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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


Division of Naval History
Ship's History Section
Navy Department
Charles J. Lausberg

The LCS(L) 42 was built by Commercial Iron Works in Portland, Oregon, one of the thousands of U. S. Navy commissioned vessels identified only by type and number that were produced during World War Two. She was launched on 8 October 1944 and commissioned eighteen days later. While a few of her sister ships saw action at Iwo Jima and many (in fact, most) fought in the battle for Okinawa, the 42 was one of the handful of LCSs that was assigned to fight four battles in the southwestern Philippines and one in Borneo.

Soon after commissioning and loading supplies, the LCS(L) 42 sailed with some other LCSs to San Diego for shakedown and a few weeks of training exercises, as did almost all of her sister ships. Then she finally left San Diego on 1 December 1944 for the ten-day trip to Pearl Harbor. Some needed repairs were made, and a good bit more training - gunnery practice, landings, battle-station drills, fire drills, abandon ship drills, etc. - ensued in Hawaii. These activities lasted until 2 January 1945, when she sailed in a convoy to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands, arriving 12 January. After two days in Majuro, the 42 sailed for a week to Manus, in the Admiralty Islands. On 3 February, the 42 departed for the two-day trip to Hollandia, in New Guinea. After ten days in Hollandia, the ship sailed in a convoy with a contingent of LCTs and LCIs, and one destroyer escort, to Leyte, in the Philippines, arriving there 25 February 1945. On 1 March, the 42 left for the island of Mindoro, arriving the next day. On 3 March, we reported to Rear Admiral Forrest B. Royal, USN, Amphibious Group Commander, for training with the LCSs listed in the next paragraph in preparation for landings in the southwestern Philippines.

The wandering had ended and the fighting was about to begin. The LCS(L) 42 became part of Task Group 78.1, joining eleven yard mine sweepers, two cruisers, thirteen destroyers, two destroyer escorts, five LCI(R)s, two LCI(M)s, two LCI(D)s, and LCS(L)s 28, 29, 30, 41, 43, and 50 for an assault on Zamboanga, on the Philippine Island of Mindanao, to be initiated 10 March, 1945, the beginning of consolidating the southern Philippines. The Task Group arrived two days early, as planned, and on 8 March, the 42 joined in minesweeping operations in Basilan Strait, in the seas near where initial landings would be made. On the first day of minesweeping, there was some return fire, and on the second day, a lot more, the 42 knocking out a 6" gun emplacement in addition to several pill boxes and machine-gun nests.

At 0932 on 10 March, the 42 was in the first line of ships that preceded the initial Army wave into Zamboanga, launching rockets at about 1000 yards. Then we strafed the beach the rest of the day. There was some return fire. We patrolled beaches for several days.

On 16 March, we participated in a small invasion on Basilan Island, and this time, there was no opposition. Following orders, the 42 and other ships fired on a village that was supposed to be full of enemy soldiers, but the soldiers had left, and our gunfire killed or wounded several natives (Moros), so medical aid was sent in. We continued patrolling at night and anchoring during the day, returning to Zamboanga on 27 March.

On 31 March, we sailed to participate in a 2 April invasion of Zanga-Zanga, an island some 30 miles off Borneo, then returned to Zamboanga on 4 April. A mine sweeper was lost in the action.

On 9 April, we sailed from Zamboanga to participate in an invasion of the Philippine Island of Jolo, returning the next day. The invasion was accomplished without firing a shot, and we returned the next day. During 14-16 April, the 42 made its return trip to Leyte.

On 9 May, we proceeded from Leyte to participate in another Mindanao site at the mouth of Cagayan River. On 10 May, the invasion was made with no opposition, and on 11 May, the 42 ran aground while patrolling the beaches. With the help of two LCMs and another LCS, we were freed from the sand bar after five hours. The two days later, we fouled one of our screws on a reef. On 19 May, we sailed, limping on one screw, from Mindanao to Leyte, arriving 20 May, and going into dry dock on 23 May.

On 2 June, the LCS 42 sailed three days ahead of the invading Task Force with mine sweepers to prepare for the invasion of Borneo. The sweeping began on 7 June. One fleet mine sweeper was lost in this operation, but in all, about 25 mines were destroyed. The invasion of Borneo began at 0930, 10 June. By 18 June, the 42 had the destruction of 100 mines to its credit.

Early on the morning of 18 June, Rear Admiral Forrest B. Royal, USN, Commander Amphibious Group Six, was found dead in his cabin. He had died sometime during the midwatch from a heart attack.

On 1 July, the 42 sailed from Borneo to Luzon, arriving at Subic Bay on 5 July, and then sailed to Manila on 20 July for liberty, arriving the next day. The ship returned to Subic Bay on 23 July and began training with troops for the invasion of Japan.

Then the war ended when Japan surrendered on 15 August, 1945.

On 30 August, the 42 sailed for Okinawa, but engine trouble, in conjunction with hearing of a typhoon dictated a return to Subic Bay, arriving on 3 September with a broken crankshaft. Then on 14 September, with a new engine, the 42 sailed for Okinawa again, arriving 19 September. Then on 24 September, the 42 sailed for Korea, arriving four days later in a port, then sailing on 1 October for Pusan, Korea, arriving 3 October. With LCS 48, we escorted some Jap destroyers from Chinkai to Pusan.

On 6 October, the 42 escorted some LSTs into the harbor of Pusan, spotted a mine and blew it up.

On 11 October, the 42 sailed to Chinkai, the largest Jap naval base in Korea, where there were about 7000 Japs who had not been totally disarmed. There were but a few hundred U. S. Army and Navy people in the area. On 15 October, the 42 sailed to Bazan, about ten miles by sea. The purpose of visiting these ports seemed to be simply to make a show of our presence and to aid the small cadre of about 120 U. S. Army troops in keeping order (riots, murders, etc.) among civilians. On 17 October, the 42 took those Koreans who were injured in a train wreck back to Chinhae, and the next day, the ship took the worst of the injured to Pusan for further medical aid. On 20 October, the 42 towed a Korean junk - manned by Jap Navy personnel - to Chinkai. The 42 did other escorting and mine clearing work in the area as well during the next several days, including a 29 October liberty party trip for sailors from the destroyer USS Hubbard (DD 748) from Pusan to Bazan and back.

From 1 November to 10 December, we were busy in a variety of ways, going to and from China and Korea for a wide variety of reasons, some military, some not: ferrying liberty parties of various sorts, getting minor repairs, patrolling areas, sweeping for mines, etc.

On 10 December, the 42 received orders to go to Okinawa, and it did, arriving three days later. On 15 December, it left Okinawa and sailed home, stopping off at Saipan, Eniwetok, and Pearl Harbor, arriving in San Francisco on February 5, 1946. It was eventually decommissioned and sold to Martin B. Dahl, Seattle, WA, on 7 October 1947.

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