In Honored Glory!
World War II Honor Roll

Joseph Angelo Narducci

Seaman, First Class, U.S. Navy


USS Ticonderoga CV-14

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: January 21, 1945
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines
Awards: Purple Heart

SEAMAN FIRST CLASS JOSEPH NARDUCCI as born in Camden NJ on April 20, 1925. His family lived near Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Camden. When he was young his parents divorced, his father moving to Somerdale NJ. Joseph Narducci divided his time between his father's home and his mother, who remarried, and lived in Camden.  

 Joseph Narducci, of 3041 Tuckahoe Road in the Fairview section of Camden, was reported as missing in action on January 21, 1945. The son of Mrs. Elizabeth Mackey, of the Tuckahoe Road address, he had worked at the Howland Croft Sons and Company wool mill in Camden prior to enlisting in the Navy in March of 1943.

Seaman Narducci was killed in action on January 21, 1945 while serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga CV-14. when the ship was struck by a Japanese kamikaze.  He was survived by his mother, and a step-brother.

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United States Ship TICONDEROGA (CV-14)

Excerpted from "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships" Vol. VII, James L. Mooney, editor Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, Washington D.C. 1981
Courtesy of Mr. Clint Duncan, Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet, PAO office, San Diego, CA August, 1996

Displacement: 27,100 tons
length: 888 feet
beam: 93 feet (at the water line)
height: 147.5 feet
draft: 28.58 feet
speed: 33 knots
max. crew: 3448 men
armament: 12 5.38" guns, 72-40mm AA,
aircraft: 80 +

Fourth United States vessel of five to be named after the Revolutionary era Fort in upper state New York. A World War II Essex class Fleet aircraft carrier. Was laid down as HANCOCK on February 1,1943 at Newport News, Va. by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.. Renamed TICONDEROGA on May 1,1943: Launched February 7,1944; Sponsored by Miss Stephanie Sarah Pell, Commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard on May 8,1944, Capt. Dixie Kiefer in command.

TICONDEROGA remained at Norfolk for almost two months outfitting and embarking Air Group 80. On June 28,1944, the carrier shaped a course for the British West Indies. She conducted air operations and drills enroute and reached Port of Spain, Trinidad on the 30th. For the next 15 days, TICONDEROGA trained intensively to weld her air group and crew into an efficient wartime team. She departed the West Indies on July 16, 1944 and headed back to Norfolk where she arrived on the 22nd. Eight days later, the carrier headed for Panama. She transited the canal on September 4, 1944 and steamed up the coast to San Diego the following day. On the 13th , the carrier moored at San Diego where she loaded provisions, fuel, aviation gas, and an additional 77 planes, as well as the Marine Corps aviation and defense units that went with them. On September 19th, 1944 she sailed for Hawaii where she arrived five days later.

TICONDEROGA remained at Pearl Harbor for almost a month. She and CARINA (AK-74) conducted experiments in the underway transfer of aviation bombs from cargo ship to aircraft carrier. Following those tests, she conducted air operations-day and night landings and antiaircraft defense drills- until October 18 when she exited Pearl Harbor and headed for the western Pacific. After a brief stop at Eniwetok, TICONDEROGA arrived at Ulithi Atoll in the western Carolines on the 29th. There she embarked Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman's Task Group (TG) 38.3.

The carrier sortied from Ulithi with TF38 on November 2. She joined the other carriers as they resumed their extended air cover for the ground forces capturing Leyte. She launched her first air strike on the morning of the 5th. The planes of her air group spent the next two days pummeling enemy shipping near Luzon and air installations on that island. Her plane bombed and strafed the airfields at Zablan, Mandaluyong, and Pasig. They also joined those of other carriers in sending the heavy cruiser NACHI to a watery resting place. In addition, TICONDEROGA pilots claimed six Japanese aircraft shot down, and one destroyed on the ground, as well as 23 others damaged.

Around 1600 on the 5th, the enemy retaliated by sending up a flock of planes piloted by members of the suicide corps dubbed Kamikaze, or "Divine Wind", in honor of the typhoon that had destroyed a Chinese invasion fleet four centuries previously. Two of the suicide plane succeeded in slipping through the American combat air patrol and antiaircraft fire to crash onto LEXINGTON (CV-16). TICONDEROGA emerged from that airborne Banzai charge unscathed and claimed a tally of two splashes. On November 6th, the warship launched two fighter sweeps and two bombing strikes against the Luzon airfields and enemy shipping in the vicinity. Her airmen returned later that day claiming the destruction of 35 Japanese aircraft and attacks on six enemy ships in Manila Bay. After recovering her planes, the carrier retired to the east for a refueling rendezvous.

She refueled and received replacement planes on the 7th and then headed back to continue pounding enemy forces in the Philippines. Early on the morning of November 11th, her planes combined with others of TF38 to attack a Japanese reinforcement convoy, just as it was preparing to enter Ormoc Bay from the Camotes sea. Together, the planes accounted for all the enemy transports and four of the seven escorting destroyers. On the 12th and 13th, TICONDEROGA and her sisters launched strikes at Luzon airfields and docks and shipping around Manila. This raid tallied an impressive score: light cruiser KISO; four destroyers, and seven merchant ships. At the conclusion of the raid, TF38 retired eastward for a refueling breather. TICONDEROGA and the rest of TG38.3, however continued east to Ulithi where they arrived on the 17th to replenish, refuel and rearm.

On November 22nd,the aircraft carrier departed Ulithi once more and steamed back toward the Philippines. Three days later, she launched air strikes on central Luzon and adjacent waters. Her pilots finished off the heavy cruiser KUMANO, damaged in the battle of Samar. Later, they attacked an enemy convoy about 15 miles southwest of KUMANO's not-so-safe haven in Dasol Bay. Of this convoy, Cruiser YASOSHIMA, a merchantman and three landing ships went to the bottom. TICONDEROGA's air group rounded out their day of destruction with an aerial rampage which cost the Japanese 15 planes shot down and 11 destroyed on the ground.

