The date of the release of this episode is Friday, December 2, 2022. In 5 days, December 7th, it will be 81 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. This surprise attack was the impetus that pulled the America into World War 2. When considering the history of The United States of America, December 7th, 1941, like September 11, 2001, is a day that can never be forgotten. Within the conflict of World War 2 there are thousands of events – some recorded -some forgotten. Stories of smaller battles, and lesser-known poignant occurrences, from which we have the opportunity to learn.
This is a story of a smaller, ancillary event, which occurred on December 7, 1941. One that many may have never been heard, as it was eclipsed by the enormous catastrophe occurred later that same day, and the worldwide conflict that ensued.
The Ward, was a ship that had been rapidly constructed and commissioned for battle in 1918, during World War 1. It was a 1247 ton ‘Wickes’ class destroyer. The keel of the vessel was laid down on May 15th, and 17 and ½ days later, on June 1st, the USS Ward was launched at Mare Island, California. A few weeks after that she was outfitted, equipped, and commissioned.
Then about 5 months later, on November 11th, 1918 – The first war to end all wars – was over. By 1921, the USS ward as decommissioned.
This old and obsolete vessel, was recommissioned for service as the probability of the US going to war was increasing. The military needed to be built up dramatically to be ready – so many available retired assets, including the Ward, were pulled back into service.
On January 7th, 1941, the ward was recommissioned and sent to Pearl Harbor, to perform routine patrols around the islands.
Flash forward about 11 months. It was early in the morning of December 7th, 1941.