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USS LST 125
FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
4 April 1945
From: The Commanding Officer
To: The Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
Via: (1) The Commander LST Group 7 (Commander Red Unit of TU 53.3.1)
(2) The Commander LST Flotilla 3 (CTU 53.3.1)
(3) The Commander Amphibious Group 4 (CTF 53)
(4) The Commander Amphibious Forces, US Pacific Fleet (CTF 51)
(5) The Comander FIFTH Fleet
(6) The Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet
Subject: Action Report 27 February 1945 to 4 April 1945
Reference: (a) Pac Flt Ltr. 1CL-45 of 1 January 1945,
(b) Commander LST Flotilla 3 Movement Order 1-45, file #A16-3, Serial 0003 of 11 March 1945
(c) ALNAV #215 of 30 November 1944
1. Underway in company of TU 51.12.1 at 0845 (L) 12 March 1945 from Port Purvis, Florida Island, S. I. to Ulithi Islands. Weather enroute was clear with a calm sea and good visibility until approximately 0800 (L) 18 March 1945 at which time a strong breeze developed which increased in velocity throughout the day and night to a moderate gale at 0700 (LK) 19 March 1945. This condition accompanied by frequent rains prevailed in general until arrival at Ulithi Islands at 1130 (K) 21 March 1945.
2. Anchored of Fassarai Island, Ulithi Island from 1204 (K) 21 March 1945 to 1618 (K) 25 March 945 for logistics and repair.
3. Underway at 1618 (K) 25 March 1945 in company of TU 51.12.1 from Ulithi Islands to Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands. Frequent rains with a strong breeze to moderate gale prevailed until approximately 0500 (I) 31 March 1945, clearing at that time and calming to a gentle to moderate breeze with good visibility.
4. Arrived Okinawa Shima 0630 (I) 1 April 1945 in clear weather, a calm sea and good visibility.
5. The performance of all guns and personnel with the exception of the one incident listed below have been entirely satisfactory to date of this writing.
6. I personally have observed only 4 enemy planes and have opened fire on enemy planes only once. At 1910 (I) on 2 April 1945 we took under fire 3 enemy planes approaching high on the port side. It was my observation that these planes were out of range, that our fire was unnecessary, and I ordered all guns to cease firing. I did not open fire on the fourth plane mentioned due to its proximity to surface craft of the Task Unit.
7. In the unfortuante shooting down of the friendly plane referred to in ComLSTFlot 3's Mailgram 020005 of April 1945, we opened fire with one 20MM gun, expending one magazine of ammunition. Word was passed over the battle phones by the gunnery officer that it was friendly and all stations were cautioned to hold fire. The man who took the plane under fire did so without orders from the conning tower or his gunnery control officer and was ordered to cease firing immediately as he began. It was evident that he acted impulsively and was influenced by the great number of ships which already had the plane under fire.
8. The total ammunition expended to date of this writing for the entire operation (excluding drills) is 52 rounds of 40MM and 153 rounds of 20MM.
9. No damage to the ship or cargo carried has been sustained from enemy action to date of this writing.
10. Four 3 x 7 pontoon barges of the 20th Naval Construction Pontoon Detachment were loaded at Sunlight Channel, Russell Islands, S. I. on 23 February 1945. Loading commenced at 1330 (L) and was completed at 1515 (L). One officer and 22 enlisted men of the same organization were embarked at the same time for maintenance and final disposition of the barges at the objective area.
11. These men and the barges in their charge were disembarked on 1 April 1945 off shore at Okinawa Shima. Launching commenced at 0928 (I) and was completed at 1010 (I).
12. Twenty eight hundred rounds of high explosive 4.2 inch naval mortar and 200 rounds of 4.2 inch of white phosphorus smoke naval mortar were loaded at Tulagi, Florida Island, S. I. We beached on Green Beach 1 at 1504 (L) on 27 February 1945 and commenced loading at 1745 (L). Loading was completed on 27 February 1945 and commenced loading at 1745 (L). Loading was completed at 2255 (L) and we retracted from the beach at 0721 (L) on 28 February 1945.
13. This ammunition was stowed on the main deck directly forward of the deck house, and was loaded entirely by ships company personnel.
14. On 3 March 1945 at Kokumbona Beach, Guadalcanal, S. I. miscellaneous vehicles (jeeps, recons, 2 1/2 ton trucks, and trailers) and 70 drums of gasoline of the 6th Tank Battalion, 6th Marine Division were loaded on the main deck. These vehicles were loaded and secured by selected members of ships company and a ten man working detail provided by the Marines.
15. We beached at 1543 (L) 2 March 1945 and commenced loading at 1000 3 March 1945. Loading was completed at 2200 3 March and we retracted from beach at 0716 4 March 1945.
