Archive for category During Battle

Journal Entry, Thursday, April 12, 1945

We pulled up along side of [USS Mona Island] ARG-9 for repairs, small stores and etc. 1430 air raids began. Several Jap planes were shot down. They came in small patrols. Several ships were hit by suicide planes. Two more raids were staged around dusk. We were anchored outside the nets where the attacks were being made. Things quieted down very shortly. At 2330 we got underway to the main islands we swept once before.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, April 11, 1945

We anchored all night, at the main anchorage. The night was cloudy and raining, so we had no air attacks. We received fuel and water from an LST. In the early afternoon we got chow from the USS Terror [CM-5], flagship for minesweepers. We had one air raid after another for the latter part of the evening. We were to leave anchorage at 1800, and minesweep the following morning, but our orders were changed to give us a chance for repairs.

Journal Entry, Tuesday, April 10, 1945

Things went along extra smooth today. We finished sweeping early, again with no casualties. In the late morning we invaded the first island we swept. It is a very small one, so should be secured by dark. This gives us the opening to the channel. We started shortly after noon, back to anchorage. We are getting low on fuel and chow. Things were dark and quiet when we arrived. We just missed the evening air raids. Tomorrow we are going to try to send some mail off, if possible. We don’t know as yet when we will get any mail. It sure would help to get some soon. The men are pretty well tired out, and their nerves are on edge. I do not blame them after some of the things we have seen. We have just been plain lucky, that is all.

Journal Entry, Monday, April 9, 1945

There were several new YMS’s added to our group today. There were no casualties through the day. Three times, small craft was fired upon from the beach. Our cruisers soon quieted each attack. We were lucky, for each time we were either close to or under cover of the cruiser USS Pensacola [CA-24] (heavy). We took to sea again in the evening for safety.

Journal Entry, Sunday, April 8, 1945

We arrived as usual to start an early sweep. Our PGM-18 escort was following along as usual, when she hit a mine amid-ships. Upon seeing this, YMS-103 went back to help. As she drew up close she hit a mine, blowing her bow clean off. Again the YMS and PGM exploded, causing much more damage, The PGM capsized and sank very shortly. The YMS stayed afloat. Survivor boats were sent out from AM-15, picking up sixteen—or half of the crew of the YMS-103—and nineteen out of sixty-five from PGM-18. We waited until things quieted down, then resumed our sweeping. Along about quitting time, YMS-92 tried to dodge three mines, but hit the last one with her fantail, blowing it clear off. They saw it coming and was able to save every man. Thank the Lord for that.

Journal Entry, Saturday, April 7, 1945

We took a little time out this morning to raise the acoustic-hammer. After, we joined in the sweep formation. Everything went well today. No casualties or etcetera. There were quite a number of mines cut loose and destroyed.

Journal Entry, Friday, April 6, 1945

We returned from sea during the early morning, to again try our luck. This time we are sweeping dangerously close to the main Island. Our troops sound as though they are really mopping up. We are close enough to see troops along the beach. On our final lap around for the evening, the sweep gear on YMS-427 wasn’t working right, so we switched places. Just as we made our turn, the shore batteries turned loose on us. They’d had too big of guns for us, so all we could do is make a run for it. They nearly hit us several times. YMS-427 wasn’t so lucky—they were hit by the port fifty, killing two men and one officer. If we hadn’t of switched places with them on the last lap, I may not be here today. I have the same station on this ship. Call it luck if you want, but I think that’s one I owe the Father in Heaven himself.

Journal Entry, Thursday, April 5, 1945

We returned and started sweeping at the crack of dawn. Again we received no opposition, and cut several mines. Other than one or two sweeps having a little trouble with their gear, we had a calm day.

Journal Entry, Wednesday, April 4, 1945

At daybreak we had a short GQ, after which we got under way. We arrived at the biggest of the [Okinawa] Islands. Fire sweeps and one gunboat started the first sweeping. The group got five or six mines all day. We could see shore batteries, but we were never fired upon, to our amazement. At dusk we set out to sea for safety during the night.

Journal Entry, Tuesday, April 3, 1945

This morning’s raids were a little more exciting. Two Jap planes (Tony) came in on us. Ack-ack drove one of them away. The second one being hit, saw he was going down anyway, so started a suicide dive at us. Believe me I gave him all I could get out of the old gun. The closer he got, the faster and harder we hit him. Not more than a second too soon he noticed a big LST to the left of him. He turned and in a split second hit her amid-ships (causing 17 casualties). I don’t know why I was shaking, because I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t the only one, so I feel better. At dusk, we had the usual raids. Sometimes you can see what you are shooting at, and other times you just guess.

Journal Entry, Monday, April 2, 1945

We again had three air attacks before dawn. So far I have done very little shooting. They seem to fire on bigger ships. Probably because we are pretty hard to hit. At dusk brought the usual air raids. They are getting to be like regular routine.

Journal Entry, Sunday, April 1, 1945

By daybreak we could see our destination (Okinawa Islands) 300 miles from the Japanese mainland. We refueled, took on water, and was anchored in the early afternoon. 0400 general quarters sounded Japanese air attacks. This lasted off and on until the full of dawn. Again at dusk GQ sounded. Things were pretty hot for a while.

YMS-103 Muster Roll; March 21, 1945

Also via Richard Thornton, this is the first page of the YMS-103 muster roll. I don’t have the equivalent of this for YMS-299 yet, though I was curious what the document looked like.

YMS-103 Muster Roll; March 21, 1945

YMS-103 Muster Roll; March 21, 1945

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Written Citation, November 7, 1944

This is the citation mentioned in Chuck’s September letter home, commending the troops for their efforts in kicking off Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa during early April, 1945. This letter was given to all members of the YMS-299 crew (I have a second copy of it addressed to Thomas Morley, sent to me by his son).

042045 Written Citation

042045 Written Citation

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