Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

USS Aaron Ward I (DD-132)

(DD-182: dp. 1154; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'; s. 35 k. cpl. 159; u. 4 4", 12 21" tt.; cl. Wickes)

The first Aaron Ward (DD-132) was launched 10 April 1919 by Bath Iron Works, Ltd., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. W. L. Cupps. daughter of Admiral Ward, and commissioned 21 April 1919, Commander R. A. Spruance in command.

She reported to the Atlantic Fleet, Division 13. Squadron 2. Her first duty was at Trepassy Bay Newfoundland, In May 1919 as station ship for the trans-Atlantic flight Of the NC-1, NC-3 , and NC-4 Reporting to the Pacific Fleet September 1919, she spent the following month salvaging a sunken Army airplane in Angeles Bay, Mexico. Her training and exercise with the Battle Fleet were interrupted, January-March 1921, by a search for the seaplane NC-6 , which had crashed off the Canal Zone; and the rescue of survivors from Woolsey (DD-77), rammed by a steamer 20 February 1921.

During the ensuing years Aaron Ward's status changed several times. She spent June 1922-May 1930 and April 1937-September 1939 out of commission at San Diego, while from June 1932 to December 1934 she was a unit of Rotating Destroyer Squadrons 21 and 20. The remaining time was spent in full commission, and included serving flagship, Destroyer Division's 5 and 4.

Recommissioned for the final time 30 September 1939 Aaron Ward served as flagship, Destroyer Division 85, Pacific Fleet, until she arrived at Key West, 11 December to operate on Neutrality Patrol in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

Transferred to the British in the destroyer, land bases exchange, Aaron Ward was decommissioned at Halifax Nova Scotia, 9 September l940 and renamed HMS Castleton.

During World War II Castleton saw active duty in the North Atlantic as a convoy escort. In November 1940 she picked up all the survivors of two torpedoed steamships, Daydawn and Victoria. She was damaged by an explosion 19 November 1941 and was out of action, under. going repairs, until 20 April 1942.

On 20 August 1942 she and HMS Newark captured 51 survivors of the German submarine U-464 who had taken refuge in an Icelandic trawler.

HMS Castleton was reduced to reserve at Grangemouth, Scotland, 13 March 1945.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey (patrick@akamail.com)