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A BRIEF HISTORY OF USS LCS(L)(3) 130
as compiled from records
W.H. File, Jr., Commanding Officer
The officers and crew for the 130 assembled in Boston in December of 1944.
Members of the original crew were:
Lieut. William H. File Jr.; Ens. Richard W. Bohlander; Ens. Phillip E. Young; Ens. Philip S. Flint; Ens. Alfred (n) Nisonoff; Ens. Glen E. Smith; Abell, William C. S2C; Allen, Robert H. S2C; Anderson, Roy R. S2C; Baker, Fred (n) S2C; Baker, Merritt A. STM2C; Barrie, Robert (n) Jr. GM3C; Beil, Lemual N. S2C; Brock, Levi F. S2C; Brown, Harry A. RT3C; Burgess, Oscar R. F2C; Calder, David E. S2C; Cannon, James E. S2C; Clifton, Homer W. Sr. S2C; Coleman, Herman J. S2C; Conlin, John D. Jr. S1C(SC); Crowley, Arthur L. F2C; Decareau, Joseph P. GM3C; Dickson, Wilbur L. S2C; Elliott, David F. S1C; Etheridge, J.C. S2C; Friel, Leo S. RM3C; Gilbert, Bradbury R. SM3C; Gillespie, John J. QM1C; Greene, George S. S2C; Hickey, Thomas, J. S2C; Hill, Lane W. MOMM1C; Holland, James E. QM3C; Hillingsworth, Hugh (n) S2C; Housand, Luthan C. GM3C; Ivarson, Robert A. S1C; Jakiel, Stanley W. S2C; James, George L. Jr. S1C; Jarrett, John T. S2C; Johnson, Darwin R. BM1C; Johnson, Lukey A. S2C; Karwoske, Frank B. SK3C; Lewis, James E. GM3C; Leyba, Thomas V. SM3C; Linn, John E. SM2C; Luse, Roy D. Sr. MOMM3C; Mathiasen, Paul J. SM3C; McGonigal, James A. GM3C; Motland, Melvin C. SC1C; Munn, Elwood R. S2C; Murphy, Thomas E. PHM2C; Price, David L. F2C; Oakley, Robert C. RM3C; Pudlo, Edward S. GM3C; Rappaport, Robert W. RDM3C; Richards, Irving A. F2C; Rose, Frederick C. F2C; Salomone, Salvatore (n) F2C; Sanders, Clyde A. S1C; Seal, Joe (n) S2C; Selby, William R. GM3C; Skelton, Watson A. S2C; Skiles, Garrett B. S2C; Stegall, Charles O. S2C; Stevens, Edward G. S2C; Tampa, David J. S2C; Thresher, Robert D. EM3C; Tow, Carl (n) S2C; Towers, Mervin, C. F2C; Warren, James D. S2C; Wright, William A. S2C.
She was commissioned January 2, 1945 at Neponset, Massachusetts. After a shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay area and Camp Bradford and Solomons LCS 130 proceeded alone down through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast to San Diego where the crew received some further training and then proceeded via Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok, Guam, Saipan and Okinawa. The 130 arrived at Okinawa on July 2 and was soon thereafter assigned to radar picket station duty.
The 130’s only actual engagement occurred on July 29, 1945 while on radar picket station 9A, off Okinawa, operating with three destroyers and three LCSs (125, 129, 130). LCS 130 was on radar picket duty 10-12 days.
The following five paragraphs are constructed from the ship’s log of LCS 130:
With the addition of LCS 126, these four LCSs comprised Division 26 of Group 13 of LCS(L) Flotilla 5. Our commanding officer, Lt. W.H. File Jr., was also the commander of Division 26 while we were at Okinawa.
Serving with us and the other LCSs on radar picket station 9A were three destroyers: CALLAGHAN (DD792), CASSIN YOUNG (DD793), and PRITCHETT (DD561). At 0044 on July 29, while on patrol, the CALLAGHAN was crashed by a Japanese kamikaze. Within minutes we stopped astern of CALLAGHAN and began rescuing survivors in the water and then we moved alongside the ship’s stern to fight fires on the ship.
After 25 minutes we were ordered by the commander of our station to stand out from the ship. We next fired at a Japanese plane which we hit and knocked down close aboard the PRITCHETT. We then moved to the CALLAGHAN to continue picking up their survivors and to fight fires on their ship. After extinguishing their fires we resumed searching for survivors. Shortly thereafter, at 0231, the CALLAGHAN sank and her depth charges went off, shaking our ship violently.
