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Deck Log for 19 to 24 October 1944

Submitted by Susan Bloom
Thursday, 19 October, 1944

Zone -9

0800 10-03 N; 127-25 E

1200 09-52 N; 127-04 E

2000 10-17 N; 126-12 E

Steaming as before.

1420 Formed approach Disposition "Charlie 7" as previously described. Destroyers ahead consist of USS MONSSEN, USS McDERMOTT, USS McGOWAN, USS REMEY (OTC), USS STEMBEL; USS LUCE van of group Baker flanked by USS MELVIN and USS MERTZ; astern USS McNAIR. Three YMS 12000 yards ahead at 4000 yards interval ready to sweep.

1625 Three APDs passed formation on starboard hand, about 4 miles distance on opposite course.

1630 Sighted SIARGAO Island bearing 250 Degrees T, distance approximately 40 miles..

1915 Set condition of Readiness for action I at all gun stations. Condition II in the Engine rooms, and Condition III in Ship Control.

2205 Sighted fixed white light on starboard bow.

2230 Sighted fixed white light bearing 270 Degrees T. Light appeared to be for the purpose of indicating correct approach through swept area. Could not identify whether they were on land or ships.

Friday, 20 October 1944

0800 10-58 N; 125-05 E

1200 10-56 N; 125-06 E


Steaming as before.

0140 SC 1375 reported surface contact bearing 080 Degrees T, distance 1200 yards.

0154 SC 1375 reported five small surface contacts bearing 090 Degrees T - 180 Degrees T, distance five miles

0550 Executed speed 0, laying to approximately 5 miles off Leyte Island, LEYTE GULF, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

0610 Observed destroyers on starboard beam in vicinity of attack group "Baker" firing on a low flying aircraft.

0614 Opened fire on an aircraft apparently diving towards van of formation. Could not identify although it appeared to be Jap fighter. Plane dodged through fairly heavy fire from LSTs and appeared to get away about 290 Degrees T. Did not observe straffing or bombs exploding.

0640 Anchored with stern anchor in LST initial area, approximately 5 miles off DULAG bearing 287 Degrees T.

0716 Underway on orders from CTG 79.5.3 (LST 451) to come alongside for anchorage assignment.

0750 Anchored 300 yards astern of USS LST 461 in LST standby area, DULAG bearing 290 Degrees T. Observed shore bombardment increasing in intensity.

0908 Underway on signal from USS LST 219 (OTC) proceeding with LST carrying 24th Corps Supplies to LST reserve area I. (Annex F to CTG 79.3 landing Attack order 11-44). Proceeding in column with USS LSTs 219, 123, 207, 488, 125, 478, 482.

1015 Lay to on heading on 010 Degrees T in reserve area I.

1030 Received orders from CTG 79.5 to follow transport in and anchor in reserve area II.

1125 Anchored at discretion in southeastern corner of reserve area II, and commenced launching pontoon barges in accordance with direct orders from CTG 79.5.

1148 Barge #3 launched.

1205 Barge #4 launched.

1345 Barge #1 launched.

1415 Barge #2 launched.

1425 Barges 3 and 4 dispatched to USS CAVALIER.

1610 Sighted AA fire at 90 Degrees Rel. and plane making low run in northerly direction. Ship went to general quarters. Observed straffing and 2 bombs explode. Did not observe any ships to be hit.

1621 Set condition III Victor.

1815 Bogies reported, went to general quarters and commenced making smoke.

1800 Dispatched barges 1 and 2 to USS HEYWOOD - detached all CB Unit aboard.

1825 Several bogies reported.

1830 Flash "Red" - Control "Yellow".

1840 AA fire heard from many ships close by. 5" firing close on our starboard bow. Heard planes overhead. Did not open fire as targets were only observed momentarily and darkness plus smoke adequately obscuring whole area.

1950 Set condition III Victor plus security patrol. Bogie still in area but visibility zero.

"Saturday, 21 October 1944

0800 10-56 N; 125-06 E

Anchored as before.

0000 Received CTF 79 orders to make smoke for 20 minutes.

0100 Received orders to make smoke for 20 minutes and for 20 minutes commencing on the hour during the night.

0504 Went to general quarters for morning alert.

0515 Received Flash "Red", Control "Yellow" report.

0630 Heavy AA Fire around the ship with low 5" bursts directly overhead. Bogies appeared to be proceeding in southerly direction across transport area dropping bombs. One stick of bombs seemed to explode sowmehere off starboard bow. Visibility absolutely zero. Aircraft passed over ship in northerly direction very low. Sounded like an SOC.

