Doc Ransom’s Diary


Monday, January 1, 1945
Still alone enroute to Leyte. Fired today, testing the guns. Water very calm and not a ship or plane in sight.

Tuesday, January 2, 1945
Supposed to rendezvous with the convoy at 0800 but found out they were ahead so speed to 25 knots and joined them around noon. It is a good sized convoy consisting of L.S.T’s, L.S.M’s and troop transports. We are head of the screening vessels and are in front of formation.

Wednesday, January 3 1945
We were spotted by a Jap plane this morning at 1000 but he refused to come within firing range, circled the formation and left. Kept waiting all day for the Japs to return but none have appeared.

Thursday, January 4, 1945
Entered Leyte Gulf this afternoon and joined up with some more cans & L.S.T’s. After dark we turned south into Surigao Straits with the main body. Have another big convoy just astern of us and is in sight. No more attacks so far. Sal’s birthday, and wrote some letters.

Friday, January 5, 1945
Going across Mindanao Sea all day. Since this is where the Nashville was hit last time we came up, we kept a very alert watch today. At about 1400 the cruisers ahead of us about 10 miles were attacked by a sub and although two torpedoes were fired no one was hit. Tense moments from now on, it looks like. Heard that one of our small carriers was sunk yesterday, about two days ahead of us. At sunset we passed around Negros and turned north for Luzon.

Saturday, January 6, 1945
Going north and are along the island of Panay. Jap plane came in but was shot down by one of our fighter planes. Windy and cool. Heard that some of our ships who are already at Lingayen Gulf bombarding were damaged by the suicide planes. Everything quiet so far.

Sunday, January 7, 1945
We are now just west of Mindoro Island. Quiet all day until about 4 P.M. when two planes came in and one was shot down by an L.S.T., about 5000 yards on our starboard side. We couldn’t fire because of the convoy being there. At any rate, the plane fell harmlessly in the water. After sunset five to six Jap planes came over us but did not attack and since it was dark we did not fire thereby not revealing our position. After sunset we will pass across the entrance to Manila Bay and so four of us cans were delegated to go ahead and on each side of the convoy five miles out in case the Japs came out with P.T. boats from Manila. At 11:30 P.M. one or our destroyers on the starboard side of the convoy (we were on the port side) discovered a Jap destroyer coming toward the convoy. The cans on the starboard side opened fire and in no time the Jap can exploded and sank. They picked up one survivor. No more excitement so we turned in.

Monday, January 8, 1945
All manned our battle stations at 3:30 A.M. because of about six Jap planes snooping us very close by. They did not attack so must have been out watching our movements to see if we were going to turn into Manila Bay. They left before dawn knowing our fighter cover would then be over us. All went well until 8 A.M. when a large group of Jap planes started attacking. Our fighters intercepted them at 30 miles but a few broke through. Two came at a troop transport in the convoy just astern of us and although one was hit, he suicide crashed—dived into the transport causing a big explosion. Must have been superficial damage for the ship is still with us. The other Jap was driven off or he fled. Shortly after that a plane attacked the cruiser formation on our port beam but he was shot down in flames before he could crash dive., The rest of the day was peaceful except for a destroyer opposite from us got a submarine contact and they depth charged it bringing up oil and cork, so they at least damaged it. At 1800 the whole convoy turned east as we are nearing Lingayen Gulf. At sunset, although we could not see land, we could hear the battleships bombarding within the Gulf, Tomorrow morning at 0930 our troops are to land at Lingayen and it should be a busy day for all. Got intelligence reports today that a large Jap fleet unit just departed from Tokyo—destination unknown. We wonder! But we’re ready for them.

Tuesday, January 9, 1945 (D Day)
Got up at 0330 because of floating mines seen while going into Lingayen Gulf. At 0600 a Jap plane came in at us and we fired like mad turning him way. We then proceeded to our shore bombardment area just 2000 yards from the beach with three other cans in our group and waited until 0900. All this time the cruisers and battleships were bombarding over our ships. At 0900 we commenced firing and fired for 25 minutes straight and then watched the troops land. Then everything was quiet until about 2:30 P.M. We were at G.Q. but relaxed when all of a sudden there was a big splash in the water ahead of us. It was s shell from the Jap shore guns. This was followed by three more shell bursts—each coming successively closer. We immediately got underway and turned our guns toward the beach and leveled the area where the gun was firing. The shore battery ceased firing permanently. During the shore bombardment at 0900 the Jenkins was fired at by shore guns also. Her station was just astern of us. Unfortunately she received one hit and injured 12 men. We were lucky. Never will forget that whistle—more of a swish—of the shell and then a bang. The troop transports were empty and we started back for Leyte at sundown. As we were going out the Gulf and Jap planes appeared flying very high—about four miles and we all opened up on them but none were shot down. After that, all was quiet so I turned in.

Wednesday, January 10, 1945
Jap plane came in at dawn and the cans on the other side of the formation opened up on him and he turned away. No other attacks during the day even though we are passing right in front of Manila Bay entrance. Doing 13 knots and will get in day after tomorrow. Sea is a little rough.

Thursday, January 11, 1945
Everything quiet all day. Sea much rougher and cloudy and windy. There is a typhoon ahead of us and we don’t know if we’ll get in it or not. We are bobbing like a cork now but we continue our speed. Off of Negros Island tonight and will turn into the Mindanao Sea late tonight.

Friday, January 12, 1945
Entered Surigao Straits about noon and arrived in Leyte Gulf at sundown. Finally anchored about 2100. Will get mail tomorrow.

Saturday, January 13, 1945
Got underway at 1100 for fuel and drop off the mail working party. Finished fueling at 1600 and got our mail about 1700. Read letters, then wrote some and then to bed.

Sunday, January 14, 1945
Got orders at 0400 to get underway and search for a sub near the transport area in Leyte Gulf. All of us cans got over there and began the search at about 1100. One of the cans made a contact and dropped depth charges bringing up some oil and air bubbles They believe sub is now on the bottom, but we all continue to patrol in search of possibly any more around here. Very rainy today with lightning.

Monday, January 15, 1945
Were relieved from anti-sub duty this afternoon and went into San Pedro Bay to load ammunition but was postponed until tomorrow. Dropped the hook and saw a movie in the wardroom.

Tuesday, January 16, 1945
Went alongside the ammo ship and loaded up to capacity. We then anchored. Got some mail today but not much. New exec came aboard.

Wednesday, January 17, 1945
Took on provisions this morning and shoved off for the transport area to resume the anti-sub patrol. A Jap plane came over just after sundown but did not attack.

Thursday, January 18, 1945
Still on patrol, back and forth. Had a red alert this morning at 6 A.M. and another Jap recco plane. Very boring duty.

Friday, January 19, 1945
Got relieved by some other cans so went into the anchorage—fueled. Then anchored near the beach.

Saturday, January 20, 1945
Remained anchored. Aren’s left ship for the States and the new X.O. took over. Rainy today. Had a movie in the wardroom

Sunday, January 21, 1945
Remained anchored again today. No mail this time in since we found out it has all been sent to Hollandia by mistake! Went to G.Q. at sunset because of a Jap plane but he did not attack and left shortly.

Monday, January 22, 1945
Got underway at 1500 with six other cans, 98 L.S.T’s and some liberty ships for Lingayen Gulf. We and the Jenkins will be relieved enroute by two other cans and we’ll join a carrier task force.

Tuesday, January 23, 1945
Passing through the Mindanao Sea. All is quiet and have good fighter cover. Slow convoy and dull. Had a movie in the wardroom after supper.

Wednesday, January 24, 1945
Going north now past Panay. No air attacks and all is O.K.

Thursday, January 25, 1945
The two cans relieved us at dawn. The Jenkins with us proceeded at 25 knots to rendezvous with the carrier task force. Joined the carrier force at 1500 and proceeded to screen them. There are six C.V.E’s, four C.L.’s, 13 cans and four D.E.’s now.

