Upon commissioning in Portland, Oregon on 4 December 1944, the LCS 62 immediately sailed for San Diego, inclusion in Flotilla Four, and shakedown. There, under the guidance of Captain N. Phillips, the Commodore of the Flotilla, the ships underwent extremely intensive training and maneuvers afloat, designed to meet every conceivable battle emergency. The training, strenuous as it was, paid excellent dividends.
By 8 February 1945, the 62 was "in all respects ready for sea" and began the long trek across 8000 miles of the Pacific. Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok became memories of rear areas. Last-minute preparations were finished at Saipan and another fight for the Navy loomed in the near future. The men of the 62 sailed from Saipan escorting a convoy, knowing full well that "this was it", the long-awaited invasion.
On 1 April the 62, with a group of sister ships, closed the beaches of Okinawa. Standing into shore so near it was possible to identify objects visually, the 62 and her sisters commenced a D-Day bombardment which demolished pillboxes, gun emplacements, other enemy installations and targets of opportunity.
Immediately after the bombardment, the 62 was assigned duty on radar picket stations. She became one of the famous "little ships" to stand off the main invasion beaches of Okinawa, at a distance of 25-80 miles, intercept Jap bombers, suicide planes, engage them if possible, and warn the main forces of the approach of enemy aircraft. Action was not long in coming. In a night engagement on 3 April, the LCS 62 was part of a radar picket force which accounted for six enemy aircraft shot down in flames. The 62 personally accounted for a bomber, and assisted in the destruction of a fighter on that night alone. Force of circumstances made these lads veterans in a hurry, and all hands breathed a short prayer of gratitude for the training they received.
In the days that followed, "radar picket" became bywords in the glorious history of Naval warfare. Special honor for achievement to these mighty little ships was given by Admirals Nimitz and Turner. The LCS 62 went through over 150 air raids and was at general quarters over 200 times before the campaign was actually, as well as officially, over.
Radar picket duty was the important show at Okinawa, but there were others too. During so-called "rest periods" from radar picket, the 62 covered large fleet units with a protective vest of smoke, making them invisible to hunting kamikaze pilots. Also during rest periods, the 62 patrolled Naval anchorages against the forays of suicide boats and swimmers. On the night of 6 June, the LCS 62 encountered a load of suicide swimmers, and in a running engagement lasting over an hour, succeeded in sinking the Jap boat and in killing all its occupants.
On the last day of the campaign at Okinawa, 22 June, the LCS 62 while on radar picket station had one last crack at the suicide planes, and in a night engagement shot down a Japanese twin-engine bomber, bringing her score up to three enemy planes accounted for.
On 10 July the 62, along with other weary sister ships, headed back for Leyte, Philippine Islands, a rear area, and rehabilitation after 110 consecutive days of combat. The tour of duty, so far, has enabled all hands on board to wear the following campaign ribbons: American Theater, Asiatic-Pacific Theater (stars to be authorized), and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.
After availability and rest at Leyte Gulf, the LCS 62 received sailing orders. On 3 September, in company with all the ships of LCS Flotilla Four, the 62 sailed for Tokyo Bay, Japan, arriving there on 11 September. Although held in a complete state of readiness for any contingency, none to date (26 September) has arisen.
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