Doc Ransom’s Diary


Saturday, January 1 1944
Shoved off at 0700 for San Clemente Island with several other cans and L.S.T.’s and Marine troop transports. We are assigned to an amphibian task force so we’re headed for an invasion somewhere. We are going out to San Clemente to go through the practice landing etc. Going out at six knots and it is a very dull trip.

Sunday, January 2, 1944
Arrived off San Clemente at dawn and began patrolling off of the beach. Three battleships came through shore—bombarded the island as the Marines landed by tanks, amphibian tanks, etc.

Monday, January 3, 1944
Continued to patrol. Battleships still bombarding and Marines still landing. We were to set out for San Diego at sundown but some of the L.S.T.’s had lost contact of some of their men and tanks and some landing barges had run out of gas—what a mess. So we stayed around until about 0300. Heading for San Diego.

Tuesday, January 4, 1944
Arrived back in San Diego about 1500. Went over to Nita & Ed’s place and phoned Sal to see if anything had happened, but nothing yet. Hope I find out before we leave. Anyway it was Sal’s birthday, so at least got to congratulate him.

Wednesday, January 5, 1944
Remained in San Diego today. Went to Nita & Ed’s and had a nice evening with group singing around the piano. Phoned Sal again, but nothing yet.

Thursday, January 6, 1944
Went ashore with the Capt at 1100 and returned for lunch. We shoved off for the Hawaiian Island at 1830—leaving good old USA for ? how long! We alone are taking 11 L.S.T.’s, 6 L.C.I.’s and 2 Y.M.S.’s at the thrilling speed of six knots! Expect to arrive on the 17th.

Friday, January 7, 1944
Continuing on to the Hawaiian Islands. Have sped up to 10 knots. We are rolling something terrible because of the swells which we would normally knife through. Did some firing today—5-inch, 40 mm, and 20’s. Still chilly. One of the officers turned up with chicken pox today. Hope it doesn’t spread.

Saturday, January 8, 1944
Continuing on—rolling like hell. Trying to get sick bay squared away plus the annual reports. Dull trip for us, but the L.S.T.’s must be having a thrilling time trying to keep in formation—from the way they wander all over, etc.

Sunday, January 9, 1944
Continue to roll and go slow. Did some more firing today to get the crew in practice. Managed to keep busy puttering in Sick Bay.

Monday, January 10, 1944
L.S.T.’s continue to wander and get all fouled up. We drop boxes over board in front of them and so they pass the ship they shoot at them for practice. Our heart game after supper is about the only exciting thing of the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 1944
Now have a case of mumps on board. What next? Have isolated him and now hope it doesn’t crop up all over the ship. Began having drills on board today. Fire & collision.

Wednesday, January 12, 1944
Very rough today and the whole ship is a mess from strewn gear to once eaten food all over. Going so slow makes us go up & down and roll like a life raft. What a mission! Last night about midnight six L.S.T.’s wandered out of formation and at daylight today they are missing! So we spent the whole day trying to find them. Located three in the afternoon, 30 miles up of the formation and brought them back. Tonight about 2000 we found one more. Now all we have to do is find two more, that is, unless more are gone again by tomorrow! We are now half way to the Hawaiian Islands. Difficult sleeping with all the rolling and books, magazines, etc. falling in your face all night long. Give me the “slot” duty off Bougainville anytime.

Thursday, January 13, 1944
Still rough but quieting down some. The lost L.S.T.’s are found and we are on our way again. Still cool and cloudy.

Friday, January 14, 1944
Called to the bridge this morning at 1000 by the Captain because a medical officer from one of the ships in the task force wanted to talk to me about a pt. he had on his ship. We talked by radio. He said he had a 27 year old Marine with a bowel obstruction and wanted to transfer him to our ship for surgery or to take him to Pearl Harbor if possible. We finally transferred him to here about noon and put him in the Captain’s stateroom. He had been ill for five days. Checked him over and disagreed as to his diagnosis since it looked like peritonitis from a ruptured appendix. The medical officer came along with the pt. so we decided to operate as soon as we could get some I.V. fluids into him because he was pretty dehydrated. Gave him 2000 cc of 5% glucose in saline and 250 cc of plasma and considered him ready for surgery. I gave him a spinal and 150 mg of Novocain. Made a lower midline incision and as we cut through the peritoneum—freleid fluid gushed out. The lower leum was odestious red, and had many adhesions. The greater osmentum was partially constricting the lower leum by adhesions but not enough to constrict it completely. Found a gangrenous perforated appendix with an incomplete abscess sac about the curcuma. Gently delivered the appendix and removed it. Removed as much purulent fluid as possible and placed 8 gms of sulfanilamide in the R.L.Q. Made a stab incision at McBarney point and incorporated a rubber drain. Closed him up and started I.V. plasma. Time of operation was two hours. BP remained around 120/75 and pulse was from 130–150/minute. Gave him 3 units (250cc each) of plasma slowly. He remained conscious throughout the operation. The pt. went into a coma 11 hours post op and died one hour later. We didn’t give him much of a chance as soon as we saw what was up in the abdomen. Surely would have liked to have saved him. The Capt. was just about the most excited and interested man on the ship. He would keep coming into sick bay and watch and I’d give him dope as to what we had found and then he would go up on the bridge and radio what I had said to the other ship keeping them informed, step by step. He would keep asking if the course were O.K. and that he would change anytime I wanted him to—to keep the ship from rolling etc. Went to bed dead tired. First surgery of 1944 and lost the pt—hope that isn’t a bad omen.

Saturday, January 15, 1944
Held burial rites at sea at 1000. Was a very impressive ceremony. They fired three volleys (of 8mm) as they lowered him into the sea. We pulled alongside of the Marine transport vessel (the pt’s ship) so his buddies could also see the ceremony. Had Capt.’s inspection of the ship in the afternoon, and then I rested since I was still tired.

Sunday, January 16, 1944
Beginning to roll again. Weather is cloudy and getting a little warm. One more day to go. Getting anxious to see land.

Monday, January 17, 1944
Arrived at Narvillville, Ranai at noon. Out after taking on some rocket guns from an L.S.T. we went to Pearl at 34 knots. It was good to go so fast. Got to Pearl in three hours. Docked at the fueling dock. Went to Waikiki and went swimming.

Tuesday, January 18, 1944
Changed docks this morning but remained in harbor all day. Weather is delightful and warm. Ran into three M.D.s I know from St Louis, and from Oakland Hospital.

Wednesday, January 19, 1944
Got underway at 0730 for Narvillievilli and sped up at 34 knots again. Anchored in the bay and supplied all the S.C.s, Y.M.S.s and some L.S.T.’s with ammunition. Shoved off at 1530 for the “capture and holding of Kwajalein atoll in the Marshalls. We are taking L.C.T’s, L.S.T.’s, S.C.S. Y.M.S.s alone. They are all loaded with Marines. Speed is 8 knots and it will take us 12 days to get there. This is the biggest operation yet. There will be 29 carriers, 16 battleships, and innumerable cruisers and cans. They expect the Jap fleet again—but of course we always have before, too. Our problem will be subs, since Kwajalein is the Jap sub base, and our speed is ideal for them.

Thursday, January 20, 1944
Continuing at eight knots. Has begun to get warmer. Been getting sick bay in readiness plus first aid lessons.

Friday, January 21, 1944
Every day is alike except it is increasingly getting warmer. Still getting sick bay and battle dressing stations ready. Speed still eight knots.

Saturday, January 22, 1944
Still chugging at eight knots. Got a radio call from a sub chaser pharmacist’s mate about a case he had. One of the boys cut his finger at Pearl while eating a coconut and today it was infected and swollen. The P.L.M. had incised it the day before but today it was worse. Told him to start Thiozal, immobilize it, and give hot soaks. Did some firing today for practice. We surely look like a big ship since we’re the only combatant ship in this large group.

Sunday, January 23, 1944
The Pharmacists mate called me again today by radio and said the pts temp was now normal but the swelling was more prominent. Told him to re-incise the wound and place in a drain since the drainage had stopped and it was still fluctuant. Told him just where to inject the Novocain and what to do. May have to take pt on board but were getting in enemy water and hate to do it. All of us are getting a good burn again and getting accustomed to the heat. The heat feels better than the cold in S.F., strange to say.

Monday, January 24, 1944
Talked again to the Ph.M. and he said he got more pus out of the finger and placed in a drain. Said the pt was much better. Guess we’ll keep him on his ship now. Did more firing at balloons. Tomorrow we get within Jap air patrol range. Today one of our Ventura Patrol planes flew over us. He was from the Johnson Islands—wish we had those birdmen all the way. Continue to have all sorts of drills daily in preparation for come what may. One week from today we land, occupy, and defend the first Jap-held territory in this war.

Tuesday, January 25, 1944
Talked again to Ph. M. about pt on other ship. He is apparently OK now. Spent the day puttering in sick bay and then took a sunbath. Went to bed about 2200 and at 2235 the G.A. rang out “all hands man your battle stations”. Couldn’t get dressed fast enough. We had picked up four ships by radar and since we were in Jap waters we thought them to be subs or destroyers. They identified themselves as friendly and it was our gang who is going to raid and occupy Majuro atoll to the south of us. We secured about 2330 and went to bed.

Wednesday, January 26, 1944
Was called at 0230 to report to the bridge immediately. One of the other ships had a pt with a temp of 105 degrees and a pulse of 140. I talked to the Ph. M. by radio. Had been in the sun all day and had no other symptoms. Presumed it to be sunstroke and told them to wrap him in cold wet sheets and ice packs. Went back to bed seriously considering starting up a radio practice like Doc Brinkley—diagnosing and treating by air! Called the ships after breakfast to see how the pts were and both seemed OK. At 1130 the Ph.M. called back and said the sun stroke pt had had a chill and temp now was 104 degrees and that he was hard to arouse. Rather than talk all day over the radio, I asked the Capt if I could go over to the ship and see pt. He gave his OK and at 1330 I zipped across in a Breeches Buoy with a hand bag of equipment, etc. Pt was pretty warm, dehydrated and said he had a terrific headache and backache. Neck was slightly stiff but not like meningitis. Had several circular very pale macules on forearms and thighs which had just made appearance. No other signs or symptoms. He did not look or appear very drowsy to me. It is Dengue Fever. Told Ph. M. to keep fluids going into him and keep him as cool as possible. Then radioed back to our ship to pick me up. By the time they got the breeches buoy rigged practically the whole crew of our ship was on top side and I knew something was up. Ed Arens was posing with a camera and when I got half way across in the buoy, they slacked the line from our ship and I slowly lowered into the water up to my hips. Then amidst the laughter of all, Ed took pictures of me. Then they rapidly pulled on the line and I shot up in the air about 20 feet—a wonder it wasn’t 200 ft! Finally got back on board OK, but wet. The crew’s spirits rose high as a result of the incident and it was pretty funny. Takes a good ship to have a little horseplay when we’re only a few days away from Jap islands. Came back to find another one of our officers coming down with chicken pox. Since he is a machine gun officer, a highly important job, isolation and putting him to bed is out of the question. Guess we’ll have a whole ship full of chicken pox before long, but that is incidental compared to battle. And so to bed. (Crossed International Date Line at 1700 today but we are not changing days.)

Thursday, January 27,1944
Continuing en route to Kwajalein. Gave some first aid lectures and took a sunbath. While we were playing hearts after supper we sounded “man your battle stations” at 2045. Another ship in our group had picked up five surface contacts on the radar. We had nothing in our screen. We swung around and investigated and found them all to be rain clouds real low. Very overcast and raining.

Friday, January 28, 1944
Was fairly overcast this AM and at 0915 our radar picked either one large or two small Jap planes flying close together quite a ways out. They came in at us until 18 miles away then turned around and left. We were 300 miles from Wotje at the time. We stayed at our battle stations for about two hours, but they did not return. Now that we are spotted guess they will come in again soon. Gave a first aid lecture this afternoon. Got reports from the other ships that the pts are much better. Went to routine “General Quarters” (manning your battle stations) at sunset but no Japs showed up. Tomorrow our carrier planes hit Kwajalein for two days.

Saturday, January 29, 1944
Today we started bombing many atolls in the Marshall Islands plus shore—bombarding; of course we are not in the melee yet. Still heading for Kwajalein. Manned our battle stations at 2115 tonight because we picked up several surface contacts on our radar. Finally proved to be our south “tractor” group (Like us). We all drew a sigh of relief because there were so many ships we would have been greatly out numbered if they proved to be Japs.

Sunday January 30, 1944
Today at 1630 is the 1st anniversary of this ship’s torpedoing. Hope history doesn’t repeat itself. Still free of Japs. Another group of our force is under air attack near Wotje—they are about 100 miles behind and below us. So far so good. They continue to bombard Kwajalein today and tonight. Tomorrow we start landing troops and the next day we sail right in the lagoon and invade Kwajalein proper.

Monday, January 31, 1944
Today is “D” day and we manned our battle stations at 0300 since we are just off Roi Island of Kwajalein atoll—about five miles. Have rendezvoused with many other of our ships. Fires are burning on Kwajalein from yesterday’s posting. At dawn we left the Landing Crafts and headed west to join up with 12 troop transports and screen them back. We watched the battleship Maryland and three cruisers shore bombarded the Island first and they got direct hits very soon—with smoke rising high in the sky. We contacted the troop transports about 1000 and joined up. Got back to Kwajalein about noon and the ships were still bombarding at a very close range. The results from the previous two day strike was 18 torpedo bombers and 26 zeros—none of which ever got off the ground. Maybe that accounts for the absence of Jap aircraft today. At 1330 manned our battle stations—one Jap airplane came within 189 miles but he was probably a “snooper” to see what was going on and he turned tail and ran. Watched a very thrilling exhibition of dive bombing of the airfield from about one mile distant and they surely hit their targets. They hit a large ammunition dump and the explosion rocked our ship and sent a plume of smoke up above the scattered clouds—several miles high. The ships bombarded until sunset. One of the four islands we were to capture today was captured in 20 minutes. There were an estimated 500 Japs on it and we took two prisoners. Our casualties were six minor wounded. Our ship entered between the captured islands at 1700 into the lagoon. Navigation is difficult since we have no accurate maps and we don’t understand their buoys for reefs etc. There are about twenty ships with us in the lagoon, one mile off of the airfield. We anchored for the night. The other two islands we were to capture fell about sundown and at 2000 the artillery placements were set and already shelling the two main islands we will invade tomorrow. We see, hear, and watch the firing at night and all nights. These two islands are ablaze from hits. Tomorrow we shore bombard the airfield. Kwajalein looks like this.

