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Abner Read DD- 526 - History

Abner Read DD- 526 - History


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Abner Read

(DD–526: dp. 3,050 (f.); 1. 376'6"; b. 39'4", dr. 17'9", s. 35.5 k. cpl.32l; a. 5'5", 8 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21" tt., 2 dct., 6 dcp.,

Abner Read (DD-526) was 1aid down on 30 October 1941 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 18 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. John W. Gates, the wife of Capt. Gates; and commissioned on 5 February 1943, Comdr. T. Burrowes in command.

The destroyer held shakedown along the California coast into April and then got underway with Task Group (TG) 51.2, bound for the Aleutian Islands. She assumed patrol duties on 4 May and, on the 11th, shelled targets on Attu Island supporting soldiers of the Army's 7th Division who landed and were assaulting that island. The destroyer again bombarded Attu on the 16th hfore returning to San Diego, which she reached on the last day of May.

After two weeks in drydock at San Francisco, Abner Read got underway on 14 June for Adak, Alaska. Upon her arrival there, she joined Task Force (TF) 16 and,soon thereafter, began patrol in the waters around Kiska Island. On 22 July, as part of TG 16.22, she took part in a heavy bombardment of Kiska. Between 12 and 16 August, the destroyer again shelled Kiska in support of landing operations on that island. On 17 August, American forces discovered that Japan had removed its forces from the island. While she was patrolling off Kiska that night, Abner Read was shaken by an explosion aft at 0150. The exact cause of the blast was unknown, and it was later thought that the destroyer had struck a mine. The concussion tore a huge hole in her stern and ruptured her smoke tanks. Men sleeping in aft compartments suffered from smoke inhalation. In the darkness, a few men fell through holes in the deck into fuel oil tanks below. Soon the stern broke away and sank. Once in the water, the men recovered from the effects of the smoke and could breathe. AbnerRead was taken under tow by Ute (AT-76) at 0355 and was pulled to Adak for temporary repairs. The destroyer lost 70 men who were killed or misoing, and another 47 were wounded.

Following a month of repair work in various Alaskan ports,A,oner Read was towed by Oriole (AT-136) to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., where she was Iaid up on keel blocks on 7 October to receive extensive repair work. The yard work was finished on 21 December 1943, and the destroyer commenced training exercises and trials. She moved to Pearl Harbor in February 1944; and, while she was underway for Hollandia, New Guinea, her starboard propeller was damaged. This accident required her to put in to Milne Bay, New Guinea, on 1 March for repairs. The ship was then attached to TF 76 and participated in the bombardment of Hollandia on 22 April. She provided fire support for the initial landing at Humboldt Bay by the central attack group in Operation "Reckless." Her next targets were on the Wakde Islands off the coast of Dutch New Guinea. She sought to neutralize Japanese airstrips located there by concentrated bombardment, which she conducted on 30 April. Abner Read then moved on to Wewak and, on 12 May, bombarded Japanese batteries which had been hindering the efforts of American motor torpedo boats to destroy enemy barge traffic.

The destroyer rendered fire support for the landings at Arara New Guinea, and bombarded the Wakde-Toem area on 17 Mav. As part of TG 77.3, she pounded Japanese targets on Biak in the Schouten Islands. From 8 to 9 June, she was involved in an engagement with a Japanese task force off the north coast of Biak. Abner Read took part in a night bombardment of Wewak on 18 and 19 June. Her next target was Noemfoor Island, which she hit on 2 July to cover the landing operations on the island. Following this extended period of action, she retired to Seeadler Harbor for tender availability.

Getting underway on 8 August, Abner Read made a trip to Sydney, Australia, before returning to warlike activities in the Pacific. The destroyer supported the seizure on 15 September of Morotai Island in the Halmahera group. Her next action was a shore bombardment on Ponam Island in the Admiralties on 7 October. On 17 October, she then began steaming toward Leyte Gulf, and she entered San Pedro Bay on the 20th, "D" day for Leyte, and patrolled off the beachheads in ensuing days.

