USS Abner Read
DD 526 (Fletcher class)

Photo contributed by:
Anonymous Donor

Builder:         Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco
Laid Down:  	 October 30, 1941
Launched:        August 18, 1942
Commissioned:  	 February 5, 1943
Fate:            Sunk by Japanese Kamikaze 
                 Aircraft off Samar 11/01/44

We are seeking information on the USS Abner Read and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.

The E-mail:



My Father-In-Law (Arville R. Crawford) served on the Abner Read when it went down. I was wondering if you had a copy of the crew picture? Or any other pictures of the Abner Read. I will gladly pay you for any cost. Thank you for your time



My dad, Max Davis, served aboard the USS Abneer Read 1943 to November 1, 1944. I have been in the process of trying to contact as many shipmates as possible to let them know of an upcoming reunion to be held in SanDiego, California (October 30 - November 1, 2006)

My mother and dad live in Nebraska City, Nebraska and are planning to attend the reunion. In the mean time, I continue to gather information on the Abner Read. I would love to locate pictures of the last crew if those pictures are available.

One of my most recent responses to my contacts was from Susan Miller Hartshorn. I had found her email address somewhere and I had sent her notice of the upcoming reunion. She responded with this note:

    Thanks for the notice. My dad was Robert ("Bob") Brookie Miller from Redlands, CA. He served on the Abner Read for about a year and a half until she sunk in the Pacific. Dad died of a heart attack 20 years ago at the age of 65. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers him.

    Susan Miller Hartshorn (

I am in the process of trying to update the crew list and to also make contact with sons and daughters, grandchildren, and other decendants of the men who served on the Abner Read during the 2nd World War.

As a Navy veteran myself, I am very proud of all who have served in the US Navy throughout the ages.

Michael Davis


This is Kenneth Boyd Smith. My grandfather was 526 Roy Smith (SN1/c). I have original crew picture from Abner Read from 1944. We also have a spoon from the ship he had in his pocket when he jumped ship. When he jumped ship he saved someone who could not swim by giving him his life jacket. Later on in life the man that he gave his life jacket to drove out of state to see Roy before he died to tell him thank you for saving his life. We are trying to find this man or his family. Please e-mail back with any more information on this.


Kenneth B. Smith
(grandson of Roy O Smith)

Subject: USS Abner Read DD 526
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003
From: Stephen M. Casey

Dear Mark,

My father was an EM2 on the Abner Read when she went down off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He and other shipmates get together once per year and have been doing so for several years. I believe that my father is the secretary of the group, however I'm not sure of that. I do know that he has a copy of the last available log book and has a picture of the ship, more like a picture of smoke in the distance, as it went down. He has, in the past few years, opened up a little and told me a few things about the ship and its sinking.

I'm contacting you because I know that this is an important story and because of the historical significance of the Abner Read, its being the first ship to be sunk by a Kamikaze attack. If you would be interested in more information, please contact me at my email address and I will see what I can obtain for you.

Thank you.


Stephen M. Casey

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