Island 1 was taken in 20 minutes. 2 shortly later. Islands 3, 4, 5, fell at sundown and our artillery on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, shells the two main Northern Island all night. So far none of us have fired a shot! It’s a great feeling to at last have Jap-held territory (before the war) in U.S. hands. Played hearts after supper.

Tuesday, February 1, 1944
After a good night’s sleep with no Jap aircraft bothering us, we arose one hour before sunrise at 0545 and routinely manned our battle stations and watched the nine battlewagons and six cruisers bombard Roi and Namur Islands. Those 16-inch shells really make an explosion. They pounded the islands continuously and at 0840 we moved into 5000 yard range and began shelling from inside the lagoon at the rate of one salvo every 30 seconds. We pasted them with 140 rounds and scored two direct hits on blockhouses, causing one to burst on fire. We ceased fire in 45 minutes and moved in with the invasion craft—the lagoon was filled with them—and anchored at 2000 yards off of the beach. We then opened up with all our guns—5-inch, 40 mm, and 20 mm. strafing the Jap troops. Our five-inch sent salvos in at the rate of 4 per minute. Our dive bombers came in periodically and dropped 2000 lb. blockbusters and the noise from them gave our ship a terrific jar each time. At 1130 our troops (Marines) first began to land at many points and encountered light opposition. Our planes kept flying ahead of the landing troops and strafing a clear area for them. Wave after wave of amphibious tanks, tractors, etc. using rocket guns kept landing. After they landed we ceased firing and watched the show. It was a beautiful piece of coordination of land, sea and air forces. I spent most of the day on the bridge taking as many pictures as possible. Saw one terrific explosion when a dive bomber hit an ammunition depot and it was so powerful that it blew the plane to bits and we watched it streak to the earth and crash. A small ship (an L.C.I.) came alongside about 1500 and had six wounded on board brought from the beach and the pharmacists mate yelled across if it were all right to go ahead and suture some head wounds. I asked the Capt. if I could go aboard and check on the pts and he gave his OK. I got in a small boat and went over to the ship. There were two concussions, one bad shrapnel wound of the arm, one broken arm, 12 chest concussions with fractured ribs. They were soon going to be transferred to transports and returned to Pearl so did little other than first aid. Since our ship is the nearest one to the beach I expect we will get casualties shoved off on to us. All in all, so far our casualties have been very light and nothing like at Tarawa. Tonight the troops continue to fight on the islands and we see numerous tracers and fires and bursts. Still not one Jap airplane! Remarkable.

Wednesday, February 2, 1944
Remained anchored off of Roi and Namur Islands and heard gunfire all day as our Marines kept pushing the Japs back to the north of the islands. Went up in the director and looked through the range finder which is a powerful binocular telescope and could see the Marines stalking the Japs. The airfield is littered with wrecked Jap planes. Shortly after noon Roi Island with the airfield, was captured and only Namur is left. At dusk we pulled up anchor and went over to the Tennessee and refueled. Several battlewagons and cruisers are in the lagoon now. After fueling at 2200 we went about 1000 yards away and dropped anchor again for the night. Can see tracers tonight on Namur as the fighting continues.

Thursday, February 3, 1944
Got underway at 1000 to go to sea and join three carriers for screening so that the other cans can come back to the lagoon and refuel. As we sailed out the pass, we passed the Solace, a hospital ship, entering to evacuate the wounded. Met our carrier group at 1300 and continued on with them. They are the Suwanee, Sangemon, and Chenango (converted merchantmen). Many Jap subs now reported in this vicinity and we have three cans out on a “hunter killer” assignment. This whole operation has been done with a terrifically large Naval fleet consisting of 15 battleships, 14 cruisers, and 95 destroyers and 21 carriers. Including transports and supply ships there were over 50 ships anchored in the lagoon alone. Tonight we heard that Namur is now ours, and only fighting left is on Kwajalein atoll to the south, which will be over shortly. Heard that Raymond Clapper—newspaper correspondent—was killed here. He was in one of those planes blown up by that terrific ground explosion on Namur as our planes flew over. We plan to go back to the lagoon tomorrow and then we’re all hoping to go ashore and go souvenir hunting.

Friday, February 4, 1944
Continued underway with the carriers. Another can came out and relieved us and we returned to the lagoon. An officer from another ship came aboard tonight, and told us what he saw on Roi and Namur. He said there are 3800 dead Japs and that approximately 2000 of them were still alive at the time of the invasion, but about half were crazy from the bombarding. Said the Jap still pulled his trick of jumping in a pile of his dead and lay there and did sniping from there, so Marines routinely shot guns in the dead bodies to be sure one isn’t there. Many of the bodies have no ears or fingers now because of souvenir hunters etc. The Marines found about 40 Korean workers on the island who had no firearms and gave up immediately. They expected to be killed—so the Japs told them—and when we gave them smokes and candy they began working for us and are getting 25 cents a day for burying dead Japs. They surely hate the Japs. The natives at first were very belligerent but are now our friends. All in all, out of approximately 3800 Japs we got 29 prisoners. Official dope came in tonight that fighting had ceased on Kwajalein Island to the south, so the Marshalls are ours completely.

Saturday, February 5, 1944
Got underway at 0700 and rendezvoused with the same three carriers. We brought one carrier back with us into the lagoon. Pulled alongside the Anderson, a can, to get some ammunition. She is going back to the States for repairs. She was hit just below the bridge by a Jap eight-inch shell at 6000 yards while shore bombarding killing three officers, including the Capt. and four enlisted men. Envy them going back, but not at that cost.

Sunday, February 6, 1944
Pulled up anchor at 0700 and went alongside a tanker and refueled and awaited further orders. Got underway out of the lagoon at 1600 and joined up with the two other carriers we were out with before relieving another can for fueling within the lagoon. Sea is rough today and the wind is strong.

Monday, February 7, 1944
Continuing to screen the two carriers in the morning. Sea is still rough. We note that the fires are now out on Roi and Namur islands. This afternoon at 3:30 was called to sick bay because one of the men had cut his right hand when he fell with a can of peanuts in his hand. He had cut the two sublimes tendons to his index and third finger, two common volar digital arteries, and one common volar digital nerve. Did a block anesthesia and Novocain and sutured the tendons together with 000 silk. Put him in a cast with wrist and finders in flexion. He could move the index and third finger when I finished so now all we have to do is wait and hope they heal.

Heard the official word today that our casualties for the entire operation was 250 dead and 1100 wounded. The Jap’s were over 8000 killed. We got only 85 prisoners!

Tuesday, February 8, 1944
Continue screening the carriers as we patrol off Roi and Namur. Getting tiresome going back and forth and going no place. We are waiting for them to complete the airfield so the carriers can leave their planes there. No Japs have appeared yet.

Wednesday, February 9, 1944
Other ships are getting orders to return to Pearl or go south etc. but here we sit screening the carriers still. We all want to go in the lagoon and go ashore to see the damage before they rebuild it all. Weather cool and slightly cloudy.

Thursday, February 10, 1944
Finally got relieved today and entered the lagoon for fueling and provisioning. Finished fueling at 1630 and finally anchored near “Archie” Island—six miles south of Roi and Namur. Played bingo in the evening. Finally heard that Sal had a second girl on 1-18-44! 24 days afterward!

Friday, February 11, 1944
The Capt. took eleven of us officers ashore this morning to visit the ruins on Roi and Namur Islands. The islands were a mess and the destruction terrific. Hardly a thing was left standing, saw and crawled through a lot of wrecked Jap planes, buildings, etc. Shrapnel from shells and bombs were on the ground as thick as gravel. Managed to pick up some souvenirs here and there. Many Jap sub torpedoes were stored there and we saw a lot of wrecked ones lying about. Came back to the ship about 1430 and then we all went over to “Archie” Island and swam. Picked up some pretty coral there. Returned to ship for supper and played bingo afterward.

Saturday, February 12, 1944
All of us were awakened at 0200 this morning because of an air raid. The Japs finally showed up after our taking this place. They did high level bombing of Roi and Namur and started a big fire on our fuel and ammunition depot which lighted up the sky. All of us in lagoon laid a smoke screen to protect the shipping in here. Since we were the fourth-most ship from Roi and Naimur we didn’t get our licks in but other ships fired. No Jap planes were shot down (probably because they didn’t get in our range!). Finally went to bed at 0430. We got underway at 0845 to go outside the lagoon and relieve a can on anti-sub patrol. We’re now in a better position to fire on planes and everyone expects the Japs again tonight. Heard they captured two Jap snipers today who were still on the island we visited yesterday.

Sunday, February 13, 1944
Japs failed to show up again. We remain outside the lagoon screening the entrance. Cool and comfortable but very dull. Play bingo nightly.

Monday, February 14, 1944
No Japs again, and we were relieved by the Hopewell so that we could go in the lagoon and refuel for coming operations. Had a compound fracture of index finger today and devised a traction gadget for it. Anchored near “Anton” Island at 1700 and we went over to the island and swam before supper. There was a crashed U.S. plane on the island and the pilot buried there. Ate supper and played bingo.

Tuesday, February 15, 1944
Got underway at 1400 with two other cans, the Maryland, and five cargo ships. At 2000 we crisscrossed 40 ships going north (an invasion fleet). We are not included in the new operations—at least not yet—and we are screening these vessels out of danger waters then will return.

Wednesday, February 16, 1944
At 1000 this morning, the Maryland and several ships kept on going to Pearl, and another can, an oiler, an ammunition ship and our ship turned south arriving at Majuro atoll at 1800. We left the cargo vessels there and the other can and us proceeded to Kwajalein Island—the southern island of Kwajalein atoll. Will arrive there tomorrow morning. Played bingo and to bed.

Thursday, February 17, 1944
Arrived off Kwajalein Island—southern tip of the large atoll at 0700. One of the crew developed appendicitis and the skipper and I decided to wait and transfer him to the Rocky Mount—a large communication ship within the lagoon. Transferred him at 1000 and they operated right away finding a hot appendix. We fueled then anchored in the lagoon for the night. There is much damage here also. We have many ships here. This is a very good anchorage. Played bingo and to bed.

Friday, February 18, 1944
Got underway at 0700 to rendezvous off Wotje with 13 merchantmen, one can, and three D.E.’s Proceeded alone and met them at 1600. Half of them then turned south for Kwajalein Island, and we are escorting the others to Roi and Namur Islands. Expect to get there tomorrow morning. Heard today that our big new carrier Intrepid got torpedoed while raiding Truk to the west of us. Glad she didn’t sink. Played bingo and to bed.

Saturday, February 19, 1944
Arrived at Roi early this morning and proceed into the lagoon at 0430 leading the six ships. We refueled from tanker then anchored nearby. We donned our bathing suits and went to Ivan Island. Had to swim ashore because of the coral. Talked to some Marines who had captured the island and heard some gory stories. Came back to ship and appreciated it very much after seeing how the Marines have to live in all the filth and very little water.

Sunday, February 20, 1944
Remained anchored in the lagoon. Very windy today so didn’t attempt to go ashore again on account of the waves. Had an air raid alert about noon but no Japs showed up. Also manned our battle stations at 2345 tonight but no Japs showed up. The Gilbert Islands were their objectives. Don’t know the results.

Monday, February 21, 1944
Still anchored. The Nicholas came into the lagoon this morning so I went over aboard her and visited with Groshart. Then he and another officer came over here and we all went over to Ivan Island swimming. We returned for supper. Played bingo and to bed. Hear we are leaving for Einewetok atoll tomorrow for our new port. Getting pretty close to Truk.

Tuesday, February 22, 1944
Remained anchored until 1400 and then got underway out of the Lagoon. Did anti-sub patrol while the six supply ships came out and joined up. We then formed up and proceeded to Einewetok where they are still fight the Japs. Maximum temperature 84 degrees and minimum temperature 80 degrees.

Wednesday, February 23, 1944
Continuing west to Einewetok. Fired practice shots this A.M. and found we had a high percentage of duds on board. Enemy subs reported with 120 miles of us but so far no Japs seen out here.

Thursday, February 24, 1944
Entered the lagoon at Einewetok at 0900. Many of our combatant and cargo vessels are here. It is a large lagoon but not as big as Kwajalein. The islands reveal much damage and many trees shot up etc. We pulled alongside of a P.A. and got provisions and then anchored. Very windy here and cool.

Friday, February 25, 1944
Got orders to pull out at dawn to rendezvous with two carriers—Corregidor and Coral Sea. The Nicholas, Taylor and us are to screen them back to Pearl Harbor “at best possible speed” which is 17 knots for those carriers. We don’t know what’s up but guess there is another job for us. Sort of hate to go back because we know the skipper will leave us there since he has been detached to return to the States. Everyone surely hates to see him go. Sea is slightly rough and it is windy. Lack of things to do. I did a circumcision this A.M.

Saturday, February 26, 1944
Continuing toward Pearl at 17 knots. Removed a sebaceous cyst from the face and did a circumcision again today. Weather cool and trip uneventful. Plan to arrive March 3.

Sunday, February 27, 1944
Continuing eastward. Having “classes” three times daily with my tendon case on exercises and he is getting a good functional result. Had a surface contact at 2100 tonight but later proved to be a lone destroyer escort going toward Kwajalein. Played bingo and to bed.

Monday, February 28, 1944
Continuing on to Pearl. At 2100 we got a report of a flare on the horizon so our ship went out to investigate but found nothing. Did a circumcision today again.

Tuesday, February 29, 1944
At 1145 one of the cans picked up a sub contact so they and the other can went after it. And our ship with the carriers turned away. They definitely had contact and dropped many depth charges. The carrier launched planes to help out and one of the planes sighted the sub under water. We also got a contact while with the carriers and everyone thought we had run into a “wolf pack” of subs. Our contact did not materialize but we passed over an oil slick. The two cans kept circling for about two hours dropping depth charges until one ran out, so happily we went out to take over. We stayed there for three hours and got one good contact and dropped depth charges. None of us could bring up any wreckage so we can’t claim it was sunk. Finally headed back to the carriers and continued on to Pearl. Now we are about five hours behind time. We were disappointed not to have brought the sub to the surface because we had our guns trained out and ready to fire at a second’s notice. Played bingo tonight and to bed.

Wednesday, March 1, 1944
Continuing on a very smooth sea—just like a mirror. Nice and cool and general routine. Played bingo. Did some practice firing today.

Thursday, March 2, 1944
Sea very rough today and many of the boys are sea sick. Held inspection of the crew because of some money stolen from one of the men. The thief was caught since we had the serial numbers. Played bingo and to bed. Will arrive in Pearl tomorrow.

