USS Ward and the Japanese midget
A Japanese attack on the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, accrued
on December 7, 1941: an historical event dragging the US into World War II.
Five HA-midget submarines, carried to the area aboard I classboats, attempted to penetrate theharbor before the air attacks began, but achieved nothing but their distraction. One, brought by I-18 as mother submarine, became the first casualty of the war. She was sunk by gunfire and a depth-charge attack from the venerable World War I destroyer Ward-the ship with which the Mare Island Naval Shipyard had set a speed record, eighteen days, keel-laying to launch.
On August 28, 2002, two submersibles carrying researchers who study underwater geology and marine life came upon the elusive 78-foot sub, resting more than 1,200 feet deep. The Pisces IV and Pisces V, two deep diving submersibles operated by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL), found the Japanese midget submarine which was the first vessel sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The discovery confirms what the commander of the USS Ward reported on Dec. 7, 1941, but was never able to support with tangible evidence.
USS Ward, Destroyer DD-139:
The keel for USS Ward, a 1247-ton Wickes class destroyer was laid at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on May 15, 1918; the USS Ward DD-139 was launched eighteen day later and placed in commission after seventy more days. The prewar norm for a destroyer was more then a year. Reclassified High Speed Transport APD-16, February 6, 1943.
Ward was sunk by Japanese Kamikaze Attack off Leyte December 7, 1944
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): 314` 5*31` 8*x 9` 10
Propulsion: 24,200hp, geared turbines, 2 screws
Speed (knots): 35
Armament: gun 4*4"/50 cal., 2*1pdr AA (1*3"/23AA in some ships), 12*21" torpedo tubes
Complement: 103 officers and crew
Japanese Type A midget submarine:
Type A midgets displaced 46 tons, were 78 feet long, 6 feet diameter and carried two 17.7" diameter torpedoes. Powered by electric motors, they were capable of very high speeds (about 20 knots), but had very limited range (32 miles).
||Destroyer USS Ward and PBY attack midget-submarine
||Destroyer USS Ward sinking two midget submarins
||The destroyer USS Ward sinks a Japanese submarine