(A brief summary of some of the incidents)
Data taken from several logs aboard the USS GUEST - DD472
(Note: this narrative was copied from a carbon copy of a
document typewritten in 1945 and because of fading carbon ink and wear
and tear over the years caused it to become illegible in many places.
Some of the spelling of the names of the ships and designation numbers
may be inaccurate. This is a review of the OKINAWA Fight, our part in it
along with some of the other events. This isn't absolutely accurate
because there were so many things happening at one time and in different
areas, making it impossible for us to keep an accurate check. However,
this will give you a fair idea of what was taking place there.)
March 26 We were in San Pedro Bay, Philippine Islands, off Samar.
March 27 We left San Pedro Bay 0830, accompanying 4 "Jeep Carriers"; USS SANGAMON CVE26, USS SUWANNEE CVE27, USS CHENANGO CVE28, USS SANTEE CVE29. We were designated as Task Group 51.6 heading north enroute to Okinawa.
March 31 1830 - Weather foul, visibility poor, 150 miles from Okinawa.
April 1 0830 - We arrived at our operating area, off the SE corner of Okinawa. At the island landings were successful, a beachhead established on west coast of island; only 7 Jap planes appeared over landing area, 2 airfields captured on this day. (No raid as yet on our group.)
April 2 Everything coming along better than expected. It
appears that the Japs have headed for the hill to dig in. 100,000
men ashore already. (Third Marines, Army's 77th Division) Condition "RED" all night around the beachhead, 14 Jap air raids during night. USS HALLIGAN DD 584 sunk by a Jap "Suicide" boat.
April 3 Beachhead extended across the island. As yet our Task Group hasn't had any real trouble (a few snoopers now and then).
April 4 Army and Marines well organized. The Marines to
go North from the beachhead. The Army is to the Southern half.
April 5 The Island had many air raids. No damage to any
of our installations.
April 6 Part of our group under attack, 1 plane splashed, fighters
from CVE26 SAGAMON claim 3 VALS over island during one of the many attacks
today. One destroyer on Picket Station north of the island was attacked by
10 "ZEKES", no further report on her. USS Mullany DD528 was hit by a
"ZEKE"- they abandoned ship USS PRINGLE DD477 sunk by suicide plane.
Two Victory ships and one LST loaded with ammunition were sunk by suicide planes. USS McCOMB DMS13 and the USS ELLYSON DMS 19 were hit by suicide planes. All told there were eleven ships sunk or damaged. 22 out of 24 "Zekes" hit their targets.
April 7 Crew of USS MULLANY DD528 went back aboard.1200: a unit of the Jap fleet was sighted by one of our scouting planes. It consisted of one BB, one CL 9 DD's. This unit was taken under attack by planes from Task Force 58 (360 Carrier Planes) Later reports were that one BB, one CL, one CA, and 3 DD's were sunk (this took place north of Okinawa, near Kyushu. Around the island more action was taking place. As usual, the small units of the Navy took a shellacking. The USS BUSH DD529 was sunk of suicide planes. USS CHOLHOUN DD801 sunk, the USS HUTCHINGS DD476, USS LUETZ DD481, USS MORRIS DD417, USS HYMAN DD732, USS NEWCOMB DD586 were all damaged by suicide planes. USS RODMAN DMS21, USS WITTER DE636, USS BENNETT DD473 damaged also. USS
EMMONS DMW 22 sunk. USS DENESTATAR AM318 sunk. USS NEWCOMB was hit by several planes cleaning out everything amidships from the mast all the way aft to Gun 5.
April 8 Our Carrier Task Force Group moved south to a position 180 miles south of Okinawa, just east of Sakashima. Planes from our carrier group hit the Sakashima airfields. (This was believed to be a base for Suicide Planes.). 5 Jap Suicide Planes attacked the British Fleet Units operating off Sakashima, damaging the SS King George, One CR, one CV.
April 9 Back at our operating area, planes from our group were flying over the island assisting ground forces by bombing and strafing. One plane returning aboard the CVE Chanango missed the arresting gear, leaped the crash barrier and landed in some planes on the forward end of the flight deck that were gassing and rearming. An explosion followed and 10 man were blown over the side. We picked up 6 of them, 2 were badly burned about the face and hands, some of our seamen jumped in the water to assist them as they couldn't hang on to a line. THE Chanango brought the fire under control and resumed flight operations as soon as the flight deck was cleared of debris.
