Brief War History of USS Haggard (DD-555)

On 8 June 1945 the maimed DD sailed away from Kerama Retto like a condemned prisoner with a reprieve, stopped in at Okinawa to join a convoy of landing craft, and pointed her bow toward Saipan Island. Halting at Saipan 24 June, Haggard moved over to Guam's Apra Harbor where one 5-inch gun was removed, then out alone on the 1st of July for Pearl Harbor and home.

Eleven days later Haggard made Pearl Harbor, whereupon Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz saluted her with "The fighting ability of the Haggard has been proved again. Congratulations and welcome back to Pearl." Haggard cleared "Pearl" on 13 July 1945 in company with destroyer Braine, made a 3-day stop over at San Diego, California (19-22 July) then went south to transit the Panama Canal. 6 August saw her quietly berthed at the Norfolk Naval Base. In the Pacific, little more than a week of conflict remained.

USS Haggard (DD-555), whose sailors had kept her afloat in her dying hours off Okinawa and then applied their initiative to keep her from being allowed to rust on some Asiatic beach, was placed out of commission at Norfolk on 1 November 1945. On the 16th of November she was stricken from Naval registry.


Serial 090
  24 August 1945.  
From: Commanding Officer.
To: Director of Public Information (Aviation and Ship's Section).
Subject: Brief War History of U.S.S. Haggard (DD555).
Reference: (a) Oral conversation between Lt. Crossley and Lt. Latimar.
Enclosure:: (A) U.S.S. Haggard War Record (31 August 1943 to 19 August 1945).
(B) Six Photographs.

1. Information and a brief war history of this vessel is submitted herewith for publication as requested in reference (a).


Subject: War Record--Submission of:

  1. Enumeration of Facts.

    1. Date of commissioning: 31 Aug 1943

    2. Number of "star" operations participated in: ten as follows:

      1. Seizure and occupation of Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, January and Feb. 1944

      2. Consolidation of Northern Solomons, Mar. 1944

      3. Class "B" submarine sinking of May 1944 (I-176)

      4. Marianas Island Operation, June, July and Aug. 1944

      5. Southern Pa and Ulithi, Western Carolines operation, Sept. 1944

      6. Initial landing operation on Leyte Island, Philippine Islands, and enemy surface attack off Samar Island, Oct. and Nov. 1944

      7. China Sea operation in support of Luzon campaign, Dec. 1944 and Jan. 1945

      8. Tokyo Raids and participation in Iwo Jima supporting operations, Feb. 1945

      9. Class "A" submarine sinking off Okinawa, Mar. 23, 1945 (I-371)

      10. Okinawa operation, Apr. 1 1945

    3. The number of enemy surface units sunk or accredited assistance given in sinking of enemy surface units: none

    4. The number of enemy aircraft shot down or accredited assistance given in shooting down of: two

    5. The number of anti-submarine actions participated in which resulted in a Class "A" or "B" assessment: two

    6. Any outstanding performances participated in by ship while in actual contact with the enemy:

      1. Battle off Samar Island when ship interposed itself between our escort carriers and the Japanese surface units.

      2. The ramming and sinking of a Japanese submarine on Mar. 23, 1945, 175 miles southeast of Okinawa.

    7. Any outstanding performance participated in by the ship while not in actual contact with the enemy: After severe damage by Japanese Kamikaze and 500 lb. bomb, repair and salvage to damaged equipment, patching of hull and ability of ship's force to get ship back to a Navy Yard under this vessel's own power.

      SUBMARINE SINKING 16-17 May 1945

    8. Awards:

      1. Commander D.A. HARRIS, USN, Commanding Officer, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for class "B" assessment on submarine attack 16-17 May 1944.

      2. VAN SANT, Victor Howard, SoM2/c, USNR, off 1155 E. 61st St. Chicago, Ill. Commended at two meritorious Masts for skillful operation of sound gear during the attacks on an enemy submarine classified as "B" sinking, and as a lookout for being the first to detect and identify an enemy aircraft during the action off Samar Island.

      SUBMARINE SINKING 23 March 1945


      1. Lt. Comdr. Verner J. SOBALLE, USN. Commanding Officer, of Eldora, Iowa, awarded the Legion of Merit for successful attack and sinking of Japanese submarine (Position 22°57' N, 132°19' E).

      2. Lt(jg) James D. MCLAUGHLIN, ASW Officer, 508 Munger St., Pasadena, Texas, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding performance of duty in supervising sonar attack team in sinking of Japanese submarine.

      3. Lt(jg) Oliver C. SILLS, USNR, CIC Officer and Evaluator, of Napoleanville, La., awarded the Bronze Star Medal for performing his duty with outstanding accuracy and skill enabling sound operators to locate submarine and later its destruction.

