore. She continued these assignments in addition to protecting arriving and departing convoys until 22 January, when she departed for Ulithi.

Next on the relentless timetable of Pacific victory was Iwo Jima, seen as a key base for B-29 operations against the mainland of Japan. Edwards participated in landing rehearsals 12-14 February 1945 and screened heavy units during the pre-invasion bombardment, As the Marines stormed ashore 19 February ~he began firing support missions, aiding the hard fighting ashore until 27 February, when she sailed for Saipan. The destroyer then sailed on to Ulithi and formed with the supporting forces for the coming invasion of Okinawa.

The task force for this landing departed Ulithi 21 March, and after her arrival 4 days later Heywood L. Edwards covered the UDT teams' reconnaissance of Kerama Betto. As those islands were captured 27 March in preparation for the larger landings, the destroyer found herself in the midst of heavy suicide attacks and shot down many of the kamikazes She covered the UDT landings on Okinawa 30 March, bombarded an airfield ashore that afternoon, and 1 April joined in the bombardment of the assault areas. During the next weeks of bitter fighting ashore naval forces effectively sealed off the island from any possible reinforcement and effectively supported the troops with gunfire. Edwards and the other vessels had to fight off continuing suicide attacks and other menaces. When destroyer Longshaw ran aground on a reef 18 May, Heywood L. Edwards knocked out shore batteries which had opened on the stricken ship. She then continued performing fire support and radar picket duties off Okinawa until 28 July, when she sailed for Leyte Gulf. She had helped to carry out one of the most prolonged and successful fire support operations in the history of amphibious warfare.

The destroyer departed Leyte 2 August, and after a time at Saipan and Eniwetok she got underway again 29 August. Sailing toward Japan, Heywood L. Edwards covered the initial occupation of the Ominato area 6 September 1945 and departed that port 22 October for the United States, via Pearl Harbor. She arrived Seattle 10 November, decommissioned 1 July 1946, and entered the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Brought out of reserve in 1959, she was loaned to Japan under the Military Assistance Program, where she serves as Ariake (DD-183).

Heywood L. Edwards received seven battle stars for her service in World War II and a Navy Unit Commendation for her outstanding part in the great amphibious operations of 1944-5.


HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, LCDR, USN

TEX started life "wrasslin" steers on the plains of Texas. So, at the outset of his career in the Navy, he signed up with the mat artists, and has since been one of the mainstays of the team. Second Class year he became the hero in a little drama entitled, "From Wrestler to Boxer in Four Days" and the villain in its sequel, "Back to Wrestler in Three Rounds."

When Babe first appeared as a Middy Fourth he was the typical Lone Star Ranger. After settling sundry details, such as the confiscation of his shootin' irons, the discarding of his sombrero, and the placing of cactus in his shoes so he would feel at home, he settled down and proceeded to make the acquaintance of all the officer's kids, dogs, W.O.'s and poker players.

"I'm wild and woolly and full of fleas,
I've never been curried below the knees,
I'm an old she wolf from Bitter Creek
And it's my night to howl-l!"

Wrestling (4, 3, 2, 1), N (3, 2, 1), Captain (1) Football, B Squad (4) Football Squad (2, 1), Navy Numerals (2) Boxing Intercollegiates (2) Class Tennis (4, 3), Numerals (4, 3) Black N*****.

Heywood Lane Edwards

TEX started life "wrasslin" steers on the plains of Texas. So, at the outset of his career in the Navy, he signed up with the mat artists, and has since been one of the mainstays of the team. Second Class year he became the hero in a little drama entitled, "From Wrestler to Boxer in Four Days" and the villain in its sequel, "Back to Wrestler in Three Rounds."

When Babe first appeared as a Middy Fourth he was the typical Lone Star Ranger. After settling sundry details, such as the confiscation of his shootin' irons, the discarding of his sombrero, and the placing of cactus in his shoes so he would feel at home, he settled down and proceeded to make the acquaintance of all the officer's kids, dogs, W.O.'s and poker players.

"I'm wild and woolly and full of fleas,
I've never been curried below the knees,
I'm an old she wolf from Bitter Creek
And it's my night to howl-l!"

Wrestling (4, 3, 2, 1), N (3, 2, 1), Captain (1) Football, B Squad (4) Football Squad (2, 1), Navy Numerals (2) Boxing Intercollegiates (2) Class Tennis (4, 3), Numerals (4, 3) Black N*****.


Ahoy - Mac's Web Log

You don't know me from Adam's housecat. However, we may share some wartime experiences going back to 1945. For three years, I served aboard the US Destroyer Heywood L Edwards, DD 663, Fletcher class We arrived in the Pacific theater fairly late, our first operation being support for the landings on Tinian and Saipan. We were rather actively engaged during the remainder of the war, acquiring 7 "battle stars" and a Unit Citation.

However, my main purpose in this note is to compare notes on actions in which we both participated. At times, we operated with the HMAS Arunta, and HMAS Shropshire. When the Japanese turned full bore,to suicide attacks, they seemed to have a preference for the Shropshire, her three funnels providing a distinct aiming point.

My particular interest is in the Battle of Suraigo Straits, and any personal experiences you may recall of the events of that battle. Along with many other destroyers, we made a torpedo run against the Japanese battle line and participated in the cleanup operations the following morning. I have some rather vivid recollections of those days, and would be pleased to share them with you if there is any interest on your part.