Friday, January 26, 1945
We are patrolling about 150 miles off of the entrance to Manila Bay. Planes are launched at intervals for strikes and patrols. Task force goes back and forth and waiting. It is good working with a task force with some speed again.

Saturday, January 27, 1945
Continuing our routine. A group of tankers joined us today and we all fueled from them. They left at sunset and we continued on our way. No air attacks on any contacts.

Sunday, January 28, 1945
Continuing our patrol. Started moving toward Luzon so our planes can support the invasion of Subic Bay tomorrow morning. Our cruiser and two cans left at sundown to go bombard at Subic Bay tomorrow.

Monday, January 29, 1945
Invasion went off as planned with no opposition. We were too far out and couldn’t see anything—which is a good change! We keep patrolling back and forth.

Tuesday, January 30, 1945
Heard this morning that one of our troop transports was torpedoed by a Jap sub about 60 miles north of us. She was not sunk. At noon one of our planes sighted the sub at that location, and L.D.E.’s the Jenkins and us were told to go up and start “hunter killer” operations. The Admiral told us “I want to get that sub”—and so did we and off we went at 27 knots to find the plane who was circling the area where the sub submerged. We went to the area about 1530 and commenced our search according to plan. At about 1615 we had a good sub contact and made three depth charge runs, with no results. The four of us searched that area and we never regained contact. We continued to search throughout the night.

Wednesday, January 31, 1945
Still searching for sub but no further contacts. One of the planes searching with us sighted an oil slick at 1400 and we went over there but none of us made a contact. At 1600 we were ordered back to the carrier force and we rejoined at about 2100.

Thursday, February 1, 1945
Entered Mindoro anchorage this morning with the cruisers and fueled. We then anchored. Fairly cool here and sunny. Much better climate than Leyte.

Friday, February 2, 1945
Remained anchored today. Dilly, Groshart, and I went ashore and got a ride into San Jose (!) and it certainly isn’t much of a town. It was very dirty and dusty. Came back to ship for movie.

Saturday, February 3, 1945
Went over to the beach again today with Groshart and we sat in the sand and visited taking a sunbath. Came back to ship for a movie on the forecastle. Still cool and pleasant. Trying to get some fresh corn from the natives and may get 30–35 ears in a couple of days.

Sunday, February 4, 1945
We were sent out on anti-sub patrol today off of the entrance so now we go back and forth. Not bad however, for the breeze is cool.

Monday, February 5, 1945
Continuing anti-sub patrol. Taking sunbaths and things are very quiet. No more Jap planes apparently in these parts.

Tuesday, February 6, 1945
Came in from patrol at noon and anchored. Went over to the beach today just to get off of the ship. It was a pretty day. This weather is good.

Wednesday, February 7, 1945
Remained anchored today. Went over to an island in the bay with the Captain today and it was a pretty place. Not as dusty as the mainland.

Thursday, February 8, 1945
Took on provisions today as a big convoy came in late last night with food, etc. No mail but we hope to get some soon. At 1800 we all got underway for Subic Bay and presume that will be our new home for a while.

Friday, February 9, 1945
Arrived at Subic Bay about 0800 and went in and anchored. It’s a pretty place and a good anchorage and cool, which is OK. Had a movie in the wardroom.

Saturday, February 10, 1945
Remained anchored in Subic Bay. Took a boat ride past Olongapo—the city at the edge of the bay and saw the damage done.

Sunday, February 11, 1945
Fueled today. Went over to Grande Island to look at the ruins where our peacetime barracks are. Talked with a Filipino guerilla and he was very interesting.

Monday February 12, 1945
Remained anchored. Groshart and I went over to Grande Island. Had a good visit plus walking around. When I returned to the ship, found out we had mail aboard, so read my five letters over and over!

Tuesday, February 13, 1945
Cruisers and cans all got underway at dawn for Corregidor and Bataan where we bombarded and protected the mine-sweeps during their mine-sweeping of Manila Bay. Corregidor is really a bastion and we watched the planes hit it time and again. We threw 120 rounds into Bataan. The mine-sweeps found only American mines left there by us at the beginning of the war and we were amazed to think the Japs hadn’t mined the place. We ended our duty at 1600 and returned to Subic, 35 miles away. Anchored and had a movie on the forecastle.

Wednesday, February 14, 1945
Cruisers and cans all got underway at 0500 for another bombardment of Bataan and Corregidor. We screened the Montpelier most of the day and then were ordered to follow the mine-sweeps into Mariveles Harbor to protect them from shore batteries. We went in once. There were about seven floating mines in the Harbor which we fired at with our 40 mm guns. We exploded three of them. Then we withdrew so the mine-sweep could sweep the Harbor once more. As the sweeps went in we again followed. This was at 6 PM. I had just gone into the wardroom and sat down in front of the radio when a terrific explosion occurred. I flew through the air and landed on the deck under the transom with phonograph records all on top of me. The lights were out and it was very quiet by the time I realized anything had happened. I could hear groans and yelling so I ran out onto the main deck where there was fuel oil all over everything and steam coming out of the forward fire room hatch. I heard someone saying that people were hurt on the bridge so I ran up there. One of the signalmen with his face smashed was lying across two radio antennas where he had been blown by the blast. Seeing he was in fair condition, I helped pull him onto the deck and went on trying to evaluate the seriousness of the situation. By this time, the sky was settling fast forward so I wanted to be sure all the casualties had life jackets etc. on them in case of sinking. Went down to the wardroom where stretcher bearers were bringing in the patients. It was soon filled, so I had them take other casualties onto the forecastle. One boy, who had been dragged out of the fire room alive, was in bad shape—had 2nd and 3rd degree burns over his entire body, plus aspiration of fuel oil into his lungs. Started him on plasma, postured drainage and suction of the trachea and a catheter without too much success. Another pt. had a compound fractured skull and was in a coma. Another had a ten inch abdominal laceration which was non-perforating (thank God) and a compound fractured nose. Another had a deep laceration of the scrotum and perineum. Another had a puncture wound of the knee joint. After taking care of these as quickly as I could, I went around the ship looking at the others. Seven back cases, who were completely disabled, were a problem as to evacuation if we had to “go over the side”. By this time darkness had set in making it more difficult to render aid. The total casualty list was:

Dead - (Killed outright) 5
Died of injuries 2
Injured 23

   The injuries were nine fractures, 46 lacerations, 10 brain concussions, 14 severe contusions, and one 3rd degree burn and acute pneumonia. Worked on the boys throughout the night and was able to transfer them the next morning at 10 A.M. We were taken in to tow at 1 A.M. by a tug and got back to Subic Bay at dawn. Tried to get some sleep around noon time but wasn’t successful. It was a horrible experience and night.

Thursday, February 15, 1945
Went alongside the sub tender, the Griffin, and they rendered all the help we needed and were swell. The ship is a mess with fuel oil everyplace. The mine hit on the port side just aft of the wardroom and really tore up the ship. The bow is about four feet out of the water and we came mighty close to losing her. Since our staterooms had oil on the decks, we have to live on the Griffin for a while.

Friday, February 16, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Saturday, February 17, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Sunday, February 18, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Monday, February 19, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Tuesday, February 20, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Wednesday, February 21, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Thursday, February 22, 1945
Alongside the Griffin.

Friday, February 23, 1945
An L.S.T. came alongside of us and we moored to her and the Griffin got underway. We are now living on the L.S.T.

Saturday, February 24, 1945
Alongside the L.S.T

Sunday, February 25, 1945
Alongside the L.S.T.

Monday, February 26, 1945
Got underway by ourselves and went alongside the destroyer’s tender, Dobbin, while we’re waiting for a dry dock.

Tuesday, February 27, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Wednesday, February 28, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Thursday, March 1, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Friday, March 2, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Saturday, March 3, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Sunday, March 4, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Monday, March 5, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Tuesday, March 6, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Wednesday, March 7, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Thursday, March 8, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Friday, March 9, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Saturday, March 10, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Sunday, March 11, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Monday, March 12, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Tuesday, March 13, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Wednesday, March 14, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Thursday, March 15, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Friday, March 16, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Saturday, March 17, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Sunday, March 18, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Monday, March 19, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Tuesday, March 20, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Wednesday, March 21, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Thursday, March 22, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Friday, March 23, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Saturday, March 24, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Sunday, March 25, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Monday, March 26, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Tuesday, March 27, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Wednesday, March 28, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Thursday, March 29, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Friday, March 30, 1945
Alongside the Dobbin.

Saturday, March 31, 1945
Went into dry dock today. A.R.D. 7. The hate in the hull is tremendous and so is the damage.

Sunday, April 1, 1945
In dry dock

Monday, April 2, 1945
In dry dock

Tuesday, April 3, 1945
In dry dock

Wednesday, April 4, 1945
In dry dock

Thursday, April 5, 1945
In dry dock

Friday, April 6, 1945
In dry dock

Saturday, April 7, 1945
In dry dock

Sunday, April 8, 1945
In dry dock

Monday, April 9, 1945
In dry dock

Tuesday, April 10, 1945
In dry dock

Wednesday, April 11, 1945
In dry dock

Thursday, April 12, 1945
In dry dock

Friday, April 13, 1945
In dry dock

Saturday, April 14, 1945
In dry dock

Sunday, April 15, 1945
In dry dock

Monday, April 16, 1945
In dry dock

Tuesday, April 17, 1945
In dry dock

Wednesday, April 18, 1945
In dry dock

Thursday, April 19, 1945
In dry dock

Friday, April 20, 1945
In dry dock

Saturday, April 21, 1945
In dry dock

Sunday, April 22, 1945
In dry dock

Monday, April 23, 1945
In dry dock

Tuesday, April 24, 1945
In dry dock

Wednesday, April 25, 1945
In dry dock

Thursday, April 26, 1945
In dry dock

Friday, April 27, 1945
In dry dock

Saturday, April 28, 1945
In dry dock

Sunday, April 29, 1945
In dry dock

Monday, April 30, 1945
Undocked at noon and fueled from tanker. Ships bow is very high out of the water due to all the weight and structures removed. Will go out tomorrow and check compass before shoving off.

Tuesday, May 1, 1945
Went to sea and checked compass and then sped up to 25 knots and zigzagged to check the repairs structurally. Everything in good shape and returned to Subic Bay and anchored.

Wednesday, May 2, 1945
Departed from Subic Bay at 1130 for Pearl Harbor (!) via Guam and the Marshall Islands. Been waiting for this day a very long time. Everyone is surely in good spirits—I wonder why? We’re going 16 knots and will go through the San Bernadino Straits enroute to Guam. Expect to arrive at Guam on the 7th.

Thursday, May 3, 1945
Passed through San Bernadino Straits this A.M. and are now on the open sea. Certainly is good to be underway again. Sea is calm and gentle breezes. We are going 16 knots.

Friday, May 4, 1945
Continuing eastward. Pleasant cruising. Taking sunbaths and enjoying every minute of it.

Saturday, May 5, 1945
Sea is still calm and pleasant. Nice sunny days for a tan. Will arrive at Guam day after tomorrow. Doing 15 knots now.

Sunday, May 6, 1945
Another pleasant day. Took sunbath most of day and played bingo in wardroom after supper. Will arrive in Guam tomorrow. Several friendly planes flew over us today.

Monday, May 7, 1945
Arrived at Guam at 0800 and finally anchored about 0900. Many ships here and base built up since last time. At 1230 we started to go alongside tanker to fuel and while maneuvering in the harbor we rammed an anchored ship—the Stringham, an APD. We tore a six foot hole in our bow about seven feet above the water line and made a big hole in the Stringham and she settled fast but a salvage tug quickly assisted her and kept her from sinking. It was an awful sight to see it happen. Fortunately no one was injured on either ship. We still hope to depart tomorrow for Eniwetok in the Marshalls, but we may have to have the bow repaired first.

Tuesday, May 8, 1945
Decided we will have to repair the hole in the bow before leaving so guess we’re going to be held up. Also there is to be an investigation on the accident, so don’t know when we’re leaving.

Wednesday, May 9, 1945
Patched the bow and the investigation was completed tonight so hope to get underway for Eniwetok in the morning.

Thursday, May 10, 1945
Departed from Guam at 0830 alone. Proceeding at 16 knots and will arrive at Eniwetok the morning of the 13th. Heading into a stiff breeze but it is fairly humid and sticky.

Friday, May 11, 1945
Added another knot because of the wind so we’re going 17 knots now. Passed four of our ships today headed for Guam. We are just north of Truk now by about 200 miles.

Saturday, May 12, 1945
Continuing at 17 knots and all is well. Good weather and smooth sailing.

Sunday May 13, 1945
Arrived at Eniwetok at 0800 and fueled and anchored. Saw Bill Brun’s L.S.T. here so contacted him and I went over and had a visit and supper with him. Hope to shove off tomorrow for Pearl.

Monday, May 14, 1945
Started to get underway but our evaporation broke down and can’t make feed water for the boilers. So here we sit.

Tuesday, May 15, 1945
Finally got underway at 1600 for Majuro, Marshall Islands, to refuel so we can make Pearl in one jump.

Wednesday, May 16, 1945
Passed Roi and Namur atolls of Kwajalein where we were 16 months ago—looked quite built up compared to when we were there. Will arrive at Majuro tomorrow. Good weather. Speed 16 knots.

Thursday, May 17, 1945
Arrived at Majuro at 0830 and fueled. We then shoved off at 1130 for Pearl Harbor! We will arrive at P.M. on the 22nd—five calendar days but six days at sea. Sounds too good to be true. Speed 15 knots.

Friday, May 17, 1945 (Crossed dateline during the night)
Continuing on to Pearl. Sea smooth and weather good. Taking sunbaths—no excitement.

Friday, May 18, 1945
Still doing 15 knots and plan to arrive at Pearl in the morning of the 22nd. Weather remains good.

Saturday, May 19, 1945
Proceeding as scheduled and sea smooth. Getting cooler now and it feels good. Had Captain’s inspection today and sunbath in P.M. Bingo in the evening. Getting anxious to arrive.

Sunday, May 20, 1945
Nice weather and sea. Continues to get cooler. Had movies in the wardroom tonight.

Monday, May 21, 1945
Getting close now. Speeded up to 17 knots so that we will be there about 0730. Hope we don’t stay long.

Tuesday, May 22, 1945
Arrived at P.H. at 0800 and they gave us a five gun salute from the shore guns and we were told later that it was the first time since the U.S.S. San Francisco entered Pearl in the 1942 that the salute was given. CinCPac sent us a message as we entered saying “Welcome to Pearl. The battle record of the La Vallette is an inspiration to all hands. Hearty Congratulations.” After we moored we found out that we’re going to Hunter’s Point for 90 (!) days. Guess we’ll leave in a couple of days. Went into Honolulu to contact Marsh and found out she had left so returned to Pearl.

Wednesday, May 23, 1945
Remained in Pearl. Went over to DesPac and visited with Andy this afternoon.

Thursday, May 24, 1945
Underway at 0930 for San Francisco!! Left Pearl with our homeward bound pennant flying and our whistle and siren screeching. We will arrive in S.F. on May 30th.

Friday, May 25, 1945
On to U.S.A. Speed 15 knots. Good weather and calm seas. Time is really dragging.

Saturday, May 26, 1945
Rainy today and cool. Had a movie in the wardroom tonight.

Sunday, May 27, 1945
Clear today but cold—temperature 64 degrees! Took a sunbath anyway and about froze. Sea pretty rough today. Getting clothes ready for States.

Monday, May 28, 1945
Clear today also and very chilly. Trying our best to while away the time. Today is D-2.

Tuesday, May 29, 1945
Continued cold today. Will pass through the Golden Gate about 0800 tomorrow. Plan to get up early and watch the approach. Today is D-1.

Wednesday, May 30, 1945
Passed under Golden Gate Bridge at 0840. Left with the agriculture inspector and went to San Jose by train. Home Sweet Home!!