At that time we discovered water in our boatswain’s locker, caused when our ship ran over and hit the CALLAGHAN’S submerged stern. Our crew later corrected this in early August, after our duty tour, by beaching our ship, digging out from under the bow, and repairing the hole in the hull.
After CALLAGHAN sank, we continued to search for her survivors and to receive them from the destroyer’s small boats. Altogether we rescued 31 of the CALLAGHAN’S survivors.
After our service at Okinawa we went to Subic Bay in the Philippines to stage for the invasion of Japan (Operation Olympic) and after peace was declared we proceeded with a convoy for the occupation by the army of Hiro, the port for Hiroshima. After the uneventful landing there we had a little time off and several of the crew visited Hiroshima. Enough has been said about the destruction there but it was a shocker to all of us. We then proceeded back to Subic Bay where we spent the final months of 1945.
The ship was ordered on January 18, 1946 to proceed to San Diego, and was renamed LSSL-130. On January 14, 1953, she was turned over to the Japanese who renamed her “HAGI”. She was used by them and Thailand until March 27, 1958, when she returned to the U.S. She was finally used for target practice, and sunk on November 14, 1958 at 34 degrees, 21 minutes, 8 seconds North latitude, 140 degrees, 21 minutes, 2 seconds East longitude in 1104 fathoms in the Sea of Japan.
The part that the ship’s commanding officer played in the CALLAGHAN rescue operations is best described in a paragraph from a “Report of Recommendations for Awards” by the Commander of Destroyer Division 110, who was in charge of operations at the radar picket stations:
Lieutenant William Henry File, Jr., USNR, was Commander LCS Division 26 with additional duties of Commanding Officer of LCS 130 during the night of 28-29 July 1945. As Division Commander he skillfully directed the operations of his three LCSs in rendering assistance to the CALLAGHAN, fighting off enemy air attacks and rescuing survivors. As Commanding Officer of the LCS 130 he courageously directed his ship throughout the action. Although enemy planes were in the area he calmly rescued 27 survivors while approaching the CALLAGHAN. He directed his gunfire accurately at an enemy plane which crossed his bow obtaining several hits on the fuselage and knocking off part of the tail causing the plane to crash. He then proceeded with his ship alongside the starboard side of the CALLAGHAN in the vicinity of a large fire around the torpedo tubes and directed his firefighting monitor at the fire until the fire was extinguished, fully aware that the ship might explode at any moment. He remained until ordered to clear because of incoming enemy planes. He made several attempts to return alongside the CALLAGHAN to land a salvage party and attempt to pump water from her but each time was thwarted by renewed air attacks. The CALLAGHAN sank before he could get alongside again. He then searched the area for survivors and picked up four more making a total of 31 survivors rescued.
On the basis of these recommendations Lieutenant File was awarded the Silver Star Medal. The commanding officers of LCSs 125, Lt. Howell C. Cobb; and LCS 129, Lt. Louis A. Brennan; also received medals for their services with LCS 130 on radar picket station 9A on the night of July 28-29, due to the following recommendations:
Lieutenant Howell Clayton COBB, USNR, was Commanding Officer of the LCS 125 during the night of 28-29 July 1945. He skillfully and courageously directed his ship throughout the salvage and rescue operations incident with the sinking of the CALLAGHAN. Although fires were raging on the CALLAGHAN and enemy planes were in the area, he directed his ship alongside her starboard side and fought the fires with his monitors. He rescued 16 men and 10 officers of the CALLAGHAN and remained alongside until heavy explosions forced him to leave. He then maneuvered his ship to transfer survivors from the LCS 129 to the destroyer PRITCHETT after which he searched the area for survivors.
Lieutenant Louis Arthur BRENNAN, USNR, was in command of the LCS 129 during the night of 28-29 July 1945. He skillfully and courageously directed his ship throughout the air attack and the rescue and salvage operation of the CALLAGHAN. When the CALLAGHAN was hit he immediately started to close her to fight fires; however, he was delayed in his approach due to the necessity of stopping to pick up many survivors in the water. His rescue party was well organized and many survivors were picked up from rafts, boats and from the water by life nets. He circled the burning CALLAGHAN, carefully searching for survivors and rescuing many. During this period enemy planes were still attacking and there was great danger from explosions in the CALLAGHAN. He prepared to go alongside to attempt to pump water from the CALLAGHAN but enemy attacks prevented this. The CALLAGHAN sank before he could get alongside. Due to his efforts under most trying conditions, his ship was able to save approximately 65 survivors, several of whom were seriously wounded. These wounded were cared for by his Pharmacist’s Mate and damage control party whose excellent first aid treatment no doubt saved several lives.
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