At that time I was Lt. [j.g.] in the Engineering roster, having become an officer and a gentleman via 4 months at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.

But enough for now. If you have any interest in pursuing this info exchange, please contact me at my email address [email protected]

Sincerely, Gene Edwards, Mon. April 5, 2004 1429 PDST.

Thank you for your message, I would be delighted to correspond with you, and swap rememberences of our fight against the Japanese in the Pacific.

I had gone to sea in August of 1939 as a Cadet Midshipman, and stayed at sea or overseas for the entire war. Serving in HMA ships, Australia, Canberra ( to be sunk in her at the Battle of Savo Island ) Adelaide, and Shropshire. I joined her just after the Leyte landings and so missed that last great sea battle of all times, Suriago Straits. I have however, written about that battle and the Leyte landings on my Ahoy site.

Nice to hear from you, just open up the topics, and start by giving me your impressions of Suriago please.

The Kamikaze's seemed to love the three large funnels of both Shropshire and Australia, the latter collecting six in all on board, the first at Leyte, and 5 at Lingayen .

Glad you received my recollections of the Battle of Suriago Straits. I'm not always on the best of terms with my computer, and I had trouble getting my comments on the net to you. I hope that what you received was Revision B, since it had a bit more info than the original draft. RSVP.

I enjoyed reading about your experiences in the Lingayen Gulf operation. Thank goodness that the liquid thrown up on the bridge of the Shropshire from the near miss of the behalved Kamikaze and its bomb was sea water, not gasoline----else I would be short one Aussie correspondent.

I think that those who were on the receiving end of Kamikaze attacks dreaded the gasoline fire at impact as much as they did damage from plane parts, and that of the bomb, if one was aboard. I think it was true of topside personnel, perhaps not of those below decks.

The Edwards was in on the Lingayen Gulf operation for 4 or 5 days, assigned to prelanding bombardment and post landing fire support. I don't think there was much resistance to the landing and not much need for fire support after the the first couple of days. We made a couple of trips in and out of the Gulf.

But the Gulf was an ideal place for Kamikaze attack. There were a number of air fields, although heavily worked over by our carrier planes, could still launch Japanese planes. And the low hills on the eastern side of the Gulf provided cover for low flying Japanese planes to come undetected by radar.

On our first entry into the Gulf-- just as we were going in, there was an overflight of at least two Japanese planes coming in from the West. However, we did not fire on them---perhaps they were too high or not perceived to be an immediate threat. Later, and I don't remember when, one of our squadron did take a hit, but with minimum damage. It was coming in low, broadside to the ship, and hit the ship at deck level, the engine passing at deck level between the # 1 and #2 gun mounts. I don't think that there were any personnel casualities.

However, there is one episode that still leaves a picture in my mind, which occurred late one afternoon. I believe that our group of ships was in more or less single file preparing to leave for the night. From my position on the platform on # 2 stack, I saw a Japanese plane skim over the hills on the eastern side of the Gulf, drop down to 50--100 feet above the water and come broadside to the column. Every ship that could bring a gun to bear opened up and there was and there was so much flak out there that it was hard to believe the plane didn't go down. However, the pilot kept jinking his plane, survived the flak, and hit a battleship ahead of us in line about where all the 40 mm mounts and 5 in. secondary batteries were located. I don't know whether he had a bomb aboard, but there was a huge ball of fire. The last thing the pilot did was a wingover so he hit the ship more or less in an inverted position. I heard later that there was a large number of casualities where the plane hit. The battleship was either the California or the Mississippi I think the former.

Another story of an attack that same afternoon, and I can't vouch for it, was that another destroyer was attacked from astern by a Japanese float plane. It apparently landed in the water some distance from the ship, then after an interval, took off again and headed for the destroyer, apparently hoping to make a "stealth" approach. His hopes were dashed by a single 20mm gunner on the fantail who saw him in time to shoot him. down.

Well, I have rambled on enough, so will sign off for now. The Heywood L. Edwards participated in the operations at Iwo Jima, and at Okinawa, as perhaps your ship did also. Perhaps we can swap some recollections of those campaigns if you wish.

Warm regards,
Gene Edwards

This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.


Marianas and Palaus [ edit ]

Heywood L. Edwards conducted her shakedown beginning 25 February off Bermuda and after gunnery exercises off the Maine coast departed to join the Pacific Fleet. Sailing from Boston, Massachusetts on 16 April, she transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, California and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 May. There Edwards, took part in training manoeuvres with Task Force 52 (TF㺴) under Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner. The ships got underway from Pearl Harbor on 29 May for the Marianas with Heywood L. Edwards acting as screening unit for the transport group and during the initial landings on Saipan on 15 June the destroyer took up patrol station to seaward of the invasion beaches. From 21󈞊 June she approached the beaches to deliver fire support for the advancing Marines and continued that duty until 2 July. Edwards then joined the cruiser USS Montpelier for the bombardment of Tinian, as part of the Marianas campaign.

The destroyer returned to her gunfire support role off Saipan on 6 July and the next night, 7 July, she was called upon to rescue a group of soldiers cut off from Allied lines and stranded on the beach. Heywood L. Edwards put over her whaleboat and made four shuttle trips over the reefs to rescue 44 men, transferring them to a nearby LCI. Between 19 and 21 July she shelled Tinian in support of the impending landing there, returned to Saipan for fire support duties and got underway from the Marianas on 30 July for Eniwetok.