16. At 1146 (L) 6 March 1945 we beached again on Kokumbona Beach, Guadalcanal, S. I. to load 100 tons of ammunition, 7 1/2 tons of rations, ten tons of miscellaneous cargo, eight medium tanks M4A3 (T-6) and one LVT (4) of the 6th Tank Battalion, 6th Marine Division. Loading commenced at 1640 (L). A fifty man working party was provided by the Marines to load the ammunition, rations and other cargo and 2 men, exclusive of the drivers, were provided to direct the loading of the tanks and LVT.
17. Upon completion of cargo loading, 5 officers and 106 enlisted men of the 6th Tank Battalion, 6th Marine Division were embarked. Loading and embarkation was completed at 1500 (L) 8 March 1945 and we retracted from the beach at 1602 (L).
18. At 1740 (L) on 10 March 1945, 30 drums of cargo gasoline were loaded from the USS LCT 1026 at Port Purvis, Florida Island, S. I. Loading was accomplished by ships company.
19. The ammunition, rations, and miscellaneous cargo listed above were stowed on the port side of the tank deck. The tanks were stowed in double column along the starboard side with the LVT forward under the forecastle. The cargo gasoline was secured outboard of the rolling stock on the main deck.
20. The unloading of tanks commenced at 0722 (I) 1 April 1945 off shore of Okinawa Shima and was completed at 0758 (I). The LVT was unloaded at the same time. The unloading of ammunition, gasoline, rations and other bulk cargo was accomplished off shore over the side of the ship into amphibious craft. Two LCVP's and 5 LVT's were provided for this purpose. Unloading commenced at 1640 (I) 1 April 1945 and was completed at 1000 2 April. Unloading of this cargo was accomplished by selected members of ships company and a 40 man Marine working party (exclusive of vehicle drivers),
21. The naval mortar mentioned in paragraph (12) was unloaded off shore of Okinawa Shima over the side of the ship to LCI(M)'s as listed below: USS LCI (M) 801 - 850 rounds
USS LCI (M) 808 - 700 rounds
USS LCI (M) 805 - 700 rounds
USS LCI (M) 804 - 500 rounds
USS LCI (M) 809 - 250 rounds.
Unloading commenced at 0830 (I) and was completed at 1350 (I) on 3 March 1945. This unloading accomplished entirely by ships company.
22. We beached on Green Beach 2 of Okinawa Shima at 1824 (I) on 3 April 1945 and unloading of rolling stock mentioned in paragraph (14) commenced at 1840 (I) over the ramp. Due to the condition of the tide and lack of suitable amphibious vehicles it was necessary to discontinue unloading at 2100 (I) and unloading was not resumed until 1510 (I) 4 April 1945. A 10 man working party was provided to assist selected members of ships company with this unloading. All cargo and troop personnel were disembarked by 1615 (I) 4 April 1945 and we retracted from the beach at 1703 (I).
23. Excessive delay in unloading the bulk cargo was principly due to the insufficient number of amphibious craft provided for that purpose. Delay in unloading the rolling stock was due to a very poor beach and the fact that vehicles could only be unloaded at low tide.
24. Two armored LCVP's are carried by this ship. These were launched at 0702 (I) 1 April 1945 and proceeded to the beach as wave guides for the tanks at about 0800 (I). These boats under the control of two boat officers transferred to this command for temporary duty during this phase of the operation from the USS Marvin M. McIntre (APA 129).
25. Conditions of the beach for the landing of troops and cargo were satisfactory with the exception of deficiencies noted in paragraph (23).
26. No personnel casualties to ships company have been sustained during this operation at this writing.
27. The performance of all personnel has been most satisfactory, particularly during the long period of heavy weather encountered enroute to the objective. It is a pleasure to report that all officers and men performed in accordance with the best naval traditions.
28. The cooperation of Marine and Naval personnel was smooth, without friction, and in such a friendly manner as to insure optimum results under sometimes trying circumstances.
29. Conclusions arrived at thus far from experience in this and other operations strengthen my belief that even more attention must be given to the training of gun crews, particularly in fire control discipline. Congruously it is clear that more training in aircraft recognition must be administered. It is my belief that more of the time devoted to maneuvers could well be spent in firing practices and gunnery drills.
30. I fully realize and heartily concur that these operations must take priority over all matters of routine and administration. However, in accordance with part VIII of reference (a) I respectfully recommend that maximum availabilities be granted to older ships whenever such is possible. My experience has proven that the necessity of making frequent repairs underway is not only a danger to operations expediency, but tends to over-fatigue the crew.
C. S. V. Moore, Lieutenant, USNR, Commanding