U.S.S. WORDEN • DD 352

Worden Vets

Plaque

Memorial plaque at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

The Commanding Officers

Commander Raymond Earle Kerr (1888-1966)
15 January 1935 – 10 December 1935

Lieutenant Clarence Edward Olsen (1899-1971)
10 December 1935 – 29 February 1936

Commander Henry Bryan Broadfoot (1893-1980)
29 February 1936 – 5 June 1936

Lieutenant Commander Julian DuBois Wilson (1896-1958)
5 June 1936 – 11 June 1938


Lieutenant Commander Lunsford Yandell Mason Jr. (1897-1973)
11 June 1938 – 17 June 1939

Lieutenant Commander Ransom Kirby Davis (1897-1995)
17 June 1939 – 12 April 1941

Commander William Grady Pogue (1899-1982)
12 April 1941 – 12 January 1943

Rosters

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About the Crew

Worden’s crew evolution can be thought of as having three phases: Pre-war, the immediate Pearl Harbor aftermath and the final year.

The pre-war crew from 15 January 1935 to 7 December 1941 was an experienced ship’s company that was almost devoid of reservists and in some cases included a few senior petty officers who had spent more than five years on board, a very long time by modern Navy standards. On 6 December 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor, Worden had a crew of 173 out of its normal compliment of 186, but the low turnover meant that only one enlisted man had been aboard less than 100 days.

In the week immediately after the Pearl Harbor raid, Worden added nearly 50 crew members by supplementing its roster from ships that had been sunk during the attack, primarily the bombed and torpedoed battleship West Virginia, the capsized battleship Oklahoma and the gutted Mahan-class destroyer Downes. On 10 December 1941 the crew numbered 220 officers and enlisted men, many of them battleship veterans who were new to life aboard destroyers.

In March 1942 and again in October 1942, many of Worden’s Pearl Harbor veterans were transferred elsewhere and replaced mainly with newly graduated boot camp recruits. On the day it sank, Worden had a crew of 239 that included 39 (or 15%) who had been on board less than 100 days; more tellingly, half of the crew had been aboard less than a year. Still, Chief Water Tender Elmer Craddick managed to serve aboard Worden the entire 7 years, 11 months and 29 days from commissioning in 1935 to Amchitka in 1943, a unique achievement.

Crew Stories

In alphabetical order. Please submit biographies to Walter Baranger Jr.

