×
Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About
     

World War II Database

Walden Ainsworth file photo. [32761]

Walden Ainsworth

SurnameAinsworth
Given NameWalden
Born10 Nov 1886
Died7 Aug 1960
CountryUnited States
CategoryMilitary-Sea
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseWalden Lee Ainsworth, known for most of his life as "Pug," was born 10 Nov 1886 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. He had two great-great-great-grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War; on his father's side, Daniel Ainsworth served in the Connecticut Militia and on his mother's side, Jacob Walden sailed with John Paul Jones in the Continental Navy.

ww2dbaseWalden Ainsworth attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis where he was described as a "hot-air artist" but also recognized for his ingenuity. He graduated in 1910 with Marc Mitscher and Frederick Sherman among his classmates. During World War I, he served as the gunnery officer on three different Navy ships and after the war, he was given shore duty as an ordnance inspector. In 1922, Lieutenant Commander Ainsworth's first command was as captain of the destroyer USS Marcus. After 21 months, he returned to an assignment as an ordnance inspector. In 1926, he was assigned as a staff gunnery officer in a destroyer squadron operating in Chinese waters. Beginning in 1928, Commander Ainsworth spent two years as an instructor at the Naval Academy teaching navigation. Two years at sea followed, where he served as navigator for the battleship USS Idaho and then the cruiser USS Pensacola. From 1933 through 1935, he was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone as the district's communications officer. After attending the Naval War College, Commander Ainsworth was appointed as the Executive Officer of the battleship USS Mississippi. After two years in that post, he was promoted to Captain and spent two more years teaching Naval Science and Tactics at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

ww2dbaseBeginning in July 1940, Captain Ainsworth commanded Destroyer Squadron Two operating with the Atlantic Neutrality Patrols. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Captain Ainsworth was given command of USS Mississippi and brought her from the Atlantic to the Pacific to reinforce the depleted Pacific battleship force. Mississippi spent the next six months along the Pacific coast of the United States guarding against invasion. On 27 Jun 1942, Captain Ainsworth was relieved as captain of the battleship and, at the age of 55, he was promoted to Rear Admiral with duties as Commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor.

ww2dbaseWith the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway already behind them, the US Navy's attention shifted to the Solomon Islands. In four successive engagements north of Guadalcanal near Savo Island, fourteen American cruisers and one Australian cruiser were taken out of action due to being sunk or badly damaged. As part of stiffening and reinforcing the remaining forces in the region, on 10 Dec 1942 Rear Admiral Ainsworth was given command of a cruiser force operating from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.

ww2dbaseWith USS Nashville as his flagship, Admiral Ainsworth quickly made a name for himself on 5 Jan 1943 with the nighttime bombardment of the airstrip and staging area at Munda Point on New Georgia. In essence, this was a shore bombardment by surface ships, which was nothing new for the Navy, but Ainsworth's plan was daring and instituted a number of firsts. This was the first bombardment of Munda and great care went into the navigational planning due to the reefs and shoals protecting the point. The plan of attack was very detailed and printed copies were distributed to every ship in the operation (the lack of sufficiently detailed or adequately communicated attack plans had hampered some of the earlier engagements with dire consequences). In the shoal waters, surface radar was used for nighttime navigation to an extent not seen before. A submarine was employed to serve as a navigational beacon in the approach channel to Munda. Bombardment spotting was to be done by "Black Cat" radar-equipped PBY Catalina night patrol aircraft. Thus, this was to be the Navy's first use of combined surface, sub-surface, and airborne resources in a coordinated offensive night action. Not only was this a good plan and a comprehensive plan, but it went off without a hitch. The navigation was flawless; the bombardment coverage was considered excellent; communications were clear; and the retirement went as planned - almost. The only glitch in the whole scheme happened during retirement just after daylight when the formation was surprised by ten Japanese dive-bombers west of Guadalcanal. Three bombs exploded close aboard the cruiser USS Honolulu, causing no damage, and one bomb struck cruiser HMNZS Achilles on one of her gun turrets, killing thirteen. Most of the attacking planes were shot down.

ww2dbaseFor the plan's comprehensiveness coupled with its nearly flawless execution, Rear Admiral Ainsworth received many accolades from Admirals Halsey and Nimitz, as well as from more than a few naval historians.