Heywood L. Edwards took part in the Peleliu operation, departing 18 August for training exercises with amphibious forces on Florida Island and sailing for the western Carolines 6 September. Arriving 11 September, the destroyer maintained an antisubmarine patrol around the heavier units until 13 September, when she was detached to provide close support for underwater demolition teams (UDTs) clearing beach obstructions. On 15 September, Edwards provided, illumination fire at night and knocked out an ammunition dump. She encountered a group of barges with reinforcements shortly after midnight 23 September and after illuminating them with star shell engaged with her main guns. By dawn, she claimed 14 of the barges, aided by landing craft and helped prevent the landing of Japanese troops.

Philippines [ edit ]

Heywood L. Edwards proceeded to Manus Island, Admiralty Islands arriving 1 October. There she joined with Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's fire support and bombardment group for the return to the Philippines, departing for Leyte 12 October 1944. She conducted pre-invasion bombardment 18󈞀 October and provided gunfire support for the landings on 20 October. This work continued for 4 days and under frequent air attack. Edwards joined once more with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's force for the Battle of Surigao Strait.

As Oldendorf's deployed forces waited at the end of Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards headed sectionك of Destroyer Squadron㺸 (DesRon㺸), screening the left flank of the cruiser line. Torpedo boats and destroyers made the initial attacks, farther down the strait and just after 03:00 25 October Edwards and her unit was ordered to attack. In company with Leutze and Bennion, the destroyers steamed down the port side of the enemy column and launched torpedoes. Two hits were obtained on Japanese battleship Yamashiro with the destroyer Albert W. Grant damaged. After this attack, the Japanese steamed into Oldendorf's main forces. As the destroyers retired, the heavy units shelled the enemy ships, with only the cruiser Mogami (later sunk by aircraft) and destroyer Shigure escaping. The following morning, Heywood L. Edwards took station on the port bow of the cruisers in search of any remaining enemy vessels, patrolled the eastern entrance to the strait for a day, then returned to take up station in Leyte Gulf.

With the Allied victory complete at sea, Heywood L. Edwards remained in the invasion area until 25 November, patrolling and protecting the shipping building up in the gulf. She arrived at Manus for a rest and repair period on 29 November, sailing on 15 December for training exercises in the Palau Islands. She departed on 1 January with Oldendorf's group for the second phase of the Philippine invasion, at Lingayen Gulf. Engaging kamikaze suicide aircraft as they sailed, the ships arrived Lingayen Gulf 6 January where Edwards claimed two of these aircraft. She then took up her fire support duties for UDT teams and with the landings, 9 January covered troops on the beachhead and fired at shore targets. She continued these assignments and convoy escort until 22 January, when she departed for Ulithi.

Iwo Jima and Okinawa [ edit ]

Iwo Jima was seen as a key base for B-29 operations against the mainland of Japan. Heywood L. Edwards participated in landing rehearsals 12󈝺 February 1945 and screened the fleet during the pre-invasion bombardment. During the landings on Iwo Jima she provided naval gunfire support from the 19󈞇 February, when she sailed for Saipan.

Heywood L. Edwards returned to Ulithi and joined Task Force 54 (TF 54) for the invasion of Okinawa. TF 54 departed Ulithi on 21 March and after her arrival 4 days later Heywood L. Edwards covered the UDT teams' reconnaissance of Kerama Retto. On 27 March, in preparation for the main landings, she helped defend the fleet from kamikaze attacks. She covered the UDT landings on Okinawa on 30 March, shelled an airfield ashore that afternoon and on 1 April joined in the bombardment of the assault areas. During the next weeks of fighting ashore, naval forces effectively sealed off the island from any reinforcement and supported the troops with gunfire. Edwards and the other vessels fought off air attacks. When destroyer Longshaw ran aground on a reef 18 May, Heywood L. Edwards knocked out shore batteries which had fired on the ship. She then continued performing fire support and radar picket duties off Okinawa until 28 July, when she sailed for Leyte Gulf.

The destroyer departed Leyte on 2 August and after a time at Saipan and Eniwetok she got underway again on 29 August. Sailing toward Japan, Heywood L. Edwards covered the initial occupation of the Ominato area on 6 September 1945 and departed that port on 22 October for the United States, via Pearl Harbor. She arrived at Seattle on 10 November, decommissioned on 1 July 1946 and entered the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet.


Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663 - History

A riak e - USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663 ) - in USN service

USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663):


Heywood Lane Edwards was born in San Saba, Tex., 9 November 1905 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1926. After serving in battleship Florida, cruiser Reno and other ships, he underwent submarine instruction in 1931, served in several submarines, and was assigned to cruiser Detroit in 1935. Lt. Comdr. Edwards assumed command of destroyer Reuben James 6 April 1940. His ship became the first in the U.S. Navy to be sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic when it was torpedoed by a German submarine while on convoy duty west of Iceland 30-31 October 1941. Lt. Comdr. Edwards and 99 of his crew perished with the ship.

Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) was launched by Boston Navy Yard 6 October 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Louise S. Edwards, mother of the namesake and commissioned 26 January 1944, Comdr. J. W. Boulware in command.