April 10 We fueled from a "JEEP". 7 Jap planes shot down over island.
April 11 USS Suwannee CVE27 went into KERAMA RETTO to fuel, arm, etc. Transport area at island under constant attacks all day. We received some information about Suicide Planes taken from experiences and observations around Okinawa.
April 12 GQ at 0100, Boogies on
our screen, fighters got a MYRTE. We
proceeded to rendezvous, met fleet
oilers, Carriers & Cans; fueled. Many
large air attacks over Picket Stations
and the islands. 16 more ships
damaged. 40 raids (consisting of 280
planes); 111 splashed by fighters, 43
destroyed by surface units.
April 13 Transferred men that we
had picked up from sea back to their
carrier. Later we blew up a floating
mine (Believed to have been
dropped by planes during night).
April 14 Left task group during
night with USS Sangamon CV226 and went
into KERAMA RETTO arriving there at
1000. Had GQ twice during the
day. Departed from KERAMA RETTO at
1700. Soon after we left
harbor it was attacked by 3 Jills. One
Judy was shot down by USS
April 15 At 0600 we arrived back
out at our operating area. Ashore,
the Marines, reinforced by the 1st and
6th Divisions have secured the northern
half of the island with the exception of
a few pockets of resistance.
The Army in the southern half remained
at a standstill. Ships and
beachheads still under constant air
attacks. USS Laffey DD742 hit
by a Suicide.
April 16 Landings made on IE
Shima. This is to be made into an
airfield. Nine more ships hit.
April 17 Small pockets of
resistance still remain on northern end
island. B-29's hit airfields in
southern Kyushu. (Suicide plans
are known to be operating from there).
April 18 Planes from our carrier
group hit Sakashima again. A fighter
director station was setup on the
northern tip, air installations, landing
strips, planes, etc.
April 19 An all-out assault took
place on the southern end of island.
Marines on one flank, Army on the
other. A fake landing was staged
to throw the Japs off. Very little dope
today due to radio silence.
April 20 Ernie Pyle buried on IE
SHIMA. No further dope from
April 21 13 air raids over
islands and Picket Stations. Many
ships hit, Army made gains up to 1400
yards in all out push.
April 22 No news from the
island. USS Jefferies exploded a mine.
April 23 We departed from Carrier
Task Force Group and proceeded to
KERAMA RETTO, arriving there at 0900.
We departed at 1700.
Exploded a floating mine.
April 24 At 0800 we arrived back
at our operating area and rejoined
the carrier task force group.
April 25 Planes from our group
again attacked SAKASHIMA.
April 26 Planes from our group
again attacked SAKASHIMA. No information
from the island.
April 27 A large air raid
consisting of 50 planes attacked the
and Picket Stations, 25 were splashed by
ships Ack Ack fire. No other
April 28 A large air raid
consisting of 200 planes attacked island
and ships on Picket Stations and ships
in transport areas. 96 were
shot down over island. USS ZELLERS DD777
hit by a bomb and a plane (just
reported today, may have happened
sooner) USS WADSWORTH DD516 was
hit by a suicide plane (no casualties).
After sundown the USS COMFORT
(HOSPITAL SHIP) was hit 50 miles off
OKINAWA. She was all lit up
and complying with all rules, but was
attacked just the same. Many
April 29 Our task group bothered
by reconnaissance planes. Fighters
shot down two. After sundown we and the
USS SUWANNEE CVE27 left the
task force group and headed for KERAMA
April 30 Arrived at KERAMA RETTO
at 0700, fueled, carrier fuelled,
armed, gassed, etc. We departed from
harbor at 1500. Went SE
to rejoin carrier task group.
May 1 Arrived at operating
area. Passed mail to ships
of the screen. Took our new Captain
aboard. (James B. Weiler,
May 2 Fueled from
Transferred our old Captain (Pinky) M.
G. Kennedy, Commander, USN by Breeches
Buoy to the USS FULLAM DD474.