Friday, March 3, 1944
Arrived off Pearl at noon and entered the harbor at 3 P.M. We moored with the Nicholas on one side and the Taylor on the other. Had a big surprise today to find out the new Doc on the Taylor is Fred Shidler—in our squadron, which means I’ll be seeing a lot of him. Went into town with several officers and swimming at Waikiki.

Saturday, March 4, 1944
Went into Honolulu this morning to buy the skipper’s farewell present from us officers. Got him a sterling cigarette box with inscription, etc. Also bought a big plate of tomatoes and a glass of milk. Good! Went to Waikiki with Ed.

Sunday, March 5, 1944
Puttered around onboard most of the day. Four of us Docs went over to the club for a while before supper. Came back on saw a movie on the forecastle.

Monday March 6, 1944
Stayed aboard today. Saw a movie tonight, but we were rained out finally by a terrific rainstorm.

Tuesday, March 7, 1944
Went into Honolulu to do some shopping with Groshart. Again, ate a big plate of tomatoes with a glass of milk. Came back to ship and saw a movie.

Wednesday, March 8, 1944
Ran into a classmate from Washington, Barb Meullar who is in the Marines. From his tales of woe, I’m glad I’m in the Navy! He was in the Kwajalein invasion also. Brought him back to the ship for supper and showed him around.

Thursday, March 9, 1944
Getting the ship fixed up for the change in command and both Captains’ inspection. Went into Waikiki with Fred Shidler to swim.

Friday, March 10, 1944
Well today it happened and no one was very happy about it. Captain Taylor was relieved by Captain Thompson. Our old captain gave a swell farewell speech to his officers and crew and with tears in his eyes he had to stop before saying all. He admitted he didn’t want to leave the “Dilly.” As he sailed away in the gig, he kept waving back and never did turn around until he was out of sight. He took all the officers over to the club for a farewell toast and then left us. We returned for supper and it was a mighty quiet wardroom tonight.

Saturday, March 11, 1944
Got underway at 0700 with the Nicholas and Ellet with two carriers, Coral Sea and Corregidor for the South Pacific to Espiritu Santo. Expect to get there on March 21. We presented the new Captain with 3 sleeves shot down at firing practice. Guess he will soon realize that we are a fighting ship. Out of five good runs we knocked down 3—2 with our 5-inch and one with the 40mms.

Sunday, March 12, 1944
Did not fire today. Continued south and its getting hotter all the time. Routine day.

Monday, March 13, 1944
Getting near the Equator and so getting prepared for the initiation of the Pollywogs. Continuing on a straight course. Much warmer.

Tuesday, March 14, 1944
Refueled today from a carrier. Got new orders to speed on to Guadalcanal, instead of Espiritu and orders said “Next assignment—combatant”. Started initiation today and Neptune’s Court will be tomorrow when we cross the equator.

Wednesday, March 15, 1944
Had the court of Neptunus Rex, the Queen, Royal Baby, the Jap-lain Royal Barber, Royal Doctor and Royal Dentist. Initiated 78 “Pollywogs” including the Skipper. Much fun with the electric seat. Crossed the equator at 1715 at Longitude 173 degrees 12 minutes W. No wind and it’s hot, although we had a rain squall cooled it off temporarily. Pretty tired tonight after all the festivities.

Thursday, March 16, 1944
Both carriers launched planes today and made a simulated torpedo attack on us twice. Sky overcast and sea rough. Continuing at 17 knots. Pass date line tonight and skip a day.

Saturday, March 18, 1944

Skipped St. Patrick’s Day by crossing date line. Plan to arrive at Tulagi on 21st late in the afternoon. Stormy all day and intermittent rains. Lightning tonight. Passed land today. The island of Furafuli.

Sunday, March 19, 1944
Continuing uneventfully. Still rainy and unsettled with a moderate sea. Took a sunbath and played cribbage for a while. Wrote some letters. Plan to arrive day after tomorrow.

Monday, March 20, 1944
Clear beautiful day, but it is hot. My shirt and skivvy were still wet this morning, upon arising, from yesterday! One of the planes crash landed this afternoon but all three men were lost in the explosion when it hit the water. Very near the Solomon Island group now. Presume we will see land almost all day tomorrow before arriving. Wrote some letters and to bed.

Tuesday, March 21, 1944
Arrived off Guadalcanal about 1000 and after screening the carriers into Tulagi we went into Purvis and fueled. Then proceeded to our anchorage at the far end of the bay and saw a movie then to bed. Got rained out of the movie.

Wednesday, March 22, 1944
Rained all day with thunder and lightning. Went over to the club with the Captain and some of the officers. Came back and to a movie and to bed. Ran into the Doc off of the O’Bannon (Whiffer) and Hopewell (Dilly).

Thursday, March 23, 1944
Busy in Sick Bay most of the A.M. Hot!! Had to change complete uniform by noon. Admiral Fitch ate lunch aboard and had a very interesting talk with him. We all went to the club in the afternoon and back for supper. Rain again today periodically. Our next assignment is very interesting and exciting. Will write more about it later. No mail yet—surely hope it comes soon.

Friday, March 24, 1844
Rain continues. Mail finally came aboard today and I got four letters from Sal. Gene and I found out Ed Jones’ ship was in, so went over this afternoon and visited with him.

Saturday, March 25, 1944
Remain in Purvis still. Rain again today. Had the “Ready Duty” so all hands stayed on board all day. Saw a movie on the forecastle tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 1944
Clear day and went over and spent most of the afternoon visiting with Ed Jones. Had a good visit, but it is terrifically hot. Also met Allan Addie today.

Monday, March 27, 1944
Sent a group over for dental appointments. A little rain today. Went over to Jones again and back for a movie. Getting underway in A.M. for 2 day’s outing.

Tuesday, March 28, 1944
Reville at 0400 and we pulled out at 0530 while still dark. Three cruisers and eight cans on maneuvers. Fired at sleeves in the A.M. and P.M. Tonight we had a simulated battle and fired star shells at one another. Much rain but calm sea.

Wednesday, March 29, 1944
Screened while the cruisers fired at an unoccupied island for shore bombardment practice. Came back into Purvis about 1700, fueled, and then moored alongside the O’Bannon #450. Four bags of Xmas packages came but no letters. Saw a movie then to bed.

Thursday, March 30, 1944
Got underway at 1000 with the Hopewell #681 to rendezvous off the Guadalcanal with 12 L.S.T.’s and take them to Milne Bay, New Guinea. This will be our new theater of operations and the rest of Squad 21will join us next week. We are leaving the 3rd Fleet command to join with the 7th Fleet. Finally got organized and left the area at 10 knots.

Friday, March 31, 1944
Continuing at 10 knots. We’re riding the troughs so we roll a lot and it is a tiresome. Awfully hot. Had firing at bursts today. Hope to arrive there day after tomorrow. Dull trip so far.

Saturday, April 1, 1944
Rained all day and visibility very poor. Lots of thunder and lightning. Should arrive tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, April 2, 1944
Land along starboard side all morning. Entered China Straits about 1000 and was a very beautiful trip through the long winding passage. Each ship had to go in single column (form 180). Reminded me of the islands between Victoria and Vancouver. Many native and British houses enroute. Several seaplane bases. The streets run into southern tip of Milne Bay which we entered about 1300. Sailed west into Milne Bay. Many ships of all kinds here, including Australian cruisers and cans. Anchored at the N.W. tip of bay. New Guinea is very mountainous and little shoreline or beaches. Anchored at 1700. Got underway to a tanker at 1900 and remained there all night. Saw a movie on the forecastle and to bed.

Monday, April 3, 1944
Underway at 0600 with the same group for Sudest near Bona up toward Salamaua on Northern New Guinea coast. Had practice firing in AM. Had to go through narrow Raven Channel. Then we followed the northern coastline closely. Tonight with the moon, we can see the land along the port side. Approached Cape Nelson about 2000. Passed several ships, British, and we have our running lights on—just like peacetime. Should arrive at Bona tomorrow AM, stay there 2 days then on to an invasion.

Tuesday, April 4, 1944
Arrived at Cape Sudest at dawn but got ordered to Oro Bay, 12 miles south. Pulled alongside of the Tender Dobbin, to be converted into a “Headquarters ship”!! That means we will get 16 high-ranking officers on board. We are getting a Navy Captain, Brig General (Army), Marine Colonel, and Australian General to observe the next action. Hot here. Went swimming on the beach.

Wednesday, April 5, 1944
Still alongside Dobbin. Getting six more radio sets inserted plus a 3rd bunk in each room. Went swimming again.

Thursday, April 6, 1944
Repairs continue. Went swimming. Rain.

Friday, April 7, 1944
Repairs continue. Went swimming.

Saturday, April 8, 1944
Underway at 1000 from Tender. Checked and compensated compasses until 1500 then proceeded to Cape Sudest. Saw the rest of our squadron arrive. We got underway at 2120 for Cape Cretin farther up the line.

Sunday, April 9, 1944
Arrived at Cretin at dawn and there certainly isn’t much here. Few small ships and L.S.T.’s are about all we see. The Captain and Brig General and staff, came aboard and we got underway at 1500 for maneuvers with the task force consisting of 9 A.P.D’s (including Jones’), 6 L.S.T.’s and several S.C.’s and the Hopewell and O’Bannon.

Monday, April 10, 1944
Arrived off of Lae at dawn for practice invasion. The landing crafts went ashore etc. At 1400 we left alone for Sudest. Arrived at Sudest at 2030 and anchored.

Tuesday, April 11, 1944
At 1200 we got underway and fueled. Then proceeded to Oro Bay, 14 miles away. I was the helmsman the whole way. Anchored between the Dobbin and the beach. Went over to the Dobbin and saw Gene who was alongside and then went swimming. Came back for supper and to a movie, but was rained out.

Wednesday, April 12, 1944
Remained in Oro Bay. Groshart and I went swimming on the beach and then back to ship.

Thursday, April 13, 1944
Underway 0630 for test firing of guns with new radio equipment. Fired a few rounds then returned to Cape Sudest (Buna) and anchored. Stayed on board and went to movie.

Friday, April 14, 1944
Remained at Sudest. Puttered around ship all day and fished. Too muddy to go ashore. Went to movies tonight. Getting anxious to move again—seems like a waste of time waiting, but assume there is a good reason for it. Have received no mail in 16 days now.

Saturday, April 15, 1944
Too hot to sleep so I got up at 0400 and wrote some letters until breakfast. Remained at Sudest again. Quite a gathering of ships here now—more arriving all the time. May get underway tomorrow—hope so. An Australian war correspondent came aboard tonight to be in on the show. Went to a movie and to bed.

Sunday, April 16, 1944
Went over and fueled at noon and Hopewell came alongside so visited with Chuck Dilly for about an hour. Got underway at 2200 after most of the staff officers came aboard. We will have 20 additional officers for this operation. Proceeding to Cape Cretin at 21 knots.

Monday, April 17, 1944
Arrived at Cretin at 0630 and anchored. Ed Jones’ ship was anchored nearby so he came aboard and visited then we went ashore and rode on the back of the truck to Finschafen to the Navy Hospital. Returned by noon. I went over to Jones’ ship in the afternoon and we visited all afternoon. Came back and saw a movie and to bed. Lots of shipping here and the big push will soon be on.

Tuesday, April 18, 1944
Called at 0500 to see one of the crew who had appendicitis. Sent him over on the beach to the Base Hospital. Got underway at 1600 with rest of outfit for Aitape invasion. Also are going to hit Humbolt Bay and Hollandia.

Wednesday, April 19, 1944
Joined up with some more of the outfit. Passed Admiralty Islands this afternoon. Going 10 knots. Will invade at dawn of the 22nd. Meeting some more at 0700 tomorrow. Getting close to the equator and much warmer now.

Thursday, April 20, 1944
Joined up with the complete outfit at 0700. We now are pretty strong—136 ships total. Good to see 8 carriers with us with 8 more nearby.

Friday, April 21, 1944
Continuing “en mass”. Very hot today and we are almost on the equator. Got all medical material ready for instant use. At 1700 our group turned south and the force will split into 3 invasion groups—ours for Aitape, the others for Humbolt Bay and Hollandia. We strike at 0630 tomorrow and we will shell the beach from a short distance out. Hope they don’t have too big or too many guns firing back! We shall see.

Saturday, April 22, 1944
Manned our battle stations at 0330 and sneaked quietly into Aitape Bay. Got all set and all of us opened fire on the beaches at 0600 sharp. It was quite a show and we surprised them all right. We, alone, fired 440 rounds of 5 inch into the landing area. At 0630 sharp the carrier planes arrived and bombed and (shelled) the area and at 0645 our troops landed ashore unopposed. We then remained in the water stopped and watched the show and waited for any additional fire support orders—which never came. Things were very favorable and we had only four of our boys killed and 12 wounded. Most of the Japs fled, but they killed 25 and 35 Javanese, captured about 75 Japs and 100 Javanese. There are about 1000 Japs about three miles up the coast at Aitape Village which we will go after in due time. There were no Navy casualties. Our bombers plastered the village all afternoon. No Jap airplanes showed up even though this has four plane landing fields which we have already captured. There were about 12 Jap planes caught on the ground and wrecked. One of our destroyers shelled Soleau Island and hit a large fuel dump which made a big blaze well over a 100 foot high for several hours. Tonight we sailed out of the bay on anti-sub patrol and at 0430 tomorrow we will meet a re-enforcement convoy and escort them back into Aitape. To bed early and tired.

Sunday, April 23, 1944
Planes and destroyers hit the islands this morning and at 0700 our troops landed. By noon the islands were ours. One fighter plane strip on the mainland is in operation already. Watched the dive bombers attack the village of Aitape where 1000 Japs still remain. The Jenkins sank a barge of Japs (8) trying to escape last night. Lots of our planes flying around all day and no zeros in sight. The destroyers will probably return tomorrow for Sudest. Hope so, it’s dull here. MacArthur was here today and went ashore, then left.

Monday, April 24, 1944
Patrolled this A.M. on anti-sub patrol. Left Aitape at 1600 for Sudest at 21 knots and it seems good to be going a good speed again. Will go right down coastline this time. Heard today that Jap planes bombed the landing next to ours farther up the line last night and hit 11 loads of cargo! That will slow things up for a while. Should arrive at Sudest (Buena) tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 25, 1944
Arrived at Sudest at 1900 and all the visiting staff officers left—what a relief! Remained anchored all night.

Wednesday, April 26, 1944
Fueled today and got mail finally—8 letters, some of Feb 12th and some April 5th. Saw a double header, movie and then got underway for Cape Cretin at midnight. They don’t give us much rest now for we now have to convoy more ships back up where we came from Humbolt Bay.

Thursday, April 27, 1944
Arrived at Cretin at 0900, got all the ships together and then proceeded to Aitape at 1300. We have 12 L.S.T.’s and 10 A.K.’s, 6 motor torpedo boats and some L.C.T.’s. There are 12 of us cans screening for them. Listened to U.S.A. radio broadcast last night!

Friday, April 28, 1944
Continuing at 9.5 knots. Passing Madang at noon. Expect to arrive day after tomorrow. Very dull. Warm and clear.

Saturday, April 29, 1944
Half of the ships turned off at 0620 for Aitape and the rest of us continuing on to Humbolt Bay. Pretty warm today and crystal clear. Plan to arrive tomorrow morning.

Sunday, April 30, 1944
Arrived at Humbolt Bay at 1000. Went in and anchored about 1400. Was called over to an Australian cargo vessel to see a pt—believed he had bacillary dysentery. Saw a movie and to bed.

Monday, May 1, 1944
Remained in the Bay today—all the rest of the destroyers left leaving only 2 of us here to protect the liberties. Went ashore this afternoon with some of the officers looking for souvenirs. Found a trail and went back about a mile and found 3 Jap living quarters with various personal effects. Could hear machine gun fire and artillery farther up the trail when our patrols were scraping. Got caught in a terrific rainstorm and returned to the ship drenched. Saw a movie and to bed. Was told that this operation had been the first our forces had armed the Med. Dept with guns since so many were being fired on in the Army.

Tuesday, May 2, 1944
Got underway at 0600 to go to Tanmorhah Bay 40 miles up the coast to give fire support to some more landings or our troops at a point 10 miles from there where they had supposedly surrounded some Japs. Our forces landed unopposed and found out from the natives that the Japs had left last night for the mountains. Received a casualty on board from the beach—one of the Army boys’ rifle went off accidentally and hit his buddies. Tommy gun sending fragments into his face. Removed several pieces of fragments from forehead and eyelids. One eyeball was lacerated and the choroid hanging out in shreds. Dressed him up and transferred him after we returned to Humbolt Bay at 1600. We were sitting in the Wardroom at 2020 talking when we suddenly got orders to man our battle stations as planes were bombing the beach. They started to fire and two planes flew over the ship—easily seen due to moonlight. No bombs were dropped on or at us. The Japs must have hit an ammunition dump because we could see rockets and tracers shooting out of the fire. They did drop a flare and float light at us but we turned away. We do not fire at them unless they are actually attacking us since the flashes and tracers give our positions away. We kept zigging and zagging at 20 knots to discourage them from attacking. No ships were attacked. We secured after they left only to re-man our stations due to an alert about 15 minutes later. This happened a third time too and a fourth at 0100, but no planes appeared.

Wednesday, May 3, 1944
Went into Humbolt Bay and anchored at 0800. Officers came aboard from the beach and told us the Japs had bombed one of their own ammunition dumps last night but 3 men were killed and 19 wounded. We remained anchored until 1700 then went out to the entrance to go on anti-sub patrol. Took a sunbath today and got a real burn. Heard about the big raid on Truk on the radio tonight—our carriers did a good job and we all wish we were working with them again. This is monotonous and time drags. Went to G.Q. at midnight but no planes came in.

Thursday, May 4, 1944
Continued to patrol off entrance of Humbolt Bay. 12 L.S.T.’s arrived and unloaded. Six cans and the empty ST’s plus 2 AK’s formed up and we got underway for Cretin at midnight. Went to G.Q. at sunset and again at 2000 because of an air raid at Red Beach—34 miles away, but no Japs came this far. Glad to leave this area—no mail or any sort of a duty.

Friday, May 5, 1944
Continuing on to Cretin. Joined up with 12 more L.S.T.’s and 4 cans coming from Aitape so we are quite large now. Speed 9 knots. Lots of rain today. Beautiful full moon nights.

Saturday, May 6, 1944
On to Cretin. Passed Long Island this evening. Overcast all day but clear and bright tonight. Expect to arrive at Cretin tomorrow AM. Listened to SF on the radio tonight at 9:00 PM—it was 4 AM there. Went to G.Q. at noon today because of “bogie” but was one of our planes without an IFF.

Sunday, May 7, 1944
Arrived at Sudest at 1900 and anchored in a choppy sea. Stopped at Cretin this AM to check on a pt I had sent there and after walking a mile through mud found out he had been evacuated. Came to Sudest at 20 knots alone. Wind is strong and makes it cool.

Monday, May 8, 1944
Got a lot of mail today and I received six from Sal, two from Hamlin, and two from Ida Mae. It was most of April’s mail. Remained anchored all day getting provisions on board of which we were almost out. Got our new orders today and the whole squadron is going back to the Third Fleet (Sopac) and “work the slot” again—like last fall. We are escorting about twelve L.S.T.’s back to the Russell Islands. Got underway at 1800 to form-up. Expect to arrive on the 12th.

Tuesday, May 9, 1944
Continuing down New Guinea coast at 8 knots with the L.S.T.’s. Got to the tip of the island at sundown and instead of the usual route of turning to the right and going into Milne Bay, we turned to the left and headed due east for the Russell Islands—60 miles from Tulagi. Cool today—82 degrees with a brisk wind.

Wednesday, May 10, 1944
Expect to arrive at the Russells day after tomorrow. Cloudy and rainy all day. Had offset firing today and the rest of the cans used our ship for the firing since they are repairing our computer and we cannot fire for a few days. Wrote some letters today and puttered.

Thursday May 11, 1944
Rendova Island came in sight this afternoon and we will get to the Russells tomorrow. Routine day. Not too hot and water very blue.

Friday, May 12, 1944
Arrived off of Russells at 0400 and maneuvered around to the North side and the L.S.T.’s entered the harbor at dawn. The cans remained outside and patrolled. We got surprise orders to proceed to Nouméa, New Caledonia—the whole squadron. We left the L.S.T.’s there and proceeded according to orders at 23 knots. Nouméa is 800 miles south and close to Australia—but no one knows if we are going there or not. Probably not. It surely is good to go fast again.

Saturday, May 13, 1944
Covering ground fast and we are now going 21 knots. Expect to arrive at Nouméa tomorrow noon. Gave movies and lectures to the crew today. (Three different sets). Going away from the equator all the time and it’s much more pleasant now. Had a six degree drop in temperature since yesterday—it is now 77 degrees. Fired at star shells tonight and it looked like a 4th of July display with all the tracers. Also used our searchlights.

Sunday, May 14, 1944
Arrived off Nouméa at 0800 and proceeded into harbor. We refueled and finally anchored about 1700. Some of us left at the fuel dock and took a truck ride into town. Certainly is cool here. This harbor reminds one of San Francisco Bay in a way.

Monday May 15, 1944
Remain anchored in harbor. They are going to paint our squadron with the three tone streaked camouflage while we’re here.

Tuesday, May 16, 1944
Sending lots of dental parties over to get taken care of. Walked through Nouméa sight seeing. It is a quaint old French town.

Wednesday, May 17, 1944
Went over to can SoPac and saw Captain Hook who used to be head of Oak Knoll while I was there. Got all the data on joining the Air Corps as a flight surgeon.

Thursday, May 18, 1944
The medical officers of our squadron went out to MP 5 to see the set up. Very nice hospital—right on the beach. Ship is almost half painted now. It looks pretty fancy.

Friday, May 19, 1944
Got underway and went through degaussing range. Came back and anchored at 1700. Saw Conway Island movie on board tonight.

Saturday, May 20, 1944
Remained in harbor again. Putting on the finishing touches before we leave. Got a lot of new men on board.

Sunday, May 21, 1944
Have orders to get underway tomorrow morning at dawn. Rainy today and cool. Sleeping with a blanket—temperature is 72 degrees.

Monday, May 22, 1944
Underway at dawn—Fletcher, Radford. Jenkins, and us. The rest remained at Nouméa. Sea is a little rough and some of the new men don’t like it. Jenkins was sent out to look for some plane crash survivors about 120 miles from here. On to Éfaté in the New Hebrides—speed 15 knots.

Tuesday, May 23, 1944
Did much firing today off of Éfaté at sleeves and at a drone (pilot less plane run by radio). The drone was shot down by us and it crashed in flames. Held “offset” firing this afternoon at the Fletcher. Getting warm again.

Wednesday, May 24, 1944
Figured up today each ship yesterday fired $25,000 worth of ammunition—practicing! Plus shooting down that radio-controlled plane. No wonder it costs to fight a war. Had battle maneuvers today with the other can but did no firing except for some star shells tonight, illuminating the other ship for practice. Expect to arrive at Hawthorn Sound tomorrow morning—our destination. Wrote some letters and to bed.

Thursday, May 25, 1944
Arrived off of the Treasury Islands at dawn and entered Blanche Channel about 0700. We fueled and got 17 bags of mail on board, mostly Christmas packages and mail. Tied up alongside of the Radford. Saw a movie and to bed.

Friday, May 26, 1944
Went over to Sterling Island this morning and met a friend—Moreland, who got us a jeep and took us around the island and to the bomber strip. The strip is a beauty—7000 ft long, made of coral and very clean. Went up in the air control tower and watched 9 P-38’s return from a strike on Rabaul. We were all amazed at the cleanliness of the island—compared to New Guinea. We had to go along windy heavily wooded roads to get to the air base and it reminded me very much of Paradise Park (except for the temperature). Saw the hospital and supply dumps. They have some malaria and Dengue here but not as bad as at Tulagi and Guadalcanal. The water in the bay here is very clear and reminds me of Lake Tahoe. This isn’t going to be a bad base at all!

Saturday, May 27, 1944
Remained on board and puttered today. It is pretty warm today. Went over on the beach this afternoon but it wasn’t any cooler there. The rest of the squadron came in today from Nouméa. The bay is pretty filled—eight cans here. Went to the movie and to bed.

Sunday, May 28, 1944
Remained in port again today. Our new paymaster arrived on board. Went to movie and to bed.

Monday, May 29, 1944
Shoved off at 0945 with the rest of the division. We are going up north of Rabaul and Kavieng and rendezvous with a carrier and hunt subs which are bringing supplies into Rabaul and Bougainville plus evacuating Jap big shots.

Tuesday, May 30, 1944
Passed north of Bougainville and just south of Rabaul. Going up at 13 knots to conserve fuel. Water is very calm and as we near the equator it is getting very uncomfortable. No excitement yet.

Wednesday, May 31, 1944
Rendezvoused with the Hoggatt Bay—carriers at dawn at zero degrees and 150 degrees L. The planes go off all day in search of subs. A division of D.E.’s have already gotten five subs around here in the past week. Hope we can account for some. Went to G.Q. tonight at 2100 but aircraft later proved friendly.

Thursday, June 1, 1944
Screening the carrier back and forth while the planes hunt for subs. Got news today at noon that three Jap destroyers were 320 miles north heading our way at 20 knots. We, our division, asked permission to go up and intercept them but they told our other division who were at Treasury Islands to come up. We sent out night bombers to tail them all night so we could keep tab on them but they could never gain contact so our other division turned around. Went to G.Q. again at noon but planes were later friendly.

Friday, June 2, 1944
Moving westward slowly. No sub contacts since we arrived. Guess they have turned back. Heard today that we are once again going on temporary duty to the Seventh Fleet—which means New Guinea and “Dugout” MacArthur—Oh joy! Plan to arrive at Seeadler Harbor, Marcus Island in the Admiralty Islands tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 3, 1944
Arrived at Seeadler at 1000 and anchored. It is a fairly large anchorage. Fueled about 1400 and returned to berth at 1500. Went ashore with the Captain and Commodore to see base C.O. and returned for supper. Saw a movie and to bed. Dad’s birthday.

Sunday, June 4, 1944
Got orders to get underway by 1300 for Hollandia to join a cruiser task force. Our pilots and subs have sighted two large Jap task forces consisting of battlewagons, large and light cruisers and destroyers headed toward the Schouton Islands where our troops recently landed. We are to “engage and destroy”. Pulled out of Seeadler at 1330 and started for Hollandia at 34 knots hell bent for election. The old ship still has speed in her.

Monday, June 5, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia at 0700 and was amazed how many ships there are here. There was a 15 liberty ship convoy entering as we arrived—loaded down with supplies. We fueled and then anchored “awaiting further orders”. Got underway at 2000 to proceed up western New Guinea and rendezvous with the cruiser task force operating around Biak in the Schouton Islands—14 cans, 3 cruisers. Might see some Japs this time.

Tuesday, June 6, 1944
Met the 4 cruisers and 10 cans at 1000 and formed up. At noon we got the surprising news to return to Hollandia at 26 knots to refuel and get more ammunition. We arrived at Hollandia at 1800 tonight. Heard a brief flash over the radio that our troops had invaded Europe—hope so.

Wednesday, June 7, 1944
Remained anchored in Humbolt Bay. Finally got the dope on the invasion of Europe and it was read with great enthusiasm by all hands. Surely hope they move right ahead over there. We received emergency orders at 1645 to get underway to pick up survivors of a plane which had crashed about 15 miles at sea. We steamed out but the plane was still afloat—it was a 50C3 cruiser float plane and a P.T. towed it back. No one was injured, fortunately. Came back to Humbolt and anchored and then saw a movie. Shortly after the movie was over we got orders to get underway at 2300—the task force is going back to Biak to the Schouten Islands—14 cans and 3 cruisers. Might see some Japs this time.

Thursday, June 8, 1944
Continued on up to Biak. At 1500 our lookouts spotted a Jap 2 engine torpedo bomber (a “Betty”). Flying very low over the water on the horizon. He was snooping and relaying back our speed and course. I watched him through the long glass and that red circle on the fuselage surely looks big! We knew then something was forthcoming. We continued on at 20 knots and at 2100 we picked up a Jap night bomber on our radar and he came in. We were just north of Biak at the time. He came in over the task force and our ships opened up on him. He dropped a very brilliant flare over the formation and his bombs missing one ship by 100 yards. While the flare was floating down we picked up five Jap ships on the radar coming toward us. They were destroyers and carriers and cruisers. They came within torpedo range—fired them at us and then turned tail at full speed. One torpedo just missed one of our cruisers. At the time of the attack our division was in front.