In the hope of turning back the American invasion, the Japanese struck back fiercely with sea and air power. On 1 November the Japanese launched kamikaze attacks on members of TG 77.1, which was patrolling lower Leyte Gulf to protect a beachhead. At approximately 1341, a "Val" burst into flames and crashed toward Abner Read. A bomb from the raider dropped down one of the destroyer's stacks and exploded in her after engineroom. The plane, in the meantime, came down diagonally across the main deck, setting fire to the entire after section. The ship lost water pressure and this made firefighting efforts impossible. At 1352, a tremendous internal explosion occurred, causing her to list about 10 degrees to starboard and to sink by the stern. At 1416, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank stern first. Destroyers quickly came to the aid of survivors and rescued all but 22 members of Abner Read's crew

Abner Read received four battle stars for her World War II service.

A second destroyer, D–769, was assigned the name Abner Read; but her construction was cancelled on 12 September 1946.


USS Abner Read (DD 526)

USS Abner Read (Cdr. Arthur Montgomery Purdy, USN) was sunk by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft in Leyte Gulf, Philippines in position 10º47'N, 125º22'E. 24 died and 54 were wounded, 257 survivors including the Commanding officer were rescued by the USS Claxton/Richard P Leary.

Commands listed for USS Abner Read (DD 526)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Thomas Burrowes, USN5 Feb 194314 Oct 1943
2T/Cdr. Thomas Boyd Hutchins, 3rd, USN14 Oct 19431 Oct 1944
3T/Cdr. Arthur Montgomery Purdy, USN1 Oct 19441 Nov 1944

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Notable events involving Abner Read include:

18 Aug 1943
(Cdr Thomas Burrowes, USN) Mined off Kiska, stern blown off and was towed by the USS Bancroft/Ute 71 died and 47 were wounded.

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ABNER READ DD 526

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Fletcher Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid October 30 1941 - Launched August 18 1942

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History

The Abner Read was laid down on October 30, 1941 at the Betlehem Steel Corporation in San Francisco . It was launched on August 18, 1942, and entered service on February 5, 1943 under the command of Commander Thomas Burrowes. She belonged to Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 48 .

After completion of the test drives, the ship became part of Task Group (TG) 51.2 in April 1943 and moved to the Aleutian Islands . There it carried out patrols and shelled Attu on May 11th to support the landing of the 7th US Infantry Division. Before the destroyer set course for San Diego , the island was shelled again on May 16. The ship reached San Diego at the end of May and was then docked in San Francisco for two weeks. On June 14, 1943 the Abner Read ran to Adak .

Upon arrival, she became part of Task Force (TF) 16 , a unit consisting of three battleships , a heavy cruiser , a light cruiser , 19 destroyers and other vehicles, and operated in the waters around Kiska . On July 22nd, she and other units of TG 16.22 shelled the island and supported Operation Cottage , the Allied landing on Kiska , with her artillery between August 12th and 15th . On August 18, the Abner Read was patrolling the coast of Kiska when she ran into a floating mine at 1:50 a.m. The stern was bent and the destroyer drifted without propulsion towards Kiska. After a few minutes the stern broke off and sank. The explosion and the sinking of the stern killed 70 men or went missing and 47 were wounded. At around 3:00 a.m., the ship was towed by the USS Bancroft . An hour later, the tug USS Ute took over the damaged vessel and towed him to Adak, where the Abner Read was temporarily repaired. On October 7, she reached the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, towed by the USS Oriole . After the repairs were completed on December 21, 1943, the destroyer went through various training courses and exercises.

In February 1944 the Abner Read moved to Pearl Harbor . From there she ran to Hollandia . Her starboard propeller was damaged on the way, so that she had to call at Milne Bay on March 1 to be repaired. She was then assigned to TF 75 and took part in Operation Reckless , the landing in Humboldt Bay , on April 22nd . She stayed in New Guinea until the beginning of July and was u. a. involved in landing on Numfor . In July she moved to Seeadler Harbor and from there on August 8 for a short stay in Sydney .

On September 15, the Abner Read supported the conquest of Morotai . Operations followed during the conquest of the Admiralty Islands . On October 17th, she set course for the Gulf of Leyte and entered San Pedro Bay on October 20th, the D-Day of the landing on Leyte . During the next few days she took up position in front of the bridgeheads .

On November 1, Japanese forces launched massive air strikes against American ships in the Leyte Gulf. While they damaged USS Claxton protected, one lunged at 13:41 Aichi D3A Val on the Abner Read . One of the aircraft's bombs exploded in the rear engine room. The Val slid along the main deck and set the stern on fire. Since there was no water pressure available, the fires could not be fought. The destroyer listed ten degrees to starboard at 13:52 and sank over the stern at 14:16. 22 men lost their lives. The survivors were killed by other destroyers, among others. a. the Claxton , saved. The Abner Read was the first American destroyer to be lost in a kamikaze attack.


Kiska: Alaska's Underwater Battlefield

By Rear Adm. Sam Cox, U.S. Navy (Retired), Director, Naval History and Heritage Command
August 15, 2018

USS Abner Read (DD 526). Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken circa April 1943, showing the ship as first completed. This image was retouched by wartime censors to eliminate radar antennas atop the foremast and Mark 37 gun director. It was also published reversed, so the bow points right instead of left. Released/U.S. Navy Photo from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Download larger version (jpg, 8.9 MB).

The waters off Alaska and in the Arctic have long been key strategic areas. In World War II (WWII), both the U.S. and Japan understood this and committed men and vessels to the area. Most people are aware of the historic Battle of Midway &ndash but there was a complementary effort that took place in the Aleutians Islands at the same time between our navies.

It was there, in the crucible of combat, in spite of the demands of the maritime environment, that American Sailors enabled regional freedom and prosperity, deterred aggression, and assured allies through their integrity, initiative, toughness, and valor, traits that remain the hallmarks of today’s Navy.

On August 18, 1943, USS Abner Read (DD 526) was on patrol off Kiska Island, Alaska. Although the Japanese had already evacuated Kiska, they left behind sea mines. Abner Read struck one such mine in the dead of night, and the force of the explosion blew the stern off the ship. The stern quickly sank, taking the lives of 71 of her crew and leaving another 47 wounded.

Despite the surprise, shock, and loss of so many of their shipmates, the surviving crewmen of Abner Read displayed extraordinary valor and determination in saving their ship from the catastrophic damage that by all rights should have sunk their entire ship. But the crew of Abner Read refused to go down without a fight. And fight they did the crew’s absolute refusal to give up their ship no matter what provides an inspiration to the Sailors who serve our nation today.

USS Abner Read (DD 526), bow view. Hunters Point, California, June 13, 1943. Released/U.S. Navy Photo from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Download larger version (jpg, 10.3 MB).

Recently, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research sponsored a project to survey underwater sites related to the WWII Aleutian Island campaign, in search of pieces of the Navy’s historic valor and sacrifice. Researchers from the University of Delaware, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, and Project Recover discovered the stern section of the WWII destroyer. The wreckage was found using the multibeam sonar and then investigated using a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on a non-disturbance observation dive. It’s discoveries like this that remind us of our past and the heroism each Sailor may need to call upon.

Not only was Abner Read saved that day, she lived to fight another day. The ship and crew later returned to the Pacific theater and participated in a number of important engagements. But the ship’s luck ran out on November 1, 1944, when, at the famed Battle of Leyte Gulf, an attacking Japanese “Val” aircraft burst into flames and crashed toward Abner Read. A bomb from the raider dropped down one of the destroyer’s stacks and exploded in her rear engine room and the aircraft crashed diagonally across the main deck, setting fires which caused significant damage topside. The ship lost water pressure, rendering firefighting efforts impossible. A little more than 30 minutes after the Val burst into flames, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank stern first. All but 22 members of the crew were rescued.

USS Abner Read (DD 526) afire and sinking in Leyte Gulf, November 1, 1944, after being hit by a kamikaze. A second Japanese suicide plane (circled) is attempting to crash another ship however, this one was shot down short of its target. Released/U.S. Navy Photo from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Download larger version (jpg, 8.7 MB).

The discovery of the stern section from the mine strike in 1943 is a testament to the rich history and heritage of the U.S. Navy and the honor, courage, and commitment with which Sailors of all generations serve. Thanks to ships like Abner Read and the crews who served in them, we are able to build on that courage to be a more capable force today. I am encouraged by this development and look forward to reviewing the data once it is made available. The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) is grateful to NOAA and the entire project team for the dedicated efforts to search for and provide evidence of the nation’s and the Navy’s rich maritime heritage of courage, valor, and determination.

Upon discovery, Abner Read’s stern section becomes part of NHHC’s Underwater Archaeology Branch’s (UAB) cultural resource database. As stewards of the Navy’s 2,500 shipwrecks and 14,000 aircraft wrecks, UAB ensures Navy compliance with federal laws and regulations as well as develops, coordinates, reviews, and implements historic preservation and cultural resource management policy.

In the interest of preserving and protecting these sites, the Navy generally does not release the precise locations of historic wrecks for which we have the coordinates. The Department of the Navy’s sunken ship and aircraft wrecks make up a global collection of fragile, non-renewable, cultural resources that often serve as war graves, safeguard state secrets, carry environmental and safety hazards such as oil and ordnance, and hold historical value.


Mapping an underwater battlefield

Abner Read was on patrol at about 1:50 a.m. Alaska time when the massive explosion - presumed to be from a Japanese mine - ripped the destroyer apart. Somehow the crew kept the main part of Abner Read's hull watertight, and two nearby Navy ships towed it back to port.

"This was catastrophic damage that by all rights should have sunk the entire ship," said Sam Cox, curator of the Navy and director of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Within months, the destroyer was back in the war. It went on to fight in several battles in the Pacific Theater before being destroyed in Nov. 1944 by a Japanese dive bomber in a kamikaze attack during the battle of Leyte Gulf. Abner Read received four battle stars for her World War II service.

Meanwhile, the ship's shorn stern was lost but not forgotten.

Finding it was a primary goal of the July mission to document the underwater battlefield off Kiska. In addition to NOAA and Scripps, the project was supported by Project Recover, a public-private partnership that uses 21st century science and technology and archival and historical research to find the final underwater resting places of Americans missing in action since WWII.


Abner Read DD- 526 - History

(DD-525: dp. 3,060 (f.) l. 376'6" b. 39'4" dr. 17'9" s. 35.5 k. cpl. 321 a. 5 5", 8 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21" tt. 2 dct., 6 dcp. cl. Fletcher)

Abner Read (DD-526) was laid down on 30 October 1941 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Bethlehem Steel Co., launched on 18 August 1942, sponsored by Mrs. John W. Gates, the wife of Capt. Gates and commissioned on 5 February 1943, Comdr. T. Burrowes in command.

The destroyer held shakedown along the California coast into April and then got underway with Task Group (TG) 51.2, bound for the Aleutian Islands. She assumed patrol duties on 4 May and, on the 11th, shelled targets on Attu Island supporting soldiers of the Army's 7th Division who landed and were assaulting that island. The destroyer again bombarded Attu on the 16th before returning to San Diego, which she reached on the last day of May.

After two weeks in drydock at San Francisco, Abner Read got underway on 14 June for Adak, Alaska. Upon her arrival there she joined Task Force (TF) 16 and,soon thereafter, began patrolling the waters around Kiska Island. On 22 July, as part of TG 16.12, she took part in a heavy bombardment of Kiska. Between 12 and 15 August, the destroyer again shelled Kiska in support of landing operations on that island. On 17 August, American forces discovered that Japan had removed its forces from the Island. While she was patrolling off Kiska that night, Abner Read was shaken by an explosion aft at 0150. The exact cause of the blast was unknown, and it was later thought that the destroyer had struck a mine. The concussion tore a huge hole in her stern and ruptured her smoke tanks. Men sleeping in aft compartments suffered from smoke inhalation. In the darkness, a few men fell through holes in the deck into fuel oil tanks below. Soon the stern broke away and sank. Once in the water, the men recovered from the effects of the smoke and could breathe. Abner Read was taken under tow by Ute (AT-76) at 0355 and was pulled to Adak for temporary repairs. The destroyer lost 70 men who were killed or missing, and another 47 were wounded.