Walter Raymond Baranger
Born in Los Angeles in 1917, Walt grew up in Berkeley and La Verne, Calif.
In 1940, Walt graduated from U.C.L.A and was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve. He reported to Worden three weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, and served as communication and torpedo officer.
After Worden sank, Lt. (j.g.) Baranger joined Abbot (DD 629), a Fletcher-class destroyer, and later became executive officer. He left the navy as a lieutenant commander in 1948.
After the war, Walt returned to law school, worked as a Los Angeles County probation officer and then became an attorney in Orange County. Among his clients were the actors Edward G. Robinson and Dick Powell, and the singer Pat Boone. He retired in 1991 and died of liver cancer in 1994. He married Ann Moore in 1954 and had two children, Walt and Louise.
Don Avery Blue
Don, an electrician’s mate third class aboard Worden, was born in 1911 and died in the sinking at age 31.
He was buried in Alaska and in 1948 was reburied at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. He is the only Worden casualty to be returned for burial.
George Albert Brown
A ship’s cook, he served on the battleship Oklahoma from 1940 until it capsized during the Pearl Harbor attack. Joined Worden on 9 December 1941. Born on 18 February 1921 in Henderson, Kentucky, and later served in the Korean War. Retired from the navy in 1961.
Raymond Harvey Brubaker
Born on 24 March 1918 in Akron, Ohio. Served as a junior officer aboard Worden.
Robert B. Burdette
A radarman and Pearl Harbor veteran
Eugene Callahan
Born 1914; Pearl Harbor Worden veteran.
Elmer Lee Craddick
Chief Water Tender; the only member of Worden’s crew to serve from commissioning to loss, just three days short of eight continuous years.
John C. Daniel
A lieutenant and Worden plank owner, he was the ship’s original gunnery officer in the mid 1930s. Later promoted to vice-admiral.
From his newspaper obituary:
“Danny” Daniel played an important role in negotiations that led to the exchange of wounded and ill Korean War prisoners and to the end of the war itself.
He was a career naval officer and served with the United Nations Command during the Korean War and became one of the truce negotiators whose efforts led to the signing of an armistice agreement at Panmunjom, July 27, 1953. In April of that year it was he, as head of a body called the Allied Liaison Group, who put his signature to a document by which the U.S. and North Korean negotiators agreed to the repatriation of disabled prisoners.
He later served as Commander of the Atlantic Fleet and as Commandant of the 6th Naval District, based in Charleston, South Carolina. He was born in Philadelphia on November 1, 1899, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1924. In World War II he fought in such major engagements as the Battle of Midway, where U.S. forces destroyed three Japanese aircraft carriers, thereby essentially crippling the Japanese navy. In September 1945, he was present at the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. He retired from the Navy in 1960.
He died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 23, 1992, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Walter Dettinger
From The Congressional Record:
HON. MARCY KAPTUR
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1995
Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a truly dedicated American, Mr. Walter H. Dettinger, who passed away on November 21, 1995.
In 1936 at the age of 17, Walt embarked upon several years of selfless service to our country when he enlisted in the Ohio National Guard. Upon his discharge in 1939, he joined the Naval Communications Reserve and was called to active duty the following year. His area of expertise, radio communications, led him to service aboard the USS Worden in Pearl Harbor, HI. Walt was among the thousands of servicemen there on the morning of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched their unannounced offensive. As a survivor of the attack, he went on to defend our Nation in the Battle of the Midway and Guadalcanal. In January 1943 while aboard the USS Worden in Amchitka, Alaska, his ship fell victim to an enemy suicide attack. Once again surviving, he served the rest of World War II in the Pacific on the USS Murray.
In October 1945 he was discharged and returned to civilian life. Five years later, he married Betty, with whom he shared a 45-year marriage and two children. In early 1952, Walt was again called upon to serve his country in the Korean war. He served faithfully and diligently on the USS Fred T. Berry until his discharge in November 1952.
Ambition and drive followed Walt into civilian life as well. As a civilian, he left his mark upon the Toledo broadcasting community in several ways. He helped put an AM radio station, WTOD, on the air, as well as a television station, WTOL-TV 11, from which he retired in 1981. He was a lifelong amateur radio broadcaster, member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association and the American Radio Relay League.
Walt was also a proud member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association--charter member, past president of Ohio Chapter 3 and past Ohio State Chairman, the Toledo Post #335, American Legion, past commander, and life member of Sylvania Post #3717, Veterans of Foreign Wars. It is through this association that Walt provided me with invaluable assistance in 1991.
Together, we worked to give Pearl Harbor survivors from my district the Pearl Harbor Veterans Award during a moving ceremony 50 years after that long-ago day. Walt's assistance in organizing this commemoration was invaluable to me, and appreciated beyond words by the veterans we honored.
A kind and gentle man who sought neither recognition nor accolades and held his achievements privately, Walt was a truly dedicated American. His advice, counsel, and friendship will be missed. He served America and the cause of freedom with selfless devotion. He left our world a finer place.
George W. DuCharme
Signalman third class, assigned to Worden in March 1941 and was on the bridge during the Pearl Harbor attack. Detached to Marine Corps in late spring 1942.
Ralph Leach
Seaman first class/radio striker.
Richard F. Lines
Became active in the Pearl Harbor Survivors and the Purple Heart organizations in Springfield, Missouri.
Robert A. Low
Served as a junior officer aboard Worden until its loss, then served on the destroyers Abbot and Boyd.
His memories of Worden are on this site.
Samuel MacDougall-Kahn
Pearl Harbor veteran; petty officer 2nd class.
Louis W. Messer
Born 16 April 1899 in Tacoma, Washington. Served as a junior officer.
George W. Morby
Born 1915; enlisted in the Navy, 1937; boot camp, San Diego, 1937; and assigned to the Worden, 1937. Served aboard Worden during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. He survived the 1943 sinking only to be shipwrecked again.
He was assigned to the Fletcher-class destroyer Hoel in July 1943. The sinking of the Hoel by Japanese naval gunfire in the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944 was followed by a two-day ordeal clinging to a life raft.
He later served during the Okinawa campaign and survived the kamikaze attacks of April-May 1945.
William Furman Mycock
Born on 28 August 1920 in Trenton, New Jersey. Served aboard the battleship Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack.
William V. Parent
William V. “Bill” Parent, 89, of Key Largo, and part-time resident of Bradenton passed away on October 5, 2010. Born in West Frankfort, Illinois on November 9, 1920, Bill served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and completed a 24-year military career as a commissioned U.S. Air Force Officer. As a crew member of the U.S.S. Worden, he survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the later sinking of the Worden off the Aleutian Islands. A highly decorated Veteran, Bill's military service spanned World War II, the Korean, and Vietnam Wars. Predeceased by his loving wife of 64 years, Emma Katherine, and two brothers, Tom and Jim, he is survived by his sister, Mary of West Frankfort; daughter, Pam (Jerry) Koontz of Bradenton; son, William of Key Largo; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Following his military career, Bill was employed by Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.; the U.S. Postal Service in Key Largo; and taught sailing in the Florida Keys. He was an avid fisherman, boater and innovative chef. He was buried at Sarasota National Cemetery.
Robert George Shaw
Mentioned in the Tjinegara incident.
Wilburn Ray
Born in 1917; served aboard Worden during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Myron Scott
Quartermaster 3rd class.
Harry Simoneaux
No details. Served aboard Worden until the sinking.
Mike Steffan
Boatswain’s mate 2nd class.
Mike was born in 1916 in Mishawaka, Indiana. He joined the Navy in 1935 and served on two Mahan-class destroyers, Smith and Preston, from 1937 to 1942.
He joined the crew of the Worden in late 1942. After the loss of Worden he served on the destroyer Trathen in the Central Pacific. Then he served on the escort carrier Makassar Strait during the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. He served on the light cruiser Juneau at the start of the Korean War in 1950, then on the Ticonderoga-class aircraft carrier Kearsarge during the 1955 Taiwan Strait crisis.
He died in Tacoma, Washington, in 1963 at the age of 47.
William Thomas Sr.
Chief Boatswain’s Mate.
Edward Wallace
Chief machinist mate, served aboard 1936 to the sinking. Pearl Harbor Worden veteran.
Alton Warner
Born in 1918; served aboard Worden during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Ralph Wojtkiewicz
Seaman 2nd class, November 1942 to the sinking.
Herbert W. Young
Born 1924; served aboard Worden during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Richard Young
Seaman. Brother of Herbert Young. Served at Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal before being transferred to the Benson-class destroyer Laub in October 1942. Later served at the invasion of Sicily.
Worked as an actuary for a few years and entered Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1957, and ordained in 1960. Holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is a Presbyterian minister and former National Chaplain of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.