Ferris, Millard P.

Millard D. Ferris U.S. Navy  WWII
Millard D. Ferris U.S. Navy WWII

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Date of Birth: 1/3/1921
Died On: 5/2/1992 Last Residence: 10580 Rye, Westchester, New York
Street Address: 632 1/2 Milton Road
Service Number: 6466345
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy - DD 473, 7 May 1943 - 27 Jan 1945

Veteran Code: USN-338

Millard D. Ferris

Millard D. Ferris was born Jan 3 1921 to Everett and Mildred Brown Ferris. He had a sister Betsey and a brother Everett. In Rye his family lived at 632 Milton Road and were members of Christ Church. Millard attended Milton Grade School and was a Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1940.

He enlisted in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theater with the US Navy during World War II and was decorated. Millard was assigned to the USS Duncan (DD-485).

Duncan was operating in the Solomon Islands in September 1942, screening transports and ships supporting the U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal.. On 11 October 1942, she was in the screen of Task Force 64 (TF 64) which was assigned to protect a vital transport convoy carrying reinforcements to Guadalcanal.

Contact was made with a large enemy surface force just as the American ships were executing a course change as part of their battle plan. Duncan, having a clear radar contact and seeing her flagship apparently steady upon a course which would close the target, believed the destroyers were closing to attack, and found herself charging alone toward the enemy force.
In the resulting Battle of Cape Esperance, Duncan hit a cruiser with several salvos, then shifted fire to a destroyer, at the same time maneuvering radically to avoid enemy fire and that from her own forces, who were now joining in the attack. She got off two torpedoes toward her first target, Furutaka, and kept firing until hits she had received put her out of action.

The commanding officer ordered the bridge, isolated by fire, abandoned, and the wounded lowered into life rafts. The men on board attempted to beach the ship on Savo Island, but then, believing she might yet be saved, continued to fight the fires until power failed, when they abandoned ship. Destroyer McCalla rescued 195 men including, Millard Ferris, from the shark-infested waters and made an attempt to salvage Duncan, but she sank on 12 October 1942, about 6 miles (10 km) north of Savo Island.

After a furlough home Millard served aboard the USS Bennett (DD-473), a Fletcher-class destroyer. The Bennett sailed to the Solomon Islands 4 November 1944, she patrolled and escorted convoys until 5 April 1944. Included in her service in the Solomon Islands was support of the Cape Torokina, Bougainville landings (on 1 November 1943 on the western side of the island) and Green Island (on 15 February 1944) landings, and bombardments of the Japanese base at Kavieng on New Ireland, (on 18 February 1944) and Rabaul, New Britain (29 February).

The Bennett next steamed north to take part in the invasions of Saipan (14 June through 1 July) and of Guam (2nd through 16 August). Returning to the Central Pacific later in the month she supported the invasion of the Palaus (Peleliu) (6 through 25 September), and then she returned to San Francisco for upkeep work, arriving on 25 October 1944.

The Bennett returned to Pearl Harbor on 24 December, and she remained in Hawaiian waters for the next month. Then she steamed west to take part in the invasion of Iwo Jima (19 February through 5 March 1945), where she was slightly damaged by a dud bomb (1 March).

On 1 April she was a unit of the forces taking part in the invasion of Okinawa. At 08:50, on 7 April, she was hit by an Imperial Japanese Navy kamikaze plane, damaging the forward engine room, and knocking out all of her electrical power. Seven sailors ultimately died from their injuries, and fourteen survived serious injuries.

After the Bennet received her final repairs the war had ended and Millard received his honorable discharge.

Returning to Rye, Millard married Harriet Clark on April 27, 1946 at St Peter's Episcopal Church in Port Chester

In 1989 he retired from his position as a manager at Nichols Boat Yard where he had worked since 1962. He was member of the Rye Fish and Game Club.

Millard D Ferris a lifelong Rye resident died May 2, 1992 at United Hospital Medical Center in Port Chester He was 71

In addition to his wife of Rye he was survived by a son Dale C of Norwalk Conn and a daughter Nancy Natale of Greenwich Conn and two grandchildren.

Links to this Veterans History

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