Willet S. Lehner - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Willet S. Lehner


Will enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 5th, 1938. He arrived at Pearl Harbor on March 8th, 1941 where he was assigned to the USS Ward. When the attack began he was on patrol at the entrance to Pearl Harbor - where the USS Ward sank a Japanese 2-man sub at 0745 on the morning of December 7th, 1941. "We continued to patrol and drop depth charges on sub contacts until we ran out of charges. We went in to Pearl Harbor about 1300 to get more charges and then went back out to continue our patrol. We were attacked by two Japanese planes about 0830 that dropped bombs on each side of the ship but missed hitting us. No other planes came after us after that." After the attack the USS Ward was sent back to the states to be made into a fast transport (APD). "We were on our way to the South Pacific war zone. We spent the next 4 months delivering supplies to our troops on the islands north of Guadalcanal. Next came landing troops and supplies on enemy held islands. This continued for the next 8 months and then 10 days in Sydney, Australia. Then back to New Guinea to land troops and supplies on the push to the Philippines."

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