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USS John D. Ford (DD-228)

Destroyer Warship

United States | 1920

"The USS John D. Ford was the recipient of four Battle Stars for her service in World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/12/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The large Clemson-class destroyer group of the United States Navy (USN) was laid down during the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918) beginning in 1918 and spanned into 1922 by which point some 156 of the planned 162 vessels were completed. These warships served into 1948, covering operations in World War 2 (1939-1945) and deployed under several national flags including that of the British Royal Navy, the Canadian Navy and the Soviet Navy. Twenty of the class were eventually lost while six were cancelled before they could be realized.

USS John D. Ford (DD-228) became one of the Clemson-class warships and saw its keel laid down by William Cramp & Sons on November 11th, 1919. By this time, World War 1 had ended by way of the Armistice of November 1918 but the Clemson-class ships were built nonetheless. Ford was launched on September 2nd, 1920 and was officially commissioned for service in the USN on December 30th of that year.

The Ford's profile was consistent with American destroyer ship designs of the late 1910s. She carried multiple (four) smoke funnels, in line, at midships with the bridge superstructure held well-forward. Her hull was sleek and slim and designed for blue water service. Two main masts made up the tallest components of her side profile. Primary armament was 12 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes backed by 4 x 4" (102mm) deck guns. A single 3" (76mm) gun was carried for air defense as were 2 x 0.30 caliber medium machine guns. With her heavy torpedo armament, Ford could lay down a "spread" against a surface target, reducing the chances that the target would be able to avoid all of the torpedoes sent its way.

Internally, Ford was powered by 4 x boiler units feeding 2 x geared steam turbines developing 27,600 horsepower to 2 x shafts. Performance specs included a maximum speed of 35.5 knots and a range out to 4,900 nautical miles. The crew complement was generally made up of eight officers, eight chief petty-level officers and up to 106 enlisted personnel.

Her trials were in New England waters and crew training followed in the Caribbean. From there she took her post with the Asiatic Fleet and journeyed to the Far East by way of the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal where she would operate mainly from Manila, Philippines. Some of the warship's first actions centered around support of Americans in China where internal unrest threatened civilization.

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The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941 triggered the American commitment to World War 2. Ford survived the initial Japanese aerial actions against Manila and made some of her wartime career in the Far East Theater. She took part in a destroyer-led torpedo raid on Japanese shipping at Balikpapan to which four enemies were sunk.

On February 27th, 1942, the Battle of Java Sea was had between a combined force of American, British, Australian and Dutch ships against the Empire of Japan. Ford survived this action but the battle marked a victory for the Japanese. Three Allied destroyers, along with a pair of light cruisers and a heavy cruiser were lost with 2,300 hands. The Japanese force was reduced by one destroyer and 36 men.

After arriving in Australian waters, Ford was part of a destroyer force charged with patrolling and convoy escort duties. After several months at this post, she undertook escort duties from the California coast to Pearl Harbor and she returned to California in May of 1943 to take part in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises.

From there, Ford was transferred to the Atlantic where she would forge the second half of her career. Her patrols took her across the Atlantic Ocean where the warship helped to sink the German U-Boat U-544 in January 1944 near the Azores. Her next tour placed her in Mediterranean waters where she served as a deterrent for marauding German U-boats. However, a collision with a British ship in March (near Gibraltar) forced her return to Norfolk, Virginia. Once repaired, she continued operations in the Atlantic.

