It was at the termination of this epidemic that the first news of the Japanese Government's suit for peace arrived. Leyte Gulf saw a tremendous and spectacular celebration that night the air was filled with whistles, sirens, bells, searchlights, and pyrotechnics of every kind and description. Two days after the celebration we started on a sea voyage as escort for several battleships and cruisers bound for Okinawa. Three days out of Leyte we were diverted to Manila. As the fates would have it we didn't make Manila either, for our orders were again changed directing us to proceed to Batangas Bay, about 50 miles south of Manila. As we steamed into Batangas Bay there were spread out before us some thirty large troop and cargo transports, later identified as Task Force 33, of which we became an integral part. We were very delighted to learn that we were to be one of the escorts for this mighty task force from Batangas Bay to Tokyo, Japan. Task Force thirty three was one of the first large occupation units to arrive in Japan.
Once again our mission was not to be completed. After several days at sea we received orders diverting us to Okinawa, where we were to load and transport to Tokyo the newly assigned Tokyo Port Director and his staff. This was a memorable journey since we traveled at flank speed all the way. We arrived in Tokyo Bay on the afternoon of September 1st, a day before the surrender terms were signed. We steamed up the channel, mindful of mines and anchored closer to Tokyo than any other ship in the harbor.
Not long afterwards it became necessary to have some repair work done on our boilers. We went alongside the repair ship Delta, and for nine days scraped and painted, and had a general field day while the repairs were being completed. Not long after our availability was up, we were assigned to Transport Squadron 24 as escort. This duty took us back to Port Apra, Guam. Before we reached Guam, however, one of the transports broke down and we took her in tow.
We arrived on September twenty-fourth, and departed the next day for our "home port," San Pedro Bay, Leyte, now affectionately known as "dysentery straits." Our disappointment on returning was not nearly so great when we had received aboard several weeks back mail.
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