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Woodring "Woody" Fryer


Branch of Service: U.S. Navy Reserves

Years of Service1943-1945 

Final Rank: Petty Officer 2nd Class - Radioman











Tours of Duty

  •   European Theater aboard the U.S.S. Ahrens - DE 575, commissioned at Highman, Massachusetts, Feb. 1944 

  • Pacific Theater, assigned to 7th Fleet

  • Hospital ship the U.S.S. Refuge in the Philippine Islands

  • Santa Margarita Ranch Naval Hospital - Oceanside, California

  • Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois










Warfare Specialization

  • Radioman









Significant Experiences

  • Was in the original crew of the Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Ahrens - assigned to killer group with four DE's and an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Block Island which was the only aircraft carrier that was lost in the Atlantic Ocean in June 1944.

  • On our first Atlantic crossing a German submarine surfaced next to the carrier, U.S.S. Block Island.  Our sister destroyer, the U.S.S. Buckley made radar contact and rammed the sub at the conning tower, cutting it in two.  Germans jumped aboard the Buckley and hand to hand combat resulted with 38 Germans captured.  Later we received eight POWs aboard our ship.  On the return voyage from Casablanca, a German sub torpedoed the carrier Block Island and our sister DE the U.S.S. Barr.  We rescued more than 500 of the Block Island crew.  Our soundmen tracked the sub under our ship and another DE, the U.S.S. Paine made contact and sank the German Sub.

  • Through the Panama Canal in December 1944 and assigned to Pacific 7th Fleet

  • Injured at Luzon Bay, Philippines on 3/15/1944 and evacuated on the hospital ship U.S.S. Refuge, then to California for rehabilitation