ww2dbaseNaturally, Halsey and Nimitz wanted more of the same from Ainsworth, and so he delivered. Three weeks after Munda, Ainsworth led a similar force on a nighttime bombardment of a similar staging area and airstrip at Vila-Stranmore Plantation on Kolombangara Island. The geography was different and so the planning addressed different challenges but the results were much the same, including repelling an air attack during withdrawal. The challenge at Vila was that the target area was deep inside Kula Gulf and could not be approached without fully committing the attacking force into the gulf's restricted waters. Nevertheless, Ainsworth and other commanders entered Kula Gulf many times in the weeks to come. Of course, the waters were equally restricted for the Japanese. Reinforcements and provisions bound for Vila had to run the same gauntlet or come through the even more restricted Blackett Strait. Much as it had been at Guadalcanal, it was these supply deliveries, known as the "Tokyo Express," that were the primary targets for the Allied naval forces.

ww2dbaseAdmiral Ainsworth and these Japanese supply groups had significant exchanges on two consecutive nights in Jul 1943. In the first, in the early morning darkness of 5 Jul 1943, the Japanese were denied their wish to land troops at Vila while the Americans successfully landed troops on the other side of Kula Gulf at Rice Anchorage. On the next night, 6 Jul 1943, the two forces engaged outside the gulf in what would later be called the Battle of Kula Gulf. In the exchange of American cruiser fire and Japanese torpedoes, the cruiser USS Helena and the destroyer Niizuki were sunk while another Japanese destroyer was damaged and beached. The Japanese reprovisioning ships slipped by and were able to make their deliveries, but the American landing forces at Rice Anchorage were unmolested.

ww2dbaseFrom the American perspective, compared to the thrashing received in the four 1942 Savo Island engagements, these results were seen as a resounding improvement. For his courage and leadership, Rear Admiral Ainsworth was awarded the Navy Cross for these actions.

ww2dbaseThe Battle of Kula Gulf scenario nearly repeated itself barely two weeks later in the Battle of Kolombangara. Ainsworth's cruiser force met smaller but better armed Japanese destroyer force with one cruiser. The superior but still underrated Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo caused significant damage to all three of Ainsworth's cruisers, including his flagship, USS Honolulu. An American destroyer was also lost to a torpedo and the lone Japanese cruiser was sunk by cruiser fire. Again, the Japanese landed their reinforcements.

ww2dbaseThe cruisers withdrew for repairs. Ainsworth had his staff to shift to USS St. Louis because that ship was headed directly to the United States for repairs while Honolulu, his usual flagship, was slated to begin repairs in the forward area. The Admiral himself flew from Espiritu Santo to Nouméa to meet with Admiral Halsey. He then caught up with St. Louis in San Francisco, California. St. Louis entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard while Ainsworth and his staff operated from the Federal Building in San Francisco. Once repairs to St. Louis were completed, he sailed with her to Espiritu Santo.

ww2dbaseAdmiral Ainsworth's cruiser force returned to their journeyman work supporting the island assaults on Bougainville, Green Islands, Saipan, Guam, Peleliu, and Leyte. At Leyte Gulf in the Philippines on 20 Oct 1944, Ainsworth's flagship, Honolulu, was damaged by a Japanese torpedo once again.

ww2dbaseThe Admiral flew to Pearl Harbor with the intention of shifting his flag to another cruiser in his division, but it was not to be. At Pearl Harbor, Admiral Ainsworth was reassigned as the commander of the Pacific Fleet's cruisers and destroyers, a post he held until Jul 1945. He then took command of the Naval Operating Base at Norfolk, Virginia and the Fifth Naval District. He remained in that post for three years until his retirement in 1948. On his last day of active duty, he was elevated to Vice-Admiral.

ww2dbaseWalden Ainsworth retired at the age of 62 after spending 38 years on active duty. He had amassed an impressive collection of decorations that included the Navy Cross, the Legion of Merit with Combat 'V', Victory Medals from two world wars, and a Pacific Campaign Medal with eight battle stars. In retirement, he and his wife settled in Wonalancet, New Hampshire. On 7 Aug 1960 at Bethesda, Maryland, Vice-Admiral Walden Ainsworth passed away at the age of 73. He was buried with full honors at the Arlington National Cemetery.

ww2dbaseOn 15 Apr 1972 at Westwego, Louisiana, Ainsworth's widow, Katherine Ainsworth, christened the Knox-class frigate Ainsworth, named for the late Vice-Admiral. USS Ainsworth was commissioned on 31 Mar 1973 and served for 21 years before being transferred to the Turkish Navy. A year after the frigate's christening, Katherine Ainsworth passed away and was buried next to her husband.