Heywood L. Edwards conducted her shakedown beginning 25 February off Bermuda and after gunnery exercises off the Maine coast departed to join the Pacific Fleet. Sailing from Boston 16 April, she transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, and arrived Pearl Harbor 8 May. There Heywood L. Edwards, took part in training maneuvers with Task Force 52 under Vice Admiral R. K. Turner, helping to weld the coordinated amphibious force which was to sweep across the Pacific. The ships got underway from Pearl Harbor 29 May for the Marianas with Heywood L. Edwards acting as screening unit for the transport group, and during the initial landings on Saipan 15 June the destroyer took up patrol station to seaward of the invasion beaches. From 21-30 June she closed the beaches to deliver vital fire support for the advancing Marines, and continued that highly effective duty until 2 July. Heywood L. Edwards then joined cruiser Montpelier for the bombardment of Tinian, another island objective of the Marianas campaign.

The destroyer returned to her gunfire support role off Saipan 6 July, and the next night, 7 July, she was called upon to rescue a group of soldiers cut off from the American lines and stranded on the beach. Heywood L. Edwards put over her whaleboat and made four shuttle trips over the treacherous reefs to rescue the 44 men, transferring them to a nearby LCI. Between 19 and 21 July she fired more bombardment missions off Tinian in support of the impending landing there, returned to Saipan fire support duties for a few more days, and got underway from the Marianas 30 July for Eniwetok.

With the Marianas secured, the next objective in the push across the Pacific was the capture of advance bases for the invasion of the Philippines. Heywood L. Edwards took part in the Peleliu operation, departing 18 August for training exercises with amphibious forces on Florida Island and sailing for the western Carolines 6 September. Arriving 11 September, the destroyer maintained an antisubmarine patrol around the heavier bombardment units until 13 September, when she was detached to provide close support for underwater demolition teams working on beach obstructions. On 15 September, the day of the assault on this strategic island, Heywood L. Edwards provided fire support to forces ashore, illumination fire at night, and succeeded in knocking out an ammunition dump next day as the struggle continued. She encountered a group of barges loaded with reinforcements shortly after midnight 23 September, and after illuminating them with star shell opened with her main battery. By dawn she had sunk 14 of the barges, aided by landing craft, and had helped prevent the landing of some 650 Japanese troops.

The landing a success, Heywood L. Edwards proceeded to Manus, Admiralty Islands, where she arrived 1 October. There she joined with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's fire support and bombardment group for the historic return to the Philippines, departing for Leyte 12 October 1944. She conducted pre-invasion bombardment 18-20 October and provided gunfire support for the landings 20 October. This work continued for 4 days under frequent enemy air attack. Then Heywood L. Edwards joined once more with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's force for the impendingBattle of Surigao Strait, as the Japanese made a desperate attempt to destroy the landing force.

As Oldendorf's masterfully deployed forces waited at the end of Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards headed section 3 of Destroyer Squadron 56, screening the left flank of the cruiser line. Torpedo boats and destroyers made the initial attacks, farther down the strait, and just after 0300 25 October Heywood L. Edwards and her unit were ordered to attack. In company with Leutze and Bennion the destroyer steamed down the port side of the enemy column and ran through a hail of gunfire to launch torpedoes. Two hits were obtained on Japanese battleship Yamashiro, with Albert W. Grant on -the American side damaged but afloat. After this intrepid attack, the Japanese steamed into Oldendorf's trap. As the destroyers retired, his heavy units pounded the enemy line, allowing only cruiser Mogami (later sunk by aircraft) and one destroyer to escape. As morning broke over Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards took station on the port bow of the cruisers in search of enemy cripples, patrolled the eastern entrance to the strait for a day, then returned to take up station in Leyte Gulf.

With the American victory complete at sea, Heywood L. Edwards remained in the invasion area until 25 November, patrolling and protecting the shipping building up in the gulf. She arrived Manus for a much-needed rest and repair period 29 November. Soon underway again, however, she sailed 15 December, and after training exercises in the Palau Islands departed 1 January with Oldendorf's group for the second important phase of the Philippine invasion, Lingayen Gulf. Fighting off suicide planes as they steamed, the ships arrived Lingayen Gulf 6 January, and Heywood L. Edwards downed two of these aircraft during a strong attack that day. She then took up her fire support duties for UDT teams, and with the landings 9 January covered troops on the beachhead and fired at strong points ashore. She continued these assignments in addition to protecting arriving and departing convoys until 22 January, when she departed for Ulithi.

Next on the relentless timetable of Pacific victory was Iwo Jima, seen as a key base for B-29 operations against the mainland of Japan. Heywood L. Edwards participated in landing rehearsals 12-14 February 1945 and screened heavy units during the pre-invasion bombardment. As the Marines stormed ashore 19 February she began firing support missions, aiding the hard fighting ashore until 27 February, when she sailed for Saipan. The destroyer then sailed on to Ulithi and formed with the supporting forces for the coming invasion of Okinawa.
The task force for this landing departed Ulithi 21 March, and after her arrival 4 days later Heywood L. Edwards covered the UDT teams' reconnaissance of Kerama Retto. As those islands were captured 27 March in preparation for the larger landings, the destroyer found herself in the midst of heavy suicide attacks and shot down many of the kamikazes. She covered the UDT landings on Okinawa 30 March, bombarded an airfield ashore that afternoon, and 1 April joined in the bombardment of the assault areas. During the next weeks of bitter fighting ashore, naval forces effectively sealed off the island from any possible reinforcement and effectively supported the troops with gunfire. Heywood L. Edwards and the other vessels had to fight off continuing suicide attacks and other menaces. When destroyer Longshaw ran aground on a reef 18 May, Heywood L. Edwards knocked out shore batteries which had opened on the stricken ship. She then continued performing lire support and radar picket duties off Okinawa until 28 July, when she sailed for Leyte Gulf. She had helped to carry out one of the most prolonged and successful fire support operations in the history of amphibious warfare.

