“For outstanding heroism in action while attached to Mine Squadron TWO operating against enemy Japanese forces in support of the Solomon Islands Campaign from August 7, 1942, to May 17, 1944. Although lightly armed and highly vulnerable, the U.S.S. SOUTHARD participated in the initial amphibious assaults against Guadalcanal, Russell Islands and Empress Augusta Bay, braving concentrated enemy shore battery fire, major and minor strafing and bombing, and torpedo air attacks to complete minesweeping, fire support, anti-submarine and antiaircraft screen missions. Constantly vigilant and ready for battle, she fought her guns valiantly against hostile planes, ships and shore guns, sinking a Japanese submarine by depth-charge attack and gunfire on November 10, 1942, and inflicting serious damage on vital enemy units; she transported troops, ammunition and supplies, conducted navigational reconnaissance missions and escorted convoys. During long periods of combat operations with a minimum of upkeep facilities and overhaul availability, she steamed boldly through enemy-infested waters in support of our our assault forces and contributed directly to the success of the Solomon Islands Campaign. Her own gallant fighting spirit and the skill and courage of her entire company reflect the highest credit on the U.S.S. SOUTHARD and the United States Naval Service.”
Source: NARA Modern Military Records (NECTM). Textual Archives Services Division.