      4. Lt(jg) Basil D. SLAYMAKER, USN, 1419 Kinsington Rd., Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Navigator, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for watch officer at the time of contact and later as automatic weapons control officer. He maintained the CIC condition watch at a high state of alertness, enabled the ship to make early contact on the surfaced submarine.

      5. Lt(jg) Harry B. QUANDEE, USNR, 7710 S. Winchester, Chicago, Ill, engineering officer, warded the Bronze Star Medal. He performed his duty with such outstanding skill and efficiency that the engineering plant was kept operating efficiently in spite of damages.

      6. SMITH, Aubrey G., Jr., RT1/c, USNR, Box 273, Pawnee, Oklahoma, awarded the Bronze Star Medal as Radio technician of this Vessel. he maintained the radar and sonar equipment of this vessel in high state of efficiency over long periods of time.

      7. VAN SANT, Victor H., SoM1/c, USNR, 115 E. 61st St., Chicago, Ill., sonar operator, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. he performed his duty with such skill and proficiency that it enabled the ship to force the submarine to the surface with the initial depth charge attack and later ram it.

      8. PALMER, Roy G., RdM3/c, USNR, 506 8th St., Bakersfield, California, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. For performing his duty with alertness and outstanding skills as radar operator in the depth charge attack and ramming of the enemy submarine.

      KAMIKAZE ATTACK, 29 April 1945

      1. Lt. W.D. CROSSLEY, USN, Damage Control Officer, 2931 Sunset St., Dan Diego, Calif., and 2213 Portland Ave., Minneapolis, Minn., awarded the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding professional skill in supervising repair parties enabling the ship to be safely returned to port after Kamikaze and bomb hit the ship.

      2. Lt. W.E. WATTS (MC), USNR, Medical Officer, 313 High St., Bellingham, Washington, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In spite of his own wounds and safety, he administered medical treatment and cared for the wounded in a highly efficient and outstanding manner.

      3. RADEMAKER, Charles, S1/c (FC), 69 Parsella Ave., Rochester, N.Y., awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He controlled the fire of his own 40mm gun, keeping an enemy plane in his sights until it crashed directly beneath him and he was blown out of his straps.

      4. PINNE, Frederick J., S1/c (FC), 93 Milton St., Brooklyn, N.Y., awarded the Bronze Star Medal. As a 20mm gunner he controlled the fire of his gun and kept firing at an enemy plane even though it seemed the plane would crash into him.

      5. PETERSON, Clarence, J., S1/c, 800 E. 3rd St., St. Paul, Minn., awarded the Bronze Star medal as a 20mm gunner. He controlled the fire of his gun and kept firing at an enemy plane even though it seemed the plane would crash into him.

      6. TEMPLEMAN, Wayne O., WT2/c, R.R. #1, Dixon, Nebraska, awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In spite of the danger presented by ship's condition and with water and steam filling the compartment in which he was, he proceeded, with complete disregard for his own safety, to carry an unconscious shipmate up a ladder through a hatch to safety.

      7. THOMPSON, Roy L., EM1/c, Box M. Dogett, Calif. Awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He efficiently assumed the duties of a chief electricians mate, who had been wounded. His outstanding professional skill, ingenuity and calm leadership was responsible in a large measure for the solution of innumerable problems and difficulties and finally for the restoration of light and power.

      8. LAMB, Frank J., CMM, 1239 S. 54th St., Philadelphia, Pa., awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In spite of danger presented by the ship's condition and with complete disregard for his own safety, he promptly directed the securing of machinery and skillfully aided in shoring of the athwartships bulkhead.

      9. JONES, Fernando I., CMM, 2214 S. Alms St., San Pedro, Calif., awarded the Bronze Star Medal. As a member of a repair party he showed outstanding professional skill, ingenuity and relentless effort in effecting repairs.

    9. Summary of Personnel casualties and damage to ship incurred in action against the enemy:

      1. On 2 February 1944, while ship was bombarding enemy position at Kwajalein Atoll, a five inch projectile from one of our guns hit loose davit and exploded. One man killed, two were seriously wounded and several minor.

      2. On 29 April 1945 while ship was in company with Task Force 58 and proceeding to support of another destroyer on picket station, the vessel was attacked by two enemy planes identified as Zeke 52's in suicide attack. One plane struck the ship at the waterline amidships. The other missed ahead a few feet and exploded. 13 killed and 38 wounded. Damage to ship: major material damage, great difficulty in temporary repairs. At Navy Yard for further investigation and disposition of vessel.

Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation