Story of the U.S.S. Waters in World War II

11K image - USS Waters at Sea]

Released as a news story for publication, 16 September 1945, by the Eleventh District Public Information Office (San Pedro, Cal.)

Her War History looks like a roundup of the Pacific fighting.

Her bows are battered and her decks are worn from 27 years of Naval Service.

She has logged 217,500 miles at sea and fired more than 45,000 rounds of ammunition at the Japanese in 15 major Pacific operations.

She has landed more than 3,000 Marine raiders on Pacific islands and is credited with five Jap planes downed and assists in ten others.

In all of her blazing action She has never lost a man.

Now She is to be retired -- anchored in the placid waters of Long Beach-San Pedro Harbor -- until time for Her decommissioning.

Commissioned at Philadelphia in March, 1918, the high speed Attack Transport U.S.S. Waters, one of the old four-stack-type destroyers from World War I, was serving with Destroyer Division 50 at the West Coast Sound School, San Diego, Cal., when the Japs struck Pearl Harbor.

The next day December 8, 1941 -- She convoyed the Carrier Saratoga to Pearl Harbor. From then on through the Okinawa Campaign She was always in operation and seldom missed a battle.

Later that month the Waters attacked a suspected enemy submarine off San Pedro, Calif.

The Waters was at Dutch Harbor when the Japanese bombed the naval base and later in the Aleutian Campaign She towed torpedo boats from Adak to Kiska to operate against the Japanese shipping.

In December 1942, She was converted from a destroyer to a high speed Attack Transport and proceeded to Guadalcanal operations in the time to get caught in 120 Japanese plane raid. She "splashed" two and got a possible kill on a third.

She operated with the Marine raiders and made landings at New Georgia, Rendova, Vella La Vella, Munda, Green Island, Bouganville, Emiru, Kula Gulf, and Saipan. At Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, she did shore bombardment, anti-submarine, anti-aircraft, and escort work at all operation points.

Both at Okinawa and Iwo Jima the underwater demolition crews of the Waters were busy clearing obstacles to landings below the surface. At both engagements She was filled with high explosives for the demolition work.

Needing only a bad jar to turn Her into a million pieces of shrapnel, the Waters fought off six definite Kamikaze attacks during Her 48 days underway in the Okinawa Campaign.

While off Bouganville with the ship shaking under Japanese air attack, the Doctor, Lieutenant R.N. Olson, USN, removed the appendix of the ship's cook, Arthur L. Olson.

Again while under fire, off Green Island, Doctor Olson, with the ship rolling and pitching, performed another appendectomy. This time on Wilfred E. Turley, SF 1/C.

After the operation both men recovered completely and were not removed from the ship.

After returning to Leyte from the Okinawa Campaign the Waters acquired a dog-Eight Ball, and a rooster -- Reveille.

The first morning aboard, Reveille sounded reveille promptly at daybreak. The crew, worn out after being at battle stations 77 times in 48 days, started to verbally express their displeasure of the rooster.

At this point Eight Ball took over. The crew of the Waters needed their sleep -- Eight Ball chased Reveille over the side and into Leyte Gulf. After a few rooster gurgles the crew's cursing subsided and sleep descended on the Waters once more.

Eight Ball curled up in the crook of a sailor's arm and resumed his dog dreams.

War for the Waters was at an end.

     - copied by James Corson, May 1995, from original

Please take a moment to also browse my collection of USS Waters images, and feel free to make comments... (opens in a new window)

A more in-depth description and history of the USS Waters can be found on her own page at DANFS Online - The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. I would also suggest checking out NavSource Online to search for any other images of her that might be available. Several people have also asked me about contacting other members of the crew of the USS Waters. I don't maintain a list of my grandfather's crewmates, but there is a Reunion Group And Contact Information page at the previously mentioned NavSource Online. There is also reunion information on each page at NavSource, including that for the USS Waters.