Ryland Dillard Tisdale was born on 15 November 1894 at the Naval Ordnance Proving Ground (now the Naval Ordnance Station) located in Charles County, Md., about 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. He was appointed a midshipman at the Naval Academy on 7 July 1911 and graduated on 5 June 1915. Between his commissioning and the entry of the United States into World War I, Ens. Tisdale served in Virginia (Battleship No. 13) and Nevada (Battleship No. 36).
On 5 June 1917, less than two months after the declaration of war, Tisdale reported on board SS Antilles, apparently for duty with an armed-guard gun crew assigned to that chartered Army transport. He served in that ship until she was torpedoed off Brest, France, on 17 October.
Lt. Tisdale subsequently received a special letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for displaying ". . . coolness and courage in command of the forward guns, . . ." and for not leaving his post ". . . until he was forced to dive from the bridge of the sinking vessel." Tisdale also assisted other Antilles survivors onto life rafts. He was picked up by either Alcedo (SP-166) or Corsair (SP-159) and taken into Brest. On 23 October, he took passage in Bridge (Supply Ship No. 1) for Britain, where he reported for duty to the senior United States Navy officer present. After temporary duty in Seattle (Armored Cruiser No. 11), he returned to the United States on 12 December.
In late January 1918, Tisdale took a three-week course of instruction at the Fuel Oil Testing Plant in Philadelphia. From there, he went to Bath, Maine, for duty in connection with the outfitting and commissioning of Wickes (Destroyer No. 75). When she was placed in commission on 31 July, Lt. Tisdale became her engineering officer. From Wickes, he went to Lamberton (Destroyer No. 119) as executive officer and in December 1919 moved to Hogan (Destroyer No. 178) where he held the same post.
Tisdale's tour of duty in Hogan ended on 11 June 1920 when he reported to the Naval Academy for post graduate studies in engineering. A year later, he checked in at the New York Navy Yard for practical instruction during the summer, before entering Colum bia University on 28 September for further course work which lasted until the early summer of 1922, when he moved to the General Electric Co. in Schenectady, N.Y., until the end of July. Tisdale rounded out his scholastic efforts late that summer with six weeks of study at the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co., at Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tisdale returned to sea duty in the fall of 1922. On 16 October, he reported to Argonne (AP-4) in Philadelphia and, on 8 November, transferred to California (BB-44). He served in that battleship until April 1925, when he went ashore once more, this time to a billet in the Bureau of Engineering. In 1927, he completed his tour in Washington and returned to sea as executive officer of Bridge (AF-1). On 25 September 1928, he reported for duty at Shanghai, China. Five days later, he assumed his first command, the Asiatic Fleet destroyer Stewart (DD-224). That command lasted 13 months. He was detached on 31 October 1929 and, after a month with the 16th Naval District, Lt. Comdr. Tisdale took over his second command, Palos (PG-16), and began patrolling the upper reaches of the Yangtze in that gunboat. During this tour of duty, Lt. Comdr. Tisdale earned the Navy Cross. Late in July 1930, he and his ship were in the vicnity of Changsha when that city was attacked, taken, looted, and lost by Chinese communists. Tisdale and his crew assisted in the evacuation of Americans and other foreigners. He also led his crew and ship past the city for two firing passes as a show of force to discourage looting of the foreign concessions. The citation states, in part, that, ". . . the loss of American and other foreign property was limited by his timely action."
Lt. Comdr. Tisdale's next assignment took him to the Georgia School of Technology for a two-year tour of duty with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps detachment located there. From there, he went back to the Asiatic Fleet to join the staff of the Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5. He served in that capacity from 19 January to 11 November 1935 when he became Captain of the Yard at Olongapo in the Philippines. Tisdale was placed on the retired list on 30 June 1936, with the rank of commander.
In 1940, the United States began preparing for the contingency of war. Comdr. Tisdale returned to the colors in July and served for a brief period in the Bureau of Ships at Washington, D.C. In October, he was relieved of duty; however, within another month, he was back on active duty. On 14 January 1941, Comdr. Tisdale reported for duty at the Cavite Navy Yard near Manila in the Philippines. Tisdale spent the remainder of his life in the Philippines. He served in the defense of those islands after the Japanese invasion on 8 December 1941. After the surrender at Corregidor in May 1942, Comdr. Tisdale continued to resist the enemy on Mindanao. On 23 May 1942, he was killed at Tamparan in Lanao Province during action with Moros—who had collaborated with the Japanese.
(DE-33: dp. 1,140; 1. 289'5"; b. 35'0"; dr. 8'3" (mean) ; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 4 1.1", 9 20mm., 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.); cl. Evarts)
BDE-33 was laid down at Mare Island Navy Yard on 23 January 1943 as one of the warships to be transferred to the United Kingdom under the terms of the lend-lease agreement. However, her allocation to the Royal Navy was canceled; and she was named Tisdale and redesignated DE-33 on 23 June 1943 when a destroyer escort recently laid down at Boston, DE-228, was assigned to the Royal Navy in her stead. Tisdale was launched on 28 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth M. Tisdale, Jr.; and commissioned on 11 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. Theodore Wolcott in command.
Following shakedown, Tisdale cleared Treasure Island, Calif., on 5 December 1943. Six days later, she moored at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. The destroyer escort conducted training in the vicinity of Oahu until the 23d, when she got underway for the Central Pacific. After stops at Canton Island and Abemama, she reached Tarawa Atoll—in the Gilbert Islands—on 9 January 1944. Between 16 and 20 January, she made two voyages between Tarawa and Funafuti in the Ellice Islands, ending up at Funafuti on the 20th. On the 23d, Tisdale stood out of Funafuti to participate in Operation "Flintlock," the seizure and occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands. However, the destroyer escort saw no action in the operation and only put into Majuro after it had been secured.
