Osmond Kelly Ingram, born in Pratt City, Alabama, 4 August 1887, entered the Navy 24 November 1903. Serving in Cassin when she was attacked by a German submarine off Ireland 16 October 1917, Gunner’s Mate First Class Ingram spotted the approaching torpedo, realized it would strike close by explosives, thus dooming the ship, and rushed to jettison the ammunition. He was blown overboard when the torpedo struck, thus becoming the first enlisted man killed in action in World War I as he saved his ship and shipmates.
(DD–255: dp. 1,215; l. 314’4”; b. 31’8”; dr. 9’10”; s. 35 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4”, 1 3”, 12 21” tt.; cl. Clemson)
Osmond Ingram (DD–255) was laid down 1.5 October 1918 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 23 February 1919; sponsored by Mrs. N. E. Ingram, mother of Osmond Ingram; and commissioned at Boston 28 June 1919, Lt. Comdr. M. B. DeMott in command. She was designated AVD–9 from 2 August 1940 until 4 November 1943; reverted to DD–255 until 22 June 1944; and completed her service as APD–35.
After several years’ Atlantic service in fleet operations, Osmand Ingram decommissioned 24 June 1922 and went into reserve at Philadelphia. Converted to seaplane tender, she recommissioned 22 November 1940 and sailed for San Juan, Puerto Rico, her home port from 15 January 1941. She tended patrol planes through the area bounded by Trinidad, Antigua, and San Juan, then sailed to base in the Panama Canal Zone tending patrol craft at Salinas, Ecuador, and in the Galapagos through June 1942.
Returning to destroyer functions, she completed 1942 on escort duty between Trinidad and Recife and Belem, then sailed north to Argentia, Newfoundland, to join the hunter/killer group formed around Bogue (CVE–9), one of the most successful of the antisubmarine forces that ranged the Atlantic ultimately beating the U-boats and securing the free passage of the men and goods vital to triumph in Europe. Osmond Ingram sank her first enemy submarine, U–172 with gunfire 13 December 1943 after the enemy had been forced to surface by depth charge attacks. Similar outstanding performance of duty by her sisters brought the group a Presidental Unit Citation.
After a convoy to Gibraltar early in 1944, Osmond Ingram served on escort duty between New York and Trinidad until June, when she entered Charleston Navy Yard for conversion to a high speed transport. She joined amphibious forces in the Mediterranean in time for the pre-invasion assaults on islands off the French coast 14 August 1944, then escorted convoys along the French and Italian coasts until returning Norfolk late in December.
Now assigned to the Pacific, Osmond Ingram continued a remarkably varied and valuable war service with escort ditty en route New York via Panama to San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Ulithi. She sailed 2 April 1945 with an assault force for Okinawa, and until that island was secured, alternately escorted fast convoys to Saipan and Guam and patrolled the seaward defense lines for Hagushi Anchorage. During July, she escorted ships between Leyte and Hollandia, New Guinea; in August, began patrols through the Philippines and to Borneo. With victory won, she aided in the occupation of Japan, calling at Wakayama, Kure, and Nagoya until sailing for home.
Osmond Ingram decommissioned at Philadelphia 8 January 1946, was struck from the Navy List 21 January 1946, and was sold for scrapping to Hugo Neu, New York, 17 June 1946.
Osmond Ingram received 6 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for World War II service.