A Brief History of LCS(L) 67


          The USS LCS [L] [3] 67 was built by the Albina Engine and Machine Works, Portland, Oregon, and commissioned 8 January 1945.  After fitting out at Portland, sailed 18 January for San Diego, California in company with the USS [L] [3] 92, arriving 23 January.  From 26 January to 14 February engaged in shakedown and training in San Diego area, and from 16 February to 28 February in availability status for overhaul.  Designated Flagship LCS [L] [3] Division 23.


          Departed San Diego for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at 1421 3 March, as part of task Unit 6.11.31, twelve LCS’s with Lieut. Commander J.A. Dodson, Jr., USN, as task unit commander.  Arrived off Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii, at 1121 12 March and moored at West Loch, Pearl Harbor.  Underwent further fitting out, overhaul and three training cruises in the Maui-Kahoolawe Islands area while at Hawaii.


          On 13 April, at 1604, departed Pearl Harbor for Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands as part of Task Unit 13.11.4 (12 LCS’s and 1 LC[FF], with Commodore Neill Phillips, USN, as Task Unit Commander.)  At 1501 19 April, crossed the International Date Line at the 180th meridian and all pollywogs were initiated into the Realm of the Golden Dragon.  Arrived at Eniwetok on 24 April, and after minor repair and provisioning, departed for Guam, Marianas Islands, on 28 April.  Arriving off Guam on 2 May, instructed to proceed on to Saipan, Marianas.  Arrived there and anchored on 3 May.


          After taking on fuel and water, left Saipan for Okinawa at 0645 on Saturday, 5 May, serving as auxiliary anti-aircraft escorts for a convoy of 11 ships, with four regular escorts.  First contact with the enemy was reported at 1505 on 8 May, when enemy planes were reported in the vicinity, but none were sighted.  Heavy weather was encountered on the 8th and 9th of May, and floating mines were sighted on the 9th.  On the evening of 9 May, the convoy was attacked by a submarine, which fired a torpedo at one of the escorting DEs.  The escorts dropped depth charges, and the convoy maneuvered clear.  Early on the morning of 10 May there was another submarine attack, but again there were no casualties.


          Arrived at Okinawa at 1453 on 10 May, and was under air attack within an hour.  On 11 May, assigned to provide smoke cover at night for the USS Colorado, which was bombarding the city of Naha.  On 12 May observed suicide planes attack the fleet anchorage at Hagushi and damage USS New Mexico.  On 13 May spent the day on the anti-aircraft screen to seaward of the anchorage, and at night patrolled at the northern edge of the anchorage, on the lookout for Jap suicide boats and swimmers.  From 14 May to 23 May served as fire support ship at Radar Picket Station Number Nine, 50 miles southwest of Okinawa, in company with two destroyers and three other LCSs.


          At sunset on 14 May, an enemy plane flew near station and was fired on, but not hit.  On the 15th two enemy planes were splashed by the destroyers.  Enemy planes were in the area on the 16th but none attacked.  On 17 May, a large number of planes commenced attacking the station in the evening.  The destroyers splashed one at 1928.  The combined fire of LCS 65, 67 and 53 splashed another at 1930. 


          At 1934 the destroyers splashed another.  One suicide plane landed on the forward gun turret of the destroyer USS Douglas H. Fox at 1936, setting her on fire.  Planes continued to attack until 2152, and were kept under fire by destroyers, which came to assist the Fox.  Five men were blown overboard from the Fox, and the LCSs undertook search for survivors all night and the next morning, approaching within four miles of the enemy-held island of Kume Shima, but without success.


          At 1857 on 18 May, a group of six or more planes opened an attack on the station, and at 1913 one Zeke attempted a strafing and suicide run on the ship.  He was shot down 500 yards off the port quarter by a Corsair of the Combat Air Patrol with assisting fire from the LCS 67 and 53.  During the evening the CAP accounted for 3 Vals, 3 Tonys, one Kate and one Zeke in the vicinity of RP9.  Enemy planes were in the vicinity daily, but did not attack again until 21 May, when three planes came in and were driven off by the fire of the destroyers.  On 23 May the LCS 67 was relieved of picket duty and proceeded to the Hagushi anchorage, sinking a mine or buoy en route. 


