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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive


"Re: the 273 -- there is no mention of the fact that she had a painting on both sides of her 'flying' bridge. The painting was authorized by Disney himself. And had the moniker of "GALLOPING GREEN GHOST". The Japanese Navy, sub service actually reported her as being sunk on a return trip to Ulithi atoll from Okinawa on a re-supply mission where she witnessed a burned out USS FRANKLIN coming in after being kamikazied off Okinawa.

There is also no mention of how an almost new Akagi (not sure of name) class destroyer coming alongside just NE of Guam, we thought we were goners watching her come over the horizon, even tho' war had been over some hours before, she steamed up alongside and as she did she dropped her colors and ran up the white flag of surrender - her crew lined the rail, and held out bottles of sake, yelling "sake for coke! Their CO, a full CDR in RJN, surrendered his sword to our LT. We then sent a JG a BM1, and 4 or five other ratings who then took her into Apra Harbor, Guam. So LST 273 had a real war prize, yet I have never seen this mentioned anywhere, and it rightfully should be. If the logs still exist they can be proof, I'm not sure how many, like myself, are still alive to be witness.

She (the 273) also performed another historic duty. In 1945 she was refitted at Portland, Oregon. Then sailed to PH and received orders to the Port of Auckland, NZ via New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Rendova Is., picking up surplus to be delivered to the New Zealanders. After off loading the tank deck was converted into bunking spaces and quarters for some 275 POW's. After a harrowing journey through bad storms and main engine troubles we arrived in Apra Harbor, Guam, M.Is. where the POW's were off loaded to POW camps to be prepared for return to Japan. Some were held for war crimes trials there. So you see she was an historic vessel even if she was of 'lowly stature' in many eyes. She deserved a better 'after life' than to be broken up.

Thanks for listening: Melvin W. JOHNSON, ICC(SSN)(SSGN,USN Retired." Yes after leaving her I served in subs, then trained for NuPow and ended up on another historic craft - the USS HALIBUT SSGN587.

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Last updated 12 March 2004