Aylwin IV DD-1081


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Aylwin IV DD- 1081

Aylwin IV

(DE-1081: dp. 3,963; 1. 438'; b. 47'; dr. 25'; s. 27 k.; cpl. 245;
a. 15", 4 12.75" tt., ASROC, Sea Sparrow; cl. Knox)

The fourth Aylwin (DE-1081) was laid down on 13 November 1969 at Westwego, La., by the Avondale Shipyard Inc.; launched on 29 August 1970; sponsored by Mrs. Charles K. Duncan; and commissioned on 18 September 1971 at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Comdr. Dan E. ;Penn in command. Early in December, the destroyer escort sailed for her home and arrived there on 10 December. After in port, Aylwin headed for Guantanamo down training. While en roue, Aylwin stopped at Andros Island, Bahamas, for weapons testing. Arriving at Guantanamo Bay on 24 January 1972, the ship began four weeks of intensive training. She visited Santo Domingo for a liberty call before returning to Norfolk for post-shakedown availability. Late in October, the vessel participated in LANTREDEX 2-72 and then made final preparations for her first overseas deployment. On 1 December, Aylwin departed Norfolk to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her first stop was at El Ferrol, Spain. Departing that port on 13 December, she transited the Strait of Gibraltar and proceeded to Athens, Greece, where she spent the holiday season.

On 6 January 1973, Aylwin got underway for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations to be held in the eastern Mediterranean in conjunction with Task Force (TF) 60. The ship pulled in to Golfe Juan, France, on 17 January, then continued on to Gibraltar. Next came ASW operations in the eastern Mediterranean followed by a visit to Naples, Italy, for a two-week tender availability. The destroyer escort then visited Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. On 17 February, she participated in NATO Exercise "National Week," held in conjunction with British, Italian, and Turkish warships. She arrived at Alanya, Turkey, on 28 February and then stopped at Athens; La Maddalena, Italy; Alicante, Barcelona, and Valencia, Spain; Tunis, Tunisia; Villefranche, Cannes, and Toulon, France; and Gibraltar. On 20 June, Aylwin got underway once more for the United States. She paused at the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Va., on 27 June, to unload her weapons and returned to Norfolk the next day ending an absence of seven months. The ship was drydocked from 19 July to 20 August. She received the light air multi-purpose system (LAMPS) modification during a yard period lasting through 26 October. A tender availability came in November, and December found the ship in a standdown period.

The destroyer escort sailed on 19 February 1974 for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay. While there, she took part in ASW exercises in addition to testing her new LAMPS equipment. She returned to Norfolk on 27 April to make final preparations for her second overseas deployment. On 17 June, Aylwin set sail for the Mideast and the Indian Ocean. Her first stop was Roosevelt

Early in December port, Norfolk, Va., spending the holidays Bay, Cuba, for shake Roads, Puerto Rico, where she held gunnery exercises. She then proceeded to Trinidad for a refueling stop. Aylwin next put in to Recife, Brazil for a brief liberty period.

She got underway again on the 28th to cross the Atlantic and arrived at Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 2 July. Aylwin's next stop was Luanda, Angola. Her visit there was curtailed by an outbreak of violence associated with that country's bid for independence from Portugal. The vessel weighed anchor on 13 July, sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, and entered the Indian occurred, the ship only righted herself to 60 degrees. For the next 20 minutes, the typhoon lashed at Aylwin with her full fury,often pushing the ship over to rolls that varied between 30 an 0 degrees.

As the sea continued its destructive work, tearing loose the whaleboat and its davits, Aylwin continued to struggle for survival. At 1245, Machinists Mate 1st Class Sarenski was swept overboard; followed 10 minutes later by the chief engineer, Lt. E. R. Rendahl, USNR. Neither was rescued.

At 1330, the engine-room ventilators failed. Now denied fresh air, the engine room became an oven as its temperature shot up to 180 degrees, forcing its abandonment. For the next six hours, Aylwin doggedly hung on, fighting the raging sea for her life. As if the fury of the storm without were not enough, a leak in the engine room at 1930 drew all pumps into action. Eventually the inrush of water was brought under control just as it crept up above the floorplates. The sloshing of this water further reduced the ship's already "tender" stability.