The destroyer escort moored at the dock in Pearl Harbor at mid-morning on 13 February. She underwent repairs until the first week in March. On 3 March, she cleared the harbor to return to the Marshalls. After a stop at Johnston Island, she moored at Majuro just after noon on the 12th. Three days later, Tisdale exited the lagoon in the screen of a convoy bound for the Gilberts. She arrived at Tarawa on St. Patrick's Day and remained there for almost two months screening ships into and out of the atoll. On 12 May, she exited the lagoon in company with Fleming (DE-32) and Eisele (DE-34) and set course for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on the 19th.
Following a 10-day availability at the DE docks, she got underway on 29 May in the screen of Rear Admiral Blandy's floating reserve for the Marianas invasion. Tisdale and her charges staged through Kwajalein, stopping there from 9 to 11 June before continuing on to the Marianas. Soldiers and marines stormed ashore at Saipan on the 15th. The destroyer escort, however, remained some distance from the island, continuing to screen the reserve force. On 16 June, Admiral Spruance decided to commit the floating reserve, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division landed at dusk. Tisdale escorted the ships into position off Saipan for the landings and began duty screening the transport area.
During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the warship covered the transports against the possibility of an enemy end run and the contingency of Japanese planes pentrating Task Force 58's reinforced antiaircraft screen. Neither eventuality materialized, and Tisdale saw no action until 24 June when she accompanied Colorado (BB-45) on a bombardment of Saipan. Later that day, she joined Stringham (APD-6) in the channel between Tinian and Saipan where they fired shells to illuminate that stretch of water to interdict Japanese attempts to reinforce the Saipan garrison. The following morning, she returned to the transport area and resumed her duties in the antisubmarine screen. On 2 July, she began screening ships on their nightly retirements from Saipan. Six days later, Tisdale went into action against the next objective in the Marianas, Tinian, by delivering night harassing fire and illuminating fire in the area around Tinian Town and Sunharon Harbor.
On the 12th, she cleared the Marianas and escorted a convoy to Eniwetok until the 21st, when she headed back to the Marianas. The destroyer escort arrived off Saipan on 25 July and resumed her familiar duty screening transports during the campaign on Tinian. On 16 August, just before the assault on Guam, she departed the Marianas once more. Steaming via Eniwetok, she reached Pearl Harbor on 27 August and began a 20-day availability. She conducted trials and training exercises in the Hawaiian Islands until October.
Tisdale departed Oahu in the screen of a convoy on 2 October and arrived in Eniwetok lagoon on the 13th. From then until late February 1945, she escorted convoys. This duty took her back and forth, between Eniwetok and Ulithi. The single exception was a round-trip voyage to Manus in late January and early February. During the return voyage, she attacked a sonar contact on 3 February and, although she received no official credit for it, she probably sank a Japanese submarine.
On 25 February, Tisdale exited the lagoon at Eniwetok in company with Thetis Bay (CVE-90). The task unit reached Apra on the 28th, and she conducted operations with the escort carrier well into the first week in March. On 5 March, the two warships headed back to Eniwetok, entering the lagoon on the 8th. Three days later, she headed out of the Eniwetok anchorage with a Ulithi-bound convoy. She made her destination on 16 March and, five days later, headed for the Ryukyu Islands with the escort carriers of Support Carrier Unit 2.
On 25 March, the warships arrived in their area of operations to the south of Okinawa, the objective in Operation "Iceberg." The carriers launched their planes to support the invasion of Okinawa, and Tisdale helped protect them from enemy submarine and air attacks. Though enemy planes occasionally approached the task unit, Tisdale saw no real air action because the combat air patrol either splashed them or chased them away. On the 31st, she was transferred to the screen of Support Carrier Group 1; but her duties remained as before.
On 17 April, the warship closed the Hagushi beaches at Okinawa for the first time; then retired to screen refueling operations. On 20 April, she did her first duty as a radar picket ship. That same day, Tisdale departed the Ryukyus to screen West Virginia (BB-48), Portland (CA-33), and Biloxi (CL-80) to Ulithi. After five days at Ulithi, she departed the atoll on 29 April. She escorted a convoy to Okinawa and arrived off the Hagushi beaches once more on 3 May. For the next month, she stood radar picket duty at various stations around the island, occasionally putting into the anchorage at Kerama Retto for mail, provisions, and other supplies.
On 14 June, Tisdale departed Okinawa and headed for Leyte in the Philippines. After some repairs, she cleared Leyte on 30 June and steamed—via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor—back to the United States. She arrived in San Francisco on 1 August and, four days later, moved north to Portland, Oreg. The Japanese agreed to capitulate on 15 August, and Tisdale began decommissioning procedures soon thereafter. She was decommissioned on 17 November 1945, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 November 1945. She was sold to A. G. Schoonmaker Co., Inc., of New York City on 2 February 1948 and scrapped the following month.
Tisdale earned four battle stars during World War II.
Tisdale (DE-278)—an Smarts-class destroyer escort— was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard on 5 June 1943. Later that month, she was assigned to the United Kingdom under the provisions of the lend-lease agreement. Accordingly, her name was cancelled on 23 June and reassigned to DE-33. On 19 October, she was officially transferred to the Royal Navy and placed in commission as HMS Keats (K 482). She was returned to the United States Navy on 27 February 1946. DE-278 was struck from the Navy list on 20 March 1946 and sold to George H. Nutman, Brooklyn, N.Y., on 19 November 1946.