The destroyer departed Leyte 2 August, and after a time at Saipan and Eniwetok she got underway again 29 August. Sailing toward Japan, Heywood L. Edwards covered the initial occupation of the Ominato area 6 September 1945 and departed that port 22 October for the United States, via Pearl Harbor. She arrived Seattle 10 November, decommissioned 1 July 1946, and entered the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Brought out of reserve in 1959, she was loaned to Japan under the Military Assistance Program, where she serves as Ariake (DD-183).

Yugur e - USS Richard P. Leary (DD 664 ) - in USN service



USS Richard P. Leary (DD 664):

Richard Phillips Leary was born 3 November 1842 in Baltimore, Md. He entered the Naval Academy in 1860. During the Civil War, he served in Canandaigua and Sangamon assigned to the Atlantic blockade. Later, during tension with Germany over Samoa, Leary commanded Adams at Samoa from October to December 1888. In the Spanish-American War, he commanded San Francisco off Havana, Cuba. From 1899 into 1900, Captain Leary served as Naval Governor of Guam. Retiring in 1901, Rear Admiral Leary died 27 December at Chelsea, Mass.

Richard P. Leary (DD-664) was laid down 4 July 1943 at the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass. launched 6 October 1943 sponsored by Mrs. George K. Crozer III and commissioned 23 February 1944, Comdr. Frederic S. Habecker in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Richard P. Leary sailed via the Panama Canal for Pearl Harbor. After escort duty to Eniwetok and Saipan in July, she supported the landings at Peleliu 15 September, and at Leyte 20 October. During the Battle of Surigao Strait on the 25th, she launched torpedoes, splashed one enemy plane, and guarded the damaged Albert W. Grant (DD-649). While patrolling off Leyte Gulf on 1 November, she rescued 70 survivors of Abner Read (DD-526). During the Lingayen Gulf campaign, she shot down one enemy plane 6 January 1945, and rendered fire-support for the landings on the 9th. She again supplied gunfire support for the landings at Iwo Jima 19 February and for the landings at Okinawa 1 April. During the night of 6-7 April she escorted the damaged Morris (DD-417) to Kerama Retto, Okinawa Gunto. Upon completion of duties at Okinawa her next assignment took her to Adak, Alaska, in August. After serving in the Aleutians, she sailed for Japan arriving at Ominato, 8 September. She departed Japan on the 30th, and steamed to San Diego, Calif.

Designated for inactivation after her return, she decommissioned 10 December 1946, and was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Richard P. Leary was transferred 10 March 1959 to Japan, in whose Navy she served as Yugure until retired in 1974.


Edwards was born in San Saba, Tex., 9 November 1905 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1926. He competed for the United States in freestyle wrestling in the 1928 Summer Olympics, earning 4th place in the light heavyweight division. After serving in battleship Florida (BB-30), destroyer Reno (DD-303) and other ships, he underwent submarine instruction in 1931, served in several submarines, and was assigned to cruiser Detroit (CL-8) in 1935. Lieutenant Commander Edwards assumed command of Reuben James (DD-245) 6 April 1940. His ship became the first in the U.S. Navy to be sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic when it was torpedoed by a German submarine while on convoy duty west of Iceland 30󈞋 October 1941. Lt. Comdr. Edwards and 99 of his crew perished with the ship.

In 1943, the destroyer USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) was named in his honor.


Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663 - History

USS SPROSTON DD/DDE577

History of the USS Sproston

(DD-577: dp. 2,940 (f) l. 376'5", b. 39'7" dr. 17'9" s. 35.2 k. cpl. 329 a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 10 21" tt. cl. Fletcher)

The second Sproston (DD-577) was laid down on 1 April 1942 by the Consolidated Steel Co., Orange,Tex. launched on 31 August 1942 sponsored by Mrs. Aline G. Darst and commissioned on 19 May 1943, Comdr. Fred R. Stickney in command.

Following shakedown off Cuba, Sproston transited the Panama Canal on 4 November 1943. After a brief stop at San Francisco, she sailed for Pearl Harbor on 15 November and, 11 days later, headed for the Aleutian Islands. She entered Kuluk Bay, Adak, on December 1st and was assigned to Destroyer Squadron (Des Ron) 49, a unit of Task Force (TF) 94.

She spent the next two months in gunnery practice and exercises. On 1 February 1944, Sproston departed Massacre Bay with TF 94 to shell targets in the Kuril Islands. On 4 February, she bombarded Kurabu Point in the Kurabu-Saki area of Paramushiro Island. One month later, the task force sailed north in the Sea of Okhotsk to strike targets in the Kurils again but, because of extremely heavy seas and poor visibility, the mission was aborted.

Sproston spent the next three months on antisubmarine sweeps and patrols off the Aleutians. On 10 June, she was again underway for the Kurils where she participated in the pre-dawn bombardment of Matsuwa Island. On the 26th, she shelled Kurabu Zaki airfield on the southern end of Paramushiro Island.

On 8 August, Sproston departed Sweeper Cove, Adak, for a two-week stay in San Francisco before sailing for the South Pacific war zone. En route, she made port at Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Manus. In October, she was assigned to Task Unit 79.11.2 whose primary mission was to screen transports of Task Group 79.2 off Dulag, Leyte Island, during the initial campaign to liberate the Philippines.

