Journal Entry, Monday, April 30, 1945

We started sweeping at daylight. we secured by noon. By early afternoon we were on our way to the anchorage that is not secured yet. The one in which we had so many casualties. We anchored during the night. It was a peaceful night, no GQ or air raids.

Journal Entry, Sunday, April 29, 1945

We swept all day again. This time sweeping port and starboard together. In the afternoon we used m-type [magnetic sweep]. There have been several floating mines spotted and destroyed. It is taken that the mines are laid by plane during the night. It has been done before. Bogies have been around all day again. They come in groups. Between them and minesweeping, we get very little rest. You get so tired, you can sleep any place, at any time. For instance today, I went on watch at 0330, and will not be through, and able to hit my sack until 2400. No wonder every one is on edge, and tired.

Journal Entry, Saturday, April 28, 1945

We started sweeping at dawn (o-type [moored contact mines; oropesa/otter/kite sweep]). Texaco himself, is in charge. We never secured until, it was too dark to carry on. All during the day bogies were close about. They attacked small craft, sank a DD, and probably more damage. One bogie was shot down. Again, GQ sounded twice during the evening.

Journal Entry, Friday, April 27, 1945

By daylight we were taking on stores, from an A.K.N. We received the biggest variety, we have had since we left Pearl. A mail boat came along side. We got mail to distribute to other YMS, but none for our selves. By noon we were well on our way to do more sweeping, in a place we have never been before. We joined the squadron, gave them their mail, and went to sea for the evening. We had two GQ. during the night.

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.