May 3 OKINAWA under numerous
heavy air attacks. USS
LUCE DD522 and the USS LITTLE DD802 were
sunk. USS BIRMINGHAM CL62
was hit. 4 LSM's were also hit by
suicide planes. All told,
there were 18 raids that came in. After
dark the USS SANGAMON CVE26,
two Cans (USS FULLAM DD474 and USS
HUDSON DD475) left the area and
into KERAMA RETTO.
May 4 Many large raids today.
A total of 168 Jap plans were destroyed
(45 by Marine flyers, 57 by planes from
TF 58, the rest by ships in the area).
At dusk when the USS SANGAMON CVE26, USS
HUDSON DD475, AND THE USS FULLAM DD474
were just outside the harbor at KERAMA
RETTO, they were attacked by Suicide
planes; they flew over the cans in an
attempt to get the carrier. One plane
crashed into the carrier's after end of
the flight deck and exploded down in the
hanger deck starting many small fires
and causing considerable damage. the
USS HUDSON DD475 came alongside to help
fight the fires. She caused
considerable damage to herself by
bouncing off the side of the carrier and
getting caught under the overhand of the
flight deck tearing off her port side of
the bridge, damaged all her port AA
guns; she later went to GUAM for
repairs. The USS SAGAMON CVE26 and the
USS FULLAM DD474 rejoined us the next AM. USS MORRISON DD560
sunk by suicide plane.
May 5 The USS BLOCK ISLAND
CVE106 joined our task force to replaced
the damaged USS SANGAMON CVE26. We
passed out mail and refueled
May 6 We passed mail to all
ships in screen. OKINAWA under heavy
air attacks today (15 raids)
May 7 Planes from our group hit
SAKASHIMA again. After dark we left the
task group accompanied by the USS
CHENANGO CVE26, headed for KERAMA RETTO.
May 8 Arrived at KERAMA RETTO
at 0800. Fueled. We were then detached
from Task Group 51.6. We departed from
KERAMA RETTO at 1300 and proceeded
across channel to the transport area off
OKINAWA (HAGUSHI ANCHORAGE) Reported to
Screen Commander. Went to GQ (General
Quarters) at sundown and remained there
all night (19 raids).
May 9 Operated around transport
area as AA screen.
May 10 Operating around OKINAWA.
(Anchoring all day and patrolling off
transport area at night). GQ at 0110;
remained at GQ until 0600 May 11 (9
May 11 Went to GQ at 0900.
Radar Picket Stations under heavy air
attacks. (40 planes - - 26 splashed).
USS EVANS DD552 was sunk, 145 men saved.
May 12 GQ set at 1800, one raid
USS NEW MEXICO BB40 took a hit. We were
sent out to Radar Picket #13 (AA
May 13 Took up anti-submarine
patrol east of OKINAWA. Went to GQ at
1400 (turned out to be friendly
planes). Island was under attack in
afternoon. USS NEW MEXICO BB40 was hit
by a suicide plane on the port wide
amidships, knocking out all her
secondary 5" AA guns, many casualties.
Relieved from sub patrol. We proceeded
on into KERAMA RETTO (Wiseman's Cove)
for tender availability. Arrived 1700
went along side USS HAMUL AD20. Went to
GQ at 1800. Radar Pickets under attack
at north end of island. USS STERN DE187
and USS BACHE DD470 were damaged by
suicide planes. (USS STERN splashed 3).
May 14 Went to GQ at 0310. USS
FULLAM DD474 splashed an "OSCAR" that
was attacking KERAMA RETTO. (We were
alongside the tender and in the smoke
screen and couldn't fire.) Range Finder
being fixed by HAMUL. GQ again at
0630. OKINAWA under attack.
May 15 Underway from alongside
USS HAMUL AD20 at 0800. Left Wiseman's
Cove and reported to screen commander at
OKINAWA. Took up AA screen off
transport area. Big raids expected from
west. GQ set at 1830. 4 raids came
in. Fighter splashed 4 planes. 1
splashed by USS POWELL DD685 on Radar
May 16 Took up AA screen off
Point Bolo. Several raids that night.
We fired at 2 Sallies over Point Bolo
(alt. 24,000) we expended 200 rounds
5". One plane flew over our bow missing
us by a few yards.
