Lt.(jg) George J. O’Hare, Commanding Officer

The LCS(L)-12 was commissioned as flagship of LCS(L) Group Eight at the George Lawley Shipbuilding Company, Neponset, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1944, and departed the Boston area on September 25, for Solomons, Maryland.

After shakedown and post-shakedown availability in the Chesapeake Bay area, the ship stood out of Norfolk, Virginia on October 21, 1944 for Coco Solo, Canal Zone, where she arrived on October 31, stopping enroute for logistics at Key West, Florida.

November 3, the “12” made its transit of the Panama Canal enroute to San Diego, California, where she docked November 14. Immediately the ship embarked upon a program of training in landings, shore bombardment, and general amphibious doctrine, the intensity of which was interrupted only by logistic requirements and short periods of availability.

In company with the greater part of Group EIGHT, Flotilla THREE, the “12” left San Diego for Pearl Harbor on January 4, 1945. The Group arrived on January 13 and nested in West Loch. While in Pearl Harbor, remaining essential alterations were accomplished.

February 2, the ship sailed for the Southern Solomons, anchoring on the 17th of the month in Purvis Bay. After staging for the Okinawa operation, she stood out for Ulithi on March 12, arriving there on March 21. Logistics were accomplished and, in company with elements of the Fifth Fleet, the jump-off for Okinawa was made on the 25th.

The “12” helped to usher in Easter Sunday morning by leading Group Eight in the initial assault on the beaches of Okinawa, in which she delivered rocket and gunfire prior to, and in support of, the troop landings. The remainder of its 86 days in the Okinawa area, the LCS(L)-12 divided between radar picket duty (43 days), anti-small boat patrol, and anti-aircraft and smoke screening, taking time out to participate in the capture of Tori Shima on May 12. While on these assignments, the ship shot down four Japanese planes, assisted in the destruction of four others, probably destroyed a ninth, and probably destroyed two suicide boats. General Quarters was sounded 195 times, consuming a total of 144 hours.

For her part in winning the battle of Okinawa, the “12” was recommended for the Navy Unit Commendation.

Early in May, the Commander, LCS(L) Group Eight, and staff, transferred to the LC(FF) 485.

After Okinawa was declared secured, the “12” headed for the Philippines and anchored in Leyte Gulf on June 30. There, the ship obtained repairs and replenished its stores, and her crew stepped on dry land for the first time in almost four months. On September 11, she sailed for Tokyo Bay as a first stop on the way to the occupation of Northern Honshu.

This trip was interrupted by the typhoon of September 16-18, which forced an alteration of course in an endeavor to reach a lee. A three-day delay resulted from riding out the storm in the Okinawa area and made refueling at Buckner Bay necessary. On September 19, course was again set for Tokyo Bay.

On September 21, the “12” rendezvoused with other LCSs in Sagami Wan and proceeded to Mutsu Wan on Northern Honshu to assist in the occupation, by American troops, of Aomori, on September 25. The next orders sent the LCS(L)-12 to Tokyo Bay. She moored in Nagaura Ko, off the Yokosuka Naval Base, October 9, and proceeded up to Yokohama on October 13. The ship lay at Yokohama until October 24, when she sailed for Sasebo on Kyushu, dropping the hook there October 28.

On November 10, orders were received to sail for Buckner Bay, Okinawa, which the “12” entered November 12, and where this history leaves her.

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