Ainsworth, Walden Lee, VADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1948, 5th Naval District
Service Years
1910 - 1948
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Minnesota
Minnesota
Year of Birth
1886
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Ainsworth, Walden Lee, VADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Minneapolis, MN
Last Address
Wonalancet, NH

Date of Passing
Aug 07, 1960
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
4717-A-RH

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


After returning to the United States in the summer of 1945, Vice Admiral Ainsworth commanded the Fifth Naval District until retiring on December 1, 1948. He made his retirement home at Wonalancet, New Hampshire . He was buried with full military honors in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Katherine Gardner Ainsworth (1888-1973) is buried with him.

   
Other Comments:

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Walden Lee Ainsworth (NSN: 0-7248), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States. During the period from 10 December 1942 until 18 July 1943, Rear Admiral Ainsworth has been in command of Task Forces operating as a part of the South Pacific Force. The forces under his command have conducted many offensive operations in this area; such included repeated bombardment of enemy installations, the interception and defeat of enemy forces operating in the Solomons Area, and culminated by the two successful night engagements in Kula Gulf in the month of July. These operations have all been conducted in the face of determined enemy resistance and the forces under his command have been repeatedly subjected to enemy submarine, surface, and air attack. The success of many operations in the Solomon Islands has been, to a large degree, due to the energetic and courageous leadership of Rear Admiral Ainsworth.
General Orders: Commander South Pacific: Serial 2667 (August 2, 1943)
Action Date: December 10, 1942 - July 18, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral

Navy Cross
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral Walden Lee Ainsworth (NSN: 0-7248), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Task Force Commander, Task Group 36.1, in offensive action against enemy Japanese forces in the Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands, on 5 and 6 July 1943. On 5 July 1943, Admiral Ainsworth gallantly led his Task Force into the restricted and submarine infested waters where, in the face of enemy gun and torpedo fire, he directed the bombardment of shore batteries and installations which covered the landings by our troops. Twenty-four hours later, he again led his ships against a Japanese force of approximately ten vessels. The skillful and accurate fire of his Task Force sank or severely damaged all of the enemy units. His outstanding leadership, brilliant tactics, and courageous conduct throughout the engagements contributed immeasurably to the destruction of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander South Pacific Force and Area: Serial 2471 (July 19, 1943)
Action Date: July 5 & 6, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Task Force Commander
Division: Task Group 36.1

Legion of Merit with Combat "V"
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Rear Admiral Walden Lee Ainsworth (NSN: 0-7248), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States during the assault and occupation of an enemy-held island objective in World War II. Rear Admiral Ainsworth commanded the fire support group which bombarded the objective prior to, during and subsequent to the assault by our forces. By his personal leadership, his skillful handling of his ship, and his thorough knowledge of amphibious fire support problems he caused his ships to render accurate and devastating naval gunfire support to our assault troops, and contributed in a large degree to the successful capture of the island. His outstanding conduct and services were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Rear Admiral Ainsworth is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)
General Orders: Commander Amphibious Forces Pacific: Serial 1729 (September 19, 1944)
Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy

Legion of Merit
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Rear Admiral Walden Lee Ainsworth (NSN: 0-7248), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander Destroyers and Commander Cruisers, United States Pacific Fleet, from October 1944 to July 1945. He displayed exceptional ability and aggressiveness in handling the organization and administration of the cruisers, destroyers, destroyer escorts and patrol frigates under his command during a period when these ships were playing a most vital part in an unprecedented offensive against a ruthless and fanatic enemy. His sound judgment and experience were of great value in providing for the servicing of these ships in Forward Areas. In addition, he handled the countless detailed problems of his command, including the supervision of training programs, with the greatest efficiency. His professional excellence, energetic initiative, and devotion to duty were strong determining factors in the successful prosecution of the war against the Japanese Empire, and were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 33918 (July 14, 1945)
Action Date: October 1944 - July 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral
   
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Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
Guam, ringed by reefs, cliffs, and heavy surf, presents a formidable challenge for an attacker. But despite the obstacles, on 21 July, the Americans landed on both sides of the Orote peninsula on the western side of Guam, planning to cut off the airfield. The 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana to the north of Orote at 08:28, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed near Agat to the south. Japanese artillery sank 20 LVTs, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans, especially on the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, but by 09:00 men and tanks were ashore at both beaches. The 77th Infantry Division had a more difficult landing. Lacking amphibious vehicles, they had to wade ashore from the edge of the reef where they were dropped by their landing craft. The men stationed in the two beachheads were pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, making initial progress inland quite slow.



US Marines move inland.
By nightfall, the Americans had established beachheads about 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep. Japanese counterattacks were made throughout the first few days of the battle, mostly at night, using infiltration tactics. Several times, they penetrated the American defenses and were driven back with heavy loss of men and equipment. Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina was killed on 28 July, and Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata took over the command of the defenders.

Supply was very difficult for the Americans in the first days of the battle. Landing ships could not come closer than the reef, several hundred yards from the beach, and amphibious vehicles were scarce. However, the two beachheads were joined up on 25 July, and the Orote airfield and Apra harbor were captured by 30 July.

The counterattacks against the American beachheads, as well as the fierce fighting, had exhausted the Japanese. At the start of August, they were running out of food and ammunition and had only a handful of tanks left. Obata withdrew his troops from the south of Guam, planning to make a stand in the mountainous central and northern part of the island. But with resupply and reinforcement impossible because of American control of the sea and air around Guam, he could hope to do no more than delay the inevitable defeat for a few days.

Rain and thick jungle made conditions difficult for the Americans, but after an engagement at Mount Barrigada from 2-4 August, the Japanese line collapsed; the rest of the battle was a pursuit to the north. As in other battles of the Pacific War, the Japanese refused to surrender, and almost all were killed. On 10 August, after three weeks of combat, organized Japanese resistance ended, and Guam was declared secure. The next day, Obata committed ritual suicide.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Apr 13, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  212 Also There at This Battle:
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Beckwith, John Edward, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Chavez, Natalio, S1c, (1944-1946)
  • Coggins, Royal Joseph, S1c, (1942-1946)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Dawson, William L., PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Dikel, Samuel, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
  • Garrettson, Charles
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