USS LST 125
FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
From: ENTWISTLE, Ralph T. Jr., Ensign, USNR
To: The Commanding Officer
Subject: Action Report - 17 June 1944
1. Upon approaching my general quarters station as control officer of the forward group of guns, I saw three aircraft running parallel to our formation low on the water on the horizon. They turned toward us to attach the USS STEMBLE, approximately 6000 yards on our starboard beam, who began to put up a 5" 38 cal. barrage. I immediately ordered all men to their guns to stand by to repel an air attack, and hearing no orders from the gunnery control officer over the phones, I took control of my group. The nearest plane was approaching broad on our starboard beam, and seeing that #1 40mm gun was unable to bear, I ordered it to track a second plane coming in very low on our starboard bow. #1 40mm commenced firing when the plane was within range, and checked fire, having pu out about thirty rounds of ammunition when it was overhead. This plane left a light trail of black smoke behind it. In the mean time I had ordered #3 20mm gun to commence firing on the first plane on our! starboard beam when it was within range, but the first round jammed and this gun did not fire. That plane veered off our starboard quarter out of my sight. When #1 40mm had checked fire, I immediately had it pick up a third plane approaching on our starboard bow abeam of the leading ships in the formation. I ordered the gun to resume fire when the plane was within range, and checked fire, having got out about forty rounds of ammunition just before the LST ahead of us came in the line of fire. This plane continued its run, very low on the water, among a heavy barrage of fire from the ships ahead, until it dropped a bomb squarely on the bow of a leading LCI. Immediately after the bomb exploded, the plane burst into flames and continued to gain altitude until it dove into the water about 5000 yards beyond on the port bow of the formation. Another plane was soon sighted on our starboard bow on the horizon, but it was apparently turned away by the fire of the USS STEMBLE. ! I then ordered all guns to cease fire and await further orders.
2. Because of the noise and excitement, I was unable to control directly #4 and #5 40mm guns, but I could easily see that these guns were doing their best to repel all attacking planes.
R. T. Entwistle, Jr.