May 17 Departed OKINAWA at 0600
and proceeded to Radar Picket Station #7
arriving at 0800. USS FOX DD779 was hit
by a suicide plane at Station #9. Many
large raids over OKINAWA.
May 18 Still on Radar Picket
Station #7. Went to GQ at sundown and
ramained there all night. Three planes
splashed on Radar Picket Station #15.
(USS STERN DE187 got 2 of them). Nine
more were splashed over OKINAWA. USS
LONGSHAW DD559 sunk by shore batteries.
May 19 Word was passed to expect
large coordinated sub and air attacks.
Lousy weather, visibility poor. Report
proved to be false.
May 20 Relieved from Radar Picket
Station #7 by USS FULLUM DD474. We
reported to transport area and
anchored. Later we took up AA screen
between KERAMA RETTO AND OKINAWA, GQ at
1005. Planes proved to be friendly. GQ
again at 1730 again, 3 raids over
May 21 Relieved from AA screen
and proceeded into Wiseman's Cove at
KERAMA RETTO arriving at 0730. 35
planes raid over OKINAWA, 26 splashed.
GQ again at 1730. Three raids over
May 22 GQ set at 0630. All raids
were in the northern area. 6 planes
were splashed. Departed from Wiseman's
Cove at 1700 and went to OKINAWA
arriving there at 1840. Assigned to
outer AA screen.
May 23 Relieved from AA screen
and proceeded into anchorage off OKINAWA
arriving at 1130. Assumed inner AA
May 24 Anchored off OKINAWA all day. Underway at 1700 took up AA screen outside transport area. GQ sounds at 2100. It lasted until 0410 (May 25). All told a total of 158 planes came in during GQ. Nine ships were hit, 52 planes were splashed by ships, 89 shot down by fighters.
May 25 Still at GQ. We fired at 2
BETTYS over Point Bolo, one was damaged
and started to come down in a long
turn. He came near our fantail, crossed
over and hit the water and blew up. Our
20 and 40 mm was firing at it and we
received credit for it. Radar Picket
Station #15 being attached by PT boats
and subs. They sank 2 subs. Jap
Suicide planes landed on airfield at IE
SHIMA. They succeeded in damaging
several planes around the air strip
before they were all killed. Air strips
on OKINAWA heavily bombed starting many
fires (70,000 gallons gasoline, on
OKINAWA) also the temporary Post Office
was wiped out.) At 0245 we were hit by
a Suicide plane. We were tracking a
BOOGIE off our port quarter at 8 mi. We
started to take in our anchor as it was
coming in stern, began to swing to
port. The 5" guns began to train to
starboard so that when the stern
finished swinging they would be on him
again. We were silhouetted by the red
glow of the fire ashore. We fired our
20 and 40 mm's;; we hit him, but not
enough to stop him. As he
neared the bridge he banked to the
right,and as he did, his left wing hit
our mast tearing down all our signal
halyards. His wing broke off, his right
wing tore down all our radio aerials,
his fuselage bounced off No. 1 stack
and he fell into the water off our
starboard side of the midships 40 mm's.
He exploded, showering the ship with
fragments of the plane, bomb, and even
parts of himself. (No casualties, many
men were hit, but their KOPAK life
jackets saved them). When later reports
came in, we found out that 11 more ships
had suffered some damage from Suicide
planes that night. At 0400 we anchored
off OKINAWA. Underway again at 0515 for
AA screen off OKINAWA. Anchored off
transport area at 1530.
May 26 Weather poor, low ceiling,
etc. No. Raids.
May 27 Many raids from the
north. RADAR PICKET STATION # 15 under
constant attack. 2 APD''s sunk (USS
BATES APD47). 1 gun boats were hit.
YONTAN airfield on OKINAWA was heavily
bombed all night. All ships in
transport area in smoke screen the
biggest part of the night.
May 28 YONTAN airfield bombed at
0230. We went to GQ. A RUFUS was
splashed near us at 0600. Underway for
KERAMA RETTO for repairs to our serials,
etc. Arrived there at 0630. GQ at
2215. All ships made smoke. USS
DREXLER DD741 sunk.
May 29. Still anchored off KERAMA
RETTO. Adverse weather conditions. A
reduced number of enemy aircraft in
area. A few raids were made on some
light units on screening stations. 2
ships were hit. 8 planes were splashed.