          During the night of 23-24 May, enemy planes were over the anchorage from 2042 to 0420, setting some fires on the beach.  On 24 May, while 67 was assigned to provide smoke cover for USS New Orleans, bogies came over again at 2019 and 38 raids were plotted between 0000 and 0400.  At 0435 all-clear sounded with over 40 raids plotted during 8 hours of attack.  It was on this night that enemy planes landed on Yonton airfield, close to the Hagushi anchorage.  Planes remained in the area all day 25 May and ships remained on AA screen.  Severe attacks continued through the 26th and 27th, during which period the 67 provided smoke cover for the USS Vicksburg, USS New Mexico and USS Salt Lake City.


          On 28 May at 0125, while making smoke for the USS New Mexico, received orders to proceed to the assistance of the LSS LCS [L] [3] 119, which had been hit by suicide plane while on anti-small boat (skunk) patrol north of the anchorage and was burning badly.  At 0210 assumed LCS 119’s patrol with salvage tug standing by damaged ship.  Planes were active bombing beach until 0847.  At 1011 moved alongside LCS 119 and put pumps into operation to pump out her engine rooms and flooded holds; removed her ten dead and treated remaining casualties.  By 1400 had 119 ready for tow, and towed her into repair ship anchorage.


          Proceeded to Radar Picket Station #5 early on the morning of 29 May.  Station located 40 miles due east of fleet anchorage at Hagushi, necessitating an 80-mile trip around Jap-held southern tip of Okinawa, OTC and guide of LCSs at station.  No enemy action until 3 June when CAP splashed 4 Vals, one Tojo and one Kate.  On the 4th, heavy weather was encountered with a typhoon approaching and the station was secured, all LCSs returning to Hagushi.  Weather cleared on the 5th and resumed station on Roger Peter 5.  Four bogies splashed by CAP on 6 June.  On the 7th, two bogies appeared without previous warning and both were shot down by DDs.  On the 8th, many bogies were in vicinity but none attacked, although one was sighted visually at 0247, passing overhead.  LCS 87 sank a skunk boat (unoccupied) during the morning.  No attacks on the 9th, but observed one Jap shot down by AA fire over the island.  Relieved of picket duty 10 June and returned to anchorage, passing close ashore on the south of Okinawa to observe fighting.


          On 11, 12 and 13 June engaged in logistics, and made smoke as necessary during the night for USS New Orleans and USS Portland.  Dr. Russell, who had replaced Dr. Minard for duty on RP 5, left ship on the 13th.  One 14 June moved to Ie Shima, a few miles northwest of Okinawa, to serve as AA screen, anti-small boat patrol and smokers for ships anchored there.  Under heavy attack nightly through the 26th of June, with heaviest attacks on the 22nd, continuing all day.  On the 16th delivered mail and passengers to Hagushi, and on the 21st escorted LSM to northern tip of Okinawa.  Anchorage attacked by suicide planes in the early morning of the 26th, and one shot down by LCS 69 and another by an LST with 13 splashed by AA fire on the island.  On 4 July made trip to Unttem Ko to establish visual communications with ships there, and on 9 July SS Ole Rolvaag struck fantail and parted anchor cable.  On 12 July, moved to Nago Wan to perform same functions there with LCS 95.


          On 16 July all ships of group returned to Hagushi preparatory to departing area.  Typhoon approaching on the 18th and struck on the 19th, with ships moving to lee of Kouri Shima for shelter.  Remained off Kouri until the 21st of July, and on the 22nd departed Okinawa for the Philippine Islands.




           During the Okinawa campaign, the 67 went to general quarters 82 times, spent 66 and ½ hours at GQ, and 43 hours laying smoke for the big ships in Hagushi harbor. 


          Arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Philippines on 26 July and engaged in logistics and liberty runs until 1 August, when tied up alongside USS Ajax for availability for overhaul.  Still tied up alongside USS Ajax when word of the Japanese offer to surrender was received at 2110 10 August, and ship joined in celebration.  Still in availability on 16 August when dispatch was received from Commander in Chief US Pacific Fleet, at 0155 to cease offensive operations against the Japanese.  Completed availability on 20 August.  Had anti-aircraft firing training trip on 21 August.  Proceeded to Guiuan, Samar on 27 August and returned to normal anchorage on the 28th.


          On 3 September departed from Leyte Gulf in company with entire Flotilla Four, in charge of Captain N. Phillips and proceeded to Tokyo Bay, arriving on the 11th for duty with the occupation forces, serving with Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet until 20 September, and then being transferred to Admiral Spruance’s Fifth Fleet.



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