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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Kinzer (APD-91)

Kinzer (APD-91) history according to eyewitness Gilbert E. Wyatt SM1/c USN

"My name is Gilbert E. Wyatt.
I went aboard the Kinzer in Norfolk, VA. 1 January 1945 After being in most of the invasions in the Med. I was a Signalman first Class and incharge of the Signalmen on the Kinzer. Your Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (1968) Vol.3, p.656 was very good.
When we took aboard the Marines Reconnaissance Battalion 12 Feb . Pearl Harbor, we stopped at Ulithi Attol for a Little R/R on Mog Mog Island. As Iremember it we departed Ulithi by our selves. No escort.
We arrived at Kerama Retto Bay on 26 March, 1945 at nite time. The following next three nights we landed the Marines each nite on the three beachheads taking civilian Jap`s for interragation. We had no resistance.Then on 1 April, 1945 the rest of the invasion fleet Arrived and for three days their was little restance.After that all Hell broke out.
On 7 April we went alongside a supply ship Rearmed the Marines we had. This was my 20th Birthday. My Brothers ship U.S.S. Lindsey DM-32 was taking on supplies on the other side of the same Cargo ship. Captain Richard C. Young USNR New my brother was on it told me because it was my birthday to go over and visit with him. That was the last time I saw him alive.
We completed loading and proceeded on our next mission behind Jap lines on Okinawa . The kinzer`s orders were NOT to divulge what we were doing. My brother`s ship was to guard us. That nite a 200 plane raid from Japan came in and my brothers ship open fire, I watched as two kamikaze planes followed the Tracers down and hit my brothers ship. There was one big explosion and then all was quite. We finished our assignment and for the next three days we pulled Radar Picket patrol.when relieved we proceeded to Kerama Retto. There I saw my brothers ship with the Bow Missing. Captain Young let me signal the Lindsey to see if my brother Was O.K. They signaled back and told me he died that day.they also told me where he was buried.
After we had anchored the Captain assigned me a boat and crew and loaned me the ships camera and I went to where his grave was and took pictures. The Captain sent the film to the Flag Ship to be developed and permission to send the pictures to my mother. Which I did. On the 15 July 1945 we sailed for Pearl Harbor, I don`t remember going to Guam. We we were half way to Peral when the war was over. Our orders were changed to proceed to San Pedro, California.
When my brother ( Donald J. Wyatt) was killed the captain relieved me of all duties upon arrival San Pedro I was immediately Transferred to Receiving Station Terminal Island, San Pedro. . . ."
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