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A BRIEF HISTORY OF U.S.S LCS(L) 19
The LCS(L) 19 was commissioned on 7 October 1944, at the George Lawley & Sons Shipyard, Neponset, Massachusetts, with Ens. F. N. Woods III as Commanding Officer; Ens H. M. Rubin as Executive Officer; Ens. W. R. Soli as Engineering Officer; Ens. G. F. Claussen Jr. as Gunnery Officer; Ens. W. E. Hale as Communications Officer; and Ens. H. V. Wik as First Lieutenant.
The ship sailed from Boston on 15 October, bound for Solomons, Maryland, where shakedown took place in Chesapeake Bay. After completion of shakedown, on 27 October, the ship went to Pier “S”, in Norfolk, Virginia, for availability. Upon completion of availability, Task Unit 20.19.7 was formed, consisting of LCS 19 and LCI 867, with Commander Task Unit in LCS 19.
We left Norfolk for Key West, Florida, arriving there on 11 November, departing on 13 November for Coco Solo, Canal Zone. We arrived in Coco Solo on 17 November, completed logistics and proceeded through the Panama Canal on 19 November, adding LCIs 821 and 869 to the Task Unit.
We put in at Corinto, Nicaragua on 27 November, with a hospital case, and departed next morning for San Diego, California. We arrived in San Diego on 1 December, where our crew went through firefighting training. From 8 December to 20 December, LCS 19 engaged in rehearsal bombardments on San Clemente and San Nicholas Islands. From 21 December to 28 December the ship was in availability in the San Diego Naval Repair Base.
On 1 January 1945, the Executive Officer, Ens. Rubin, was detached to the San Diego Naval Hospital, and Ens. W. R. Soli became Executive Officer.
On 4 January LCS 19 got underway for Pearl Harbor, in company with LCSs 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 44. We arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 13 January, and went into availability at Kewalo Basin from 27 January to 1 February. On 2 February we got underway for Tulagi, British Solomon Islands, as a Task Unit, with CTU in LST 651. On 17 February we arrived at Tulagi.
At Tulagi, LCS 19 completed logistics and made two firing rehearsals on Guadalcanal. On 12 March we were underway for Ulithi as part of Task Unit 53.3.1, with A. A. Ageton, Cmdr., in LC(FF) 1081. We arrived in Ulithi on 21 March and departed 2 days later for the assault on Okinawa Gunto on 1 April.
In the early morning of 1 April a torpedo from an enemy plane passed 50 yards off our bow. Other planes were in the area as we approached the western beaches in the invasion of Okinawa and laid down a 40MM barrage, culminating in the firing of the 4.5-inch rockets at 1000 and 700 yards from shore. Negligible enemy fire was encountered.
The following day and night, LCS 19 screened larger ships, and then retired to Kerama Retto to serve as Harbor Entrance Patrol, and complete logistics, until 27 April. Several planes were shot down in the vicinity during our stay in Kerama Retto.
LCS 19 proceeded to Radar Picket duty on 28 April, and assisted in shooting down one plane 200 yards off our bow. On 6 May we covered LCS 11 about 1000 yards offshore of Yoron Shima while she picked up a downed American pilot.
On 6 May we returned to the Hagushi area, and served as small boat picket patrol, or furnished smoke screen for larger ships at night. On the night of 12 May we contacted and destroyed two enemy suicide boats off Naha, Okinawa.
LCS 19 proceeded to Radar Picket Station 15A on 10 June, and arrived as the Destroyer WILLIAM D. PORTER was sinking as a result of a suicide plane action (a bomb dropped close aboard sprung hull bottom plates causing uncontrollable flooding). All DD personnel were saved and brought aboard LCSs.
On the following evening, 11 June, the LCS 122, astern of us in formation, was struck by a suicide plane. LCS 19 went alongside the 122 to put out her fires and assist in transferring casualties. LCS 122 was saved.
On June 25 we got underway for Leyte, as Task Unit 31.29.21, with Cmdr. E. C. Thomas in LC(FF) 485 in command. On 25 June LCS 19 contacted and destroyed a floating horned mine at Latitude 25 degrees, 21 minutes North, Longitude 127 degrees 30 minutes East. We arrived at Leyte, Philippine Islands, on 30 June, and went into availability.
On 11 September, the war over, LCS 19 completed logistics and got underway for northern Honshu, Japan. We passed through a typhoon off Okinawa and rode it out by running before the storm. On 25 September, in Japan, we supported occupational forces going ashore at Aomori.
On 6 October LCS 19 was underway for Tokyo Bay. We arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base, Tokyo Bay on 6 October.
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