Heywood L. Edwards was fitted with the low, square bridge introduced in Brownson. Like other 2,100-ton Fletcher-class destroyers built at Boston Navy Yard her specifications were as follows:

Name: United States Ship Heywood L. Edwards
Type: Destroyer
Namesake: Lieutenant Commmander Heywood Lane Edwards, USN
Navy Classification: DD 663
Class: DD 445, Fletcher
Builder: Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts
Keel laid: 4 July 1943
Launched: 6 October 1943
Commissioned: 26 January 1944
Disposition: Decommissioned: 1 July 1946; Loaned under Military Assistance Program to Japanese Defense Force as Ariake (DD 183): 10 March 1959; Decommissioned: 7 March 1975; Scrapped: Taiwan, 1 July 1976.

    Length Overall: 376' 5½"
    Extreme Beam: 39' 8"
    Normal Displacement: 2,050 long tons
    Draft: Light: 8' 1"; Mean: 13' 5" Deep: 22’8”
    Designed Complement: Officers, 34; Enlisted, 295
    Designed Shaft Horsepower: 60,000
    Designed Speed: 36 knots
    Screws: Two
    Rudder: One
    Stacks: Two
    Tactical diameter: 950 yards at 30 knots
    Endurance: 4,800 nautical miles at 15 knots.
Heywood L. Edwards’ armament, unchanged during World War II, was that of a typical low-bridge Fletcher-class destroyer from 1943–4: five 5-inch guns in single mounts, ten 21-inch torpedo tubes in two quintuple mounts, ten 40mm guns in five twin mounts, seven 20mm guns in single mounts and depth charges.
    Primary: 5 x 5-inch/38 cal. in five single mounts
    Long-range anti-aircraft: 10 x 40mm Bofors in five twin mounts
    Short-range anti-aircraft: 7 x 20mm Oerlikon in single mounts
    Torpedo Tubes: 10 x 21-inch in two quintuple mounts
    ASW: 2 racks for 600-lb. charges; 6 “K”-guns for 300-lb. charges
Her electronics were also typical:
    Radar: SC (air search) and SG (surface search), Mk 37 (fire control)
    Sonar: QC