ww2dbaseSources:
United States Navy
United States Naval Academy; 1910 Luck Bag
NavSource Naval History
Arlington National Cemetery
FamilySearch
Find-A-Grave
Military Times Wall of Valor
Together We Served
Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Sep 2023

Walden Ainsworth Interactive Map

Photographs

Task Force commander Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth on the fantail of the destroyer USS Fletcher at Espiritu Santo addressing the crew prior to the force’s nighttime shelling of Munda Point, early Jan 1943.Admiral Walden Ainsworth meeting Captain Charles Carpenter (right) and survivors of USS Helena, 7 Jul 1943
See all 9 photographs of Walden Ainsworth

Walden Ainsworth Timeline

10 Nov 1886 Walden Lee Ainsworth was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
21 Jun 1906 Walden Ainsworth entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
3 Jun 1910 Walden Ainsworth graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
7 Mar 1912 Following the requisite two-years of sea duty, Walden Ainsworth was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy.
10 Jun 1916 Lieutenant (junior grade) Walden Ainsworth, US Navy, married Katharine Gardner in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
3 Jun 1921 Walden Ainsworth's appointment to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy was made permanent after serving at that grade on a temporary basis for several months.
13 Jan 1922 Lieutenant Commander Walden Ainsworth assumed command of Clemson-class destroyer USS Marcus.
24 Oct 1923 Lieutenant Commander Walden Ainsworth was relieved as commanding officer of Clemson-class destroyer USS Marcus.
12 Sep 1927 Lieutenant Commander Walden Ainsworth assumed command of Clemson-class destroyer USS Paul Jones.
25 Apr 1928 Lieutenant Commander Walden Ainsworth was relieved as commanding officer of Clemson-class destroyer USS Paul Jones.
22 Jul 1940 Captain Walden Ainsworth was appointed Commander, Destroyer Squadron Two operating as part of the Atlantic Neutrality Patrols.
19 Dec 1941 Captain Walden Ainsworth relinquished command of Destroyer Squadron Two.
20 Dec 1941 Captain Walden Ainsworth assumed command of battleship USS Mississippi.
27 Jun 1942 Captain Walden Ainsworth was relieved as commanding officer of battleship USS Mississippi and accepted an appointment to the rank of Rear Admiral.
4 Jul 1942 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth assumed the duties as Commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet.
10 Dec 1942 At NoumĂ©a, New Caledonia, Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth assumed command of Task Force 67, USS Louisville flagship.
2 Jan 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville, USS St. Louis, USS Helena, USS Honolulu, HMNZS Achilles, USS Columbia, and USS Louisville escorted by destroyers USS Fletcher, USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Lamson, and USS Drayton departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides on a patrol south of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.
2 Jan 1943 At Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Commander of Task Force 67 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth shifted his flag from USS Louisville to USS Nashville.
5 Jan 1943 In the early morning darkness, cruisers USS Nashville, USS St. Louis, and USS Helena (St. Louis-class) with destroyers USS Fletcher and USS O'Bannon conducted a nighttime bombardment of the Japanese-held airstrip at Munda on New Georgia, Solomon Islands.
8 Jan 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville, USS St. Louis, USS Helena, USS Honolulu, HMNZS Achilles, USS Columbia, and USS Louisville escorted by destroyers USS Fletcher, USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Lamson, and USS Drayton returned to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
22 Jan 1943 Task Force 67 consisting of cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena, USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS DeHaven, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Drayton, USS Lamson, and USS Hughes departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands as a striking force.
23 Jan 1943 After sunset, the Task Force 67 Bombardment Group consisting of cruisers USS Nashville and USS Helena with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS DeHaven, USS O’Bannon, and USS Radford split off from the rest of the force and proceeded toward their objective.
24 Jan 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS Helena with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS DeHaven, USS O’Bannon, and USS Radford made a nighttime bombardment of Vila airstrip, Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, followed by repelling a nighttime Japanese air attack. The destroyers then anchored at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
25 Jan 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena (St. Louis-class), Honolulu and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Drayton, USS Lamson, and USS Hughes arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
28 Jan 1943 Task Force 67 consisting of cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena (St. Louis-class), USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Drayton, USS Lamson, USS O’Bannon, and USS Reid departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for patrols in the lanes southwest of the Santa Cruz Islands.
14 Feb 1943 Task Force 67 consisting of cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena (St. Louis-class), USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Drayton, USS Lamson, USS O’Bannon, and USS Reid arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
