The LCS(L)14 was one of the hundreds of unnamed, commissioned ships built especially for World War II service in the Pacific Theater against the Japanese. The ship participated in the initial assault on the enemy bastion of Okinawa and subsequently served on the radar picket line before the cessation of hostilities. Following the surrender of Japan, the ship made an occupation landing at Amori on northern Honshu and performed mine sweeping duty in Japanese home waters and off Formosa. She returned to the United States in the Spring of 1946 and was decommissioned. The ship remained in inactive status until 1953 when it was transferred to Japan where it was named the Sumire, and served in their Maritime Self Defense Force for 22 years. The ship was returned to US custody in 1975 and was disposed of a short time later.

The keel of the ship was laid at the George Lawley and Sons shipyard in Neponset, MA on 19 August 1944 and was launched eight days later on 28 August 1944. The commissioning ceremony for the ship began at 0800 on 23 September 1944. Ensign Thomas C. Fisher was the ship's designated commanding officer, he remained in command until 17 October when he was relived by Lt.(jg) James R. Todd. The ship took-on dry stores, diesel fuel, fresh water, and ammunition at the shipyard in Neponset for 5 days before departing for Little Creek, VA on 28 September. The ship arrived at Little Creek ,VA on 30 September after a transit marred by an electrical failure and widespread sea sickness among the crew, caused by strong seas from a recent hurricane, and excessive celebrating the night before sailing. The ship remained in the Little Creek/ Annapolis/ Solomon Islands area for one month before departing Lamberts Point, VA for Key West FL on 30 October. During this month she conducted shakedown training which included the firing of 4.5 in. rockets. The ship reached Key West on 3 November and remained there for 5 days while one of the eight main engines was replaced because of unexplained excessive oil consumption. Underway again for Panama on 8 November, the ship reached Coco Solo,CZ on 12 November. The Panama Canal was transited on 14/15 November and the ship headed north for San Diego. A brief unscheduled port call was made at Manzanillo, MX on 20/21 November and she arrived in San Diego on 26 November. All hands were granted liberty during the stop-over in Mexico where the ship's mascot, a small monkey, was purchased.

Upon reaching San Diego, the LCS(L) 14 was assigned to LCS FLOTILLA THREE and LCS GROUP EIGHT. Extensive training operations were carried out under the Commander, Amphibious Training Command, US Pacific Fleet that included live firing exercises at nearby San Clemente Island. Maximum liberty was granted to all hands, including an "emergency" seven-day leave, which permitted many to return to their homes or visit such attractions as Hollywood and Tijuana, MX . Sailing on 4 January 1945 from San Diego she arrived in West Lock, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 13 January 1945. A yard availability at a civilian shipyard in Honolulu ended abruptly because of a problem over " Midnight Small Stores". The ship sailed from Pearl Harbor on 2 February 1945 and headed west for the Solomon Islands, minus four 50 cal gun mounts. The long 15-day transit to the Solomons was broken by traditional celebrations as the ship crossed the Equator and the International Date Line. The crew enjoyed the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets imaginable during much of this transit. The ship reached Purvis Bay, Florida Island, in the Solomon Islands on 17 February. Following a brief period of upkeep and logistics, the ship participated in drills off Cape Esperance which were rehearsals for the upcoming invasion of Okinawa. The ship extinguished a fire successfully on the merchant ship, H. Stephens on 20 February and then went aground on a coral reef which necessitated spending three days in dry-dock. The ship departed the Solomon Islands on 12 March and arrived at Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands, one of two staging areas for the invasion of Okinawa, on 21 March. On 24 March, while maneuvering to come along side, the ship's mast, radar and radio antennas were brought down by a collision with a horizontal cargo boom on a supply ship. The mast was quickly replaced by a repair ship, but the LCS(L)14 departed Ulithi Atoll, minus its radar antenna, on 26 March and headed for Okinawa.