While her air group busily pounded the Japanese, TICONDEROGA's Ships's company also made their presence felt. Just after noon, a torpedo launched by an enemy plane broached in LANGLEY's (CVL-27) wake to announce the approach of an air raid. TICONDEROGA's gunners raced to their battle stations as the raiders made both conventional and suicide attacks on the task group. Her sister ship ESSEX (CV-9) erupted in flames when one of the kamikazes crashed into her. When a second suicide plane tried to finish off the stricken carrier, TICONDEROGA's gunners joined those firing from other ships in cutting his approach abruptly short. That afternoon, while damage control parties dressed ESSEX's wound, TICONDEROGA extended her hospitality to that damaged carriers homeless airmen as well as to INTREPID (CV-11) pilots in similar straits. The following day, TF38 retired to the east.

TF38 stood out of Ulithi again on December 11th and headed for the Philippines. TICONDEROGA arrived at the launch point early in the afternoon of the 13th and sent her planes aloft to blanket Japanese airbases on Luzon while Army planes took care of those in the central Philippines. For three days , TICONDEROGA airmen and their comrades wreaked havoc with a storm of destruction on enemy airfields. She withdrew on the 16th with the rest of TF38 in search of a fueling rendezvous. While attempting to find calmer waters in which to refuel, TF38 steamed directly through a violent and unheralded typhoon. Though the storm cost Admiral HALSEY's force three destroyers and over 800 lives, TICONDEROGA and the other carriers managed to ride it out with a minimum of damage. having survived the tempest's fury, TICONDEROGA returned to Ulithi on Christmas eve.

Repairs occasioned by the typhoon kept TF38 in anchorage almost until the end of the month. the carriers did not return to sea until December 30, 1944 when they steamed north to hit FORMOSA and LUZON in preparation for the landings on the latter island at Lingayen Bay. Severe weather limited the Formosa strikes on 3 and 4 January 1945 and, in all likelihood obviated the need for them. The warships fueled at sea on the 5th. Despite rough weather on the 6th, the strikes on Luzon airfields were carried out. That day TICONDEROGA's airmen and their colleagues of the other air groups increased their score by another 32 enemy planes. The 7th brought more strikes on Luzon installations. After a fueling rendezvous on the 8th, TICONDEROGA sped north at night to get into position to blanket Japanese airfields in the Ryukyus during the Lingayen assault the following morning. However, foul weather, the bugaboo of TF38 during the winter of '44/'45, forced TG38.3 to abandon the strikes on the Ryukyu airfields and join TG38.2 in pounding Formosa.

During the night of the 9 and 10 of January, TF38 steamed boldly through the Luzon Strait and then headed generally southwest, diagonally across the south China sea. TICONDEROGA provided combat air patrol coverage on the 11th and helped bring down four enemy planes which attempted to snoop the formation. Otherwise, the carriers and their consorts proceeded unmolested to a point some 150 to 200 miles off the coast of Indochina. There on the 12th, they launched their approximately 850 planes and made a series of anti-shipping sweeps during which they sank a whooping 44 ships, totalling 130,00 tons. After recovering planes in the late afternoon, the carriers moved off to the northeast. Heavy weather hindered fueling operations on the 13th and 14th, and air searches failed to turn up any tempting targets. On the 15th, fighters swept Japanese airfields on the Chinese coast while the flattops headed for a position from which to strike HONG KONG. The following morning, they launched anti-shipping bombing raids and fighter sweeps of air installations. Weather prevented air operations on the 17th and again made fueling difficult. It worsened the next day and stopped replenishment operations altogether, so that they were not finally concluded until the 19th. The force then shaped a course generally northward to retransit Luzon Strait via Balintang Channel.

The three task groups of TF38 completed their transit during the night of the 20th and 21st of January. The next morning, their planes hit airfields on Formosa, in the Pescadores, and at Sakishima Gunto. The good flying weather brought mixed blessings. While it allowed American flight operations to continue through the day, it also brought new gusts of the "Divine Wind". Just after noon, a single-engine Japanese plane scored a hit on LANGLEY with a glide-bombing attack. Seconds later, a kamikaze swooped out of the clouds and plunged towards TICONDEROGA. He crashed through the flight deck abreast of the No.2 5-inch mount, and his bomb exploded just above her hangar deck. Several planes stowed nearby erupted into flames. Death and destruction abounded, but the ship's company fought valiantly to save the threatened carrier. Capt. Kiefer conned his ship smartly. First, he changed course to keep the wind from fanning the blaze. Then, he ordered magazines and other compartments flooded to prevent further explosions and to correct a 10-degree starboard list. Finally, he instructed the damage control party to continue to flooding compartments on TICONDEROGA's port side. That operation induced a 10-degree port list which neatly dumped the fire overboard! Firefighters and plane handlers completed the job by dousing the flames and jettisoning burning aircraft.

Wounded denizens of the deep often attract predators. TICONDEROGA was no exception. The other Kamikazes pounced on her like a school of sharks in a feeding frenzy. Her antiaircraft gunners struck back with desperate, but methodical ferocity and quickly swatted three of her tormentors into the sea. A fourth plane slipped through her barrage and smashed into the carriers starboard side near the island. His bomb set more planes on fire, riddled her flight deck, and injured or killed another 100 sailors-including Capt. Kiefer. Yet TICONDEROGA's crew refused to submit. Spared further attacks, they brought her fires completely under control not long after 1400; and TICONDEROGA retired painfully.