Archive for category During Battle

Journal Entry, Sunday, June 10, 1945

We have one more day to get our repair work done, so there will be a lot of night work to be done. We had a show aboard, but missed some of it because of a little extra work. The days are getting better as we go along. Spring must be here. No rain, which is very unusual.

Journal Entry, Saturday, June 9, 1945

We tied alongside the Mona Island [ARG-9] this morning. They are going to do several repair jobs on us. Everything is priority, because of this big deal coming off. We received water today, which was greatly needed. Two GQ’s today.

Journal Entry, Friday, June 8, 1945

We tore our [air compressor] down to take aboard a repair ship (USS Mona Island [ARG-9]). If it does not work this time, it will never work. We are about out of water this morning, and can’t get any. There is a water shortage, because of so many small craft in here. The usual GQ’s.

Journal Entry, Thursday, June 7, 1945

We are getting ready for a big push somewhere, so will have a few days’ availability. Two GQ’s tonight, but not much excitement.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, June 6, 1945

Today is a perfect day—no rain or clouds, just the sun and a cool breeze. At 1100, we are underway. The storms have passed, and we are on our way to sweep. By early afternoon, we started sweeping off Dead Man’s [Quick][?]. Tonight we are to anchor in.

Journal Entry, Tuesday, June 5, 1945

It rained off and on all day long. But it was still a nice day—so calm and quiet that it made you want to stay forever. Or, at least a few weeks. The natives were all about by daybreak. They are sure a busy bunch of people, always doing something. They are along the beach picking up something. I don’t know what. But they stay there all day. Their gardens are built on the slope of the hill. The biggest ones are much smaller than an acre, yet they seem to have plenty. The average house has a grass roof, and something similar for the sides. However, there are a few modern houses of brick. This typhoon is over, and another one reported, so we will stay in tonight. Bogies are about all night, but fail to see us, as we are so hidden in the small channel.

Journal Entry, Monday, June 4, 1945

We started out early this morning to sweep. Soon after we had left, a broadcast was sent to all small craft. “A typhoon is coming. Head for cover immediately.” We headed for the northern end of [Okinawa]. We went up a small winding channel about eight or nine miles. All the way, we passed villages. All the natives came down to the beach to cheer us. So many of their men had been killed or were taken by the Japs that all was left was the old men. We finally anchored by the biggest village off them all. Hundreds of them came down to the ships. Sailors were giving them candy, cigarettes, and etcetera. They are sure a happy bunch of people, and twice as happy to see the Americans come. Some of the habits of these people are revolting, and some are amusing. For instance, if at any time they want to use the head, they take their dress off, and go about their business there and then. It made no difference who was there. They put their dress back on, and continue with what they were doing. The scenery is like something you have always dreamed for. Everything seems to have its own appointed place. How I long to have a camera. Never before have I seen such beauty on the hillsides. Everyone says they would like to spend the duration here, including myself.

Journal Entry, Sunday, June 3, 1945

We are ready to go again. Everything is in shape. We had one GQ today, shortly after dinner. You would think this bad weather would hold them off, but they never miss a day. We received second-class mail today. It was all in pretty bad shape. The way the Navy handles mail, it is a miracle it gets through as well as it does.

Journal Entry, Saturday, June 2, 1945

We are still laying in and doing odd jobs. A few more days in and we should be in pretty good shape. The skipper was transferred today. Everyone hated to see him leave. He was an up and up skipper. You shoot square with him and he would do the same with you. Again, this evening was very bad weather. It was so foggy you could only see a few yards. We only saw one bogie, and he was trying to find something to hit, but couldn’t.

Journal Entry, Friday, June 1, 1945

Our steering cable is broken in two, so we lay in a few days. In the meantime, we will be able to do a lot of undone work. I saw the 302[?] again today. They are anchored off our port-beam. This evening was very stormy, and cloudy. Nevertheless, we still had our bogies. Good or bad weather, they still come.

Journal Entry, Thursday, May 31, 1945

We are trying something new today—laying san buoys and anchor floats way out to sea. There is scuttlebutt that we are going towards the China coast, as a decoy. Anchor, and wait for the Japs. I have also heard it called suicide detail. We have been lucky before, but it will take more than luck this time. Again we had two air raids. It was so stormy neither could see each other.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, May 30, 1945

We went to southwest anchorage, early this morning. We received fuel, water, and supplies. And most of all, mail. Tonight we are going to screen, which is much better than patrol duty any day. There were two air raids tonight. It was pouring so bad at times we had to leave our guns and go for shelter.

Journal Entry, Tuesday, May 29, 1945

Same as usual, sweeping along the island. Today was pretty rough sea. But very little rain, for a change. This evening we had two more GQ’s. Bogies were very close, but never bothered us. They are raising all kinds of hell at the west anchorage. Here is hoping they come no closer.

Journal Entry, Monday, May 28, 1945

Today we swept between the two main islands. We anchored at Naha during the afternoon. We managed to trade movies. Deanna Durbin in “First Love” [1939]. Oh, what a gal! At 1900 we went on patrol at the north end of the island. About dark we picked up bogies. They kept coming until they were right above us. A DD started opening up on them. Shells and flares were bursting all around us. It was so light you could write a letter. We steamed ahead full-speed to escape the light. About the time we were again in darkness they were opening up on them some place else. They were being knocked down right and left but kept coming from somewhere. This kept up at different intervals all night long. We didn’t mind much, except the sleep we lost.

Journal Entry, Sunday, May 27, 1945

Routine sweeping. It is still raining, off and on all day. At least it is cool, and we’re able to sleep at nights without sweating too much. Right after daylight, the air raids started. Three bogies were headed right for us. We saw them far enough away, that we were ready for them. Just before they got to us, one peeled off, and suicided on a PCS, but missed by a hair. The other two circled around us, getting closer and closer. We all figured this was the end, and was going to go down fighting. They dipped and turned several times, as though in a dive. We have very little firepower or ammunition to waste, so we held our fire until they would be right on us. Believe me there wasn’t a man who wasn’t thinking of a prayer of some sort. Just about the time you feel you can’t hold your nerves or fire any longer, they passed over us, and went for bigger ships. We have seen one plane, many of times get through a barrage of two hundred or more ships, and successfully hit something. Planes all around, diving on any size or shape of vessel, and us alone from any help, and no firepower is enough to freeze a man in his tracks. Death does not seem so terrible to watch others die and be blown to bits. It does not make you nervous or pray for safety. Only when it is a matter of seconds away from yourself, do you think of yourself, and how you want to live, and not die. Many pictures flash before your eyes, your school days, your folks and home, your sweetheart, the future, and all it has to offer you. You think of God and his teachings—what you have done, right and wrong. So many things happen at once, it is like a dream. When it is all over you forget about the beauty of life, and what it has to offer you. Things are normal again, and you go on living as before. Along about noon, a merchant ship nearly took our fantail off. We had our sweep gear out and couldn’t back down, nor neither could she, because of her size and weight. We all but touched them. Just another narrow escape, with good luck in our favor again. Tonight we are on patrol-duty off some island, for suicide-boats and anything else that may come along.