“For outstanding heroism in action while attached to an Amphibious Force during operations for the seizure of enemy Japanese-held Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, from March 24 to June 6, 1945. Operation in dangerous waters protected by enemy mines and numerous suicide craft, the U.S.S. J. WILLIAM DITTER rendered distinctive service in providing effective cover for our minesweeper groups against hostile attack by air, surface, submarine, and shore fire. A natural and frequent target for heavy Japanese aerial attack, she was constantly vigilant and ready for battle, fighting her guns gallantly to destroyer a total of nine hostile planes and assist in the destruction of five others. Attacked by four enemy aircraft diving on her from a low overcast on June 6, she succeeded in downing three of the attackers and, although damaged when the fourth struck just forward of No. 2 hatch and caused serious flooding, kept herself afloat to be towed back to Kerama Retto. Her valiant record of combat achievement reflects the highest credit upon the J. WILLIAM DITTER, her courageous officers and men and the United States Naval Service.”
Source: NARA Modern Military Records (NECTM). Textual Archives Services Division.