Archive for category During Battle

Journal Entry, Thursday, April 26, 1945

We swept part of the day. In the late of the morning we left for the second anchorage we were in. We re-fuelled, and took on water, from a tanker. There were two GQ’s. during the latter part of the evening. We anchored in all night.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, April 25, 1945

I spoke a little too soon. We had a two-hour GQ. in the middle of the night. We spent all day sweeping. If all sweeping was like this, it would not be bad.

YMS-103 Action Report; April 25, 1945

I got this action report from Richard Thornton, son of the captain who drafted it. It details the events leading up to the the beaching of YMS-103 in the first month of the Okinawa operations. You’ll see YMS-299 was in the same detail. My grandfather discusses these events in his journal as well.

YMS-103 Action Report; April 25, 1945; Table of Contents

YMS-103 Action Report; April 25, 1945; Table of Contents

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Journal Entry, Tuesday, April 24, 1945

We started sweeping early again, in the same manner as before, just security sweeping. Army planes were in today. It should not be long now. The fields must be in good shape to land (B-29’s). Tokyo can look for plenty of trouble now. We borrowed a movie off another ship. “Nine Girls”, it was very good. After so long any show is good. We expect force air raids again soon. So far we are lucky, and not disturbed. A little peace and quiet, will help calm our nerves down a little.

Journal Entry, Monday, April 23, 1945

This morning early, we got under way for Noha Island. The opposite side we swept. We swept all day, very close to the anchorage. More or less a safety sweep. It rained hard all day. Especially hard, when we had to stand out in it. We anchored in, in the early afternoon. There were a great many ships anchored. It looked like the whole Navy in it’s self. The beach is secured all along the anchorage. Already we are using the airport, and have radar, and equipment set up. it shouldn’t be long now. It is too cloudy and stormy for air raids tonight.

Journal Entry, Sunday, April 22, 1945

We are still at anchorage, and hope to stay here for some time, if we can. Peters and I went aboard the Signet to visit, the majority of the day. The fellows are all in good shape, except for a few close ones they had. They had it pretty rough also. At dusk GQ sounded, lasting about two hours. A suicide plane sunk a destroyer, one AM-65 was hit, causing six casualties. Several planes were shot down. There was probably more we don’t know any thing about.

Journal Entry, Saturday, April 21, 1945

We re-fueled, and took on water and provisions most of the day. There was a short GQ. at dusk. We received our citations today, and also have a hunch we are going farther north.

Journal Entry, Friday, April 20, 1945

Things went along pretty smooth today. Just done a few things that had to be done. In the afternoon we started for the main anchorage. At 0630 general quarters sounded. It was the longest one we have had so far. It lasted until 2240. We all expected another one very shortly, but to our surprise, we were left alone. We were told today we were recommended for a citation, for our splendid work in sweeping the harbor. Also because of so many casualties, yet we carried on, until we were finished, as it stated. I am as pleased about it as the rest of the fellows.

Journal Entry, Thursday, April 19, 1945

We swept for a while this morning, just in case the Japs decided to lay a few over night. We anchored in the rest of the day. It was raining the heaviest I have seen it rain in a long time. It is good to see a rainstorm once in a while. The steering cable was on the bum, so we spent the rest of the day fixing it.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, April 18, 1945

It was condition “red”, and is as far as that goes always meaning Jap planes are in the vicinity—but don’t shoot, because we have planes also, unless fired at, or attacked. During the day we laid dan buoys to show where reefs are located. We had orders to go to sea, over night. The sea is getting rougher by the minute. A calm sea always breaks up with bad weather. The mail ship was in, but we missed it. However they say tomorrow will be different. I don’t believe it until I see it. You can hear, and see action twenty-four hours a day. We have gotten so used to it, we never sound GQ. unless they are over-head, or attacking our small group.

Journal Entry, Tuesday, April 17, 1945

We had an air raid about 0300. One plane kept circling, but never dived on us. It soon quieted down, and we hit our sacks again. We swept early this morning, in very close to the beach. The big craft was firing over our heads. I believe everyone had a terrific headache because of it. We went back to our same spot and anchored. We stayed all night for the first time here. At 2030, GQ sounded. You could hear the planes, but not see them. They got uneasily close at times. We did not fire, because I don’t think they saw us—it was too dark. No mail today. Maybe tomorrow. We have learned not to build up too big of hopes. It is generally always a false alarm.

Journal Entry, Monday, April 16, 1945

We only swept for one hour this morning, then anchored in our same place. We were able to get a little, much-needed rest, exception of a few hours—we had to get some work done. The mail is supposed to be in tomorrow. Everyone is really looking forward to it. Everyone stood ready for air raids this evening. So far nothing has happened. We could use a few calm days for a change. A person’s nerves are on edge constantly. So many narrow escapes, and etcetera are nerve-wracking. That holds true mostly with the older fellows, whereas the younger ones sing and joke at any time, air raids or not. As for myself, be merry while you can. We may all be dead tomorrow.

Journal Entry, Sunday, April 15, 1945

We swept a small patch by the lines ashore, in order for two BB’s and three CVL’s to plaster the beach. We anchored in the same spot until dusk started setting in. Air raids as usual. They overlooked small craft this time, because there was so much big stuff around. Nevertheless, they were close enough. I guess during an air raid is a funny time to laugh, but I did just the same. Doc and a few others are so scared, they don’t know which way to turn. They try to hide, but there is no place to hide. In fact this isn’t much of a ship, let alone having a place to hide. The water and weather have been perfect the last few days. If this Jap weather stays like this all the time, it would be hard to beat. But it doesn’t, it is generally worse than Frisco [San Francisco].

Journal Entry, Saturday, April 14, 1945

We are anchored again at the same place as yesterday, this morning, shortly after daylight. The fellows took turns diving under the fantail, to cut a five-inch line loose that was caught around the port shaft. We heard news that the war was over in Europe today, and Russia had declared war on Japan. If this is straight dope, it is the best news we have heard in a long time. Our biggest worry now is to stay alive. The way the Japs send suicide planes and boats everyday, things look pretty slim at times. Last night, suicide boats were sent out, but shot up before they done any damage. They are a very fast boat, making them all the more deadly. We set out to sea at 1800 with two or more small ships. At dusk air raids started. The ship ahead of us was busy for a few minutes. We were just a small distance away, but was never attacked. Things quieted down shortly, and we returned to our card games.

Journal Entry, Friday, April 13, 1945

We anchored near the beach that is secured. We were allowed to sleep all morning. We sure needed the rest. Finally, we got a movie from YMS-283. It was shown in the galley several times. “Honeymoon Lodge”. At 1815 we returned to the safety of the sea for the night. Things were quiet all night, except for the battling ashore. The sky is always lit up from flares and ack-ack. It beats any 4th of July celebration you have seen.