We immediately opened our throttles wide open and took chase. It was one of the most exciting nights we have ever spent. At the time we took chase the Japs were fleeing 21,000 yards ahead at 32 knots. Our division (four of us) immediately went to 32 and slowly worked up to 35 knots and slowly began closing on the enemy. The rest of the task force remained behind. This began at 2230. We hoped to get close enough to hit them with our 5-inch battery then get in position to fire torpedoes. We received orders to give up the chase by 0230, so we could get back to formation by light. At 0130 the Japs were at 16,000 yards and we began firing 5-inch shells at them. The sea was rough and water was crashing over the bow. One Jap ship was apparently hit because we could see a big flash which quickly died out. They didn’t lose speed, however, so it must have been hit on the superstructure. We kept firing and chasing until 0230 and then had to return to the task force—very disgusted to think the Japs were able to get away. They eventually were going 34 knots and we were making between 35–36. At the time we turned away we were 60 miles from the base to which they were fleeing—the Island of Mapia—600 miles from Davao in Mindanao in the Philippines. We chased them over a distance of 140 miles. All we get credit for is “one damaged ship”. At 0430, I finally turned in for some sleep.

Friday, June 9, 1944
We rendezvoused with the task force at 1000 and steamed around in circles east of Biak about 150 miles. About noon we turned toward Biak to scout for another night. We patrolled north of Biak until 0230 and finding nothing we turned toward Hollandia for fuel and ammunition. Returning at 25 knots.

Saturday, June 10, 1944
Passed a 12 ship (L.S.T.) convoy going toward Biak this morning. Entered Humbolt Bay at 1300 and anchored. Fueled from the Australia at 1800. Several of us went over on the “Limey” cruiser to see what type of ship she is. Saw a movie and then got underway after fueling at 2300 and went back to our anchorage.

Sunday, June 11, 1944
Got orders to get underway at 1200 but we could not make it since we were replacing a main bearing which had burned out during the chase. We were left and told to catch up as soon as possible since the whole task force was going to Manus Island in the Admiraltys. We were sea worthy by 2000 and set out to sea. It was a beautiful night in full moon and I stayed up on the bridge until after midnight.

Monday, June 12, 1944
Joined up with the task force at noon. We were traveling at 22 knots and they at 15 knots. We had a man overboard drill and then proceeded into port. We anchored at about 1600. Shortly after supper we moved over to the Dobbin alongside the Radford with the aid of about 150 feet of line we made it. Saw a movie and then got underway at 0300 to the tanker for fuel.

Tuesday, June 13, 1944
Left the tanker about 0920 and anchored near the Dobbin for repairs. Found out Tom Saunders’s ship (Balch #363) was in, so sent him a blinker and went over to see him. We had a fine visit for about four hours. They are leaving tomorrow for the States—lucky people, but they deserve it. Nice & hot!

Wednesday, June 14, 1944
Remained anchored at Manus. Hotter than hell today and we are ringing wet. A bunch of us went over to the beach to see how the other “half” live and no thank you. What a mess!! Came back for supper and to a movie.

Thursday, June 15, 1944
Got orders to get underway at 0900 alone to join the rest of the division for L.S.T. escort duty—thought we had graduated from that league! Proceeded to Hollandia at 16 knots.

Friday, June 16, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia at 1400 just in time to fuel and join up with a convoy leaving for Biak, but not in time to get our mail from the beach. We are taking 10 L.S.T.’s and one transport up to the Schouton Islands. We replaced the Kalk (611) who had been dive bombed up there a few days ago. Left Hollandia about 1530 with the others.

Saturday, June 17, 1944
Continuing to Biak at 8 knots. Surely hope this duty isn’t permanent with L.S.T.’s. Went to G.Q. several times but all proved friendly.

Sunday, June 18, 1944
Arrived at Bosnick on Biak Island at 0600 and the L.S.T.’s immediately began to unload. All the cans kept patrolling all day. Several squadrons of fighters (ours) flew by from time to time and it was good to see them. The L.S.T.’s were unloaded by 1700 so we started back. It was rainy and cool all day. Guess the weather kept the Japs away.

Monday, June 19, 1944
At 0700 we left the convoy with two L.S.T.’s for Wadke to unload some supplies there. Arrived there at 1400 and patrolled waiting for them. Watched a bunch of planes take off going out on a strike. The L.S.T.’s finished at 1800 and we started out to rejoin the convoy at 2300 we rejoined and continued on our way to Hollandia.

Tuesday June 20, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia at 0900 and went in and fueled. Got a lot of mail today dated April and May. Remaining here on 15 minute notice. Saw a movie and to bed.

Wednesday, June 21, 1944
Remained anchored. Got more mail today—it was the rest of May’s mail. Still on 15 minute notice—believe we are standing by because of the big battle up off Saipan in the Marianas between our fleet and the Japs. Read mail and saw a movie and to bed.

Thursday, June 22, 1944
Got underway at 0900 to relieve an A.P.D and anti-sub patrol off the entrance. Did some firing this P.M. and we got a chance to fire our pistols at an oil can in the water. Fairly cool.

Friday June 23, 1944
Continuing patrol off Hollandia. Hear that we will go in to anchor tomorrow. Very routine and dull duty.

Saturday, June 24, 1944
Five years ago today was our wedding day! Surely wish I were home to celebrate it. Went in to Hollandia and anchored. There was no mail for us. Saw two movies and to bed. We are on 15 minute notice.

Sunday, June 25, 1944
Still anchored. Getting provisions on board. Got orders to get underway at 1800 to escort a convoy up to Wadke and Sarmi. Eight L.S.T.’s, one freighter and three other cans left Hollandia at sundown at eight knots.

Monday, June 26, 1944
Arrived at Wadke at 0700 and anchored. Hot today—one of the worst days yet. Didn’t do a thing but sweat all day. Had a movie tonight. The Japs still hold Sarmi about three miles down . All during the movie we could see the flames and hear them off trench mortars firing. Had a terrific rainstorm tonight but no one left the movie.

Tuesday, June 27, 1944
Cool today and cloudy. Took out two cysts, one scar and had a razor laceration to suture. Went swimming and then to a movie.

Wednesday, June 28, 1944
Remained anchored until noon then we went through the invasion down the beach a few miles. Came back and anchored before dark. Went swimming and then to a movie.

Thursday, June 29, 1944
Still anchored here. Pretty hot. Didn’t do a thing all day but take a sunbath. Went to movies and to bed.

Friday, June 30, 1944
Rest of the cans came up from Hollandia and brought us mail. Got a letter dated June 3rd and two dated April 23rd! Got underway at 1800 with the whole outfit for the invasion of Noemfoor Island west of Biak. Doesn’t look like it will be a very big show.

Saturday, July 1, 1944
Continuing on to Noemfoor Island at 1700. We went past Biak and more L.S.T.’s and L.C.I.’s joined up. Tomorrow is D Day.

Sunday, July 2, 1944
Arrived off Noemfoor at 0400 and reveille was at 0530. The cruisers began firing at 0645 and we began at 0710 from 200 yards range. Our sector to fire was the airfield along the beach. At first there was return fire and we could see the tracers coming at us, but shortly after we opened up with our 40’s in those area their firing ceased. There was some mortar fire. We fired 503 rounds of 5-inch in 25 minutes then withdrew at 0800 as the landing craft went in to land. We then went out and went on anti-sub patrol. No Jap planes showed up all day. Watch all kinds of bombs blast the Japs—including Flying Fortresses, which are the first we have seen in our operations. One of our 20 mm guns exploded during the firing and wounded four men with shrapnel. They are not too serious and I took shrapnel out of all of them. Another fellow was blown off his feet by our 5” and began coughing blood but he is resting OK and will probably be OK. At 1800 the Jenkins and three others of us formed up with eight empty L.S.T.’s and began our returns to Hollandia Another day’s work done for MacArthur in which he will claim the credit.

Monday, July 3, 1944
Continuing on our way to Hollandia. Uneventful as usual. Eight knots is so boring. Beautiful full moon out. At 1600 we turned off with two L.S.T’s for Wadke with the Jenkins.

Tuesday, July 4, 1944 (Independence Day—Ha!)
Arrived at Wadke at dawn and dropped anchor. Finally got orders to proceed with Jenkins independently to Hollandia so we left at noon at 16 knots. Arrived at Hollandia at 1700 and got a lot of mail. Tied up alongside a tanker, fueled, and stayed for the night.

Wednesday, July 5, 1944
Moved at dawn to our anchorage. Remained anchored all day. Nothing doing but shifting ammunition all day and getting provisions on board. Saw a movie and to bed.

Thursday, July 6, 1944
Remained anchored today. Pretty warm. Went over on the beach with the mail trip just to get off the ship. It was hotter there. Transferred a lot of men for the states today. Saw a movie and to bed.

Friday, July 7, 1944
Still anchored in Hollandia. Went ashore this afternoon with several officers to swim. It was much cooler today. Came back to the ship at 1700 and got underway at 1800 for Aitape escorting two L.S.T’s. Expect to arrive tomorrow. Got a letter from Dad at Santa Cruz today.

Saturday, July 8, 1944
Arrived at Aitape at dawn and patrolled waiting for L.S.T.’s to leave beach. At 1300 we formed up and got underway for Wadke. At midnight we passed Hollandia and two more L.S.T’s and four A.K.’s joined up.

Sunday, July 9, 1944
Two other cans and the convoy proceeding at eight knots arrived at Wadke at 1500 to pick up more L.S.T.’s for Noemfoor. Nothing exciting and sunbaths are dialing routine. At 1800 we formed up with eight L.S.T.’s and six merchantmen and started for Biak.

Monday, July 10, 1944
Continued on all day at eight knots. Arrived at Biak at 1700 and dropped off three L.S.T.’s and three merchantmen then proceeded on to Noemfoor. As we approached Noemfoor late tonight we could see flashes from a Jap air attack on the island—the first one since we took it. They apparently didn’t see us and didn’t attack us.

Tuesday, July 11, 1944
Arrived at Noemfoor at 0500 and began patrolling as the cargo vessels went in to unload. At noon we thought we had a sub contact but on further investigation it proved false. Shortly afterward another can and we left for Biak at 20 knots to pick up four more L.S.T.’s and escort back to Noemfoor. We arrived at Biak at 1800 formed up and turned around and proceeded for Noemfoor. This afternoon I interviewed about 80 men for our insurance policy drive. Cloudy all day so no sunbath. We are all just about fed up with this type of escort duty and wish we were up at Saipan.

Wednesday, July 12, 1944
Continuing to patrol off Noemfoor Island. Watched a lot of planes fly over going out on bombing missions. Since the Japs have begun to bomb this place our plan now is to take the liberty ships and the L.S.T.’s out to sea each night and bring them in at dawn to continue the unloading. So right after sunset we escorted them out. Some torpedo boats passed us going out on missions. No Jap bombing last night.

Thursday, July 13, 1944
Came back at dawn with our convoy and then resumed patrolling. Did some physicals for life insurance and took a sunbath. At 2000 we formed up with three L.S.T.’s and one liberty ship and started back for Wadke and Hollendia at nine knots.

Friday, July 14, 1944
We were passing Biak at dawn. Gave some more physicals for insurance and sunbathed. Should arrive at Wadke tomorrow and Hollandia the next.

Saturday, July 15, 1944
During the night we took two L.S.T.’s to Wadke, then rejoined the convoy by dawn. We arrived at Hollandia at 1600. Fueled and showed a movie. Got a lot of mail on board. Remained alongside tanker all night.

Sunday, July 16, 1944
Got underway from tanker early and anchored. Went over swimming on the beach. Fairly warm being anchored. Back to ship for supper and movie.

Monday, July 17, 1944
Got underway at dawn with three other cans to have anti-aircraft practice at sleeve shooting. Planes arrived about 0900 and we fired until noon. Then fired some in the afternoon. We returned to Hollandia at 1700 and fueled and remained alongside tanker all night. Saw another movie.

Tuesday, July 18, 1944
Went to our anchorage at 0800. Took on provisions and stores all day. Looks like things are quiet and we’ll stay around awhile.

Wednesday, July 19, 1944
Remained anchored. Went over swimming with some of our officers plus Lt. Corbett from the Blue Ridge. Came back for movie.

Thursday, July 20, 1944
Still here. Watched an almost total eclipse of the sun at 1700 and we were almost in the annular path. The Captain presented a Purple Heart to one of the men of the crew this morning. Went swimming and back for a movie.

Friday, July 21, 1944
Remained anchored. A few more ships coming in for the next deal. Went over swimming and back for a movie.

Saturday, July 22, 1944
The Captain got a landing boat from an A.P.D. and a bunch of us went out on the seaward side to a dandy beach and we had a barbecue. We went over at 5 P.M. and came back about 8 P.M. It was fun to do something different

Sunday, July 23, 1944
Heard today that the Radford had a liberty boat swamp last night and they lost one of their crew. We remained anchored again. Went over swimming and back for a movie.

Monday, July 24, 1944
Got underway at 0800 for Wadke with the rest of our division. Traveled up at 16 knots. Arrived at 1600 and anchored. Saw a movie. Will get underway at 0100 tonight for rehearsal invasion.

Tuesday, July 25, 1944
Patrolled off Wadke while the trial invasion went off. The division of cans returned and anchored at 1300. Took a sunbath most of the day. There are artillery firings off and on, on the beach at the Japs in the hills. Saw a movie and to bed.

Wednesday, July 26, 1944
Got underway this morning with four P.C.’s to supervise their bombardment of some Jap positions eight miles up the coast at Sarmi. We were ordered to standby and fire only if the little P.C.’s stirred up a hornet’s nest and couldn’t handle it. They blazed away merrily until noon and then we returned to our anchorage without having to fire a shot. Took a sunbath and saw a movie.

Thursday, July 27, 1944
Remained anchored all day. Took sunbath and loafed around ship. Saw a movie and to bed. Ida Mae’s birthday. Had some mail brought up to us from Hollandia.

Friday, July 28, 1944
Remained anchored until 2200 when we all got underway for Cape Sansapore—our next invasion spot. Today is D-2. Passed Biak at sunset.

Saturday, July 29, 1944
The whole task force is proceeding at nine knots. We will land about 7000 men initially on Vogelkop Peninsula at Cape Sansapore, which is between Manakwari and Sorong. This is almost the western end of New Guinea. So far, as we can tell, there are no Japs at this place so we intend to sneak in and build some air strips which will be only 550 miles from the Philippines. Hope it works! Today is D-1. Passed Noemfoor Island at dawn. Went to G.Q. at sunset for all night.

Sunday, July 30, 1944
Arrived off Sansapore at 0400 and jockeyed into our pre-arranged positions 750 yards from the beach in case we have to fire. We did not want to bombard because the Japs may hear it and know we are here. The troops landed at exactly 0700 as per schedule and there was no opposition. So we (cans) retired and patrolled all day. No Jap planes showed up and the 16 P-38’s overhead all day. At 1700 we formed up with four other cans and began our trip back with eight empty L.S.T.’s. The remainder of the force will remain there. Took a sunbath and to bed.