Each man in Aylwin fought the fear that the ship would turn turtle-each roll could be deeper; each might be the last. Every sailor hoped and prayed to be delivered from the typhoon; and providentially, Aylwin did survive Neptune's onslaught.

However, other ships had not fared so well. The storm claimed Hull, Monaghan, and Spence (DD-512), each with heavy loss of life. Seventeen other ships suffered varying degrees of damage in the storm.

Her flooding under control, Aylwin arrived at Ulithi three days before Christmas. There, she received repairs alongside Markab (AD-21) that lasted into January 1945. While at Ulithi, Aylwin conducted a brief patrol of the harbor after an explosion in Mazama (AE-12)- believed to have been cause by a submarine torpedo-but found no evidence of submarine activity.

The destroyer continued her operations as screen for replenishment groups into February of 1945. As part of the screen of TG 50.8, she-together with Crowley (DE-303), Weaver (DE741), Suamico (AO-49), Shasta (AE-6), and Wrangell (AE12) reached Iwo Jima on 21 February. She then began protecting the transports. On 23 February, Aylwin was assigned to TF 54, the fire support group, and relieved Tuscaloosa (CA-37) in fire support sector 1.

By that time, marines had occupied the southern section of Iwo Jima and were advancing to the north against stiff enemy opposition. On 23 and 24 February, Aylwin fired close support, expending 330 rounds of 5-inch, neutralizing enemy-held positions on call, before she left Iwo Jima on the 25th for a fueling rendezvous en route back to Ufithi where she arrived on the 28th.

Dunn the first phase of the invasion of Okinawa, Aylwin operated between Kerama Retto and Ulithi. In early April, she endured her second typhoon on 5 June 1945. Although much less destructive than the first, this storm caused Lt. Comdr. Rogers to report: " with the present sea-keeping and characteristics, the Farragut-class destroyers are unable to adequately cope with severe typhoon conditions."

Aylwin rendezvoused with the storm-damaged Pittsburgh (CA-72) which had lost her bow in this tempest, joining that cruiser late in the afternoon. She subsequently searched unsuccessfully for the damaged warship's severed bow before putting into Apra Harbor, Guam, on 10 June for repairs lasting until 6 July.

On that day she got underway to return to the Carolines and reached Ulithi on the next. She sortied on the 10th as an escort for Convoy UOK-39 and safely saw her 41 charges to Okinawa.

After returning to Ulithi with another convoy, Aylwin began steaming off the anchorage on picket station B-6 at 1640 on 3 August. The next morning at 0306, while on station, she received orders to proceed to latitude 11'451 north, longitude 133 35' east, to search for survivors of the torpedoed Indianapolis. Aylwin accordingly broke off her patrol, raced to the scene of the disaster, and searched her assigned area. However, by that time, the sea had claimed many of the survivors. The destroyer located and examined three bodies, removing all identification materials and fingerprinting them before burying them at sea. She also found and brought on board two aircraft-type rubber rafts and an empty floater net. At 0525 on 6 August, she headed back to Ulithi.

Underway again on 13 August, Aylwin escorted a convoy of troopships to the Marianas, reaching Apra Harbor on 14 August. . When Japan capitulated the following day, Aylwin was at Apra Harbor.

Three days later, the destroyers got underway for the Hawaiian Islands, in company with MacDonough and Rudyerd Bay (CVE-81), and reached Pearl Harbor soon thereafter. On 27 August, Aylwin embarked four officers and 50 enlisted men at that port for passage to the west coast and, the following. day, sailed for the California coast. The veteran destroyer disembarked her passengers at San Diego and, after tarrying there lie east from 3 to 11 September, got underway for Panama and the coast of the United States.

Transiting the canal for the last time on 20 September, Aylwin reached New York City on 25 September. Decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 16 October 1945, Aylwin was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1945. Stripped for disposal, her hulk was sold and delivered to George N. Nutman, Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y.. on 20 December 1946 and cut up for scrap by 2 September 1948.

Aylwin (DD-355) received 13 battle stars for her World War I I service.
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