0635 Set Condition III Victor.

0850 Went to General Quarters upon sighting 2 planes making fast bombing raid in transport area, about 3000 yards on starboard beam.

0907 Set Condition III Victor, but left midship machine gun group consisting of one 40MM, 2 20MM, 2 single .50 cal., and 2 twin .50 cal. completely manned.

0925 Went to general quarters on Flash "Red" report.

0930 Set condition III Victor, as above, on Flash "White" report.

0944 USS YMS 342 came along starboard side for fuel and fesh water.

0950 USS YMS 71 came along port side for same reason.

0959 YMS 342 left starboard side.

1003 USS YMS 71 left port side. CTG 79.1 corrected his orders in the respect for the above vessels to get fuel and water elsewhere.

1152 Underway to go alongside USS LST 612 to transfer 20,000 gallons fresh water in order to get our stern up to 11 foot draft for beaching.

1234 Moored along port side USS LST 612.

1425 USS YMS 314 moored to our port side for fuel and provisions.

1445 High wind and heavy rain. Commenced preparations to get underway.

1515 USS YMS 314 away from alongside having received 3,000 gallons of fuel.

1545 Underway from alongside proceeding towards previous anchorage.

1612 Anchored in approximately the center of LST reserve area # II.

1708 Went to general quarters on Flash "Red" report.

1748 Set condition III Victor.

1835 Commenced making smoke on receipt of orders from CTG 79.5.

1902 Went to general quarters on Flash "Red" report. Heard light AA fire and bomb burst astern.

1922 Set condition III Victor.

1930 Ceased making smoke.

NOTE: Several pieces of 5" shrapnel found about the main deck and conn."

"Sunday, 22 October 1944

0800 10-58 N; 125-02 E



Anchored as before.

0054 Commenced making smoke as ordered.

0102 Ceased making smoke.

0331 Underway on receipt of orders fro CTU 79.6.1 proceeding towards attack group Baker, transport area, looking for USS YMS 176 having aboard TransGroup Beachmaster who will send pilot to direct us on to beach.

0410 Laying to in transport area.

0445 Picked up pilot.

0508 Manned beaching stations proceeding on course 310 Degrees T at 1/3 speed.

0526 Came left to 285 Degrees T.

0531 Beached on BLUE BEACH I, heading 278 Degrees T, LEYTE ISLAND, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

0542 Commenced making smoke.

0549 Went to general quarters on Flash "Red" report.

0610 Bogies reported.

0628 Kedged stern anchor out to 700 feet.

0640 Ceased making smoke.

0652 Air Flash "White"

0711 Set Condition II manning forward group of Machine-guns consisting of 2 40MM and 2 20MM, plus #24 40MM on the fantail.

0730 Commenced disembarking officers and men of the 198th Field Artillery.

0734 Went to general quarters on Flash "Red" report by CTF 79.

0945 Set Condition II as before. Work continuing building sand causeway to ramp, plus placing pontoon barge between ramp and end of causeway. Bow of ship in 2 feet of water on sand bar, approximately 60 feet from shore. Water is over 4 feet deep between bar and shore.

1230 Commenced unloading all rolling stock.

1820 Commenced making smoke.

1840 Flash "Red" report received from CTF 77.

1842 Went to general quarters.

1848 Ships on beach, plus shore machine guns opened heavy barrage on supposed air target at 110 Degrees Rel, position angle 45 Degrees. No target observed from the conn of this vessel. Number 5 and number 19 40MMs on the starboard bow and quarter firing 21 rounds total - having orders to fire on sighting target. Barrage lasted about 5 minutes. During this period the loader of the midship 40MM was wounded through the right arm presumably from small caliber machine-gun fire on the beach.