15 Feb 1943 Task Force 67 consisting of cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena (St. Louis-class), USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Chevalier, USS Strong, USS Taylor, and USS Jenkins departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for patrols in the lanes south of San Cristobal Island, Solomon Islands.
23 Feb 1943 Task Force 67 consisting of cruisers USS Nashville, USS Helena (St. Louis-class), USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Chevalier, USS Strong, USS Taylor, and USS Jenkins arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
3 Mar 1943 Task Force 67 cruisers USS Nashville, USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Russell, USS Strong, USS Morris, USS Chevalier, and USS Jenkins departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for patrols in the lanes north of Espiritu Santo.
12 Mar 1943 Task Force 67 cruisers USS Nashville, USS Honolulu, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Taylor, USS Strong, USS Chevalier, and USS Jenkins arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. After refueling, the task force departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides to patrol the lanes north of Espiritu Santo.
12 Mar 1943 At Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Commander of Task Force 67 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth shifted his flag from USS Nashville to USS Honolulu.
22 Mar 1943 Cruiser USS Honolulu with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Radford, USS Taylor, and USS Strong arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
29 Mar 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Strong departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for several days of night patrols of the New Georgia Sound (The “Slot”) from Tulagi up to Kula Gulf.
6 Apr 1943 USS Helena (St. Louis-class) joined the cruiser group with USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, and USS St. Louis while the cruiser group was on station in the Solomon Islands.
7 Apr 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, USS Helena, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, USS Strong, USS Fletcher, and USS Chevalier departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
10 Apr 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, USS Helena, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, USS Strong, USS Fletcher, and USS Chevalier arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
5 May 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and USS Nashville with destroyers USS O'Bannon, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for the Blackett Strait, Solomon Islands by way of the New Georgia Sound (The "Slot").
7 May 1943 Shortly after midnight, cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and USS Nashville with destroyers USS O'Bannon, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier made one circuit through Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands covering minelayers laying mines in Blackett Strait.
8 May 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and USS Nashville with destroyers USS O'Bannon, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
11 May 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, USS Helena, and USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, USS Strong, USS Fletcher, and USS Chevalier departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for Kolombangara, Solomon Islands.
13 May 1943 Shortly after midnight, cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, and USS Helena, with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier entered Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands where they conducted a shore bombardment of Japanese positions along both sides of the gulf. Cruiser USS Nashville suffered an explosion inside her No. 3 turret that killed 18 men and injured 17. USS Nicholas and USS Chevalier both suffered gun casualties in their 5-inch gun mounts where, in each case, a hang-fire caused an explosion and fire causing no casualties.
14 May 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Nashville, USS St. Louis, and USS Helena, with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Taylor, USS Strong, and USS Chevalier departed the Solomon Islands and arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. On arrival, Nicholas and Chevalier went alongside the tender USS Dixie for repairs to their guns.
28 Jun 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Strong, USS McCall, USS Chevalier, and USS O’Bannon departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for the Coral Sea.
3 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Strong, USS Chevalier, and USS O’Bannon arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
4 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Strong, USS Chevalier, and USS O’Bannon departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands on patrol of the New Georgia Sound (The “Slot”) toward Kula Gulf.
5 Jul 1943 The US Northern Landing Group under Colonel Harry Liversedge landed at Rice Anchorage on the northern coast of New Georgia, Solomon Islands. On the same day shortly after midnight, US cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, and USS St. Louis escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Strong, USS Chevalier, and USS O’Bannon entered Kula Gulf to shell Japanese positions on Kolombangara and New Georgia in support of the landings at Rice Anchorage. At the same time, Japanese destroyers Niizuki, Nagatsuki, Yunagi, and Satsuki arrived at the north end of Kula Gulf loaded with 1,300 reinforcement troops and 180 tons of provisions bound for Vila, Kolombangara at the south end of Kula Gulf. Upon the commencement of the American shelling at Bairoka Harbor, New Georgia, the Japanese commander, Commander Kunizo Kanaoka, aborted the mission and ordered a withdrawal. As they turned, Niizuki, Nagatsuki, and Yunagi launched a spread of 14 Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedoes into the gulf. At a range of 22,000 yards (11 nautical miles), one of the torpedoes struck and sank destroyer USS Strong. This is believed to be the longest successful torpedo attack of the war. The Americans never detected the presence of the Japanese destroyers and believed Strong was torpedoed by a submarine.
