The LCS(L) 14 arrived off Okinawa the night prior to "invasion-day"-- Easter Sunday and April Fools Day -- 1 April 1945. The ship's 4.5 in. rockets and fire from its 40/20 mm and 50 cal. guns were directed at YELLOW BEACH 1. Mortar fire from the island was light and generally ineffective although a Marine Landing Vehicle Tracked ( LVT) passing near the LCS(L)14 received a direct hit. After the troops were landed on Okinawa, the LCS(L)14 engaged in numerous anti-suicide boat patrols, fought fires and made smoke cover for larger ships in Haguchi anchorage. She also served on the radar picket line off the island on radar picket stations 7, 10, 11, 11A, and 16. The LCS(L)14 destroyed 5 suicide aircraft and 1 suicide boat. The ship was strafed by a suicide plane while on skunk patrol on 4 May, 2 crew members were wounded and received Purple Heart medals but damage to the ship was minor. The ship had a particularly nasty encounter with a Japanese mine that became entangled with the ship's stern anchor cable which was resolved with help from an underwater demolition team.
On 25 June, in company with ships from LCS GROUP EIGHT, the LCS(L)14 sailed for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, P.I. to prepare for the planned invasion of the Japanese home island of Kyushu. While preparing for the up- coming invasion of Kyushu the crew heard the news that the Japanese had surrendered. Liberal amounts of medicinal alcohol (torpedo juice) were dispensed to all-hands in celebration of the welcome news. On 11 September the ship sailed from Leyte, P.I. with LCS GROUP EIGHT to make occupation landings in Japan. A violent typhoon was encountered and an attempt to find a safe haven at Okinawa was unsuccessful. The ship was directed to put to sea and ride-out the storm which it managed to do without serious material damage or injury to the crew. After the storm, the ship joined LCS GROUP EIGHT and NINE to form Task Group 34.4. The LCS(L)14 entered Tokyo Bay on 21 September and departed the next day for an occupation landing at Amori on Northern Honshu. Following the occupation landing, the
ship departed Amori on 7 October and arrived at the Yokosuko Naval Base, near Yokohama, on 11 ctober. Following 2 weeks of R&R and miscellaneous duties, the ship departed Tokyo on 24 October and headed for the Nagasaki/Sasebo area of southern Kyushu Island. The LCS(L)14 remained in Sasebo for about a month performing mine sweeping duty. The ship left Sasebo heading for Formosa on 25 November and arrived there on the 29th. Again for about a month, the ship engaged in mine sweeping operations. The duty was abruptly terminated by a mine which exploded close-aboard that opened seams in the engineers' store room and the steering engine room. The non-availability of proper dry-dock facilities in Formosa required the ship to leave for Shanghai, China where she arrived on 21 December. The ship remained in Shanghai during the Christmas/New Years holidays of 1946. Again, as in San Diego in 1945, maximum liberty was granted to all hands and a few, including the Captain, were detached to return home. After repairs to the hull were completed, the LCS(L)14 departed Shanghai for Sasebo on 15 January arriving there on the 17th. The ship sailed from Sasebo, homeward bound, on 25 January 1946. She made a stop-over at Saipan between 31 January and 9 February and another stop-over at Eniwetok, in the Marshal Islands on 16/17 February. The LCS(L)14 reached Pearl Harbor on 28 February and departed for San Francisco on 10 March. The ship sailed under the "Golden Gate" on 21 March and departed San Francisco on 5 April headed for Astoria, WA where it arrived on 8 April. The ship was placed in inactive status the next day and was decommissioned on 31 May. On 1 June, the LCS(L)14 was reclassified as a Landing Ship Support Large (LSSL).
On 16 February 1953, the LSSL 14 was placed on loan to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force where it served as the Sumire for 22 years. The ship was returned to US authorities on 30 September 1975 and was disposed of in an unknown manner.
The LCS(L)14 earned the following medals/ribbons for her service during and after World II:
AMERICAN AREA CAMPAIGN MEDAL; ASIATIC-PACIFIC AREA CAMPAIGN MEDAL (1 star/
Okinawa Gunto Operation & 1 star for postwar mine sweeping); PHILIPPINE LIBERATION
MEDAL; CHINA SERVICE MEDAL; NAVY OCCUPATION SERVICE MEDAL (Asia Clasp); WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL; and COMBAT ACTION RIBBON (retroactive to World War II).
By Raymond A. Baumler - crew member LCS(L) 14
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