Monday, July 31, 1944
Passed by Biak on our way back. We have an occasional alert, but no Jap planes showed up. No excitement so far.

Tuesday, August 1, 1944
Continuing down coast at nine knots. A lot of our planes are flying over us—mostly heavy bombers but no Japs.

Wednesday, August 2, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia at noon. We fueled then anchored. Fairly warm today. Went over to the Platform Club and back for a movie. Lots of mail.

Thursday, August 3, 1944
Remained anchored. Getting stores and provisions aboard. Saw a movie and to bed.

Friday, August, 4, 1944
Went over swimming with the Captain this afternoon. At noon I went over to see an Australian Captain of a Corvette who had bruised his foot. Saw a movie and to bed.

Saturday, August 5, 1944
Took some fellows from the crew over to the Comfort—a hospital ship for dental treatment. Returned and went to Platform Club for a while

Sunday, August 6, 1944
Remain here in Humbolt. Should be going back up to Sansapore soon. Just about finished getting stores aboard. Saw Olson from the Fletcher.

Monday, August 7, 1944
Remained in port today again but will leave tomorrow. Lots of small ships coming in and out now getting ready for the re-enforcement trip. Went over swimming and back for movie.

Tuesday August 8, 1944
Got underway at 0700 with the rest of the division for Wadke. Had offset practice this morning and I watched from within the gun mount. Arrived at Wadke at 1600 and anchored. Saw a movie and then got underway at 2300 with ten L.S.T.’s and one A.K. for Cape Sansapore.

Wednesday, August 9, 1944
Continuing on up at nine knots. Passed Biak at sunset. Very calm sea—like a mirror and not much wind. sunbathing is on our daily “must” list!

Thursday, August, 10, 1944
Passing between Manakwari and Sansapore now and except for an occasional alert, things are quiet. Expect to arrive at Sansapore in the A.M.

Friday, August 11, 1944
Arrived at Cape Sansapore at 0700 and commenced patrolling while the L.S.T.’s unloaded. Rained off and on most of the day and we shoved off at 2200 for Biak with the empty L.S.T.’s. Not a Jap in sight. A P.T. boat came alongside at noon and gave us three Jap rifles—they said there were about 15,000 of them on the beach we had captured—but no Japs.

Saturday, August 12, 1944
Arrived at Biak at sundown and some of the L.S.T.’s turned off plus two of the cans. Another can and we are escorting the rest to Wadke.

Sunday, August 13, 1944
The other can got orders to proceed on to Hollandia independently so that leaves us and a frigate to escort the group. If they keep this up, we’ll be alone!

Monday, August 14, 1944
Left the L.S.T.’s at Wadke at 2300 and we proceeded on to Hollandia when we arrived at 1400. Went over to the Dobbin with a patient for consultation and back to the ship. Got only a few letters today but none for me. Should get some mail tomorrow—I hope. Saw two movies and to bed.

Tuesday, August 15, 1944
Got more mail today and finally got two letters. Went over on the Wasatel to get one of the crew x-rayed. Also visited with the Dr. on the Dobbin for a while. Went over swimming but was called back to see one of the fellows with a suspected appendicitis. He was not in bad shape and didn’t transfer him.

Wednesday, August 16, 1944
Got underway at 0800 with the stock for Wadke. Arrived at 1600. Fired a little on the way up for practice. Saw two movies then the ship got underway with the convoy at 2300 for Sansapore. Three cans and eight L.S.T.’s. Will be gone about ten days on this one. Donny’s birthday! Two years old, it’s hard to believe.

Thursday, August 17, 1944
Continuing on up at nine knots. Rained all day so no chance for a sunbath. Begin passing Biak at sundown. No excitement so far.

Friday, August 18, 1944
Passed Noemfoor Island and Manakwari today. Will arrive tomorrow A.M. No Japs so far. Clear weather and warm.

Saturday, August 19, 1944
Arrived at Cape Sansapore at dawn and commenced patrolling all day. At sunset we formed up and started back for Biak. Lots of our planes overhead all day. The field on Middlebury Island is in operation already.

Sunday, August 20, 1944
Passed four baby whales today and they were good size. Went to G.Q. at 0530 because of three ships, which later proved to be friendly. Heard today, tonight rather, that a patrol plane spotted a Jap sub surfaced ten miles from where we will be tomorrow.

Monday, August 21, 1944
Was awakened at 0230 by the announcing system yelling “Man Overboard”. We all ran like mad to topside. After a search for about one half hour we found him worn out. He had jumped overboard. He was in shock when he cam aboard, and I stayed up all night with him. By morning he was OK except for being a little shaky. We came into Mios Woendi Island just south of Biak at dawn and anchored. Went ashore with the Captain to see the big P.T. base and this is a beautiful spot. Just like a real tropical isle in the movies. It is much different than New Guinea—no mud, all coral and beautiful coconut trees. Came back to the ship for supper and a movie. Gave the crew shots for Cholera.

Tuesday, August 22, 1944
Remained here at Soendi today. Went ashore and while there ran into some native boys. Talked with them and gave them cigarettes, which they are crazy over. They shimmied up a coconut tree and cut us some good coconuts. They call themselves Papuans which is the real name for New Guinea. “Bagoose” means “Okay” and they say “Japs no good, but Americans bagoose.” By sea plane reconnaissance base here also. Came back and saw a movie and to bed.

Wednesday, August 23, 1944
Fueled this morning and then stayed around the harbor. Got underway at 1700 from Woendi. Rendezvoused with two L.S.T’s outside and with the Anderson we proceeded up to Sansapore.

Thursday, August 24, 1944
Passed Noemfoor Island this afternoon and Manakwari. Saw 30 B-24’s go over enroute to Holmahera for a blasting. Things quiet as usual. Went to G.Q. at 2 A.M. because of an unidentified vessel which later proved friendly.

Friday, August 25, 1944
Arrived at Sansapore at dawn and began patrolling. Will probably stay here for several days. The airfields are working now and we see many planes taking off, etc. Also, have a seaplane reconnaissance base and P.T. base here. Had an alert on the beach last night at 2100 and we could see them firing but we had no planes near us.

Saturday, August, 26, 1944
Continued patrol today. Gave first aid lecture to some of the crew. Our relief’s showed up at dusk and so we left independently for Humbolt Bay.

Sunday, August 27, 1944
Passed Woendi and Biak today. Going 16 knots seems good again. Will arrive tomorrow about noon.

Monday, August 28, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia about noon. We tied up along side the Dobbin for tender overhaul and then will go in dry dock here for three days. Got 32 bags of mail and I got five letters from Sal.

Tuesday, August 29, 1944
Went on to Dobbin to visit with Dr. Stangle this A.M. Made arrangements to do a spinal tap for tomorrow there on a luetie. Went over to the club with Jack McGaffen in P.M. and back for supper.

Wednesday, August 30, 1944
Did spinal tap this A.M. and then visited with Dr. Stangle. Puttered around ship today. No mail today.

Thursday, August 31, 1944
Still alongside the Dobbin. Visited with the Doctor on it during the A.M. Went swimming and then to a movie.

Friday, September 1, 1944
Getting the ship’s work finished today. Plan to go in dry dock tomorrow. Went swimming and to a movie.

Saturday September 2, 1944
Got underway at 0700 and over to the dry dock. It was interesting watching the procedure. It doesn’t take very long (about an hour) to raise the dock and leave us high and dry. Went down in the dry dock and got a good look at the bottom. We had a hole into one of our fuel tanks and a sound gear was dented from a log. Crew began scraping the bottom.

Sunday, September 3, 1944
Remained in dry dock, scraping continues. They have plugged up the hole and now are replacing the sound gear. One of the crew fell off a scaffold and sprained his ankle. I took him to another ship, the Wasatch, to get an x-ray due to the severe pain and swelling but everything is OK.

Monday, September 4, 1944
Left the dry dock at 1000 and then fueled. We left Hollandia at 1500 with two L.S.T’s for Maffin Bay. Will arrive there tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 5, 1944
Arrived at Maffin Bay at dawn and anchored. Lots of landing craft here and loaded with men. Big operation soon. Saw a movie.

Wednesday, September 6, 1944
Got underway at 0430 for rehearsal landing for this outfit. It was held just down the beach a ways. At noon we returned to our anchorage. Had another movie tonight.

Thursday, September 7, 1944
Remained anchored at Maffin Bay. Our artillery is still blazing away on the beach at the Japs. Captain Sprague, the Chief of Staff of 7th Amphibious Forces is on board for a day or two. Saw a movie and to bed.

Friday, September 8, 1944
Still at Maffin. Went over to the Fletcher today and saw the Commodore, plus visit with some of the officers. Came back and saw the movie.

Saturday, September 9, 1944
Got underway at 0800 for a full power run. We compensated the compass for a couple of hours first. At noon we began opening her up and we made 34 knots and she wasn’t open full. We made 390 R.P.M.’s. We are faster per turns plus more economical with fuel since dry docking. Started slowing down at 1600 and then began patrolling off Wadke until tomorrow. The Hughes is bringing us mail tomorrow, we hope! From Hollandia.

Sunday, September 10, 1944
Anchored at Maffin and got our mail this afternoon and I got 10 letters. Had a Dutch General and a Dutch Captain report on board for this coming operation. Saw a movie in intermittent rain.

Monday, September 11, 1944
Got underway at 0900 and finally formed up with the task force at 1300, and started on our next invasion. We will size and occupy the island of Morotai just north of Halmahera. Plan to land 55,000 men in about 18 days time. There is partially completed airfield on the island which will help quicken our construction. We will land there on September 15th. The whole convoy is going nine knots and will be joined by five cruisers, 18 destroyers, and six carriers day after tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 12, 1944
Continuing on our way. Uneventful cruising all day. Getting all our supplies sterilized etc. Cloudy and intermittent rains all day.

Wednesday, September 13, 1944
Cruisers, three light and two heavy, and destroyers joined up today. The carriers, six, showed up at sunset. Spent part of the morning visiting with the Dutch General—General Van Oyen—he is the commanding General of all Dutch forces in the Pacific, and a very interesting man.

Thursday, September 14, 1944
D-Day is tomorrow. No Jap planes heave spotted us yet. Guess our bombers are keeping them busy. We all turned in early because we will get up and man our battle stations at 0400.

Friday, September 15, 1944
Got up at 0400 and we could see Halmahera in the dim light. At 0600 one of the cans spotted a Jap barge and went over and sank it with gun fire. The Fletcher and us steamed on ahead and stopped just 400 yards off the landing beaches and opened up with our main battery. We fired for 15 minutes and threw out 515 rounds of five inch ammunition. We then retired to let the landing craft in. We started a fire which burned all day. As we were retiring we got a message from the Admiral that three Jap ships had been sighted north of Halmahera and for the Fletcher and us to go up and destroy. We were happy and excited for such an assignment, but after speeding up there at 25 knots we couldn’t find a thing! Very disappointed we turned back. No Jap planes came over all day. But we had good fighters cover all day anyway. We screened the troop transports and at 1700 we left to go to our patrol sector for the night with the Hughes and the Taylor north of Halmahera. We stayed at G.Q. all night but did not intercept any shipping. We were about 35 miles north of the landing area,

Saturday, September 16, 1944
Came back to the landing beach at dawn and heard that two Jap planes had attached and bombed that night and one was shot down. No damage done. The totals on landing were three Japs killed, and three captured with 200 up in the hills hiding. We lost two men off the landing forces! And to think there are 25,000 Japs just 20 miles across the strait on Halmahera. There are five volcanoes on Halmahera and one has a big cloud emitting from it all the time—very picturesque. These are a part of the Spice Islands. When we get back to the landing area there were 45 P.T. boats with two tenders arriving. We patrolled until 1700 then formed up with 12 L.S.T’s, the Fletcher and the Taylor and headed for home. At 1900 we were about 18 miles away when we heard the beach was being attached by Jap planes. One of our ships, the Hopewell, shot down one plane and they radioed to us another plane was heading for us but it never showed up. We continued on our way and secured from G.Q. at about 2200.

Sunday, September 17, 1944
Continuing on our way back. No Japs and it is very calm. Nice and cool today. Everyone slept most of the day.

Monday, September 18, 1944
Very uneventful voyage. The Taylor and we turn off tomorrow and go to Woendi just south of Biak and stay there a few days, then back to Moratai.

Tuesday, September 19, 1944
Taylor and our ship left the convoy at noon and arrived at Woendi about 1700. We fueled, then anchored. The cruisers and their destroyers are here. This beautiful spot is our favorite place because it is so clean. Saw a movie on the forecastle and to bed.

Wednesday, September 20, 1944
Went alongside the Pyro—ammunition ships—and got reloaded with shells and powder. About noon we anchored. Learned that Al Thurlow, a classmate from St. Louis, is in the harbor on the Killen, DD 593, so sent him a blinker and told him I’d see him tomorrow. Saw a movie.

Thursday, September 21, 1944
Went over to visit with Thurlow after lunch and had a good visit. Went over to the island later and back for supper. Pretty warm today—humid.

Friday, September 22, 1944
Thurlow came over for lunch and visited during the afternoon. We topped off on fuel since we are leaving tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 1944
Got underway at 1700 for Moratai but a small army avgas vessel blinked as he had forgotten to fuel! So we had to wait two hours. It was raining pitchforks and thunder and lightning all around. Finally got out and started on our way.

Sunday, September 24, 1944
Joined up with the Fletcher, Morris, and six merchantmen and ten L.S.T’s from Hollandia. The Fletcher brought our mail to us so we went alongside and got it. It was good getting mail here and I got three from Sal and two from Dad. Now we’re altogether on our way at 7.5 knots.

Monday, September 25, 1944
Manned our battle stations at 0400 because a plane flying low was approaching us. Finally turned out to be another 5th Air Force plane—they cause us to go to G.Q. oftener than the Japs do. Rest of the day uneventful until 1300 when we went to G.Q. again but the plane later proved friendly. So it goes out here. Will get to Moratai day after tomorrow I believe or tomorrow night, late.

Tuesday, September 26, 1944
Will arrive tomorrow. Went to G.Q. several times but bogies were friendly. No excitement or anything unusual so far.