6 Jul 1943 During Battle of Kula Gulf in the Solomon Islands, US cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, USS St. Louis with destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS O'Bannon engaged a Japanese force of destroyers Niizuki, Yunagi, Suzukaze, Tanikaze, Amagiri, Hatsuyuki, Nagatsuki, Satsuki, Mochizuki, Mikazuki and Hamakaze in the early morning darkness. Helena fired on the incoming Japanese convoy at 0157 hours, but the many gun flashes in turn made Helena an attractive target for Japanese gunners. Suzukaze and Tanikaze each launched Type 93 torpedoes. One struck Helena at 0203 hours, followed by two more at 0205 hours. Helena would sink at 0225 hours. Niizuki is sunk by gunfire. Nagatsuki was badly damaged and beached near Bambari Harbor, Kolombangara.
7 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Chevalier departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
8 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Chevalier arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
10 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Chevalier departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for the Solomon Islands.
12 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and HMNZS Leander escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Chevalier joined with destroyers USS Gwin, USS Woodworth, USS Buchanan, and USS Maury. Together, these ships sailed up the New Georgia Sound (The “Slot”) toward Kolombangara. Yugure, Yukikaze, Hamakaze, and Kiyonami departed Shortland Islands, Solomon Islands, escorting a troop transport mission involving light cruiser Jintsu to Kolombangara, New Georgia Group, Solomon Islands. The two forces engaged in the Battle of Kolombangara that lasted into the next morning.
13 Jul 1943 Shortly after midnight, cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and HMNZS Leander escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O'Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Chevalier, USS Gwin, USS Woodworth, USS Buchanan, and USS Maury engaged Japanese cruiser Jintsu and destroyers Yukikaze, Hamakaze, Yugure, Mikazuki, and Kiyonami in New Georgia Sound north of Kolombangara. Japanese Type 93 torpedoes damaged Honolulu, St. Louis, and Leander. Destroyers Woodworth and Buchanan were damaged in a collision. Jintsu was sunk by cruiser gunfire and a torpedo. Destroyer Yukikaze was damaged. Destroyer USS Ralph Talbot went to the aid of USS Gwin, badly damaged by a torpedo, and took aboard 155 officers and men. USS Maury took another 53 officers and men. Ralph Talbot then scuttled Gwin with torpedoes. The Japanese were able to land 1,200 men nevertheless.
13 Jul 1943 During the Battle of Kolombangara, cruiser USS Honolulu was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the starboard bow, causing 60 feet of the bow to fold and collapse downward so the deck was nearly vertical. Another torpedo crashed through Honolulu’s stern but did not explode. Down by the head, Honolulu withdrew to Tulagi Harbor, Solomon Islands.
14 Jul 1943 USS Honolulu departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
16 Jul 1943 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. St. Louis moored alongside repair ship USS Vestal.
17 Jul 1943 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth and his chief of staff departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides by airplane bound for NoumĂ©a, New Caledonia for a conference with Admiral William Halsey.
30 Oct 1943 USS St. Louis departed San Francisco, California bound for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
13 Nov 1943 USS St. Louis arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
14 Nov 1943 At Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth shifted his flag from USS St. Louis to USS Nashville.
15 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
16 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
18 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands as escorts for a reinforcement convoy bound for the landing beaches at Torokina, Bougainville.
20 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis returned to Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
21 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands for a patrol through the Solomon Sea in support of the landings at Cape Torokina, Bougainville.
25 Nov 1943 Cruisers USS Nashville and USS St. Louis returned to Tulagi, Solomon Islands. Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth shifted his flag from USS Nashville to USS St. Louis.
13 Dec 1943 USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
14 Dec 1943 USS St. Louis arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth shifted his flag from USS St. Louis to USS Honolulu.
25 Dec 1943 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides bound for Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
26 Dec 1943 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands before departing after dark bound for a bombardment strike against Bougainville.
27 Dec 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis bombard Kieta and Numa Numa Plantation on the north shore of Bougainville.
29 Dec 1943 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
8 Jan 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands and that evening conducted a bombardment strike against the Shortland Islands south of Bougainville.
9 Jan 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis shifted to the west of Torokina to cover landing of reinforcements there.
10 Jan 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