Following a month of repair work in various Alaskan ports, Abner Read was towed by Oriole (AT-136) to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., where she was laid up on keel blocks on 7 October to receive extensive repair work. The yard work was finished on 21 December 1943, and the destroyer commenced training exercises and trials. She moved to Pear] Harbor in February 1944 and, while she was underway for Hollandia, New Guinea, her starboard propeller was damaged. This accident required her to put in to Milne Bay, New Guinea, on 1 March for repairs. The ship was then attached to TF 75 and participated in the bombardment of Hollandia on 22 April. She provided fire support for the initial landing at Humboldt Bay by the central attack group in Operation "Reckless." Her next targets were on the Wakde Islands off the coast of Dutch New Guinea. She sought to neutralize Japanese airstrips located there by concentrated bombardment, which she conducted on 30 April. Abner Read then moved on to Wewak and, on 12 May, bombarded Japanese batteries which had been hindering the efforts of American motor torpedo boats to destroy enemy barge traffic.

The destroyer rendered fire support for the landings at Arara New Guinea, and bombarded the Wakde-Toem area on 17 May. As part of TG 77.3, she pounded Japanese targets on Biak in the Schouten Islands. From 8 to 9 June, she was involved in an engagement with a Japanese task force off the north coast of Biak. Abner Read took part in a night bombardment of Wewak on 18 and 19 June. Her next target was Noemfoor Island, which she hit on 2 July to cover the landing operations on the island. Following this extended period of action, she retired to Seeadler Harbor for tender availability.

Getting underway on 8 August, Abner Read made a trip to Sydney, Australia, before returning to warlike activities in the Pacific. The destroyer supported the seizure on 15 September of Morotai Island in the Halmahera group. Her next action was a shore bombardment on Ponam Island in the Admiralties on 7 October. On 17 October, she then began steaming toward Leyte Gulf, and she entered San Pedro Bay on the 20th, D day for Leyte, and patrolled off the beachheads in ensuing days.

In the hope of turning back the American invasion the Japanese struck back fiercely with sea and air power. On 1 November, the Japanese launched kamikaze attacks on members of TG 77.1 which was patrolling lower Leyte Gulf to protect a beachhead. At approximately 1341, a "Val" burst into flames and crashed toward Abner Read. A bomb from the raider dropped down one of the destroyer's stacks and exploded in her after engine room. The plane, in the meantime, came down diagonally across the main deck, setting fire to the entire after section. The ship lost water pressure and this made fire fighting efforts impossible. At 1352, a tremendous internal explosion occurred, causing her to list about 10 degrees to starboard and to sink by the stern. At 1415, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank stern first. Destroyers quickly came to the aid of survivors and rescued all but 22 members of Abner Read's crew.


Fate [ edit | edit source ]

In the hope of turning back the American invasion, the Japanese struck back fiercely with sea and air power. On 1 November 1944, the Japanese launched kamikaze attacks on members of TG 77.1, which was patrolling lower Leyte Gulf to protect a beachhead. At approximately 1341, an Aichi D3A "Val" burst into flames and crashed toward Abner Read. A bomb from the raider dropped down one of the destroyer's stacks and exploded in her after engine room. The plane, in the meantime, came down diagonally across the main deck, setting fire to the entire after section. The ship lost water pressure and this made firefighting efforts impossible. At 1352, a tremendous internal explosion occurred, causing her to list about 10 degrees to starboard and to sink by the stern. At 1415, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank stern first. Destroyers quickly came to the aid of survivors and rescued all but 22 members of Abner Read's crew.


Fate [ edit ]

On 1 November 1944, the Japanese launched air attacks against TG 77.1 who were patrolling lower Leyte Gulf. At around 13:41, an Aichi D3A (reporting name "Val") dive bomber approached Abner Read Γ] antiaircraft guns blew a wing off the airctaft Α] but its bomb dropped down one of the destroyer's stacks and exploded in her aft engine room. The aircraft crashed across the main deck, hitting the 40mm fire director, the aft torpedo tubes, sweept the port 20mm Oerlikons over the side and setting fire to the aft section. Γ] The ship lost water pressure making firefighting impossible and at 13:52, a large internal explosion caused her to list about 10° to starboard and to sink by the stern. Γ] At 14:15, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank. Destroyers came to her aid and rescued survivors but 24 members of her crew were lost. Δ]


Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition. Members of the expedition take time to examine a Japanese mini submarine that remains on Kiska Island. Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition A 120-millimetre anti-aircraft gun on Kiska Island.


Watch the video: USS Abner Read Project Recover Mission (July 2022).


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