Howorth’s action reports are as follows:


On the evening of 22 November 1944, Howorth was screening a transport convoy about 60 miles southeast of Leyte Gulf with Morris (flag), Hale, Abbot, Fletcher, La Vallette and Norman Scott. Howorth observed and tracked but did not fire on enemy planes.


Action reports for selected dates and a deck log, damage report and list of personnel casualties for 6 April 1945 are as follows:
On 13 December, Howorth was one of 13 destroyers—with Hall (flag), O’Bannon. La Vallette, Fletcher, Hopewell, Dashiell, Stevens, Paul Hamilton, Pringle and Philip—escorting an 89-ship convoy from Leyte Gulf to Mindoro. Cruiser Nashville was hit and other ships took an enemy plane under fire.

On the morning 15 December, Howorth participated in bombarding Mindoro’s Caminiwit Peninsula in support of landings there. Bombardment was interrupted by the approach of a formation of enemy planes. As Howorth maneuvered for sea room, she was approached by three “Zekes” with “unmistakable suicide intent.” One, believed hit, overshot the ship; pieces of the plane and the pilot’s body fell on board. Within 20–30 seconds, the second hit the air search radar antenna (photo, top of page) and the foc’sle before crashing into the water off the port bow. “Lady luck smiled and smiled,” wrote Capt. Burns.


While operating on an anti-submarine screen at Lingayen Gulf under tactical command of DesRon 54 (Remey, flag), Howorth fired fifteen 5-gun salvoes at shore targets at the direction of shore fire control.


In the early morning of 2 April, while supporting initial landings at Okinawa, Howorth was part of a formation that took enemy planes under fire.

Four days later, on the morning of 6 April, the Japanese responded with a mass air attack, the first of many over ensuing weeks.

A formation including Howorth, DesRon 56 flagship Newcomb and minesweepers was attacked by six “Zekes.” Howorth, boxed in by the minesweepers, could not complete a turn to starboard that would have brought her after battery and automatic weapons to bear. One of the Zekes flew directly into her main battery from about 30 degrees to starboard--the last words heard from the Gunnery Officer were "’target angle zero’."

While seven shipmates were killed, “Once again, ‘Lady Luck’ was on board ship,” wrote Capt. Burns. Nearby Newcomb and Leutze, which came to her aid, were not as fortunate—both were badly damaged from a combined five suicide plane hits, towed home and scrapped.


Destroyer Howorth (Commander E. S. Burns) was struck by a Kamikaze 6 April as she steamed independently toward an A/S patrol station off the Hagushi beaches. Coming in from the north and east, flocks of Japanese planes were bearing down on the beachhead. Howorth paused to shoot at a Kamikaze which was diving on cruiser St. Louis. A few minutes later the word came over TBS that Hyman had been struck, and Howorth, on the injured destroyer’s trail, stepped up speed to reach an adjacent station. While running at 25 knots, she shot down another “Val”—a plane that gave her a nerve-wracking shave by banking between her two stacks, slashing the radio antenna, and crashing close aboard. Reaching her picket station at 1700, Howorth immediately went into action to shoot down an attacking “Zeke.” At 1703 she downed a second “Zeke.” This suicider brushed the destroyer’s fantail, carrying away several lifelines before plunging into the water.

Two minutes later the Howorth riddled a third “Zeke” which was diving on a nearby minesweeper. The Kamikazes were now coming in so fast that Howorth’s ammunition passers could hardly keep up with the guns. Then, swooping down in a long glide, another “Zeke” struck home. The plane flew squarely into the main-battery director on Howorth’s bridge. The crash drenched the bridge with burning gasoline, and knocked out the ship’s steering control. Repair parties quickly extinguished the fire; steering control was taken over aft; the ship was conned from the secondary conning station; and still another “Zeke” was killed by 40mm fire from the destroyer’s guns. The ship, as her captain expressed it, had gone quickly “back to battery.” In fact, her guns and engines never stopped working. Informed that Howorth was hit, the Task Group Commander dispatched a destroyer-escort to her assistance. The DE captain presently reported back that he couldn’t catch the Howorth because she was going somewhere faster than the DE’s best speed.

“Once again,” Howorth’s Commander Burns observed, “Lady Luck was on board ship. The plane that crashed could have caused considerably more damage. The contributing factors in stopping these suiciders proved to be high speed, a large volume of accurate fire, and radical maneuvers.”

Source: Roscoe