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May 4, 8 & 9, 2020

Seven intrepid members took to the airwaves marking a commemoration of the USS ward and its Minnesota/St. Paul crew. This was the third time SEMARC operated this commemorative event and the first time it was conducted by individual members from their home or guest stations.

Thanks to Dick NØUC, Art NØIWQ, Ryc KDØZWM, Dave KEØHAL, Dave KDØIRF, John KAØHYR and Brian NØBM for participating in the event. Members operated on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17,15,10 and 2 meters, employing FT8, CW, SSB, PSK, and FM. The totals for the event include: 592 QSLs with 45 states, four Canadian provinces and 33 DX contacts.

A certificate for participating stations is available here.

The USS Ward was a Wickes class destroyer built in 17 days during WWI at the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. She was decommissioned in 1921, but recommissioned in January 1941. The Ward operated local patrol duties in Hawaiian waters over the next year. On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Ward encountered and sank a Japanese mini-sub attempting to enter Pearl Harbor. Thus, it fired the first shots of the Pacific war just hours before Japan formally opened the conflict with their attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Ward was staffed primarily with Minnesota reservists and it was a St. Paul crew manning the Number Three, four-inch .50 caliber gun when it sank the sub. On May, 10, 1958, during the centennial year of the state of Minnesota, the United States Navy presented the actual number three gun from the Ward to the state. The gun and accompanying plaques can be viewed at the southern edge of the Capitol grounds.

More information about the USS Ward's gun is available at Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs webpage.

Number 3 gun from USS Ward      

Historical Plaque      

SEMARC Website Edited by Dick Roberts NUC and chuck hanson (NA0L)