1940 Air Flash "White" from CTF 77.

1942 Ceased making smoke and set condition II.

2044 Started main engines and went ahead slowly; Ship becoming bouyant because of high tide.

2130 Ceased unloading because of causeway being washed away.

2203 Infiltration by the enemy on beach directly in front of ship. Apparent by increased small arms fire. Blacked out ship entirely and raised ramp. This vessel drawing light machine gun fire from a point about 310 Degrees Rel. at 500 yards. Exposure of personnel about the bridge and foc'sle results in a short burst of fire. Requested beach units to turn off their search lights which are illuminating the beach for a thousand yards. Beach blacked out directly in front of ship. All personnel aboard remaining under cover topsides. Machine gun fire continued intermittently during the night at this vessel. Believed for the purpose of delaying unloading."

Monday, 23 October 1944

Zone -9

0800 10-58 N; 125-02 E



0515 Commenced making smoke.

0535 Went to general quarters on Flash "red" report.

0625 Opened fire on aircraft bearing 270 Degrees Rel. course approximately 290 Degrees T., position angle 60 Degrees. Aircraft passed safely through fire of LSTs going inland. Could not identify plane. Expended 153 rounds of 40MM and 470 rounds of 20MM.

1130 Commenced unloading.

1820 Went to general quarters on sighting AA bursts off shore vicinity CATMON HILL. Commenced making smoke.

1907 Ceased making smoke and set condition II.

2042 Completed unloading and all army units disembarked.

2142 Retracted from beach proceeding to LST standby area in accordance with orders from CTU 79.5.3.

2300 Anchored in left flank of LST standby area opposite pier at Dulag.

NOTE: Several small caliber bullets were found over various parts of topside.

Tuesday, 24 October 1944

0800 10-58 N; 125-02 E

1200 10-52 N; 126-17 E

2000 10-22 N; 125-53 E

Anchored as before.

0216 Underway proceeding into Violet Beach to attempt to tow USS LST 461 off beach (CTU 79.5.3 orders).

0230 Anchored 200 yards astern of USS LST 461.

0306 Passed over messenger towing cable fouled some obstruction on the bottom.

0515 Commenced towing.

0535 Commenced making smoke.

0607 Shackle parted securing towing cable on USS LST 461.

0650 USS LST 461 secured our cable once more.

0745 Ceased towing operations, tide at low water. USS LST 461 well on the beach.

0753 Went to general quarters on Air Flash "Red".

0820 Many bogies in area. Light AA Fire heard.

0823 Observed bombs explode off Blue Beach 300 yards from shore.

0828 Enemy planes reported in beach area. Sighted what appears to be enemy fighters passing astern, inland bearing 280 Degrees T.

0920 Ceased making smoke.

0930 Set Condition III Victor on Flash "White" report.

0948 Underway on receipt of orders from CTU 79.5.2 directing us to proceed through transport area and form cruising disposition on seaward side. (Ref. CTF 79 dispatch 230450)

1050 Formed cruising disposition LSTs as follows: Column 1 USS LST 451, 125, 123, 488, 611; Column 2 USS LSTs 565 (CTU 79.5.2 ComLSTs), 608, 609, 738, 909; Column 3 - USS LSTs 739, 223, 670, 605. One column of LCIs on each flank of LSTs OTC in USS ERBEN (CTU 79.14.5).

1115 Went to general quarters. Many groups of enemy aircraft over the gulf. Ordered to make smoke. This vessel completely out of smoking apparatus.

1145 Unidentified aircraft coming in towards formation bearing 170 Degrees T. USS ERBEN opened fire - plane turned sharply to the right and then disappeared in clouds bearing 350 Degrees Rel; our course 116 Degrees T.

1150 Distance and interval indicated as 300 and 500 yards respectively.

1151 Sighted AA fire and planes attacking ships and PT boats vicinity of HANDIG Pt., HOMONHON ISLAND. Observed planes attacking transport area. Partly obscured in smoke screen, and AA fire from their screening vessels. This group entirely in the clear, visibility excellent, one DD escorting yet no attack developed in spite of numerous raids being reported on air warning frequency.

1255 Commenced executing simultaneous turns waiting for task group Baker and our screen sighted at 300 Degrees T to catch up.

1345 Set condition III Victor, on report of Flash "White".

1440 All units forming cruising disposition. Baker group 1500 yards astern. Screen moving into respective station.

1705 Went to general quarters. Many bogies reported.

1855 Set condition III Victor.

2255 Gun fire sighted at 030 Degrees T. and 120 Degrees T. Believe USS ERBEN opened fire. Target not identified as to surface or air.

2258 Executed emergency turn to left 45 Degrees.

2303 Ships right to base course 123 Degrees T.

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