The LCS(L) 14 arrived off Okinawa the night prior to "invasion-day"-- Easter Sunday and April Fools Day -- 1 April 1945. The ship's 4.5 in. rockets and fire from its 40/20 mm and 50 cal. guns were directed at YELLOW BEACH 1. Mortar fire from the island was light and generally ineffective although a Marine Landing Vehicle Tracked ( LVT) passing near the LCS(L)14 received a direct hit. After the troops were landed on Okinawa, the LCS(L)14 engaged in numerous anti-suicide boat patrols, fought fires and made smoke cover for larger ships in Haguchi anchorage. She also served on the radar picket line off the island on radar picket stations 7, 10, 11, 11A, and 16. The LCS(L)14 destroyed 5 suicide aircraft and 1 suicide boat. The ship was strafed by a suicide plane while on skunk patrol on 4 May, 2 crew members were wounded and received Purple Heart medals but damage to the ship was minor. The ship had a particularly nasty encounter with a Japanese mine that became entangled with the ship's stern anchor cable which was resolved with help from an underwater demolition team.

On 25 June, in company with ships from LCS GROUP EIGHT, the LCS(L)14 sailed for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I. to prepare for the planned invasion of the Japanese home island of Kyushu. While preparing for the up- coming invasion of Kyushu the crew heard the news that the Japanese had surrendered. Liberal amounts of medicinal alcohol (torpedo juice) were dispensed to all-hands in celebration of the welcome news. On 11 September the ship sailed from Leyte, P.I. with LCS GROUP EIGHT to make occupation landings in Japan. A violent typhoon was encountered and an attempt to find a safe haven at Okinawa was unsuccessful. The ship was directed to put to sea and ride-out the storm which it managed to do without serious material damage or injury to the crew. After the storm, the ship joined LCS GROUP EIGHT and NINE to form Task Group 34.4. The LCS(L)14 entered Tokyo Bay on 21 September and departed the next day for an occupation landing at Amori on Northern Honshu. Following the occupation landing, the
ship departed Amori on 7 October and arrived at the Yokosuko Naval Base, near Yokohama, on 11 ctober. Following 2 weeks of R&R and miscellaneous duties, the ship departed Tokyo on 24 October and headed for the Nagasaki/Sasebo area of southern Kyushu Island. The LCS(L)14 remained in Sasebo for about a month performing mine sweeping duty. The ship left Sasebo heading for Formosa on 25 November and arrived there on the 29th. Again for about a month, the ship engaged in mine sweeping operations. The duty was abruptly terminated by a mine which exploded close-aboard that opened seams in the engineers' store room and the steering engine room. The non-availability of proper dry-dock facilities in Formosa required the ship to leave for Shanghai, China where she arrived on 21 December. The ship remained in Shanghai during the Christmas/New Years holidays of 1946. Again, as in San Diego in 1945, maximum liberty was granted to all hands and a few, including the Captain, were detached to return home. After repairs to the hull were completed, the LCS(L)14 departed Shanghai for Sasebo on 15 January arriving there on the 17th. The ship sailed from Sasebo, homeward bound, on 25 January 1946. She made a stop-over at Saipan between 31 January and 9 February and another stop-over at Eniwetok, in the Marshal Islands on 16/17 February. The LCS(L)14 reached Pearl Harbor on 28 February and departed for San Francisco on 10 March. The ship sailed under the "Golden Gate" on 21 March and departed San Francisco on 5 April headed for Astoria, WA where it arrived on 8 April. The ship was placed in inactive status the next day and was decommissioned on 31 May. On 1 June, the LCS(L)14 was reclassified as a Landing Ship Support Large (LSSL).

On 16 February 1953, the LSSL 14 was placed on loan to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force where it served as the Sumire for 22 years. The ship was returned to US authorities on 30 September 1975 and was disposed of in an unknown manner.

The LCS(L)14 earned the following medals/ribbons for her service during and after World II:
Okinawa Gunto Operation & 1 star for postwar mine sweeping); PHILIPPINE LIBERATION

By Raymond A. Baumler - crew member LCS(L) 14

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