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A BRIEF HISTORY OF U.S.S. LCS(L)(3) 27
Risley Lawrence, C.O., and Harry Meister, Engineering Officer
The USS LCS(L) 27 was commissioned on August 31, 1944 at the Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oregon. She was assigned to Flotilla One, Seventh Fleet, Task Force 78.3.8, along with LCSs 7, 8, 26, 48 and 49.
Shake down was completed in September 1944 at San Diego, California.
On January 29, 1945, LCS 27 supported landings at San Antonio, Luzon, Philippine Islands. There was no resistance to the landings. On the next day she supported landings at Subic Bay and Grande Island, Luzon, P.I. There was no resistance to these landings either. The Japanese were retreating.
On February 13 in Manila Bay, Luzon, LCS 27, in company with LCS 26, engaged in pre-invasion mine clearing operations, by following the mine sweepers and destroying all floating mines cut loose by the sweeps. In two days LCS 27 destroyed 53 mines. At one point, she came under fire from a Japanese battery on Corregidor, which was promptly put out of action with help from a destroyer. Later on the second day, LCS 27 came to the aid of two destroyers which had struck mines near Mariveles. The two destroyers were able to proceed on their own power, although badly damaged.
On February 15, LCS Flotilla 1 provided inshore support for the landings at Mariveles Harbor. Only minor opposition was encountered but one LSM struck a mine. At the end of the day, LCS Flotilla One anchored as a screen across the mouth of Mariveles Bay.
On February 16, at approximately 0320, the Flotilla was attacked by about 30 suicide boats, and by heavy shore-based gunfire that appeared to come from Cabello Island. In a matter of minutes LCSs 7, 26 and 49, after receiving multiple hits, were sunk with the loss of around 75 lives, with many more wounded. LCS 27 managed to sink 4 suicide boats before the fifth blew up along the port side causing extensive damage, resulting in flooding. The ship was saved from sinking by beaching it in Mariveles Bay. Pharmacist Mate First Class George Oliver Turner and Seaman First Class William Dudley Whaley were killed as a result of the action. A large percentage of our crew was wounded. The more seriously wounded and the dead were taken off. LCS 27 was out of action for the landings which took place on Corregidor that day.
On February 17 salvage efforts on LCS 27 failed when the salvage tug struck a mine as it was coming alongside. The entire crew was removed and taken to Subic Bay. The Commanding Officer and the Gunnery Officer along with more than a third of the crew were found unfit for further service and assigned to the hospital ship for care and return to the States.
From March through June temporary repairs were made to LCS 27 in Subic Bay. Further repairs in dry dock were performed in Leyte Gulf. The final repairs and refitting were conducted in Mios Wendi, New Guinea.
In July, LCS 27 was assigned duty to escort 4 LCTs from Hollandia to Subic Bay. In August at Illo Illo, Panay, LCS 27 engaged in training exercises with troops for the invasion of Japan. A-bombs were dropped on Japan and peace declared.
In September and October, LCS 27, in company with other LCSs, performed mine search and destroy missions in the Yellow Sea. Ports of call in Korea included Inchon and Pusan. The 27 was the first American ship to return to Tientsen, China to support the 3rd Marine Division occupation to intern the Japanese troops there.
In November, LCS 27 called at Tsingtao, China before being recalled to the States. In December, there was a stop in Saipan for fuel and water.
In early 1946, LCS 27 successfully rode out a typhoon on the return trip to Pearl Harbor, and a February storm before reaching the United States and crossing the Columbia Bar. The ship returned to Portland, Oregon for "mothballing" and decommissioning.
(History submitted by the authors on 3-25-2002)
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