Wednesday, September 27, 1944
Arrived at Moratai at 0500 and commenced patrol while L.S.T’s unload. Sea rough today and it is very cloudy, windy, and rainy. Got surprise orders at noon to return to Hollandia with the echelon returning tonight. So at 1700 we formed up and started back. At 1720 the can on our port side began firing and lo and behold we had a Jap bomber shooting by. He was going like mad and got out of range before we could open up. After sunset Moratai was heavily attached by Jap planes—from the Philippines, I presume—and we watched the tracers and ack-ack as we were leaving. It looked like a big bunch of roman candles going off. One Jap plane got within 12,000 yards of us after dark but either did not see us or didn’t want to attack, so we held our fire.

Thursday, September 28, 1944
Sea still rough and windy but subsiding. No more Jap planes so far so guess we’re safe now. Not a thing of interest today.

Friday, September 29, 1944
Sea continues to be rough. Strong winds and rain—called a “moderate tropical front.” No Japs today. Routine day. Gave typhoid shots to the crew.

Saturday, September 30, 1944
Sea rough again today. Going with the wind which is faster than we are. Biak Island in sight and some L.C.T’s plus one can left the formation for Woendi. We continue on to Hollandia.

Sunday, October 1, 1944
Sea still rough and we do a lot of rolling and yawing. All cans formed in two columns this afternoon and fired at sleeves pulled by a plane. We got the only two sleeves shot down (the Jenkins and us) and sort of showed up DesRon 25. Full moon and went up on top of the director tonight for a while and visited with Petlitt who had the watch. Beautiful night. We are very close to Hollandia and will enter port early in the A.M. which means mail!

Monday, October 2, 1944
Arrived at Hollandia at dawn, fueled and anchored. Although we got nine bags of mail I didn’t receive any mail and can’t figure it out. Hope nothing is wrong at home. Getting store and provisions on board.

Tuesday, October 3, 1944
Remained anchored. No mail today either. Puttered all day. Finally cool.

Wednesday, October 4, 1944
Had order to get underway today for Finschafen, but were cancelled this afternoon. Remained on board. Still no mail. Transferred a sick appendix at 2300 to L.S.T. 469.

Thursday, October 5, 1944
Went over to the Dobbin this A.M. and visited with Lt. Commander Stangel and returned at noon. Ship got underway at 1600 escorting two British troop transports to Finsch and then we’ll go to Marcus. Brought another bag of mail aboard today and still didn’t get a letter. Still can’t figure it out.

Friday, October 6, 1944
Proceeding to Finsch at 16 knots and will arrive there tomorrow A.M. early. It seems good to be going so fast.

Saturday, October 7, 1944
Left our two ships off Finsch and proceeded alone to Cape Gloucester on New Britain. Very rough sea today and very windy. Arrived at Cape Gloucester at noon and remained there until 1600 and then left for Marcus Island.

Sunday, October 8, 1944
Arrived at Marcus at 0800. Very many ships are present—all sizes. We fueled and then anchored. Had the signalman look for Hamlin’s ship which is supposed to be in but found out she pulled out yesterday.

Monday, October 9, 1944
Got underway at 0400 for rehearsal for the coming operation. We’re going to be screening large troop transports this time—guess we have graduated from the L.S.T stuff—we hope. Came back in by dark and anchored.

Tuesday, October 10, 1944
Remained anchored at Marcus. Went over to the club in the afternoon. Back for supper and a movie. Went swimming at the club.

Wednesday, October 11, 1944
Still anchored today. Fueled again to capacity. Ran into Gil Barron and Akin Mathiau at the club this afternoon and had a good visit with them. Back for supper and a movie.

Thursday, October 12, 1944
Got underway at 1400 from Marcus and are now proceeding on the next operation—the invasion of the Philippines.

Friday, October 13, 1944
Continuing westward with 12 troop transports and the rest of our division. Speed 12 knots. Very warm since we are going with the wind. We are about 120 miles north of New Guinea. No excitement and routine cruising.

Saturday, October 14, 1944
Crossed the equator today and is it hot! Hope it cools in the north latitudes. We are off on the invasion of the island of Leyte in the Central Philippines—should be quite a show.

Sunday, October 15, 1944
Joined up with the greater sized task force from Hollandia this morning. We are very large, and quite formidable. Speed now cut to seven knots. Began heading northerly and shall pass close by to Palau Island group enroute. A little cooler today especially upon changing course to north.

Monday, October 16, 1944
Continuing on our northwesterly course. This whole operation so far is strange in that we have no bogies or any trace of Japs around. Usually we go to G.Q. off and on due to some alert. Many of us don’t feel right about ship operation—but can’t explain why.

Tuesday, October 17, 1944
Getting close to Palau Island now on our starboard hand. We will not pass in sight however. We keep reading Halsey’s reports of his raids on Formosa, Luzon since his success means success for us. Still no sign of Japs at all. Getting sick bay completely ready for casualties.

Wednesday, October 18, 1944
Two more days to go since D-Day is the 20th. Getting a little cooler but not much-or enough to make any difference. Halsey hitting Manila today and tomorrow. All set in Sick Bay now.

Thursday, October 19, 1944
We passed within 100 miles of Mindanao today where 50 Jap airfields are. Still no Japs attacked us so guess Halsey is really knocking them down.

Friday, October 20, 1944 (D day)
Manned our battle stations at 0430 and we were well into Leyte Gulf by then. We could see the battlewagons and cruisers bombarding the shore then. At 0630 a twin engine Jap bomber (Dinah) attacked us and hit a destroyer aft of us. We all fired on her but no one shot it down and she scurried away. We went to our patrol sector off of Samar in San Pedro Bay and watched the invasion. At 1000 sharp the troops hit the beach. There was little opposition at first, then the Japs opened up with mortar fire and sank one boat and 2 were hit approaching the beach. Six L.S.T.’s were hit by mortar and one badly in Sick Bay with a lot of casualties. But the landings continued. At about noon several large canoes with Filipinos came out to the ship waving madly. We beckoned them on thinking they had some valuable information. As they approached they yelled in very good English “Victory”, “Liberty” and thank you Americans here. Thank you. The smile on their face of gratefulness and being free after 3 years was a sight to behold and the lump in your throat was as big as your fist. That sight was well worth any risk to us. We asked them how the Japs treated them and they said “very unjustly”. We gave them lots of cigarettes and candy and were they appreciative. They returned to us in the afternoon with coconuts and bananas and 2 chickens—alive! One of them was a young doctor from the U of Manila and was an extremely intelligent person with perfect English. This time we gave them lots of smokes, a ham, bread and boxes of candy. There is no doubt that Filipinos are pro-American! At sundown the Japs’ planes came in. They dropped bombs all around and torpedoes but no one was hit. All the ships laid down a good smoke screen. The attack lasted until about 7:30PM. We were tired but the ship remained at their guns all night. Forgot to mention that coming through the gulf early this morning the entrance was heavily mined and there were flotation mines present, but we all got though OK.

Saturday, October 21, 1944
The Jap bombers returned at dawn and attacked again. The Australian cruiser Australia was hit on the bridge and killing one officer and severely injuring the Captain, Commanders, navigator and 4 others. That plane was shot down. Then at sunrise, all was quiet. Our landings continue and we are firmly established on the beach now. The heavy ships continue to bombard. We kept patrolling all day and at 1800 formed up and started back for Hollandia with 16 L.S.T.’s and 2 cargo ships. At 1700, a few Japs planes attacked and we fired but none were shot down. Ship still at G.Q day and night.

Sunday, October 22, 1944
We’re out of Leyte Gulf now and on the high seas. We should arrive at Hollandia on the 27th about 5:00 PM. Pleasant trip back into the wind.

Monday, October 23, 1944
Continuing south and east at 10 knots. Reports show Jap fleets headed toward Philippines but no further dope as yet.

Tuesday, October 24, 1944
Opposite Palau now. Cool and restful trip. No signs of Jap planes or subs.

Wednesday, October 25, 1944
Started getting plain language reports of the Jap Fleet engaging our small carrier group behind us. Looks like the Japs are going to fight for the Philippines. Heard that one of our C.V.E.’s was sunk and several cans damaged. Fueled at sea, so if ordered, we could return to Leyte immediately.

Thursday, October 26, 1944
Reports of the sea battle look good and seems as though we sank most everything. We’re half glad to be here and half disappointed to miss the battle. Should arrive Hollandia at dawn.

Friday, October 27, 1944
Arrived at entrance of Hollandia at dawn and then received urgent orders to proceed to Palau so Fletcher and we turned and sped back at 27 knots. Came close to getting our mail—but not quite. Cool going this fast. Many colds on board.

Saturday, October 28, 1944
Arrived at Kossol Passage at 0900 in the midst of heavy rains and wind. Fueled from a tanker and then got underway with 12 troop transports and 4 other cans for Guam.

Sunday, October 29, 1944
Continuing to Guam at 13 Knots. Good weather and cool. One can had a sub contact today but lost it and we proceeded on. Should arrive at Guam day after tomorrow.

Monday, October 30, 1944
Uneventful day as we near Guam. Sea a little rough but weather getting cool. Will arrive tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 31, 1944
Arrived off Guam at 0800 and then patrolled while the troops went in. We, the cans, went in about 1500 and anchored. Guam looks very much like Pearl Harbor—the mountains, etc., but it is a very small anchorage. Not many ships here. Wind cool. Had a movie tonight. Hope to go ashore tomorrow and see the island but we’re on 2 hours notice and don’t know if we can make it.

Wednesday, November 1, 1944
Remained anchored in Guam. Very cool and pleasant. Went ashore with the Captain and looked at the damage done etc. Some mess. Saw a movie and to bed.

Thursday, November 2, 1944
Fueled this morning and re-anchored. Went over and saw the airstrip in the P.M. Many damaged Jap planes lying around and many more active planes of the U.S. around! Saw our old Marine barracks originally destroyed by the Japs in 1941 and has all the ear-marks that our boys gave a good fight before Guam fell. Returned to ship and a movie.

Friday, November 3, 1944
Got underway at 0600 with the 12 loaded troop transports for Nouméa, New Caledonia—a distance of 3200 miles. Why—no one knows, but we don’t mind since it is away from the forward area which will be a rest. It will be about an 11–12 day trip. We will go east until near Eniwetok in the Marshalls and then cut south. Everyone is hoping “the states from Nouméa”, but I seriously doubt it. Would be nice, though!

Saturday, November 4, 1944
Continuing eastward into a fairly rough sea. Aside from doing a lot of rolling and pitching and taking water over the bow, just a routine day.

Sunday, November 5, 1944
Still going due East. Passing north of Truk but of course well out of sight of it. Sea still rough and we continue to roll and pitch.

Monday, November 6, 1944
Getting near the Marshall Islands now. We should be very near Eniwetok tomorrow then we turn south. At 2000 tonight we had 3 unidentified surface targets and we were sent ahead to investigate but they turned out to be a convoy going to Guam. May do some AA practice firing tomorrow. Just heard our 7 day availability at Nouméa has been cancelled because they “need escort vessels at Hollandia”—we can’t wait!

Tuesday, November 7, 1944
Came very close to Eniwetok today and then turned due south. Had a tow plane come out from there with a sleeve and all ships had good A-A practice. We shot down one sleeve. Still cool and pleasant.

Wednesday, November 8, 1944
Continuing due south. Will be passing the Equator in 2 days so we are going to have a Neptunus Rex initiation for 29 “Pollywogs”. Very long trip and boring.

Thursday, November 9, 1944
Had the initiation today with the Royal Court in the afternoon. Everything went well except for a noted lack of enthusiasm in the crew—guess they have been to sea too long. We cross the Equator tomorrow morning about 0400. Won’t get in to Nouméa for another 6 days! Now we hear we are going to get 7 days there—we all hope so. The Morris had a steering casualty at sunset and it was interesting watching her go right through the convoy out of control and all the transports turning to avoid her. Fortunately there was no damage done and everything is OK now. We’re all hoping for mail to be awaiting us at Nouméa.

Friday, November 10, 1944
Continuing south enroute to Nouméa. Fairly warm today. Took a sunbath and got a good burn. Had a movie in the Wardroom this evening for the first time and it worked out fairly well.

Saturday, November 11, 1944
Fueled this morning from one of the troop transport. At 1300 we had burst firing. At 1600 we got an urgent dispatch to reverse course and head direct for Marcus—the whole convoy—and await further orders. So back we go. We will arrive at Marcus probably on the 16th. We were just north of the Solomon Islands at the time we turned west. Had another movie in the wardroom tonight.

Sunday, November 12, 1944
Continuing westward to Marcus. Fairly cool. Rain off and on all day. Routine day.

Monday, November 13, 1944
Passing north of Bougainville but out of sight of land. Continues to be cool.

Tuesday, November 14, 1944
Getting requisitions made up for supplies at measures. We’ll get in day after tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 1944
Wrote some letters and saw a movie in the Wardroom. Arrive tomorrow. Nice and cool.

Thursday, November 16, 1944
Arrived at Marcus at noon and went alongside tanker to fuel and remained there all night. Saw Jones’ ship in but could not reach him. No mail for us here! And our last mail was September 28th.

Friday, November 17, 1944
Received a message from Jones and went over to see him. Had a good visit all afternoon. Getting provisions on board. Don’t know how long we’ll be here.

Saturday, November 18, 1944
Got the alnow on board that promoted me #198-44 so Jones came over and we filled out our Form Ys. We received orders to get underway at 1400. No mail again today. We are taking the same troop transports to Leyte in the Philippines.

Sunday, November 19, 1944
A destroyer came alongside today and delivered us a small package of mail and I got one letter from Sal, and it was surly welcomed. Continuing to the Philippines. Passed a battleship task force this afternoon going in the other direction. Should arrive at Leyte on the 23rd.

Monday, November 20, 1944
Not any excitement as we proceed. Getting cooler every day.

Tuesday, November 21, 1944
East of Mindanao now and had several bogies during the day but were not under attack. Will have fighter cover from carriers tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 1944
Several Jap planes came in at various intervals as close as 18 miles today and would leave. One plane, Jap, flew over the convoy at every high level about noon but was chased off. Our carriers (4) joined up with us in the A.M. Shortly after dark 3 Jap planes—torpedo bombers attached us and we were the first to open fire. They got in as far as 6000 yards and our gunfire turned them away. One dropped a torpedo off of one of the destroyers but no ship was hit. The whole task force did a series of emergency turns to keep the Jap planes astern of us during each attack and it proved effective. They attacked just after sunset after our carrier had landed their planes.

Thursday, November 23, 1944
Arrived at Leyte at 0600 and the troop transport went to the unloading beaches. We patrolled around the bay and then anchored around the transport to give A-A fire support in event of an attack. Many ships present. One Jap plane probably a reconnaissance plane, flew over about noon but we did not fire—out of range. Went to G.Q. 5 times after supper for alerts due to bombing on the beach but no plane attacked us.