On October 25th, with supporting fire from Hale (DD-642) and Pickens (APA-190), she splashed her first enemy plane. On 18 November, in San Pedro Bay, Sproston's gunners downed two "Zekes" of a five plane attack force.

In late December 1944 and early January 1946, Sproston patrolled in the Lingayen area of central Luzon. On 8 January, another Japanese plane fell victim to her guns. From Lingayen, she sailed to the Zambales area to support landing operations there. At 1248 on 29 January, she entered Subic Bay. Sproston was believed to be the first United States warship to enter Subic Bay since the Japanese occupation had begun. She continued operations in the Philippine Islands until 18 February when she was assigned to escort duty. Ordered to Guam for a week, she was in Apra Harbor from 25 February to 1 March when she sailed for Milne Bay. By 13 March, she was back in Leyte Gulf.

On March 21st, she was underway for Kerama Retto and Okinawa Gunto, Ryukyu Islands. Sproston relieved Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) on 26 March and began picket and patrol duty. That evening, her guns hit a "Jill" which departed in flames. On 2 April, she provided call fire on Makiminato Saki, destroying two enemy pillboxes and a warehouse.

Sproston received damage to her sonar equipment and main battery computer on 4 April by the near miss of a bomb which exploded 50 yards off her port beam. There were no casualties, and the sonar equipment was quickly repaired, but the main battery could only be fired by local control. She retired to Guam for repair of her main computer and was back on station within two weeks. Off Hagushi Beach on 12 May, she fired 16 rounds at an enemy plane which burst into flames and crashed. On 28 May Sproston and Wadsworth (DD-576) downed two planes within an hour. With supporting fire from Bradford (DD-545), she splashed another on the 29th. On 6 June, she rescued a pilot from escort carrier Gilbert Island (CVE-107) whose plane had been shot down.

On 28 June, while she was steaming independently toward the United States for overhaul, Sproston was signaled, between Saipan and Eniwetok, by Antares (AKS-3), that she was under submarine attack and required assistance. Arriving in the vicinity of the submarine, Sproston made good sonar contact at a range of 1,000 yards. At 500 yards a periscope was observed passing from starboard to port. The destroyer made an unsuccessful attempt to ram the submarine which was then identified as a fleet type. Sproston dropped a full pattern of depth charges, and a large oil slick was later observed. She made six more attacks with negative results. After all her depth charges were expended, a lookout spotted a torpedo wake approaching Sproston, 60° off her port bow. Sproston turned hard left and the torpedo passed along her port side. A periscope was then sighted off the port quarter belonging to a midget submarine. The main battery commenced firing, and one salvo found its mark, causing a large secondary explosion which sank the submarine. LCI-585, LSM-196, and LSM-197 arrived to help conduct night radar coverage of the area. The next morning, Parks (DE-165), Levy (DE-162), and Roberts (DE-749) joined the group. After a thorough search, all ships were directed to carry out their previous orders.

Sproston arrived at San Francisco on 14 July 1945 where she underwent yard overhaul and prepared for inactivation: She moved to San Diego in mid-December and was placed out of commission on 18 January 1946.

After Communist forces invaded South Korea, Sproston was recommissioned as DDE-577 on 15 September 1950. Her initial training was conducted with the Fleet Training Group, San Diego. Sproston departed San Diego in early 1951 for Eniwetok to participate in the Atomic Bomb Test. When the test was over in July, Sproston sailed to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, and began the normal routine of Pacific Fleet destroyers: holding fleet, type, and individual exercises.

In early 1952, she entered the shipyard for overhaul and then, after refresher training, she sailed, on 2 June, for the Far East.

On 15 June, Sproston was assigned to Task Force 77, the 7th Fleet Striking Force, operating off the east coast of Korea in the Hungnam-Simpo area. During the next six months, she participated in the Taiwan Patrol when not assigned to TF 77.

Sproston returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 December 1952 and began a regular operating schedule as a member of DesRon 25. In the next decade, she made nine cruises to the Far East for operations with the Seventh Fleet. She spent part of each deployment on the Taiwan Patrol and also participated in amphibious and other type exercises. In 1958 and in 1961, Sproston was awarded the Battle Efficiency E.

In 1962, she was redesignated DD-577. Normal operating duties continued through 1963 and 1964. In March 1965, she began a five-month overhaul in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. When this was completed, she conducted extensive refresher training to prepare her crew for deployment to the western Pacific.

Sproston departed Pearl Harbor on 27 December with Ranger (CVA-61), England (DLG-22), and Carpenter (DD-825) and headed, via Subic Bay, for the Vietnam coast. The group arrived at "Dixie Station" off the coast of South Vietnam on 16 January 1966 and remained there until 13 February. Sproston was assigned rescue and antisubmarine screening duties. On the 18th, she was directed to proceed to Phnoc Hui Bay to provide naval gunfire support. During the night, the ship shelled Viet Cong base camps and assembly areas.

On 19 January, she rejoined the carrier task group which had moved to "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin. Sproston was detached from 5 to 11 February to perform trawler surveillance and blocking. During this time, she observed a Russian Okean-Class vessel, the Gidrofon, which was believed to be gathering electronic and tactical information. She rejoined the carrier group which returned to Subic Bay until 22 February. Back at "Yankee Station," Sproston was again detached for Naval Gunfire Support duty.

