“For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Saipan-Tinian operations, June 12 to August 2, 1944; Palau, September 6 to 29, 1944; the Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24–25, 1944; Iwo Jima, February 14 to March 9, 1945; and Okinawa, March 21 to April 18, 1945. Operating in the face of continued and persistent air attacks throughout five major campaigns, the U.S.S. HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS blasted Japanese shore emplacements, screened our attacking transports and effectively laid support barrages for amphibious assaults. On the night of 23–24 September, while on patrol duty, she detected a column of fourteen Japanese barges attempting to reinforce the Palau garrison and aided in destroying the whole group with its 650 enemy troops. During the Historic Battle of Surigao Strait, she gallantly led Section Three of Destroyer Squadron FIFTY-SIX in a coordinated night torpedo attack against the enemy’s Southern Force and rendered invaluable assistance in the utter defeat of these hostile units. In retiring, she made a thorough search of the Battle area and aided in sinking a crippled Japanese destroyer. At Iwo Jima she furnished continuous fire support for eleven days and during the Okinawa assault, spent 128 days on fire support and radar picket stations, conducting 350 bombardment missions. When several enemy aircraft attacked her fire support group, she scored direct hits on three of the planes and assisted in destroying a fourth, all within ninety seconds. Superbly handled by valiant officers and men, the HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS rendered distinctive service, sustaining and enhancing the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Source: NARA Modern Military Records (NECTM). Textual Archives Services Division.