Lt. Joseph J. Cardamone, Commanding Officer
It was on the swift-flowing Willamette River at Portland, Oregon that the USS LCS 92 was commissioned on January 8th, 1945. Like the ship itself, the ceremony was simple, compact and diminutive. A superficial but extensive inspection convinced the Captain, the five junior officers and the 65 men who made up the crew that the ship’s builders, Commercial Iron Works, had turned out a good, trim fighting ship.
Ten furious days of outfitting, checking and requisitioning followed. On January 16th the LCS 92 was deemed “in all respects ready for sea”. All lines were cast off and she slipped slowly down the Willamette, through the famed Columbia River and out into the Pacific Ocean.
San Diego, California was the destination, and it was reached on the 23rd of January after a voyage that was full of surprises, some pleasant and some otherwise. Then came a six-week shakedown and training period, a period in which flaws were eliminated from both men and ship.
On March 3rd, 1945, the shakedown program was abruptly ended, and the LCS 92 left the United States Continental limits for Pearl Harbor, arriving there March 12th. A new training schedule was begun at Pearl Harbor. It was called “advanced training” and lasted for a full month.
From Pearl Harbor on the 13th of April the ship sailed to Eniwetok. The anchor was dropped in this Marshall Island stronghold on the 24th of April, 1945.
Some minor repairs, a full supply of provisions, fuel and water and the “92” was ready for another trip. Four days later, April 28th, the ship departed from Eniwetok. The next stop was made at Saipan in the Marianas Group on the 3rd of May. There was just a two-day stopover here and the LCS 92 was again underway, this time for Okinawa, performing convoy duty enroute.
After a safe, uneventful voyage Okinawa was reached May 10th, 1945. The “92” really came in contact with the war for the first time. As the anchor was dropped, the screaming of shells from battleships, cruisers and destroyers could be heard overhead. It was one of the many bombardments the Japs were subjected to. Between the date of arrival and the date of departure from Okinawa, July 22nd, the ship was at General Quarters scores of times. Often “bogeys” were reported nearby several times in a single day. The “Kamikaze Kids” were on a rampage. Most of them were downed but the small percentage that did get through produced severe naval casualties.
On the 25th of May the ship left Okinawa for its first Picket Line duty at Station number 9. Now began ten endless days of patrolling deep in enemy waters. It was on this Radar Picket station on the 29th of May that an unusually intense attack occurred. Hardly had the General Quarters buzzer ceased sounding than a “Zeke” was seen diving across the fantail. The gunners were “on target” immediately and a moment later the plane disintegrated.
Back in Okinawa a few days later the ship was assigned to anti-suicide boat duty and given several smoke screen assignments. Then the LCS 92 returned to picket duty, this time on notorious Radar Picket station 16A, “Mainstreet” for the Kamikazes. At this station there were even more alerts, more enemy planes overhead and more sleepless nights.
Upon returning from this duty the “92” was stationed at Ie Shima, furnishing smoke screens at night and anti-aircraft protection by day. The routine was occasionally broken by orders to check a certain area for floating mines or to conduct a search for “splashed” allied flyiers. One day a flyer, who had bailed out of his wrecked Black Widow after a mission over Kyushu, was picked up.
Finally it was time to leave Okinawa and on the 22nd of July the anchor was housed and the ship got underway for the Philippine Islands, for rehabilitation and availability. Five days later the ship was anchored in San Pedro Bay near Leyte Gulf. Here a number of minor repairs were made, the ship was painted and the crew given some well-earned recreation. This routine continued until V-J day plus one, September 3rd, when the ship once more got underway. The destination was Tokyo, Japan as a part of the Third Fleet Occupational Forces. Here, in Tokyo Bay, the ship remained until 1 October, 1945.
The LCS 92 left Tokyo Bay in February 1946 and sailed to the United States via Guam, Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, arriving in San Francisco on 1 April 1946, a beautiful, sunny morning. The Golden Gate bridge was a sight to behold. The ship was then placed in the Reserve Fleet at Astoria, Oregon in the summer of 1946. In 1951, the 92 was stricken from the Naval Register and scrapped.
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