13 Feb 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound to support the landings at Green Island north of Bougainville.
15 Feb 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis covered the New Zealand landings on Green Island 140 miles east of Rabaul.
17 Feb 1944 USS Honolulu arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
12 May 1944 USS Honolulu, USS Birmingham, and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for exercises in the northern Solomon Islands.
13 May 1944 USS Honolulu, USS Birmingham, and USS St. Louis arrived at Hathorn Sound at the south end of Kula Gulf.
4 Jun 1944 USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis departed Tulagi, Solomon Islands bound for Roi at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, joining carriers USS Corregidor and USS Coral Sea while at sea.
8 Jun 1944 Battleships USS New Mexico, USS Idaho, and USS Pennsylvania with aircraft carriers USS Corregidor and USS Coral Sea and cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Roi at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.
10 Jun 1944 Battleships USS New Mexico, USS Idaho, and USS Pennsylvania with aircraft carriers USS Corregidor and USS Coral Sea and cruisers USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis departed Kwajalein bound for the invasion of the Mariana Islands.
14 Jun 1944 Battleships USS Pennsylvania and USS Idaho with cruiser USS Honolulu conducted pre-invasion bombardments of Saipan, Mariana Islands.
17 Jul 1944 USS Honolulu arrived at Guam and began supporting pre-invasion operations with shore bombardments.
22 Aug 1944 USS Honolulu arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
6 Sep 1944 USS Honolulu departed Tulagi as part of a task force bound for the Peleliu in the Palau Islands.
12 Sep 1944 USS Honolulu began two weeks of daily bombardments of Peleliu in the Palau Islands. For his performance as commander of the Peleliu fire support group, Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth, aboard Honolulu, was awarded the Legion of Merit with combat 'V'.
29 Sep 1944 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Portland, USS Cleveland, and USS Indianapolis departed the Peleliu area bound for Manus in the Admiralty Islands.
1 Oct 1944 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Portland, USS Cleveland, and USS Indianapolis arrived at Seeadler Harbor, Manus in the Admiralty Islands.
12 Oct 1944 Task Group 77.2 consisting of battleships USS Tennessee, USS California, USS Pennsylvania, USS Maryland, USS West Virginia, and USS Mississippi with cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Portland, USS Minneapolis, USS Denver, and USS Columbia departed Seeadler Harbor, Manus bound Leyte Gulf, Philippines.
18 Oct 1944 Task Group 77.2 consisting of battleships USS Tennessee, USS Maryland, USS West Virginia, and USS Mississippi with cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Portland, and USS Columbia arrived in Leyte Gulf, Philippines.
19 Oct 1944 USS Honolulu, USS Tennessee, USS California, and USS Portland began two days of shore bombardments on Leyte, Philippines in advance of Army landings.
20 Oct 1944 While conducting a shore bombardment in Leyte Gulf, Philippines, USS Honolulu was struck amidships by an aerial torpedo.
29 Oct 1944 USS Honolulu arrived at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands. Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth hauled down his flag and departed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
31 Oct 1944 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth assumed the duties as Commander, Cruisers and Commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet.
13 Jul 1945 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth relinquished the duties as Commander, Cruisers and Commander, Destroyers, Pacific Fleet.
20 Aug 1945 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth assumed the duties as Commandant of the Fifth Naval District and Commander of the Naval Operating Base at Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
1 Dec 1948 Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth was elevated to the rank of Vice-Admiral and placed on the United States Navy's retired list in what was known as a "Tombstone Promotion." He made his retirement home at Wonalancet, New Hampshire.
7 Aug 1960 At Bethesda, Maryland, Vice-Admiral Walden Ainsworth passed away at the age of 73.
11 Aug 1960 The body of Vice-Admiral Walden Ainsworth was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
15 Apr 1972 At Westwego, Louisiana, the Knox-class frigate Ainsworth was christened by Vice-Admiral Walden Ainsworth’s widow, Katherine Gardner Ainsworth, one year before her death.
31 Mar 1973 At the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, the Knox-class frigate USS Ainsworth, named for the late Vice-Admiral Walden Ainsworth, was commissioned.




Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook
 Reddit
 Twitter

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds




Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
 

Notes:

1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on Walden Ainsworth
Event(s) Participated:
» United States Neutrality Patrol
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Palau Islands and Ulithi Islands Campaigns
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Honolulu
» Louisville
» Mississippi
» Nashville
» Pensacola
» St. Louis

Walden Ainsworth Photo Gallery
Task Force commander Rear Admiral Walden Ainsworth on the fantail of the destroyer USS Fletcher at Espiritu Santo addressing the crew prior to the force’s nighttime shelling of Munda Point, early Jan 1943.Admiral Walden Ainsworth meeting Captain Charles Carpenter (right) and survivors of USS Helena, 7 Jul 1943
See all 9 photographs of Walden Ainsworth


Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945


Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!