In July of 1945 Ford was redesignated to "AG-119" and categorized as a miscellaneous auxiliary warship. In September, with the war over, the warship returned to Norfolk and was decommissioned on November 2nd, 1945. Once stripped of her war-making usefulness, her hulk was sold off in October of 1947. For her service in World War 2, the John D. Ford was awarded four Battle Stars. Her namesake was Rear Admiral John Donaldson Ford (1840-1918), an American Civil War and Spanish-American War veteran.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for USS John D. Ford (DD-228).
4 x Boilers feeding 2 x Geared steam turbines developing 27,600 horsepower to 2 x Shafts.
35.5 kts
40.9 mph
Surface Speed
4,901 nm
5,640 miles | 9,077 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of USS John D. Ford (DD-228).
314.4 ft
95.83 meters
O/A Length
30.1 ft
9.18 meters
9.3 ft
2.83 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of USS John D. Ford (DD-228).
12 x 21" (533mm) torpedoes
4 x 102mm/50 caliber guns
1 x 76mm/25 caliber gun
2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns
Ships-in-Class (156)
Notable series variants as part of the USS John D. Ford (DD-228) family line as relating to the Clemson-class group.
USS Clemson (); USS Dahlgren (); USS Goldsborough (); USS Semmes (); USS Satterlee (); USS Mason (); USS Graham (); USS Abel P. Upshur (); USS Hunt (); USS Welborn C. Wood (); USS George E. Badger (); USS Branch (); USS Herndon (); USS Dallas / Alexander Dallas (); USS Chandler (); USS Southard (); USS Hovey (); USS Long (); USS Broome (); USS Alden (); USS Smith Thompson (); USS Barker (); USS Tracy (); USS Borie (); USS Stweart / John D. Edwards (); USS Whipple (); USS Parrott (); USS Edsall (); USS MacLeish (); USS Simpson (); USS Bulmer (); USS McCormick (); USS Stewart / DD-224 (unnamed); USS Pope (); USS Peary (); USS Pillsbury (); USS Ford / John D. Ford (); USS Truxton (); USS Paul Jones (); USS Hatfield (); USS Brooks (); USS Gilmer (); USS Fox (); USS Kane (); USS Humphreys (); USS McFarland (); USS James K. Paulding (); USS Overton (); USS Sturtevant (); USS Childs (); USS Williamson (); USS Reuben James (); USS Bainbridge (); USS Goff (); USS Barry (); USS Hopkins (); USS Lawrence (); USS Belknap (); USS McCook (); USS McCalla (DD-253); USS Kalk / Rodgers (); USS Ingram / Osmond Ingram (); USS Bancroft (); USS Welles (); USS Aulick (); USS USS Turner / YW-56 (unnamed) / Moosehead (); USS Gillis (); USS Delphy (); USS McDermut (); USS Laub (); USS McLanahan (); USS Edwards; USS Anthony / Greene (); USS Ballard (); USS Shubrick (); USS Bailey (); USS Thornton (); USS Morris (); USS Tingey (); USS Swasey (); USS Meade (); USS Sinclair / IX-37 (unnamed); UCC McCawley (); USS Moody (); USS Henshaw (); USS Meyer (); USS Doyen (); USS USS Sharkey (); USS USS Toucey (); USS Breck (); USS Isherwood (); USS Case (); USS USS Lardner (); USS Putnam (); USS Worden (); USS Flusser (); USS Dale (); USS Stewart / Converse (); USS Stewart / Reid (); USS Billingsley (); USS Ausburn / Charles Ausburn (); USS Osborne (); USS Channcey (); USS Fuller (); USS Percival (); USS Swasey / John Francis Burnes (); USS Farragut (); USS Somers (); USS Stoddert (); USS Reno (); USS Farquhar (); USS Thompson (); USS Kennedy (); USS Paul Hamilton (); USS William Jones (); USS Woodbury (); USS Branch / S.P. Lee (); USS Nicholas (); USS Young (); USS Zeilin (); USS Yarborough (); USS La Vallette (); USS Sloat (); USS Wood (); USS Shirk (); USS Kidder (); USS Selfridge (); USS Marcus (); USS Mervine (); USS Chase (); USS Robert Smith (); USS Mullany (); USS Coghlan (); USS Preston (); USS Lamson (); USS Bruce (); USS Hull (); USS Macdonough (); USS Farenholt (); USS Sumner (); USS Corry (); USS Melvin (); USS Litchfield (); USS Zane; USS Wasmuth (); USS Trever (); USS Perry (); Decatur (); USS Hulbert (); USS Noa; USS William B. Preston (); USS Preble (); USS Sicard (); Pruitt ()
Global operator(s) of the USS John D. Ford (DD-228). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
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Image of the USS John D. Ford (DD-228)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
USS John D. Ford (DD-228) Destroyer Warship appears in the following collections:
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