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LSM-146 History - Based on wartime letters from my father, Douglas Ladd.

Ensign Douglas Ladd was assigned to LSM-146 in Charleston S.C. directly from training, and before the ship was completed, as "5th. Officer" and "Training Officer". By the time he was discharged his rank was Lieutenant (j.g.) and he was the Captain of LSM-146.

The ship was commissioned in June 1944.

After shakedown and training exercises based from Little Creek, Virginia, in January 1945 the ship was reported to be headed to the Norfolk Navy Yard to be "put in shape for action," including "a new black and green paint job," and "a twin barreled 40mm gun instead of our single." Elsewhere Ensign Ladd wrote of the ship having "six 20mm anti aircraft guns."

They then headed for the Pacific, passing through Panama in mid-March 1945.

After some time in San Diego, the LSM-146 arrived in Pearl Harbor on May 11th 1945. By June 3rd, they were passing through the Marshall Islands, and on June 12th were anchored at Guam, where they remained until July 2nd. The ship then was in various locations in the area of Leyte Gulf, Manilla and Lingayen Gulf until the first week of August 1945.

At the time of the Japanese surrender September 2nd. 1945, the ship was en route in convoy for the invasion of Japan, and only 300 miles distant. They reached Okinawa, but were soon returned to Subic Bay, Luzon. On September 14th. they were "on the beach" at San Fernando, Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, waiting to load up with "Army motorized equipment."

The ship finally reached Japan and anchored at Wakayama on September 25th. 1945, using what were originally their printed "Invasion Plans." They unloaded on the beach soon thereafter.

LSM-146 remained in service as part of the Occupation, given 'ferry' duty shuttling people, equipment, and freight around coastal Japan, especially in the area of Hiro and Matsuyama, since many road bridges had been destroyed.

As of December 1st. Douglas Ladd was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. By February 12th. LTjg Ladd was Captain of LSM-146.

He replaced "Mr. Crowe," who had replaced the captain George C. Madgouranis in early December, as more senior officers managed to get enough "points" to return to the US and/or be discharged.

LTjg. Ladd himself turned over command of the LSM-146 to another captain on April 8th 1945 and began his own return journey to the United States.

s/s Peter Ladd