Scuba Diving - October 2011

Ghostly Guns of Iron Bottom Sound - Story and Photography by Bradley Sheard

The deeper I go, the more it feels like I’m freefalling through both space and time — 200 feet down and 63 years into the past, to a time when the world was in violent conflict. Nearing the bottom, I come face to muzzle with two ghostly 5-inch guns locked in an eternal struggle with the aircraft that sent the USS Aaron Ward to its grave. The massive guns appear ready to fire at any moment, lacking only muzzle flashes to
awaken them from their slumber. Dropping to the after deck, I swim around the ship’s fantail, past empty depth-charge racks, then drop over the port side to the sand for a peek at one of the Aaron Ward’s sculptured, highspeed screws. In life, the twin-screwed destroyer was a heavily arm

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