She arrived off the coast, in the II Corps area, on 1 March and remained there until the 20th, firing 40 support missions for the 1st Cavalry Division and South Vietnamese Marines. The most eventful came on 9 March when, during a three hour battle, her guns helped to repulse a battalion-strength Viet Cong attack against Republic of Vietnam Marines near Tam Quan.

On 21 March, she and the Task Group proceeded to Yokosuka whence it departed on 5 April for another tour at "Dixie Station." Sproston worked with Ranger at both "Dixie Station" and "Yankee Station" during the patrol.

Sproston was detached from the Task Group on 4 May and visited Hong Kong, Subic Bay, and Yokosuka before she returned to Pearl Harbor for upkeep and the installation of a recovery crane as she had been selected to participate in an Apollo spacecraft recovery.

On 25 August, she was on station off Kwajalein when the spacecraft passed overhead and landed 200 miles north, where it was recovered by Hornet (CVS-12). Sproston returned to Pearl Harbor on 2 September and remained there undergoing repair services and conducting type training for the remainder of the year.

In January and February 1967, Sproston conducted local operations to prepare for her 1967 deployment to the Far East. She sailed for Yokosuka on 6 March and, one month later, was back at "Yankee Station." She participated in Operation "Sea Lion" and provided gunfire support until 14 May. She then joined Hancock (CVA 19) as escort and plane guard for two and one-half months. During this period of deployment, she performed trawler surveillance duty at "Yankee Station" several times when the Russian ships AGI Deflektor, Barograf, and Gidrofon entered the area.

Sproston and Carpenter departed Vietnam on 4 August for Sydney, Australia, where they participated in a joint ASW exercise with units of the British and New Zealand Navies off the coast of New Zealand.

Having steamed almost 40,000 miles since leaving Pearl Harbor, Sproston returned to her home port on 11 September. She underwent general repair and conducted local operations until the last of December 1967 when she was ordered to Guam for yard availability.

Upon completion of yard work in mid-March, Sproston returned to Pearl Harbor until 29 July when she sailed for the west coast. When she arrived in San Diego, she was notified that she was to be decommissioned. She sailed to Pearl Harbor late in August and, on 30 September 1968, was placed out of commission. Sproston was struck from the Navy list on 10 October 1968 and sold to Chou's Iron and Steel Co., Taipei, Taiwan, for scrap.

Sproston received five battle stars for World War II, one for Korean service, and three for Vietnamese service.


Contents

Marianas and Palaus

Heywood L. Edwards conducted her shakedown beginning 25 February off Bermuda and after gunnery exercises off the Maine coast departed to join the Pacific Fleet. Sailing from Boston, Mass. 16 April, she transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, Calif., and arrived Pearl Harbor 8 May. There Edwards, took part in training maneuvers with Task Force 52 (TF 52) under Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner, helping to weld the coordinated amphibious force which was to sweep across the Pacific. The ships got underway from Pearl Harbor 29 May for the Marianas with Heywood L. Edwards acting as screening unit for the transport group, and during the initial landings on Saipan 15 June the destroyer took up patrol station to seaward of the invasion beaches. From 21–30 June she closed the beaches to deliver vital fire support for the advancing Marines, and continued that highly effective duty until 2 July. Edwards then joined cruiser USS Montpelier (CL-57) for the bombardment of Tinian, another island objective of the Marianas campaign.

The destroyer returned to her gunfire support role off Saipan 6 July, and the next night, 7 July, she was called upon to rescue a group of soldiers cut off from the American lines and stranded on the beach. Heywood L. Edwards put over her whaleboat and made four shuttle trips over the treacherous reefs to rescue the 44 men, transferring them to a nearby LCI. Between 19 and 21 July she fired more bombardment missions off Tinian in support of the impending landing there, returned to Saipan fire support duties for a few more days, and got underway from the Marianas 30 July for Eniwetok.

With the Marianas secured, the next objective in the push across the Pacific was the capture of advance bases for the invasion of the Philippines. Heywood L. Edwards took part in the Peleliu operation, departing 18 August for training exercises with amphibious forces on Florida Island and sailing for the western Carolines 6 September. Arriving 11 September, the destroyer maintained an antisubmarine patrol around the heavier bombardment units until 13 September, when she was detached to provide close support for underwater demolition teams (UDTs) working on beach obstructions. On 15 September, the day of the assault on this strategic island, Edwards provided fire support to forces ashore, illumination fire at night, and succeeded in knocking out an ammunition dump next day as the struggle continued. She encountered a group of barges loaded with reinforcements shortly after midnight 23 September, and after illuminating them with star shell opened with her main battery. By dawn she had sunk 14 of the barges, aided by landing craft, and had helped prevent the landing of some 650 Japanese troops.

Philippines

The landing a success, Heywood L. Edwards proceeded to Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, where she arrived 1 October. There she joined with Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's fire support and bombardment group for the historic return to the Philippines, departing for Leyte 12 October 1944. She conducted pre-invasion bombardment 18–20 October and provided gunfire support for the landings 20 October. This work continued for 4 days under frequent enemy air attack. Then Edwards joined once more with Rear Admiral Oldendorf's force for the impending Battle of Surigao Strait, as the Japanese made a desperate attempt to destroy the landing force.

