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LCS(L)(3)-82 / LSSL-82


A SHORT HISTORY OF LCS 82

 

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF LCS(L)(3) 82

by

††††† John Rooney, Radioman

 

On November 12, 1944, the LCS(L)(3) 82 was christened at the Commercial Iron Works, Portland Oregon.Hull #211 was the 41st ship built by CIW since the start of the war. On the 27th, the 82 was commissioned into the U.S. Navy, nineteen-year old Ensign Peter Beierl, U.S. Naval Academy 1944, taking command of the ship.

The 82 was manned by a mix of battle-experienced sailors from the Normandy Invasion and quickly-trained greenhorns from the service schools.On December 7 she sailed in company with LCS 81 down the Columbia River and off the fogbound coasts of Oregon and California to San Diego. There several gunnery exercises were conducted offshore. On 15 December, 82 joined training operations, standing out of San Diego Harbor in company with LCSs 25, 61, 24 and 22, with LCS 58 as flag.

 

In mid-January 1945, LCS 82 departed San Diego for Hawaii, in company with eight LCSs and one LCI, and reached Oahu nine days later.For 15 days there the ship loaded provisions and fitted more equipment aboard, while the crew attended schools and took liberty.

 

On 15 February LCS 82 departed Pearl Harbor in company with six LCIs, LCSs 23, 83 and 81, YMSs 160, 392 and 338, and 36 LCTs which were to be shepherded to Guam at their six-knot speed. The LCTs, prone to engine breakdowns, were towed by LCSs from time to time along the way to Guam.

 

The 82 anchored at Majuro for provisions and water, and a welcome beer party and swim in the clear lagoon. Next stop was Eniwetok for fuel and provisions, and then the final stretch to Guam, where 82 arrived six weeks after leaving Hawaii.

 

The 82 then proceeded to the Ulithi staging area, took provisions and fuel and Rest and Rehabilitation on the island of Mog-Mog. In Early April, 82 departed Ulithi for Okinawa, in company with seven LCSs, two destroyers, two fleet tugs, a repair ship and a Landing Ship Dock.

 

Arrival at Kerama Rhetto, near Okinawa, introduced the 82 to the effects of the kamikaze air strikes against ships on the radar picket line, seeing the broken and battered hulks sitting there.

 

May 11, 1945 found LCS 82 on radar picket station 15, with destroyers HADLEY (DD-774), EVANS (DD-552), LCS 83, LCS 84 and LSM 193. That day the station was attacked by more than 100 kamikaze aircraft, many of which crashed into the destroyers, disabling them and leaving them afire and sinking. The 82 tied up Chinese gangway alongside EVANSí starboard foícísle when she came dead in the water, to fight her fires and flooding and treat her wounded.LCS 84 tied up to EVANSí port side.A Japanese Val dive bomber suddenly dropped out of the clouds in a bow-on suicide run on EVANS, and was shot down by 82's after twin 40MM.When the attack subsided, 82 had splashed three planes and assisted on two.The fleet tug U.S.S. ARIKARA (ATF-98) arrived on the station, put pumps aboard the EVANS, got her stabilized and towed her into Kerama Retto.The 82 followed.††

 

Meantime, the HADLEY, which was being kept afloat by LCS 83 and LSM 193, had shot down and taken aboard about 25 kamikazes, a record.Wrecked, she was also towed into Kerama Retto by a fleet tug.Between HADLEY and EVANS they had accounted for about 45 kamikazes destroyed that morning.

 

For assisting the EVANS the LCS 82 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, her Captain the bronze star.

 

The change-off to picket line duty had the 82 guarding Okinawa's harbor perimeters and providing inshore artillery support for the Army and Marines ground campaign on the south side of the island, firing rockets into the beach and gunfire into caves.Evenings the 82 made smoke to obscure big ships in Hagushi anchorage and patrolled for suicide swimmers and motorboats.

 

The 82 had one near-fatal midnight encounter with an explosive-filled suicide motorboat, which when discovered, illuminated and fired upon, rushed in under the depression limit of her guns.Before crashing into her stern the suicide boat inexplicably veered away, to be disposed of by 82ís gunfire, with help from LCSs 19 and 84.This action brought a commendation from Admiral R. K. Turner, Commander of Amphibious Forces, Pacific, for the three ships, as well as other LCS patrols that helped break up a large suicide boat attack that night.

 

On May 27, LCS 82 was patrolling on picket station Five, with destroyers BRAINE (DD-630) and ANTHONY (DD-515), LCSs 13, 86 and 123, in cloudy weather that kept our Combat Air Patrol planes on the ground.Three bogies jumped the station, one shot down by LCS 86 and two of them crashing BRAINE.All LCSs followed the burning, out-of-control BRAINE, picking up survivors in the water, then came alongside the DD when she stopped, to fight fires and treat her casualties: 67 killed, 103 wounded.That was 82's last picket station action.

 

After Okinawa, rest and rehabilitation in the Philippines brought the news of the war's ending.After a couple of months duty in the Occupation Force in Tokyo Bay, LCS 82 sailed for home via Saipan, Pearl Harbor and Seattle, Washington.She was decommissioned, then mothballed on the Columbia River, at Tongue Point, Oregon, nested between LCS 10 and LCS 86.


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