May 30 Still anchored in
Wiseman's Cove repairing the serials.
Wento to GQ once at 1700.
May 31 Underway at 1500 from
KERAMA RETTO and went to transport area
off OKINAWA arriving there at 1700.
June 2 Still at RADAR PICKET STATION
#5, one GQ at 0900 (Friendly)
June 3 Still at RADAR PICKET
STATION #5. One GQ at 10 raids came in,
32 were splashed. (6 by our Cap.) No
ships hit. We lost 2 planes by
collision. (1 pilot was rescued).
Early this morning 4 planes were
splashed over the transport area and 8
more over the island.
June 4 Still at RADAR PICKET
STATION #5. Weather very bad, typhoon
reported. All RADAR PICKETS were called
in. We left RP#5 at 1500 and went into
NAKAGUSUKU WAN (harbor on east coast of
OKINAWA) arriving there at 1500.
Underway again at 1830 with 6 merchant
ships to ride out the coming storm.
June 5 Storm missed OKINAWA
area. We returned with merchantmen to
NAKAGUSUKU WAN arriving there at 0730.
Then we returned to RADAR PICKET STATION
#5 arriving there at 0930.
June 6 Relieved by USS AULICK
DD569 at 0200. Proceeded to KERAMA
RETTO arriving at 0630. Fueled.
Departed at 1500 reporting to Com. Task
Force (Bombardment Group) at OKINAWA at
1700. Underway at 1800 to the southern
end of OKINAWA to screen the bombardment
group and to bombard. We anchored off
NAHA at 2255. At 1400 RADAR PICKET
STATION #5 was under attack: CAP shot
down 4 planes. Station 11 was attacked,
2 more planes downed.
June 7 GQ sounded at 0320.
Secured at 0410. Underway at 0500 to
bombard. Commenced firing at 0855.
Targets were 75mm gun emplacements
hampering advances ashore. GQ at 2130.
All raids were north of transport area
and didn't bother us.
June 8 GQ at 0130. Secured at
0315. We are now attached to fire
support group. Underway to bombard at
June 9 Underway at 0630 to
bombard, expended 2000 rounds, then
proceeded to KERAMA RETTO to rear.
Departed from KERAMA RETTO at 1600 and
returned to bombardment area in the
southern end of OKINAWA, arriving there
June 10 Underway from bombardment
area at 1500. Arrived at transport area
at 1615. Left transport area at 1915
and returned to the southern end to
bombard again. Arrived at 2045. RADAR
PICKET STATION #15 under heavy attacks
all day. One destroyer, the USS W. D.
PORTER DD579 took a near miss. She
broke in half. Three hours later she
June 11 At 00530 we left the bombardment group and went to KERAMA RETTO arriving at 0800. Re-armed and left at 1630 returning to the bombardment group. Arrived at 1800.
June 12 At 0530 we left the bombardment group and went to transport area. Arrived at 0650. At 1600 we left the transport area and returned to the southern end, arriving there at 1800.
June 13 Departed from southern end of OKINAWA at 0500 and went north. Met some LSTs off the transport area and escorted them to IYEMA SHIMA (36 miles off the NW end of OKINAWA.) LST's were to evacuate tanks and personnel from island. We arrived at 100 and patrolled all day waiting for the LST's to finish. Several air raids over OKINAWA. LST's didn't finish today.
June 14 Still patrolling off IYEMA SHIMA. Underway from IYEMA SHIMA at 1530. We arrived in transport area of OKINAWA at 2200.
June 15 Anchored off OKINAWA. GQ at 0400. At 1500 underway for the southern end to bombard again. Arrived there at 1600. Left there at 1630 and went to KERAMA RETTO. Arrived there at 1730.
June 16 (USS TWIGGS DD591 relieved us in the bombardment group and tonight she was hit by an aerial torpedo blowing off the bow, killing all Officers and Chiefs except the CPHM The plane that launched the fish then crashed into the ship sinking it. Only about 100 men survived).
June 17 Underway at 100. Went along USS CASCADE AD16 outboard of the USS AULICK DD569.
June 18 Still alongside USS CASCADE.
Many air raids over OKINAWA.
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