As Oldendorf's masterfully deployed forces waited at the end of Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards headed section 3 of Destroyer Squadron 56 (DesRon 56), screening the left flank of the cruiser line. Torpedo boats and destroyers made the initial attacks, farther down the strait, and just after 03:00 25 October Edwards and her unit were ordered to attack. In company with USS Leutze (DD-481) and USS Bennion (DD-662) the destroyer steamed down the port side of the enemy column and ran through a hail of gunfire to launch torpedoes. Two hits were obtained on Japanese battleship Yamashiro with USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649) on the American side damaged but afloat. After this intrepid attack, the Japanese steamed into Oldendorf's trap. As the destroyers retired, his heavy units pounded the enemy line, allowing only cruiser Mogami (later sunk by aircraft) and one destroyer to escape. As morning broke over Surigao Strait, Heywood L. Edwards took station on the port bow of the cruisers in search of enemy cripples, patrolled the eastern entrance to the strait for a day, then returned to take up station in Leyte Gulf.

With the American victory complete at sea, Heywood L. Edwards remained in the invasion area until 25 November, patrolling and protecting the shipping building up in the gulf. She arrived Manus for a much-needed rest and repair period 29 November. Soon underway again, however, she sailed 15 December, and after training exercises in the Palau Islands departed 1 January with Oldendorf's group for the second important phase of the Philippine invasion, at Lingayen Gulf. Fighting off kamikaze suicide planes as they steamed, the ships arrived Lingayen Gulf 6 January, and Edwards downed two of these aircraft during a strong attack that day. She then took up her fire support duties for UDT teams, and with the landings 9 January covered troops on the beachhead and fired at strong points ashore. She continued these assignments in addition to protecting arriving and departing convoys until 22 January, when she departed for Ulithi.

Iwo Jima and Okinawa

Next on the relentless timetable of Pacific victory was Iwo Jima, seen as a key base for B-29 operations against the mainland of Japan. Heywood L. Edwards participated in landing rehearsals 12–14 February 1945 and screened heavy units during the pre-invasion bombardment. As the Marines stormed ashore on Iwo Jima 19 February she began firing support missions, aiding the hard fighting ashore until 27 February, when she sailed for Saipan. The destroyer then sailed on to Ulithi and formed with the supporting forces for the coming invasion of Okinawa.

The task force for this landing departed Ulithi 21 March, and after her arrival 4 days later Heywood L. Edwards covered the UDT teams' reconnaissance of Kerama Retto. As those islands were captured 27 March in preparation for the larger landings, the destroyer found herself in the midst of heavy suicide attacks and shot down many of the kamikazes. She covered the UDT landings on Okinawa 30 March, bombarded an airfield ashore that afternoon, and 1 April joined in the bombardment of the assault areas. During the next weeks of bitter fighting ashore, naval forces effectively sealed off the island from any possible reinforcement and effectively supported the troops with gunfire. Edwards and the other vessels had to fight off continuing suicide attacks and other menaces. When destroyer USS Longshaw (DD-559) ran aground on a reef 18 May, Heywood L. Edwards knocked out shore batteries which had opened on the stricken ship. She then continued performing fire support and radar picket duties off Okinawa until 28 July, when she sailed for Leyte Gulf. She had helped to carry out one of the most prolonged and successful fire support operations in the history of amphibious warfare.

The destroyer departed Leyte 2 August, and after a time at Saipan and Eniwetok she got underway again 29 August. Sailing toward Japan, Heywood L. Edwards covered the initial occupation of the Ominato area 6 September 1945 and departed that port 22 October for the United States, via Pearl Harbor. She arrived Seattle 10 November, decommissioned 1 July 1946, and entered the Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet.


Joe Wood Boulware, USN

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Ranks

Decorations

Warship Commands listed for Joe Wood Boulware, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS PC-451 (PC-451) Patrol craft12 Aug 1940mid 1942
USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD 663)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer26 Jan 194425 Dec 1944

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Heywood L. Edwards DD- 663 - History

Fletcher Class Destroyers Activated for the Korean War

There were three configurations of Fletcher Class destroyers activated for the Korean War. The first group (Group 1) were those which could be quickly recommissioned that were basically in their World War II configuration with some ASW improvements. The second group (Group 2) was similar but with new improved radar. The third group (Group 3) had the 3-in. armament conversion, sometimes referred to as “four-gun Fletchers”, in addition to the ASW and radar upgrades. Only Group 1 and Group 2 are covered here. Group 3 will be covered in a later newspaper.

Individual units were continually upgraded during overhaul periods, therefore, you may see the same ship listed in both groups. The primary difference was the first group had pole foremasts and the second group had tripod foremasts. A number of minor changes can be found in photographs, such as K-guns off or on, but the profiles represent the activation improvements as ordered by the Bureau of Ships 1951-55.

Profile of the USS McCord (DD-534) is typical of the group. Armament: five 5-in./38 cal gun mounts, two quadruple 40mm and one twin 40mm gun mounts, one quintuple 21-in. torpedo tube mount, two Mk 10/11 hedgehog mounts, and one depth charge release track/one storage rack. Fire Control: one MK-37 GFCS with MK 25 radar, two Mk 63 GFCS with MK 19 radar, one MK 51 GFCS with MK 14 gun sight, and two MK 27 torpedo directors. Radar: SR air search set (pole foremast) and one SPS-10 surface navigational set. Sonar: one QHB set with TRR and attack plotter, one MK 102 UFCS.

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USS Izard (DD-589)
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USS Kidd (DD-661)
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Watch the video: JDS Yūgure. History and Development. War Thunder (May 2022).


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