Friday, November 24, 1944
Remaining in Leyte Gulf. Went to G.Q. at 0700 because 28 bombers attacked the beach. Our fighter shot down 4. No planes attacked us and we did not fire. At 1230 a Jap dive bomber attempted to bomb a troop transport about 6000 yards from us but a P-38 dove out of the clouds and in one shot burst had the Jap in flames. The Jap then maneuvered his plane and tried to suicide crash dive into the transport but missed and exploded in the water. It was a thrilling scene. At 1600 we got underway to screen the transport out of Leyte Gulf. Shortly after sunset 2 planes attacked us but gunfire turned them away. Quite a tiring day—went to G.Q. 14 times!

Saturday, November 25, 1944
Enroute to Hollandia—but we (the Fletcher, Howorth, and us) are going to turn back and go to Leyte tomorrow. Rested all day. Heard that a Jap plane spotted us at 0900 but no attack materialized.

Sunday, November 26, 1944
At 0800 the 3 cans of our division left the convoy and turned back for Leyte. We will catch up with another convoy and give A-A fire support on into Leyte. We are to report for further assignment after arriving at Leyte. Surely wish our mail would catch up with us for it has been a long time.

Monday, November 27, 1944
Rendezvoused with the convoy of 12 more ships and A.P.D.’s. Since we were low on fuel we fueled at night from a tanker. Sea was a little rough and we broke the hose so called it quits but we got enough oil to last us.

Tuesday, November 28, 1944
Arrived at Leyte at 1400 with very rainy weather. Anchored near Red Beach and immediately began to go to G.Q. at regular intervals due to Jap planes about the place. We got 46 bags of mail on board at 2200 and we sorted it in the Wardroom. I got 24 from Sal and were they appreciated. Read mail until 3:30 A.M.

Wednesday, November 29, 1944
Remained anchored in Leyte Gulf except to fuel around noon time. Many Jap planes attacked a task force about 20 miles from us and hit 2 destroyers and one battlewagon but not much damage.

Thursday, November 30, 1944
Remained anchored. Getting ready for the next operation. Jap planes still come over but don’t do any damage to the shipping. Wrote letters most of the day. Rains every day here, so it seems.

Friday, December 1, 1944
Remained anchored. No Jap planes today for some reason. Very cool today. I was standing out on deck and got very chilly so decided to check the temperature—it was 79 degrees and here I was shivering.

Saturday, December 2, 1944
Remained anchored again today. Went to G.Q. tonight but the Japs didn’t attack the shipping. It remains cool and comfortable. Had a movie in the Wardroom tonight.

Sunday, December 3, 1944
Got underway this A.M. to fuel and provision. While alongside the tanker the Nicholas came along the other side so I visited with Groshsrt for the first time since Nouméa in May. At 1700 the Nicholas, Fletcher, O’Bannon, and us got underway to join the cruiser in Leyte Gulf and patrol. We got detached after sunset to join the Mugford and patrol the Surigao Straits for submarines. Things might be hot for a while.

Monday, December 4, 1944
Patrolling back and forth in Surigao Straits. Watched a convoy of L.S.M.’s and 3 three cans enroute to Bigbay on western Leyte with reinforcement. No bogies.

Tuesday, December 5, 1944
Emergency G.Q. at 0400 because of bogies but they didn’t close us. All was quiet until about noon when we saw five Jap dive bombers attack the returning L.S.M.’s and three cans we saw yesterday. One suicide crash dived into an L.S.M. and sank it. Another suicide crash dived into another L.S.M. but it only caught fire and didn’t sink. Another crashed into one of the cans. As we were speeding over to assist, a Jap dived on us. We opened fire with everything we had and still he headed down at us. We were going 25 knots and the Captain put on hard left rudder and as we were turning the Jap crashed 50 feet off of our port quarter. The stern was covered with plane parts and parts of the Jap’s body—two teeth, a forearm and part of the mandible. No damage or personnel casualties!—by the grace of God. We are sure he was hit before he crashed. Hope we don’t have another day like this again.

Wednesday, December 6, 1944
Kept patrolling but no more Japs. Fletcher came out and joined us at noon for patrol. At 1700 the Nicholas and O’Bannon joined us and we (4 of us) proceeded to go on Philippine “Slot Duty” around to Ormoc Bay to intercept some troop transports and cans who were supposed to be coming down from Manila. We had to transfer all of our secret publications, etc. beforehand because of the danger of being sunk in enemy waters. We sped up there at 30 knots after dark and arrived there at 0030. We went all through Ormoc Bay but found no shipping. So we went into 4000 yards and shelled known Jap position using star shells. On our retirement Jap planes started to attack us at about 0230 and we used every effective evasive high speed maneuvers plus firing guns. One 2 engine bomber flew right over the ship. No planes were shot down. We then maintained 30 knots down to southern Leyte and got there by dawn. We finally got to bed at 0700—very tired.

Thursday, December 7, 1944
Woke up at noon not really rested but with a few hours sleep. We were screening 2 cruisers in Leyte Gulf. At 1700 two cans came and relieved the Fletcher and us and we went and fueled after dark. After fueling we anchored in Leyte Gulf. Turned in at 2000.

Friday, December 8, 1944
Feel pretty rested today, finally. At noon we received orders to join 6 other cans and take some L.S.M.’s around to Ormoc where we landed yesterday. Don’t give you any rest around here. Two cans came into Leyte Gulf today badly hit at Ormoc yesterday. Japs are raising hell with destroyers with these suicide planes. Looks like we’ll be up all night again plus some juicy air attacks.

Saturday, December 9, 1944
Up all night last night at battle stations and arrived at landing beach south of Ormoc at 0600. The landing craft began unloading but were delayed somewhat by the heavy rains. At dawn we requested air protection by radio but got a reply that all planes were grounded by the weather. We thought we were sunk since we were so close to Jap fields and only going 13 knots. Before the landing craft were unloaded they told another can and us to close the beach and bombard some Jap barracks which we did. Really made a nice fire plus putting a lot of holes in the walls. During the bombardment, one of the crew dropped a shell on his foot causing a compound fracture of the 5th toe and badly lacerating the 4th. Fixed him up and he’s OK this evening. We left Ormoc Bay at 0900 for Leyte Gulf. Not one Jap plane showed up all day which made all concerned very happy since a large formation of Japs attacked there yesterday. At 1800 this evening we thought we had a sub contact but later proved false. Won’t have any trouble sleeping tonight. We anchored in Leyte Gulf at 2300.

Sunday, December 10, 1944
Remained anchored today except to fuel in the afternoon. Rained off and on most of the day. Had a movie in the Wardroom tonight for our recreation. Had a Captain Farrell of the Australian army report aboard as observer for the next operations.

Monday, December 11, 1944
Remained anchored all day. Rain again today. Had a War correspondent—a Mr. Denton of the Cincinnati Times-Star report aboard for the next operation and he is to observe “life on a destroyer in operation”. No Jap attacks today.

Tuesday, December 12, 1944
Got underway at 1400 to form up with the task force for the invasion of Mindoro Island. It consists of 110 vessels and all we need now is adequate air coverage. All hell will break loose if those suicide dive bombers break through. Time will tell.

Wednesday, December 13, 1944
Went to G.Q. at sunrise but all was quiet. Had many friendlies overhead all day. At 1400 “out of a clear sky” a Jap suicide bomber dove right over us and crashed into the Nashville by her #1 stack. There was a tremendous explosion and fire but it was quickly extinguished. Another plane, a 2 engine bomber, apparently an observer came within 6000 yards of us just after that and all of us opened up on it but it immediately turned and fled. Not one ship saw the suicide plane soon enough to open fire. The cruiser will remain with us since most of the damage was superficial from a gun firing ability standpoint. The admiral’s staff changed to a destroyer shortly afterward. All was quiet until 5 PM when the Japs started to come back—about 10 of them. One P-38 shot one down over the convoy and although he tried a suicide crash he missed an L.S.T. and burned in the sea. We opened up on a 2 engine bomber on our starboard beam but he turned and fled. The P-38s chased him and shot him down. The P-38s accounted for 5 planes and the rest of the Japs ran. After sunset, after our planes had left, about 5 Jap planes came in—some dropped bombs but then they left. Thank goodness for a pitch black night. However, the Japs know we’re on our way and tomorrow should be a long day!

Thursday, December 14, 1944
Had good air coverage all day and only close Jap planes were there which attacked our mine-sweeps about 12 miles ahead of us. No damage to any of our ships. Were at G.Q. off and on most of the day. Jap planes came in after sunset but didn’t do any damage and we did not fire to reveal our position. Went to bed tired.

Friday, December 15, 1944
Went to G.Q. at 0600 (but got up at 0430) since today is “D” day at Mindoro. One of our cans picked up a small Jap ship believed to have been a tanker and sank it with gunfire at 0500—it made a nice blaze. At 0710 we were 1200 yards off of the beach and commenced bombarding (buildings etc.) along with 3 other cans on each side of us. At 0720 we ceased firing and watched the troops go in and land. At about 0800, three Jap planes flew directly over us at a high formation and we took them under fire and broke up their formation. At about 0830 six of those suicide planes came in on the convoy near the beach and 2 of them crashed into L.S.M.’s causing them to blow into flames. One plane headed for us and we fired every kind of gun aboard and we shot him down about 6000 yards from us—tense moments those! Luckily, he was flying low so he didn’t have far to go to hit the water. The troops on the L.S.M.’s were able to get off OK. So all we lost were the ships and the equipment. Another suicide plane dove on the Howorth—a can in our squadron and hit the air search radar antenna on top of the main mast then bounced into the fo'cstle and into the water doing only slight damage and no one hurt! Then at about 1230 a single Jap flew in and bombed the beach where they wee unloading fairly close to us and turned tail for the hills. We fired but had a jam after 2 rounds and had to quit. The jam was not serious and we fired in short order. The L.S.T.’s were ready to leave at 1800 so formed up and started back for Leyte. About an hour later, at sunset, two Jap planes attacked the beach and our convoy, one of which was shot down on the other side of the convoy. He too, tried to suicide crash dive but missed. After that things quieted down and we’re all very tired again tonight. Hard to realize that one year ago today, we arrived in S.F! Quite different this year and how we all wish we were there again.

Saturday, December 16, 1944
Continuing southward back to Leyte. Jap planes appeared at a distance all morning and didn’t attack us until about 1400 when one came in. We were ready for him and sent out 4 of our covering carrier planes who intercepted him at 11 miles and immediately shot him down. He was a dive-bomber—one of those suicide planes, so we were elated to say the least to see him shot down. Had a few Jap planes snooping around at sunset, but none attacked. After it got dark things quieted down.

Sunday, December 17, 1944
Went to routine G.Q. before dawn and just at sunrise, two Jap twin engine bombers attacked the convoy. One was shot down by a destroyer ahead of us, near the forward part of the convoy and the other in trying to run away was shot down by one of our carrier planes. We didn’t get a chance to fire. Remained at G.Q. all day for we were very close to Mindoro and Jap airfields. All was quiet until about 5 PM when the Japs attacked again, this time about five of them. None were shot down, but as soon as the destroyers began to fire they broke off the attack and fled. Darkness set in and things became quiet again. We will arrive at Leyte in the morning.

Monday, December 18, 1944
Arrived at Leyte Gulf by dawn and proceeded to fuel but had to wait all day for earlier ships to finish. We finally got alongside the tanker at sundown and remained all night. Had a movie in the wardroom.

Tuesday, December 19, 1944
Got underway at 0800 and anchored near the rest of the squadron and ships. Went over to the O’Bannon and saw Bob Whiffen for a while this afternoon. At sundown went with the C. and X.O. to the O’Bannon’s and Howorth’s picnic held in the Motor Whale Boat.

Wednesday, December 20, 1944
Remained anchored all day. Rained most of the afternoon. Had crew trips in the MWB all afternoon and went on one of them. Just after sunset, 2 Jap twin engine bombers came in and one tried a suicide crash dive on one of the big ships anchored. All of us opened fire and he was hit on the way down. Believed that because he was hit, he missed his target and crashed harmlessly in the water. The other plane, which was evidently an observation plane, flew away out of range. And so to bed.

Thursday, December 21, 1944
We have been granted to go back to Marcus to get some repairs done but we don’t know when we’ll leave. Remained anchored as before. No raids tonight.

Friday, December 22, 1944
Remained anchored today. Went over to the Sterett and Tex Lea came back over to the ship and we visited all afternoon. At sundown Tex and I were riding back to the Sterett when an air alert sounded so we hurried back to our ship. The all clear sounded shortly afterward so we shoved off again and I got him back to his ship this time.

Saturday, December 23, 1944
Got underway at 1300 for Marcus. We and the Cunningham can are taking the Mount McKinley there and we shall get repairs done to our director. Going 16 knots. An officer is traveling with us for transportation and found out he is a Theta Delt from William and Mary U.

Sunday, December 24, 1944
Continuing on eastward. Got dispatch orders today to leave the convoy and proceed to Hollandia for repairs instead. We will do this at 0200 tomorrow morning. Quiet trip. Listened to Xmas carols on the radio tonight.

Monday, December 25, 1944 (Christmas)
Had service on the fo'cstle this morning with the crew and officers participating. Wrote letters all afternoon and then a big turkey dinner for supper. Had a movie in the wardroom after supper.

Tuesday, December 26, 1944
Continuing on to Hollandia. Will arrive tomorrow morning. Fairly warm now. No excitement.

Wednesday, December 27, 1944
Arrived at Humbolt Bay at dawn. Anchored at dawn. Anchored near the Dobbin and began our necessary repairs. Took a couple of boys over to the hospital on the beach and then found out Hanklin’s ship was docked here so went over to visit with him. Remained aboard for lunch and supper and we jabbered until 2 AM. I came back to the ship and he was shoving off at 6.

Thursday, December 28, 1944
We moored alongside the Dobbin this morning for repairs so I got some dental appointments. Went over to Hollandia with the Exec on business. Terribly dusty and dirty there. Very warm.

Friday, December 29, 1944
Remained alongside the Dobbin today. Ran into Dr. Vernig off of the Mercy today. Should be shoving off tomorrow.

Saturday, December 30, 1944
Went over to the Mercy today and saw Vernig for a few hours and then back to the ship. We got underway at 2000 for the Luzon operation.

Sunday, December 31, 1944
Heading toward Leyte independently at 14 knots and will join our invasion, convoy day after tomorrow. Fairly rough today and not cool. Tried to get the skipper to blow the whistle at midnight—but none of us would be up to hear it anyway.