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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Lost to enemy action, 10-11 May 1945


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal

Individual Awards

Purple Heart (4 KIA - MoMM2/c Lewis Cohen, Steward Theodore R. Strong, MoMM 1/c Robert Swett, SC 1/c Richard E. Hoetger - 3 WIA SC3 Frank Ness, YN1 Edward P. ConIiffe, NM1 William Brown)

USAV FS-255 was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Freight-Supply Vessel
  • Laid down, circa 1944, as the Design 381 Freight-Supply Vessel FS-255 for the US Army at Wheeler Ship Building, Whitestone, N.Y.
  • Launched in 1944
  • Delivered to the US Army Quartermaster Corps
  • Assigned to the US Army Transportation Corps
  • Commission USAV FS-255, 6 June 1944, at Whitestone, N.Y. LT Ludwig Ehlers, USCG in command
  • USAV FS-255 was assigned to duty in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater - Southwest Pacific and Western Pacific areas during World War II
  • On 10 May 1945, FS-255 had proceeded to Taloma Bay with the Davao Gulf First Re-Supply Echelon with a cargo of 155-mm ammunition on board, for the use of the 24th Division, U.S. Army in their operations against the enemy
  • On the night of 10-11 May 1945, FS-255 was anchored in 17 fathoms of water, 1000 yards, 140 degrees from the pier at the head of Taloma Bay, Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippines
  • Both #1 and #2 hatches were open and about 80 tons of ammunition were still on board
  • The ship was dark and the quartermaster on watch was on the bridge and the security watch on #2 hatch, and the engineer on watch in the engine room
  • The weather was rainy and thick when at 0030, 11 May 1945, she was struck by a torpedo on her port quarter in the after crew's compartment
  • LT. George A. Tardif, the commanding officer was in his berth at the time, but immediately went on deck with a battle light to ascertain the cause of the explosion and extent of damage
  • He found that the torpedo had hit her on the port quarter and ordered all hands checked and a search for injured men. Three injured men were found, SC3 Frank Ness, YN1 Edward P. Conliffe, and NM1 William Brown
  • The torpedo caused fatal damage to the ship; the main engines were nearly flooded and water was pouring into the engine rooms from the bulkhead aft which was badly ruptured, the officer's wardroom, galley and crew's mess hall aft were completely destroyed and it was impossible to proceed further forward or aft, on the boat deck the lifeboat had its stern blown off and blasted out of her cradle and the gig had the stern blown open and the propeller and shaft bent double and also blown out of her cradle and hanging over the side by the forward falls, the bow 40 mm gun had been blown off and one ready ammunition box belonging to it was found on the forecastle head near the anchor winch with 40 mm shells about forward of #1 hatch, the ship had buckled between #2 hatch and the bridge structure with foot high ridges in the deck plating, extending down the sides of the ship into the water, examination of the crews quarters indicated that MoMM 2/c Lewis Cohen and Steward Theodore R. Strong who were sleeping in the crew's quarters aft were nowhere to be seen, MoMM 1/c Robert Swett and SC 1/c Richard E. Hoetger who were sleeping in hammocks on the fantail beneath the aft 40mm gun platform were also not found, large masses of blood were seen on the deck which had been blown to a 90 degree angle.
  • Two life rafts were launched and men ordered to board them and to stand off clear of the ship, three minutes later FS-255 turned over on her port side and sank at 0050
  • All survivors were picked up by USS LCI(G)-21 ten minutes later
  • Out of a total enlisted complement of 20, 16 survived. All four officers also survived.
    Displacement (As Built) 557 gross tons
    Length (As Built) 177'
    Beam 32'
    Draft 14'
    Speed 12 kts
    Freight Capacity unknown
    Officers 4
    Enlisted 20
    two single 40mm gun mounts
    Propulsion two 500hp GM Cleveland Division 6-278A 6-cyl V6 diesel engines, twin screws
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    Size Image Description Contributed
    There are no images of FS-255 available at NavSource

    There is no history record available for FS-255 at NavSource
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Ehlers, Ludwig, USCG6 June 1944 - 3 August 1944
    02LT. Maloney, Robert F., USCGR3 August 1944 - ?
    03LT. Tardif, George A., USCG? - 11 May 1945-sunk

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    Last Updated 25 February 2022